On the map, this region of Northern Galicia stands out for its size. At level ground, this area, with just over 7,000 inhabitants, situated half-way of the winding roads which join Ferrol and Viveiro, represents a rural space to discover which you can hardly guess, who visits it every year due to its large expanse of land, to enjoy the Folk music and the global celebration of the Celtic World Festival.
After those euphoric moments, Ortigueira becomes calm and peaceful. The Ortiguiera "ria" of international importance, a wild coast, away from the massive construction, a restored patrimony, fine cuisine and the hospitality of the residents convert this region in the perfect destination for those who are looking for peace and do not just settle for sun and beach.
If you still feel energetic after the concert night, we propose the best parallel activity. Stretch out, take what you need, and take advantage of the day to wander around the unknown Ortigueira; it would be advisable to visit it with no rush. Take notes. Here you have a few suggestions.
- Urban route
Taking part in the different Festival activities will allow you to know some of the spaces and the most characteristic public buildings of the Town Centre. The Marina, the Malecón Gardens, the Cantón with its huge covered balconies and noble buildings, Isabel II Square and, of course, the convent complex, which houses the Town Hall, the Exhibition Hall and the Theatre, are places you must not miss.
A complete walk around the village requires a visit to the Old School, which is a Public Library today; the old cinema, turned into a museum (Ortegalia Museum) and the Ponto neighbourhood, the first settlement of the village, where there used to be a tower of the disappeared castle, now you can find the restored Campo da Torre Windmill, which has been transformed for the occasion, with its Celtic sails. Enjoy the spectacular view.
Audio guides and MP4 are available at the Tourist Information Office.
Turist videos available in Press Room (spanish version).
- A walk along the coastline
A signposted path between the village (at the end of the Soto neighbourhood) and the surroundings of Morouzos beach. Low difficulty, this route goes by the side of the "ría", moor of international importance and area of protected bird species, and, it is no doubt the most frequented path among the residents and tourists.
At Punta Cabalar, stop at San Martiño´s lagoon, recuperated in recent years, to continue the original path, leaving behind the dunes and advance deep into the pine forest, until you reach the main access to Morouzos Beach. If you still have enough energy, follow the paths to San Vicente´s Island and Punta Ladrido. From the starting point, you will find rest areas, information panels and bird observatories along the paths.
- A tour along the coast
It gathers intertidal, archaeological and historic interest because it used to be the old Royal path between Ortigueira- Viveiro. It goes along the coastline of Ladrido, Espasante, Céltigos and Loiba. The numerous beaches (La Concha, San Antonio, Eirón, Bimbieiro...), the Celtic archaelogical site "Punta dos Prados" with the well-known "Forno" Monument, canditate to be Property of Cultural Interest, The sail hut (garita) and the amazing cliffs of Loiba are places you cannot miss.
- Mountain route
Landscape value and above all, archaeological. It is a stretch of the "arrieiros" Path, road link between As Pontes and Estaca de Bares, used since the Neolithic Period. The tumulus, which are found along the path confirms this fact (for example, "Forno dos Mouros"), formed by nearly 90 burial mounds. It offers unique views, from the Coriscada Mountain, the Ortigueira "Rías" and O Barqueiro. Signposted between Cruce de San Pedro (Couzadoiro) and Pena Branca.
- Mera - Capelada Route
This circular path which goes through the Mera Valley and the spectacular Capelada Mountain, combines botanic, landscape and archaeologicl interest You cannot miss the Recreational Area of Mera Island (starting and finishing point), the waterfall of the Casón River, the archaeological site of the Late Medieval Casón Castle and the magnificent viewpoints of the Ortigueira "Ria".
- Guided routes
(Roteiros Company- 655 402 122):
A walk around Santa Marta village- A walk along the coastline - Espasante- Céltigos Cliff route- Seaweed route ( Loiba´s coast)- "los arrieiros" route- Capelada circular route- River Mera route- Portas Circular walk ( path to "Nuestra Sra de Portas" Sanctuary).
Limited by the Capelada Mountain to the west and the Coriscada Mountain to the east, the Ortiguera "Ría" and Ladrido constitute a typical estuary system leading to an open sea between the Ortegal and Estaca de Bares Capes. The Rivers Mera and Baleo flow into it, giving place to huge marshes and sand stretches. All together these shape Morouzos Beach which forms an isthmus with San Vicente Island when there is a low tide.
It is one of the natural spaces of great ecological importance of the Galician coastline; not only for its well-preserved state but also for the number and extension of the coastline habitats which it has (plains, intertidal areas, marshes, dune chains…).
This natural area, like few rich in flora y fauna, counts with numerous protected species, to guarantee its biodiversity. For this reason, it appears in the catalogue of Areas of General Protection Regime, it is included in the list of moors of International Importance, it is "Zona de especial protección de aves" (ZEPA) and has become part of Red Natura 2000.
In contrast to the calm waters of the "Ría", we have the rough sea of Loiba´s coast. This stretch of coastline forms a series of irregular cliffs, spectacular eroded rocks due the force of the sea and practically virgin beaches, most of which have no access, except "O Picón" and secondarily "Ribeira do Carro", where people still recall the scene of the seaweed pickers pulling their donkeys loaded with seaweed, while they were climbing the steep cliffs.
Hardly recovered from the Celtic World Festival, Ortigueira puts on its festive finery to pay tribute to the local Patron, Santa Marta. The popular celebrations start on 27th July with the opening speech and ends on 1st August, on the Dance Club Day. These days, there are processions, street parades and music band concerts and shows of the best Galician orchestras which bring the streets to life.
In comparison to the Folk Festival, of International Importance, the "Patrona" has reinforced its eminently local role, recuperating the family and friends gatherings. Similar celebrations, although more modest, are celebrated throughout the year in the 22 parishes.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the weekly fair, due to the great number of people from this region who visit it. It is celebrated every Thursday in the village centre with a wide range of products, mainly textile and shoewear. Moreover, for its tradition we have to mention the popular celebration of San Marcos, a horse fair, with exhibitions and horse-riding competitions which take place in Senra between the 24th and 26th of April.