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Things to do in Sanxenxo

Welcome to Sanxenxo, the heart of the tourist region of Salnés, where everything is thought for the  leisure and entertainment of the tourists who visit us.  All the suggestions we offer in this article are based on our personal experiences, which we always provide to our clients upon their arrival, and according to their feedback, they seem to be quite correct.

In the heart of the Rias Baixas, and under the influence of a microclimate that makes it special, Sanxenxo has become into the tourist capital of Galicia (always with the permission of Santiago de Compostela). Due to its privileged location, Sanxenxo is the perfect place to take as a starting point to know the Galician coast, as well as several of the most important cities of Galicia.

Sanxenxo is proud of offering many leisure options to their visitors (beaches, landscapes, water sports, adventure, shopping, gastronomy, party,…). It has become one of the favorite destinations for tourists visiting Galicia.

SITUATION

In the heart of the Rías Baixas, in the Ría de Pontevedra and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Sanxenxo is strategically situated to be the starting point for the “compulsory visits” you cannot miss.

According to the distance we find:

– Combarro, 12 km far (15 minutes by car). A small town of great beauty, in the direction to Pontevedra.
– O Grove, 13 Km far (15 minutes by car), known by its popular Fiesta del Marisco, and the Isla de la Toja.
– Cambados, 18 km far (15 minutes by car). An old town of great beauty and the birthplace of the famous wine Albariño .
– Pontevedra, 20 km far (20 minutes by car). The landscape from the coastal road towards the city is just lovely.
– Vigo, 60 Km far (45 minutes by car). It’s the economic capital of the province of Pontevedra.
– Santiago de Compostela, 70 km far (50 minutes by car). The capital of Galicia and a tourist / historical / monumental icon of Galicia.
– A Coruña, 140 Km far (90 minutes by car). A beautiful city, overlooking the sea. Do not miss it!.

THE WEATHER

Due to its privileged situation, in the heart of the region of O Salnés, and thanks to the wonderful nature, Sanxenxo benefits from a microclimate different from the rest of Galicia. With temperatures of 24/25 degrees in summer, 17/18 degrees in spring and autumn, and 14/15 degrees in winter, Sanxenxo becomes an ideal place to spend your holiday at any time of the year (ver windguru >>)

PLAYAS

Concerning the sea and the beaches, Sanxenxo is located between the Rías of Pontevedra and Arousa, so we’ll find beaches for all preferences. From the calm beaches facing to the Ría of Pontevedra, with calm water and protected from the wind of the North (not too strong but the most common here), to the beaches facing the Atlantic ocean. These ones are larger but a bit windier too, with no problem at all for those who want to get into the water.

In the following list you will find, according to our view, the most outstanding beaches of Sanxenxo (there are some others, but these ones are more than enough):

– A Lanzada Beach: The biggest and famous, but not always the most recommended.
– Silgar Beach: Located in the city centre of Sanxenxo and surrounded by a busy promenade.
– Montalvo Beach: Surrounded by a beautiful pine forest. It is a very calm beach with calm water.
– Paxariñas Beach: Beautiful little beach, sheltered from the north wind, and with a very calm atmosphere.
– Areas Beach: Located in the area of Areas, at the exit of Sanxenxo towards Pontevedra and protected by the north winds.
– Baltar Beach: Located in the centre of Portonovo, and surrounded by a promenade with a lovely atmosphere in the summer.
– Bascuas Beach: The only nudist beach in Sanxenxo.
– Canelas Beach: Located at the exit of Portonovo towards O Grove. A good beach with a very calm atmosphere.

RESTAURANTS

Definitely, we have to talk about the gastronomy we offer to all our visitors, which is one of the most important attractions for our visitors. Fish and seafood are for sure the most appreciated products, but there are many other options to please everyone.

Now, and without demeaning other restaurants (we insist that all the information we provide here is based on our personal experiences), we named some recommended places to enjoy a good meal in Sanxenxo.

Duromar Shellfish Farm (Sanxenxo): For those who want to enjoy good seafood, but not in an expensive restaurant (Perfect for the clients of our apartments, since shellfish is already boiled. You just have to order it and take it to the apartment to enjoy your “mariscada”). They normally have  spider crab, velvet crab, brown crab, prawns, … at very good prices. The only thing you have to do is going to the shellfish farm, having a look to the prices of the day and order your choice ( already cooked in sea water). Take the seafood to your apartment, and do not forget to have a bottle of Albariño wine in the fridge to complete this banquet … Enjoy your meal !!

