There are many different reasons to come to the ría (coastl inlet) of Arousa: attending the Wine Festival, staying at the spa hotel Balneario La Toja, or visiting an archaeological site, such as the castro (Celtic settlement) of Alobre in Vilagarcía de Arousa or, a few kilometres southwards, the one in A Lanzada, with the extra appeal of lying by a beach of the same name which was selected as one of the best in Spain.
Another good reason could be to participate in one of the many irresistible food festivals held in the region during summertime. In the coastal areas, fish and shellfish have always been the local sustenance. For this reason, those people who have cooked and enjoyed this food for as long as they can remember are the best ambassadors of these dishes. The ría of Arousa is rich in cockles, harvested when the tide is low, and in mussels, cultivated in bateas (floating structures in the sea). In fact, the rías are a perfect environment for this bivalve, which converts Galicia in a worldwide exporter of this mollusc.
Accompanied by the rising and falling of the tides, you can enjoy these delicacies when the dusk falls. They can be prepared in different ways: steamed, with vinaigrette, marinated, etc. In this event, beginning in the second week of August, you can taste these or other shellfish, as well as different local dishes. Last year, about 7,000 kilos of shellfish were prepared.
What to see and do
Apart from enjoying this food festival, there are other activities you can do to make the most of your visit. Some suggestions are discovering the house of O Cuadrante, a manor house where the famous writer Ramón María del Valle-Inclán was born; and visiting the churches of A Pastoriza or San Cibrán or the Encarnación Chapel.
A stop at the viewpoint in the Lobeira Hill or a walk through O Esteiro (a natural space where the mouth of the Currás River is located) in Vilanova de Arousa are also good options.
Seven thousand kilos of shelfish ready for the 22nd Mussel and Cockle Festival beginning in the second week of August in Vilanova de Arousa