Every first of March the anniversary of the first news of the discovery of America is commemorated. The closest weekend to that date, the Arribada (Arrival) Festival, declared of International Tourist Interest in 2015, is held. For two days the streets and the people from Baiona go back into the past, representing an important event in the Galician and Spanish medieval history.
One of the best ways to reach Baiona during these days is by boat, so as you can put yourself in the shoes of that crew who set their foot on European land after months of adventures at sea. This festival gathers about 200,000 people dressed in period costumes to participate in the scheduled activities. It was in the late 19th century, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the discovery, when the commemorative acts began, and in 1993 the town of Baiona was declared of National Historic-Artistic Interest.
The festival starts with the twelve shots from the fortress of Monterreal and the opening of the Royal Market. Traditional cuisine and craftsmen are the stars of the event. There are about 400 stalls selling official products of the festival.
The main attraction of the festival is the theatrical performance of the arrival of the caravel, the falconry display and the joust on Ribeira beach. Fencing competitions, archery and the medieval parade are also part of the event.
In the past, Baiona was an important commercial port in the south of the Rias Baixas. Its bay, situated on the mouth of the Vigo estuary, is characterized by its calm waters, sheltered by the Cíes Islands and perfect for sailing all types of boats. This was known by some Galician members of the crew of caravel Pinta and so they decided to head to this town to reach Europe for the first time after their great feat.