Restaurante Sabino (Sanxenxo): Both the tasting menu (3/4 dishes + 1/2 desserts) and à la carte are excellent. The treatment is very good and friendly. Although it seems a little “posh” at first sight, we soon notice that it is a very familiar restaurant. When the mushroom season the tasting menu is amazing.

Burás (Portonovo): Perfect for tapas. It is located in the area of the traditional taverns of Portonovo, so try no to go in the rush hour, because you will find it difficult to find a table available. Spanish omelette and homemade “empanadillas” (with different fillings) are very tasteful, as well as the squid; really delicious.

Terraza del Mar (Sanxenxo): Located on the seafront of Sanxenxo, on the ground floor of the Hotel del Mar. They have reopened their cafe / restaurant a few years ago (2015) with an innovative idea. They have got a not very long menu, but they offer very well prepared dishes. If it is good weather, it’s just lovely to have lunch on the terrace.

O Buraco (Portonovo): “Grandma” style meal. Specialty in fish and seafood. Very cosy, with a very familiar service and good product. Different types of fresh fish, according to what they have got in the fish market the day before. We advise to book in summer.

O Rincon dos Barcos (Sanxenxo): Something different. It’s amazing to have this kind of restaurants such as O Rincón dos Barcos, in an area of such a traditional gastronomy. A successful menu and great preparation of all their dishes. Taste the starters and the desserts. It’s worth it.

Parrillada O Ché (Xesteiriña – Sanxenxo): A very cosy place with a good terrace to enjoy your meal in the summer. The specialty of this restaurant is grilled meat (pork and beef). We advise you to book a table if you are more than 5/6 people or if it’s summer time. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to find a table available.

Casa Aurora (Sanxenxo): The owners of this establishment have provided this restaurant a new innovative profile. All the food coming out from the kitchen is detailed supervised by the main chef, which we appreciate. Specialties based on seasonal products are really good. They want you to like their food and they do not hesitate to ask you if your plate is not empty.

Restaurante Mar Divino (Portonovo): Excellent option for fish and grilled meat. Located between Sanxenxo and Portonovo and overlooking the Baltar Beach, it is an elegant restaurant with very good service. It has got good value for money and first quality products.

Dorsia Café (Sanxenxo): A new place in Sanxenxo (Opened in 2016). We appreciate to have a bar / restaurant of this kind in Sanxenxo just to enjoy something different. Not a huge menu, but everything is really tasteful. Different sandwiches, “rabo de vaca” croquettes, excellent juices and very good mixed natural smoothies.
The main entrance of this place is in one side of the building, so if you do not know the area, you may find it difficult to get to it.

Asador A Ferreira (Nantes – Sanxenxo): A very good option for a set meal. As well as à la carte, they offer a lovely set meal at a fairly low price (8.5 / 9 euros). The dishes are quite generous, and the service is very good and friendly.

Casa Carmelita (Sanxenxo): Pizzas and something more … The pizzas are quite good, made in a good oven in sight. The rest of the pasta is nice, but we have a great choice, even seafood (own hatchery). It’s not expensive, they offer set meal as well, and the most important thing is that they open all year.

Muiño Do Ferreiro (Lores – Meaño): A refuge of peace!. Located in an old mill, and next to the river, this place pleases all its visitors. Wonderful galician tapas. We bring out the tasteful spanish omelette and the homemade croquettes. Familiar service because they are a family indeed.

Arrocería A Solaina (O Grove): Terrific rice with lobster !. Elegant restaurant with very good product, very professional kitchen, and high quality service. For us, it is one of the best restaurants in O Grove. Not affordable for everybody, but not extremely expensive. Good value for money.

NIGHT LEISURE

Like any tourist destination the night leisure is one of the main appeals, and Sanxenxo offers us a great choice as well. There are two different night environments, depending on the preferences of everyone.

Portonovo have their areas for tapas and wine, with pleasant terraces that are open until late. The atmosphere is very nice and friendly.

On the other hand, we have the night pubs with two different environments as well. We find a more refined atmosphere in Sanxenxo, with ones of the most exclusive pubs of the region to show your tunning off and to dance. Then, we have Portonovo with a sailor style, more familiar atmosphere and small and traditional pubs. (Drinks are cheaper as well!).

