The natural monument of Beach of the Cathedrals has rightfully become one of the most visited natural locations in Spain. It is located in the north of the province of Lugo, near the Eo River which separates Galicia from Asturias.
Although its true name is “playa de las Aguas Santas” (Beach of the Sacred Waters), the name “Cathedral Beach” has definitively won out. Beach of the Cathedrals is made up of cliffs and comprises a section of coastline halfway between the Ribadeo and Foz estuaries. The action of the water, wind, and weather have shaped an impressive series of caves and rock arches of up to 30 meters high, in addition to geological formations which, viewed all together, resemble the architectural elements of a cathedral. During high tide, the water fills the crevices and caves of Beach of the Cathedrals, emitting babbling and whistling sounds that further add to the magic of the place. However, the beach can only be visited during low tide.
The landscape of As Catedrais Beach has a vegetation typical of cliff regions, featuring species of scrub, plants that have adapted to the salinity, and meadows. Its proximity to wetlands such as the estuaries of Foz and Ribadeo makes possible the presence of communities of birds, year-round and seasonal, including seagulls, curlews, herons, egrets, plovers, and cormorants.
The cliffs of Beach of the Cathedrals have several marked paths that allow visitors to explore the land. You can walk down a staircase to sea level and stroll between the imposing blocks of stone on the beach. It is only possible to visit the beach during low tide, when the sea retreats and leaves the expanse of sand exposed, so it is advisable to check the tide cycle beforehand.
How to get there: Road N-634, between A Coruña and Santander, goes through Beach of the Cathedrals on its southern tip in the vicinity of Ribadeo, containing several exits that lead to parking areas, scenic overlooks, and entrances to the protected space. Given the great public turnout during holidays and vacation season, it is necessary to purchase tickets in advance on the Xunta’s website.