VIGO – CANGAS
WHAT TO DO IN
VIGO AND CANGAS
» Old Town Route – Cangas
One of the curiosities of Cangas is ‘O Reloxo’, an old meteorological forecasting equipment built at the beginning of the century, which is consulted by fishermen before beginning their voyages at sea.
From the Alameda, the route continues to Plaza del Arco, the old gate to the town. From there, a walk through the streets of Antonio Garelly and its skate houses will transport you to the Middle Ages, through these typical fishing houses of the Rías Baixas.
Next, the Rúa Real, with its emblazoned houses combined with beautiful buildings from the end of the 19th century that show off their white galleries and their coats of arms, shows us the most important monument in the town: the former collegiate church of Santiago de Cangas.
The Church of Cangas was built in the 16th century and raised to the rank of Collegiate Church in 1542. From an architectural point of view, this temple combines Gothic and Renaissance elements. From the late Gothic period is its basilica plan with three naves covered with star vaults, as well as the buttresses and pinnacles on the outside.
At the end of the 16th century, the sculptor Mateo López erected the Plateresque-style façade, one of the most beautiful in Galicia. In it, two bodies are distinguished where the four evangelists are represented. Above them, a triangular pediment in which the figure of Christ is found.
Inside the temple, the altarpiece of the main chapel stands out, where there is an image of the Christ of Comfort by the master Juan Pintos and a silver cross of great artistic value.
From here, and through the Rúa do Hío, you will reach the Barrio Eirado do Costal, the primary nucleus from which the town grew.
If you go up the Síngulis Street, where there is an old coat of arms of the Inquisition, you will arrive at the square of the same name, wich has a beautiful baroque cross.
The last stage of this route through Cangas do Morrazo is the Barrio de Señal, a small maritime borough where you can visit beautiful gardens and the Hospital Chapel, built in the 18th century and currently restored.
From there, a promenade begins that reaches Rodeira Beach, the main sandy area of the town.
The path continues along the promenade, past the fishing port and the marina.
Along this path you will arrive at the Factoría Conservera Massó, an old canning factory and one of the most innovative from the 1950s. Despite being in ruins, you can still distinguish the old whaling ramps and the facilities they had for their workers: nurseries, dining areas and showers.
Then, passing through Punta Balea, you will arrive at the Lago de la Congorza or Laguna Massó, also known as the “Laguna de los Patos”, a place of great natural wealth and an ideal area to enjoy unique moments of recreation.
» Congorza – Cangas Trail
» Cabo Home – Cangas Trail
The tour starts from the port of Cangas and leads directly to the Massó complex, a set of buildings that are currently in ruins and that marked an important economic and business evolution for the Cangas population. Next, there is a small grove that leads us to the ruins of the old whaling ship.
Leaving behind the whaling buildings, you can admire the small Laguna da Corgonza, a place of great scenic beauty that safeguards a great diversity of species.
The route continues to Furnas and continues through an area of spectacular cliffs overlooking the Cíes Islands and recently discovered archaeological sites, to the area of the beaches of Liméns, Nerga, Viñó and Barra.
The path goes up a slight climb in which the remains of an old salting factory are found, until reaching Cabo Home, where the lighthouses of Sobrido, Rodeira and Cabo Home, witnesses to shipwrecks, adventures, and great historical events that took place there.
Cabo Home is a coastal area, open to the Atlantic Ocean, which is protected by the Cíes and has an important complex of dunes. It is a protected natural space, within the Red Natura 2000, together with Cabo Udra and O Facho.
The route starts from the port of Cangas and runs through the old canned Massó and the whaling ship, key buildings in the economic evolution of Cangas and that left their mark on its history.
The route continues through a tunnel that leads to an area of cliffs, more than 150 meters above the sea, with particular rock formations called “furnas”, caves created by the erosion of the sea on the coast.
The route ends at this point, from where there are impressive views towards the sea.
» Las Furnas – Cangas Coastal Trail
» Areamilla to Liméns Coastal Trail – Cangas
Next, there is another of the hidden corners of Cangas do Morrazo, the Laguna de Massó, a natural lake that is home to a wide variety of birds and has become a wonderful resting area.
Laguna de Massó is a unique area in O Morrazo, since there are practically no similar habitats in the region. Up to seven species of ducks live here, among which is the duck, which breeds and lives all year. It also breeds the redfish and, in winter, the coot appears. The white heron, the gray heron and the kingfisher rest and sleep in the trees that border the lagoon.
The last part of the route is the most beautiful and least known and runs along a path towards the Liméns Beach.
