In the Morrazo Peninsula near the cities of Vigo and Pontevedra, in the heart of the Rías Baixas, there is a stretch of steep coast of extraordinary beauty.

In late summer and fall it is a great point to watch the migration of birds and, in spring, provides grounds to find certain birds that breed on the cliffs. Bird watching is recommended in the early hours of the morning, with less movement of people, increased bird activity and better light for viewing.

The balcony of Cíes and Ons

The landscape of this setting is spectacular and rugged. It is still well preserved in many areas and holds a remarkable diversity of nesting birds in both scrub and cliffs. It is also an ideal place to watch migrating seabirds off the coast.

In the Ría de Aldán the profile is softer, with some beaches and dune ridges. In the interior, eucalyptus and pines plantations dominate with small mosaic rural areas and villages. These latter areas store great ornithological wealth.

The routes
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Route on foot or by bicycle: Beluso - Cabo Home

BEST TIME

Between October and December

DISTANCE

26 Km

DURATION

2-3 hours by bicycle and 4-5 hours on foot

DIFFICULTY

Medium

COUNCILS

Bueu, Cangas

PATH

Beluso - Aldán - O Hío - Vilanova - Couso point - O Hío - Donón - Cabo Home

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Key points on the route:

  1. From the village of Beluso (1), head south through areas of fields and vineyards in which european pied flycatcher and common whitethroat can be seen.
  2. On reaching Aldán and Vilariño beach, at the end of the Aldán estuary (2) it is possible to see black-necked grebes and, more erratically, common eider.
  3. Once in O Hío (3) there are sardinian warblers and common waxbills.
  4. From there, take a road to Vilanova and Punta de Couso (4) -overlooking the mouth of the Pontevedra estuary- to see Balearic and cory's shearwaters.
  5. Returning to O Hío (3), take Nerga road time, but turn towards Donón and the coast of Soavela (5), where blue rock thrush and northern raven can be seen.
  6. The route ends in Cabo Home (6) with sightings of european shag and northern wheatear.

The journey can be taken by mixing the car with short walks.

Route on foot or by bicycle. Cabo Udra (Bueu): Beluso - O Covelo farm lands - Cabo Udra and return

BEST TIME

September and October

DURATION

4-5 hours on foot and 2-3 hours by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

Bueu

PATH

Cabo Udra (Bueu): Beluso - O Covelo farm lands - Cabo Udra and return

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Key points on the route:

  1. From Beluso (1), follow the trail towards Cabo Udra. In the area of O Covelo (2) take a trail to the left to try to see migrant birds in the hedges and copses, such as the common grasshopper warbler and sedge warbler.
  2. Returning to the trail, head to the cape, passing first through an area of eucalyptus and pine trees and then small patches of willows (3) where firecrest and eurasian bullfinch can be found.
  3. Look out for whinchat and common whitethroat as the vegetation grows less dense.
  4. In the isolated willow groves the european pied flycatcher and willow warbler can be seen.
  5. The way to the end of the cape (4) is dominated by gorse, home to Dartford and sardinian warblers. In areas of rocks there are occasional sightings of blue rock thrushes and regular sightings of northern wheatear.
  6. There are cory's shearwaters and parasitic jaegers off the cape.
The birds

A visit can start at the lighthouse at Punta Subrido, with good morning views overlooking the Cíes islands and the seabirds in the mouth of the Ría de Vigo. The most interesting species in this area are undoubtedly the european shag, northern gannet and balearic shearwater. From Cabo Home there are excellent views over the north end of Illas Cies and, from August onwards, parasitic jaeger and great skua can be spotted. In the spring and autumn months, when covering the trail that leads to Donón, pay attention to the sea to spot migrating birds, in addition to other residents such as the rock bunting and Dartford and sardinian warblers. In the breeding season it is possible to see an occasional alpine swift as well as a blue rock thrush on the rocks.

At one point the route can either take a path to the north and visit the Soavela coast or descend towards O Hío while walking among the pines groves, where there are european nightjars that can be seen at dusk and at night. The end of the Ría de Aldán, in Vilariño, sightings can be had of common gull, black-necked grebe, eurasian oystercatcher and, in winter, razorbill . Further north, in autumn, especially with strong southwesterly winds, Cabo Udra is a good point for watching seabirds. Just off the cape, there is in September the chance to see dozens of parasitic jaegers in a single roost in Galicia.

Tips and resources
  • Wear comfortable shoes for the journey since it is highly winding and rocky.

  • Use of a telescope is recommended for watching seabirds.

  • Pay attention to traffic near O Hío and Vilariño due to the narrow road.

Arriba