This island paradise offers us the sea’s benefits in its thalassotherapy centres. In O Grove, we’ll sample the very best seafood and we’ll embark in its port to ply the Ría de Arousa; Here, we’ll get to see the work done in the shellfish rafts, where the best seafood in the world is farmed.

We’d like to propose a couples’ getaway to its thalassotherapy centres. Here, you can combat stress, beautify your body and spirit, have fun orrelax… as well as enjoy its splendid cuisineand admire the intense blue of the horizon.

A Toxa Island is a haven for an in-depth experience with the sea. You can take advantage of its beneficial effect on health, enjoy the delicacies fished from its depths or become engrossed in its coastal and underwater scenery. We’d like to propose a couples’ getaway to its thalassotherapy centres. Here, you can combat stress, beautify your body and spirit, have fun orrelax… as well as enjoy its splendid cuisineand admire the intense blue of the horizon.

More information...
-Talaso Hotel Louxo La Toja. www.louxolatoja.com
- Hotel Balneario Hesperia Isla de La Toja. Teléfono 986 730 050
- Gran Hotel La Toja. www.granhotellatoja.com

Day 1

The tranquillity of the island

The most common way to reach the island of A Toxa is to follow the O Salnés AG-41 motorway in the direction of Sanxenxo-Cambados-O Grove. Once we’ve reached this town, we’ll cross the bridge joining it to the island.

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The peninsula of O Grove embraces the island of A Toxa, protecting it from the worst of the raging sea; it also is blessed by the mild climate that dominates the entire valley of O Salnes. Both of these foreshadow the serenity that we’ve come looking for. This feeling of tranquillity will be accentuated in the hotel chosen from among the luxurious choice of accommodation on the island. In addition to the thalassotherapy spa hotel there are two hot springs spa hotels.

The soothing, health-enhancing powers of sea water
We recommend that you arrive early in the afternoon. As soon as we drop our luggage, we can head to the hotel’s spa and thalassotherapy areas. We’ll find a very large programme of relaxation, beauty, slimming, health and even rehabilitation therapies on offer.

In the thalassotherapy spa, the seawater
is warmed to body temperature so that the minerals composing it can penetrate into the skin

We can now start verifying the health-enhancing power of thalassotherapy, based on treatments that use primarily sea-based components. Sea water is warmed to body temperature so that, when we immerse ourselves in it, our skin becomes permeable to the minerals making it up. At the same time, the density of this liquid element relieves us of a great deal of bodyweight.

We can accompany our bath with the different manual massage techniques offered at these facilities. Some are applied by several professionals simultaneously. Their hands intertwine in perfect sync, relaxing us from head to toe. At the end, we’ll really notice the effects on our body and spirit.

At this point, we’re in a total state of relaxation, so to top off the treatment, enjoying a little siesta is recommended – and even highly desirable – so that we can fully assimilate the benefits of the thalassotherapy as a part of our spa experience.

“The waters and baths of A Toxa
cure horrible ailments,
ailments that it terrifies us to name”.

Emilia Pardo Bazán

A walk around the island.
After a good rest, allowing the island to invite us to take a walk is an exhilarating option. Its shores offer spectacular views of the estuary, sometimes from white balustrades. Its palm- and pine-tree-dotted paths stimulate our mind and thus we’ll notice – more intensely if possible – the flavours of the seafood from the Ría de Arousa. Its quality is justly famous and, accompanied by local Albariño wines, is usually an indispensable choice.

Day 2

In O Grove we enjoy the sea and its seafood

We can spend the morning doing an exciting activity, such as exploring the seabed and coastline of the Arousa estuary. Once we’ve disembarked at the port of O Grove, we’ll think about enjoying the high-quality local cuisine. After lunch, we can continue the route via the same district road to San Vicente itself, at the other end of the peninsula. Back in A Toxa, we suggest you try out some new treatments to refuel your energy.

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We ply the Arousa estuary
After such a relaxing evening last night, we’re full of energy. We can spend the morning doing an exciting activity, such as exploring the seabed and coastline of the Arousa estuary.

