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Sálvora from Ons, 2 islands in one day

Sálvora, one of the least visited of the islands belonging to the National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, is also one of the best places, among other things, to get to know the island life. Flora and fauna, heritage and legends, make Sálvora a very special island to visit with your cell phone full of battery to record and photograph, and with your eyes and ears wide open to soak up contemporary social culture. You will learn a lot about life on the Galician coasts, especially island life and its sometimes tragic vicissitudes.

Piratas de Nabia offers exclusively a very special visit of Sálvora, from Ons Island, a 2 x 1 paradise only available with the pirates.

We have departures in July and August, every Thursday and Saturday from the ports of Bueu and Portonovo. You can book here.

Will you join us to know Sálvora?

 

 

Sálvora, an approach to its history

How to visit the island of SálvoraThe island of Sálvora belongs to the archipelago of Sálvora (the island of the same name and the only one that can be visited, and several islets: Vionta, Noro, Herbosa, Sagres, etc.). An excellent refuge for pirates, corsairs and other sailors until the 19th century, it is located in the Rías Baixas, belonging to the National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia.

It is located at the entrance of the Arousa estuary, just 3 m from the coast and is the only island of the National Park in the province of A Coruña, as it belongs administratively to the Parish of Aguiño, in the Concello de Ribeira. It has an extension of about 190 hectares, corresponding to its 1 km of extension in its longest part, by little more than 250 meters wide.

This island, of which there are no records in the archives prior to the Middle Ages, belonged to the Astur-Galician Crown. The Saracen invasions in the 12th century of the island of Sálvora, among other Atlantic coastal territories of Galicia and its strategic use as a base of operations by the Vikings during the late Middle Ages are known.

The island was later used as an attack point or refuge by corsairs and pirates (not us) during the XVI to XVIII centuries.

King Alfonso II donated the island to the Catholic Church, but the Cabildo of Compostela, busy with other matters, never had much interest in the island, which was colonized by residents of Carreira to cultivate the lands of the island, settling later as a permanent population in Sálvora.

We recommend reading the wikipedia entry on Sálvora for a closer look at Sálvora Island.

The island of Sálvora was It has been privately owned since the Middle Ages and became part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia in 2001. In 2008 it was acquired by the Xunta de Galicia. for its public management. It will be accessible to the public again in 2010.

At present, the visit is regulated and access is only allowed with authorization from the Parks and accompanied by accredited guides from the National Park. Piratas de Nabia organizes trips from Ons to know and visit Sálvora, and to get closer to the history of all those inhabitants, owners, invaders, settlers, who walked its paths, imprinting the differential character of the island.

 

How to get to Sálvora Island? Price, schedules, departure ports.

The number of people allowed to land on the island on a daily basis is controlled and limited by National Parks. It is essential to obtain prior authorization, as well as to visit the island accompanied by Park guides. Both are provided by Piratas de Nabia shipping company.

This summer, Nabia is making departures every Thursday and Saturday to visit the island of Sálvora in an exclusive and fantastic combination: Ons + Sálvora, two islands of the National Park in one day.

  • Piratas de Nabia will make visits to Sálvora from Ons every Thursday and Saturday in July and August.
  • Ports of departure to Ons: Bueu and Portonovo.
  • Departures to Sálvora from Ons at 14:45 (we will meet at the information panel on the island of Ons, at the dock).
  • Approximate crossing time: 40 minutes.
  • Return from Sálvora at 18:45.
  • Prices combined Ons + Sálvora, 2 islands in one day: 24€ adult ticket and 12€ child ticket (from 4 to 12 years old). Infants and children from 0 to 3 years old: FREE.

 

Not to be missed in Sálvora:

Sálvora Island
The mermaid of Sálvora, one of the historical signs of identity of the island.

Before visiting the island of Sálvora, it should be taken into account that it is an uninhabited island and has no restaurant or bar services, so it will be necessary to have a snack and water in your backpack for the visit. As in the rest of the islands of the National Park, visitors must keep all the garbage they generate with them to deposit it in the corresponding containers once they return to the mainland.

Visitors should be aware that they are in a natural environment and that under no circumstances should they throw any kind of garbage, sticks, towelettes, plastics, etc. The visit to the islands can only take place and be sustainable in the future under the premise of absolute responsibility and total minimization of human impact on the natural environment.

