More about Ortegal
Ortegal is not only characterised by its natural heritage, there is also room for historic, cultural, etnographic or religious heritage as well: a summary of our history condensed in castro settlements, mámoas, museums and churches. Each of them has its own particularities, which make them special and unique, helping us understand the history of this region: former trades now extinct and others still existing, how life in a farm used to be, or how the grinding of the grain was made, how people survived the winter or how the first inhabitants arrived to this land thousands of years ago.
The following are some examples of buildings whose visit will help you understand a past which is not so far away, and how our history developed.
At Concepción Castle and Mar de Mares Museum in Cedeira we will understand life in a castle and the tradition that binds this municipality with the sea, through the trade of fishermen or watching one of the biggest seashell collections in the area. At Meixido Ethnographical Museum, the tide museum of Senra, in Ortigueira, we will understand the functioning of a mill and the grinding, and the importance of these constructions for daily life in Galicia.
As for religious heritage, you can visit the Convent Complex of the Dominicos, built in the 16th century and expropriated in 1835. Nowadays it serves as municipal offices. The Sanctuary of Portas, located in Serra da Panda, also in Ortigueira, is sorrounded by a great symbology, legends and traditions: the best known is the one that says that if you drink water from the fountain by the sanctuary your sorrows and pains will disappear.
Santa María de Régoa (rural Baroque, 18th century), Santo André de Teixido (gothic-baroque from 16th to 18th century), Santa María do Mar or Santo Antonio of Corveiro, in Cedeira. Those in Teixido and Corveiro are seated on the cliffs along the coast of Ártabro, a natural viewpoint to the Atlantic.
San Bartolomeu, in Cariño, neogothical church finished in 1923, shows a singularity: its bell tower hosts the bell of the old Miramar steamboat, a vessel based in Majorca which wrecked at Cape Ortegal cliffs in the early 20th century.
We will also trace our past through archaeological remains, some of them dug out, so visits are possible. Some examples are Sarridal Castro settlement in Cedeira, which preserves one of the scarce castro saunas in the peninsula: Casón Castle, the castro settlement Punta dos Prados or the mámoas on the way to Os Arrieiros, in Ortigueira.
Local Street and fishing markets
The markets are those union and meeting points of local producers, retail sales, meeting with seasonal products, mixture of colours and peoples who crowd the villages.
Ortegal was not going to be an exception, and preserves the market tradition, of local sales and fresh fish purchases at the fish market, whose amount will depend of the size of the village.
Get lost among the crowd, breathe nature, buy the fruit from land and sea, live the bustle, let old tradition surprise you and bring yourself to do your shopping at the market.
The productive tissue of Ortegal was enlarged and modernised, as with algae collection: but it has also been able to preserve traditions, as the canning preserves industry. Both characteristics are evident in Mar de Ardora and La Pureza canning factory, two small territorial companies which have been able to adapt to modern times both opening to new markets manufacturing algae, and transforming them into products with ecological certification, and preserving the canning industry, as is the case with La Pureza. Both combine innovation, constance and adaptation to the new times.
Popular and gastronomical festivals
In the village of Cedeira, apart from the numerous festivals and local events for the promotion of its seafood products, as hake or barnacles, we must stand out the celebration of “A Xira”, a lively gathering in the mountain of San Antonio do Corveiro, which takes place mid-August.
At the port of Espasante the festival of bar and seafood song, a folkloric and gastronomical event which lasts several days on the first days in August. Also in Espasante, in April, you can enjoy the octopus from the estuary, a musical gathering aimed at a family audience.
In the municipality of Mañón, make reservations for its top event, the homage to the people of the sea, in the seafood festival, which takes place on the second week in December, coinciding with Constitution bank holiday.
The new era of Celtic music (International Celtic Music Festival)
From 1978, every summer, the village of Ortigueira has held one of the most renowned folk music festivals. A result of the efforts of the Municipal Bagpipe School, it started as a festival with a marked artisanal character which nowadays has nothing to do with that small turmoil of people around the sound of the bagpipe. Declared National Interest Festival, it has become the scene for the release of the latest work by well-known bands.
Thousands of folkies arrive here, year after year, to this festival and the earthly paradise of the pinewood by Morouzos beach, where thousands of tents gather among the trees, sheltered from the cold of night, the roaring of the sea and the sound of the bagpipe.
Located at the heart of Ortegal area, it is one of its largest municipalities in its extension, geographically framed between Serra da Capelada and A Faladoira. Its estuary is ample and its entrance curls as we are getting closer to main land.
Ortigueira smells like sea, port, the north winds, a mixture of feelings which will move inside you when you arrive to these lands.
A territory with strong Celtic roots, of folk music, which takes the village summer after summer. Hundreds of folkies come close to enjoy some days full of traditional music, open air concerts, gastronomy and endless nights under the moonlight in Morouzos beach sands.
Village situated on the north of Ortegal region, characterised by its steep streets and colourful houses arranged in an old quarter which ends in the rugged rough rocks of its cliffs. This arrangement is due to the scarce availability of land and the proximity of the port and the beach of A Concha. It is recommendable to get lost in its irregular streets and squares to know corners which will surprise you at every step.
A visit to its port is a must. Full of activity in past times, it is less active today, though it still preserves its charm, reflected in the existence of old trades, as shellfish gathering or the neverending activity of tough women who, day after day, mend the fishing gear the men will then use in their daily labour.
However, Cariño is not only fishing, it is also architecture, it is history, which we can feel in old constructions which welcome us to the village and are the memory of activities no longer in use: the salting industry and canning factories. Some of these old factories still the coats of arms which represented them preserve on their façades, and others, as La Pureza canning factory, are still working. This fishing itinerary will have its culmination with the visit to the village small fishing market, open to the public, where people bid for barnacle, a typical and representative product from this area.
Fishing village in whose entrance the light stays intense, when we head in towards the port. The houses with white windowed balconies announce the luminosity on our way in the old quarter towards the fishing area. The fishermen have a great presence in the identity and appearance of this village, being responsible for the preservation of biological diversity and the ecosystem. Thus, the estuary we visit when we get out of the village was declared Marine Reserve of Fishing Interest in 2009, which guarantees sustainable fishing activity in the area. The Mar de Mares Museum, in Cedeira, is a compulsory visit to learn about fishing arts, types of lanterns, buoys and anchoring systems, or scale models of salting factories, of the Cedeira fleet and real traditional boats recovered for the museum, such as the Dorna.