This path also passes through the Furnas, which are holes created by the sea that excavates from below and reach the top of the road.
The route ends by visiting Areamilla Beach, which is in a small inlet and has a Blue Flag; and Liméns Beach, a very popular beach in Liméns Cove and which also has a Blue Flag and a large number of services.
Following the route through Calle Príncipe until the end, we arrived at Puerta del Sol, so called because it was one of the seven entrances to the old walled town. Right here is El Sireno, a sculpture by the Galician Francisco Leiro, which represents the union of the people of Vigo with the sea, through a hybrid between man and fish.
In front, crossing the street, is the Plaza de la Princesa, where the Angelote stands, a monument that commemorates the Reconquest of Vigo, when in 1809 he expelled the Napoleonic troops, becoming the first Spanish city to revolt against the invader.
In this area is the historic district, a unique place with great charm, full of places where you can taste rich and varied tapas, washed down with a wonderful local wine. From the Plaza de la Princesa, the route continues to the Plaza de la Constitución, where the old town hall is, today the headquarters of the Casa Galega da Cultura. In this square you can see the arcades of the 19th century buildings that the artisans used to sell their products. Right there is the first electric light that was lit in the city.
The route continues on the left side of the square, where it passes through Rúa dos Cesteiros and through Plaza de Almeida, where the Casa de Ceta is located, the oldest in the historical area and today the headquarters of the Camôes Institute of Language Portuguese.
To the right of this square is the Collegiate Church of Santa María, which houses the image of the Christ of Victory, to whom the triumph over the French troops is popularly attributed. Just below is the Plaza de A Pedra, where the route ends and where you can taste the famous oysters from the estuary.
» Vigo in 60 minutes
» Monte de O Castro – Vigo Trail
Going down the roads that border the O Castro fortification in the direction of the historic neighborhood, you will come to a viewpoint where the Rande Galleon Monument is located: three anchors and several cannons found at the bottom of the estuary.
The route continues to the left, where you can find the archaeological remains of the first inhabitants of Vigo: circular stone houses from a castreño town from the 2nd century BC, which give its name to the mountain.
Finally, going back a little, descending towards the historic center, is the Town Hall tower. Just behind him are the remains of the San Sebastián fortress, the other great defense of the city, along with the O Castro fortification.
Going up Calle Colón you reach Calle de Policarpo Sanz, where the most significant buildings of the golden mile of Vigo architecture are found, such as the García Barbón Theater or the headquarters of several banks.
Continuing along this street, the route ends at the Puerta del Sol, where the Sireno stands, a sculpture half man, half fish that symbolizes the symbiosis of Vigo with the sea. Here begins the pedestrian and commercial Calle Príncipe, at the end of which is the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Returning to Puerta del Sol, we cross into the historic neighborhood through Plaza de la Constitución, where the old town hall is located. From this arcaded square several streets depart with craft shops and typical gastronomic products.
The route through the streets of the old town towards the sea, passes through the Collegiate Church of Santa María, the main church of the city and ends at an air walkway that crosses to the A Laxe Shopping Center, in the Trasatlánticos Dock, an area of excellent Galician gastronomy in which seafood and wines with Rías Baixas designation of origin stand out.
» Old Town Route – Vigo
» Vigo Panoramic Trail
Once the tour along the river is finished, you can continue along the Blue Path, whose layout includes the walk along the river and continues along the beaches of Vigo. Through this route, you can see picturesque sandy areas, framed in a natural enclave of great beauty.
» Track Azul – Vigo
» Route of Agua – Vigo
Along this route you will come into contact with beautiful and varied natural species, and it is an ideal leisure activity to go with children, since it has no slopes and is a simple route.
» Excursions in Cangas
It is an activity that everyone can practice, from 16 years to 60. Its handling is very easy and intuitive. In just 5 minutes practicing FlyBoard you will be flying and living a unique experience, surrounded by a landscape of incomparable beauty
» Windsurf – Cangas
The shopping centers are present with the best Galician fashion and in the pedestrian areas you can visit small shops and traditional crafts.
» Shopping – Vigo
» O Cambón Interpretation Centre
At O Cambón Interpretation Centre, some research projects are carried out, all focusing on the National Park in order to emphasise its value and preserve its natural areas.
In this zoo there are mammals from Africa, Asia and America, such as lions, tigers and brown bears; or species typical of the Peninsula such as the European lynx. In addition, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of zebras, the friendliness of monkeys and the greatness of the wolf.
