Terras de Pontevedra is a tourism association that includes the town councils of Pontevedra, Poio, Marín, Ponte Caldelas, Cerdedo-Cotobade, Campo Lameiro and Vilaboa. Get ready to discover the best of this destination and surroundings with this list of the best plans and things to do in Terras de Pontevedra:
1. Listen to conversations, birds, and kids playing as you walk through Pontevedra
Instead of the usual traffic noise.
Awarded and recognized for its outstanding urbanism measures, that removed traffic from the historic center and gave back the city the human scale once it was built for; Pontevedra is today one of the most attractive cities in Galicia.
Locals and visitors profit daily from its slow-paced rhythm, improved safety, lively atmosphere in the many squares and historic streets, affordable level of life, better air quality, less noise pollution, and overall wonderful location among Vigo – once industrial, now urban and business city -, Santiago de Compostela – end of the world-known Camino de Santiago pilgrimage – and Sanxenxo – famous for its beach tourism.
This all paved the way for a new generation of creative doers. From design companies like Setga, that builds street lights and urban furniture for cities like Amsterdam, Doha or Dubai to Hifas da Terra, the first biotechnology company to offer a wide selection of organic health products made from mushrooms; innovative businesses flourish all over the place.
2. Wake up your tastebuds in one of Pontevedra’s tempting restaurants
If there’s something we can all relate to is great food. Here are some outstanding restaurants where to enjoy Pontevedra’s cuisine:
Padal da Santiña
Av. Santa Maria, 20
Recently opened by two talented friends – a chef and a sommelier – its small-scale is excellent for bringing people together.
Praza da Leña, 1
Located in one of the most iconic squares in Pontevedra, their tempuras and croquettes are well worth a visit.
Estrada de Pontevedra Ourense, 4
Travel passionate couple Ana and Pablo reopened this restaurant for their customers to enjoy a worldly cuisine with a Galician twist. Do not miss their seasonal tasting menu.
* Feeling like having an appetizer before dinner?
Head to Bar O Parvadas. Large vermouth menu and cozy indoors – outdoors terrace we loved.
3. Learn about Galician history through Pontevedra heritage buildings
Architecture lovers will enjoy places like the Gothic remains of Santo Domingo convent, the façade of Santa Maria la Mayor basilica, the shell disposition of La Peregrina and churches like San Francisco, Santa Clara or San Bartolome.
4. Admire Pontevedra’s estuary from the sea
Take a boat ride from Combarro and enjoy Pontevedra’s estuary from a different perspective. Some of the highlights of this 2-hour trip include Ons and Tambo islands, and Marin. But there is much more. This experience usually includes mussels, shellfish, and white wine tasting, witnessing how the local fishermen work and spotting some marine life – dolphins anyone?.
5. Play tourist at Combarro – Poio
Combarro, in Poio, might be one of the most photographed and visited places in Pontevedra. Its beautiful setting by the shore, many horreos along the coast and great restaurants might be slightly crowded during the high season but they are still a must.
*Looking for a restaurant in Combarro?
Check Tinta Negra Bar & Tapas
Av. Francisco Regalado, 44. Combarro
With a 12€ daily menu that includes a starter, main, drink, and dessert; this place is a great idea for lunch or dinner in Combarro.
6. Channel your inner child at Finca Briz – Marin
Also known as Parque dos Sentidos (Senses Park), this garden located in Marin is much more than a stunning spot. Among other things, it boasts a few photogenic spots, a dense forest with ponds and sculptures and a couple of musical playgrounds for all ages.
7. Meet some friendly people in Marin
Whether they are locals, marine students or other visitors, Marin lively streets and parks make it easy for people to meet.
8. Have a sundowner at Mogor – Marin
Mogor is well-known for two things: the Mogor labyrinth and other ancient art remains carved on some seaside stones about 2000 BC AND the Mogor beach. Both are better when the sun goes down, so you can’t go wrong visiting Mogor at sunset. The beach will be less crowded and the carvings more visible. What’s not to love?
8. Get in touch with nature in Ponte Caldelas
The lush green banks and crystal clear waters of Verdugo river, in Ponte Caldelas, have created a few beautiful spots that outdoorsy people and nature lovers will appreciate as the river beach of La Calzada, the Fraga steps, and some waterfalls.
9. Take your camera to Salinas de Ulló – Vilaboa
Built in the 17th century, these salt mines are nowadays abandoned, but still a huge reclaim due to its stunning location.
10. Improve your hiking skills in Cotobade
This municipality has a great number of striking forests worth checking out. Nonetheless, its outstanding nature has been recognized and today it has a couple of protected places: LIC Serra do Cando and LIC Rio Lerez.
For starters, here are some suggestions:
Carballeira de San Xusto – San Xurxo
Centennial Oaks and an idyllic chapel on one of the river’s slopes.
Carballeira de Cuspedriños – San Xurxo de Sacos
Yet another lush setting to spend some quiet time. Unless you get there during June’s 50s remember fest, when hundreds of people gather together for a quirky but really fun event to party as if it was 1953.
11. Go back in history at Campo Lameiro
The Rock Art Archaeological Park, in Campo Lameiro, contains about a hundred protected rocks with engravings, grouped in a large number of sites.
All in all, Galicia has some of Europe’s most standing oper air rock carves. The majority of the carvings are in this Galician area, also known as Rias Baixas. Campo Lameiro’s archaeological park is a place for knowledge, participation, and experimentation. There, visitors can enjoy an exhibition hall and an extraordinary cultural landscape covering 22 hectares where it is possible to see an array of rock carvings in an environmental context that gives them meaning. And a small village that takes you back to the Bronze age.
What are we missing? Let us know in the comments below. This list is under construction!
Thanks so much to Terras de Pontevedra and Alvientooo for making me fall a bit more – if that’s even possible – for this particular region of my beloved homeland, Galicia.