I am standing on a viewing platform on a cliff overlooking the river Eo, which forms the border between Galicia and Asturias here. On the Galician side is the small coastal town of Ribadeo, which I will visit for a short city walk.
But first I enjoy the view at this vantage point.
Mirador do Cargadoiro
The Mirador do Cargadoiro, often referred to simply as the Cargadoiro lookout, is one of the most impressive viewpoints in Ribadeo and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
The mirador consists of a platform very reminiscent of an old bridge that ends over the abyss. It gets windy on the way to the end of the platform and step by step an impressive landscape opens up before me.
The view is truly breathtaking in one direction. The green landscape of Galicia combined with the blue colour of the river and the ocean creates a picturesque panorama. The sun’s rays glitter in the water like little diamonds. Visiting this place during sunset must be beautiful and romantic.
The busy motorway bridge somewhat disturbs the view inland, but I can clearly see the shipyards of Figueras on the opposite side of the estuary.
And when I look under the roadway, I discover Ribadeo with its harbour. While enjoying the view here, I can watch the movement of ships and boats going up and down the river.
I think the Mirador do Cargadoiro is a great viewpoint over the coastal region and a beautiful photo spot not to be missed.
Ribadeo a little stroll through the city
Ribadeo’s history dates back to the Middle Ages. It was once an important port for trade between Spain and other European countries. Due to its strategic location at the mouth of the river Eo, Ribadeo was often a point of contention between the Kingdom of León and the Kingdom of Asturias and fiercely fought over. Over the centuries, the town has maintained its maritime roots and today it is an important fishing and tourist destination in the region.
Places of interest in Ribadeo
Der Altstadtbereich ist nicht groß und kann sehr gut zu Fuß erkundet werden. Dabei kommt man an den wichtigsten Sehenswürdigkeiten der Stadt vorbei.
Ribadeo old town
It is worth strolling through the narrow streets of the old town. Many traditional Galician houses stand side by side here, small shops invite you to go shopping and restaurants tempt you with delicious food.
During our visit, I was amazed at how busy the pedestrian zone was. It was obvious that not only the Spaniards, but also many tourists liked the varied shopping offer.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España refers to one of the most central and lively squares in Ribadeo. It is a place popular with both locals and tourists and is at the heart of the town’s social and cultural life.
The Praza de España is located in the historic centre of Ribadeo. The square is surrounded by impressive traditional buildings typical of Galician architecture. Many of these buildings are well preserved and reflect the history and character of the town, such as the Town Hall, the Convent of Santa Clara and the Parish Church of Santa María do Campo. The Torre de los Moreno also stands here. It is certainly an impressive modernist building, built at the beginning of the 20th century. It was planned by a pupil of Gaudí on behalf of two brothers from Ribadeo who had made their fortune overseas. Unfortunately, it was covered in scaffolding when I visited the city and not much could be seen.
The square is beautiful. Small flowerbeds, some trees and benches in the shade make it a relaxing place to spend time.
From the square, it is very easy to walk to the harbour.
Harbour of Ribadeo
The road goes downhill quite steeply and so little by little I get closer and closer to the water.
The port of Ribadeo is located at the mouth of the river Eo, which forms the border between Galicia and Asturias. Its location at the mouth makes the port a sheltered anchorage that has been used for centuries. It has made the city an important trading centre and promoted exchanges between different regions of Spain beyond. Wood and coal were shipped here and boats went out to sea to fish.
Fishing boats can still be seen in the harbour today, although not as many. Today, mainly sports boats anchor in the town’s marina. The harbour offers the best conditions for tours along the northern coast of Spain.
Right next to the harbour basin I discover a few fish restaurants. I would have loved to sit down and eat a freshly caught fish.
As I make my way back, I then discover a lift that is the ideal way to save a steep walk up to the old town from the harbour. During the week, you can use the lift from 11am to 7pm, and at weekends from 11am to 8pm. The lift has windows, so you have a great view over the harbour.
Praza de Abastos
The “Praza de Abastos” refers to the main market or market hall where fresh food such as fish, meat, fruit and vegetables are sold. When I visited the city, market stalls had just been set up in the square.
Here you could buy local specialities, such as meat and fish. I also saw stalls with olives and cheese.
Very untypical for a market, however, was the beer sale. A small brewery from the region offered its craft beer here. Yes, and what can I say, I couldn’t resist and bought a slightly cloudy, somewhat dark beer. It had a slightly bitter note and I liked it very much.
Hotel and restaurant tip: Parador de Ribadeo
The Parador de Ribadeo is part of the Spanish Parador chain, a collection of hotels often located in historic or scenic areas of Spain. These paradores are known for offering an authentic and luxurious Spanish experience, often in historic buildings or places of special significance.
The Parador de Ribadeo is located above the river Eo in a traditional Galician country house. Thanks to its location, the Parador offers a beautifully landscaped terrace from which I could enjoy a dreamlike view of the surroundings.
I had lunch in the restaurant of the house. I was served a 4-course menu with very good white wine from the region. As a small starter I got a very good tasting lobster croquette. Unfortunately, the Galician broth did not meet my taste. For the main course, we were served a Galician-style hake. The highlight of the menu at noon was definitely the dessert, a creamy yoghurt cake with berry topping.
Travel information about Ribadeo
The nearest airport is Asturias Airport (OVD), located around 100 km from Ribadeo. It offers national and some international connections. From here, travellers can either hire a car or take one of the regular buses or trains that run to Ribadeo.
Ribadeo train station offers connections to various cities in northern Spain. The Spanish railway company, RENFE, offers regular services to Oviedo, Gijón and other cities. From larger cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, you can get to Ribadeo by changing trains in Oviedo or Gijón.
I arrived at the city’s train station on the Costa Verde Express during a 5-day round trip along Spain’s green coast.
Several bus companies, including ALSA, offer regular services to and from Ribadeo. There are direct connections from larger cities such as Madrid, Bilbao and Oviedo. Buses are often a cheaper, albeit slower, alternative to trains.
For travellers who prefer the freedom of exploring the region by car, the main roads to Ribadeo are the A-8 and N-634. The A-8 is a motorway that runs along the north coast of Spain, connecting Ribadeo with cities such as Bilbao and San Sebastián to the east, and Ferrol and A Coruña to the west. The N-634 is a national road that also runs along the north coast but offers a more scenic, albeit slower, route.
Best time to travel
Spring (March to May): This is one of the best times to visit Ribadeo, as the weather becomes milder and nature comes to life. The temperatures are pleasant and although there can still be rainy days, they are less frequent in spring than in winter. In addition, the tourist crowds are not yet as high during this time, allowing you to enjoy the sights and beaches without large crowds.
Summer (June to August): This is the high season for Ribadeo. Temperatures are warm but rarely too hot thanks to the Atlantic breeze. It is the ideal time for beach visits, water sports and other outdoor activities. However, it can get very crowded during these months, especially at the famous Praia das Catedrais. Those wishing to travel to Ribadeo during this time should book accommodation and activities in advance.
Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler and wetter weather, but offers the advantage that the summer crowds have departed. The landscape becomes particularly picturesque with the autumn colours and it is a good time for walking and exploring the area.
Winter (December to February): This is the quietest time to visit Ribadeo. Temperatures are cooler and rain may be more frequent, but snow is rare. For travellers who want to experience the city without many tourists and are not so interested in beach activities, winter can still be a pleasant time to visit.
The visit to the city took place as part of a trip on the Costa Verde Express