The Pontevedra land association is located in the heart of the Rías Baixas. The municipalities that make it up are Pontevedra, Poio, Barro, Campo Lameiro, A Lama, Ponte Caldelas, Vilaboa and part of Cercedo-Cotobade. This territory features great contrasts with landscapes that range from the coast to the most striking mountain ranges, creating beautiful landscapes and places that ooze charm and undoubtedly deserve a visit.
You can find out about other places to see and visit in Pontevedra’s surrounding areas at: www.turismoriasbaixas.com and www.terrasdepontevedra.org
Sotomaior Castle is located just 17 km from the city and can be accessed through the the national highway N-550 and provincial highway EP-2908. The origin of the fortress dates back to the reign of Alfonso VII during the 12th century, when a defensive tower was built in this strategic place near the coast. Its privileged location, 100 metres above the sea and dominating the valley of the river Verdugo protected it from sea raids by pirates and Normans.
Later it belonged to the house of Sotomayor, when Pedro Álvarez de Sotomayor, better known as Pedro Madruga, turned it into a symbol of power that he would reform in the 15th century. Centuries later it became the residence of Benito Fernando Correa, Marquis of Mos, in the 18th century, and later the summer residence of the Marquises of Vega de Armijo, who restored it, created a chapel and planted the trees that are preserved today. Finally, the Pontevedra Government acquired it in 1982.
The castle, half medieval fortress, half neo-gothic palace, is formed by two towers joined by a building and a parade ground, surrounded by a double wall. In addition to its architecture, the 25 hectares of land that house a Garden of International Excellence by the International Camellia Society deserve special attention. In addition to the great value of its varied collection of camellias, it has other plant species such as the araucaria, the criptomeria or the red sequoia are included in the catalogue of singular trees.
Entrance to the fortress, museum, gardens and temporary exhibition
Individual ticket: 5 €
Reduced admission: 2,5 €
Guided tour of the castle
Individual ticket: 6,50 €
Reduced admission: 3,25 €
Guided tour of the castle and gardens
Individual ticket: 7,50 €
Reduced admission: 3,75 €
Located in Pontevedra estuary, a little more than 6km from the city, you’ll find this placeof artistic and picturesque interest since 1972. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful villages of the Galician coast and in which we can know a good sample of popular architecture. Crossroads, wooden houses on the edge of the shoreline and houses adapted to the traditional seafaring and agricultural way of life. In a stroll through its cobbled streets we find examples of farmhouses, “terreñas” houses of the the most humble and simple origin, and the most widespread, the “casa con sobrado” (house with a roof). Some are built directly on the rock. Many of its alleys lead directly to the sea, allowing sailors to access their boats and women to the beach to shellfish.
San Juan de Poio Monastery
Its origins seem to go back to the 7th century, when Saint Fructuosus and his disciples founded several monasteries in Galicia. There are concrete references of its existence under the rule of Saint Benedict, in the year 942. Its period of greatest splendour took place between the 16th and 18th centuries. With the disentailment of Mendizábal in the 19th century, the monastery was abandoned by the Benedictine monks and would not be recovered until the arrival of the friars of the Order of the Merced in 1890. Attached to the old monastery is the Hospedería del Monasterio, which has been used for this purpose since July 1972.
Talking about monastery the church of the 17th-18th centuries and its great baroque altarpiece stand out, as well as the two cloisters of the monastery, the one of the processions of the XVI century and the one of the porter’s lodge of the XVIII century. In the latter there is an impressive mosaic of the Way of St. James, 80m long and 2.60m high, created by the Czech artist Machourek, made between 1989 and 1992. Another of the jewels that this monastery keeps in its interior is its great library with more than 1000.000 volumes. Finally, in the garden we find the largest capacity granary in Galicia, originally from the eighteenth century, and with dimensions of more than 33 meters long and a width of 3.36 meters.
Campo Lameiro Archaeological Cave Art Park
The province of Pontevedra is one of the areas in Europe with the highest concentration of rock engravings, especially petroglyphs. The main findings occurred in the valley of the river Lérez, highlighting those found in municipalities such as Cotobade, Campo Lameiro and Pontecaldelas. These rock engravings are made on stone, in the open air and it is believed that they may have a symbolic-religious meaning. Most of them were made at the beginning of the Bronze Age (1800-750 B.C.).
The Campo Lameiro Rock Art Archaeological Park was inaugurated in 2011. Its extension of 21.8 hectares houses about 100 rocks with rock engravings.
The visit takes you to three different spaces. The first one is the interpretation centre, which features a permanent exhibition to learn about the way of life in the Bronze Age. Later, the visitor has the opportunity to take a 3 km walk through the archaeological area allowing them to observe some of the most outstanding petroglyphs in Galicia, such as A Laxe dos Carballos. The visit finishes with a visit to the recreation of a Bronze Age settlement.
The centre organises numerous activities for the general public and in particular for children, and at certain times of the year it is even possible to take guided night tours.