Harry Potter and the herds of nudists

Olde worlde fishing villages, Fiestas and stunning beaches, the final 3 Rias in Galicia

After spending a couple of weeks im Arousa, it was time to move further south. We left Ribiera and sailed past Isla Ons. The channel between the island and the mainland required pretty careful navigation to avoid shoal patches and rocks – some marked by buoys or lighthouses, others not. We also had to contend with numerous pot markers and ferry boats heading for the national park on Ons.


We had considered spending the night anchored off the beach in the bay north of the island but looking at the yachts already there rolling at anchor dissuaded us.

On entering Rio do Pontevedra, we were struck by the sharp contrast between non tourist Arousa and the very touristy Pontevedra. The twin resorts of Portonova and Sanxenxo are just off a motorway and tourist resorts that would rival Benidorm! The beach was backed by high-rise hotels and looking through the binoculars we struggled to see the beach itself for the people sunbathing. We abandoned our intention to anchor off there and continued up the Ria to the small fishing port of Combarro.

It is quite shallow throughout but drawing only 1.8m we were able to anchor just off the marina, next to the slip for going ashore by dinghy.


The weather wasn’t the fine sunny weather we’d become accustomed to on our arrival however normal conditions resumed the following morning 🙂


We went ashore to the square and turned right. There are a set of glass stairs up the side of a restaurant and once up them and round a corner we were in another world – much like Harry Potter when he entered Daigon Ally. The streets were barely wide enough for 2 people to pass and lined with tourist shops.


The sea side of the street contained the drying sheds with small slips for access to boats


and restaurants underneath them.


or in any basement area


This map of the old town shows the shore road and the road adjacent to it. The fishermen traditionally lived in the houses nearest the sea, while the farmers lived in the houses just off the main street. Their ‘worth’ was displayed by whether they had wooden (poorest), metal (middle class) or stone balconies


At the east end of the town there was a square offering great views back alon the town



and out to where the boats were anchored. Some of the houses were delightful but always on top of each other


and forget having anything like a car


a donkey would struggle here!

The wind was forecast to turn to the south so we decided to head to Ria Aldan, just at the entrance to Ria Pontevedra. It was one of the best decisions we made. The beaches were again a delight and the water reputedly the warmest in all of the Rias for swimming. Gill and I certainly agree that the latter is true. However the real treat was that we’d arrived on the Friday at the start of a 3 day fiesta.

The fishing key had a fun fair on it and a stage was being constructed at one end on the back of a large truck. we visited the fair around 8:30pm and stayed for a couple of hours. Nothing seemed to be happening at the stage or the beer tent just outside it so we decided to return to the boat. How wrong can you be – on the stroke of midnight we were treated to a 5 hour ‘american rock’ concert featuring everything from Bowie, Whitesnake, Status quo, Queen and everything in between – It was fantastic.

The stage sets were superb. remember that this is a small village of a few hundred people at most yet the professionalism and quality of the acts was superb


For the following 2 days there were 2 acts starting at 10:30pm and continuing to 5:00am. We slept until noon each day ready to start again the next night. Each act had their own stage which arrived on a lorry and was set up in a couple of hours – they performed and their stage was dismantled and away again in another couple of hours.

During the day, the fishing boats were decked out in flags and they paraded round the bay and the other small villages in the Ria


We spent 4 great days here before heading south once more into Ria Vigo, the southernmost of the Galician Rias.

Our first stop was Praia De Barra, known by the locals as “Bareass” due to it being a nudist beach. We anchored just outside the swimming area with about 50 other yachts strung out along the beach in beautiful clear water


During our time here, we noticed the strange phenomenon of the nudists walking from one end of the beach to the other in distinct groups – the astute among you will have recognised that this is where the ‘herds of nudists’ reference comes in.


The weather was again superb, although we did have one cloudy day 🙂


The following day we moved on to Praia de Limens, anchored off a small beach with a campsite at its head. The shop and restaurant there were extremely good value with the bread being superb!


We did our ‘normal’ here and stayed 4 days instead of the 2 that we’d planned, catching up on domestic chores…


And visiting the beach bars ashore.


We had a brief foray up to the main town of Cangas to stock up on provisions before it was time to head back north to meet up with our good friends on Destination Anywhere – more of our time in Spain and Portugal with them next time.