Cambados is a town situated at the mouth of the Arousa Estuary which has been declared a Site of Cultural Interest, due to its many monuments and historic buildings, and it is also known as the capital of Albariño wine. This location has much to offer, which is why we have decided to tell you about its 10 most interesting places.
1. Historic centre
The historic centre in Cambados consists of numerous cobbled streets that connect one town square with another. We encourage you to walk through them and discover all the monuments and historic buildings of the town, such as the Casa de las Conchas (House of the Shells) which is notable for the stone scallops that decorate its façade. On the Rúa do Príncipe (Prince’s Street), you will see the Parador de Cambados, an ancient manor house which is now a five star hotel. Also in the historic centre, you will find a multitude of establishments and restaurants where you can try the food from the area and its delicious Albariño wine.
For those who want to see the principal points of the historic centre, but who are unable to do this on foot, there is a train called the “Pavi Tren” that provides you with an opportunity to go to all the important points comfortably and easily. This train covers around 7 kilometres on a trip lasting some 40 minutes during which time, as well as taking you to the historic centre, also takes you along the maritime promenade to the famous neighbourhood of San Tomé.
2. Manor of Fefiñáns
In Cambados, there are numerous manor houses that are notable for their elegance and beauty. The most famous of these is the Manor of Fefiñáns, located right inside the historic centre, within the square of the same name.
The Manor of Fefiñáns was built in the Galician Baroque style with Italian Renaissance influences. Its construction, by order of the first Viscount of Fefiñáns, began in the 16th century and was completed in the 17th century. This building occupies a large part of the square and consists of a great Baroque arch-bridge of expansive dimensions, some charming circular balconies and a castellated tower keep, which is the main tower of the manor and where the main living quarters are found.
Fefiñáns Square is an emblematic place in its own right. Measuring over 2,500 square metres, this square is surrounded with historic buildings, which is one of the reasons why it is considered to be one of the most attractive squares in Galicia.
3. The church of San Benito
The church of San Benito is located in Fefiñans Square and was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2013, along with the Manor of Fefiñáns and its square.
In the past, there was a small chapel on the site of the church. In the 17th century, the chapel was rebuilt giving rise to the church of San Benito that we see today. Within this church you can find different architectural styles; while the church interior is Gothic, the bell tower is of Baroque style. Another interesting fact is that inside the building, you will find the tomb of the Viscount of Fefiñáns, Don Gonzalo de Valladares and his wife.
4. The Convent of San Francisco
Another notable religious building of Cambados is the convent of San Francisco. This Gothic style building with touches of Renaissance was built in 1588. At first, it was a Franciscan convent which venerated the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. In 1835, it became the property of the State and had various uses; it was a convention centre, it housed a school and also functioned as a prison. It is currently used as a parish church.
In this building, the roof is notable because of its multitude of stone crosses, as is its small bell tower, located on the left, and the interior decoration, which has different representations of the building since the time when it was a convent.
5. The ruins of Santa Mariña Dozo
The ruins of the church of San Mariña Dozo is one of the symbols of Cambados and, therefore, one of the places that you must see if you visit the town. This is an ancient church in Gothic style with Renaissance details that was built in the 15th century, of which only the nave and its four remarkable arches remain.
A peculiarity of this church is that it is surrounded by a cemetery which belongs to the European Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe and where, among other people from Cambados, the wife and son of the well-known Galician write Valle-Inclán are buried.
This church is located on the edge of the town, and is a reason why many people choose the train that we mentioned earlier to go up to see it.
6. Seafront Promenade
One of the most pleasant and tranquil areas of Cambados is its seafront promenade. We recommend that you to go there and take a relaxing stroll while you look at the Arousa estuary in its greatest splendour, with the mussel troughs floating on the sea and the shellfish catchers gathering clams, cockles and other molluscs along the shore.
The seafront promenade extends from the Molino de Mareas (tidal mill) at A Seca to the Praia da Mouta (Mouta beach), located at the next point of interest in Cambados: the neighbourhood of San Tomé.
7. The neighbourhood of San Tomé and the tower of San Sadurniño
The neighbourhood of San Tomé is a fishing district which, in the past, was a village in its own right and which is now connected to the town centre via the Seafront Promenade. It is the ideal place to relax and watch the sunset.
In this neighbourhood, you will find the Island of San Sadurniño, where the ruins of a very charming tower are located. In the past, it used to protect the village from possible attacks from the sea.
8. Manor of Montesacro
In the neighbourhood of San Tomé you will also find an ancient Baroque-style manor house which was built in the 17th century: the Manor of Montesacro.
This manor house has been refurbished and, today, it is a residence for the elderly. Next to the building is the chapel of Valvanera which was built by the Marquises of Montesacro in honour of this virgin who originated in La Rioja Montesacro.
9. Manor house of Ulloa
Another of the most famous manor houses of this area is the Manor of Ulloa, which is also known by the name of “La Casa de los Pazos” (the House of the Manors) or “Pazo Quintanilla” (Quintanilla Manor). This manor dates back to the 15th century and is a very elegant building which possesses great beauty. On its main façade, there is an impressive cross. One of the personages that lived at the manor was the Archbishop of Santiago and Toledo, Don Alfonso Fonseca III, known for being a driving force at the University of Santiago.
10. Albariño wineries
As we mentioned earlier, Cambados is the capital of the Albariño. Every year the Albariño festival is celebrated. This is a very popular fair which attracts hundreds of people to enjoy the famous wine. If you have the opportunity to attend, we recommend that you do. But if you can’t visit around that time, don’t worry, because another notable thing in Cambados is its large number of wineries. For this reason, if you go to the town, a place that you should visit is a winery where you can try one of the most emblematic wines of Galicia.
Cambados is a very enchanting town with many interesting places to visit.
We hope that this list will help you during your travels and that you to discover its most interesting places.
Remember that the town of Cambados is very close to the ports of Sanxenxo and Portonovo, as they are departure ports for the Atlantic Islands National Park. In June, Mar de Ons will sail to the Isla de Ons and to the Islas Cíes from Sanxenxo and Portonovo. On this link, you will find the timetable for the Mar de Ons.
Remember that during the summer season you will need an authorisation from the Xunta de Galicia (Galician council) in order to access the Cíes Archipelago and the Ons Archipelago. The Cíes islands have a limit of 1800 visitors per day, while Ons have a limit of 1300 per day.
Decide on which archipelago you want to see first and reserve your ticket with Mar de Ons. Now that you know what to see in Sanxenxo, discover the attractions of Cangas do Morrazo, which is also a departure port for the Mar de Ons.