032 – Top things to do in Baiona – ES – The Fortress and the Beach

In the last article we saw a beautiful Lighthouse surrounded by vestiges of wartime, all at a few minutes distance from todays stop. So without further ado, we shall explore:

The municipality of Baiona! The place where in summer, there are more than 4x the number of residents and a bunch more boats.

Bellow we see on the map some of the places depicted in this article:

Click here to get a better look

A few years ago (when I did these pictures), I used to work in the area so I was lucky to be able to live in Baiona for a while.

032.01 View over Monterreal Castle (in the centre)

So because I was living in Baiona, I didn`t do much photography. It so happens with me, that where I live, I seldom go visit with the camera on me, everyday. I usually just walk, like residents do.

That said, while choosing images for this article, I came to the realisation that half of what I really wanted to transmit, I could not… I never caught the dolphins on camera, because I did not have the camera on me. I didn`t take photos of bars, streets and ice-creams. I have no picture of the great burgers or markets. And I even missed close-ups of a very special ship.

032.02 In the close-up is Monterreal Castle and in the distance to the left, Monteferro 034

Everyday when I could, I would take the bicycle from home (up on the hills) and ride it until I was reaching the lighthouse 031 (in the weekends I would go much further than that 030-029). At some point I started taking my camera in case I see dolphins again or huge sailboats.

But never mind me, let`s see, what if I was a tourist? Why should I come to Baiona?

Well, if you own a vehicle or you are ok with taking a bus and conversing a few words in Spanish, then here is why Baiona is soo great for a tourist (from my point of view):

It has ruins, and those usually tell stories even if they’ve been vandalized. And because they never move, they can be visited at any day, rain or shine 🙂

032.03 Forgotten Monastery maybe? On road to the Petroglyphs 033
032.04 Detail shot of the Chapel`s façade

Now of course if it is sunny maybe the beach is better, and yet…

If you feel like hiking there is bunch of places to go (see next article) and the closest one, easy to access, is the mountain holding a gigantic statue of Virgin Mary (to the left in the image bellow) but it can get very crowded in the summer.

033.05 Most of Baiona. To the left is Virxe da Rocha (Virgin Mary statue) and to the right is the Monterreal Castle
032.06 Ribeira Beach, next to the Monterreal Castle

There are many beaches to accommodate every tourist, even if during the summer, the population of Baiona goes from 11.000 to 45.000 (sometimes seems even more). On the beautiful sand, there is loads of space for everybody. A lot of campers come here too(at Ladeira Beach)!

032.07 Ladeira Beach, that “connects” Baiona to Nigran

There is also Baiona, the town with its stony houses, white bordered windows and the morning mists. Don`t forget to try-out some tapas.

032.08 Monument to Alfonso IX in the misty morning

Also another aspect of Baiona is the fishing, so naturally there is a plethora of boats. You would think that there are more than cars actually. In fact Baiona lives on tourism and fishing so yeah, boats are a big thing in these parts.

032.09 The docks. In the distance, slightly to the left we can see the La Pinta Ship.

And next to the main avenue, there are my favourite flowers: Lavenders. In the early morning you can smell this peaceful and clean scent, even if you are zooming along on a bicycle. Occasionally there are also bees trying to make a living so be careful where you poke your nose!

032.10 Lavender along the esplanade
032.11 Hortensia

But let’s not forget the best place to take a walk, admire the ocean and the nature, and clear your thoughts: Monterreal Castle.

032.12 Monterreal Castle and the Ribeira Beach. In the distance we see Cies Islands.

This Castle dates back as far as the 12th century, and it was finished in the 16th century and it is great! It even has towers with canons pointing towards the distant horizon.

032.13 One of the Gates leading to the Parador (hotel)
032.14 Inside the walls, there is a small forest actually
032.15 The beauty of Monterreal is that tourists can walk on top of the wall, all round.
032.16 When I was walking with my wife, I would think out loud: Image if there were dinosaurs guarded inside these walls.
032.17 The chapel to the right, and the Dock esplanade, crushing the waves

I shall make a pause in my pictures to say a few things:

The Monterreal Castle while being very old, and tested during the years, it is very, very well preserved. (no remorse in paying 5 euros per visit, although that happened to us only during late spring to early autumn). There is a beautiful garden to be admired, the Hotel also (that I don`t really like, visually) and a bunch of great views over the Ocean. For those who don`t want to pay to get inside the Fortress, they can go round it, on a path. This way you can get great shots also, plus you feel better the breeze.

