Ribadeo (Galicia), Spain August 2021

Ribadeo is in Galicia close to the border with Asturias. Vanya had booked us into a small campsite on the coast not too far from Ribadeo and this site (A Gaivota) is within walking distance (at least for me) of a well known beauty spot, the Cathedral Cliffs (As Catedrais), which I have been told is a ‘must see’ in this part of the world. The combination of beautiful beaches and spectacular rock formations are to be found all over Galicia but the As Catedrais are reputedly the most spectacular of all.

After checking in to A Gaivota we crossed the road to check out the adjacent beaches. There are two, the Praia Benquerencia to the left (as you look out to sea) and the Praia de Fontela to the right. Both are magnificent. Not sure if the sea will be warm enough for us but the dogs…

The next day we walked the dogs eastwards past the Praia de Fontela, along an excellent paved coastal path, seeking a beach where the dogs would be allowed to swim. Sod’s law, Vanya turned back with the dogs just a couple of hundred yards before I stumbled across an excellent beach where dogs are permitted (i.e. at the very eastern end of the Praia de Longara, just before the Punta Corveira).

I carried on for quite a way beyond the Punta Corveira, passing across or behind variuos beaches (including Praia da Pasada, Praia de Arealonga, Praia de Reinante and Praia de Moledo) until I reached where the Playa de Las Catedrales would be except the tide was in and the beach and its attendent rock formations were totally underwater. Before you start laughing, I knew in advance that the tide would be in (that’s the power of Google) but I continued so as to determine whether or not Vanya would be able to cope with the walk (she could certainly manage the one way but not the return) and to ascertain if there is adequate parking for the Van in the event we were to drive there (no problem on that count). I’d put in a good day’s exercise by the time I got back to A Gaivota.

We were up early the next morning because we needed to get to As Catedrais for low tide. That meant packing up and getting across to one of the car parks I had checked out the day before by 08.00. We did it and were down on the beach by 08.15 (and that meant we could take the dogs with us too because there was no one around to say otherwise). I’ll let the photos do the talking…

Yes, we were both seriously impressed. We saw the most extraordinary natural rock formations – massive rock buttresses, stone arches at least 30 metres high and large sea caves which stretched deep into the cliffs. Most spectacular and well worth the visit – and free! Moreover, we were lucky enough to have had the place almost to ourselves.

Talking about luck… we discovered later that we should not have been there. We didn’t know at the time but, to stop overcrowding, visits in the summer months and at Easter must be booked online at least 30 days in advance, with tickets being checked on entry. As we walked up back to the Van we saw long queues of people at the entry point to the beach getting their tickets checked. It was just as well that we had arrived half an hour before the ticket collectors or we would have been denied entry. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Great result.

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