EXCURSIONS 

Sanxenxo is the perfect place to visit the Galician coast as well as to know cities like Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, A Coruña,…

With the intention of making things easier, we will detail in the next list the possible excursions we recommend to carry out once you had arrived at Sanxenxo (Places you cannot miss).

1- COMBARRO / PONTEVEDRA – Very close, a quick drive to go for a pleasant walk.
Just take the coastal road in the direction of Pontevedra. You will find Combarro at 15 kms far. We advise you to park your car in the port area, walk to the centre and get lost in the charming alleys.
Then, continue towards Pontevedra, park the car, walking to the old town (pedestrian), and enjoy one of the cities with the best quality of life in Spain.

2- SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA / A CORUÑA – For a full day excursion.
We advise you to leave after breakfast to Santiago de Compostela (45 minutes by motorway). You do not need to rush. Visit the cathedral and walk around the old town. For those who are very devoted (or just for curiosity), the Peregrine Mass is held every day at 12:00. If you are already hungry, we recommend the Restaurant Dezaseis, located in Rúa San Pedro, 16 (981564880 – we suggest to book), a typical Galician restaurant with great products.
Then, go to A Coruña (50 minutes by motorway). Leave the car in a public parking in the city centre, as finding a place to park the car in the centre is a bit complicated , Visit the port, Plaza de María Pita, The area of Los Olmos, Real Street, Galera Street, the promenade of Riazor, … A Coruña is the perfect city to walk.
If you had not had lunch in Santiago and you want to do it in A Coruña, we recommend you two options: La de Alberto Restaurant (981907411 – you need to book before). Great quality at medium price. And the second option would be to go for the traditional tapas by Los Olmos and Galera Street. It’s more informal but funniest too.

3- BAIONA / LA GUARDIA / TUI – This option would lead us to the south of Galicia.
Go directly to Baiona (about 50 minutes, Highway to Vigo + Highway to Baiona). Walk around the old part Baiona and continue by car all along the coastal road to A Guardia to visit O Castro de Santa Tecla and enjoy the stunning views from up there. Then, in Tui, you will have time to walk around the old small streets and to have a beer in one of the popular terraces.

4- CIES ISLANDS – These paradisiac islands located in the Ría de Vigo belongs to the Natural Park of the Atlantic Islands.
We advise to visit the island in a full day excursion. Don’t rush and take your time to have lunch ant to walk around this lovely paradise. This is a place to enjoy sightseeing.
All the ships go to the Cíes Islands from the ports of Vigo and Cangas, and tickets must be booked in advance, since the islands have a maximum daily quota of visitors. So, it’s very difficult to find tickets available on the same day. You may book your tickets on this site for instance: http://crucerosriasbaixas.com/
Take comfortable shoes and tanning lotion to enjoy this truly paradise.
If you do not want to carry your “tuperware”, there are a couple of restaurants at very reasonable prices.

5 – ONS ISLAND – Easier to visit as it’s located in the Ría de Pontevedra.
Although it is also advisable to go in a full day excursion, it is possible to do it during the morning or the afternoon. In summer time, ships are going and coming all day long
Boats are leaving from the ports of Sanxenxo and Portonovo and there are not many problems to get tickets available. However, if you prefer to book your tickets in advance we provide you the following useful site http://crucerosriasbaixas.com/.
Although there are people living in the island all the year, we consider the island an unspoilt place.
Both for a different day on the beach and for a trip with spectacular views, it is worth visiting this island.
We find a couple of restaurants (the most famous dish is “caldeirada de pulpo” served in Casa Checho).

6- O GROVE / ISLA DE LA TOJA  ISLAND / CAMBADOS / ISLA DE AROUSA – This is a perfect excursion to know the region of Salnés, since everything is quite near.
Go to O Grove by the coastal road (PO308) and visit the capital of the seafood. Walk around the fishing port and take one of those typical boats to make a voyage on the Ria de Arousa where you can taste mussels and wine. You can buy the tickets directly at the port; you do not need to book them. Boats are leaving every half an hour (in summer). The voyage lasts about 1 hour and a half, and you will see the southern part of the Ría de Arousa and visit one of the traditional “bateas” (mussels, oysters, scallops, …), where you will be given an interesting explanation of these typical “bateas” .
Then, you will only have to cross a small bridge to arrive at the “exclusive” Isla de la Toja, Known by its hot springs and by its soap.