Which can be done on sailboats, catamarans or glassbottomed boats that set off from the O Grove  marine .It will take us just over five minutes by car after crossing the bridge linking the island with the town. At the first roundabout, we’ll take the first turnoff towards Avenida Beiramar and continue until we see the dock to the right.

Once we’re on board, the boat will leave its wake on the profile of the estuary and its islands. If a catamaran is the option chosen, it will anchor alongside authentic forests of algae, which are easy to observe from the glass at the bottom of the boat. Let us not forget that Galicia’s estuaries have one of the largest deposits of phytoplankton in the world, according to the FAO. This feature lends an exceptional quality to the water, enabling the bivalves raised in them grow with record speed. We’ll confirm this by stopping at some of the shellfish rafts, wooden platforms floating on the sea, where mussels, oysters and scallops are raised.

Galicia’s estuaries have
one of the planet’s
largest deposits of phytoplankton,
which makes the seafood
grow rapidly

Work on the shellfish rafts
It’s easy to find a sailor working on the rafts, since this activity is one of the area’s economic powerhouses. Despite mechanical support, the difficulty of the work is noticeable. Each rope holding the bivalves can weigh up to three hundred kilograms, and it has to be handled in order to clean it of algae or parasites. It is also necessary to split the ropes as thebivalves grow larger. You can see from inside the boat how the ropes hang from the rafts to the seafloor.

As we follow our route, we will with all probability cross shoals of fish, where we’ll find boga or bream, among others. The vivid colours of some – such as the triggerfish – make them very striking. And – if we’re lucky – we may spot a family of dolphins close to shore, ready to entertain us for a while with their songs and antics.

Products from the sea
Once we’ve disembarked at the port of O Grove, we’ll think about enjoying the high-quality local cuisine. Seafood restaurants and harbour eateries are good options. They are stocked with products from the estuary, such as mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles, spider crab and king crab. Also worthy of note is the fish from its inshore fleet that are auctioned off at the wholesale fish market. If you prefer meat,we’ll find products related to pork and beef slaughters.

If what we are seeking is signature cuisine and an avant-garde atmosphere, towards San Vicente we’ll find restaurants recognised by the bible of restaurants: the Michelin Guide. Sampling flaked king crab or a cuttlefish rice crisp is proof that the relationship with native products is never lost.

Walking by the sea
After lunch, we can continue the route via the same district road to San Vicente itself, at the other end of the peninsula. It is perfect to fill our bodies with fresh air with a walk onits wooden paths, such as Con Negro, running among the steepest cliffs in the municipality.

If we prefer something with a more relaxed activity, before returning to the island we can take a short stroll through the streets and squares of O Grove and admire a network of over 50 granite sculptures which grows every year thanks to the participants in the Sculpture Symposium, one of the activities that take place in early October during the celebration of the Fiesta del Marisco (Seafood Festival).

Treatments based on wine or chocolate
Back in A Toxa, we suggest you try out some new treatments to refuel your energy. We’ll find numerous proposals based on wine, seaweed, aromas, colours or chocolate, always in combination with seawater.

Day 3

We say goodbye to the island between seashells, salts and soaps

Before ending our trip, we must not miss out on a visit to one of Galicia’s most unique buildings, known as the Capela das Cunchas (Chapel of the Shells), right in the middle of the island.

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A chapel covered with scallop shells
It continues venerating Saint Caralampio and the Our Lady of Mount Carmel as it has from the twelfth century. The interior, with a certain fishing village flavour, is modest, but the true attraction is its outside, completely covered with scallop shells.

A Toxa, as an insignia of hot springs therapy, extended this natural alchemy to the production of one of Spain’s most traditional soaps. Where the factory once stood there is now a museum and shop featuring “La Toja” brand products, whose history is displayed on explanatory panels. We’ll find salts, soaps, creams and beauty and health-related products.

The picturesque necklace-peddlers
The peddlers selling shell necklaces have just as much tradition as the soaps. During decades, their hands have threaded the sinuous forms that the Atlantic brings to them and their coast. Stationed along the road under their parasols, they both welcome us to and see us off the island.

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