The geo-destination, Ferrolterra, contains the northern municipalities of the province of A Coruña: : Ares, Cabanas, A Capela, Cariño, Cedeira, Cerdido, Fene, Ferrol, Mañón, Moeche, Monfero, Mugardos, Narón, Neda, Ortigueira, As Pontes de García Rodríguez, Pontedeume, San Sadurniño, As Somozas, Valdoviño and Vilamaior. The names of Ferrolterra taste of the sea.

 

Ferrol is the best natural harbor in Europe, as described by the British Admiralty in 1800 when he tried to conquer it. It is also the Barrio da Madalena and the Arsenal, the first construction works done in Europe with the criteria of the Enlightenment. Ferrol also holds an emotional surprise, a -Holy Week-, one of the most impressive in Galicia.

Also in Ferrolterra are the beach of Pantín, which regularly hosts surfing world championships, and the lagoons of Doniños and Valdoviño, a haven for waterfowl.  And near Ortigueira,  two wonders: the Serra da Capelada, that drops abruptly to the sea, forming the highest cliffs on the Iberian Peninsula, and the magic shrine of Santo André de Teixido.

But there is an inland Ferrolterra. Such as the Fragas do Eume, a shady, secret wood whose heart hides the Caaveiro Monastery... and, nearby, the fascinating Monfero Monastery, with an enigmatic checkerboard facade.

Heritage

The Ferrol of the Age of Enlightenment (the city of the Arsenal around which this territory marked by the imprint of the Andrade family is structured, and one of the gates of the English Way to Santiago) and Moeche castle (centrepiece of the historic Revolt of Irmandiños) make up this land's letter of introduction

Among the wealth of historical heritage possessed by the geodestination of Ferrolterra, some of the most noteworthy in the city of Ferrol include the Magdalena district and stately plazas de Armas and Amboage and its important Naval Museum. From its vantage point, the Castle of San Felipe keeps watch over the  A Palma Castle (in Mugardos)and between the two, they protect the entrance to the estuary. The tower keep of the Andrade family castle in Pontedeume along with the Fort of Naraío in San Sadurniño are also important examples of the fortified architecture of this part of Galicia. The Monastery of Caaveiro in A Capela, the Convents of Santa María en Monfero, San Martiño de Xubia or O Couto en Narón bear witness to the splendour that the monastic orders attained in this land in years gone by.

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Ferrolterra is also a land of shrines. Some prominent examples are the Baroque Church of Santa María with the Cristo de la Cadena (Neda), the Church of San Miguel de Breamo (in Pontedeume), the Church of Santa María de Doroña (in Vilarmaior), and, in As Somozas, the breathtakingly beautiful baroque Church of Santiago.

The villages that dot the landscape of this land hold tight to the essence of yesteryear. Good examples are the village of Ares – with its houses featuring balconies for hanging up fishing nets – the small village of Redes, where the back part of the houses become piers or the Barrio Ortigueira do Ponto district in Ortigueira,  where one can take a walk back in time.

Also remaining in this landscape are traces of ancient peoples that bring history close to us, such as the Vixía Herbeira  dolmens or the Castro culture complex of Punta do Castro and the Roman/Gallaecian village of San Xiao do Trevo in Cariño, or the archaeological site of the settlement of the Castro de A Vila da Igrexa in Cerdido, the fortified pre-Iron Age Roman town of A Frouxeira in Valdoviño and the megalithic burials in O Porto Roibo, Abelleira, Mourela and Vilavella  en As Pontes de García Rodríguez.

Ferrolterra looks out on the world through its Estaca de Bares lighthouse, in Mañón; and it also has plenty of room to see life from a different perspective in the singular Museo del Humor in Fene or from the beach and the pine forest of Cabanas.

Nature reserves

The northern part of the province of A Coruña is a unique area where visitors can enjoy spectacular beaches, picturesque villages that retain the essence of pure Galicia,  prime cuisine and unique nature reserves. The northernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula (Estaca de Bares), the A Frouxeira lagoon  – visited every year by thousands of migratory birds – the cliffs of the Serra da Capela, which soar up to 600 metres above the sea, and the shrine of St. André of Teixido  (where "anyone who did not go there alive, will have to go there dead") are huge secrets waiting to be discovered by the traveller.

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Nature was very generous with this land, and she placed it near the heart of a green lung – the Fragas do Eume, – a natural park that exudes coolness and is the great natural treasure of Ferrolterra. Also found in this geodestination are the protected areas of Xubia-Castro, Ortigueira-Mera and Costa Ártabra,  this latter covering 100 km. of coastline between the estuaries of Ares and Ortigueira.

Festivals and gastronomy

The finest example of local cuisine can be found in its traditional Feira do Polbo in Mugardos declared an official Tourist Event, and also in its capsicums from O Couto, which have a Protected Geographical Indication. 

Every year, Celtic music fans from round the world visit the Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta in Ortigueira, which is an International Tourism Event. Holy Week   in Ferrol was also honoured with its declaration as a National Tourist Event. Galician Tourist Events include the Romaría do Bosque in As Pontes de García Rodríguez and the Festa das Alfombras Florais do Corpus Christi in Ares.

HIGHTLIGHT: Santo André de Teixido

The 'milladoiros' – or mounds of stones that are grouped on either side of the road leading to the church of Santo André de Teixido – are stone testimonies of the pilgrimage of thousands of people who come to the magical shrine of the Serra da Capelada.

The Gothic-Baroque church – built in the maritime architectural style – welcomes the faithful who, following tradition, drink from the fountain of the Tres Caños, ask the saint for a wish and throw a piece of bread into the water. If the bread does not sink, it will attract good luck to the life of the pilgrim. The "sanandreses" or "herba de namorar" (sea pinks) are part of this rite, which is historically played out near the cliffs of Vixía Herbeira, the highest in the Iberian Peninsula.

From an eighteenth-century stone lookout stone lookout post, the visitor can marvel at the grandeur of the Atlantic Ocean.

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