Galicia slowly is turning to be a new yacht charter destinantion in Europe. The fact is that sailing in the Rías Baixas within the estuaries of Muros&Noia, Arousa, Pontevedra and Vigo make up a unique space in Spain for sailing holidays. Hundreds of beaches, dozens of fishing villages and many marinas make the Rías Baixas a truly unique sailing area: Baiona, Barra beach, Aldán estuary, Combarro, Arousa island, Xidoiro island, the beaches of the Cabio… Many options to enjoy peaceful sailing within well-protected estuaries…full of interesting places to lay the bow.
The crown jewel is the the Galician Atlantic Islands National Park, formed by archipelagos of Cíes, Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada. Atlantic nature with breathtaking landscapes, spectacular beaches where only accessible by private boat from the sea. Probably this is one of the most desired nautical destinations on the Galician coast. However, if you are the type of sailor who needs to mix tranquility with rough sailing, Finisterrae just 55 miles away from Vigo will take you to the end of the ‘Camino de Santiago’ hiding the real secret of the ‘Death Coast’ called by the Romans.
But let´s stop a minute in the Cíes Island named by the Romans as ‘The Islands of the Gods’, where you will find a tropical island vibes, crystal-clear waters and powder-soft ivory sands. All surprises and interesting things you probably didn’t know about these blissful Spanish islands will definitely convince you to come sailing to a new paradise in Europe.
The Cies Islands are home to a total of nine idyllic beaches and secluded little coves, but the most famous beach is unquestionably “Praia das Rodas”. This long stretch of pure white sand is bordered by rolling sand dunes and kissed by the gentle lull of crystalline waters, leaving no doubt as to why the locals refer to it as their “Caribbean beach”. It reached international levels of stardom in 2007, when The Guardian named it as “The best beach in the world”. But don’t worry, the islands are part of the Galician Atlantic Islands National Park, which means their natural beauty is protected by law.
The extremely low levels of light pollution makes the islands perfect for stargazing and they’re sprinkled with stardust on a nightly basis. As if you needed another reason to anchor overnight! Which reminds me the exclusivity of sleeping on board next to the moon.
But let´s carry on dreaming with Galicia sailing destination, as after the sun raises in heaven you can keep on sailing through out 1,498 kilometers of coastline, together with its famous gastronomic wealth, provides this land with legends, trade, culture, leisure, marvellous landscapes and more than 700 beaches. From the gentle sand hills of the Rías Baixas (low estuaries) that invite one to rest and bathe, to the fury and might of the Rías Altas (high estuaries), battered by the wind. Just a few tips for a week holiday through some of the estuaries;
Estuary “Ria de Vigo”;
Sheltered from the ocean by the Cíes islands, Vigo’s estuary opens to the north at cape Home and to the south at cape Silleiro. This is an estuary of treasures, because here, in the marvellous inlet of San Simón, there are dozens of sunken galleons loaded with gold form the Americas. Also, the estuary is home to some of Galicia’s best beaches: Barra and Nerga in Cangas, Samil and O Vao in Vigo, Playa América in Nigrán… And the one that by many is considered to be the best beach in the world: the Rodas beach in the Cíes islands.
Estuary “Ria de Arosa”;
The Ría de Arousa is the largest of Galicia’s estuaries. For centuries its size and wealth gave way to invasions, so in order to fend them off, the Torres del Oeste, (West Towers) were built in the 11th century, in Catoira, which today hosts the fun reenactment of the Viking Landing. Vilagarcía de Arousa, with a pleasant microclimate during most of the year, is the capital of the Ría de Arousa.
Estuary “Ria de Corcubión”;
In the Estuary of Corcubión, a wide inlet which opens to the south from Fisterra. From the lighthouse of Fisterra, by day you can feel the enormity of the ocean, and by night the light can be seen from a distance of 65 kilometres. Towards the south, the beach of Carnota, the infinite beach. A natural reserve that measure over 7 kilometres in length and is up to 1 kilometre wide at low tide, with fine golden sand
The grand finale of this guide is what we are proposing here is not just a tour, we want you to live Galicia in your own way, at your own pace and, above all, that you enjoy it in every sense. Come to Galicia and discover the sensation of living… among friends.
What’s more surprising is that these paradise hideaways are located off the coast of Vigo in Galicia, northern Spain, just a flight away from Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Dublín, Bologna… Just one hour and half away from Porto or Santiago de Compostela by train
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