Europe, Galicia, Spain

Galicia Road Trip: Day 3

May 17, 2021


Ferrol is a city in the province of A Coruña in the north of Galicia. It’s one of the larger cities in Galicia with a population of around 65,000. It is a port city with a naval shipbuilding center and Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department. Being a ways from Pontevedra, this is one of the remaining cities in Galicia I had not yet taken a weekend trip to. We started the morning with a nice Spanish breakfast: churros and coffee.

We didn’t have a lot of time in Ferrol, so we prioritized two things: the Meninas de Canido (a dense area with hundreds of pieces of street art) and Castelo de San Felipe.

Meninas de Canido

Meninas de Canido starts on Calle Riego and the other streets stemming from Cruceiro de Canido. It was a cool experience walking around, enjoying the weather, and admiring all the artwork.

Castelo de San Felipe

The Castelo de San Felipe is the most important military construction in Ferrol. Construction began in 1557 but the current building is the remodeled building from the 18th century. The castle was not open to go inside today, so we admired it from outside, as well as looking at the fortresses that we could see across the way.

Next, we began the drive to one of the sites that we discovered last minute: Santo André de Teixido. This was a ways north from Ferrol, and at this point, we still planned on hitting the northermost point in Spain (Estaca de Bares) but had crossed Ribadeo (where Cathedral Beach is) off the list due to time constraints.

We ran into a bit of stress as we somehow got on the highway going the wrong direction in Ferrol. We went about 45 minutes in the wrong direction and then had to backtrack. (This is also when I got one of the two speeding tickets that later came in the mail).

Santo André de Teixido

Santo André de Teixido is in a small municipality of Cedeira. There’s only 49 residents. It is a famous pilgrimage site and has many tourists who drive over an hour into the mountains to see the local crafts, monuments, and beautiful mountain views.

We had some amazing views of the many Galician windmills as we drove up, and we stopped many times just to admire it. At times, it felt like, “Is this real life?”

The famous chapel in San Andres has a saying, “vai de morto quen non foi de vivo (he who was not alive goes dead).” There’s a tradition for pilgrims to throw stones called milladoiros in specific places. It’s thought that the pilgrimage up to San Andres began in 1391 or earlier, and there are thousands of milladoiros that potentially make the collection the largest in the world. The cliffs that it overlooks, Cliffs of Vixía Herbeira, are the highest in continental Europe.

After some time here walking around, we began the drive back down the mountain and towards Vigo. We had to skip the northernmost point as we had some time constraints with the schedule to get me back to Pontevedra. It was about 3-4 hours back to Vigo, and we dropped off the car at the airport. From here, I ran to get an Uber to get me to the train back to Pontevedra. I barely made it, and it required a bit of running.

Once I got home, I reveled in what an amazing trip this was. We did so much in three days, and I was grateful to get off the path of the bus-accessible places in Galicia. Even though Galicia was the only region I’ve visited so far, I know it’s one of the most beautiful.

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