Vigo estuary: what you have to see
Between the island of San Simón and the Cíes islands there is a sea full of curiosities and history, the Vigo estuary. In this article we compile some facts you may not know about this estuary.
More than 30 kilometers of estuary
With a length of 35 kilometers, this estuary narrows inland until the Rande Bridge, where it widens again to form the San Simón inlet. At the other end are the Cíes Islands, the jewel in the crown of the Atlantic Islands National Park.
Dotted with these structures, the Vigo estuary is home to more than 480 mussel farms dedicated to mussel cultivation. For 17 months, these bivalves grow under the anchored rafts, offering an authentic delicacy to Galician gastronomy. If you want to learn more about the art of mussel farming, you can sign up for the Mussel Route, with which we sail between rafts, visit a ship of extraction of these mollusks and enjoy the best mussels of the estuary with a tasting on board.
The great naval battle
The Battle of Rande, also known as the Battle of Vigo, was a naval battle that took place where the Rande Bridge is located today in 1702, between Spanish-French and Anglo-Dutch galleons, within the framework of the War of the Spanish Succession, with the final victory of the latter. It inspired Jules Verne’s famous Nautilus, in his work 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, to obtain gold supplies in this war scenario.
San Simón Island: a place with history
Recognized as an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1999, in the interior of the Vigo estuary we find this small island connected by a bridge to the island of San Antón. An uninhabited enclave that has witnessed wars and pirate plundering, being also used as a monastery in the Middle Ages, a leper colony, and even a prison during the Spanish Civil War and a concentration camp until 1945. Knowing its history from the inside, through a guided tour of the island of San Simon, is today the best way to get an idea of the past lived by this island. Here you can purchase tickets for this tour.
A coastline of 10 beaches
Although they say that the best beach in the world is found in the Cies Islands, the beach of Rhodes, it is true that on both sides of the Vigo estuary we find dream beaches: kilometer-long beaches for long walks such as Samil beach in Vigo, Barra beach in O Morrazo or América beach in Nigrán, small sandbanks as the Playa del Niño Corvo in Moaña – you can get to Moaña on the regular boat line Vigo-Moaña– and the small coves that you can find in Monteferro or inland beaches of the estuary, such as Playa de Cesantes in front of the island of San Simón.