GALICIA SAILING AND FISHING: ADVENTURE IN THE WATER
Sailing & Fishing in Galicia: In Galicia the everything leads inevitably to the sea. The Atlantic ocean, sailing and fishing are essential parts of the life in Galicia. Along the 1,300 kilometers of coast and 772 beaches, there is a whole world of leisure for enjoying nautical tourism. At present, the Community has 25 marinas perfectly equipped with over 5,000 docking points, and seven of them boast Blue Flags: Real Club Náutico de A Coruña, Nauta A Coruña, Portosín, Sada, Ribadeo, Baiona and Sanxenxo. In addition, there are almost another hundred small ports along the coast in northern Spain.
THE RIAS IN GALICIA AND THE PORTS
The rias (estuaries) of Galicia offer the perfect opportunity for nautical sports. Here, the land and the sea seem to blend in an enchanting coastline of calm waters and incomparable landscapes. In the Vigo Ria, apart from the two ports belonging to the city of Vigo (one of them totally sheltered and with berths for boats of up to 25 meters in length), we can find, a little further south, the Baiona ria, overlooked by the Conde de Gondomar National “Parador” or State Hotel. To the north, the Pontevedra Ria offers multiple possibilities for anchoring, especially for short draught vessels, and in resorts such as Aguete in Martín, Sanxenxo, or San Vicente do Mar in O Grove.
The Arousa Ria, with a surface area of about 200 square kilometers and a length of around 25, is the biggest in Spain. This makes it ideal for all kinds of water sport activities: islands, inlets and coves, and dozens of white beaches of fine sand. Due to the number of berths, the port of Vilagarcia is worth noting, neuralgic centre for the wine-producing district of O Salnes; also the one at O Grove, a few meters from the island of A Toxa (La Toja) and its famous hotel and SPA complex. There are also sports boat docks in the ports of Cambados, Rianxo, A Pobra do Caraminal, and Ribeira.
In the Muros and Noia Ria, there is Portosín sports harbour (Porto do Son); and, in the Death Coast (Costa da Morte), Camariñas port. To the north, in what was once known as the Artabro Gulf, is the A Coruña sports marina, endorsed by the Club Náutico and the Sporting Club Casino, which can offer all kinds of services for boats and their crews.
Sada, an important resort situated in the Ares y Betanzos Ria, is another of the most important nautical and sailing centres in Galicia. Sada has a marina that lets visitors explore endless fishing villages in short trips and day excursions.
Ferrol should not be missed. Sailors who have visited its Ria never forget its spectacular entrance: a narrow channel flanked by steep sides, ending in a sweeping stretch of water that leads to its two marinas. In the province of Lugo Viveiro has docks for smaller boats. The Ribadeo Ria, the furthest east in Galicia, opens onto the Bay of Biscay, and draws the natural frontier with Asturias. It stretches from north to south, as far as the towns of Ribadeo, and Castropol in Asturias. The place is worth highlighting for its variety of wildlife. More than two hundred species of birds lives the area.
In short, whether on Galicia’s seas or under its waters, Galicia offers a whole world of possibilities. From cruise ships with stopovers in Vilagarcía de Arousa, Vigo and A Coruña, to short trips along the rias with excursions in small boats. Hiring sailing boats is another attraction. And, of course, wind-surfing can be practised on dozens of beaches along the beautiful coasts of Galicia.
FISHING IN GALICIA
Taking part in professional fishing and shellfishing activities, in boats or along the coast, has become one of Galicia's most innovative tourist products. Joining the crew of an inshore fishing vessel in Galicia or shell-fishing on the sandbanks of Galicia's coasts with the shell-fishermen themselves, sharing a working day, is possible thanks to the participation of fishermen's brotherhoods and associations along the Galician coast.
The GUIMATUR association, which the shellfishing women of the Cofradía de Cambados (Pontevedra) belong to, offer visitors the possibility to share their work. The fishermen of the Cofradía de Lira, Carnota (A Coruña), through the Mar de Lira Agency, allow tourists to set sail on their ships during a working day.