Industrial Tourism Trial

Una aventura que no se parece a ninguna otra

Our TRIAL combines industrial tourism with adventure tourism and cultural and natural heritage, to offer a unique experience.


The TRIAL of Industrial Tourism is a set of routes along the coast and inland of the Ria de Muros Noia to do on foot, by bicycle, by car, by boat…, through which you will discover spectacular scenic enclaves linked to the mining, paper, energy, salting, canning, wood and shipbuilding industries.


-TRIAL on foot: a walk through Industrial Archaeology, consisting of short routes and walks lasting between 1 and 3 hours, in urban, rural and natural environments, discovering the scenarios where the concentrations of industrial heritage of the estuary are higher and with a greater relevance.


-The TRIAL in your own vehicle: rolling the industrial archaeology, is a route to do by bicycle, car, motorbike…, taking the coastal road AC-550 as the main thread of our adventure, which is structured around the estuary and the rivers that flow into it.


-The Nautical TRIAL, the industrial history from the sea, proposes a radical change of perspective with a multitude of contrasts, in which the landscape surrounding the old and modern industries will be the protagonist and must be experienced from the sea. We present the Nautical TRIAL, which consists of three itineraries in different areas of the Ria de Muros Noia: -The Estuary of the River Tambre. -The area of shellfish “Os Lombos”. -The area where the estuary opens out into the Atlantic.



THE NAUTICAL TRIAL IN THE ESTUARY OF THE TAMBRE: a history of sawmills, riverside carpentries and a modernist industrial jewel.


Departing from the Port of O Freixo, the Joaquín Vieta heads towards the Tambre River Estuary until it reaches Pontenafonso, where the iconic bridge of the same name is located. Given the low height of the arches, the Joaquín Vieta must anchor and transfer to shallow-draft boats, in which we will go up the Tambre River to the Hydroelectric Power Station of the same name. The complex is made up of several buildings, in the form of an old industrial settlement, today transformed into a Nature Hotel, whose terrace overlooks the Tambre, immersing us in a river landscape in a gallery. There you will also find the Tambre Fishery, whose origins date back to the 13th century, which took advantage of the rapids to exploit the lamprey fishing. You can take the opportunity to stroll around the area before embarking, discover the Fishermen’s Path and cross the suspension bridge. Everything is ready to set sail downstream, towards the Tambre Estuary. Among a leafy forest of oaks, laurels and willows, the landscape is dotted with sawmills and shipyards that take you back to the history of the rich shipbuilding industry of this estuary. These shipyards were basically built in wood, in the likeness of inverted ships, and their location sought shelter from the adverse weather conditions and high tides. Some of them still preserve the remains of a ship under construction, as if time had frozen one day to show us. Passing the Pazo do Ensido, to starboard, the first one appears in a meander of the river. A few minutes later, when our bow catches a glimpse of the modern bridge of the “Brión-Noia Road”, you will see the second one to port. Once you have cleared the bridge, at low tide you will be surprised by the frames of the Espiñeiro motorsailer emerging from the water, and from this same position, you will also be able to see the chimney of the former Langaño sawmill. At the mouth of the Serantes River you can still see Pepito Farei’s carpentry shop, and 500 metres away you can see Cerzón’s and Cipriano Domínguez’s, in the Broña Inlet. Your route comes to an end at the Port of O Freixo (Outes), where the Joaquín Vieta was built. But before finishing, you can see the Abeijón Brothers’ carpentry workshop, where part of the restoration of this ship was carried out. Next to it stands the chimney of the old sawmill and shipyard of the Lago brothers.


The anecdote


In the past, the sawmills were known as “Serras”. It is said that the origins of the name of the town of Serra de Outes come from the location in this place of one of these well-known “Serras” and not from the mountainous character of the municipality, as one might suppose.



THE NAUTICAL TRIAL BETWEEN O FREIXO and NOIA : a walk through the seafood “lombos”.


Before embarking, you can take a walk around the harbour, its fish market and the old “Pesqueira”. Here, the locals used to take advantage of the rhythm of the tides to catch fish without using any fishing gear, only closing the mouth of the Pesqueira at low tide to prevent the fish from escaping. Don’t leave without trying the local gastronomy and seafood. In the port itself you will find some of the best restaurants in our estuary. Setting sail from the port on the Joaquín Vieta sloop and while its wake leaves the pontoon behind, we can take two directions: towards the mouth of the estuary or towards Noia. If we start the route towards the mouth of the estuary, you can see the Mariscos Ramais area to starboard, which has the peculiarity of having a nursery in the middle of the estuary, delimited by wooden posts and rough stone walls that can be seen at low tide. Next, the figurehead heads towards the island of A Creba, and along the way the estuary will be dotted with numerous rafts; traditional facilities where the rich mussels, so characteristic of the Galician estuaries, are bred. The first mussel industry was originally built on old disused wooden boats, reused as mussel rafts, where long wooden beams were used to hang the mussel ropes. Today, the rafts are purpose-built for this purpose. From the collection of the seed on the open sea cliffs to its full fattening, the production process requires the mastery of an occupation that dates back to the middle of the 20th century. One pan can hold up to 400 ropes and have an annual production of 45-50 MT. If the direction the boat takes when leaving the port is towards Noia and the bottom of the estuary, you will gradually enter the waters of the rich shellfish banks: the “Lombos” of Outes, which extend between Noia and Outes, crossing the bottom of the estuary. At this point you sail over the largest cockle production area in Europe. If you do this route in autumn and winter you will witness the intense economic activity generated by this prodigy of nature: hundreds of shellfish gatherers on foot, boats and the fish markets of O Freixo and Noia extract thousands of tonnes of this prized delicacy that marks the economy and life of the Ría de Muros Noia in the two or three months of the season. An excellent opportunity to enjoy this spectacle from the Joaquín Vieta is to sign up for the programme “Vivir o marisqueo” of the Council of Outes. More information at


