It seems that Pontevedra is in contact with many territories. This province is bordered by A Coruña to the north, Lugo to the northeast, Ourense to the east, Portugal to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, so it has drawn from all these influences to form its own character. Especially known for its coastal locations, for those increasingly appreciated Rias Baixas, Pontevedra also hides secrets in the interior that, of course, have to do with nature and with the rich history of the entire Galician community. In this review of those towns that must be known there are no names, but that is because Pontevedra is full of unmissable places. You can start, in any case, for these 11 places.
The municipality of A Guarda is one of the most interesting of Galicia as a whole, the last one on the Atlantic before crossing the border into Portugal. It is separated from the Portuguese country by the Miño, which finds its mouth in the ocean at this point. It is said that the best Galician sunsets are contemplated here and that eating lobster is a must. Its port, its fish market, the colorful houses overlooking the sea, the Casas Indianas and several buildings of historical importance, such as the 12th century Romanesque church, justify knowing A Guarda. As if this were not enough, also located here is the Castro de Santa Trega, declared a National Historic and Artistic Monument and a Site of Cultural Interest. According to the petroglyphs found on the hill, this castro was inhabited between the 1st century BC and 2nd century AD. A Guarda is history and beauty.
This peculiar municipality has earned a nickname that is very important in this community: the heart of green Galicia. Located very close to the border with the province of Lugo, Agolada is a small population center that has managed to preserve its past while struggling to keep pace with modern times. In addition to highlighting its surroundings, a visit to Agolada allows you to discover a set of buildings declared Historic-Artistic Site in 1985. These are the Pendellos de Agolada, stone, wood and tile huts that were built in the 18th century to house the market. The place was also an important commercial center, where livestock and crafts were the stars, and has managed to maintain virtually intact this part of its history.
This seaside town has acquired in recent years a great tourist relevance, being as it is in a privileged place. Declared a Historic-Artistic Site, Baiona is important, in fact, for centuries. Its port was, in fact, the first port in Europe to know the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America, as it was here that La Pinta docked on its return. Today a replica of the caravel can be seen in the place that welcomed it. In Baiona, you should also let yourself be carried away by the streets of its historic center and also by its beaches, among which the Ladeira beach stands out. Nor should you leave without walking the 3 kilometers that occupy the walls of the castle of Monterreal, a fortress of the eleventh century that was built on a hill to dominate the entire bay. A couple more elements to know: the church of Santa Maria, the Cruceiro de Trindade or the monument of the Virgin of the Rock, 15 meters high and located on top of the hill of San Roque.
The municipality of Barro is located in an unsurpassable natural space: the Nature Park of the Barosa River. When one speaks of nature framing it within Galicia one can only expect great landscapes and pure air. Within this park, it is worth taking a hiking route that will reveal, among other things, the nearly twenty water mills distributed around the river. It also has a beautiful waterfall that saves more than thirty meters of unevenness in a very small space, creating a very beautiful image. Within the village, it is interesting to visit the pazo da Crega, which was restored in 2008 and today hosts various celebrations. Also monuments such as the church of San Martiño de Agudelo, from the 12th century, one of the best examples of Galician Romanesque architecture in the province.
Perfect to enjoy the peace, nature, to disconnect. Caldas de Reis is an enclave of moderate size, cobbled streets and interesting points, such as the thermal spring of Las Burgas. In the center of the town is located this curious fountain from which hot water flows, some would even say that burning. You should also visit the Roman stone bridge, as well as the cross that is next to it. Caldas de Reis saves as it can the course of the Umia river, around which you can enjoy beautiful hiking trails and also some other bathing area. To mention a specific landmark, the church of St. Thomas Becket, built in the nineteenth century in honor of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England, is a curious place.
One of the liveliest municipalities of Pontevedra: Cambados. Not only for the celebration that takes place every summer around the Albariño, a festival that began in 1953 as a competition between two of the most important winemakers in the area and has ended up being a fair of national importance. Cambados is much more. It has one of the best preserved historical sites in the area, so a stroll through its historic center will reveal manor houses and noble houses everywhere. If one ventures into its streets without haste, you will enjoy other very stimulating monuments such as the Tower of San Sadurniño, full of stories, or the church of Santa Mariña Dozo, which rests at the foot of Mount A Pastora and have, said Álvaro Cunqueiro, the most melancholy cemetery in the world.
They say that Combarro is one of the most beautiful villages in Galicia. There are those who dare to go further and say that it is, in fact, the most beautiful of the community. Without the need to make such blunt statements, the truth is that Combarro leaves unforgettable postcards on the shores of the Atlantic. What makes it so extremely beautiful, moreover, is its essence, its history: it is a fishing village in which dozens of hórreos were built, once necessary for the preservation of food, which today make up a set of great value. Perhaps tourism is overcrowding the small streets of Combarro, but even with a large influx of people it is worth visiting. One almost thinks about staying in front of the ocean for hours to watch the tides dancing, which also leaves impressive images.
Located in front of Villanueva de Arosa is this island that was declared a Nature Reserve by the European Union. This decision was taken because of the 36 kilometers of coastline it has, of which eleven are made up of beautiful beaches of fine white sand. It is also a popular tourist destination, linked as it is to the Iberian Peninsula by a two-kilometer long bridge. The island of Arosa is located in the estuary of the same name and constitutes a different experience within Pontevedra, which is why it has been chosen and why it should be an option whenever one plans a trip to the Galician province.
This municipality is part of the Val Miñor region, one of the most unexplored and yet captivating in Galicia. Within the municipality you can discover several parishes that will excite visitors, from the one that gives its name to the whole, Nigrán, to the parish of Panxón, which has the Votivo do Mar temple, of unique appearance. Nigrán is sea and mountain, a place of pazos, nature and beaches such as America, a huge sandy area of more than one kilometer. Do not leave the area without approaching Monteferro, a tongue of land that goes almost a kilometer and a half into the sea, offering exceptional viewpoints to contemplate the ocean and the Cies Islands. On this peninsula is also the monument to the Universal Navy of Monteferro, inaugurated almost a century ago as a memorial to the sailors. Its size, 25 meters high, means that it can be seen both from the waters and from different parts of the province.
They say that the municipality of Oia is a true paradise and there is no shortage of reasons to consider it so. Oia inspires peace, with typical buildings dressing the shores of the Atlantic, scattered at different points between the ocean and the mountains that guard its back. Within this municipality you can discover monuments such as the monastery of Santa Maria, which was built in the twelfth century to accommodate the so-called ‘artillery monks’, who undertook to defend the town from frequent pirate attacks. In the surroundings, the hermitage of Santa Uxia de Mougás, the pools of Mougás, which offer beautiful views of the surroundings, or the petroglyphs of Auga dos Cebros, a historic place where numerous traces of rock art have been found.
Although Tui is declared a city, the feeling it conveys is that of being a quiet village where people live well. Its forms lead directly to medieval times, highlighting of this feature the fantastic state of preservation of both its layout and the monuments that can be seen in its cobbled streets. The old town has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Tui has developed at the expense of the Miño, which serves as a natural border between Spain and Portugal. Do not leave without crossing the International Bridge on foot. Before that, there are several monuments to see. For example, the Cathedral of Santa María, which looks more like a fortress than a temple and that surprises already from the first contact. Tui, in general, is a pleasant surprise.