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Petroglyphs, dolmens and Ancient Fortifications


Petroglyphs, dolmens and Ancient Fortifications

Journey to the past. To a magical past. In Galicia you can do it...

Ría de Arousa


Ría de Arousa

The largest of the Rias Baixas is a wise mix of nature, art, maritime tradition and – nowadays – the best leisure activities...

Magical sanctuaries

Literacy Sanctuaries

Throughout this journey along the northern part of the estuary of Arousa, we will discover incredible magical and spiritual places. Many were the birth place of great Galician literary figures. Following the trail of the Apostle Saint James, we will reach these lands with the urge to become imbued with literature, legends and miracles.


  • Starting point: Padrón
  • Destination: A Pobra do Caramiñal
  • Days: 2
  • Km (approx): 49 Km
Our Lady of Guadalupe
when she walks along the shores
barefoot on the sand
she looks like a woman from Rianxo.

Gentle waves roll
to and fro
don't go on board, woman from Rianxo
or you will get seasick.
   Fragment from the popular song A Rianxeira
Dates of the religious pilgrimages:
- Santiaguiño do Monte:
25th July.
- Nosa Señora de Guadalupe:
Sunday after 8th September.
- Divino Nazareno:
Third Sunday of September.
Other important information:
- Fundación Camilo José Cela: Contact: 981 812 424/5. (www.fundacioncela.com).
- Casa-Museo Rosalía de Castro: Cierra los lunes. Contacto: 981 811 204. (www.rosaliadecastro.org).     
- Centro Arqueolóxico do Barbanza: Opens from Thursday to Sunday. Contact: 981 843 810. (www.centroarqueoloxicodobarbanza.org).
- Museo Valle-Inclán: Closes on Mondays. Contact: 981 831 662 (www.apobra.org/es/turismo/museovalle-inclan ).


Route - Day 1

We begin the first day of this itinerary at the santuary of Escravitude, an 18th century church visited by many who are drawn by the miraculous waters of its fountain.


The church stands, majestic and imposing, by the main street. Once there, don't miss the opportunity of drinking from the spring, or of entering to see the Baroque altarpiece, or of taking a stroll through the woods behind the sanctuary. Then get ready to leave for Padrón, the place where, according to the tradition, the remains of the Apostle St. James arrived.
Near Padrón it is worth going up to visit the chapel of Santiaguiño do Monte. The path and stairs that lead to the church crosses lush vegetation that lends a magical aura to the setting that the legends describe as the last place where the saint preached to the pagans before returning to Palestine. After years of unsuccessful preaching, the Virgin Mary appeared to him at this very place to encourage him. The rocks and the fountain that are preserved here are considered miraculous by their devotees, because it was Saint James himself who made the water flow by beating the rocks with his staff, after one pagan questioned the power of God. On the days of religious pilgrimage, it was customary to climb the steps and rocks one one's knees and pass through the two holes that should be crossed in one's lifetime, or after death. If you are not out of breath, you should try it. 
Moreover, Padrón also offers us the opportunity of discovering two of the essential figures of Galician literature, such as the Nobel Literature Prize (1989) Camilo José Cela, who has a foundation near the coleggiate church of Iria Flavia, and the illustrious poetess of the Galician Rexurdimento (19th century period of Galician revival and revitalisation, especially of the language), Rosalía de Castro, who spent the final years of her life at the Casa da Matanza. This stone manor house, today a house-museum, still preserves the bench where the she sat to write or waited for inspiration to arrive. It was after her death when the beautiful camellias were planted, among which there is a variety with the poetess' name, and that can be seen in full bloom in the Spring.
After leaving Padrón, don't miss the opportunity of taking a walk along the Espolón (breakwater) by the river Sar, which leads us to the parish church of Santiago. Inside is the famous “pedrón” (rock) where the Apostle's boat moored. And, of course, do not leave without tasting the famous green peppers that have given the town worldwide fame, and that, as they say around here after each helping, “uns pican e outros non” (some are spicy and others are not).
Continuing southwest, following the literary path, we reach the fishing village of Rianxo, land of other illustrious Galician writers such as Castelao, Rafael Dieste and the one known as the “poet of the seaManuel Antonio. In the main square, or Praza Maior de Rianxo, the 17th century sanctuary of Nosa Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) awaits us, affectionately nicknamed by the people of Rianxo as the “Virxe Moreniña” (Dark Virgin). This Virgin is the main figure of one of the major festivities of the region held early in September. At that time, covered in flower petals, A Moreniña is taken on a marine procession accompanied by the whole fleet along the inlet of Rianxo. As a grand finale to the festivities, the most vibrant moment is yet to come, when, at dusk, the town is only illuminated by the thousands of sparklers carried by locals and visitors. Immersed in this magical atmosphere, it is impossible not to be overcome by emotion when singing over and over again the popular song “Rianxeira” (a Rianxeira is a woman from Rianxo who works in the sea).
Without a doubt, the best way to end this day is to taste some savoury sardines from Rianxo or mussels from the estuary of Arousa at one of the local taverns, with the backdrop of the setting sun and the interesting stories told by seamen.

My trip

A miña viaxe

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