Ortigueira estuary

The Ria of Ortigueira is one of the two estuaries in the territory of the Cape Ortegal Geopark Project. It is also the first of the Cantabrian Sea, although during low tide it has a strong fluvial influence. In fact, this is when you can best see the intertidal channels, sand bars, tidal flats or the tombolo of St. Vincent Island. For this reason, it is recommended to go up to the scenic viewpoints of A Miranda or O Casón.

The rocks around the estuary are particularly unique and, consequently, so is the composition of the sand on its beaches. The sands of Morouzos, Basteira or A Concha stand out for being very dark and dense, as they are composed by heavy minerals, which are much more frequent in the types of rock in this area than in other places.

When visiting the island of San Vicente -only possible during low tide- you can see that the rocks that form it are green slabs that are sometimes strongly folded. These are the remnants of ancient marine sediments that have now emerged. It is also worth seeing the beach of Fornos – A Pedra, Cariño – as it is an exceptional example of a beach with granitic sands with a very unusual colouring. The contrast of red-tinged colours is more remarkable in winter, as during the summer the beach contains a higher proportion of white sand. Further east, in the area of Espasante, we find volcanic remains on the beach in the form of ancient submarine lava.



City councils: Ortigueira and Cariño
Can I visit it?: Yes, by car or on foot, following tracks or trails marked by the city councils.
Further information: It is recommended to include in any of the visits the ascent to the scenic viewpoints. Furthermore, this option is complementary to the visit to Cape Ortegal and the cliffs of Limo and Herbeira as they are close by. It is considered a Global Geosite under the designation “Península de Masanteo-Isla de San Vicente y mélange de Somozas en la playa de Espasante y San Antón”.

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