Given that tourism is also about navigation, a nautical route has been planned in order to create an alternative to the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela, this time by sea. The Galician yacht club association are at the forefront of this fantastic marine project.
This route will allow you to travel and cross the coast from one marina to another. With or without a boat, as a skipper or your average boater, different routes are available. The sea will then make you discover this pilgrimage in a completely different way.
Explore and cross various different landscapes that will bring you different sensations and above all, allow you to admire the incredible scenery. The calmness of the sand, the serenity of the bridges or the ancestral facades of the fishing villages, there is something for everyone!
There are different marinas and nautical clubs to discover to enjoy the maritime experience to the max! These stops will also allow you to discover new places that will make you want to return!
There are 2 options for this pilgrimage: from the North or South, one section of the path will be by sea and the other by land.
Let’s start with the route from the North to introduce you to the different marinas and what there is to discover around them. After, we’ll continue with the Southern route!
Route du Nord
The Ría de Ribadeo is the most western of the Galician Rías Atlas and marks border of Las Asturias. Both bays are connected by a large bridge right next to the Yacht Club.
Don’t miss: visit the historic centre of Ribadeo with its Indian architecture. Admire the Torre dos Moreno and climb to the Atalaia lookout. The iconic beach As Catedrais, and others like O Castro are absolutely worth a visit! Finally, you can finish this stay at the Illa Pancha and its pretty lighthouse.
The Ares inlet will offer you fantastic natural protection against the wind. The mouth of the Eume River promises a breathtaking landscape.
Don’t miss: The marinas and villages of Ares and Redes have colourful fishing boats and traditional architecture where the galleries stand out.
The Sada Yacht Club is located in the southern part of the Ría de Ares and Betanzos. A good stopover to be close to everything.
Don’t miss: marine accommodation in the districts of A Tenencia and Fontàn. Stop at the café La Terraza with its modern architecture in wood, wrought iron and glass. Don’t forget to bring back a small ceramic souvenir from Sargadelos.
Enter the Ría de La Coruña or O Burgo, with industrial, commercial and leisure marine traffic. You will be welcomed by the wonderful historic lighthouse of the Tower of Hercules.
Don’t miss: a visit to Paseo Marítimo and the small villages. Stop in the vicinity of María Pita and end your day in Riazor or Santa Cristina.
Enter the Muros Noia bay, a natural entrance to Santiago de Compostela, which has gained its recognition as a Portus Apostolli. Today, Portosín welcomes sailors as a witness of pilgrims.
Don’t miss: El Castro de Baroña, the best example of a pre-Roman coastal settlement. Walk through the large beaches like Aguieira and the villas of Portosín and Porto do Son. You can also visit la Marea or the museum of marine memory.
Here, the two roads meet! The bay borders the island of Salvora towards Ribeira which is the first port of Barbanza on the north shore. It is the largest of the Baixas Rías where one can enjoy an incredible sailing experience.
To do: The Corrubedo natural park with its dunes, beach and lagoons. The fishing village with the fishing port and the fish market.
You are at the mouth of the Ría de Vigo, in the bay where la Pinta, the first of Columbus’ ships to return to Europe, is held. Centuries later it became the main enclave of nautical tourism in Galicia.
To do: The fortress of Monterreal and la Pinta and the reconstruction of the original ship. Baiona with its old town, its promenade and its shops. In season: regattas and water sports are included in the programme!
You are now in la Ría de Vigo with the iconic port of Rande, then in the cove with the island of San Simon. You will find all kinds of boats: fishing, cargo ships, cruising lines…
To do: El Casco Vello has a rather tough climb, but it will then allow you to admire la Ría. The marina area and its surroundings have a modern architecture and if you explore it further, you will find excellent restaurants, but also small shops that are also open at night.
The north shore of O Morrazo offers splendid nocturnal landscapes of the city that gives its name to the estuary while enjoying the tranquility and charm of the fishing villages.
To do: Liméns, Nerga or Barra are the most researched beaches by the inhabitants of the estuary. The fishing village and the tour of Cabo Home will allow you to take some beautiful photos.
Here you can discover la Ría de Pontevedra, l’île de Tambo, the military navy school of Marín and the town of Pontevedra.
To do: The superb Silgar beach, not to be missed under any circumstances.
Discover la Ría de Pontevadra as well as the island of Ons and the small Onceta that protects it from the open sea. With several marinas, it is the perfect place for the meeting of sea lovers.
To do: Think of the guided tours of the fishing village and the market! The small traditional villages in the surrounding area. Stroll around PortoNovo and Sanxenxo, who are also well known for their nightlife! 💃🏻
Berth between las Rías de Arousa and Pontevedra, in a marina protected from the wind. You will be very central in the great tourist area of Rías Baixas and in front of the enormous beach A Lanzada.
To do: Go for a walk on the Island A. Toxa and then enjoy a spa session. Or, you could rent a catamaran to sail along the estuary, it’s worth the detour.
You now find yourself in la Ria de Arousa, very close to Arousa and Cortegada. It’s your point of contact with the «Camino de Santiago» through the nautical route of Arousa and the Ulla river.
To do: A day at the beach in Carragueiro or a tour to the Castro de Neixón which is surrounded by the sea. Finally, you will be guided to the cathedral through a path from Portosin or Boiro.
Here you have a beautiful trip, whether you are a skipper or whether you are simply letting yourself get carried away by the sea… You can then obtain a “pilgrim’s certificate” with a stamp at each stage: a nice souvenir to end the trip! 😇