Visits to Sálvora are always accompanied by guides authorized by National Parks. These are people who have undergone specific training and have proven their in-depth knowledge of both the environment and the history of the islands of the National Park.

Two main itineraries lead the visitor from the Sálvora pier to the old village on one side and to the lighthouse on the other. Both routes are simple and highly recommended.

Before the old village we can see the fountain and washhouse that supplied and served the village and also served to irrigate the crops, whose fields, now covered with vegetation, still retain banks and boundary walls.

The walls surrounding the fields also prevented the entry of animals and their impact on crops. Numerous species were introduced to the island by the island’s noble owners for recreational hunting. These animals obviously had an impact on the environment and on the lives of the settlers.

Will you join us in Sálvora? Here are some of its main attractions:

  • Fish Drying and Salting Factory or Pazo de Sálvora

Sálvora Island
Salting factory of Sálvora and residential Pazo, today a museum of interpretation of the island.

The Otero Goyanes family built the first fish drying and salting factory in Galicia, O Almacén, in the 18th century.

In 1958 it became a residential Pazo.

Today it is partially visitable and contains a curious museum, as well as showing part of the original structure of the salting factory.

 

  • The ancient village of Sálvora

The visit to the village can only be done with an authorized guide. This is a real journey through time that will lead you to discover what island life was like in this enclave, how the land was worked and how problems such as running water were solved.

 

The ancient village of Sálvora
Old village of Sálvora, exceptionally preserved in spite of abandonment

The village has been abandoned for more than half a century, although one of the houses has been restored and gives a very concrete idea of life in the village of Sálvora.

 

  • The Galician Titanic. Santa Isabel shipwreck, tragedy on the rocks of the island

The wreck of the Vapor Santa Isabel in Sálvora
The shipwreck of the Vapor Santa Isabel in Sálvora Island

The tragedy of the Santa Isabel shipwreck is the greatest marine drama of the Galician coasts, on a par with the horror caused by the Prestige.

213 of the 268 people on the ship died.

Only a courageous group of three young women from the island came to the rescue of people struggling to save themselves on the rocks of Sálvora, not far from the island’s lighthouse, on a stormy night.

In 2019, Paula Cons filmed “A Illa das Mentiras” in Sálvora, which recreates this shipwreck and the subsequent treatment of the three heroines. who participated in the rescue work and who earned the respect and admiration of the entire Galician and Spanish territory for their bravery: Cipriana Orujo, Josefa Parada and María Fernández.

  • Chapel of Santa Catalina

Next to the Pazo or salting factory, this chapel was once a sailors’ tavern. At the time there was probably more animation than today.

  • Sálvora Lighthouse

Sálvora LighthouseThe other route from the pazo leads to the lighthouse of Sálvora, a beautiful U-shaped building located above the old lighthouse dating from the nineteenth century and therefore much more visible to boats, a need that highlighted the wreck of the Santa Isabel.

 

  • Beaches in Sálvora

The island offers several beaches with crystal clear and calm waters, especially the “do Castelo” or “do Almacén” beach, just off the boat. A more than recommendable rest after the visits to the village and the lighthouse.

  • The Siren of Sálvora

The island offers several beaches with crystal clear and calm waters, especially the “do Castelo” or “do Almacén” beach, just off the boat. A more than recommendable rest after the visits to the village and the lighthouse.

  • The Siren of Sálvora

We reserve the mermaid story for this summer’s visitors. You will appreciate its history told by our accredited guides in the National Park.

  • Sálvora signpost
    Sálvora signpost

    Fountain of Santa Catalina

The Fountain of Santa Catalina or Fonte de Telleira is located on the road to the village. From its waters drank not only the inhabitants of the island but in other times Normans and Vikings.

On its stone, the legend: ‘Source of virtuous water that gives health and strength’.

In summer, especially if you do not

 

Recommendations for visitors

 

  • As we said before, bring all the waste with you, you will dispose of it once in port.
  • Bring water, drink and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Comfortable shoes and clothes are essential.
  • Respect the fauna, do not feed seagulls and fish (they do not need food). It is not permitted to pull up, cut or damage vegetation, nor to collect shells or stones on the beach and trails.
  • Insect repellent is recommended. Since there are free animals (cattle), horseflies can attack you at any time of the year.
  • Drive exclusively on marked and authorized roads.
  • Only guide dogs are allowed to accompany blind people to the island.

 

If you want more information about how to travel to the island of Sálvora, follow us on our social networks or write to our email address.

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