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Beaches in As Rías Baixas

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Whatever your preference is when it comes to choose a beach, in As Rías Baixas you have your place. A mild climate and a summer that lasts until early October help to make it a destination to revisit, looking for those beaches that you missed in your last visit. The province offers 53 beaches awarded with a Blue Flag, which are half of the beaches in Galicia awarded with this certification

The three rías (coastal inlets) in the province of Pontevedra make this coast a mirror from north to south, with neighbouring and facing beaches, from where you can see the bateas (mussel breeding farms very characteristic in Galician rías), as well as fishing towns and villages. In the ría de Arousa the southern coast faces the neighbouring province of A Coruña, as the north side of the ría is part of this province. Here we find beaches such as Bamio or O Preguntoiro, close to the town of Vilagarcía de Arousa, or beaches with trees, in the nearby town of Vilanova de Arousa. In the ría there is an island, A Illa de Arousa, whose coastline is a protected area included in the Natura Network. We must pay a visit to O Bao and Area da Secada Beach, where we can take a walk, see the dunes and 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, if we head to the ría de Pontevedra, we find O Salnés Peninsula, one of the flagship destinations in As Rías Baixas. 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, which is 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 that 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 beach day relaxing in a nearby bar with live music. This pub offers a complete music programme every summer.

Sanxenxo is the municipality with the largest number of Blue Flags (11) in As Rías Baixas, followed by Vigo (9) and Cangas (7). This is just one of the reasons why it is the most popular and consolidated tourist destination of sun and beach, together with Cartagena. Close 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, located 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 regular visitors who come back summer after summer. Among rural beaches, Sanxenxo offers the possibility to visit Paxariñas and Montalvo, surrounded by a landscape of cliffs and dunes, respectively, which are visited by people from the nearby campsites. Other dune beaches are Maxor and Pragueira, near Foxos, which are 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 beaches in the municipality. Bascuas and Foxos were also awarded with the blue flag. This flag also flies in the municipality of Moaña, in O Con Beach.

In the ría de Pontevedra the municipality of Poio has two beaches with a blue flag: Xiorto, near the port of Raxó, and Cabeceira, a semi-urban beach.

Its landscapes, its cuisine and its local traditions are among the main attractions of the municipalities of Marín, Bueu, Cangas and Moaña, all of them in O Morrazo Peninsula. The beaches of Marín are ideally situated in the southern coast of the ría de Pontevedra. Furthermore, the sandy areas of Portocelo, Mogor and Aguete have the Blue Flag certification, as well as O Santo Beach, which was awarded 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. Close to the ría de Aldán, among others, you can 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. This island has beaches protected from the wind and facing the ría, 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 seven of them were awarded with the blue flag. In the ría de Aldan there are beaches such as Menduíña, Areacova or Areabrava, as well as idyllic coves like Pipín or Castiñeiras. In the ría de Vigo, the protected areas of Cabo Home and Costa da Soavela have also unique beaches of 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. Nerga, Areamilla, Liméns, and Rodeira are also Blue Flag beaches.

Leaving O Morrazo and heading to the heart of the 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 you 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 an industrial city, nine of its beaches were awarded with the blue flag in 2017. 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, as well as the Vigo urban beach par excellence, Samil, more than one kilometre long, with a bustling promenade full of life since 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 these islands, Rodas Beach will be the protagonist of most of the images that will stay in your memory, and if you want to take a stroll 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. In the town of Vigo you can visit other popular beaches, such as Argazada, Fortiñón, Canido or A Fontaíña.

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 town of Baiona, with several beaches along its promenade, and Monterreal Peninsula, where the luxury hotel Parador is located. Leaving 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 it is common to see the old local people taking a bath; no matter it is summer or winter. You can also be seduced by A Ribeira and Os Frades.

If you take the road to the south coast you will reach the natural border with Portugal, the Miño River in the town of A Guarda. The famous beaches of Area Grande and O Muíño were awarded with the blue flag in 2017. 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.

You can 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. You can also choose between an urban environment full of services and a paradisiacal and unspoiled setting, where you can enjoy nature and the incomparable scenery of clear waters. And, finally, you can discover the benefits of the mild climate of As Rías Baixas, different than the cliché of "it always rains in Galicia", and enjoy the beach for much more than sun and bath... You could list as many reasons as beaches when you come to visit As Rías Baixas.

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