The wild, wind-swept Atlantic coast of Galicia is a truly exhilarating place. It’s home to some of the finest beaches in the entire country, often with a backdrop of forested hills. The waters that crash into the rocks and cliffs are clean and clear, but also chilly, going on frigid. Perfect for cooling off in fierce August temperatures. Best of all though, this coastline is dotted with picturesque port towns and fishing villages, that serve up some of the finest seafood in Europe.
We’d lost track of time while watching dolphins on Playa de Lariño, and had to make a quick dash towards the bustling fishing town of Muros in search of lunch. This historic little place was crowded with people all converging on its restaurants with much the same idea. We were late and a couple of places had already stopped serving, but we eventually found an outdoor table in the main square amongst Spanish families happily enjoying their summer holidays.
We ordered up some specials of the day, traditional local dishes fished out of the cold Atlantic waters: razor clams, scallops and Galicia’s most famous food, Pulpo Gallego. Galician octopus cooked with olive oil and sweet Spanish paprika, served with potatoes and fresh bread, is simply delicious. Especially washed down with a glass of Albariño. It was one of those perfect lunches, and it ticked off one of my foodie bucket list items: Pulpo Gallego served on a wooden board on the Galician coast.
Despite the influx of tourists, Muros still feels like an authentic Galician port town. We strolled down the promenade alongside a harbour housing fishing boats and pleasure boats, their brilliant colours illuminated under a hot sun. Away from the water, narrow alleyways climb up the hillside between tightly packed houses. We wandered aimlessly amongst the deserted streets, until we emerged close to the 13th century Church of San Pedro.
The port is still deep enough for fairly large boats and fishing remains one of the main industries of the town. We were there on a Sunday and most boats were very firmly in port. Muros is a tiny place that would be a perfect base from which to explore further along this beautiful coast, but after an hour of wandering the streets and harbour we’d run out of areas of town to investigate. We jumped in the car and set off back towards Cambados.
Deciding to take the long route back, we followed the winding coast road to Noia. A typical Galician fishing town, Noia boasts a massive road bridge that cuts across the estuary, providing great views over the water before depositing you onto another peninsular. We passed numerous horreos, traditional grain stores that have become a symbol of Galicia. It’s remarkable so many have survived into the 21st century, but they are topped with crosses for extra protection.
We realised that if we continued along the coast as planned, we’d arrive in Cambados sometime around midnight. We didn’t want to miss more delicious seafood and wine tasting at the Vinoteca Ribeira de Fefiñans, so took a quicker route back. The next day we’d leave for Pontevedra, our final Galician destination before heading inland to the cathedral city of Leon. It would be hard to leave the glorious Galician coast behind, but we were already planning our next visit.