Alekk M. Saanders
Friday, 15 September 2023, 16:42
Galicia, the north-west corner of Spain, is known for its wild landscape, which looks Irish or Scottish. It boasts one of Spain's most beautiful coastlines, which remains green all year round.
Breathtaking scenery with impressive cliffs can be enjoyed along a stretch of 100 kilometres from Viveiro to Ortigueira.
Viveiro is one of the liveliest towns and especially loved by Spaniards. The town lies at the Ría of Viveiro. If 'río' in Spanish defines a river, 'ría' means an estuary. The local river Landro flows into the Cantabrian Sea, forming a very large estuary in the very centre of he town.
The region has ancient connections to the north. Historical findings reveal a fairly early settlement by Celts. Besides, Vikings used to attack the coast. However, the modern name of the town was given by Romans and relates to the impressive bridge that connects two parts of Viveiro: the old town and a newer one, Covas, where holidaymakers enjoy sunbathing.
Viveiro is surrounded by lush green valleys and rugged mountains. The Miradoiro de San Roque is a natural vantage point at a height of 353 metres. A complete panoramic view over the estuary, the town of Viveiro itself and a good part of the coast is to be enjoyed from there. It also offers a fairly extensive recreational area where there are some traditional 'hórreos' (raised granaries) and the Chapel of San Roque (co-patron saint of Viveiro).
Moving to the west you come across sheer cliffs and wild, frothing seas which sometimes skilfully reflect greenery. Pig's Snout is something not to be missed. The official name of this unsual headland is Punta Socastro but everyone knows it as 'O Fuciño do Porco' meaning in English 'pig's snout'.
An impressive green route runs along a wooden pedestrian walkway and offers an amazing walk across cliffs that look out over the Cantabrian Sea as well as hills covered with pines and eucalyptus trees.
If Andalucía attracts many with its most southern point in Tarifa, Punta de Estaca de Bares is popular as the most northern point of Spain. It is located nearly halfway between Viveiro and Ortigueira. This place also marks the start of the Atlantic Ocean. And if Grazalema in Andalucía is known as the rainiest place in the country, Estaca de Bares is one of the rainiest places in Europe. This provides the area with a unique ecosystem creating a landscape with multiple shades of green.
The best place to stop and sit down for a snack is a bench at Loiba coast in the municipality of Ortigueira. The bench is very special. Once some visitors engraved the inscription 'the best bench in the world' on its back, and later Unesco popularised it with a beautiful night photo by photographer Dani Caxete from Viveiro. As a result, thousands of visitors head to this great must-see. From my own experience, sitting on the bench with dreamy views let you indeed experience the feeling of infinity as all guide-books claim.
In this area permanent eucalyptus scent combines with the smell of grilled seafood. Near the beach of Mourozos in Ortigueira you can find A Cabaña do Fos. This popular local eatery offers an excellent selection of seafood and meat dishes - from fried razor clams, pulpo a la gallega (spiced boiled octopus) to a juicy entrecote with chips and diamond-shaped percebes, aka goose barnacles, lightly boiled in brine and served whole and hot under a napkin. To drink you will be offered Estrella Galicia, a beer praised by some as the best in Spain and in the world, as well as local wine made of Albariño white wine grape perfectly accompanying any local dish.
Ortigueira has a very few places to stay in the town itself. However, there are plenty rural hotels and complexes allowing visitors to enjoy the peaceful and picturesque landscape. One of them is the rural hamlet of Loventura, located in a quiet forested zone. Partly restored 300-year-old stone farmhouses surrounded by two hectares of land with large shrubs, fruit trees and grassy terraces are hidden on the south slope of the intense green valley at the edge of the village of Baleo.
There is a picturesque train connection between Viveiro and Ortigueira. The opening of the section Ortigueira-Viveiro took place in 1966 and now it connects more towns along the coast, passing through tunnels and over bridges.
Besides flights from Malaga, there is a bus connection between Andalucía and Galicia connecting two big ports Algeciras and Vigo.
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