10 things you won't want to miss in Las Rías Bajas
The Lower Estuaries, or Rías Bajas, are full of treasures, and it still remains an undiscovered paradise.
The Rías Bajas (Baixas in Gallego) are in the Galician southwest and run from Cape Finisterre (on the North Coast) to the mouth of the Miño, which is a area full of small fishing villages where you can find the best gastronomy in Galicia. The fame of its seafood is only comparable to that of its white wines.
Aside from the delicious food, it is indisputable that there is a ton to see and do in the Rías Baixas... Here are some of the essentials while visiting the Rias Bajas.
1) Baiona: Port of the New World
In the shelter of Mount Boi, this fortified town is one of the most beautiful in the province. Its green landscapes, and ancient wall provide the medieval aura to this indescribably enchanting place.
On March 1, 1493, the caravel, La Pinta, captained by Martín Alonso Pinzón, landed in the Port of Baiona, at the southernmost part of the Vigo Estuary, making this town the first place in Europe to hear the news about the discovery of America.
The replica of La Pinta is just one of the more than twenty things you won't want to miss here, but if you're willing to walk a little bit of your time here, we suggest these 5 most important sites you'll have the opportunity to see
- the well-maintained Old Town - the Monterreal Fortress (today Parador)
- The Ex-Colegiata de Santa María
- the Mont Boi Promenade
- Virxe da Roca, Virgin of the Rock, a hollow image of the Virgin Mary standing 15 meters high and holding a lookout boat in her right hand that is accessed by an interior spiral staircase made of stone.
2) Combarro: Hórreos Marineros
Combarro is a town where you can really enjoy yourself, especially if you like tranquility and nature, without forfeiting the historical spirit of the place. It has the best preserved granaries in the area, with the original constructions of the time, when it was one of the main fishing villages, all still kept intact. Its urban center built in stone, and the old structures make this one of the most pleasant spots for tourism.
3) Cambados: Palace of Albariño
On the eastern side of the Ría de Arousa and half an hour from Pontevedra is the capital of the golden wines, the Albariño. You will fall in love with Cambados, a village carved in granite, with its country homes and houses of nobility, its three old and stately villas, and cobbled streets and squares.
Declared an Asset or Site of Cultural Interest, Cambados has everything it takes to be one of the most touristically desired towns of the Rías Baixas: a historical setting, coast and an excellent selection of both foods and wines. An obvious highlight is the Albariño Wine Festival, of great National Tourist Interest.
4) O Grove
This town, considered one of the most charming villages in Galicia, is a must for its beauty and the variety of activities and places to visit. Here you'll discover a Roman Villa, a necropolis, the floor of a church from the 2nd century BC and its elements of a fortification.
Within the O Grove Peninsula, and in its highest spot, you'll find a window from which to best observe the spectacular panoramic view of the area, the Mirador de Siradella. Perhaps these are the best views you'll find in this area, simply full of magic. Of special interest is a visit at sunset, when the sky is painted orange mantle as the sun descends into the ocean.
Don't miss the Seafood Festival that takes place here in October.
5) National Park of the Atlantic Islands
From the Arousa Estuary to the Vigo Estuary, the Illas Atlánticas National Park is a chain stretching from island to island, forming a natural paradise of steep cliffs and seabed protected by exceptional richness of scenery. These several islands include Ons, Cíes, Sálvora and Cortegada, all of them of stunning beauty, forming one of the most pleasant and biodiverse natural parks.
The main attration of the National Park are the Cies Islands, an archipelago in which all the natural systems of the Eurosiberian Region are represented. If in the past the Cíes were a pirate haven, they are now uninhabited, and open to the public, but only in summer. Any getaway to the Cies must include the Route of the Monte Faro. This is extremely popular because after the walk you arrive at the lighthouse which has most emblematic views of the Cies Islands. From here you will get an unbeatable panoramic view of the archipelago as a whole: three islands, the cliffs, the beaches and all the Vigo Estuary.
After the walk, you can regain your strength by sunbathing at Rhodes Beach, which was included in the British newspaper, The Guardian, as one of its top 10 of the best beaches in the world.
In Ons do not miss the mysterious "furnas", marine caves sculpted in granite, like the legendary "Burato do Inferno".
6) Santa Tecla
Santa Tecla has the best views of the Rías Baixas. To enjoy them you will have to hike up to the chapel, located 341 meters above the town of La Guardia. There is the Castro or Citania of Santa Tecla, which is the best and most impressive testimony that exists of the Galician-Roman culture.
From the top of Monte de Santa Tecla in La Guardia you can find a privileged view of the mouth of the River Miño, a natural border between Spain and Portugal in the north. Sunset provides you with an especially lovely view.
This town has been the destination of Spaniards (many from Madrid) and Portuguese who escape the big cities for many years to find true calm, and the most beautiful beaches with their white and fine sand. Here the greatest concentration of inhabitants is in Portonovo, a calm spot with the most scenic panoramic views.
Nestled away in Barosa River Natural Park, this town is so peaceful the silence is only interrupted by the pleasant sound of the waterfall as it hits the rocks. Then when you look up from the waterfall, the intense green vegetation is captivating.
Another of Barro's attractions is the Festa do Viño, where the best wines in the area are on display.
With an important natural and cultural heritage, what stands out most is its more than 10 km of fluvial paths along which you'll see mills, laundries, fountains and especially highlighted, El Castro de Besomaño, located on Mount Do Castro.
If you like tranquility, a walk in this charming town in Galicia with much less tourism than the other places mentioned is on this list. Ribadumia is a perfect visit where you'll disconnect from your daily routine and enjoy the calm of this small Galician town while on your holidays in Galicia.
This small town is in the interior of the Arousa Estuary, where the Ulla River meets the Ría D'Arousa.
Gastronomy, Culture, sightseeing ... Catoira is comprised of all the ingredients that make it one of the most recommended villages in all of Galicia. Las Torres del Oeste, the Towers of the West, a fortified ninth century group of fortresses and surely, one of the most important, in Galicia.
If this year you are going to enjoy your holidays in Galicia at the beginning of August, you'll be able to enjoy a famous cultural event in Catoira, which you have probably heard of at some point, the Viking Pilgrimage, declared of International Tourist Interest and celebrated on the first Sunday in August
As you can see, there are many and varied places to lose yourself in the Rías Baja ... don't miss discovering this pristine paradise still unknown to so many!Back