Kayak on the River Miño
Local companies Tamuxe Kayak and Verdeazul rent Kayaks and also lead guided excursions on and around the Miño River. This is a great way to explore the beauty of this stunning region. Visit www.tamuxekayak.com & www.verdeazul.es
Visit the historic mills of Folón and Picón
These 60 historic mills wind their way uphill through beautiful countryside offering a number of enticing walking routes. The local people see walking these routes as the perfect way to make contact with nature, culture and the rich history of their ancestors. You’ll find the mills well signposted from the centre of O Rosal. You’ll also find a Tourist Information Office at the Mills and a good restaurant nearby, A Casa da Pintora.
Follow the Rías Baixas wine route
The house is situated in Galicia's most important wine making region. Visit a number of bodegas, soak up their rich legacy and sample some of the region's finest wines. There is a Bodega located just 400 metres from the house, Bodega Santiago Ruiz. www.bodegasantiagoruiz.com Find more info on the wine route at www.rutadelvinoriasbaixas.com
Explore the route of the fishermen
Taking in the beauty of the Miño and Tamuxe Rivers, the Sendeiro de Pescadores can be followed on foot or by Kayak. Within easy walking distance of the house, the route gives you the chance to enjoy some of the stunning countryside that this area has to offer.
Look for the 'Cruceiros'
Made of stone, these crosses are generally found at the entrance to churches or on crossroads and are representative of Galician culture and art. They are also surrounded by local legend and offer, amongst many other things, protection for the weary traveller. There are more than 50 to be found in O Rosal, with arguably the most famous being the Calvario in Tabagón.
Cross the Roman Bridge over the Tamuxe River
Roman in origin, the bridge was constructed under the order of Isabel II in the 19th century in the neoclassical style. Without doubt it is the emblem of the region, figuring as it does on the local coat of arms and for many, many years it played an important role in transport and communication, linking O Rosal with its neighbouring districts.
Visit San Lorenzo Fort (Goián)
In 1663, Goián was invaded by the Portuguese who built and occupied a small fortress called ‘Fortín de Barca’ on the banks of the Miño but it was abandoned following the 1668 Lisbon Peace Treaty between Spain and Portugal. Nevertheless, in 1671 Mariana of Austria (then Queen of Spain) ordered that a new fort (San Lorenzo Fort) be built on the base of the old Portuguese construction, occupying a privileged position in order to keep a close eye on the main square of Vilanova de Cerveira and their neighbours across the water. San Lorenzo Fort was made a protected monument of national patrimony in 1949 and although it lay in a relatively abandoned state for many years, the fort and surrounding area was recently renovated and transformed into an attractive space for the enjoyment of both local residents and tourists alike. http://espazofortaleza.com/
Learn about artisan liqueur making at Pazo Valdomiño (Goián)
A distillery of traditional Galician aguardientes and liqueurs where the workers seek to combine the careful selection of raw ingredients with the good practice of their ancestors and an innovative modern design. They have a fantastic website available in English where you can learn more about the company and the elaboration process. http://pazovaldomino.es/web/en/
Relax at Goián River Beach
A popular beach on the banks of the River Miño. It has fine golden sand, tranquil waters and good facilities including a Chiringuito (Snack Bar) and beach volleyball courts.
Take a boat trip along the River Miño
Widely regarded as the most beautiful of the Galician Rías, you'll be surrounded by stunning views of both Spain and Portugal as you sail along this natural border between the two countries. Aquamiño offer a wide range of tours starting in Tui. Full details can be found at www.aquamino.com
Visit the majestic Mount Santa Tecla
With an elevation of 341 metres, visitors are rewarded with spectacular views of the River Miño, Spain, Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the summit is home to a fascinating former Celtic settlement with restored houses, a museum and petroglyphs dating to 2000 years before the Celtic occupation of the site.
Enjoy some of the best seafood available anywhere in the world!
Galicia is world renowned for its seafood, famed for its excellent quality and intensity of flavour. With so many great restaurants nearby offering freshly caught local produce, you'd be mad not to try it.
Drive up the coast to Baiona
The coastal road between A Guarda and Baiona offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Once in Baiona, why not take a stroll along the seafront. You can contemplate the bay or watch the boats arriving in the Marina. The promenade is more than 5 kms long so you might feel the need to stop for a cool glass of local Albariño wine in one of the many bars which line the cobbled streets.
Relax on one of the world's best beaches
A short ferry crossing from Baiona will take you to the stunning Cies Islands and the world famous Playa de Rodas, named the best beach in the world by the Guardian Newspaper in 2007. There is a limit on the amount of visitors allowed to the islands each day so booking in advance is essential.
Indulge yourself in one of the many spas in the region
Spas offer benefits not only for your skin but also for your general well-being. Most of all though it is the perfect way to relax. There is one just outside Baiona (Talaso Atlántico) with a sea-water swimming pool and a gym. It also offers child minding facilities and has an excellent restaurant too.
Visit the Castillo de Monterreal
This fortress was built in the 1500s to protect Baiona from enemy pirate ships. Nowadays, there is 4-star luxury hotel inside the walls, but a walk along the beach in front of the old historic exterior still offers some impressive views. 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.
Head for the surf!
You can hire surfboards at the beach of Afife just to the south of Praia de Ancora, Portugal and spend a day in the water on this fantastic stretch of unspoilt coastline, a much sought after spot for keen surfers. Alternatively, head north to Playa de Patos, Nigrán where the soft sand and views out towards the Cies Islands are an added bonus.
Stroll the streets of A Guarda
This is a typical Galician fishing town with a rich history. Be sure to visit one of the many of the restaurants around the port and try the lobster for which the town is famous.
Get into the Great Outdoors
Within easy reach of the house is the Parque Natural Monte Aloia. It was the first designated Natural Park of Galicia and offers 10km of paths with spectacular views across the Miño River. There are prehistoric and roman remains in the park, 5 look out points as well as a great variety of flora and fauna.
Soak up the atmosphere in the cobbled streets around the Rua Pescaderia and walk through the adjacent park to capture some amazing views of the Ria which plays such an important part in the life of this fascinating city, the second largest fishing port in the world.
Set foot aboard the Pinta
In 1493 a ship called the Pinta made its way into Baiona port to announce the 'discovery' of the New World. You can visit a replica of the vessel in Baiona Harbour decked out as it was in the days of Christopher Columbus, with models of the crew, Native Americans and even the exotic animals brought from the newly 'discovered' land.
Visit Tui, a pretty border town on the banks of the River Miño
Dating from Roman times, and one of the seven ancient capitals of Galicia, the town contains a wealth of interesting architecture scattered through its narrow, granite lanes. If you come across Clares Convent, be sure to buy some of the almond cakes made by the nuns who live there.
Pop to Portugal
With so many amazing Galician wonders to explore nearby, you'd be forgiven for not wanting to venture too far. However, Valença is a fascinating walled town located on the banks of the Miño River and is just a 25 minute drive from the house. Alternatively, why not visit Goián’s historic enemy across the water in Vilanova de Cerveira?
Make time to visit Santiago
A trip to Santiago is an absolute must! The jewel of Galicia where, for more than 1000 years, pilgrims have gathered from all over Europe. Visit the impressive cathedral, the Plaza del Obradoiro and the old pilgrims' hospital, now a luxurious Parador. It'll take a little over an hour and a half via the motorway.
Have you visited Islas del Río Miño?
Click here to suggest a Great Thing you've done nearby ...