Explore the Templo Votivo del Mar in Panxón
Constructed between 1932 and 1937 by the architect Antonio Palacios, the Votivo del Mar temple is situated near the port of Panxón. Dedicated to the Virgin del Carmen (patron saint and protector of the seas), it is also known as the Parish church of San Juan in remembrance of the old church which stood where the Visigoth Arch remains today.
Visit the Visigoth Arch
These are the remains of a Visigoth Arch dating from the end of the 7th Century which was found during the reconstruction of the old Parish church of San Juan. The arch has a horseshoe form, typical of Visigoth art which supports two plain columns. The top of the arch, although in a poor state of conservation, shows a double crown of leaves and a series of geometric elements. The arch is located next to the Votivo del Mar temple, near to the port in Panxón.
Take in the spectacular view from the Monteferro look out point
From this natural lookout point, it is possible to contemplate the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean and the Estelas Islands which separate the Vigo River from the entrance to the bay of Baiona. The Monteferro natural park is home to numerous species of Seagulls and Marine Cormorants that can be seen perched on the rocks.
Look out for A Ramallosa Bridge
The A Ramallosa Bridge crosses the Miñor River which separates the municipalities of Nigrán and Baiona. It was built in the 12th century under the orders of San Pedro Telmo, Bishop of Tui. The bridge is also the source of one of Galicia’s many legends. It is said that any woman that repeatedly miscarried would come to the bridge at midnight to perform fertility rites, bathing her stomach in water from the river. The first person to cross the bridge after the spell had been cast would then be asked to be the Godparent of the newly born child, an honour that could not be refused.
Count the Pazos
Examples of the legacy left by the prosperous feudal age, there are many Pazos (noble houses) to be found in Nigrán. Travelling from the centre of Nigrán along Rúa dos Pazos you will pass Pazo de Cea (just off of Rúa dos Pazos on Camiño de Cea) and Pazo de Cadaval-Urziaz (closed to the public) before reaching the Pazo de A Touza, considered the most important in Nigrán. Constructed in the 16th Century under the order of Vázquez Ozores, it is a stunning building and it sits amongst beautifully tended gardens. It now functions as a hotel and it is possible for members of the public to have a wander around and enjoy a drink at the bar. Look out for the family coat of arms carved in wood in the reception.
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.
Take an evening stroll in Baiona
With Baiona so close by, why not take an evening stroll along the seafront there. You can contemplate the bay or watch the boats arriving in the Marina. The promendade 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.
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.
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. It is located on the Monte Boi peninsula and is just a short drive from the house. 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
Patos beach in Nigrán is the place to go. It's known as the 'beach of the waves' and there are a couple of surf schools based there too. An added bonus is the view out to the Cies Islands and the lovely white sand.
Discover the beaches of Baiona
There are 6 beaches in Baiona, all sheltered from the wind and strong currents. In 1585, Sir Francis Drake landed at Santa Marta beach in an attempt to attack Baiona. The beach is now one of many in the area awarded with Blue Flag status.
Watch the sun go down in Samil, Vigo
From the terraces that line the beach you can sip a cocktail and see the spectacular sunset over the Atlantic Ocean in a unique setting.
Take a Minho River Trip
Take a boat trip along the Minho River, the winding stretch of water which separates Spain and Portugal. The trip starts in A Guarda and takes you up the river and into mainland Spain/Portugal. The trips are either one hour or a full day. There are some beautiful views to be seen of the local landscape and nearby nature and wildlife along the way so take a camera as it will be a great photo opportunity!
Blow away the cobwebs
On the coastal road between Baiona and A Guarda you'll find the Cabo do Silleiro. In this interesting area you'll find the ruins of an old military base, the 'Faro do Silleiro' lighthouse and the 'Mirador do Silleiro' viewpoint from which you can enjoy spectacular views of this rugged coastline.
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 it offers 10km of paths with spectacular views across the Minho River. There are prehistoric and roman remains in the park, 5 look out points as well as a great variety of flora and fauna.
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.
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.
Visit La Virgen de la Roca
The statue was designed by Antonio Palacios and built between 1910 and 1930 and stands at an impressive fifteen and a half metres, which makes for some creative picture taking! You can reach the top of the statue by climbing the steps which circles up to a platform from which you will enjoy a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean, another amazing opportunity for photos over the enormous stretch of blue water and sky. Inside the statue there is a small box in which you will find a selection of silver and gold coins, and information telling you about the Virgin.
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 Minho River and is just a 30-minute drive from the house.
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 under an hour and a half via the motorway to reach the city.
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