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Rias Baixas Day Trips from Santiago de Compostela

Fancy seafood and a day at the beach? A tour of ancient architecture? Any of these plans can be included in an excursion from Santiago de Compostela to the Rías Baixas, are you up for it?

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Rias Baixas Day Trips from Santiago de Compostela

Streets of Santiago de Compostela | ©Pedro

One of the things you must do in Santiago de Compostela is to visit the Rías Baixas. This is the coastal part of Galicia known for having an unusual geological formation. The estuaries have some projections of land towards the coast where the sea enters, which creates unique natural conditions that attract tourists.

Visiting this area of Spain from Santiago de Compostela is a unique opportunity to taste the gastronomy, admire the beautiful landscapes and visit the beaches. The villages located in the Rías Baixas also hide beautiful architectural structures, ancient stories and much more. What are you waiting for to get to know this natural paradise?

1. Seafood and wine day tour from Santiago to Rías Baixas Galicia

Rias Baixas Galicia| ©Alquiler de Coches
Rias Baixas Galicia| ©Alquiler de Coches

Seafood and wine is undoubtedly a combination that will delight your palate. If you like the idea I invite you to take a day tour from Santiago to Rías de Baixas tasting premium wines and exquisite mussels. This excursion has a duration of approximately five hours and an average cost of 50 €.

After departing by private bus in Santiago, the first stop will be a walk through the vineyards in Albariño. There you will learn all about the production of the white wine thanks to your local guides. You will also have the opportunity to taste up to 3 different types of exclusive wine.

The next activity will be a tasting of mussels boiled in Albariño wine. For this your guides will take you to a restaurant near the iconic A Lanzada Beach. Let your taste buds delight with this menu. Without a doubt this excursion will be one of the best day tours from Santiago de Compostela.

At the end of the activities your guides will take you back to the starting point in Santiago de Compostela. Please note that this tour focuses mainly on food and drink. If you want to see the tourist sites and you have little time, I advise you to choose another type of excursion.

Interesting details

  • Price: about 50 €.
  • Duration: about 5 hours.
  • Means of transport: private bus and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: this plan is great if you are one of those people who love to try new food.
  • Disadvantages of this option: if you do not drink alcohol you will miss an important part of the experience.

Book a tour in Rias Baixas

2. Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to Cambados in Rías Baixas

Cambados| ©Contando Estrelas
Cambados| ©Contando Estrelas

Cambados is one of the most beautiful villages in Galicia according to different rankings and that has many reasons. I recommend you to visit it with a private guide who will take you to visit the pazos, churches and the viewpoint of A Pastora. The excursion to this municipality can have an average duration of three hours and an approximate cost of 30 €.

After a trip of about 45 minutes from Santiago de Compostela you will arrive in Cambados. Among the places you will see is the Plaza de Fefiñáns, one of the most beautiful squares in Galicia. During August, this square hosts the Festa do Albariño, the second oldest wine festival in Spain.

You will also visit the Church of San Benito, where you can appreciate the different architectural styles that are combined in this structure. Then you will pass by the ruins of the Church of Santa Mariña located in the cemetery of Cambados. This is an iconic site as it was named a National Monument in 1943 and belongs to the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe.

Another important visit is the Mirador de A Pastora, located at the top of Monte da Pastora where you can see a romantic sunset. From there you will see the Arousa estuary and the peninsula of O Grove. In just 10 minutes you will reach the highest point, the "Piedra del Calvario". After this tour it will be time to return to Santiago de Compostela.

Details of interest

  • Price: 30 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: you will get to know one of the most picturesque villages of Galicia while learning about its history.
  • Disadvantages of this option: for people who are not very fond of history, this type of excursion may not be their favorite.

3. Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to Pontevedra, the best preserved historic center of Galicia

Pontevedra| ©Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias
Pontevedra| ©Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias

For this tour you will meet your private guide in Santiago de Compostela and board a bus to Pontevedra, a city already located in the Rias Baixas. The trip has an average duration of 45 minutes. Upon arrival you will begin a walking tour with your local guide through the best preserved historic center of Galicia. This tour has an average price of 30 € and an average duration of 4 hours with the round trip included.

