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Camariñas circular tour...routes on the Costa da Morte
Between Cabo Vilano and Tosto,
between Arou and Camariñas.
It rains in seven colours
and I saw the flame of the sea pierce the eyes of the fox.
O Cemiterio dos Ingleses,  Manuel Rivas

All the force of the Atlantic batters the mythical Costa da Morte, giving it a range of characteristic shapes and colours. Strong winds, the scent of the sea and green hills are the features of a route that distils the essence of one of the most dangerous coasts in the world. The circular route, which starts and ends in Camariñas, takes in coastal villages and landscapes, dunes, capes and sandbanks, echoing tales of sailors, storms and lighthouse keepers.

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Ville of Camariñas
Camarina

Camariñas is the sea, and the sea is stories of hard work, shipwrecks and tough people who live in a setting that is both beautiful and dangerous. Its presence is at the heart of this route, but the sea and water also have stories to tell on land.

A seafaring village, Camariñas nestles in a small ría, sheltered from the area’s constant winds. The modern harbour contrasts with older maritime constructions which retain the traditional character of the village. Visitors should be sure to admire the lace made in Camariñas by the palilleiras, craftswomen who keep this wonderful cultural legacy alive.

From Camariñas to Ponte do Porto
Aleman

The route to Ponte do Porto winds round the A Basa inlet and along the Río Grande estuary. After Ponte do Porto it turns off towards Camelle.

Camelle and Arou, Arou and Camelle… are two sides of the same coin. Located close to each other, they have such close links to the sea that they cannot be understood without it. The bright colours of the houses recall times when the paint left over after painting boats protected the beach-facing façades from the winter weather.

Enseada do Trece

A dirt track takes us towards Enseada do Trece, an inlet open to the sea and exposed to the might of the ocean. The wind blows the fine sand of the beach upward, creating a sand dune like a wall on the side of the O Veo hill that stretches to the top and beyond. On the flat land at the other end lies the English Cemetery, reminding us of the harsh conditions on this part of the coast.


The route to Vilán, with views of the horizon, winds slowly beside cliffs and crags, among which an old wolf trap can be seen.

From the Enseada do Trece to Cape Vilán

The route to Vilán, with views of the horizon, winds slowly beside cliffs and crags, among which an old wolf trap can be seen.


The dangerous nature of the coast led to the construction of a new lighthouse at Cape Vilán, the first electrified lighthouse in Spain (1896). It towers above the crag and, at 130 metres high, is one of most representative images of the Galician coast, in an incomparable setting for visitors to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. Cape Vilán lighthouse also houses the Centro de Interpretación dos Naufraxios, Faros e Sinais Marítimas (the Shipwreck, Lighthouse and Marine Signal Interpretation Centre).

The return route to Camariñas

The return route to Camariñas passes close to Nosa Señora do Monte hermitage, which, from a hilltop with sweeping views, oversees the passage of boats and seamen.

Don't miss

The English Cemetery

The Royal Navy’s HMS Serpent sank off this coast in 1890. Of its crew of 175 only three survived. The others have all been laid to rest beside the sea that took their lives.


The ship sank in a heavy storm on the night of 10 November 1890, when she was sailing from Plymouth to Sierra Leone. The ship ran aground on the rocks at Punta do Boi with tragic consequences, at a point known today as Baixos do Serpent.


The 172 bodies were buried near the place where the ship sank, in the same spot as 28 members of the crew of the Iris Hull, another ship that sank at Punta do Boi in 1883.


The English Cemetery is a simple stone construction divided into two areas, an inner section reserved for officers and a larger section for other crew members. Because of its distinctive character and historical importance the cemetery was included in the European Cemeteries Route. As an expression of gratitude for the help given by local people, the British Navy sent gifts, including the “Serpent Barometer” which can still be seen on the façade of a house in Camariñas harbour.

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