Between the Ría de Muros e Noia and Costa da Morte there is a string of beaches and dune systems of great natural interest and scenic uniqueness. Aquatic ecosystems are represented by the Louro lagoon and Carnota marshes.

Sea, sand and water

Between Muros and the mouth of the Xallas river Atlantic beaches alternate with rocky sections. Behind some of these beaches are very important wetlands for birds such as the Louro lagoon or the Caldebarcos marshes.

The beaches are noted for their high degree of naturalness, with generally well-preserved dunes, and rocky sections still remain free from substantial human occupation. It remains a coastline only slightly transformed by human hands. In Louro there is a lagoon with an large reedbed at which many birds stop to nest or winter and to rest during migration.

Behind the imposing barrier of dunes on the large beach of Carnota, about 5 km in length, there are the famous Carnota marshes, with extensive reedbeds bordered by riparian forest and a large marsh under the influence of the tide, A Berberecheira. Overall, this is an area of outstanding beauty where many water, sea and land birds can be found. As if that were not enough, the entire area is watched over by Mount Pindo, a huge granite mass that rises 600 metres right next to the sea, giving the landscape a singular appearance.
 

The routes
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Route by car: O Pindo - Carnota - Louro

BEST TIME

From August to May

DISTANCE

37 Km

DURATION

4 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Carnota, Dumbría, Muros

PATH

O Pindo - Carnota - Louro

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Key points on the route:

  1. From the waterfall on the Ézaro river (1) head south, stopping to observe the different groups of seagulls on the beaches and in the ports.
  2. In Caldebarcos make a stop and visit the A Berberecheira marsh (2), where dunlin, kentish plover, black-tailed godwit, grey heron and others can be seen.
  3. From the village of Carnota the route comes to Boca do Rio (3), the other part of the marshes, where there is a bird observatory (4).
  4. In Lira there is an interesting stop at the port (5) and the nearest point to watch waders such as the sanderling and gulls of various species.
  5. Lira beach (6) regularly hosts large groups of the gulls.
  6. A stop at the Louro lagoon (7) provides a chance to see gadwalls, little grebes, grey herons and others and, to end, make your way to the Queixal point in front of the Louro lighthouse (8), an ideal place to watch seabirds such as the great cormorant and european shag or, with some luck, the balearic shearwater.

Route on foot: A Boca do Río - Berberecheira

BEST TIME

From September to May

DISTANCE

2 Km

DURATION

1 hour round trip

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Carnota

PATH

A Boca do Río - A Berberecheira

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Key points on the route:

  1. From the end of the small road, head to the beach at the mouth of two streams (A Boca do Río) (1), where we can take a small walk through the rocks and dunes between them. It is a good place for waders, especially kentish plover, gulls and terns.
  2. After walking along the edge of the A Berberecheira marsh (2) we reach the bird observatory (3) where the marsh can be seen completely. During migration, the number of waders is impressive. Look out for grey heron, egret and sandwich tern, among other species.

Route on foot: Carnota - Carnota beach

BEST TIME

From September to February

DISTANCE

2.5 km one way

DURATION

1 and a half hours, one way

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Carnota

PATH

Carnota - Carnota beach

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts at the town of Carnota (1) and heads directly towards the beach. The route passes through the vicinity of meadows and small crops (2), where it is very easy to see zitting cisticola and other small birds.
  2. Upon reaching the marshes (3) pay attention to grey herons, egrets, common snipe and other birds. The western marsh harrier is common to see on its migratory path.
  3. On the beach look out for yellow-legged gull, lesser black-backed gull and great black-backed gull. Also pay attention to the waders.

Route on foot: Louro lagoon and beach

BEST TIME

From September to May

DISTANCE

1.5 km one way

DURATION

1 hour (one way)

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Muros

PATH

Louro lagoon and beach

Maybe some resources are not geo-referenced and they are not being displayed.

Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts at the small parking (1) lot marked next to the lagoon. Here many birds of the riparian forest and nearby reeds can be heard, such as the eurasian reed warbler.
  2. The route follows a track (2) that gains altitude to get a good view of the lagoon, where a multitude of Anatidae, gulls, grey herons and little grebes can be seen, among others. In autumn spoonbills can also be seen eurasian spoonbill.
  3. Once on the beach (3), look out for the groups of birds there, as well as those found at the beachfront, such as sandwich terns. A better perspective can also be had from the mouth of the lagoon.
The birds

On the beaches the kentish plover can be found nesting and there are flocks of different species of gull and wader species, such as the sanderling, in winter and migration. In the dunes, eurasian skylarks sing while in the reeds and western yellow wagtails stand out in spring in their bright yellow. In the Louro lagoon gadwalls can be seen nesting along with common moorhens and black-necked grebes.

Starting in late summer hundreds of gulls, grey herons, egrets and spoonbills stop off for a few hours to feed there. In the Carnota marshes, hundreds of waders stop during migration; grey herons, little egrets and great cormorants are common. The picture would not be complete without taking a look at the open sea, where northern gannets and balearic shearwaters can be seen.

Tips and resources
  • The wetland birds are sensitive. Respect their well-being by watching from afar - use of a telescope is important. On the beaches and other places it is important not to disturb the bird groups. 

  • Do not go into the dunes or the nearest part of the beach since they are sensitive places for the breeding of certain species. 

  • En inverno cómpre usar botas de auga para andar por algúns treitos dos itinerarios

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