Guide to Noia Muros Bay – Galicia, Basque Country (Pais Vasco), Spain
Noia is typical of the many small towns located around the bays or ‘rias’ of Galicia’s Atlantic facing coastline. Although now combining active summer tourism with fishing and agriculture, many of the town’s residents commute daily to work in Galicia’s premiere city of Santiago de Compostela, some 45 minutes away.
Noia, originally a fishing village, has a history dating back over a thousand years with many of its old streets and buildings paying visible testament to that fact. Noia was the seat of the Archbishop for nearly 600 years and its ancient Gothic church, San Martino. The original Bishop’s residence is located on the adjacent square and remains today.
The church of San Martino is not, however, Noia’s oldest church. That mantle is reserved for the Church of Santa Maria, originally constructed in 1327 which now serves as a local museum.
History, churches and religious connections are not the only reason why you might want to consider visiting Noia. Located at the mouth of one of Galicia’s rias, it is an ideal base to explore from and visit the multitude of towns and villages scattered along Galicia’s rugged but scenic southern coastline.
Porto do Son
On the opposite side of the bay to Muros is the sea facing conurbation known as Porto do Son. Porto do Son is a collection of coastal towns, the most noteworthy of which is Porto Sin. Originally Porto Sin was a fishing village and you can still see the boats, fishermen and catches landing there today. At Porto Sin the old combines with the new and this is highlighted by the town’s exclusive Sailing and Aqua club which is famous throughout Spain.
Move inland from any of these seaside towns and it’s easy to see how Galicia has acquired the alias of ‘green Spain’. The countryside is hilly, mountainous and lush green and it’s fairly obvious to all who go there that this region of Spain sees its fair share of rain. That said, temperatures can get very high in the summer, but if you need to cool down there is an endless supply of nearly deserted beaches, many awaiting their first discovery by English speaking tourists.
Amongst the many potential tourist sites is Muros, another famous Galician town with a small harbour featuring ‘mirador’ fronted buildings and nestled at the foot of the Monte Louro mountains. ‘Miradors’ are what the Galicians call the glass panel enclosed balconies which are a unique and traditional feature of this region.
Thanks to Martin Lambert who kindly provided this personal guide to the Noia-Muros Bay in Galicia. You can read more articles like this and other interesting information about the area of Galicia on his personal website guide to Galicia at www.galiciaguide.com.