Later, along the coastal road (PO550), we will get soom (25 minutes) to the town of Cambados. The capital of the Albariño. Leave the car in the port area and go walking to small charming streets. Don’t forget to visit the Plaza de Fefiñáns, and taste the wonderful wine in any of the terraces of the local typical bars.
After having visited Cambados, we advise you to continue in direction for Villagarcía de Arousa, by the local road PO549 until the Island of Arousa.
The island of Arousa, separated from the mainland until 1985, is an island of great beauty (perfect for a beach day), and with one of the most typical fishing ports of the area.
And here in the port, we have a variety of restaurants where you can taste the best fish and seafood in the Ría de Arousa. (The Restaurant A Meca may be one of the best according to our opinion).

FISHING

For those keen on fishing, the coast of Sanxenxo has a large number of places for seabass fishing (sea bream, gilt-head bream,…) as well as squid fishing from the ports of Sanxenxo and Portonovo; more enjoyable for children.

The areas of Paxariñas, A Lanzada, Cabicastro, … are excellent areas for seabass fishing using decoys such as “vinilos”, “rapalas”,…and for gilt-head bream fishing as well; using buoys in this case.

TREKKING

Although Rias Baixas is not a paradise for trekking, there are some interesting routes near Sanxenxo which are no very difficult.

Route PR-G115 (Ruta do Adro Vello – San Vicente do Mar – O Grove).
A small route (3.1 km), almost circular which drives us through two beaches up to Pereiriña. It is a very simple route, perfect to do it with children and which lets us know part of San Vicente do Mar.

Route PR-G116 (Ruta do Con Negro – San Vicente do Mar – O Grove).
Another simple and short route (3.3 km), which goes along the coast of San Vicente do Mar, with beautiful views of the Ria de Arousa. Perfectly adapted for children too, as it has no difficulty at all.

Route PR-G170 (Ruta da pedra e da auga – Meaño)
This route begins in Barrantes, 15 km far from the centre of Sanxenxo, and ends at the Armenteira Monastery. It is a perfect route to go and back in one go, since the total distance is 13.5 km, all along the river.
The first two parts are completely flat, and the third part it’s a little more difficult as we start the way up to reach the Monastery of Armenteira. As well as visiting the monastery, it’s quite usual to have a coffee in the Bar O Comercio. And then, the return becomes easier as we have a favourable slope to the starting point.
13.50 km is easily done in no more than 3 hours.

– Route PR-G 172 (Ruta do Río Chanca – Lores – Meaño)
This route, like the previous one, ends in Armenteira Monastery; as well as other routes that share the same final point. As it is not a circular route, it is advisable to do it go and return. A total distance of 13 km.
In the middle of the route, the path starts to rise a little bit, but not enough to say that it’s impossible to do it.
This is a well-known route, because it is often carried out by the presiden of the goverment Mariano Rajoy when he is on holiday in Sanxenxo. We have come across him a few times.
Once you arrive at Armenteira Monastery, like in the previous route, it is advisable to visit the monastery, to have a coffee in the Bar O Comercio and then go back home downhill.

– Route PR-G171 (Ruta do Río San Martiño – Meis)
This not circular route of 10.8 km, takes us through the interior of the region of O Salnés, passing by the golf course of Meis, and it also ends in Armenteira Monastery.
The route has an average difficulty from Km 4 to Km 6.5, due to a continuous rise, but from there it becomes all flat with small ups and downs.
In case you want to walk a little bit more, you could do this route on the way up and then the Route PR-G170 (Da Pedra e da Auga Route- 6.7 km – favorable slope) on the way back. The start points of both routes are 200 meters away.

SURFING

Although there are not always very good waves for surfing, the famous Lanzada beach is the best of the area to practise this sport both for experienced surfers and for beginners. In fact, there are a couple of companies that provide surf classes at all levels.

WINERY

Since Sanxenxo is located in the heart of the Rías Baixas, we are in the perfect place for wine lovers. Especially Albariño wine; 95% of the production comes from this area.

There are many wineries around where we can have guided tours, tastings and purchase of wine. All of them are quite good and most of them may be visited. We think it is a different experience which everybody likes.

La cadena hotelera de A Costa da Morte (Galicia)