The eyes of the Atlantic

Lighthouses have always been guardians of oceans and seas. Being ancient buildings, headlights have the same use in the sea as the signs on the road, they are a warning to stop or continue, as well as an invitation to visit one and all, and fantasize about the hermit life of the lighthouse keeper.

The coastline of the Rias Baixas is very famous for its headlights. Many of them keep legends about shipwrecks full of mysticism.

The coast in Rías Baixas is smooth but winding, so it needs lighthouses to help sailors on their journeys and when they approach coastal towns. Now most of these lighthouses are automatic but there was a time when the figure of the lighthouse-keeper was essential to operate them; with an aura of mystery and romance, women and men were consecrated to the protection of the coast leading an almost hermit's life.

If you follow the route to the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park you can imagine their life.

Some of these jewels of the Atlantic are:

The lighthouse of Punta Cabalo, in A Illa de Arousa, offers views over the Arousa estuary, their mussel rafts and the nearby coast of Barbanza. Turned into a restaurant, it continues to work as a guide at night, which adds a magical touch to a special dining experience.

The lighthouse of Ons is one of the last in Galicia with a lighthouse keeper. The possibility to camp on the main island of Ons is an added value to visit a peculiar lighthouse, since it was built on the foundations of an existing one, and also for being one of the last to incorporate the use of photovoltaics. The visit to the hill Cucarno is a must-see if you visit Ons.

Facing this island and on the mainland, the lighthouse of Cabo Home dominates the Costa da Soavela in the Morrazo peninsula. Apart from a visit to this lighthouse, it is a must to spend a beach day in Melide. The lighthouse of Punta Subrido is also located on the coast, together with the one of Punta Robaleira, where you can walk the trail along the cliffs.

A little over 2.5 kilometers, so close that you might find that you can touch them with your hands, we find Cíes Islands. In the known as Illa do Faro (island of the lighthouse) we find the building of the lighthouse of Monteagudo, which is the end of one of the most popular hiking trails for the visitors of these islands or who dream of going there. The walk along the steep slope will be worth: 178 meters above sea level, the horizon on one side, on the other side the Vigo estuary, as well as the view over the archipelago, their beaches and wildlife almost seen in bird's eye view.

The city of Vigo has a viewpoint over the estuary, a must if you want a picture at dusk to include in your holiday album: the hill of A Guía. The promontory where this hill is situated forms a point towards the sea, known as Punta da Guía, and also has a lighthouse. The former one was built in 1844. The new lighthouse was built in 1914 and served to guide ships sailing along the bay of San Simón, being at that time its lazaretto the reason for the significant increase in maritime traffic. Today it is the starting point of the coastal path of the hill of A Guía.

The northernmost area of this route, the lighthouse of Cape Silleiro, will take you beyond Baiona and, temporarily, to the 19th century when it was built. However, since it was too close to the onslaught of the sea, it was abandoned in 1924 and a peak in the mountains was chosen to build the new one, whose role was essential to sail the south coast of Rías Baixas because of the far-reaching light of its lamp

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