Last and most enchanting leg on the Galician Coast

We decided to stay one more day in Combarro in order to visit the town of Pontevedra. We were anchored around four miles down the river from Pontevedra. Since the water was too shallow to reach it by boat, we decided to kayak in and out of Pontevedra with the tide. Challenging but great exercise. 

Feet up after a few hours of kayaking

Pontevedra had been highly recommended by one of our friends who used to live in Galicia. He was right! This place is such a gem! Walking around the old town felt like being in a little Rome – an open air museum with an architectural treasure to discover at every corner; all to us, as unlike Rome, there was no soul around in the afternoon.

Caught in the middle of a competition on arrival in Pontevedra
Basilica de Santa Maria
Plaza de la Pedreira – Baroque style Palace
Iglesia de San Bartolome – Jesuit and Baroque style church

Plaza de la Lena – owes its name to the old timber market that used to be here
Plaza de Espana
Iglesia de San Francisco – founded by Francis de Assisi who passed through Pontevedra as a pilgrim on the way to Santiago
Galicia’s only bullring
Kayaking competition in Pontevedra

The following day we continued our progress south towards Vigo River (last of the Galician rias). As soon as the anchoring permission for Cíes Islands was granted by the Spanish authorities, we set the sails and headed straight there. The beauty of these uninhabited islands in the Atlantic (an hour away sailing from the Vigo River mouth) is unmatched. No wonder that the main beach, Praia das Rodas, was declared Europe’s best by the Telegraph! There are no hotels in the Arhipelago, but one can camp and have the stunning beaches all to themselves before the boats arrive with day visitors from Vigo.

Approaching beautiful Cíes Islands
Sorin ready to drop the anchor of main beach in Cíes Islands
Plaia das Rodas, Cíes Islands
Exploring the heavily seagull populated island

An old lighthouse powered by fire
Monte Agudo, Cíes Islands
Bird observatory, Cíes Islands
An unexpected trespasser
Crystal waters and white sand beaches
Monteagudo’s Pedra da Campa, Cíes Islands

…and Mehalah at anchor of the beach in Cíes Islands

Jules Verne himself must have been charmed by the beauty of these shores, as it is recorded he visited the Vigo Estuary twice and he indirectly referred to the Cíes Islands in his fiction masterpiece ‘Twenty thousands leagues under the sea’.

We only anchored for one night in the Cíes Islands. The winds picked up the second day and since there are no marinas to take shelter in, we did not want to spend the night being rolled over by the Atlantic swell. However, we made the most of our short stay. We walked all around the island from one lighthouse to another – these mark the extreme shores of the Island of Monteagudo; we had a pick-nick on one of the finest sandy beaches and I thought to myself that I must be crazy not to take a dip in the turquoise waters. And so I joined Sorin swimming for the first time on our circumnavigation.

We are now in Baiona, which is a lively town with a very luxurious marina and good anchorages. This is sheltered by the beautiful Fortress of Monterreal. 

Fortress of Monterreal
MRCYB Marina viewed from the Fortress of Monterreal
The replica of the Pinta, Columbus fastest ship
2 km long litoral path around the 18 hectares occupied by the Fortress of Monterreal

We are currently keeping an eye on the weather, and as soon as the winds are favourable we will be setting sails south. Portugal’s shores do not seem to be as welcoming, so we hope our progress along the the coast of Portugal will be fast.

3 thoughts on “Last and most enchanting leg on the Galician Coast”

  1. Pe parcursul lecturarii blogului vostru am fost tentat de mai multe ori sa incep acest comentariu, dar m-am abtinut pana acum fiindca nu are legatura directa cu voi ci este doar o ciudatenie. Totusi, anumite coincidente ce continuau sa se adune au umplut pana la urma paharul. Așadar, pana in acest punct ati avut un parcurs asemanator unui alt cuplu, in varianta franceza. Florin, timisorean dupa locul natal, impreuna cu pariziana Natalie isi cumpara un yacht (Gu Bragh) cu care fac iesiri prin Bretania. Apoi intr-o dimineata, la cafea, au simultan aceeasi idee: „De fapt, spune-mi, de ce nu plecăm noi acum? Ce mai așteptăm?” E vorba desigur de a pleca cu yachtul în jurul lumii. Isi dau apartamentul in chirie si se muta pentru doi ani la bordul yachtului, apoi, fiindca „două ierni bretone ne-au învățat că iarna la bordul uni half-tonner din anii 70 nu-i ușoară” s-au hotărât să caute „un nou tovarăș de drum, unul care să ne ducă oriunde în lume în deplină siguranță.”
    „Chiar și în Patagonia”, zice căpitanul
    „N-am niciun chef să merg în Patagonia!”, răspunde Aglaia
    Pe scurt, îl cumpără pe Roz Avel, un Kelly Peterson 44 cu care traversează Biscaya, nu înainte, atenție, de a trece pe la mormântul lui Bernard (Moitessier, desigur!), pentru o întâlnire atemporală.
    Citatele folosite le-am extras din cartea „Galicia, tărâm celtic, tărâm iberic”, publicată de Florin Drăghici în limba franceză și la ideea mea și în limba română fiindcă marile națiuni colonizatoare au tone de literatură cu profil nautic în timp ce săracii români trebuie să se mulțumească cu volumele ce încap într-o sacoșă. Dar să nu pierd ideea, varianta voastra franceza se aseamana pe-alocuri…

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