How about a fascinating day by the sea watching the feverish activity of the oldest seaside towns of the Costa da Morte, from the south?

You can see how the fish is unloaded at the port and witness the vertiginous bids at the fish market. This is a good opportunity to explore the rugged outline of this coastline that opens out into the ocean; to see one of Spain's largest tide mills and lagoons and sand dunes that are a haven for migratory bird species, as well as a river that spills right into the sea.


Muros, where the Rías Baixas end, is one of Galicia's most beautiful seaside towns. Its municipality can be accessed through the AC-550, which circles the coast, or through the AC-400, which comes from the interior.

We visit one of Spain's largest tide mills

At the entrance to the municipal capital, by AC-550, we stop at the parish of Serres to visit Pozo do Cachón. We are going to enter one of Spain's largest tide mills. Since the middle of the 19th century it was still active until just a few years ago. At the time it even hosted a sort of thalassotherapy centre, known as the Baths of Santa Rita, and specialized in curing rheumatic diseases using warm algae and sea water baths.

After crossing a splendid recreation area, we come across this structure, which has a large, long rectangular body made from masonry and granite stonework. To access through the front of the mill there are four wooden walkways that enable us to cross a riverbed. It is also possible to enter from the sides, thanks to a large stone bridge that leads from one shore to the other. Below we can see four large trap doors.

If the outside is impressive, the interior will fascinate us. Resulting from a long rehabilitation process that began in the 90s, today it houses an entire interpretation centre on engineering works such as tide mills. With the aid of explanatory panels and transparent floors that show us the floodgates, we will get an idea of how the mill operated. Also, we may also be able to visit crafts, painting or other activity exhibits, given that the building is a landmark at this marine town and is present in practically all its cultural life.

At the port we watch how octopus, blue whiting and crayfish are unloaded

The AC-550 will also lead us, following the coastline, to the centre of the town of Muros and its port, both must-sees. We suggest parking in advance and strolling to the docks from the gardens of the seafront promenade. In this way we can enjoy the view of the calm sea on our left, flanked by the mounts of Costina and Ribeiriño, which also shelter the port. And, to the right, the white glass galleries of buildings that house stores under their porches and terraces are a delight. These are the same porches that long ago used to shelter the seamen when they repaired their fishing gear and the pescantinas who used to wash and dry the fish.

We arrive at the area of greatest activity, especially if it is a fair or market day, because long rows of stalls selling all kinds of products are set up here. Soon we reach Muros' beatiful dock, where the smaller boats moor. They are part of a fleet of more than 150 vessels, mostly inshore fishing boats. The other boats share space in the two following docks.

There is movement in the whole area, and it gets busier when it is time to unload the fish, especially the species typical of dragnets fishing, such as octopus, blue whiting or crayfish. The fish market will also be busy, for here not only do they market the catches that arrive at the port of Muros, but also at the ports of Lira and O Pindo.

A tour of the old quarter

Part of another day's run would be to explore the beautiful old quarter of Muros, which was declared Historic-artistic Site back in 1970, and with good reason. The special marine features of all the streets that run perpendicular to the port, which harmoniously embraces the enormity of the gothic-style palaces and temples, earned it this recognition. We propose visiting Praza da Pescadería Vella, the square that is one of the town's most singular landmarks. Today it has been converted into a leisure area where one can go wine-drinking and tapas-dining at its many taverns and bars, located beneath its archways.

A unique phenomenon in Europe, a river that spills right into the sea

And we continue our journey, still on the AC-550, practically by the edge of the sea. We soon reach the beach of San Francisco and mount Louro, with its two granite peaks, which is the closure of the ría of Muros and Noia. Further on we find the lagoon of As Xarfas, trapped by a white tongue of sand, the beach of Area Maior. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready to capture the image of the herons that flock to this dune ecosystem, also attracted by the abundance of reptiles and amphibians.

As we pass, we notice the changing landscape. We will become aware that we are in the Costa da Morte because the rias become narrow and open out to the sea. Along the way we cross small fishing villages that dot the edges of the region of Barbanza, such as Lira, Caldebarcos and O Pindo, until we reach Ézaro.

We can stop at Ézaro to marvel at the spectacle of the river Xallas spilling into the sea. The turn-off to the lookout point is well indicated from the road. We drive to the power station building and park and from there take the wooden walkway that hangs above the rocks, right by the side of the mountain, and that leads directly to the view of a phenomenon like no other in Europe, that no doubt will astound you.


Next we head to Fisterra, the finis terrae , for the ancient Romans, who wanted to peer at the end of the world, captivated by its geographical uniqueness, the western-most point known to them. 

We will be delighted by its genuinely marine attraction, that can be seen in the strength of its fish market and port, which is where we are heading. From here we can interpret that the ancient core of the village grew in the shape of an amphitheatre above it. This is why its buildings with white galleries overlooking the sea seem to rise, assisted by slopes and stairs.

At lunchtime, sea bream, octopus or razor clams

Before going on a detailed exploration of the town, we suggest having lunch at any of the barbecue restaurants or taverns at the port. Here the full menus that include fresh and season seafood and fish are displayed. We can enjoy a grilled sea bass right by the beach, grilled Octopus or razor clams - that here are known as longueirons - prepared griddled. Whether it be in the traditional or signature style, the kitchens always prepare fresh local products.

After lunch we suggest taking a calm stroll along the port, that at this hour is a continuous arrival of long liners, creel or net fishing vessels that return with their catches. We can observe the agility of the seamen as they climb the stairs from the beach carrying boxes loaded with fish. And then we can accompany them to the fish market for the auction.

The Fisterra fish market, in addition to being a large, modern glass and aluminium building, is the first in Galicia equipped to receive tourist visits. This grants us a privileged and global view of its lively bids. We recommend that you tune your ears well to hear the prices, sung at blistering speed.


We now head towards Muxía, to discover a century-old tradition: the last of the traditional conger eel dryers left in Europe. To get there we need to stay as close as possible to the coast, taking the AC-445 and then the AC-2301.

Europe's last traditional conger eel dryers

Since the 15th century this method was used to treat this delicacy that ended up being the standard of Calatayud's cuisine, where it continues to be exported. The reason was the special trading relationship between the two towns that date back to that period. The people of Calatayud provided fishermen with the hemp ropes they needed to moor their boats and that they paid for with dry conger eel.

The appearance of the conger eel dryers will impress us. They are structures made from criss-crossed logs, resembling cages, and known as cabrías (derricks). The fish, previously cleaned and pierced so that the sun and wind from the Atlantic can dry it, is hung or spread out on the structures.

The sanctuary of A Virxe da Barca (Our Lady of the Boat)

The conger eel dryers are in the same area as the sanctuary of A Virxe da Barca, that stands on large rocks, making it easier for us to visit this magical place, that thousand of pilgrims flock to. Following the tradition we must go down to the Abalar rock, a megalith measuring 9 meters in length that rocked when people stood on it, and the Cadrís rock (that gets its name because of its kidney shape). There is a famous legend that says this rock cures rheumatic ailments if you pass under it nine times.

After the visit, we recommend any of the seafood restaurants or eateries located in the port area or town centre. A corn meal pie (empanada) filled with conger eel or a dish of stewed conger eel are excellent options.

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