Cambados, Galicia - Spain
Cambados is on the northwest coast of Spain in the region of Galicia. Galicia is famous for its pies and seafood dishes and particularly noted for its shell fish, however it is also considered to produce one of the best white wines in the world. Cambados is home to one of the most important group of manor houses belonging to the nobility in Galicia and subsequently is a town filled with several beautiful churches and palaces. Particularly popular to visitors is the Fifinans square and the 16th century ruins of Santa Marina.
The main entrance to what was once a walled town is through a stone arch where the magnificent Prazo de Fefinans manor house stands, now a bodega or winery. Near the church in the main square are many traditional houses made of granite and as you head down the main street of Calle Real you begin to enter a more elegant area filled with quality restaurants and interesting shops.
Overlooking the Ria de Arousa is the 17th century manor house, Parador Cambados (Hotel El Albarino). This four star hotel offers a very tranquil atmosphere located in the special surroundings of the Rias Baixa with its pine groves, beaches and coves. The Parador has its own swimming pool and tennis court and there is also a golf course nearby.
July is when the Santa Margarita Feast takes place which is a fantastic sardine party not to be missed and because the town is surrounded by vineyards the Albarino festival in August is another very special event with lots of folklore displays and wine tasting. Because this part of the province is the centre of wine production you will find many specialist wine shops and bars in town. There are two other festivals in July and one in August so if you come during the summer months there will certainly be plenty of entertainment on tap.
Being on the coast there are a number of good beaches nearby. The Santo Tome is the only beach in the town centre and is located beside the fishing port with a small promenade. The Das Seinas is highly recommended for those with small children as it is a very comfortable beach with a pretty woodland area at the far end. However, there is also a great deal of enjoyment to be had by just strolling along the seaside promenade and exploring the yachting harbour.
The Galician coast has many places of outstanding beauty such as the Rias Baixas Marine Resort. With the Atlantic Islands National Park as a backdrop, here you can have an opportunity to go kayaking, sailing or scuba diving, and the vast sands of the Sanxenxo makes it an ideal spot for many other water sports. Protected by the estuary it has successfully combined the old traditional atmosphere of the fisherman’s quarter with the more modern look of today.
Less than half an hour away south east of Cambados is the well preserved medieval town of Pontevedra. If you want to get a real taste of Spanish life then try to time your visit with the weekly market in the town square or stay overnight at the Parador Pontevedra (Hotel Casa del Baron), which was once the home of the Counts of Maceda, and enjoy the lively plazas at night.
If you have never explored Galicia, Cambados is a very good place to start. This attractive town is on the doorstep of so many things to see and do and with Pontevedra so close by you could treat yourself to yet another night in another exquisite Parador.
About the Author: This article was written by Susan Bartle who is a seasoned traveller and freelance travel writer.
Originally from Canada she currently resides in the UK and recent research has resulted in expert knowledge of the Pousadas and Paradores. Click here to read about other destinations where these luxury hotels can be found.
Or visit her travel website covering countries in Europe and all around the globe.