The southern shore of the Ría de Vigo is a succession of large beaches of golden sand and secluded ports...
Top ten: Ten unrivalled destinations
The last stop on our route of “10 unrivalled destinations in Galicia“ brings us to the town of A Guarda, home to the Celtic hill fort and village of Santa Tegra, from where you’ll be able to enjoy “the best panoramic view of a Celtic hill fort in two countries“. Naturally enough, the views from here are unrivalled: your horizon is bounded only by Galicia, with the fishing town of A Guarda at its head, the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring Portuguese coastline.
Don’t forget to take a good camera with you to immortalise the moment.
Ten unrivalled destinations: Castro de Santa Tegra
The view is even more impressive if we travel backwards in time: the inhabitants of this hill fort and village could enjoy it from their very dwellings. However, the site of this settlement wasn’t chosen for its views, but for more mundane reasons such as strategy and security, because from here they could monitor and control the sea traffic and the whole of the mouth of the River Miño.
The settlement, 341 metres above sea level, was home to about 5,000 people during its heyday, the first century BC, and was one of the largest in the whole of the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The majority of its dwellings were oval in shape, but there are some rectangular ones, with rounded corners, proof of Roman influence. Although it first sight it may seem rather chaotically laid out, there is in fact a logical order based on “family units“, which you might like to work out for yourselves, whilst you discover the rock carvings inside and outside the walls. Its inhabitants were economically self-sufficient, making pottery, jewellery, cloth and tools that you can see for yourselves in the archaeological museum back in the town.
Talking of which, it’s well worth paying a visit to A Guarda, especially its fishing harbour, where you can see the boats tied up between one fishing trip and the next, to the background accompaniment of the mewing of the seagulls and the chugging of the inboard diesel engines.
The ideal finishing touch to your day will be to watch the sun going down from one of the pavement cafés and restaurants whilst you enjoy a freshly caught lobster - a shellfish that has its very own festival at the beginning of July.
And now it’s time to say goodbye to the town and its surrounding area, bathed by the waters of the River Miño and the Atlantic Ocean, with the pleasant sensation of having travelled back in time and experienced some truly impressive views from one of the most-visited hill forts in Galicia.