O Marisquiño: urban sports in Vigo
Who could guess just by the name that O Marisquiño is the cultural and urban sport festival most important in southern Europe ? A few years ago, probably no one could, but nowadays this is an internationally renowned event, where the central area of the port of Vigo is turned into a massive stage for different extreme disciplines such as skateboarding, biking or motocross, and contemporary artistic manifestations like graffiti or break dance.
The best riders in the world compete in a three-day festival that now attracts to the province of Pontevedra and to the biggest city in Galicia more than 160,000 people. A dozen sports competitions and cultural events are held at O Marisquiño, inlcuding three world cup events that bring together the best national and international sportspeople in their respective disciplines: the World Cup Skateboarding Street, the World Cup Skateboarding Miniramp, and the Dirt FMB World Tour.
BMX, flatland, dirt jump, skateboarding, motocross… Riders push their tricks to the limits before a crowd that fills up the port of Vigo. In addition to this disciplines that take place in circuits, there is the vertiginous MTB Downtown in the old town of Vigo, a really fast descent through alleys, squares and downward stairs until reaching the finish line.
This year, a new urban discipline, which has little to do with skateboarding and biking, will be included. It is the 3x3 basketball, which for the first time will be an Olympic sport in Tokyo 2020.
Apart from sports, there will be other urban culture events such as break dance, graffiti, and hip-hop, rock, punk, soul and electronic music concerts .
Besides, for three years, the three world championship events held in O Marisquiño have been broadcasted live streaming to around fifty countries.
Quite a show that turns Vigo into the capital of urban sports for three days.
WHAT TO SEE IN VIGO
Vigo is a modern and thriving city with beautiful surroundings and plenty to see. In two centuries, it has gone from being an old fishing town to becoming the biggest city in Galicia and a European fishing hallmark set in an idyllic inlet.
The old town was restored in the last decade and now has a wide range of pubs, bars and restaurants offering the best tapas and dishes of fish and shellfish in As Rías Baixas.
The square Praza da Constitución and the street Montero Ríos are perfect to have an appetiser outdoors and stroll around downtown. There, one can admire magnificent buildings from different architectural schools from the 19th century until today , enjoy a wide cultural offer and visit amazing viewpoints to the inlet Ría de Vigo. Among these, the most remarkable are the ones in the street Paseo de Alfonso XII and O Castro Hill, a green oasis in the heart of the city.
In order to take some time to relax in a beautiful environment, the perfect spot is the park of Castrelos, a place with a great variety of plants and a beautiful 17th-century pazo (a Galician manor house) , which houses the local museum. A must-stop in this city is Samil , the most popular beach in Vigo, which offers sports and leisure facilities, a great promenade and several beaches with blue flags nearby.
From there, one can admire the Ría de Vigo and the breathtaking archipelago Illas Cíes, which is considered the gem of the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park, and is often called the European Caribbean by specialised media. The Rodas Beach, which connects the two islands of the archipelago, was described in an article in the British newspaper The Guardian as the most beautiful beach in the world in 2007. In summer, several shipping companies offer regular services and trips to this magical place.
These companies also offer transport from the town of Vigo to O Morrazo, on the other side of the inlet, a region that boasts beautiful beaches, great landscapes and an excellent cuisine. During the boat ride one can admire the beauty of the inlet Ría de Vigo