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What to see in Moaña: art, routes, beaches, gastronomy and much more.

There is a lot to see in Moaña. This beautiful town is located north of the Vigo estuary, along with other municipalities geographically nestled in the Morrazo Peninsula. Sometimes it can be overshadowed in travel guides by other towns such as the Cíes Islands, Cangas de Morrazo or the city of Vigo itself.

However, Moaña is considered one of the most attractive places for tourism in Galicia. It is characterized by an important cultural heritage, beautiful beaches and a wide range of leisure activities.

If you want to know all the secrets to discover in this small corner of the Rías Baixas, here is a brief summary of everything there is to see in Moaña.

What to see in Moaña? Traces of a millenary history

  Moaña: what to see. Discover everything that awaits you in Moaña.
Forest trail of the Fraga river, in Moaña. This route goes through a total of 30 old water mills, many of them in ruins Image credits:
Counting Stars
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Like the rest of the Morrazo region, Moaña has been an important place of transit and human settlement throughout history. The traces of the activity of these ancient civilizations leave as a legacy a number of places of great interest.

Throughout the length and breadth of the different parishes to see in Moaña we find numerous vestiges of what the history of the region has been. The petroglyphs in Montealegre, a Borna, As Cidades, Pozo Garrido, A Escada and Os Remedios are significant. These stone engravings are present in many of the hiking routes that Moaña offers to the traveler.

Particularly interesting is the Fraga River – Monte Faro Hiking Route, which follows the course of the Fraga River. The route, about six kilometers long, ends at the famous Dolmen da Chan da Arquiña and the Torre de Meira.

 

The Dolmen

The dolmen, also called mámoa or medoña, is a funerary monument erected more than five thousand years ago. This megalith is one of the most emblematic landmarks to see in Pontevedra, boasting an exceptional state of preservation. It consists of a polygonal chamber formed by 11 vertical stones and an access also limited by rocks, in a grove especially showy in the autumn months.

During its excavation, a trousseau composed of stone tools and implements and ceramic fragments was also found.

Ascending a little further along this route you reach the highest point of the Sierra do Morrazo, the Monte Faro de Domaio, with 624 m of altitude . From there you can appreciate some of the best views of the estuary and the Cíes Islands.

We will also be able to follow the trail of the castreña culture and the romanization of the region.

There is a generous amount of these archaeological remains in Moaña, such as O Castro, in the parish of San Martiño and the Castros de Montealegre in the parish of Domaio. Ruins dating back from the Bronze Age to our present era, in which numerous different cultures and peoples established their populations throughout history in what we now know as the municipality of Moaña.

 

Moaña in the Middle Ages and Modern Times

What to see in Pontevedra: Moaña
Moaña, Galicia. Image credits: Alejandro Valderrama Cardenas (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The municipality of Moaña is located on the Morrazo Peninsula, which separates the Ría de Vigo from the Ría de Pontevedra.

This particular situation on the map has much to do in Moaña with its history and territorial configuration changes constantly varying until the second half of the twentieth century.

Moaña was for many centuries subordinated to other parishes and concellos. In the Middle Ages it was under the jurisdiction of Iria Flavia and Santiago de Compostela. It was a particularly convulsive period, with continuous Norman attacks that caused radical population losses throughout the peninsula.

From the late Middle Ages onwards, the coastal defenses were reinforced and a small demographic explosion took place, coinciding with the construction of symbolic Christian temples, such as the Church of San Martiño, from the 12th centurywith its characteristic Latin cross floor plan, or the one at San Xoán de TiránThe Church of Santa Eulalia, from the first half of the thirteenth century, two of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in the area, as well as the later Church of Santa Eulalia is framed in the Baroque prototype.

 

The gold of Rande

The great landowners in the High and Late Middle Ages were noble families whose power extended well into the Modern Age. After the discovery of America, the entire region and its ports took on special relevance in the transport of gold and other riches from the New World to the hands of the conquerors and traders.

In the 17th century, the cultivation of corn was introduced in the region, with almost all of the farmland being used to produce this cereal and dotting the landscape with the typical water mills that can still be seen today, in places such as the waterfall of A Poza da Moura.

Rande Bridge
Rande Bridge from the sea

Rande Beach witnessed in October 1702 an important battle between the English and Dutch navy and the Franco-Spanish troops in the framework of the War of Succession. The Battle of Vigo, also known as the Battle of Vigo and about which so much has been written, resulted in a Spanish defeat and the loss of a great deal of treasure.

Nowadays, one of the most fun and culturally inspired things to see in Moaña are the reenactments that eventually commemorate the battle, organized between Moaña and Redondela. An elaborate staging with actors dressed in period costumes and the Rande Bridge in the background, a symbol of our Contemporary Age, who knows if guarding precious sunken galleons full of gold.

 

Moaña at present: the sea as the main axis

Domaio, photo of the coastline of the parish of Domaio, in Moaña;
Coastline of the parish of Domaio, Moaña; in the background the city of Vigo. Image credits:
alexvc26
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the 19th century, everything related to the parishes and their administration in Moaña underwent a radical change.

Meira, Moaña and Domaio were under the command of Cangas do Morrazo, but in 1836 the Municipality of Meira was created. Later, in 1874, the capital was changed. What we know today as the City Council of Moaña was born, to which the parish of the Virgen del Carmen was incorporated in 1955.

With the construction of different ports and roads, during the 20th century Moaña experienced an economic explosion, constantly revolving around the sea. Along with a small agricultural and livestock smallholding, the main industry has always been fishing and its by-products.

Social movements have been one of the hallmarks of the region in recent decades as a result of the continued growth of the shipping and fishing industry.

