One of the requirements for a perfect day at the beach is a walk along the seashore, breathing salty air, enjoying the sea breeze and getting your feet wet. It is a very healthy exercise that each person does in their own way: alone, accompanied, in a hurry, calmly, bending down to pick up shells, or stopping every few minutes to socialize.
In Galicia there are sandbanks of considerable length to take a good walk. So, to pour yourself a lot of sunscreen, since the breeze from the seashore is the hottest thing, put on a good visor (or straw hat, pamela… in short, there are looks for all tastes) and, on going! Advice for beginners: take reliable references from our settlement, since with so many kilometers ahead it is easy to get disoriented.
The longest beaches are to the north, some in A Costa da Morte, where the force of the open sea thoroughly shapes the sands of the coastline. So the sand is so fine and the water is so clean, and there are so many dunes. Let’s start the walk from north to south, then:
Between the Ortigueira and Ladrido estuaries stretches the Morouzos beach, in Ortigueira. At low tide it reaches more than 2 km long. It is irregular, with sandy bars and a dune ridge that gives rise to the San Martiño lagoon. To the east we come across the small island of San Vicente, which can be crossed on foot at low tide. This is the only beach with dark sand in the north, and with grain of medium thickness. If we want to continue walking in the shade, we have a leafy pine forest in the background, which becomes a free camping area when the Ortigueira Festival arrives.
We continue along the coastline and come upon A Frouxeira beach, in Valdoviño, which runs from Punta Faluchos to Punta Frouxeira. This beach of more than 3 km, with white sand and facing the open sea, is perfect for walking and running. It is very windy and waves, ideal for surfing. It also has a more urban part for those who need an extra. And, surprise, behind the cordon of dunes: the Valdoviño lagoon, very suitable for bathing the little ones. The walk has the added attraction of A Percebelleira, a large rock accessible when the tide is low.
The next long beach is San Xurxo beach, in Ferrol, south of Cape Prior. It covers a little more than 2 km. It is a windy beach (watch out for hats), good for surfing and kite flying. It is also called the beach of the two rivers, because the Esmelle and the Xuncal flow there.
On the Costa da Morte we start with Baldaio beach, in Carballo. It is another very complete beach, with a lagoon, marsh, and a bar of dunes that joins Baldaio and Razo, which means that the sand stretches for 3.5 km. After a past of exploitation of the area for the extraction of sand, the lagoon recovers little by little. Here you can walk at ease, but be careful not to go too far into the sea, which is dangerous. People fond of walking around collecting shells will surely find a few “ollos maus”, small eroded shells that are said to repel the evil eye.
It seems that every great sandy area has a lagoon behind it. This also happens on the Traba beach, in Laxe, which is more than 2.5 km long. It is open to the sea, and the wind and waves make it a surfing destination. The natural space of Traba is formed by the great beach, between Punta de Arnado and Punta de Traba, a dune ridge and a lagoon, a great ornithological reserve and a great reserve of legends.
And, attention, we come to the longest: Carnota beach. It has approximately… 7 km! Here we do have to be careful where we leave the towel, or wear it. The beach is accompanied by a set of dunes and marshes with an interior lagoon, a refuge for many plant species and waterfowl, some of which are in danger of extinction, such as the píllara papuda. In addition to being immense, the beach opens its mouth and lets the waters of the Vadebois River pass through, in the area known as A Boca do Río.
We leave A Costa da Morte and arrive at O Barbanza. There we have a sandbank with the complete pack: Corrubedo Dune Complex and Garregal and Vixián Lagoons. Here, rather than a long beach, we speak of a succession of attached beaches: A Ladeira, Ferreira, A Lagoa, O Vilar and Anguieiro. The walk along the seashore is about 4 km. With their backs to the sea, there are bars of dunes that would give rise to a desert and, later, the Carregal lagoon, with salt water, and the Vixián lagoon, with sweet water. A very complete ecosystem. The show is served!
More sheltered is the Barraña beach, which is the urban beach of Boiro, 2.5 km long. Being protected by the estuary, the water are very calm. The gently sloping sandbank extends from Barraña-Saltiño to the mouth of the Coroño River. We have a promenade, in case we get tired of walking on the sand, and the city behind.
And we finish in the Rías Baixas, with the A Lanzada beach, which stretches along 2 km of sand to the open sea, on the O Bao isthmus, which joins O Grove and Sanxenxo. Of course, it also has dunes and wetlands with a title: Umia-O Grove Intertidal Space Complex. We can continue the walk to the hermitage of A Lanzada or the archaeological sites in the area, with a necropolis from the 4th century BC. If we walk with the board we can also do some surfing, which is open sea.