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Ría de Arousa

GEO-DESTINATION

Ría de Arousa

The largest of the Rias Baixas is a wise mix of nature, art, maritime tradition and – nowadays – the best leisure activities...

Estuary

ESTUARIES AND BEACHES

Estuary "Ría de Arousa"

Is the largest of Galicia's estuaries. Beaches and more beaches...

Hidden heritage

Windmills, Water and Tides

Nothing is more hidden than those times during which we didn't live.

Through this journey through the deepest recesses of the treasures of Arousa, we'll get a close-hand look at the modus vivendi of the ancient civilizations that left their mark on the finest spots of our land.

Interesting!

  • Starting point: Ribeira
  • Destination: Campo Lameiro
  • Days: 2
  • Km (approx): 126 Km
The old folks say that between the Dolmen de Axeitos and the natural rock formation known as the Pía do Frade (Friar's Sink) is a putlog made of gold, a mythical construction in which legends claim there are valuable treasures.  Each year, thousands of people pack this space to witness the landing of the Vikings. Aboard a draka, sporting horned helmets, the new Vikings act out the attack made the Nordic peoples over a millennium ago.
Other information of interest...
- Centro Arqueolóxico do Barbanza: Open Thursday to Sunday. Contact: 981 843 810. (www.centroarqueoloxicodobarbanza.org).
- Muíño de mareas da Seca: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 2:00 pm and from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. More information at  www.cambados.es.
- Museo Etnográfico e do Viño: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 2:00 pm and from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. More information at  www.cambados.es.
- Parque Arqueolóxico de Campo Barroso: Information and reservations, phone 981 69 60 66 or via  reservas@paar.es. More info en www.paar.es

Route - Day 1

With the town of Ribeira as our starting point, our foray into Neolithic architecture begins with a visit to the dolmen de Axeitos, also known as the Pedra do Mouro (Moor's Stone). Walking along a tree-lined path steeped in silence, we find this prehistoric communal grave.

Ampliar

It looks regal despite dating back to between 4000 and 3600 BC and being one of the oldest megalithic funerary monuments in Galicia. The old folks say that between this dolmen and the natural rock formation known as the Pía do Frade (Friar's Sink) is a putlog made of gold, a mythical construction in which legends claim there are valuable treasures..

Taking a jump in the history of our evolution, we direct our steps towards the fortified pre-Roman Iron Age village of Neixón Grande e Pequeno, in the town of Boiro. Descending towards the estuary, we are following a path that goes directly to the Neixón peninsula, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Arousa. The hillforts of Neixón sprang up between the eighth and seventh centuries BC on the rocky tip of this peninsula, protected by rocks and strong embankments. Walk on this piece of history and take all the time you need to appreciate the grandeur of the enclave. It almost seems like we can still hear the cries of our ancestors warning us of the Roman invasions. Beside the forts, in an enclave surrounded by nature, we come upon the Centro Arqueológico do Barbanza (O Barbanza Archaeological Centre) where we'll find a lot of information on the archaeological heritage of the region. 
It's time to get to know the town of Rianxo. We'll make a small detour on our way there and take a walk round the promenade on the shore and its port, with views of the great Serra do Barbanza. Take advantage of this stop along the way to sample some delicious Rianxo "xoubiñas" (little sardines) or some good mussels from the Arousa estuary, while you regain enough strength to continue on your journey.
Continuing on in the municipality of Rianxo – specifically, in the village of Araño – our curiosity about its hidden architectural gems will be satisfied with a construction that is newer than those we've visited so far. This is the granery of Araño – one of the largest in Galicia –, part of a remarkable architectural ensemble comprising the church of Santa Baia and the chapel dedicated to Nosa Señora dos Milagres (Our Lady of Miracles). This time, you won't be able to count the granary's feet because the base is enclosed by a wall. The alternative is to walk its 37-metre length and imagine all that that could have been stored inside it in the seventeenth century, when it was built. Many have pointed out that it was an example of the Church's actual power during that century, as the harvest of the people – who had to give a part of it of the clergy –  was stored here.
Continuing on the path of our ancestors, our next stop will be the granaries of Imo, in the municipality of Dodro. The gourd-shaped structures of the picturesque village of Imo are located at the highest part of its centre. This place was once a communal threshing floor. As you approach among the small houses separated by narrow streets, you'll see the complex of granaries made of wooden walls and stone.
The town of Catoira awaits us just across the River Ulla. On the way, we'll find the famous bridge over the river with the Torres de Oeste (Western Towers), where the Romaría Viquinga (Viking Pilgrimage) is celebrated the first Sunday of August, bringing international fame to this village. Each year, thousands of people pack this space to witness the landing. Aboard a draka, sporting horned helmets, the new Vikings act out the attack made the Nordic peoples over a millennium ago.  
But Catoira is also known for its windmills in Abalo, unique in Europe with its double blade system. You'll reach the windmills after a short uphill hike among small shrubs. From the summit, you'll feel the same breeze that moves the blades while you take in one of the best views of the estuary. Sit down next to the thick stone walls – willing to share with you the heat accumulated during the day – and drink in the sight of the sunset as the grand finale of the first day.
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