Pontevedra, also known as Ciudad de Lérez is the capital of the Rías Baixas. The first thing you will see on your tour is the Sanctuary of the Pilgrim Virgin. Its base is shaped like a scallop shell, the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Then you will make a tour of the Plaza Peregrina, the Plaza Estrella, the Plaza de la Herrería and the Plaza de la Leña.

Your excursion should not miss a visit to the Provincial Museum of Pontevedra, which consists of six buildings. Admission is free and you can learn a little of the history of this town.

Finally you will visit the Parque de las Islas de las Esculturas, an open-air museum where the sculptures are integrated into the environment. Take the opportunity to take the best pictures before returning to the starting point in Santiago de Compostela.

Details of interest

  • Price: 30 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 4 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to visit the best preserved and most comfortable historic center of Galicia.
  • Disadvantages of this option: with this tour you will only know Pontevedra, you will not go to the beaches or taste the gastronomy of the region.

4. Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to A Lanzada Beach

A Lanzada Beach| ©Amaianos
A Lanzada Beach| ©Amaianos

A Lanzada Beach is one of the largest beaches in Galicia, famous for its beauty, so it usually attracts many tourists. To go on an excursion to this beach and explore its surroundings, you must travel from Santiago de Compostela for approximately 50 minutes. This tour has an approximate cost of 40 €.

A Lanzada beach is located between the municipalities of Sanxenxo and O Grove. In the surroundings of A Lanzada beach you will find one of the most outstanding archaeological sites in Galicia. This site is composed of several parts among which the Castro de La Lanzada, a factory and a necropolis stand out.

Your guide will tell you the story behind all these spaces that were once the center of the first salting factory in Galicia. Then it will be time to enjoy the beach. Take advantage of the sun, sea and sand to relax for more than an hour.

Before returning it is a good idea to try the traditional food of the area. If you want to try a little bit of everything, I recommend a gastronomic tour. If you don't feel like it, you can always visit one of the restaurants suggested by your private guide. Once you finish your meal, it will be time to return to Santiago.

Details of interest

  • Price: 55 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 4 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: in this tour you can enjoy one of the best beaches of Rías Baixas and relax during your vacations.
  • Disadvantages of this option: this is a very specific tour and you will only explore a small part of Rías Baixas.

Book a gastronomic tour in Santiago de Compostela

5. Day tour with cruise in the Rías Baixas from Santiago de Compostela

Rias Baixas| ©juantiagues
Rias Baixas| ©juantiagues

One of the things you can do in Santiago de Compostela in 3 days or more is a full day tour to the Rias Baixas. It will be a better experience if you also include a cruise tour, do you like the idea? The experience has an approximate duration of ten hours and an average cost of 50 €

In this tour you will not have time to waste. After traveling by bus for 50 minutes or so, you will arrive in Pontevedra. Here you will take a short walking tour to get to know a bit of the town. You will do the same exploration in Combarro, Cambados and O Grove.

Although you may not spend much time in each of these places, it will be the best way to get to know all that the natural treasure of Rías Baixas has to offer. When you arrive in O Grove or also known as the seafood capital, it will be time for you to board a catamaran for a relaxing cruise through the Arosa estuary.

On board this cruise you will be able to eat mussels and albariño that are produced in the area. You will also learn how the production of this food works and afterwards you will drink the best selection of wine. At the end of the cruise your guide will take you back to Santiago de Compostela.

Details of interest

  • Price: 50 € more or less.
  • Duration: about ten hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle, walking tour and catamaran.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to get to know a large part of the Rías Baixas in a single day, in addition to tasting its gastronomy and traveling on a catamaran.
  • Disadvantages of this option: I do not recommend this excursion if you want to take the time to get to know each of the villages and beaches, as the visits to each one are short.

