Fisterra – Finisterre

The end of the world

Its name comes from Latin finis terrea (end of the earth). Its geographical singularity attracted geographers and Greco-Roman historians’ attention, and it captivated a lot of people from ancient times who desire to see how the sea swallowed the Sun.

Plan your stay in Finisterre

The visit to the whole area of Fisterra and Corcubión can take a complete day; you can spend the following day visiting all the beaches in the area. An alternative is to take the road AC 2303 (never the small ones that connect the coast villages) in north direction towards Camariñas estuary, visiting Muxia and the neighbor Camariñas, they are good places to have lunch and to buy some local crafts; if you still want to visit more, it is possible to follow the road up to the Cape Vilán. In Finisterre and Corcubión there are a lot of places where you can eat seafood, but there are less places where you can sleep; to book in the area we have two specialized pages.

Do you want to visit this place?

According to a local tradition, in the mount of the Cape Finisterre the Romans found an altar devoted to the Sun, probably raised by the Nerios tribe that was settled there. At the end of the 1st century the historian Lucio Anneo Floro reported that the Roman general Décimo Junio Bruto, after having conquered the whole coast, decided to approach fearfully to Cape Finisterre, because he wanted to see how the Sun was falling inside the sea throwing its last blazes.

Fisterra is one of the places in the world where more stories can be told, from the constant traffic of the Celtic trade with the Mediterranean up to some marine catastrophes; from horrible monsters who dwelled in the Mare Tenebrosum (Tenebrous Sea) up to Celtic expeditions in search of the paradise; from the fascinating worship to the Sun up to the most violent and fearsome tempests…

Fisterra is nailed in one of the zones with more shipwrecks in the so called Costa da Morte (Death Coast), it is the tombs of numerous sailors. The most important catastrophe of Fisterra’s history took place on November 28, 1596, when there was the major maritime disaster of the Spanish history. A fleet of 25 Spanish warships, directed by Martin de Padilla, got lost in its waters and 1.706 sailors died. The disaster happened eight years later and in identical circumstances to the famous episode of the Invincible Navy, when the Spanish went to fight against England.

The Cape Finisterre has been considered as the most western point in Europe sin the most remote history, and therefor, the End of the World. It was distinguished in the year 2007 with the European Heritage stamp (there are only 4 stamps in the whole Spain). Because of its geographical and historical significance, the trip up to there is a rite for all those who visit Galicia, it is full of landscape and monumental surprises. Finisterre is considered as the end of the Way to Santiago and every year more and more pilgrims end here their way obtaining the Fisterrana (document given in the municipal Hostel).

Fisterra has an ancient core on the port and it is a typical old seafaring town full of narrow alleys that descend towards the sea. Its houses and narrow streets are full of originality. In the center you can find Arasolis square and the Buen Suceso Chapel. The chapel has baroque style and it is from the 18th century. It only one nave, emphasizing in it rectangular façade the pediment and the closed atrium with a transept in its center. Inside stands out the squared plant major chapel. It has a baroque altarpiece with the image of the Virgen del Socorro (Virgin of Succour).

In the outskirts, on the way to the lighthouse, we find the most interesting monument of the villa, declared Historical-Artistic Monument in 1985: the Santa María das Areas Church, related to the Way to Santiago as the end of it. It was built at the end of the 12th century, however it had a lot of modifications during several centuries, that is why its style is eclectic: Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. Inside there is an enormous heritage, it stands out a sepulchral reclining statue from the 15th century and the altarpieces of Nuestra Señora de Finisterra (Our Lady of Fisterra) made by Francisco de Antas, master builder of the Santiago Cathedral in the 16th century. But the focus of attention is the image of the Saint Christ Fisterra (Or Christ da Barba Dourada, 14th century), it has similar style to the Saint Christ of Burgos and of Orense and to which thousands of pilgrims arrive to finish the Way to Santiago after having visited the tomb of the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. According to the tradition, pilgrims should burn their clothes, bath in the sea, take the scallop shell and go back to their origin places as ” new men “. The Holiday of the Saint Christ is on Easter Sunday and it has been declared of Tourist Interest. Opposite this church was the Pilgrims’ Hospital, founded by the parson Alonso García in 1469 to receive the great number of people who were concluding “their” way there.

Inside the historical set of the villa, San Carlos Castle also stands out. It is a defensive fortification ordered to be built in the epoch of the king Carlos III. The State sold it in 1892 and D. Plácido Castro Rivas bought it. He was a very important manufacturer in the region and native from the villa. In 1948 his son donated the Castle to the village of Fisterra to use it as a museum. Finally, in 2006 the Fishermen’s Confraternity and the Council of Fishing enabled the place in the current Museum of the Fishing. The enclosure shows the evolution of fishing across the time through crafts and devices, seafaring people traditons and the shipwrecks that have taken place on this coast along the history.

Cape Fisterra is a beautiful natural enclave involved in the legend and linked to the Celtic worship to the Sun, the lithography (religious worship to stones) and fecundity rites. The lighthouse, from middle of the 19th century, is situated on the tip of the Cape. This lighthouse guards over the safety of the navigators and its is the most visited place in Galicia after the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The town hall promotes several hiking routes, one of them finishes here.

You can also do a brief visit to the Fin de la Tierra Cemetery (1998), designed by the pontevedres architect Cesar Portela. It is not finished yet, but it has received several architecture prizes. Spirituality and design are mixed on it, in a set composed by a serie of enormous granite boxes that chase to obtain the sensation that the buckets that shelter the niches have come there randomly, trying to imitate the way in which the nature produces its own architecture.

Cruz de piedra en el cabo Finisterre, destino final para los peregrinos del Camino de Santiago.

Fisterra port is the major place of activity of the town and its strap is the first tourist strap in Galicia. The port fleet is formed by small coastal ships that use diverse fishing tackles. The fishing sector is one of the most traditional of Fisterra. The good quality of the fish and seafood in the area makes that this products have a great demand on the markets.

Finally, there are excellent beaches to see in Fisterra, some of them in open sea and with strong surge, perfect to practice surf, and others, with calm and crystalline water, ideal for bathing if you are of resisting the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Among all of them, the most touristic beach is Langosteira’s Beach; the one that probably has Finisterre’s most representative sight is Talon Beach; the Ribeira Beach is the most accessible because it is stuck to the port and Corveiro’s Beach is an authentic natural paradise, especially for scuba-diving lovers.

Must-see

Dónde dormir en Fisterra
Faro en el Fin de la Tierra
Dónde dormir en Fisterra

Practical data

Coordinates

42° 54’ 31’’ N, 9° 15’ 46’’ W

Distancies

A Coruña 108 km, Santiago de Compostela 98 km, Madrid 691 km

Altitude

14 m

Inhabitants

4907 (2013)

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