Spain // Galicia //

Ría de Vigo

The Ría de Vigo ranks among the most sublime natural harbours in the world. Its narrowest point is spanned by a vast suspension bridge that carries the Vigo–Pontevedra highway; you’ll see its twin towers from all around the bay. On the inland side is what amounts to a saltwater lake, the inlet of San Simón. The road and railway from Pontevedra run beside it to Redondela, separated from the sea by just a thin strip of green fields, and pass close to the tiny San Martín islands, once a leper colony and used during the Civil War as an internment centre for Republicans. Beneath these waters lies a fleet of Spanish bullion galleons, sunk by a combined Anglo-Dutch force at the Battle of Rande in 1703.

The city of Vigo looks very appealing, spread along the waterfront, but although it makes a good base for trips along the south shore to Baiona, across the bay to Cangas, and, especially, out to the wonderful Illas Cíes, it has few attractions of its own.