The route between these two capes links natural spaces in the far south of the Ría de Pontevedra and the far north of the Ría de Vigo. The Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas is visible from point on this route along the Atlantic coast of the O Morrazo peninsula. The fantastic coastal itinerary takes in the Ría de Aldán and conveys the essence of the Rías Baixas: nature, a favourable climate and beaches.
Cape Udra (Bueu) is a natural space located in the far south of the Ría de Pontevedra, sharing access to the sea with the Ría de Aldán and facing the island of Ons. Because of its natural qualities it was declared a Special Area of Conservation and it is part of the Natura 2000 network with its own nature workshop.
Crags, cliffs and scrubland dominate the landscape. The area is also important for its submarine habitats. The remains of a fort can be seen at the top, while the coastline features a series of attractive bays and beaches.
Starting from here the route runs through populated areas, confirming the image of the Rías Baixas as a residential location. Passing through forest plantations, we reach Aldán (Cangas), a land of sailors and canoeists.
Aldán is a small ría, easily overlooked between those of Pontevedra and Vigo. The sea is productive in this area, which is well known for its mussels and beaches with crystalline water.
On the left, opposite the turning that leads to the harbour in Aldán is a wooded area that is often unnoticed by visitors. It is the little known Finca do Frendoal park, which belonged to the Casa da Torre de Aldán, official residence of the Counts of Canalexas.
Known as an “enchanted wood” the park contains a variety of plants and trees and various features of interest, including the Arco da Condesa and the Arco do Mouro, the remains of an old stone aqueduct.
Reaching Donón, we enter the last section of the route. A Buguina, a beautiful sculpture in the form of a periwinkle, by Lito Portela, marks the beginning of the wildest stretch of the Costa da Vela.
At this point we leave the road and follow a wide dirt track above the cliffs which leads to the capes. There are small bays that can be reached by steep winding paths.
Visitors who have time should go up the hill at O Facho. An old stone path leads to a natural lookout point with views of the Cíes islands. An old military lookout post shows the strategic importance of the spot.
O Facho is a site of rich cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. As well as the castro settlement there is a Galician-Roman sanctuary dedicated to Lar Berobeo, with an altar where the Celtic god was worshipped.
A large number of altars were found, there being various copies on the site. According to legend, religious and pagan rites took place in this place of earthly power. The special significance attributed to it at various times in history may be related to the sublime sunsets seen there.
Cape Home is a mythical spot in the Rías Baixas. The Cíes islands are nearer to this point than any other part of the coast. The lighthouse on the cape is a slim white cylindrical tower.
The low, red lighthouse at nearby Punta Robaleira is more modest. After the beach at Melide there is a third lighthouse, at Punta Subrido.
Atlantic. Cliffs and beauty.
The parish of O Hío is home to an important collection of artistic and religious monuments, comprising the church, the rectory and the stone cross. Santo André is a Romanesque church dating from the twelfth century. The spacious rectory stands on a large plot. It is enclosed by a brick wall and contains a dovecot. From the artistic point of view, however, the most interesting feature is the stone cross.
It is attributed to Xosé Cerviño, known as Maestro Cerviño or Pepe da Pena. The popular stonemason from Cotobade had connections with the Pontevedra school, becoming its most famous exponent. Nevertheless, the authorship of the cross is not clearly established, although it is known that it was sculpted in 1872.
Its importance is highlighted by its position in the atrium of the church. The cross is in Baroque style and carved from a single granite block, the steps and the shaft are historiated and the cross depicts the Descent of Christ.
It is considered one of the most important Galician cruceiros and a visit to O Hío calls for a tranquil pause to contemplate this beautiful, delicately carved piece.
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