Ortegal is the perfect place to spend the weekend. The best destination to disconnect, relax and practice activities such as surfing, horse riding or going on a route on foot, by kayak, or by boat.
You will know one of the wildest territories in all the Atlantic and Cantabric coastline. In only two days you will enjoy paradisiacal beaches, magical sanctuaries or villages where time seems to have stopped, as well as a typical gastronomy based in local and seasonal products.
CARIÑO AND ORTIGUEIRA
If there is a peculiar name for a village, that is Cariño (affection), a fishing village located next to the Atlantic, which has managed to keep old trades and sea traditions alive through the years. Its historic old quarters of narrow steep streets, colourful houses hanging on the cliffs and A Concha beach are not to be missed. You will be unable to leave Cariño without getting to Cabo Ortegal lighthouse and Os Aguillóns, the fourth oldest rocks in the planet according to geologists, so a stop at this point will be worth it.
Ortigueira emerges as an encouragement between Serra da Capelada and a Faladoira mountain ranges. A fantastic destination to enjoy open air activities, such as a walking route, or surfing at any of its beaches. You can do so on your own or with any of the local surfing schools. After the visit to the historic old quarters and the port, if you still have time, you can get to Casón Castle viewpoint and Pozo do Inferno or, in a different direction, Loiba cliffs..
SANTO ANDRÉ DE TEIXIDO: if you don’t go when alive, you will go after death
Santo André de Teixido is a fishing village seating on the highest cliffs in continental Europe (you can visit them at Herbeira watchhouse), turning it into a natural terrace to the Atlantic Ocean. It is a sacred place because, according to the tradition, Saint Andrew arrived on a boat which wrecked against the cliffs only to get turned into a rock. For this reason, it has become one of the most important pilgrimage points in Galicia, along with Santiago de Compostela.
You will love to walk in the narrow streets which give access to the village, and the irregularly arranged houses. You can visit the 18th century church, drink from the three water spouts of the fountain, and taste some barnacles.
MAÑÓN AND ESTACA DE BARES
If you only have a weekend or one single day, you will have to land at Mañón, the last municipality in A Coruña province, limiting with Mariña Lucense (Lugo’s coast). You will be able to visit the fishing village and port of Bares, O Coido breakwater was built by the Phoenicians possibly in the 2nd century BC. It is the only one in the Iberian peninsula and it is related to the first primitive sailing routes between Galicia and Ireland. From here, you can head to the cape of Estaca de Bares, its viewpoint and its lighthouse.
In the ascent to Semáforo de Bares viewpoint you can see Coelleira Island. The Semáforo is located 200 metres above sea level. It is a maritime observational point from the 19th century and it was a military post and weather and communications station. On the way to Bares lighthouse you can have a break at the birdwatching station, to watch little gulls, kittiwakes, guilemots or razorbills, in this natural space included in the protection figure SCI Site of Community Interest.
Bares lighthouse was built in 1850 in the most western point of the Iberian peninsula. Its strategic position is so important that until 1991 there was a U.S. Navy military base there. From Bares lighthouse you can finish the route in the village of O Barqueiro.
If you have a holiday weekend soon, you can get away to Ortegal and, in four days, you will discover some of the most singular lanscapes in all the coastline of Rías Altas.
You will get the chance to fall in love with unforgettable views, infinite beaches to get lost in or magical forests where to dream. Get on board this adventure and let this land surprise you.
CEDEIRA AND MAÑÓN FISHING VILLAGES
If you visit the village of Cedeira you can go for a walk on its beach, its port of the historic old quarter, as well as enjoy its fantastic gastronomy and barnacles, its top product. If you still have time, come to Mar de Mares Museum in Cedeira, and Punta Sarridal, where you will enjoy wonderful panoramic views from the estuary, Punta Sarridal lighthouse, Concepción Castle and Sarridal castro settlement (3rd century BC).
In Mañón there are two of the most beautiful fishing villages in all the Rías Altas: Porto de Bares and O Barqueiro.
Its slate-roofed houses form a touching image in a totally abrupt and jagged coastline, lying at the end of a small cove. Its sandy border goes from the prehistoric breakwater of O Coido to the point of Armeiro, creating the beautiful beach of Concha de Bares. The O Coido breakwater, the port and the cove of Bares were built by the Phoenicians possibly in the 2nd century BC. It is the only one in the Iberian peninsula and it is related to the primitive sailing routes between Galicia and Ireland.
