The stone creates beautiful images in privileged locations, from the Miño River to the north of the province of Pontevedra. The castros, native pre-Roman hillfort settlements from the Iron Age, were inhabited for centuries until the Roman occupation. Over time they were forgotten and they ended up buried. At present, they emerge again after thorough excavations carried out to retrieve them.
Santa Trega, in the town of A Guarda, faces the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the Miño River. This impressive settlement is the most symbolic castro in Galicia, a must-visit in As Rías Baixas due to its history, the beauty of its architecture and the stunning landscape surrounding it. After walking around its circular dwellings it is recommended to visit the Museo Arqueolóxico de Santa Trega (Masat), located on the top of the Santa Trega Hill. In this archaeological museum there are pieces found in the campaigns that uncover the castro and the past of the province of Pontevedra. This visit cannot conclude without reaching the top of the hill and enjoying the amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean and the estuary of the biggest river in Galicia called Miño River.
Another astonishing archaeological site in the littoral is A Cabeciña , located in the town of Oia, where rock engravings of incomplete connected circles stand out. The visit to the castro and its set of petroglyphs will take us back in time while letting us enjoy the stunning views over the sea.
In the city of Vigo we find the remains of these native settlements in O Castro Hill, origins of the current biggest city in Galicia. Just like the others, it is located in a high and strategic place with splendid panoramic views. The fortress built on the top has views of the Cíes Islands, which are the gem of the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park and flank the entrance to the inlet. It is also recommended to visit the Roman village of Toralla and the archaeological site Salinae in Vigo, the only solar evaporation marine saltworks from the Roman Empire preserved and exhibited in a museum.
On the other side of the inlet there is the peninsula of O Morrazo, where another great castro of the province of Pontevedra is located in O Facho Hill. This is an outstanding place to admire the Cíes and the Ons Islands, both part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. In addition, to finish the visit it is recommended to take a walk around Costa da Vela and the cape Cabo Home, an idyllic and wild environment.
Farther north, in the region of O Salnés, there is the archaeological site of A Lanzada, place of great importance for the trade with the Mediterranean people during the Iron Age and after the Romans’ arrival. Its surroundings are unique and there is a beautiful chapel on top of a promontory next to the A Lanzada Beach, which has a history full of legends and fertility rites. Nearby, on the other side of the isthmus that connects the towns of Sanxenxo and O Grove, there is the Umia-O Grove Intertidal Complex with an important ornithological reserve.
Adro Vello, located in O Grove, is another coastal castro from As Rías Baixas. In the centre of Vilagarcía de Arousa there is the castro of Alobre, a settlement with a clear commercial vocation due to its privileged location in the estuary. In the region of O Salnés there is also the archaeological site of O Castro Hill, in the town of Ribadumia, where over a hundred thousand archaeological pieces were retrieved.
Farther north there is another castro called Castrolandín, in the thermal town of Cuntis. The excavations uncovered eighteen buildings with differences regarding their period, uses and number of floors. Nowadays, only ten of them can be visited.
In Campo Lameiro, an inland town of the province of Pontevedra, there is the castro of Penalba. On the top is preserved the so-called rock Pedra da Serpe, a snake-shaped petroglyph linked to fertility rituals. Archaeology is very important in this town, which has the largest number of open-air rock engravings in Europe. The rock art archaeological park Parque Arqueolóxico da Arte Rupestre is a modern site which houses the petroglyphs of Campo Lameiro and a replica of an ancient settlement of castros . This exhibition uncovers the life of the Gallaeci four thousand years ago.
The route of the castros in Pontevedra includes other stops that will show visitors the past of this province and its stunning landscapes . Porta de Arcos (in Rodeiro), Igrexa Vella and Mercado dos Mouros (in Valga), Alto dos Cubos (in Tui), castro of Taboexa (in As Neves), A Subidá (in Marín), Toiriz (in Silleda), Alto da Cruz do Castro (in Cerdedo-Cotobade) and castro of Troña (in Ponteareas) are perfect enclaves to live a unique experience.