The province of Pontevedra is one of the four which comprise the autonomous region of Galicia northwest of Spain. Its capital city, of the same name, is known for its natural scenery and rich cultural heritage. Its Old Town is home to many historic landmarks that will delight the history enthusiast. Just as pleasing is its strategic setting on a hilltop offering wonderful views of the Lerez River and the surrounding countryside.
The nearest airports are located in Vigo and Santiago de Compostela. Both are less than an hour’s drive from Pontevedra. If you are coming from Madrid or Barcelona, RENFE trains maintain a regular daily schedule to the area. Buses are also reliable transportation options from major Spanish cities.
A walking tour of Pontevedra will take visitors to beautiful old buildings, centuries-old churches, lovely gardens and impressive museums. The city’s picturesque Old Town is the place to start your exploration; it is where most of the historic attractions are located.
Begin your adventure by walking past the town hall, Pazo do Concello, until you reach the handsome facade of the Teatro Principal. Continue walking until you reach one of Pontevedra’s most famous plazas, the Prazo do Teucro. The square dates back to the 17th century and the impressive manor houses surrounding the lovely open space are a testament to the city’s glory days back in the day.
Next up is the bustling and charming Praza da Ferreria. It is one of the city’s most atmospheric locales featuring vibrant market stalls, lovely cafes and several of Pontevedra’s churches.
The Museo Provincial de Pontevedra, including all of the several buildings comprising it, is a must visit for those who want to learn more about Pontevedra’s history. Spend a few hours here and discover impressive collections of historical and archaeological artifacts that are considered to be one of the finest in all of Spain. Art lovers, on the other hand, will enjoy what Illa das Esculturas or the Island of Sculptures has to offer. It is a vast open air garden with various works of the Spain’s famous sculptures integrated into the lush setting. If you are more interested in traditional shopping, head to the scenic farmer’s market along the river bank and get a taste of the local flavor from the various products on display.
Of course, no Pontevedra excursion is complete without visiting the province’s stunning beaches. Head to the lower bays of Galicia, known as Rias Baixas, to soak up the sun. The beaches in the area offer fine white sand and calm crystalline waters. Some of the most popular are La playa de Melide, La playa de Lapaman and La playa de America. Unfortunately, these spots easily get busy during peak season. If you want to escape the crowd and enjoy a bit of solitude, head to Arnelas and bask in the lovely expanse of powdery white sand and cerulean waters with fewer tourists to share it with.