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Costa da Morte

GEO-DESTINATION

Costa da Morte

Here was the end of the world, the 'Finis Terrae' of the Romans. Specifically, Cabo Fisterra, a fascinating place...

Cabo Fisterra

OUTSTANDING

Cabo Fisterra

The "finisterrae". Why would someone want to go to the end of the world?

A Costa da Morte Route...

Description

The Costa da Morte stretches over tens of kilometres along the north-western coast of Galicia within the province of A Coruña. On this coast, we find deserted beaches, coves and cliffs. Its capes, such as those of Fisterra, Touriñán and Vilán, jut out into a wild ocean of constantly choppy waters.

All of this creates an unmistakable landscape, which is the area's identifying mark.

Ampliar

Its villages invite quiet walks with time to sit and watch the men and women who live off the sea as they carry out their daily tasks. It is a land of mystery, of legends and myths. Its beautiful scenery and cultural interest make it a unique area that holds a special charm for visitors.

Due to its high ecological value, this part of Galicia contains two Sites of Community Importance (almost the entire "A Costa da Morte" and the River Anllóns), a Specially Protected Birdlife Reserve (Sisargas Islands) and a Protected Landscape (Penedos de Pasarela e Traba). Inland, the land forms gentle hills, carpeted with fields of corn, pastures and forests.
The character of the Coast of Death has been marked by the fact that it constitutes Europe's western frontier. Since ancient times, humans have believed this place to be Finisterrae – the end of the world – the gate to the afterlife. After their arrival, the Romans witnessed and described the spectacle offered by the sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean, a scene that has stayed in the collective imagination of ancient civilisations from way back in history.
It is one of the European areas with the largest wealth of megalithic remains. A visit to the Dombate Dolmen or the Borneiro Castro (Celtic settlement), both sites of great value, will take us back thousands of years in time and give us some idea of the life our ancestors led. With the arrival of Christianity, many of the sacred places of the first settlers of these lands adapted to the new beliefs.
Even in the religious ceremonies of today one can still perceive traces of an ancestral pantheism and paganism. At the Shrine of the Virxe da Barca (Virgin of the Boat), thousands of devotees gather every year to participate in one of the most important pilgrimages in Galicia.

A large portion of the North Atlantic maritime traffic passes in front of these coasts. Taking into account the jagged coastline and the numerous storms that the area suffers during the winter months, it is not surprising that the Costa da Morte was the scene of a great many shipwrecks and all along the coast crosses have been placed in memory of the victims.   The "Cemiterio de los Ingleses" (English Cemetery) is thus named in memory of the many who drowned when the English ship, the Serpent, went down in 1880.

The lifestyle of the inhabitants of the Costa da Morte is closely linked to the sea. Their economy is based on fishing and shellfishing. One of the most representative images in this area is that of the "percebeiros", barnacle collectors who jump from rock to rock as they dodge the incoming waves. Logically, these villages' gastronomy takes advantage of the great quality and variety of fish and seafood available here.

On the "Costa da Morte" the traditions of its old trades and crafts are still maintained today. Bobbin lace, particularly that from Camariñas, as well as from other towns, received international recognition. Moreover, Buño has been famous for centuries for its important pottery industry.

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