This is a coastal town that was the focus for trade in the region until the spectacular development of Vigo that took place at the end of the 19th century.Â Movement on the Vigo estuary is marked by commercial and fishing vessels, all under the watchful eye of Baiona, located alongside Cape Silleiro. The townâ€™s most attractive streets are set around the bay, which open up next to the mouth of MiÃ±or River. It was here that the La Pinta moored in 1493, the first caravel to reach port after the voyage of discovery to the New World.
Donâ€™t miss the sunset from Monterreal Fort and its famous PrÃncipe Tower. It has three kilometres of defensive walls and is now a Parador Hotel. The 18th-century Santa MarÃa Collegiate Church is also well worth visiting. This monument maintains Romanesque touches in its Gothic structure, which resembles that of a fortress.
As a result of its comparative southerly location, Baiona enjoys a warmer, sunnier and drier climate than many other parts of Galicia, yet it rarely gets uncomfortably hot. For this reason Baiona has become a popular summer retreat for many Spaniards who leave the excessive heat of the south and central parts of the country for their annual August vacation. This is illustrated by the fact that the town has a permanent population of between 10,000 and 11,000 people, but summer tourism boosts this figure to almost 50,000. Needless to say, August is not the best time to visit Baiona if you do not like crowds.
Baiona has a lot of charm with a quaint fishing port, a number of small but appealing beaches, plus an old town that sits just behind the main seafront area. There are also many small beaches along the coastline within close proximity to Baiona and this is one of the reasons why it is so popular with summer visitors.
Within Baiona’s old district there are a number of narrow corridor like streets with typical Galician terraced houses lining them. This area is pleasant to walk around and it gets you away from the busier seafront zone which is more commercialised. There are bars, cafes and restaurants hidden away in this area and most are superior to, and often cheaper than, the ones found on the ocean front drive.
There are quite a few churches and other small buildings of architectural and historical interest, but Baiona’s most prominent building is the Castelo de Monterreal, a castle that sits to one edge of the town. You can visit Castelo de Monterreal and it affords excellent views of Baiona and the surrounding coastline from its elevated position.
In addition to Baiona’s appeal as a beach resort, it has a stunning backdrop of hills and forests and this makes the town an ideal base from which to explore the southern and inland areas of Pontevedra, or even to cross the border in to Portugal.
The cities of Vigo and Pontevedra are within easy travelling distance, as are other coastal towns like Combados and Sanxenxo.