This proposal is meant to take you right into the most marine character of Muxía, in the heart of the Costa da Morte. 

Here we can witness experiences to the limit, like the workday of a "percebeiro",  or barnacle gatherer, defying the sea between the rocks. We will also be amazed by the conger eel dryers, whose handcraft technique has survived virtually untouched. And we will arrive at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Boat, located on the rocks just a few meters from the ocean.

1º Day

Sunset at Cape Touriñán      

 

 

We suggest arriving in Muxía in the early afternoon. The area offers a wide range of charming accommodation.

Some of the accommodation is in restored buildings with many years of history and bear an official badge of quality. Any choice is good if what we are looking for is friendly treatment in a rustic atmosphere and that offers a cuisine based on the fish and seafood that arrives at the port, prepared in the traditional style.

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When you have settled in, we invite you to contemplate the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Touriñán. The plan is to watch the last ray of sunlight falling on continental Spain disappear at its western-most point. The car drive from Muxía takes less than a quarter of an hour, following the road signs along the coast.

From the lighthouse we watch the Sun as it dies in the sea

Cape Touriñán juts into the sea for a distance of more than one kilometre, that we propose exploring on foot. You will enjoy an environment that has hardly been altered by man's intervention and where it is common to see wild horses grazing freely. At the end of the path we reach the lighthouse, where we can look over this untamed balcony facing the sea.

When the sky begins to change colour into different shades of red it is time to get your camera ready: be prepared to capture the moment and the place where the sun dives into the sea. And we will understand why many interpret that the place name “Costa da Morte” comes from the sunset, the death of the sun. Full of the feeling of enjoying nature at its purest, we return to our lodging to enjoy dinner.

2º Day

We accompany a barnacle gatherer on a day of work
  

   

Today we propose spending a day out at sea with a "percebeiro", or barnacle gatherer, one of the sea trades that requires the most courage. We will enjoy the experience in a perfectly safe manner. 

Instead of going on board to reach cliffs that are inaccessible by land, we will watch the professionals carry out their work from strategic locations that they will find for us, without running any risks.

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The best area for gathering barnacles on the peninsula of Muxía is at the point known as Punta da Barca, between the lighthouse and the sanctuary. The hour at which the gatherers begin their work varies from one day to another, because it depends on the tides, which they check on a daily basis on the time charts. Watching the sea before going out is vital for these bold professionals. We will accompany them to the lookout point and will learn to interpret the sea and the wind, to know at what intensity it blows and how the waves break among the rocks so that they can tackle and dodge them.

We will become familiar with their gear, a mixture of scuba diver and mountaineer, and the tools they use. And we will also see how in addition to their wetsuit, their ropes, their harnesses and their scrapers, they rely primarily on their great skill and expertise to perform perfectly calculated jumps, quick climbs, descents and immersions. And we will be at their side when they clean the product by the rocks before they take it to the fish market. After the experience we will be able to understand why this delicacy, whose flavour is like a mouthful of sea, is one of the most expensive.

The route of Europe's unique conger eel dryers

In Muxía there are countless eateries and seafood restaurants. We can find them in the port area, or in the centre of the town. Conger eel prepared in a stew, in a corn meal pie (empanada), in a  fish stew (caldeirada) or griddled is always a good option, for we will spend part of the day on the "route of the conger eel dryers".

This is a traditional and century-old method of drying fish. Perhaps Muxía is the only European town that can still boast these structures, which consist of a series of interlocking logs, called "cabrias" (derricks) on which the open conger eel is hung or spread out after having been cleaned and pierced all over. It looks quite unusual and it can even evoke the tattered sails of a wrecked ship.

They can be seen on the way to up to the sanctuary of A Virxe da Barca, but we suggest visiting them while stopping at Muxía's most outstanding places. The route is an easy one to walk. We begin at the mirador de la Cruz (lookout point) and arrive at the pier of don Manolo, a small dock where a canon is used as a noray (a type of boat mooring made from iron).

We pass by the town Council building, continue along Marina street and walk up a small hill to the square known as Praza da Constitución. We are in the old city centre, where we can see the traditional houses that have been restored. Further on is the library, the Pilgrim's Office and the Gonzalo Lopez Abente Foundation. On the way to the sanctuary of A Virxe da Barca we can stop before the facade of the church of Santa María, of gothic-marine style.

From the promenade that borders the sea and to the right we see the first conger eel dryers. We can also enjoy the excellent panoramic views of the ria of Camariñas and Cape Vilán. And the spectacular surroundings of the sanctuary of A Virxe da Barca, that are visited every year in September by thousands of pilgrims. Across from it we must look for the mythical Pedra de Abalar (balancing) and Pedra dos Cadrís (kidney) rocks, which, according to the Christian legend are identified with Christian parts of the ship that brought the Virgin Mary to this place to encourage the Apostle Saint James in his preaching through Galicia. Nearby we can see a huge rock with a slit across it. It is the sculpture A Ferida (the wound) in memory of the tragedy of the Prestige.

We walk up to the lookout point of Monte Corpiño. In addition to its beautiful views, the old stone fences that surround the vegetable gardens are impressive. From Matadero street we walk to the other conger eel dryer that is preserved in Muxía, the dryer of A Pedriña, the only one left in the western part of the town, and that still works using the whole artisanal process. It has a storehouse, a building where the fish is treated before it is hung on the structures and then, once it has dried, it is packed in sacks to be exported. We finish by Praza do Coído, the square that is considered the  ground zero of the catastrophe of the Prestige, and where a monument to the volunteers stands.

3º Day

In Fisterra we witness its busy marine activity

 

 

After breakfast we encourage you to continue along the Costa da Morte towards the south, all the way to Fisterra, to compare its non-stop marine activity with Muxía's more relaxed activity.

In three quarters of an hour we get to the town, taking roads AC-2301 and AC-445. At its port we run into sailors coming and going from fishing at sea, mending their nets or auctioning the fish in the fish market. The Fisterra fish market is Galicia's first to be equipped to receive tourists thanks to the installation of a platform from where the various activities can be observed without interfering with the auction activity.

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