The petroglyphs of As Rías Baixas are engravings in stone through the ages. They are an unforgettable mark that connects us with our ancestors’ history. If Galicia displays one of the most remarkable open-air rock art collection in the Iberian Peninsula, then the province of Pontevedra can be considered the core of these rock engravings due to the large number here located.
The rock art archaeological park Parque Arqueolóxico da Arte Rupestre de Campo Lameiro is known as one of the treasures of the province. It contains nine sectors with natural rock murals, in which our ancestors depicted hunting scenes, mysterious labyrinths, weapons and other images. Each area has a small panel that helps to distinguish the lines engraved by humans from the ones created by nature.
In these nine sectors, one of them a fantastic re-enactment of a settlement, the following panels can be seen: A Laxe da Forneiriña, Os Carballos, Os Cabalos, O Outeiro dos Cogoludos (divided in two parts), As Ventaniñas, A Pena Furada and Fonte da Pena Furada. These depicts include animals motifs, as deer or horses, connected circles and enigmatic labyrinths.
From this place we can admire stunning views of the mountain range from the south of the province to the so-called hill Serra do Galiñeiro. In there we can also visit the exhibition, which offers many multimedia resources that uncover the history of these rock engravings.
Here in Campo Lameiro, the principal Galician town of rock art, one can find other petroglyphs such as the Campo de Matabois, in which a rock with cup marks, circles and daggers stands out, and the Outeiro de Chan da Lagoa, depicting a horseback hunting scene with two riders, one of them pointing a deer.
In Marín, a coastal town of As Rías Baixas, are the petroglyphs of Mogor, known in Galicia because of its labyrinths, rarely seen in this part of the Iberian Peninsula. Among these engravings there are cup marks, spirals and some deer motifs. The so-called rock Pedra do Laberinto de Mogor is the most popular due to its large size, its complexity and its excellent state of preservation. Apart from visiting the Centro de Interpretación dos Petroglifos de Mogor, there are amazing views of the inlet Ría de Pontevedra.
Another important rock art site in the province is the Área Arqueolóxica de Tourón, located in the heart of the town of Ponte Caldelas, which has one of the most unique open-air rock art in the Galician territory. This 15-hectare place includes five areas where one can visit a significant number of rock engravings and the building Centro Arqueolóxico in order to know in depth the archaeological wealth of this rock art site.
In this archaeological site one can observe rock engraving panels with cup marks, connected circles and zoomorphic depicts. Considering their composition, the petroglyph Outeiro da Forcadela, with its circles, is one of the simplest rock engravings; while in contrast the most complex are the Laxe das Cruces, with geometric and natural designs, or the Naval de Mariño, which depicts a hunting scene.
Apart from this three must-stops, in the province there are a large number of rock engravings from north to south. Valga, the town of the European eel and the Galician liquor so-called caña do país, shows the rock Pedra da Serpe, a snake-shaped petroglyph which has big concentric circles and a pair of snaking lines. Nearby, the river of Valga runs down through the valley making two big waterfalls.
The next stop of this route of the petroglyphs in the province will be in Cuntis, where one can visit the rock art site of Cequeril and the ancient settlement from the Iron Age in Castrolandín. The petroglyphs are grouped in three sites: one is the Outeiro dos Campiños, which has an unusual iconography, and the other two are Laxe dos Homes, with scenes of anthropomorphic figures, crosses and four-sided designs.
In the region of O Salnés, the petroglyphs of Os Bellotes are probably the most renowned of the area and they have stunning views of the inlet Ría de Arousa. This rock art site combines geometric elements and animal depicts, such as deer and what –according to experts– might be a horseman. Nearby, in Catoira, we can visit the fortress Torres de Oeste, listed as a National Artistic Monument.
In the town of Meis, in the region of O Salnés, the Outeiro de Cribo includes depicts of deer and labyrinths. This site is close to the well-known Monastery of Santa María da Armenteira, in the Castrove Hill, which has a beautiful cloister and is surrounded by nature.
To the east of the province of Pontevedra, in Cerdedo-Cotobade, the site of Cerro do Lombo da Costa stands out for its large extent. The most remarkable petroglyphs are the Laxe das Rodas, with connected circles and deer rock engravings, and the Laxe do Cuco, also depicting deer, circles and cup marks. In this setting, the rock art engravings of Fentáns present circles, zoomorphic motifs and human depicts.
The rock art site of Área Arqueolóxica da Caeira is situated in the town of Poio, near Pontevedra. In this open-air area two rock engraving panels with deer scenes and zoomorphic motifs stand out.
The first one, called Laxe das Lebres, is a big panel from the Bronze Age depicting deer in heat behaviour, as its main topic. The latter, the petroglyph of Montecelo de San Salvador, contains connected circles. Its privileged location gives us the opportunity to enjoy the amazing views of the capital of Pontevedra and of the Lérez River joining the inlet.
In the very heart of the mountain range A Groba, in Baiona, the Outeiro dos Lameiros contains rock engravings that include mostly naturalist motifs. Among these, the most noteworthy are the horses running along the mountains of the region of Val Miñor. In Baiona one can enjoy strolling through the beautiful cobbled streets of its old town, declared Historic and Artistic Monument.
Finally, in the region of O Baixo Miño near A Groba, there is an archaeological site called A Cabeciña, in the town of Oia. This site has some petroglyphs and a castro (pre-Roman hillfort settlement), which is 148 metres above sea level. This fantastic set of petroglyphs presents different rock engraving motifs such as labyrinths and connected circles as well as cup marks.
In the town of Tomiño, the archaeological park Ecoparque Arqueológico del Monte Tetón includes rock engravings divided in two stages called Portaxes and Real Seco, with cup marks, four-sided designs, animal and human figures and important concentric connected circles. From this open-air site one can enjoy the attractive panoramic view of Val Miñor and O Baixo Miño.