The different animal species are distributed by zones with appropriate characteristics for each species. For example, in the Exotarium live more than 50 species of insects, arachnids, amphibians and reptiles; and in Nocturama species of nocturnal habits live, in facilities that remain in the dark.
» Excursions in Vigo: Vigozoo
» Museum of Sea – Vigo
Visiting the different rooms in the museum, you can learn about all the aspects of the fishing activity, as well as seeing its development throughout the years: fishing, aquaculture, preservation methods from the old salting systems to the modern freezing methods, the technical advances in vessels, or marine biology.
The visit ends at the aquarium of the Museum, where visitors can see the main ecosystems that can be found from the docks and the steep coast of Cíes Islands.
During the Roman occupation, these lands depended on the city of Lugo (Lucus Augusti). They were inhabited by the Helleni or the Grovii, who lived in the castros.
In Cangas there are remains of several castros, but the most prominent are O Castelo in Darbo, Liboreiro in Coiro and Facho in Hío. In the last one, right on the edge of the precipice over the Atlantic, an important center of worship was built. A significant collection of Roman antiqüities has been found in honor of the Galician Roman god Berobreo. The location of this place, where spectacular sunsets occur, seems to justify its use as a sanctuary.
» Roman empire – Cangas
» Century XII
Thefts and crimes were common throughout the country, substituting order and justice for the law of the fittest. In addition, the excessive desire of the feudal lords to enlarge and enrich themselves led them to usurp ecclesiastical lordships and to lead continuous confrontations with each other.
Already for the first half of the XV century there is news of settlements on the coast from neighbors from the interior.
In the year 1467, the residents of Cangas unite against the abuses that the Galician nobility had been committing and participate in the so-called Second Irmandiña War, taking the Darbo tower, which belonged to the archbishop’s miter of Santiago de Compostela, from the year 1184.
» Century XV – Cangas
» Century XVII – Cangas
In the year 1617, the most dramatic events that Cangas lived throughout its history took place. On December 4, eleven Turkish-Berber corsair ships anchored in the Cíes Islands with the purpose of causing the greatest possible damage to the possessions of the Spanish Crown.
The pirates tried to seize Vigo before directing their prows against Cangas, which was then a humble fishing village, totally unprotected, which did not have a fortified area, nor an artillery. In the early hours of the morning, around 1,000 men disembarked at Rodeira Beach and Punta Balea, before the terrified people of the place. The depleted troops were joined by numerous poorly armed neighbors, leading a desperate fight, in overwhelming numerical inferiority.
Within a few hours, those who managed to flee to the nearby mountains could see a frightful spectacle: the town burned on all four sides and dozens of corpses littered the streets. The Turks dedicated themselves to looting the surroundings for three days and with them they took a great booty, but also dozens of people facing the captivity of Algeria.
The town of Cangas took a long time to recover from that disaster.
María Soliña, the inquisition in Cangas
Between the years 1619 and 1628, many Cangas women were tried by the Inquisition for alleged “witchcraft”. Today we know that those wretches were actually victims of an invention of the inquisitors. The hunt for “witches” was directly caused by the general impoverishment that followed the Turkish invasion of the year 1617. Among all these women, María Soliño, the protagonist of several cantigas, stands out.
Battle of Rande
In 1702, the Cangas coast was the scene of one of the bloodiest naval battles that recalls the history of Europe. At that time, the succession to the Spanish Crown was at stake and the possibility that Felipe de Anjou, grandson of the Sun King, would gain access to the Spanish throne, provoked the energetic reaction of the other powers, fearful of seeing the two powers united.
On June 11, 1702, 19 Spanish galleons sailed from Havana, bound for Cádiz, escorted by 22 French ships, carrying the greatest treasures that had never crossed the Atlantic.
Although a little distant from the battle site, Cangas witnessed the important Battle of Rande, where a squad composed of English and Dutch ships confronted the Franco-Spanish squad that guarded the most valuable cargo that was brought from the lands of America.
The main canning industry, Massó, which came to have more than 1,000 jobs, would go into crisis in the eighties, at the same time as the fishing crisis worsened, generating a new period of economic decline that finds an outlet in tourism and active participation in the Vigo region.
» Century XVIII – XX – Cangas
» Factoría Conservera Massó
It is a canning complex, opened in 1942, which had the latest technology and facilities for workers such as a kindergarten, dining areas and showers.
The Factoría Conservera Massó represents a clear example of the importance that fishing, salting and canning had in the development of the Galician industry. Massó created several factories distributed between the municipalities of Bueu and Cangas do Morrazo.
