You have to enjoy the Galician coast from end to end, but we are going to choose some sections of each coastal province (Pontevedra, A Coruña and Lugo), otherwise we will not be able to cope. Walking along routes like these is the best way to get to know it. On going!
A world reference on the coast of Pontevedra are the Cíes Islands, with Rodas Beach, the well-known “best beach in the world”. Among the hiking routes that cross them, on this occasion we choose the Route between Lighthouses, a blue path that is actually the sum of two routes: that of the Cíes Lighthouse, on the island of O Faro, and that of O Peito Lighthouse, on the island of Monteagudo, so it is quite complete. In total there are 12 km. The path begins at the yellow information booth. On the one hand, it heads towards Rodas beach, which joins the two islands, and goes through Lago dos Nenos, the information center of the park (former monastery of Santo Estevo) and arrives, perched high up, at the Cíes lighthouse, the oldest one of the islands, from 1853, with impressive views. The other part of the route takes us through the Muxieiro-Figueiras dune complex, Figueiras beach and the bird observatory, where it is common to see yellow-legged gulls and crested cormorants, and even wintering species, such as the gannet or the guillemot. The journey ends at the O Peito Lighthouse, from 1904, from where you can see a panoramic view of the islands, the estuary, O Morrazo and even Ons.
Another interesting route begins in the south of the province. This is stage 1 of the Portuguese Coastal Way, which goes from A Guarda to Mougás, in Oia. On this route we appreciate the relief of the coast, such as the A Groba mountain range or the Santa Trega mountain, with the big castro (hillfort), from where there is a unique view of the Miño cross-border estuary. We also pass by beaches, such as Fedorento and Area Grande, and an important historical heritage almost immersed in the sea, such as the Cistercian monastery of Oia. And, if it’s not enough, we can continue making stages until we reach Santiago.
In the province of A Coruña there are also many kilometers of coastline, with its peculiarities. We are going to opt for a route along the Costa Ártabra and another along the Costa da Morte.
The Route of the heights of the Serra da Capelada can be done on foot or by mountain bike. From a fairly high point of view, we capture the beauty of this stretch of the A Coruña coast, getting closer to the culture and life of the sea, seeing where barnacles and seafood are worked, and a panoramic view of the port. And not everything comes from the sea, because in this area the cows graze free and happy. Be careful, we’re sure to find some along the way!
The route is circular. It starts from the Os Cantís viewpoint, from where you can see Santo André de Teixido, part of the cliffs of the mountain range and the Cedeira estuary. This is an area of great geological interest, with the characteristic serpentine karst, formed by rocks typical of the great depths of the earth, and which are there, within our sight. The route covers 7.6 km but, since we are here, it is almost better to do the long option, 9.5 km, detouring to visit Santo André de Teixido and the geological complex of Cabo Ortegal.
The bravery of the sea is also felt on the Costa da Morte. One of the best-known routes, the Costa da Morte route, is circular, 22 km long, and has two branches, one to the Virgen del Monte hermitage and the other to the Vilán lighthouse. The main points of interest are: Camariñas; the remains of the Soberano castle, a military fort from the 18th century; the chapel of the Virgen del Monte; Lago beach; the Coidal das Chestnuts; the lighthouse and Cape Vilán; Vilán de Fóra; the furna dos Infernos; the Arneliña cove; the Reira mound and the wolf pit, built in the 16th century to hunt wolves. Along the way there are large stones in which we recognize shapes, such as that of the lovers of Reira or the Bear’s Day. By the way, the area is a paradise for birds.
Unlike the A Coruña and Pontevedra coasts, the coastal strip of the province of Lugo is quite flat and less rugged. Its natural border with Asturias is the Ribadeo estuary and, with A Coruña, the O Barqueiro estuary. Precisely, there is a route that runs along the Lugo coast and a section of the A Coruña coast, on its Cantabrian side: the Natural Path of the Cantabrian Route. In total there are 130 km, but they are divided into 6 stages. We can choose one of them, for example, stage 3, which goes from Foz to Burela. Here, in about 20 km, we pass through large beaches and the castros of Llas and Fazouro, on the seashore. The route ends at the port of Burela.
In the westernmost part of A Mariña we have the O Vicedo coast route. It is linear, 13.09 km, and goes from the O Barqueiro estuary to San Román beach, running between fields, cliffs and beaches. The most unique stop is made at the Coelleira Island viewpoint. It has two branches: to the Santo Estevo church and to the Cruz de Baltar viewpoint. After reaching the incredible beach of San Román, in a little while we can arrive at Punta Socastro, another essential part of A Mariña.
For five years, in the months of October and November, “A Mariña en ruta” has been programming guided walking tours or routes to get to know A Mariña in depth (its landscape, archaeology, ethnography, history…), with proposals by the coast always interesting and different, to take into account.