Cetacean Bay

The seafaring village of Cedeira is home to some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes of Galicia, including some of the highest cliffs in Europe.

Plan Your Getaway to Cedeira

The visit to the bay and the other views in Cedeira can take a full day.  The closest place to explore the next day is the beautiful town of San Andrés of Teixido, a mythical place with beautiful surroundings. Another option is to take the roads AC 566 and then the 862 to the village of Ortigueira, to see its impressive estuary and bay. Continuing on the road to the northeast you will reach the Estaca de Bares Park, the northernmost point of the Peninsula. In an area with scarce tourist infrastructure, we recommend planning and booking ahead time. Here are links to our Spanish pages on  Sleeping and Eating in Cedeira.

Do you want to learn more about this site?

It was during the eleventh century when the documented name of Cedeira appeared for the first time, and thus began the history of Cedeira. The toponym derives from Cetaria, a Latin word that designates those ‘rodas’ (Roda = a thick and curved piece of wood or iron, which forms the bow of the ship) with which tunas and whales, large marine animals caught by the fishermen, were forced to enter the bay, thus facilitating their capture. In the 13th century, Ferdinand III the Saint confirmed various donations of  lands of Cedeira to the Oseira Monastery. In the 14th century, the village became dependent on the  Count and Countess of Lemos, who named mayors and judges by concession of King Enrique II. The Lemos joined the Andrades, another very influential family in the 16th century, and continued to exercise jurisdiction over the municipality, belonging to the historic province of Betanzos at that time and until the year 1834, when the provincial distribution occurred.

This bay attracted undesirable visits. In the 17th century, Cedeira was attacked by Corsairs and, in 1747, the English looted the Hermitage of Corveiro, which prompted the construction of the Castle of the Conception in order to protect the bay. In 1809, the garrison of the castle was assaulted by the Napoleonic troops.

Cedeira is particularly famous for its impressive rocks in the rocky range of the Capelada, such as the Garita de Herbeira, the highest cliff in all continental Europe, more than 614 m above sea level with impressive viewpoints. In addition, it is an area with abundant and great beaches, like the urban beach of Cedeira or of the Magdalena, that of Arealonga or that of Soreiras, which makes it a very touristy destination.

The village of Cedeira is located at the mouth of the Condomiñas River, leaving the old town on the right bank and the new neighborhoods on the left bank. The old town is an incipient medieval nucleus, once surrounded by walls, but now only the layout of its streets remain. In this area are houses that still hold remnants of their facades and the nobility shields of their former owners, such as Andrade, Montenegro, Pardo and others deeply rooted in Galician nobility.

The Parish Church of Santa María del Mar or the Virgen del Mar is a late 15th-century Gothic-style building, with a basilica floor, but with important renovations that were made later on.  You can see the beautiful images of the Virgin of Parto,  Renaissance, the Velilla, and Baroque, of the 16th and 17th centuries respectively.

At Punta Sarridal, the end of the port, the walls of the Castle of the Conception are erected, built in the eighteenth century according to the plans of Domingo Pérez, who was curiously the “Master of Pilots” (a sailor). It is a hexagon of thick walls adapted to the configuration of the terrain, which enabled the firing of up to 15 cannons. It has been renovated and nowadays it is the best viewpoint for visiting tourists, and also houses the local museum,where the visitor can learn about the history of the locality.

Being a good coastal village, the barnacles, the star of the gastronomic festival in early August, are plentiful here.

Throughout the year each parish celebrates with religious  acts on the day of the patron. The festivities of the village usually last a week around the 15th of August. The biggest moment arrives with the maritime procession, when the image of Nosa Señora do Mar is walked through the river.

Another typical celebration to see in Cedeira is the local version of the Rapa das Bestas, which is held on the Sunday closest to July 1st. This celebration  is based on corralling the wild horses in the area and cutting their manes short. This activity, as well as the fight of males, horse races and a cattle fair, are some of the things that you can enjoy during this celebration that embraces nature.

The fishing port also deserves a visit because of its commercial market. On the way to the port, a huge monument to the Fisherman’s Wife (1985) was placed, which commemorates the fishing tradition of the village. However, the traveler is not to be limited to the locality, knowing that the surrounding landscape promises to entice anyone who visits. And it is there, in the sierra de la Capela mentioned above, where the renowned sanctuary of San Andrés de Teixido can be found.

Banco para ver los acantilados

On the road leading to the Point of Candieira, you can ascend to the Hermitage of San Antonio de Corveiro where you can see magnificent views and enjoy spectacular sunsets. Although it is simple, the temple, built in 1661 by Antonio de Pumariño Alfeirán and looted in 1747 by the English, it is beautiful. In its highest room, you can admire a piece of artwork of the Immaculate Conception. The singer Andrés do Barro was inspired and wrote the song O Caminiño que leva a San Antón.


Vistas de la costa
Garita de Herbeira

Important Information


43° 39’ 0’’ N, 8° 3’ 0’’ W


100 km from Coruña, 155 km from Santiago de Compostela, 604 km from Madrid


Easy along the Avenue of the Constitution


137 m


7246 (2013)

Festival of Percebe (Barnacles) (beginning of August), festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Sea (the week of August 15)

There are weekly market fairs and performances by the band Vila de Cedeira.

There are all kinds of Galician handicrafts in shops like Arte Mimo.

Other Nearby Destinations

[image-carousel category=”cedeira lugares”]

About the author