Ria de Arousa is a geo-destination containing the municipalities of A Illa de Arousa, A Pobra do Caramiñal, Boiro, Cambados, Catoira, Dodro, Meaño, Meis, O Grove, Pontecesures, Rianxo, Ribadumia, Ribeira, Sanxenxo, Valga, Vilagarcía de Arousa and Vilanova de Arousa. The largest of the Rias Baixas (Galicia's fjords) is a wise mix of nature, art, maritime tradition and – nowadays – the best leisure activities. Here some of the best white wines in Spain are produced, within the D.O. of Rías Baixas.
The Arousa estuary retains all the charm of a natural beauty. This is evidenced by its excellent beaches and islands, such as Sálvora, Cortegada, Arousa or A Toxa with their spas, pine groves and elegant hotels.
Or the entertainment in Rianxo, Boiro, Ribeira, A Pobra do Caramiñal... The nobility of Cambados, capital of Albariño, with the impressive plaza and the Pazo de Fefiñáns. Or Catoira, scene of ancient barbarian invasions and today a festive and fun 'Viking Landing'. And during the visit to Vilagarcía de Arousa, there's nothing like enjoying "Mariñeiro-style tourism" visiting the neighbouring Port of Carril in order to discover the best Galician seafood farms. Trying their famous clams right there is an absolute must!
Since the 60s of the past century, the Ría de Arousa has the only maritime via crucis in the world, as these waters define a Way of St. James, the Sea Route of Arousa-Río Ulla, which commemorates the arrival in Galicia by sea of the body of St James. Indeed, this is where the Apostle's lifeless body arrived in the boat of stone, which also held two of his favourite disciples. Today, this Sea Route of Arousa-Río Ulla has become a tourist attraction for people from all over the world.
The Arosa estuary is more than a geodestination. It is a world tourist reference for two reasons: because it is considered the richest in the world – and that wealth ends up in the kitchen – and because it has a series of well known and very popular beaches. Enclosed by Salvora Island (part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands, as is Cortegada) and a spectacular string of islets, in its interior there is another piece of land that has been connected to the mainland by a bridge for twenty-five years: A Illa de Arousa, with the Punta Carreirón nature reserve.
And speaking of nature reserves, it would be unforgivable not to speak of the Parque Natural das Dunas de Corrubedo e Lagoas de Carregal e Vixán, where we can admire the largest shifting dune in Galicia and confirm that one of the lagoons has salt water while the other has fresh water. Another space integrated into the Natura 2000 Network is the Ons-O Grove complex, the junction of two ecosystems rich in biodiversity: sea waters and waters from the estuary's interior.
With all this in sight, it is not very difficult to guess what the cuisine of the Ría de Arousa is like: it is based on what is given by the sea, and firstly the various shellfish, whose extraction is the main source of wealth of the people who live in this geodestination.