A visit to Playa de las Catedrales

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Playa de las Catedrales in the Spanish region Galicia is almost without exception always mentioned on the lists with the most beautiful beaches in Spain. It is important to know that you should prepare for a visit to this beautiful beach. You must visit at low tide if you want to walk between the beautifully shaped and impressive cliffs. When it is high tide, you can only see it from above, because then there is no beach left.

What do you need to know before visiting Playa de las Catedrales?

Reservation in high season

Because so many people come to this natural wonder, it is without exception very busy in the high season. The Galician authorities have therefore set a maximum number of visitors of 4,812 people per day. During Holy Week before Easter (Semana Santa) and from July 1 to September 30, you can book a visit to Playa de las Catedrales here. If you are staying in a hotel or other tourist accommodation in the municipality of Ribadeo, they can arrange the reservation of your visit. You just need to enter the name and passport or ID number of each person who wants to visit the beach. As long as the maximum capacity for that date has not yet been reached, you will be granted access. After you have shown your printed or digitally saved PDF at the entrance to the beach, you can go on the beach.

Visit this beach at low tide

It is important that you take the tides into account. Only at low tide can you walk on the beach and admire the arches from the most impressive perspective. At high tide, there is no beach left and it is only possible to walk over the cliffs.  But you also get a nice impression from this height. There, a route has been plotted with viewpoints and information boards. Two hours before, or after low tide, the conditions are ideal for a walk between the 30 metre high cliffs. Swimming is also possible. Lifeguards keep an eye on them between 1 pm and 7 pm in the summer season. Furthermore, you will not see many people lying on a towel at Playa de las Catedrales. There is a picnic here and there, but to really sunbathe it is better to look for another beach in the area.

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Visit with children

Visiting Playa de las Catedrales with children is also recommended. The beach is a special experience for young and old. The arched cliffs to walk under and caves and other vaults to take a look at are also captivating to them. Moreover, small pools are formed everywhere at low tide that can serve as paddling pools. In any case, it is fun for the little ones to stomp into the resulting puddles. Just make sure they wear clothes that can get wet.

Natural artwork

Fortunately, even if you cannot go on the beach, it is a spectacular environment to stay for a while. A stretch of 15 kilometers of coast here belongs to the protected Red Natura 2000. It is impressive to see how the high waves crash on the vertical cliffs, resulting in large clouds of splashing foam. The rocks together form a geological monument and offer a beautiful visual spectacle from every point of view. The cliffs are formed of very fine-grained blue-black colored, metamorphic rock that breaks down easily. This beach shows how powerful the water of the sea is in conjunction with the patience of the time. Together they are able to deform the enormous cliffs in such a way that a true natural work of art is created.

If you walk straight ahead from the entrance to Playa de las Catedrales, so heading east you will arrive at the part with the arches and cliffs that gives the beach the reference to a cathedral in its name. If you walk west, you will see more caves and vaults.

How to get there?

By car you drive to Ribadeo. From the A8, take exit 516.  If you first drive through Ribadeo itself, you can reach Playa de las Catedrales via the N634. In high season there are four buses a day to the beach. They do base their departure times on the tide schedule, so keep an eye on that too. If you take the train from Ribadeo get off at the Esteiro stop. From there it is a fifteen minute walk. Click here for more information about departure times and public transport in Ribadeo.

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