To say that there are too many viewpoints would be heresy, but we can say that the Muros-Noia estuary is well-stocked for us to enjoy beautiful views. The whole of the estuary is flanked by mountains which, although they do not reach high altitudes, are so perfectly situated that they look like real lookout posts. They can be found on both sides of the mouth of the estuary. We find them at the end of the estuary. They are on the north side, facing south, and vice versa. The highest of them all is only 600 metres high, less than the Castilian plateau... but from their privileged location, they all allow us to enjoy the exceptional views that we suggest below. Climb on foot, by car, bike or motorbike - you won't regret it!
Ría de Muros Noia Beaches
The Ría de Muros-Noia offers its visitors innumerable beaches: some with fixed sands, cosily protected by pine forests, others of an immense extension open without fear to the sea and the oceanic winds, making them ideal for the practice of wind sports (windsurfing, paragliding, sailing,...), finally, it has beautiful coves of tiny dimensions and little danger that await for those who are looking for peace and quiet and relaxation. Those who come here looking for sun and beach will certainly not be disappointed with their choice, as our mild climate and scarce summer rainfall are complemented by the white and almost virgin sandy beaches that surround us, creating an environment of great beauty, with the rugged mountains that rise majestically just a few metres from the shore providing an incomparable backdrop. All our beaches have good communications and access, as well as excellent leisure facilities (grills and tables for picnics on the beach). Come and see for yourself!
Xalfas and Monte Louro Lagoon
A great mass, with a double summit, juts out into the sea like a sentinel; behind it, a lagoon shelters migratory animals and a curious endemic flora; the postcard, one of the best in the beautiful Galician land, is completed with a beach, almost a narrow isthmus, of very fine sand. The variable sunlight does the rest: Mount Louro has been a refuge for man's imagination for millennia. The gigantic granite mass of Mount Louro is one of the most representative scenes of Magical Galicia. Closing the estuary of Muros Noia at the northern end, its original silhouette of two peaks (with a maximum height of 240 metres), enters the sea giving free rein to our imagination: in its history myths and legends are mixed with the memory of ancestral pagan rites. Its peculiar location provides not only fantastic views of the Muros-Noia estuary, but further south it allows us to enjoy the Barbanza peninsula, with the Baroña Hillfort in the distance, and to the north it shows us the Ancoradoiro beach, with the Lariño lighthouse, and even further in the background, the cape of the end of the world: Fisterra. Climbing to its summit is an exercise that requires a certain sacrifice, but we can also go round it, enjoying the softness of the landscape, in which the presence of a lighthouse at Queixal point is another point of interest. The whole area is a privileged space from the landscape point of view, as it includes, in addition to the beautiful virgin beach of Areia Maior, the Xalfas lagoon, which has been declared an area of natural interest due to its great biological richness. About 200 m in diameter, the lagoon is separated from the sea by a dune barrier that prevents the Longarelo river from flowing into the sea. In this type of closed ecosystem, the presence of a peculiar flora and fauna is relatively frequent. The Xalfas lagoon is no exception, which contributes to the attraction of the area. Specifically, we find species capable of resisting the contradiction of the dryness of an almost dune-like setting mixed with very high air humidity. Among a selection of plants capable of fixing the sands, the presence of Lilaeopsis caroilnensis (known as aquatic grass) stands out, this being the only area in Galicia where there are specimens of this species. As far as fauna is concerned, we also find a curious contradiction: at the beginning of the summer, species such as the mallard, common seal, little grebe or the little grebe nest here; while, on the other hand, we also enjoy other species that choose the area to hibernate, such as the tufted duck, wigeon, mazarin or grey heron. In the stormy season we can see puffins and grey herons in search of shelter. A large number of amphibians, reptiles and even otters are also part of the family that this unique area offers us.
Xuño and San Pedro Lagoons
These wetlands are one of the most surprising natural settings for visitors to our estuary. They can be found to the south of Porto do Son, next to the beaches of Basoñas and Areas Longas. Their great environmental value makes them part of the Natura 2000 Network. The aim is to preserve a space in which we find a very peculiar vegetation, accompanied by a great variety of migratory birds. The wetlands are essential for the conservation of these birds, which need these rest areas during their long migrations. We usually find common teal, shoveler duck, gadwall... and almost permanently the presence of the grey heron. The singularity of the space is given by a powerful barrier of dunes that protects the wetland from the possible action of the sea. The result is an enormous, very longitudinal space. Recently, to collaborate with the knowledge of these lagoons, an interpretation centre has been built, which in the summer months opens its doors between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm. A circular route of about 10 kilometres is laid out around it, allowing us to fully enjoy a space that will remain fixed in our memory.
The Tambre river is the "father" of the estuary of Muros Noia, with its millennia of work it has decisively collaborated in the creation of the morphology of our estuary. It is a powerful and abundant river, but it is gentle and affectionate when it pours its waters into the sea, between Outes and Noia. This softness gives rise to the Tambre Estuary, a scenario that combines serene beauty with great ecological value, which has led it to form part of the Natura 2000 Network. The most characteristic postcard of the estuary is in Pontenafonso. In the background, the mountains seem to form a perfect backdrop. The reed beds harmoniously weave their growth. The medieval bridge shows that, on occasions, the hand of man can be more of a success than a problem. Its 20 arches were necessary to accommodate a river that leaves with increasing width. The whole conveys an enormous sensation of serenity. Time seems to stand still. As the road is divided, few vehicles will deprive us of our abstraction, which will allow us to stroll comfortably over the bridge and stretch our eyes, contemplating all the plant and animal life that this estuary contains.
Land of rivers and bridges
The high rainfall of the Galician coast is the main reason for its morphology. As well as giving rise to the beauty of a green landscape, it makes us the country of a thousand rivers. Our estuary is no exception: rivers are one of the most characteristic elements of our geographical map. Rivers are a source of wealth, but they separate banks, and to solve this problem mankind has been building bridges since time immemorial. Our estuary is a catalogue of rivers and bridges, let's take a look at it. Above them all is the Tambre, the father of the estuary, to which we will devote a separate section to analyse its estuary. At the mouth of the Tambre is also our largest and most spectacular bridge: Pontenafonso, an unmissable visit. But the other rivers also have their bridges, several of them of great beauty. We have, for example, the Ruso bridge over the river Tines in Outes. Or the more than striking medieval bridge over the river Sieira in Xuño, Porto do Son, which has defied the law of gravity for centuries. Or the bridge over the river Traba in Noia, built over one of Roman origins. This river, together with the Tállara, flows into the centre of the town, giving rise to the appearance of more bridges, some small and pedestrian, such as the one in Pescadería street, other larger ones capable of absorbing road traffic, such as the one in Ferreiro street and the largest of all, the bridge of O Campo de Noia, which marks the boundary of the town centre of Noia.
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