The three rías (estuaries) in Pontevedra turn this coast into a mirror from north to south, with neighbouring and facing beaches, from where you can see mussel breeding farms (very characteristic in these estuaries), as well as fishing towns and villages. In ría de Arousa the southern coast faces the neighbouring province of A Coruña, as the north side of the estuary is part of the province. Here we find beaches such as Bamio or O Preguntoiro, with services provided by the city of Arousa, or wooded beaches with guaranteed shade, in the nearby village of Vilanova de Arousa. This estuary has an island, A Illa de Arousa, whose coastline is a protected area included in the Natura Network. We must not miss a visit to Area da Secada Beach, where we can take a walk, see the dunes and make a stop at its characteristic pine forests. If you like kayaking or canoeing, there are adventure travel companies on the island that offer sport activities and sailing tours to Areoso Island, an unspoiled landscape with dune plants and white sand.
Further south, heading to ría de Pontevedra, we find O Salnés Peninsula, one of the flagship destinations in Rías Baixas, perfect for the summer. Promenades, legends and hermitages can be found in the municipalities of O Grove and Sanxenxo. Rural areas such as Area das Pipas or Area Grande; semi-urban and large dune areas like Area da Cruz and Raeiros, or a landscape of mussel breeding farms in Meixilloeira, are some of the options offered by O Grove. In A Lanzada Beach, being more than two kilometres long, on Saint John's Eve you can see the ritual of the nine waves, associated to fertility; the Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of A Lanzada and the waves which attract both local and foreign surfers. On the other hand, El Naútico, in San Vicente do Grove, will be an ideal choice if your idea is to end your day on the beach relaxing in a nearby bar with live music. This pub offers a complete music programme during summer.
Sanxenxo is the municipality with the largest number of Blue Flags (11) in Rías Baixas, followed by Cangas (7) and Vigo (9). This is just one of the reasons why it is the most popular and consolidated tourist destination of sun and beach with Cartagena. Next to A Lanzada, there is a small urban beach, O Espiñeiro, being 300 meters long. Other urban and semi-urban beaches are Caneliñas and Baltar, in the fishing village of Portonovo; A Lapa, Areas Gordas and Canelas; and the emblematic urban beach Silgar, by the Sanxenxo promenade, a meeting place for visitors who come every year in summer, generation after generation. Among rural beaches, Sanxenxo offers the possibility of visiting Paxariñas and Montalvo, surrounded by a landscape of cliffs and dunes, respectively, visited by people from the nearby campsites. Other dune beaches are Maxor and Pragueira, near Foxos, a paradise for surfers. What makes other beach, Bascuas, different from the rest, is the fact this is a nude beach. Wild, rocky and surrounded by a small cliff that runs down to the beach, this is also one of the busiest in the municipality.
In ría de Pontevedra Poio municipality has two beaches with a blue flag, Xiorto, near the port of Raxó, and Cabeceira, a semi-urban beach.
The landscapes, the cuisine and the local traditions are the main attractions of the municipality of Marín and the peninsula of O Morrazo. The beaches of Marín are located in an important place in the southern coast of the ría (coastal inlet) of Pontevedra. Furthermore, the sandy areas of Portocelo, Mogor and Aguete have the Blue Flag certification, as well as the beach of O Santo, which received this award in 2015. Its fine sandy beaches with calm waters are very popular, and thousands of bathers go there attracted by the beauty and the quality of its waters every summer. We also recommend you to visit the sandy area of Loira if you want to see first-hand the life of a fishing village with fine restaurants.
O Morrazo Peninsula offers landscapes, gastronomy and local traditions and, especially, its beaches, mostly rural and with fine sand and calm waters. Bueu, Cangas and Moaña beaches extend from north to south. In Bueu you can find a hidden beach, Lapamán, next to Portomaior. Getting close to ría de Aldán, among others, we find the beaches of Area de Bon and Lagos, both with a blue flag. From the beaches of the municipality we can see Ons Island, which can be reached by boat from Bueu or Sanxenxo, with protected beaches facing the estuary, such as Canexol, Area dos Cans and the heavenly Melide Beach. On the coast of Cangas we find the largest number of beaches, a total of 38 (without counting the coves), of which 7 of them are awarded with the blue flag. In ría de Aldan there are beaches such as Menduíña, Areacova or Areabrava, as well as idyllic coves like Pipín or Castiñeiras. In ría de Vigo, the protected areas of Cabo Home and Costa da Soavela have also unique beaches of a recognized landscape value, like Melide, from where it seems that we are about to touch Cíes Islands, or Barra, regarded as the best nude beach Galicia.
Leaving O Morrazo and heading to the inland of ría de Vigo, you can visit Cesantes Beach, in the municipality of Redondela, arrow-shaped and pointing at San Simón Island. From there, at low tide we can see the sculptures of Jules Verne and two divers, which are an added attraction to this beach and a tribute to the French writer for having mentioned the ría de Vigo in his novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Although Vigo is mainly known for being a commercial and industrial city, nine of its beaches were awarded with the blue flag in 2016. Some of them small, like A Punta or O Tombo do Gato, and also wide sandy beaches like O Vao, that are very popular among the Vigo population, who will not hesitate to recommend you one of them, as well as the Vigo urban beach par excellence, Samil, more than one kilometre long, with a promenade full of life even in the first sunny days of winter, and with restaurants, gardens, playgrounds, surrounding pine forests and small beaches. You will find it impossible not to stop there to see the sunset with views to the Cies Islands. If you decide to visit them Rodas Beach will be the protagonist of half of the images that will stay in your memory, and if you want to walk around the island and follow any of the routes in the archipelago you will discover other beautiful beaches and coves, such as Figueras, Nosa Señora or Areíña, hidden behind pine trees and protected by cliffs.
Val Miñor is another ideal destination with plenty of beaches. In the municipality of Nigrán you can surf in Patos or stroll along the two kilometers of Playa America and Panxón Beach. On the other side of the bay we find the village of Baiona, with several beaches along the promenade and Monterreal Peninsula, where the Parador is located. After the stunning Ladeira Beach, we find small family-friendly beaches surrounded by a nautical landscape. This is the case of A Barbeira Beach, close to the marina, with warm and clear waters. The southernmost beach in Baiona, A Concheira, is famous for the quality of its spring waters. Here you can see the old local people taking a bath; no matter it is summer or winter.
If you take the coast road to the south you will reach the natural border with Portugal, the Miño River in A Guarda village. The famous beaches of Area Grande and O Muíño were awarded with the blue flag in 2016. The latter is a long stretch of sand with dunes that are being recovered and low-salinity water, since it is found at the mouth of the river, and an islet called A Ínsua, where there is a small fort, that witnessed the ancient wars between Galician and Portuguese people.
Swim in the Atlantic ocean, to see how the thickness of the sand or the type of dune plants vary depending on the estuary and to know what time it is according to the low or high tides, choose between a urban environment full of services and a paradisiacal and unspoilt setting, enjoy nature and the incomparable scenery of clear waters, discover the benefits of the mild climate of the Rías Baixas different than the cliché of "it always rains in Galicia", enjoy the beach for much more than sun and bath ... you could list as many reasons as beaches when you come to visit Rías Baixas.