» Traditional Dishes – Cangas
The local cuisine of Cangas do Morrazo is closely linked to the resources available in this area, especially fish and shellfish caught in the coast.
Always true to the Galician cuisine, Cangas offers traditional dishes such as Galician pie, shoulder ham with turnip tops, and tripes with chick peas. Among the favourite desserts, leche frita (fried custard powdered with sugar and cinnamon), filloas (a type of pancakes) and cheesecake must be mentioned.
Seafood is eaten throughout the year, whether mussels, clams, cockles, spider crabs, barnacles, natural oysters, etc. These extraordinary dishes are usually served together with the well-known Donón or Albariño de Hío, typical Galician wines.
Several factors contribute to the success of the cuisine from Vigo: the great tradition of Galician cuisine, which is one of the most varied, tasty and renowned cuisines in Spain; the wide variety of options; and the exceptional port of Vigo, which provides our markets and restaurants with the best raw material.
Vigo’s great diversity of gastronomic products is unique and especially representative of Galician cuisine, combining fresh farm and sea products. Therefore, in the markets and kitchens of Vigo you will find high quality products for all tastes and diets.
The art of oyster tapas was born in Vigo in the historic district. No one knows when, but they were already famous among the French troops of the Reconquest. At Pescadería Street you can enjoy these delicious bivalves at noon, accompanied by a good Albariño, a Ribeiro or a beer. The ostreiras is quite a spectacle opening their very fresh product with incredible skill and speed, much celebrated by the many customers who are barely waiting while hundreds of oysters are dispatched.
The exquisite and renowned fresh seafood and fish, recently arrived in port from all seas, has become a tapas: prepared according to tradition or with the unique knowledge of signature cuisine. It is an exquisite delicacy that can be enjoyed both in the most select restaurants and in modern taperías, in traditional taverns or on the terrace of any bar, at noon or at dusk.
» Quality Products – Vigo
» Food festivals in Vigo
The Seafood Fair is held from Thursday to Sunday, during the second weekend of September.
Every year, 40 different varieties of seafood are sold at this party, at very affordable prices. All seasoned with craft stalls and folk dancing, from Thursday to Sunday. At the Seafood Festival there is a take away service that allows you to take the seafood platter anywhere in a practical box.
» Monte San Roque – Cangas
There is the Ermita de San Roque, a place where a popular pilgrimage is held the third week of August. There is also a viewpoint, known as the Balcón do Rei, from where you can see spectacular views of Cangas and the Bay of Vigo.
This natural space, which is located right next to the urban core of Cangas, sits on land declared since 1990 as Protection of Natural Spaces by the Regional Planning Department. It stands out for concentrating a multitude of habitats in a small area and for being an area of great scenic beauty that has various beaches such as Congorza, Do Medio and Areamilla.
In its extension, they can be found with species such as herons, seagulls, stone turnsts and biliaries, up to 19 species of waders and 9 of seagulls. Birds such as sea crows, araos and terns live in the sea.
In the sea cliffs and areas with little soil, we find sea parsley, brave garlic, two orchids, and species of great interest in the Galician context such as the grass to fall in love.
In addition, in Punta Balea seven species of bats fly and other mammals appear such as the small weasel or mustela, the chub hedgehog, the mole, the furan and, occasionally, the jineta and the fox.
» Punta Balea Natural Space – Cangas
» Congorza Lake – Cangas
Along the path that goes from O Facho to Cabo Home is the Pinar de Soavela, a forest populated by pine trees, on the side of the cliffs of Soavela (or Costa da Vela). It is a Protected Natural Area as it constitutes an important dune ecosystem that extends to Barra Beach.
Cabo Home is a “protected natural area” within Natura 2000, together with Cabo Udra and O Facho, the oldest place of pilgrimage in Galicia, with 100 roman altars which honoured the Galician deity of the God Berobreo. These settlements are very close to the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park and they are a magical place of unparalleled value.
This fantastic place is made up of a large formation of dunes and the cliffs of the Costa da Vela, framed by a forest of pine and eucalyptus trees, with various trails.
The beauty of the marine viewpoints, along with the beaches and archaeological sites, are still today the main attractions of this excellent natural destination between the Bays of Vigo and Pontevedra.
It is a place to get lost; to enjoy the sea and the beach; climb Monte O Facho; and walk from Cabo da Vela to Cabo Home.
It is a unique and charming site with beautiful views of the Galician coast.