It takes its name from the old “barqueiros”, who transported goods and people from one side of the estuary to the other, one of the smallest in Galicia, until the construction of the bridge in 1901. Its port is set in the Sor river mouth, with unbeatable characteristics for the practice of water and nautical activities. The village is characterised by its tiny houses, with colourful windows, which are located in very steep streets which go down towards the sea. This physiognomy is much appreciated by the film and audiovisual industry.
OS CASÁS FOREST: legendary forest
This forest is, along with Fragas do Eume, a sample of the last Atlantic woods. Located near Mera river, there is a great variety of indigenous species of vegetation within it, such as oak trees, chestnuts or royal fern. Along with the flora, the fauna: deer, wild boars and badgers live hidden in this forest. It is the perfect place to scape reality and get in contact with the purest and most indigenous nature, more and more difficult to find nowadays.
LIGHTHOUSE AND WATCHTOWER ROUTE
There are various viewpoints to visit along the coastline, which will give us a different perspective, since the panoramic views are excellent. From Cedeira to Mañón, following the coastline, and Cerdido in the inland area, these high visibility points are highlighted. Viewpoints as Herbeira, Chao do Monte, A Miranda, Estaca de Bares or Coto da Forca will make your visit an indelible memory.
Lighthouses are another of the elements splashing our coastline. Built to guide sailors and ships, and still at work today, most of them are constructions worth being admired. You can’t leave the region without going on a route visiting all of them.
HOLIDAYS AT ORTEGAL
If you have time to know Ortegal, this land will offer infinite beaches, magical forests, unique gastronomy and places to get lost in.
Know the five municipalities conforming the region and discover the natural, cultural and patrimonial richness of a unique territory in this 7-day proposal. The most usual is to start at the village of Cedeira and finish at Cerdido, going on a circular itinerary, but it can also be done in the opposite direction.
In Cedeira you can visit the historic old quarter, the port, know Mar de Mares Museum, and walk up to Punta Sarridal to visit Concepción Castle, the lighthouse and Sarridal castro settlement. You will go back to the village to taste the best seafood and fish in the area at any of its restaurants, or to locate Areas Negras beach, with non volcanic black sands, a great geological jewel (the access to this beach is of great difficulty, it is advisable to go with a local guide).
From Cedeira you can travel to Cariño, another of the strongly fishing-rooted villages, where a visit to the historic old quarter, the port, Cape Ortegal, Os Aguillóns and Fornos beach is essential. We recommend to continue the route towards Ortigueira, visiting Espasante port, the sea castro settlement of Punta dos Prados, the sand beaches and “Garita da vela” viewpoint. Heading north you will be able to visit Mañón to know the port of Bares and O Barqueiro. The final culmination will be the visit to Os Casás forest, in the municipality of Cerdido.
LOIBA CLIFFS: the best seat in the world.
In Ortigueira coastline, at the feet of the Atlantic on Loiba cliffs, we can find this particular bench which will allow us to watch the immensity of the ocean from rest. Along with Os Aguillóns and Cape Ortegal, on the background, it is one of the most beautiful places in all the north coast.
Located in the municipality of Mañón, this small village is a haven of peace at the riverbanks of the river with the same name. We recommend a break on our way to go along the water natural course, which will take us to discover the small constructions arranged along its margins: the mills.
CAPE OF ESTACA DE BARES: the most western point.
Without leaving the municipality of Mañón, you can make a stop at the cape of Estaca de Bares, the most western point in the Iberian peninsula, which makes true the slogan “we are north to the north”.
Between the estuaries of Ortigueira and O Barqueiro, this space constitutes a natural observation point for migrating birds of different species, such as shearwaters.
HERBEIRA CLIFFS: viewpoint to the Atlantic
At the heart of A Capelada mountain range, between Cedeira and Cariño, we can find this isolated corner, in the middle of wild, rough sorroundings. Herbeira watchhouse is an ancient square-plant construction in stone from the 13th century, located at the edge of one of the highest cliffs in continental Europe, at 613 metres above sea level.