Human beings are curious and always seek to marvel through their senses. One of them is the view. Perhaps that’s why we want to climb the highest mountain peaks, climb the battlements of the towers of the most imposing castles or the roofs of the skyscrapers that seem to get lost in the clouds. We want to see the world from the highest possible place, because we know that view will be the most spectacular.
During my recent trip to the Rías Baixas area, in the province of Pontevedra, I was lucky enough to enjoy some really incredible viewpoints, from which landscapes were opened before me that remain forever engraved in your memory.
If you are going to make a trip through this beautiful area of Spain, I leave you with a few ideas of viewpoints from which to take incredible photos or simply watch life pass by:
1. Alto del Príncipe, Cíes Islands
Without following the chronological order of our 5 day trip through this magnificent land of Pontevedra, I begin with the viewpoint that most impressed me.
On the Middle Island (also called…) of the three that make up the Cíes archipelago, and about 1.8 km from the wharf, there is a viewpoint that offers views that look like a masterpiece of some romantic painter. On your right are the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, while large stretches of green cover the surface of the island, combining with the yellow, brown and ochre tones of the cliff rocks.
To your left, the water that bathes the famous beach of Rodas, turquoise and transparent, seems Caribbean and contrasts with the white nacre of the sand of the beach. If something was missing, the lagoon between Rodas Beach and the ocean has a greenish to grayish color. An unparalleled mosaic that I could have watched for hours.
2. The World’s Most Beautiful Bank
It doesn’t matter if you sit on the bench (which is more like a chair) or on any of the big rocks you’ll find in the same place. Be that as it may, it is impossible not to be amazed at the incredible views you have from this place, near the town of Redondela, at sunset.
To your right, the waters of the Vigo estuary are full of bateas in which the mussels take advantage of their last weeks of life before being collected. In front of you, the magnificent Rande Bridge resembles the famous brother you have in the American city of San Francisco. And to the left, far away, the silhouettes of the Cíes islands and another island are trimmed against the burning sky. A spectacle that, for me, rivals the one I was able to see from the Prince’s High.
3. The Castle of Soutomaior
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From the battlements of this medieval fortress, dozens of feudal lords watched over the fertile lands of the valley through which the waters of the river Verdugo flow. Today, already in times of peace, I looked with the same intensity that these gentlemen must have seen the horizon from them. And the beauty of the landscape that unfolded before me was such that I did not want to lose detail.
The waters of the river Verdugo appear and disappear between patches of forest, vast extensions of vineyards and the houses of small Galician villages.
On the left side, the beautiful hermitage of A Peneda crowns the top of a hill. Before that hermitage there was a castle that was built by Bishop Fonseca in the 16th century to watch over the movements of his archenemy, the great Pedro Madruga, who was the most powerful lord who ever lived in the castle of Soutomaior.
Don’t forget to look back at the castle, where magnificent gardens hold trees and plants from different corners of the world.
4. Cabo Home Lighthouse and Mirador de la Caracola
Going back to the marine coast (it is impossible to avoid the magnetic power of the exuberant Galician coast for a long time), you can’t miss the views offered by two places very close to each other: the Cabo Home Lighthouse and the Mirador de la Caracola.
Both places are in the peninsula of Morrazo, in front of the Cíes islands. To get to the first, I recommend that you take the Senda Costeira, which runs along wild cliffs, virgin beaches, forests and hidden coves in a circular circuit, of low difficulty and less than two hours in duration.
The Mirador de la Caracola, on the other hand, can be reached by car without any problem and look for the best rocky ledge from which to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life. The two viewpoints have their charm and are among the best to see in Galicia.
5. Mount of Santa Tecla
Finally, you can’t miss the colourful spectacle of the mouth of the most iconic Galician river: the Miño.
And for this there is no better observation point than the summit of Monte de Santa Tecla, located right next to the hermitage that bears the same name. At the mouth there is a beautiful fusion of different blues, the golden beaches and the green mountains, both Galician and Portuguese. And it is that from this viewpoint you have Portugal almost at your fingertips.
Less than 5 minutes walking from the viewpoint, you can also visit the Castro de Santa Tecla, a prehistoric group of houses that is one of the most valuable heritage treasures, not only in Galicia, but throughout Spain.
Do not stop looking for those places from which Mother Nature can be observed in its fullness. There’s no doubt she was generous to Pontevedra.