is one of the top resorts in Galicia. Nestled in a protected bay facing the Atlantic Ocean it has a thriving port/harbour full of fishing boats and luxury yachts. It´s location in the southern Rias Baixas
makes it an ideal holiday destination and family resort renowned for its Blue Flag beaches.
Baiona became famous thanks to the arrival on 1st March 1493 of the ship Carabela La Pinta
captained by Martín Alonso Pinzón with news of the discovery of America and Arribada festival
celebrates this every year.
Baiona has a prominent fortress at Monterreal which dates back over 2000 years. Its peninsular extends to 18 hectares of enclosed, turreted fortifications which inside houses one of Spain´s best hotels, the Parador Conde de Gondomar which is open to the general public too. There are amazing circular walks inside and outside the fortress with incredible sea views including of the Cíes Islands and mountains looking across the Bay of Baiona. There are two museums worth visiting, a replica ship of La Pinta and the Navigation Museum both have interactive exhibits.
Baiona has a small, but beautiful Old Town with its maze of narrow streets and many historic buildings. The 16th Century Convent known as las Madres Dominicanas de la Anunciación, the Misericordia Chapel, which dates back to 1595,the Council offices built in 1757, the ruins of the 14th Century Casa de Ceta, the 13th Century romanic Ex-Collegiate Church of St. Mary and 17th Century Santuario de Santa Liberata both in Santa Liberata square , the 15th Century Cruceiro de la Santisima Trinidad which is a covered cross and Pazo de Mendoza dating from the 18th Century. At Ramallosa next to the road there is a magnificent, 12th Century roman stone footbridge.
There are lots of beaches in the area including the biggest and best America beach which is in Nigran, closer to town, Ladeira and Santa Marta beaches and some small beaches next to the fortress including the spectacular Barbeira beach apparently one of the best in Spain. There is a long, continuous seafront walkway/cycleway which runs as far as the campsite and the roman footbridge but this is being extended as far as Vigo. You can also take the cycleway as far as the border town of A Guarda to the south.
Most of the bars and restaurants are concentrated along the tree-lined seafront and in Rúa Ventura Misa which is a narrow, pedestrianised street behind it, in the heart of the Old Town where you can enjoy the local gastronomy especially the fresh, seafood.
It´s worth climbing up the hilltop overlooking Baiona where you will see a viewpoint, picnic area and statue designed by the Galician architect Antonio Palacios, called the Virgen de la Roca, a massive granite statue built in 1930 with amazing sea views. It´s possible to climb upstairs inside the Virgen onto the boat she holds in her right hand.
Baiona can also be used as a base to explore the wider area of southern Galicia and Northern Portugal. Local sights include the top seafood restaurant, Rocamar just outside town, built virtually on the edge of the sea. If you want to be pampered then head south until you reach the four star luxury spa hotel, Talaso Atlántico. You´ll love the purified seawater bathing facilities and more incredible views. The celtic hilltop settlement at Santa Tecla and border town A Guarda are worth seeing too. You can also pick up the pilgrimage route, the Portuguese Coastal Way either in Baiona or to the south as it starts in Porto. If it´s wine then a trip to the numerous local wineries can be arranged to taste the award winning Albariño white wine in O Rosal or further afield in the area of Condado.
Population: 12,119 (2016)
Area: 35.35 km²