And the most “kudos to nature” or “God is huge” moment, was in late December of 2017 when a bunch of caterpillars were moving along the walls.

032.18 Caterpillar

It may sound to you that I am exaggerating, but there must have been in the hundreds, lining one after the next one, on the moss that was on the top of the walls. And they were moving like pilgrims, to a promised land, in silence, not eating (as far as I could see). And because there were on the wall, I did not even have to bend to get a good photo. What a great moment to witness (tell you what, I was very glad that I took my camera that day…)

032.19 Caterpillars stuck

But that happened only twice, in winter time (first time, in 2016 I missed the event, but I saw the giant cocoons as a sign of the passage/transformation).

032.20 The sidewalk outside the Montrreal Castle

And probably the most wow event, that happens almost every week (when not raining), is the surreal orange/pink/violet/blue sunset.

I could never have enough of this, so beautiful, so much orange, so much gentle blue haze, almost like looking through Instagram Filters, but in real. I like looking at the sky from time to time, but here me and my wife were just in awe.

032.21 The walls of Montrreal Castle and the Moon

Some would say that sunsets like these ones can be admired everywhere on this side of the world, from Portugal to the northern Galicia. But being in a summer location, on bike or simply on foot, with a great ice-cream and a huge fortress that houses trees and mysteries is just that more beautiful and inspiring. It makes you love this moment so much more and helps in getting your eyes out from the digital screens.

And if the sky is clouded, then the Ocean will send violent waves (as we saw in previous article). And if there is no wind, then the mist has its own romance. It is great to view it from above the hills but also from the beaches :). Can be quite refreshing.

032.22 The boats near Baiona and the mist separating Baiona from Nigran
032.23 Nigran seen from the hills of Baiona

Now there is one more thing that I saved for last and that is America.

032.24 Baiona at sunset, long exposure photo

A long, long time ago, Baiona and A Coruna, were designated the only two port cities, officially allowed to make trading with the world (find out more on the internets).

032.25 Not all sand in Baiona is …. sandy colour. There is a side with colourful fragments

After a while, on March 1st 1493 (as it says on the boards in Baiona), one of the three ships that went with Columbus into the unknown (to them), returns, first, back to Europe. It will stop at Baiona, first, and tell about the discoveries.

032.26 Pinta reconstruction as seen from Riberia beach in Baiona. It can be visited and is not cheap

That ship (Carabel) was Pinta, and with it, Baiona became the first town to ever hear about the findings of Columbus (the New World).

It is such an important event, that not only they made a replica of that ship, but every year, they actually celebrate the event.

032.27 Commemorative plate in Baiona

But this area has a whole lot more to show.

In fact when reading these articles from Spain, that start with A Guarda and will continue on open water and on land towards Pontevedra, you have to remember that I stood in Baiona. That means that each morning, you can take the bus, and discover something new. This is the perfect residence point to discover the Pontevedra region.

In this region, Baiona has the biggest Fortress so if you love that then here you go! Also some will say A Coruna is better (so would I) but there the wind is more powerful so even on hot days, it can get chilly, very fast. Baiona, Vigo and similar places don’t have those powerful winds, so the climate is more gentle.

032.28 Flowers on the wall

Also in this region Baiona and Nigran have one of the best beaches (but not the most empty, so if you wish for something less crowded then there are many more options).

There is a great selection of food and value oriented fast food (especially great burgers, ice-creams and even Sushi in Nigran).

There is a great bicycle lane and comes with renting companies, that “help” individuals, couples and families, for a fee, turn evenings into something truly beautiful and unique. Just being next to the Ocean, eating a picnic not too far and then admiring the sunset.

That is so great! (been there, done that, many times and never got bored of it).

032.29 Probably a Symbol for Fishing

If I have not convinced you, well I don`t really try to sell you anything, but there is one more thing.

The Petroglyphs, and those we shall explore in the next article.

Thank you very much for beeing here and hope to see you soon!

MiDe.

See bellow this scene in 3D on your laptop, phone, tablet.

https://skfb.ly/6ZOzJ

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