Relive the adventures of Pedro Madruga

The Madruga Route, in As Rías Baixas, is an opportunity to discover fortresses, visit historic towns, and relive the adventures of Pedro Madruga, an important figure in Galicia in the 15th century

Do you know Pedro Madruga? Come and get to know the exciting life of this nobleman, who lived in the period of the greatest splendour of the House of Sotomayor, about 600 years ago. He was an adventurous, brave and influential man who left his mark on the history of Galicia.

Fortresses, towers and towns have witnessed the adventures of this famous nobleman. The Soutomaior Castle (1) is the best starting point to follow his footsteps. It used to be the residence of the family and the centre of power in the south of Galicia. There, you can visit the fortress, stroll around its gardens boasting plenty of camellia trees, and get to know its new interactive museum.

don’t miss ...

  • Soutomaior Castle
  • Sobroso Castle
  • Fortress of Monte Boi
  • Tower of A Lanzada

The journey continues by the banks of the Miño River. In Crecente, a border town with the province of Ourense, you find the Tower of Fornelos (2), by the Ribadil River.

The magnificent Soutomaior Castle was the hub of activity of the south of Galicia in the 15th century

There, Madruga captured the bishop of Tui, Diego Muros. As his ancestors did, the nobleman Pedro Álvarez de Sotomayor held the title of Viscount of Tui, and had constant confrontations with the bishops.

Now, you can follow the steps of this nobleman towards the Sobroso Castle (3), a monumental watchtower in the town of Mondariz. There, you can enjoy the 15th century atmosphere while enjoying the views from more than 300 metres above sea level.

Then you head to the fortress of Salvaterra de Miño (4), which once was the subject of the confrontations between the Sotomayor and the Sarmiento families. It is also worth visiting the historic town of Tui (5), of which Madruga was viscount. Take your time to stroll through its beautiful old quarter, with reminiscences of the Sephardic style.

The town of Baiona (6), in the coastal inlet Ría de Vigo, is your next stop. There, you can admire the majestic fortress of Monte Boi, now turned into the historic hotel Parador Nacional. Here, the Catholic Monarchs appointed Garci Méndez de Sotomayor, our protagonist's son-in-law, as governor. You can also enjoy the views of the Cíes Islands and stroll through this historic villa.

Madruga... or Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus had friends and enemies in common with Madruga. He protected his children and named more than a hundred spots of the New World with place names of As Rías Baixas. These coincidences originated a solid theory that the nobleman from As Rías Baixas might have used the name of Colombus in the last years of his life. At that time, as he was the enemy of the Catholic Monarchs. His intention might be confiding sailing secrets to the monarchs using other identity in return for important grants.

Now, continue to Vigo (7), the largest city in Galicia, with a bustling old town and beautiful viewpoints. Pedro Madruga obtained from Henry IV of Castile an interest on the rents of this city, the neighbouring town of Redondela, and Pontevedra.


This route leads you to the Tower of A Lanzada (8), surrounded by magnificent beaches and with beautiful views over the archipelago A Illa de Ons. It was damaged during the Irmandiños Revolts, against whom Madruga fought, and was demolished like the San Sadurniño Tower in Cambados (9), the last stop of the route. It was also destroyed during the revolts and restored by the Sotomayor family in 1709.

Are you ready?