A foggy welcome awaited us on our arrival into the port town of A Guarda. We were excited to be here!
There was a fine mist covering Mount Santa Trega just behind the town. Our main reason for travelling here was up there somewhere. A hill fort settlement built more than 2000 years ago.
A warm welcome awaited us at the Convento de San Benito. A beautiful 17th century building full of knooks and crannies of memorabilia from its life as a monastery.
The hotel is charming with an outdoor courtyard to enjoy your breakfast. A bar that serves ice cream desserts, and a lounge with comfy chairs to rest after a day of exploring.
Castro de Santa Trega
Built to control and monitor the sea traffic and the mouth of the River Miño, this Celtic Hill Fort and the village of Santa Trega are truly impressive.
Hallelujah, we awoke to a clear and beautiful day. There is a hiking trail to the top, we chose to drive up.
One of the most visited hill forts in Galicia, it has spectacular views, a small museum - Museo Arqueológica de Santa Tegra (MASAT), a chapel - Chapel of Santa Tegra and even a bar and hotel.
Look for petroglyphs while you explore - they are everywhere, on the walls, rocks and inside and outside the oval family dwellings. At its zenith it was home to about 5,000 inhabitants!
There are parking lots on the way up and also a small lot at the top. We went early in the morning and had no trouble finding a spot.
Plan to spend a couple of hours here. Stop along the drive up and get out and explore. The village of Santa Trega is on both sides of the road, both offering fantasic views of the coast of Portugal and the River Miño on one side and the Galician coast on the other.
The small museum at the top - Museo Arqueológica de Santa Tegra (MASAT), is worth a look even though all the signage is in Spanish. We asked the attendant and he gave us a pamphlet in English we could read as we wander around.
We had coffee in the bar and admired the views from this lovely spot. Use the bathrooms here, there are no others.
Back in town we went in search of icy cold beer and beaches. A Guarda does not disappoint - the beer was cold and the beach and coast line is beautiful.
Explore the quiant old town square centred around Plaza de Relój. You may meet my friend there reading his book. Have a look in the Museo Arqueológico.
We walked the promenade, part of the Camino Portugués, in the evenings as the sun was setting over the Atlantic. The fishing boats were back in the harbour, fishermen and children playing and fishing in the water. A vibrant fishing port!
There are many great seafood restaurants to choose from. We chose to stay down near the sea and ate on the patio of Porto Guardes Restaurant overlooking the harbour. On our servers recommendation we ordered the local white wine and we liked it so much I took a photo!
We enjoyed the best fresh seafood and vino blanco on this outdoor patio facing the harbour so much that we went back the next night!
Miño (Minho) River Estuary
The next morning we spent the day exploring the River Miño Estuary.
It was by chance we stumbled across this beautiful wetlands. Between Portugal and Spain the Miño River flows into the Atlantic Ocean forming a natural border between the two countries.
With headwaters just north of Lugo, this magestic river flows down to the Atlantic forming a large river delta. Considered one of the most important wetlands on the Iberian Peninsula, it is home to countless bird species year-round.
There are bird observatories and well marked paths with route markers along the way.
Day Trip to Portugal
The ferry crossing the Miño River between Spain and Portugal is easy to do. We decided to park and take the ferry as walk-on passengers. We planned on having lunch in Caminha on the Portuguese side.
It was wonderful being out on the water travelling across the Miño River delta!
It would be easy to continue your road trip down through Portugal by taking this ferry. There is also a bridge crossing in Tui, 3o kms away.