Music, processions, food-tasting, fireworks
and traditional dancing are just some of the events taking place in the many fiestas held in and around Baiona and Pontevedra in the summer months. Watch for musicians in traditional costume playing the 'gaita galega' (bagpipes).
Curl up with a good book beside the pool,
then cook up a feast of the local fresh fish on the barbecue washed down with some excellent local albariño!
: Monte Aloia
Close to Tui is the natural park of Aloia, the first natural park in Galicia. Although not large, it has 10 kms of paths, 7 water mills and 5 vantage pooints with panoramic views over the Mino river. Also to watch out for are the archeological remains, including a medieval 'castro'.
Tour the grounds of the medieval Castillo de Monterreal in Baiona
surrounded by the mighty walls built between the 11th and 17th centuries. There is a small charge for entrance but it is well worth the visit for the beautiful views and the amazing sunsets over the Ria.
Pop over to Portugal and visit Valença.
It takes just 30 minutes or so to walk over the iron bridge (built by Gustave Eiffel) to the Portuguese walled town of Valença, a quaint and picturesque place with lovely views over to Tui. And if you happen to need some more towels for the beach this is the place to buy them.
A mixture of sun, sea and sand...
is what Playa Patos offers. A beach of fine white sand with splendid views of the Cies Islands. Walk along the beach and enjoy the waves, or have a go at surfing. There are two schools offering courses and the opportunity to rent equipment to practice on your own. .
The beach of the Friars,
in Baiona town, just 80 metres wide, was the favourite bathing place of the Franciscan monks who lived in the nearby Fort of Monterreal. They reached the beach via a door in the fortress walls. The monks had moved by the mid 19th century but the door is still in existence. (By the way, this is one of 3 'smoke free' beaches in Baiona)..
Sample some of the best sea food available in Europe
in the many tapas bars and restaurants of Vigo, much of which is uniquely bred in the local Rias. Try the oysters from the A Pedra market area, delicious with a glass of the local Ribeiro wine!
Follow the wine route
Starting in A Guarda follow the road along the bank of the Miño towards Tui, and you'll pass through O Rosal, situated in a valley with a perfect climate for all types of fruit and vegetables as well as grapes. Signs on the road will indicate the bodegas you can visit to taste or buy the wine. Whilst there look out for the 19 Folón mills, an unusual set of ancient mills cascading down from the hillside above O Rosal.
Head to the lively little fishing port of Panxón
to lunch on the widest choice of seafood imaginable at the best prices. Take your time over lunch to relax and sit outside with the view over the port and the beach beyond.
Pontevedra lies on the Pilgrim's route from Portugal to Santiago
and the old part is probably the most beautiful and best preserved in Galicia. The Zona Monumental contains many noteworthy buildings of historical interest and is well worth a visit. Don't miss the great tapas in the little bars in the square of Plaza de la Leña, near the museum.
Climb up to A Groba hill.
11 kms outside Baiona on the road to A Guarda. Wander around the hillside paths between pine and eucalyptus trees where the River Groba flows through and watch the wild horses grazing in the fields beyond.
Explore the nearby Morrazo Peninsular,
situated between the two rias of Pontevedra and Vigo, it possesses some of the most attractive and varied beaches of the Rias Baixas. Two of the nicest (Barra and Nerga, the former a naturist beach) are approached through the shade of the pine trees and dunes that form their backdrop.There are many other beaches to explore such as the pretty beach of Menduina and the beach at Bon which has calm seas and a play area - fun for children.
Paddle in the sea and build some sandcastles
at the nearby beach of Playa America -a blue flag beach which the locals consider to be a 'Queen of beaches', due to its clean water, fine sand and excellent facilities.
Overlooking the seaside town of A Guarda
is Santa Tecla Hill, a Celtic settlement now restored and with a museum and a shrine, one of the best of its type in Galicia. The entry price is very low and the views from the top of the hill over the River Miño towards Portugal and the Atlantic are wonderful.
Galicia has many thermal springs with reputed medicinal qualities.
The Thermal Village in Cuntis dates back to Roman times and many have claimed to have rid themselves of their aches and pains over the years. Now a new spa has been built which you can try for yourselves.
The Gondomar Valley is a tranquil haven
that produces a wine known as Val Miñor. Pick up a bottle or two in Gondomar town and whilst there, pay a visit to the enormous Gondomar Manor House dating from the 16 century. Gondomar is a good place to buy wickerwork too.
A headland just past Panxón with views over the Estelas and Cies islands. Wander along the hillside walks to the lighthouse, look for the Roman remains and take a picnic too as there's a picnic area there.
A Ramallosa, on the way to América beach,
has a splendid medieval bridge across the Miño river and is a source for one of the many Galicia legends. It is here that women who were three months pregnant would come to perform superstitious rites in the hope of guaranteeing a safe and easy birth. Look for St. Telmo's cross on the bridge too.
From go-karting, surfing, tennis, sailing, rambling, horse-riding - almost every activity possible on land, sea or sky can be found nearby in the province of Pontevdra. La Lanzada, Sanxenxo or Playa América beaches are the best places for an active day by the sea.
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