Elongated from west to east, the Ría de Ferrol draws out the profile of a swordfish breaking into the continent. At its narrow mouth it is followed by a narrow canyon that opens up to the mouth of the river Grande de Xubia, where it becomes narrow once more.
Cape Prioriño and the Punta do Segaño are the most western limits. When sailors pass the Vispón and Redonda points, the estuary opens its horizons and takes on an undulating form with the coves of O Baño, Mugardos and O Seixo on its southern shores and A Malata, Caranza and As Aceas on the northern.
The privileged layout of the estuary determined its choice as the centre for the Spanish fleet in the 17th century, which conditioned its economic life. It was necessary to build the castles of San Carlos, San Cristóbal, San Felipe and A Palma for its defence. Of these, only the last two remain in a good state.
On the northern shores is Ferrol on a flat relief that gently rises towards the north in the districts of Canido and Serantes. The Magdalena district, the result of the urban rationality of the 18th century, adapts to the natural geometry of the lines that cross it. A maritime and industrial city, its best buildings are in direct relation with the Navy.
The steel works and the supply services for the Navy and the barracks caused the attraction of Ferrol over its region, which progressively lost its signs of identity. From the 18th century, the same city gained a geometric rationalisation that appeared in the form of the Magdalena district, cornering the old private, marine Ferrol.
Just a few kilometres from Ferrol is the splendid beach of Doniños aimed at the open sea. Associated with this, the Doniños lagoon has been created, a beautiful natural site.
Around the estuary, despite its intense transformation, it is still possible to find beautiful marine prints. This is the case of the towns of Mugardos, grasping the rounded form of its cove, A Graña, Fene, Neda and Narón which still conserve beautiful corners. The same happens with the villages with a navy past like O Seixo, San Felipe and Maniños.