O Grove

Health, Beaches, and Seafood

O Grove is situated on a small peninsula at the entrance of the Ría de Arousa, with beautiful places such as San Vicente del Mar, Piedras Negras, and the Playa de la Lanzada.

Planning your trip to O Grove

Even without enormous monuments, O Grove is a beautiful fishing village. It is well-known for its hiking, its beautiful views of the sea, and its access to the extraordinary Playa de La Lanzada (one of the best in Spain). It is also an extraordinary place to eat shellfish and other seafood at reasonable prices. Nearby, the cosmopolitan island of La Toja offers golf and spas. O Grove is full of attractions, and you can easily spend a fell weekend here. Since it is almost completely surrounded by the sea, those who wish to make excursions must head east. The historic town Cambados, the summery San Xenxo, and the granite village of Combarro are all very close by. To enjoy the town’s cuisine and lodgings to the fullest, check out our pages for where to eat and stay in O Grove.

Do you want to learn more about this place?

According to the ancient maps, O Grove was an island. It was joined to the mainland by the southeastern wind, which has been slowly building up the sand until the isthmus of the Playa de A Lanzada was created. Its name is derived from the Celtic people named the Grovii or the Grovios, although the first document that mentions them is from 1138, when Alfonso VII of León donated the Monasterio de San Martín Binario (the current cathedral of Santiago de Compostela), two churches located in the vicinity. Until the 19th century, the population would depend on the archbishop of Compostela. In the 18th century, the Rías Baixas installed numerous Catalan fishermen with more operational fishing gear than what was traditionally employed by the locals, generating tensions between the new and old fishermen. In addition, the Catalans destroyed the salt industry with their catches, damaging the fishermen of O Grove. It was because of this that, during the 19th century, many people had to leave O Grove.

Qué ver en O Grove

At the end of the 19th century, a priest left his old and sick donkey on the island of La Toja to live out his last days. After a short time, the priest saw the donkey again, and he was perfectly healthy. The word spread of the island’s medicinal waters, which increased the fame of the town. The town later opened its spa in 1899. With the beginning of tourism on the island of La Toja, lots of jobs were created, turning the place into a national tourist attraction.

The traveler that finds him/herself in O Grove will see, to their surprise, the multicolored sea of boats in the harbor, which will leave an unforgettable mark on the mind. Its main attractions are its extraordinary beaches, the many trails and promenades from which you can take in the nature and the sea, and the therapeutic properties of the neighboring island La Toja (or rather, the group of islands, of which A Toja is the main one), whose fame comes from its medicinal mineral waters. These waters are said to have therapeutic properties that help the skin and the respiratory tracts, which have been made into salts and soaps. These, along with their excellent spas, have transformed the island into a remarkable destination for thermal waters. It can be accessed from the peninsula by a bridge from the early 20th century.

The peninsula of O Grove is divided into two zones (or parishes). San Vicente is to the west, and San Martín is to the east in front of the island La Toja. Each of these zones has their own Christian temple. The Iglesia de San Martín (Capilla de San Caralampio) is from the 16th century, although it reuses the walls from a previous building. It has a rectangular floor plan with an apse and two side chapels, and it is topped by a baroque tower decorated with plaques. The façade has a central cover of half-point arches resting on twos square-section pillars and a niche that houses the image of San Martín. Also from the 16th century is the Iglesia de San Vicente, whose original construction was on the beach, or O Barreiro, was moved in 1771 to its current location, much closer to the parishioners and Rectory House. It is a Baroque work with a rectangular floor plan with a cross, quadrangular apse, and a tower.

The village also abounds with military and Roman settlements. Some examples of such are the Punta do Castriño, or the Monte de la Siradella, which, together with others, are the main human settlements from the Paleolithic age in this area, as well as the Castro Marítimo de Adro Vello, in San Vicente del Mar, the main vestige of the Romans in the area. Intriguing hiking paths have also been designed around these places.

If you’re a lover of nature, O Grove has several conservancy areas that you can visit. The Red Natura 2000; the natural space under the general protection of the Complejo Intermareal Umia- O Grove; A Lanzada; Punta Carreirón; and the Laguna a Bodeira, in which you can enjoy nature in all its purity and splendor, are some of these places of natural beauty.

Apart from its monuments, archeological remains, and great natural landscapes, O Grove also boasts a remarkable maritime heritage, which can be seen in the Museo del Salazón. Here, you can learn to interpret the sea, the fish, and the salting process. Another attraction manifests itself in the Acuario Galicia in Punta Moreiras. It is a modern installation that familiarizes people with the unique species that live in the Galician sea.

Capilla de San Caralampio

There are many beaches that you can visit in O Grove, but the ones that stand out the most are the As Pipas, the Mexilloeira, and, above them all, is La Lanzada. The beach at La Lanzada is one of the biggest and most well-known beaches in Galicia. It got its name from the birds taking off from its shore. There is even a statue of this on the side of the road. It flies the blue flag of the European Union for its conservation and services, which allow the practice of sports like sailing, surfing, ort paragliding.

At the end of this beach, you’ll find the Fortaleza de La Lanzada, which was erected in the 10th century over the remains of an ancient Phoenician lighthouse to defend the area from the continuous Viking and Norman invasions. This fortress was also the scene of clashes between the archbishop Gelmírez and queen Urraca. In the 13th century, it was destroyed by the Arabs, rebuilt with even more force, and destroyed again during the revolt of the Irmandiñas in the 15th century. By the 16th century, it was permanently abandoned. All that remains standing today is part of one of the towers and the hermitage that served as the church in the fortress. It was built in Late Romanesque style with a unique nave and a semicircular apse, and inside, it houses an image of the Virgen de la Lanzada.

If you are a lover of good food, the town celebrates the Fiesta de Exaltación del Marisco (Festival of the Exaltation of Shellfish) on October 12th. It was even declared a national tourist attraction.

The Essentials

Dónde dormir en O Grove
Mirador Monte da Sidarella
Dónde dormir en O Grove
Playa de la Lanzada

Important Information

Coordinates

42º 30′ 0” N, 8º 52′ 0” W

Distances

34 km to Pontevedra, 70 km to Vigo, 675 km to Madrid

Parking

Easy to find around the village

Altitude

0 m

Population

11,096  (2013)

El Carmen and the summer festivals (second half of July)

Festa do Marisco (three days during October’s long weekend, since 1963), Simposium Internacional de Escultura al Aire Libre (first half of October)

Crafts market (Illa da Toxa), the colareiras from O Grove (traditional art)

Other Nearby Destinations


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