Beaches, nature and gastronomy in the “Rías Baizas”
The Atlantic Ocean makes inroads into the land amidst legendary forests to form the “Rías Baixas” (literally: low, tidal inlets). The area’s exceptional beaches, rugged scenery and the wealth of flavours present in its unique cuisine are just a few of the treasures waiting for you in this part of Galicia.
The Rías Baixas are lands of lighthouses and ancient stone crosses, of waterwheels by cascading streams and crystalline pools. There are also many shrines and Romanesque churches, prehistoric dolmens and stones covered in moss and creepers, witnesses of foregone civilizations – of Romans and Celts.
Inland there are forests, deep green in colour, where the fog and mist hang between the trees creating an enchanting, mysterious atmosphere. These luxuriant mountains are, according to tradition and legend, home to witches and the “Santa Compaña” (a mythical procession of the dead) – this kind of folklore is ever-present in Galician popular culture.
Not far away, the tidal inlets open out, natural wonders where the sea makes its way inland giving rise to spectacular landscapes, exceptional beaches and areas of incalculable ecological value. Come and discover the unspoiled coastline, the dunes and the islets dotted over deep-blue seawater of internationally recognized quality.
The smell of salt water impregnates the streets and harbours of the numerous fishing villages to be found in the Rías Baixas. To enjoy this privileged location’s ecological wealth to the full, we recommend a visit to the majestic Cíes Islands, jewel of the Atlantic Islands National Park. This archipelago is a unique natural paradise, whose rocks and waters are home to a host of rich flora and fauna. Take a stroll on one of its trails and you will discover sandy beaches, caves and cliffs. The islands also have a camp site. With capacity for up to 800 people, this is the only place where it is permitted to spend the night. From the Cíes Islands you also have a view over the entire entrance to the Vigo estuary and can enjoy its stunning sunsets.
Rías Baixas means beaches, landscapes and nature, but we should not forget its rich gastronomy. There is a huge selection available, with the obligatory seafood, fish and meat, and, of course, a good Albariño wine on the table. Any time of year is perfect to sample the region’s internationally renowned soups and dishes, not forgetting its desserts, aguardiente (eau de vie) and queimada (a hot punch, typical of Galicia). In the summer months, there are numerous local fairs and gastronomic festivals. Perhaps the most outstanding is the Albariño festival, held in Cambados, designated “of national tourist interest.”
Welcome to this privileged area of Galicia, with fishing communities that will offer you a warm welcome and natural wonders that will captivate you from the moment you arrive.