Province of Pontevedra
The province of Pontevedra is situated along the Atlantic coast and forms the south-western part of Galicia. Pontevedra is the administrative capital and contains many fine historical buildings, monuments and churches although it contains only 8% of its population. The province is divided into two parts by the River Lerez.
Most of the population live in the coastal areas where the climate is mild and humid. The granite mountains seem to rise out of the sea creating striking contrasts between the coast and the interior. Although the province faces the Atlantic which means winters can be wet and windy reflected in the rocky outcrops and exposed granite terrain, summers tend to be relatively warmer and drier than a lot of other parts of Galicia given its more southerly and sheltered position.
The coastal estuaries and islands which form part of the Rias Bajas (Baixas) are a natural wonder and home to some of the finest fishing waters in the world. The Atlantic Islands Galicia National Park comprises of the archipelagos of the Cies, Ons, Salvora and Cortegada which the province shares with the adjoining province of La Coruna and is arguably the most important nature conservation site in the whole of Spain. This is a great wine producing area associated with the denomination of the Rias Baixas which produce great wines like Albarino Inland in the mountains where the population is more sparse and scattered in small villages and hamlets (aldeas) there are large vineyards with old manor houses such as at O Rosal which are a world apart from the more developed coastal resorts.
VIgo is the main city in the province and with a population of about 300,000 is the largest city in Galicia. Being a major international port it’s one of the richest cities in Galicia and although relatively modern in appearance it is stunningly located at the head of the estuary with striking views of the Islas Cies. There are plenty of places to visit including a well preserved Old Town (Casco Vello) and is home to some of the best restaurants, bars and clubs in the whole of Galicia. Vigo airport, Peinador has substantial national and international services and its terminal buildings are in the process of being extended to increase its capacity and improve its services and facilities.
The south of Pontevedra is very close to the border with Portugal separted by the River Mino and there are great places to visit including Baiona, Oia and La Guardia and there are excellent motorway links which means it’s easy to get to Northern Portugal and opens up a whole different country and culture to explore.
The province comprises of the following counties and individual municipalities:
- County O Baixo Mino Municipalities A Guarda O Rosal Oya Tomino & Tui
- County Caldas Municipalities Caldas de Reis Catoira Cuntis Morana Puentecesures Portas & Valga
- County O Condado Municipalities As Neves Mondariz Mondariz-Balneario Salvaterra do Mino & Ponteareas
- County O Deza Municipalities Silleda Vila de Cruces Agolada Rodeiro Dozan & Lalin
- County O Morrazo Municipalities Bueu Cangas do Morrazo Marin & Moana
- County A Paradanta Municipalities Arbo A Caniza Covelo & Crecente
- County Pontevedra Municipalities Poio Barro Campo Lameiro Cotobade A Lama Ponte Caldelas & Vilaboa
- County O Salnes Municipalities A Illa de Arousa Vilagarcia de Arousa Vilanova de Arousa Ribadumia Cambados Meano Meis Sanxenxo & O Grove
- County Tabeiros- Terra de Montes Muncipalities Cerdedo A Estrada & Forcarei
- County Vigo Municipalities Baiona Fornelos de Montes Gondomar Mos Nigran Pazos de Borben Porrino Redondela Salceda de Caselas Soutomaior & Vigo.
The province contains some of the best tourist resorts/ attractions in the whole of Galicia including Isla de la Toja, O Grove, Vilagarcia de Arousa, Sanxenxo, Vigo, Islas Cies, Baiona, Mondariz, A Guarda and Tui. Baiona, the Sanxenxo area and the Islas Cies are featured in My Guide Galicia's current, recommended Top 10 places to visit in Galicia. The wines of the Rias Baixas are also covered in more detail under Galician Wines.