7 feb. 2016

Rias Baixas, the sunny Galicia

Rias Baixas (Galician for "Lower Rias") are a section of the Galician coast, between Fisterra Cape and the Portuguese border, that extends over the entire provice of Pontevedra and part of A Coruña. They are four large estuaries (Muros, Arousa, Pontevedra and Vigo) open to the Atlantic Ocean.


Photo: Ria de Muros, by Ramon Piñeiro

Rias Baixas have a particular climate (warmer and sunnier) compared to the rest of the Spanish north coast. Nevertheless, this is the Green Spain, so don't expect a Mediterranean-like climate. Here rain is common and temperatures are always moderate and very seldom go over 30ºC.
Combined with the large number of beaches and the superb local gastronomy, this has made of them an important tourist destination. The only drawback can be the temperature of the water, which can be really cold.
Specially remarkable are the Natural Park of Atlantic Islands, integrated by three groups of islands (Cies, Ons and Salvora) located on the mouth of these estuaries. These islands are uninhabited and have become a sanctuary for marine birds. There are some restrictions, but it is possible to visit them. Cies Islands, with a regular connection with Vigo and Cangas, are particularly well known, famous for their white sand beaches. Rodas beach, which connects two of the islands, has been once selected as the most beautiful beach in the world, and one could possibly agree. Next to it, Figueiras is the option for those who prefer nude sunbathing. If you are looking for something even more remote, your option is the beach in San Martino island, that can only be accessed on a private boat if you can get the permit.


On the mainland there are also a large variety of options for visitors. From the museums and the vibrant cultural life of cities like Vigo, to the historical monuments that tell the history of this land over millennia. From the charm of traditional fishing villages, to the tourist resorts that appeared in the last century.
The coast offers and uncountable number of coves and sandy beaches. Some of them have even been awarded with the Blue Flag eco-label as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards. Others are wild and remote, so you cannot expect facilities there.
From the point of view of a nudist, this is a top destination. The situation was completely different 40 years ago, when pioneer naturists were threatened by local people waving sticks. Fortunately, today most locals are supportive and those dark times only remain in some iconic photos.
The region concentrates nowadays more than 30 beaches where nude sunbathing is common. Remember that in Spain nudism is legal on any place, so there isn't anything like a list of "official" nude beaches in Rias Baixas. The following compilation is quite comprehensive, but you may check others in the links:

Muros
Lago Louro
Lariño
Ancoradoiro
Area Maior

Noia
As Furnas
Río Sieira
Queiruga
Testal
O Salnés
Bascuas
Pragueira
Abelleira
Canelas
Con do Corvo
Aguieira
Barreiro
Castiñeira
Calas de Carreiron
A Lanzada

Pontevedra
Melide (Illa de Ons)

Morrazo
Dos Alemáns
Viñó
Barra
Melide
Sartaxens
Tulla
Aguete

Vigo
A Fontaiña
Dos Muiños
A Noiva
San Martiño
Figueiras

Barbanza
Niñeiros
O Vilar
Valieiros
Espiñeirido
Some of these are little coves between rocks that remain mainly unattended, but most of them are long sandy beaches where nudism is usually practiced only in a particular section. 


Photo: Espiñeirido, by Arturo Nikolai

Links


Nat Biss

About the Author

Nat Biss

Author & Editor

I have dedicated most of my free time in the last years to discover the world, and beaches offer some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. The next step was to enjoy them as naturally as possible, which obviously mean without clothes. Now I think it is time for me to share this liberating experience and try to help others to discover it.

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