The geo-destination, Ría de Muros e Noia, contains the municipalities:  Muros, Outes, Noia, Lousame and Porto do Son. Muros to the north and Noia  to the east are the capitals of this quiet and beautiful river. Competing in attractions, both have an Old Town declared to be a Historic/Artistic Complex.

A city centre that speaks of a noble past linked to sea and stone.

Muros  is an unexpected mix of popular and elegant architecture. In its squares, streets, arches and arcades, old fishermen's houses coexist with Gothic mansions. Noia amazes with its noble houses, magnificent public buildings and its numerous churches and chapels... Like "a small Compostela".  The estuary offers many beaches – most of spanking white sand – such as those of Ancoradoiro, San Francisco, Aguieira, As Furnas and Basoñas. There are also important archaeological remains and fortified pre-Roman Iron Age villages – such as the one in Baroña, adjacent to the sea and a wonderful beach.

Heritage

The major architectural elements that the visitor can admire when travelling through the municipalities of the geodestination of Ría de Muros and Noia are melded with the impressive natural sites surrounding the settlements and are the perfect accompaniment to the exercise of urban and cultural tourism.

The monumental grandeur of the villages of the Ría de Muros e Noia coexists in perfect harmony with their environmental assets, with its historical footprint and with the development and growth of their populations.

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Since prehistoric times, the people who inhabited these places wanted to leave a witness to their passage by means of artistic and architectural representations, such as the various rock stations located at different points in this destination. This is the case of the engravings of Laxe das Rodas in Rubio the station of the Cova da Bruxa, and the dolmen of Argalo, a disturbing burial chamber with rock art inside. There are also fortified settlements, some of them the most beautiful in Galicia, such as the impressive Castro de Barona, with its buildings caressing the sea. 

The lands of the Ría de Muros e Noia are connected, in good part, by majestic bridges, such as the Puente Grande or the Puente de Traba and, of course, Puente Nafonso with its stunning twenty arches of Gothic profile. 

They are but examples of an architectural grandeur that extends throughout the land as urban manor houses, bourgeois houses, Gothic manor houses and shrines such as the Virxe do Camiño en Muros or churches such as Esteiro, Tal, San Xoán de Roo and San Martiño (an unmatched way of crowning the beautiful Tapal square in Noia). Also, the monasteries, through the monastery of San Xusto de Toxos Outos, a Heritage Element of Cultural Interest, as is the Historic Complex of the vila de Muros. In the field of religious architecture, the Ría de Muros and Noia have hidden curiosities such as the Church of Santa María A Nova, in Noia, also a National Historic Monument since 1973, because it stores guild-related tombstones that is one of largest collection in Europe, with over two hundred tombstones representing the trades of the mediaeval guilds.

Also good examples of the civil architecture of this area are buildings such as the Casa Caldeirón, the Casa Anido and the Casa Romaní in Muros and the lighthouse in lighthouse in Louro. The people of this area live with the sea in their lives. The trade of the sea and the awareness of its presence can be felt in the culture of these lands where, however, there are also other resources that were at one time of great importance to the inhabitants of municipalities like Lousame. This is the case of the Minas de San Finx, whose operation ended in the late 80s with the cessation of mining activity, but the mining village is about to be rehabilitated and upgraded to house a museum and a performance centre in the former school.

Natural reserves

It is enough to dip one's feet in the water of the Atlantic when visiting beaches such as those of San Francisco, O Ancoradoiro, Testal, Boa and A Aguieira to fall in love with the salty smell of the coast.

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From the Uía cape you can see the island of A Crebb and the Illa Vella, and hear the legends that tell us about Moors and enchanted princesses. The Ría de Muros e Noia is, in itself, a space for enchantment. As Brañas da Pedra do Cadro, the high peaks of the Barbanza and the Serra de Outes are places of scenic beauty that is worth at trip of any length in order to keep them in the mind's eye.

But of all the important local natural reserves, three have their deserved protection within Natura 2000. The mountain and lagoon of Louro, which has a serendipitous combination of lagoon, beaches, rocks and lighthouses. The estuary of the River Tambre, where the country landscapes coexist with the sailors. And part of the Corrubedo wetlands spanning the coastline of the municipality of Porto do Son.

Festivals and gastronomy

Folk traditions are also very important for the life of the people of the Ría. Customs such as the weekly market in the Rua do Curro de Noia, the Sunday stroll through the town's stately Mall, witnessing the Gran Premio de Carrilanas de Esteiro, in Muros (declared a Galician Tourist Event).

HIGHLIGHT: Villages of Muros and Noia

The historic centres of the villages of Muros and Noia have hidden treasures of the sea life and the traditional architecture that are worth discovering. Their original urban structures and an air somewhere between rural and stately hide gems such as the Muíño de Marea do Pozo do Chacón, in Muros, a mill that uses the energy of the flow of the tides. It is one of the few existing in Galicia and one of the largest in Spain.

The writer Otero Pedrayo ranked Noia as the best Galician Gothic village because of the profusion of beautiful Gothic buildings in its breathtaking historic centre. The quaintness of its fishermen's' houses adds to the charm of what has been termed "the little Compostela".

Xunta de Galicia

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