On foot, by bike, on a boat, on a kayak, on horseback… During the day, breathing pure air; at night watching the stars and listeninig to the sound of the silence… Through the forests, along the city, or the ría… In the present times, through the past… Smelling flowers, tasting Albariño…. Learning to pick up seafood, seeing how canned food is made…is there a better offer? In Vilagarcía there are more than 20 guided or self-guided tours. We know that the decision is not easy.
To get into the past and present of the city, there is nothing better than the historic tourthat will take you along streets and squares. You will see archaeological remains, a pazo, a convent, and a church catalogued as a national monument… but also the traces of what it used to be a fishing quarter, 19th and 20th century unique buildings as well as some centenary gardens and trees. If you have not had enough, you can also visit the Castro of Alobre, one of the most important iron-age settlements of the North-East of the peninsula and to follow the extraordinary tour of the stone crosses which will lead you to the most unknown Vilagarcía.
Comtemplating Vilagarcía and its ría from the sea is another option. You can overlook it doing the tour on a boat, or on an old galleon. You can also know how to fish eel and lamprey firsthand , and go to the mussel bateas and to the clam and cockle farms with the particularity that you can have a go after being trained by expertise women shellfish catchers.
And then you can surrender to the magic of Cortegada island (Atlantic Island National Park): its old fishing settlement, its chapel, a path going through a laurel forest but also through an oak and eucalyptus forests, its idyllic inlets, and of course, its legends.
Food and wine tours are another good option to understand Vilagarcía. Visiting a family-run winery or a traditional canned food factory, taking part in the tapas route or having a walk amongst vineries and camellias and later on, visiting the pazo and winery of Rubiáns, are four equally interesting alternatives.
Finally, you can also approach the city from a spiritual standpoint. The Jacobean Route of the Arousa Sea and the River Ulla recalls the first journey of the Apostle Santiago from Jerusalem to Compostela but today that voyage is not carried out onboard of a stone boat but on a comfortable catamaran, sailing up the river, going past the Towers of Oeste, “key and seal” of Galicia in old times to fight against the Normans.
The Padre Sarmiento’s Route, is another “camino de Santiago” which goes through Vilagarcía, a leg of a longer route which starts in Pontevedra and alongside the coast reaches Padrón where connects with the Portuguese Way leading to Compostela. In a nutshell, the list of routes and tours that go through Vilagarcía or start in Vilagarcía reaches up to 20 alternatives. It is up to you to decide what to do. But any route you choose will ensure you the right camino.