» Cabo Home Natural Area – Cangas
» O Castro – Vigo
O Castro is an archaeological site of 1,800 square meters that includes the reconstruction of 3 castle buildings in one of the most extensive and evolved towns in Galicia. This small part of the Vigo oppidum shows how the inhabitants of the castros lived 2,000 years ago.
Also known as the Finca de la Marquesa or the Parque Municipal Quiñones de León, the Parque de Castrelos, located in Vigo, has great landscaping and botanical value. In 1955 it was declared a Historic Garden and a Site of Cultural Interest.
It is located in the parish of Castrelos, near the Balaídos Stadium, between Avenida de Castrelos and Avenida Antonio Palacios. It is crossed by the Lagares River and the Prado Viejo street and it is undoubtedly one of the obligatory stops for those who visit the Olivian city.
» Castrelos Park – Vigo
» Monte O Cepudo and Monte Alba
In Monte Alba there is a chapel of the same name that is located on the remains of an old fortress. Scattered throughout the area, in this mountain we can find various stone sculptures that have been part of this mountain since 1999.
» Viewpoint of A Guía – Vigo
» Easter – Cangas
What stands out is its own personality, the showiness of its processions, the art of its ‘pasos’ (the elaborate floats made for religious processions) and its great cultural appeal. Easter in Cangas is the manifestation of a tradition of a fishing village that throughout its history was enriched.
The Fiesta del Cristo is the most important religious festival in Cangas and has a program that includes events such as sports events, pasarrúa, exhibitions, festivals, fireworks, processions and various religious acts in honor of Cristo do Consolo and the Virgin of Carmen.
» Fiesta del Cristo – Cangas
» Ancestral Dances – Cangas
All of them are several hundred years old, but their origin is, surely, much more remote. One of its peculiarities is that the dancers wear costumes of great showiness.
Since they are only celebrated occasionally throughout the year, if you have the possibility to visit this place on the indicated dates, you will be deeply impressed with a unique and exclusive show.
During those three days, Vigo becomes a huge 19th century setting, with a spectacular market set at the time of the Spanish War of Independence. The most outstanding acts are the historical reenactments, with more than 500 people representing the French side fighting against the Spanish side. Also worthy of note are the craft demonstrations of the time, which take place in the market, as well as the more than 30 musical and dance groups that animate the city.
In the premises of the area you can taste delicious delicacies, from nécoras (crabs) and mussels, to empanadas or churrasco, accompanied by local wines and traditional liqueurs. This great party in Vigo continues into the night, with an unbeatable street atmosphere.
The Reconquest, declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest, is the most important festival in Vigo, the most beloved by the people of Vigo and a unique occasion to plan a getaway to Vigo in the spring.
» The Reconquest – Vigo
» Night of San Juan – Vigo
This festivity of San Juan is celebrated in different areas of Vigo such as Navia, Balaídos, Beade, Valladares, Berbés, Coia, Castrelos, Saiáns, San Andrés de Comesaña, Alcabre, Cabral, Coruxo or Samil.
The typical food of that late-night are cachelos (potatoes roasted with their skin) and grilled sardines. The typical drink is the Queimada, a magic potion of brandy with fruits and a lot of sugar, which is burned in a kettle while a spell is recited. Other typical desserts are filloas, orellas de frade, and chulas.
The most important Carmen festivals are celebrated in Coruxo and O Berbés, in the historic district of Vigo. The Coruxo festival is perhaps the most spectacular, due to the natural environment in which the marine procession takes place, which departs from O Vao Beach and reaches Coruxo. O Berbés is the oldest festival in Vigo and thousands of faithful by boat participate in its maritime procession.
» Carmen Celebrations – Vigo
» Bouzas Celebrations – Vigo
If you intend to see the fireworks, you need to take into account that Bouzas is very crowded on that night. A very good option is to see them from the sea. At Mar de Ons, we plan a party aboard our flagship, Mar de Vigo, an unparalleled evening event where you can have diner while admiring the amazing fireworks.
In the last edition two tests of the world championship of skate and Dirt Jump (FMB Silver) were held, along with those of other modalities such as BMX, MTB Downtown, B-Boying or FMX. Free outdoor concerts and DJ sessions throughout the night completed the schedule.
» O Marisquiño – Vigo
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IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRAVEL TO THE CÍES ISLANDS OR THE ONS ISLAND FROM EASTER AND MAY 15 (EXCEPT CAMPERS), before buying the ticket, you must obtain the authorization requested by La Xunta de Galicia, in which they will provide you with the pre code -reserve (necessary to acquire the boat ticket).
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