 

The tourism sector

The tourism sector was greatly boosted in the second half of the 20th century.

Resources are beginning to be exploited in this field, taking advantage of the attractiveness of the whole area. Tourist complexes such as A Fraga, the Domaio golf course and three marinas are beginning to be built. Special attention is paid to the care of the beaches and the blue flag is awarded to Praia do Con and A Xunqueira.

Moaña: 'O Fisgón' or Neptuno
Sculpture O Fisgón, Moaña. Image credits:
Bicicleando
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

The hotel industry and rural tourism are also promoted. What were originally private houses, some of them abandoned, have been reinvented as rural houses. Moaña currently has dozens of these rural lodgings and its offer is increasingly wider and of higher quality.

The Concello de Moaña informs about accommodations on its website, among which the 4-star Hotel Bienestar stands out.

Since 2009, the sculpture O Fisgón has stood defiantly. A heartfelt tribute to the sea and one of the most modern works to see in Moaña. O Fisgón – or Neptune, popularly – presides over the breakwater in front of Moaña’s promenade. An exhibition of culture and art in the open air that summarizes the relationship of this town with the ocean.

 

The best beaches to see in Moaña

  Xunqueira Beach: one of the best beaches in Moaña.

Beach and garden of A Xunqueira. Image credits:
Bicicleando
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

The beaches of Moaña, in Pontevedra, extend along the entire southern coast of the municipality.

From the Rande Bridge to the confines of Cangas do Morrazo there are endless beaches, narrow and open at the ends and wide in the central part of the town. Bathed by the waters of the Vigo estuary, these beaches are cool and the sea conditions are usually calm.

The most important beaches to see in Moaña are, perhaps, Playa da Xunqueira and Playa de Meira.

Adjacent to each other, they are two large sandy areas that form an urban beach and are covered at high tide. They are both surrounded by trees and parks, with several restaurants near the beach, they have all the services. Undoubtedly, a good plan for a day at the beach in Moaña.

 

All sizes

The entire coastline alternates between small beaches and coves and beaches with wide sandy areas.

Among the first ones, we can find Playa do Niño Corvo, in Tiran, Playa do Porto, in Domaio. Near the marina is the Playa do Muelle beach. Also the small Playa O Con, with blue flag and fully equipped.

In the second group are larger beaches such as Canabal Beach, very quiet, Borna Beach, with a nudist part or San Bartolomeu Beach, where a large number of shellfish gatherers are usually found.

 

How to see everything there is to see in Moaña

The best way to get to know the municipality is to take a walk along the various hiking tra ils that run throughout the geography of Morrazo.

When planning your trip, you may prefer to spend more than one day to discover all the secrets of the different parishes. And, in addition to advise you to see Moaña up close, you should know that there is also much to see near Moaña.

The hotels in Moaña and its rural houses offer the traveler a wide range of lodging possibilities to spend the night in the town and its surroundings. In addition, Moaña is part of the metropolitan area of Vigo, so communications with the city center and other services are guaranteed.

Regarding gastronomic tourism in Moaña, the restaurants of Moaña and the neighboring towns offer an offer that adapts to all budgets and satisfies the most demanding palates.

Fresh and natural products from the estuary, seafood, Galician meats and the best wines of the area meet in a wide range of restaurants.

 

Moaña is a party

If you want to visit the town on the days of its patron saint festivities, do not miss the festivities of the Virgen del Carmen and San Martiño.

They are commemorated on July 16 and November 11, respectively. All kinds of religious and secular celebrations, including maritime processions, are held in honor of the Virgin of the sailors.

In addition to the festivities of Carmen and San Martiño, Moaña celebrates the different festivals of each parish.

It is worth mentioning the Pilgrimage of San Lorenzo and Santa Bárbara, from August 10 to 12 in the parish of Domaio. Also the particular Galician carnival, O Entroido, which is always celebrated a week after the traditional one. There, travelers will be surprised to find themselves part of a festival overflowing with joy, music and life.

In order to preserve the festivities and not lose contact with the traditions of these lands, cultural associations play a very important role. With enormous dedication, generally altruistic, these cultural associations protect Galician culture. The famous Interceltic Festival, which has been held for more than 35 years, is today one of the most important folk music festivals in the world.

Finally, if you want more information about all that Moaña has to offer, go to the Tourist Office, in the same square of the Town Hall.

 

Domingo Villar’s literary footprint, a new incentive to visit Moaña

The (now forever) last novel by Domingo Villar is set in different enclaves of Moaña. The sadly deceased Galician writer was inspired by the village of Morrazo and placed there much of the plot of “O Último Barco.

Domingo Villar, in 2019, next to Nabia’s ship at the Vigo dock. Photo by RICARDO GROBAS for Faro de Vigo

The protagonist of the novel takes “the last boat” of the Regular Line Moaña-Vigo-Moaña. The ship is called “Pirata de Cíes”, one of the ships of the Pirates of Nabia fleet. The protagonist lives in the parish of Tirán, located between Moaña and Cangas. Also protagonist is the Igrexa de San Xoán de Tiran, the beaches, the pier of Moaña, or the “Mirador da Mona”.

“The small parish church of Tiran occupied the center of a hill, a platform over the sea with a paved floor that closed a wall half a meter high”. (Domingo Villa, O Último Barco, Editorial Galaxia).

 

 

Discover it: There’s a lot to see in Moaña

Borna beach in Moaña, Galicia

Moaña is welcoming and seafaring, cheerful, full of history and present, of nature and culture.

Although it does not usually appear among the most requested destinations by tourists, there is much to experience, much to admire and much to see in Moaña. We are waiting for you!

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