Visit 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.
Look out from the Mirador de Monteferro
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.
Spot 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, Cangas or Vigo 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 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.
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 south of Baiona (Talaso Atlántico) with a sea-water swimming pool and a gym. It has an excellent restaurant too.
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.
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 well worth the visit for the beautiful views and the amazing sunsets over the Ría.
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.
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.
Visit the majestic Mount Santa Tecla
With an elevation of 341 metres, visitors are rewarded with spectacular views of the River Minho, 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.
Explore the historic mills of Folón and Picón in O Rosal
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, their culture and the rich history of their ancestors.
Go on a nature safari
What better way to discover the flora and fauna of O Grove than a cruise called the ‘Route of the Isles and birds’ which leaves from O Grove port with a company called Cruceros Mares do Grove. www.crucerosmaresdogrove.com
The regional capital and one of the most historic and charming cities in Galicia is just over 40 minutes in the car from the house.
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 beautiful setting.
Soak up the atmosphere in the cobbled streets around the Rúa Pescaderia and walk through the adjacent park to capture some amazing views of the Ría 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.
Make time to visit Santiago de Compostela
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 around an hour and a half via the motorway.
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 35-minute drive from the house. Just make sure you have the option (on your hire car) to cross the border.
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