The anecdote


People associate the cockle with a small mollusc of two or three centimetres in size, but in the Ría de Muros Noia, specimens of up to five centimetres in diameter are extracted.



THE NAUTICAL TRIAL AT THE GATES OF THE ATLANTIC : a story of fishing, sardines and salted fish.


A few minutes after setting sail from the port of O Freixo, we will pass the island of A Creba and enter the open waters of the Atlantic, thus reaching the most “seafaring” area of the estuary. Here we can cross paths with the purse seiners that, coming from the open sea, return loaded with sardine, horse mackerel or mackerel to the Portosín fish market. This is the area where, on both sides of the estuary, first the salting and then the canning industries were established; dozens of them, mainly owned by the so-called “foreign developers”, who invested in the entire Galician Atlantic coast, attracted by the prodigious productivity of sardines in its seas. On the coast of Muros and Porto do Son alone, there are dozens of these old industries, from the most basic salting plants to a large canning factory at the end of the 20th century. In fact, the recently closed factory of Conservas Calvo is the first cannery that we find in our crossing, in the Esteiro Cove, flanked by other smaller industrial constructions that allow us to appreciate the difference in volume and, therefore, in the capacity of exploitation of the seas between the old salting factories and the modern canneries. The next inlet to starboard is Cabana, with its inspiring port of Phoenician origin. The next is Bornalle, then Muros and, arriving at the mouth of the estuary, San Francisco beach, all of which are lined with old salted fish and canneries, now in ruins and forming part of a spectacular industrial landscape, defying time, the elements and oblivion. On the way back to O Freixo, on the opposite shore of the estuary, between Porto do Son and Portosín, we cannot fail to mention the old saltworks of Aguieira, located on a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge. And finally, the port and village of Portosín, which used to be a great concentration point of the salting industry of the Ría.


The anecdote


At the bottom of the waters you sail on this route lie more than a hundred ships that have been wrecked since the beginning of the 21st century.


The sloop Joaquín Vieta (1916), is one of the last survivors of the era of sailing and an icon of our industrial history, as it was built by a developer, Joaquín Vieta Ros, in a carpentry workshop on the banks of the river in O Freixo to export barrels of oil and salted sardines from his factories in Muros and Louro, when only winding cart tracks reached the estuary. The sloop Joaquín Vieta had an eventful life: it was one of the last protagonists of the millenary tradition of sailing in our latitudes, later transformed into a motorsailer to cover commercial routes between the towns of the Ría de Muros Noia and the rest of the Rías Baixas. The older people of Noia still have special memories of the “Carrera de Vigo”, the trade route that regularly linked this town with Vigo. The improvement of the roads that connected the Ría with the rest of Galicia meant the decline of the short sea routes and, therefore, the raison d’être of the Joaquín Vieta, which coincided with the boom of mussel farming in mussel rafts. The end had therefore come for the Joaquín Vieta. Almost completely dismasted and scrapped, its hull pierced by dozens of beams, its destiny, until the day it sank, seemed to be to be used as a mussel production pan, like dozens of old sloops, galleons and pataches. But the quality and robustness of its construction allowed it to enjoy a new opportunity to put to sea to serve as an auxiliary ship for a couple of decades more, until at the end of the 1990s it was abandoned to its fate in the port where it was born, O Freixo. Twenty years later and thousands and thousands of hours of selfless and altruistic work by the members of the Balandro Joaquín Vieta Association allow us to enjoy this living heritage of our estuary and make it available for you to discover the rich industrial history of the estuary.


The anecdote


It seems that historically the people of Noia sympathised more with Celta de Vigo than with other football clubs in the province of A Coruña and Joaquín Vieta, according to what they say, had a lot to do with this, as the only newspaper and therefore the only printed sports information that reached Noia for many years was the Faro de Vigo, as another commodity on the trade route with Vigo.


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Nuestra antigua nave saldrá del puerto de O Freixo


Todos los viernes, sábados y domingos de la temporada veraniega, a las 12:00. Según las condiciones de la marea nos llevará cara a uno u otro límite de la ría: hacia el interior, en dirección a Noia, Outes y el Estuario del Tambre; o hacia el exterior en dirección Muros y Porto do Son. Sea cual sea la opción, siempre resultará un acierto: tan hermosa es la isla de A Creba como Pontenafonso.


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