Traveller Tip
On cruise trips not everyone usually thinks that they are exposed to the sun. That is why I advise you to bring your sunscreen to this excursion to protect yourself not only when you are on the catamaran, but all along the way.

What I will see in this kind of tours

Seafood in Rías Baixas| ©Volkswagen España
Seafood in Rías Baixas| ©Volkswagen España

The Rias Baixas are home to things that all travelers should see, because they combine the tranquility of natural beauty and the fascination of a particular landscape. But it is not only a place full of high quality seafood, but also of wines produced in the area.

In the different villages of the Rias Baixas you will also find ancient buildings and ruins that tell the history of Galicia. Not only will you be able to appreciate the architecture and sculptures surrounding the squares and churches, but also the nature of this area. Rías Baixas is the refuge of the oldest and most particular trees in Galicia.

If you go in the warm season, you should know that the beaches of Rías Baixas are the best in Galicia and another destination that you cannot miss in these excursions. You will find beautiful crystal clear waters and clean sand to rest and sunbathe especially in summer.

Tips for an excursion to Rías Baixas

Rías Baixas| ©Sergei Gussev
Rías Baixas| ©Sergei Gussev

The Rias Baixas is the coastal side of Galicia, so you will be very close to the sea and the sun can be a bit stronger on this side. That's why among my advice is to use sunscreen at all times, not only when you go to the beach. It goes without saying that you should wear your bathing suit to enjoy the sea.

On the other hand, food is essential when traveling. Although you can visit different restaurants in the area, I advise you to ask your guide if there will be any kind of snacks along the way or lunch. Some excursions include a tasting of typical food.

What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Rías Baixas on my own?

Rías Baixas| ©Volkswagen España
Rías Baixas| ©Volkswagen España

Taking a guided excursion to the Rias Baixas will help you explore the whole place with all five senses. Usually the excursions have a main attraction, whether it is seeing the architecture or tasting the traditional gastronomy. The best thing is that an expert guide will take you to the highlights of the Rías Baixas.

On the other hand, if you travel on your own, you will have to do some research beforehand. If you don't have time to do it, you will have to ask the locals where the places you want to visit are located. This can be a bit annoying especially if you just want to relax on your vacation, so I recommend you to calculate budgets for a guided tour in excursion.

Let's compare the options

  • Seafood and wine day tour from Santiago to Rías Baixas Galicia
  • Price: about 50 ¤.
  • Duration: approximately 5 hours.
  • Means of transport: private bus and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: this plan is great if you are one of those people who love to try new food.
  • Disadvantages of this option: if you do not drink alcohol you will miss an important part of the experience.
  • Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to Cambados in Rías Baixas
  • Price: 30 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: you will get to know one of the most picturesque villages in Galicia while learning about its history.
  • Disadvantages of this option: for people who are not very fond of history, this type of excursion may not be their favorite.
  • Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to Pontevedra, the best preserved historic center of Galicia
  • Price: 30 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 4 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to visit the best preserved and most comfortable historic center of Galicia.
  • Disadvantages of this option: with this tour you will only know Pontevedra, you will not go to the beaches or taste the gastronomy of the region.
  • Excursion from Santiago de Compostela to A Lanzada Beach
  • Price: 55 € more or less.
  • Duration: about 4 hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle and walking tour.
  • Advantages of this option: in this excursion you can enjoy one of the best beaches of Rías Baixas and relax during your vacations.
  • Disadvantages of this option: this is a very specific tour and you will only explore a small part of Rías Baixas.
  • One day tour with cruise in Rías Baixas from Santiago de Compostela
  • Price: 50 € more or less.
  • Duration: about ten hours.
  • Means of transport: private vehicle, walking tour and catamaran.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to get to know a large part of the Rías Baixas in a single day, as well as taste its gastronomy and travel on a catamaran.
  • Disadvantages of this option: I do not recommend this tour if you want to take the time to get to know each of the villages and beaches, as the visits to each one are short.