Baiona is one the best resorts in Galicia with its superb location close to the open sea and its lively port/harbour full of fishing vessels and luxury yachts in a bay whose beaches in summer are full of families who are able to enjoy the sheltered, shallow waters away from the crashing waves of the open Atlantic. It's made famous by the ship Carabela La Pinta which arrived here on 1st March 1493 to spread word about the discovery of the New World and there is a festival each year (Fiesta de la Arribada) to commemorate this.
Monterreal Fort is Baiona's most prominent sight which has been part of the landscape for over 2000 years. The peninsular covers over 18 hectares of walled fortifications which help enclose arguably Spain's finest hotel, the Parador Conde de Gondomar. There are breathtaking walks on top and underneath the battlement walls with unbelievable views looking out towards the sea and the Islas Cíes (Cies Islands) and inland across the ría and mountains beyond. The sheltered terrace of the Parador is one of the best places in the whole of Galicia in which to enjoy a nice beer or drink and a tapa in exhilarating surroundings.
|View looking over Baiona towards Monterreal Fort|
Baiona has a pretty old town (Casco Viejo - Calle de los Vinos) with its maze of sloping streets worth seeing and getting lost in! Important local buildings of note include the Convento de las Madres Dominicanas de la Anunciación which dates back from the sixteenth century, the seventeenth century Santuario de Santa Liberata and near to this the Ex-Collegiate Church of St. Mary which days back to the 13th century, the fifteenth century Cruceiro de la Santisima Trinidad and the Casa de Dean Mendoza dating from the eighteenth century. At Ramallosa next to the road there is a beautiful, twelfth century roman stone footbridge.
|Ex-Collegiate Church of St. Mary|
There are numerous local beaches including the biggest and best at Praia de America which is in the village of Panxon on the road to Vigo, as well as closer to town, Bayona Playa and Praia Ladeira. There is a long, continuous seafront walkway/cycleway which runs as far as the excellent campsite and the roman footbridge.
Most of the bars and restaurants are concentrated along the seafront lined with nice laurel and aromatic trees and in Rúa Ventura Misa which is a narrow, charming pedestrianised street behind it forming part of the Casco Viejo. The terrace outside the Pazo de Mendoza Hotel which has a superb,prestigious restaurant close to the harbour is the place to go to enjoy the fine, white wines from their own cellar,Pazo Casanova, watching the world go by! There is also a replica of Carbela La Pinta boat moored in the harbour, which is a museum.
Out of town situated on a prominent hilltop is the Virgen de la Roca, a massive granite statue with commanding views looking out to sea. It's possible to climb upstairs inside the Virgen onto the boat she holds in her right hand.
Baiona is a great place to enjoy and explore surrounding places. On the road towards A Guarda and Portugal is one of the best restaurants around, Rocamar whose windows look out onto waves crashing in from the Atlantic against its very foundations! Further south in even more dramatic surroundings is a four star luxury hotel with Spa facilities which rival the best in the whole of Spain, Talaso Atlántico. The views and setting from Talaso's restaurant terrace make it one of the most beautiful places in Galicia to sit and stare at the wonder of the totally unspoilt Atlantic and mountain backdrop.
Baiona is surrounded by Las rutas del vino so it's the land of Galicia's finest red and white wines of denominations such as Albariño, Ribeiro and Ribera Sacra. A trip to the numerous local bodegas (vineyards) is recommended. For example it's an adventure in itself to find and sample the wines of the the bodega of As Laxas, high in the hills close to the River Mino and Portuguese border surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards.
Baiona is also superbly located in which to visit A Guarda, the border town of Tui and Northern Portugal. Oporto is only about an hour's drive by motorway as is the medieval towns of Braga and Guimarães.