The end of the earth.
Fisterra (Finisterre in Spanish) is the remote place where the world ends. But it is also the beginning of a beautiful route that follows the shoreline, through mythical locations on the Costa da Morte: Corcubión, Cee, and the Xallas waterfall, ending at the spectacular O Ézaro lookout point, beside Monte Pindo, the sacred Olympus of the Celts.
For the Romans, finis terrae was the place where the known world ended. It features in the collective imagination of many peoples living on the shores of the Atlantic, and other “land’s ends” exist in Brittany and Cornwall.
In addition to its spectacular coastal scenery, our Finisterre is a spiritual, mythical place, as it also marks the end of the Camiño a Fisterra, a prolongation of the Saint James’ Way to Santiago. According to legend, in Roman times there was an altar to the sun (Ara Solis) here, which Saint James ordered to be destroyed because it was a site of pagan ritual. But the tradition persists and today Ara Solis is the name of a well-known square in the old quarter, near the chapel of Nosa Señora do Bo Suceso.
Geographically, Fisterra is a classic cape: a long peninsula ending in a large promontory, where a lighthouse was built in 1853. In 1888 a horn was added, which came to be known as the “Fisterra cow”, because it sounded so much like the animal mooing.
Fisterra is a key location on the Costa da Morte. Its long seafaring tradition is clearly reflected in the fish market, which has a space for visitors to watch the auctions.
Leaving the village, the A Langosteira inlet contains the beach of the same name, a long strip of sand with clear waters and views of Monte Pindo in the distance. The route passes through Sardiñeiro and by other, smaller beaches, such as Restrelo and Estorde.
A side turn leads to A Redonda and Cape Cee, with beautiful views where the Faro de Cabo C lighthouse stands. Then, passing the seventeenth-century Castelo do Cardeal, we approach Corcubión.
Well worth a visit, the town was declared a Historical and Artistic Site in 1985. It contains many houses with galleries, a style characteristic of coastal towns.
The road follows the coast to Cee, in fact it is almost imperceptible where Corcubión ends and Cee begins. Cee is the largest town in the county and is home to many of its businesses and services. In the town centre we take the turning for O Ézaro (Dumbría).
Passing by beaches like Gures, the route offers a different view of our starting point, Cape Fisterra, which, from this distance appears to lie on the ocean. The granite mass of O Pindo looms on the road ahead, moving closer to us as we proceed.
O Ézaro is a small agricultural and seafaring village. Its beaches of deep blue waters are dominated by two giants: O Pindo and Cape Fisterra on the horizon. At the O Ézaro bridge, the route branches off towards the Xallas waterfall.
The waterfall at the mouth of the medium-sized River Xallas is unique as it descends directly into the sea, tumbling over granite rocks from a height of nearly 100 metres. A path runs along the estuary to facilitate access to the falls from the Electricity Interpretation Centre, housed in the O Castrelo power station.
The final section is spectacular. A steep trail climbs to the O Ézaro viewing point, which allows visitors to contemplate O Pindo, with its succession of granite peaks to the south and the mouth of the Xallas to the west, with its final bend in the foreground and Cape Fisterra and the vastness of the Atlantic in the distance.
Cape Cee or Cape Corcubión is a rocky outcrop, bordered by the Corcubión inlet to the west. It is an important reference point for shipping because of its lighthouse and its position with respect to the tiny islands of Carrumeiro Chico and Carrumeiro Vello.
Despite its small size and low altitude, its position affords continuous views of the coast at Corcubión, Cee, Dumbría, Carnota and even the northern part of the Rías Baixas. Its close-up views of Monte Pindo give a unique perspective of the mountain.
The Cape C lighthouse is known by some as the Cape Cee lighthouse and by others as the Cape Corcubión lighthouse, its curious current name suggesting an amiable compromise between the inhabitants of the two villages. The construction is a simple octagonal stonework tower. Attached to it is a small square house with a hip roof that provides accommodation for the lighthouse keepers. Although plans for the lighthouse were approved in 1847, it did not become operative until 1860. It was automated in 1934.