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Ortegal, Spain

cover photo by Thomas Farina  

Location added by Josemanuelbarros

Rank : 9.0 (average on 1 votes)

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Coordinates : 43.771326, -7.869031 (Open in Google Maps)

Subjects : We are facing a privileged geographical situation par excellence. A declared Site of Community Interest. Cape Ortegal limits the east face with an important estuary full of wetlands of great ecological value such as the shared estuary of Cariño and Ortigueira. Further east we can still see the northernmost point of Spain, Estaca de Bares, a point that marks the confluence of the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.To the west we have before us the impressive cliffs of A Serra da Capelada, as well as Punta do Limo, which shelter the mythical town of San Andrés de Teixido and its legendary sanctuary. The maximum height is represented by the height of "Vixía Herbeira" with 613 m high, thus becoming the highest cliffs in southern and central Europe, only surpassed by a Norwegian fjord.We will also see Punta Robaliceira. What will most catch our attention is the presence of a sharp and high rock almost 22 m high, which rises defiantly over the waves of the cape. In front of us, we will be delighted with the presence of three small rocky islets that are called "Os Tres Aguillóns" (The three stingers). Each receives its own name such as "Cabalo Xoán", "A Ínsua" and "Tres Irmaos". Already in the first century, the Greek Ptolemy named these rocks with the name of "Trileuco lampatiorum" (the three whites), perhaps by the foam of the sea when beating against them, or perhaps by the guano accumulated by the abundant colonies of guillemots of the era that are now extinct.Behind the lighthouse, behind us we will see the majestic and rocky Mount Gargacido of 348 m whose cliffs plunge into the sea before our eyes. A little before arriving at the end of the road, there is a deviation in the form of a dirt track, which we can walk until we reach the tip of the lighthouse. A white and red lighthouse whose presence warns the navigators of the dangers of who dares to approach these rugged coasts. In 1984 it was built with 12.70 m high and 3 m in diameter. In 1993 it underwent a reform to become dependent on the port authority of Ferrol which undertook a profound modernization. Numerous species of birds abound in the region, such as the yellow-legged gull, paíños, cormorants and others such as the peregrine falcon. This place is a migratory passage of birds, becoming an excellent study area for ornithologists. In the sea you can get to see dolphins, pilot whales and even whales. The presence of barnacles and schools of fish make this area a dangerous place of work for the people of the sea.As for the morphology of the cape it is composed of basic, ultrabasic, ecloxite, gneiss rocks ... The presence of amphibolites or black granite makes Cabo Ortegal the place with the oldest rocks of the Iberian Peninsula. Nothing more, nothing less than 1156 million years, twice as many as the oldest known to date in the peninsula. Only in Poland, Canada or Australia will we find older rocks.

Recommended equipment : Photographic equipment recommended telephoto, wide angle and macro.Tripod.

Best months : Peregrine Falcon, Common Buzzard and Common Stonechat. They are summer visitors: Common Swallow, Buzzard Hawk, Quail, Common Turtle, Wagtail Boyera. Winter visitors: Aguilucho Lagunero, Cormorant Grande, Common Teal. And the birds that you can see in passing are: Imperial Heron, Great Egret, Fish Eagle, Avocet, Corregimos zarapatín and menudo, and Spatula.In the autumn, Stake of Bars is one of the most important points in the migratory route of EuropeanAnother inescapable point is Cariño, an authentic sanctuary for birds. Here there are more than two hundred species, some very rare in Europe. At the end of summer, off the coast of Cape Ortegal we see, on its way to the south, gannets, shearwaters, storm-petrels and many other birds. In winter, the focus is on the estuary of Ortigueira and Ladrido (Ortigueira). Ducks, herons, cormorants ... and one of the most important populations of all Spain of three European species of loons.From the Frouxeira lagoon to the Ria de Ortigueira and Estaca de Bares, our recommended guide can show you the best areas to observe huge resident populations, summer or winter visitors, as well as the incredible migration of seabirds flying over the first shore of Spain. This part of the Rías Altas is rich as a habitat for all types of birds: the Frouxeira Lagoon, Valdoviño, is recognized internationally as a very important wetland (with 220 different species of birds according to the Ornithological Society of Spain, SEO) ; while the Ria de Ortigueira is the seat of one of the largest salt marshes in Northwest Spain; and Stake of Bars (point more to the North of the Iberian Peninsula) is one of the most important points of reference of Europe in the migratory route of the marine birds.SEO divides this piece of coastline in two: the area called Ferrolterra (in the vicinity of Valdoviño) and the rugged coastline between Punto Candelaria and Estaca de Bares. The first is composed of huge sandy beaches with impressive systems of dunes and some fairly high cliffs, and includes the famous Frouxeira lagoon. According to the website of the SEO (see link below) in this area permanently reside the following species: Little Grebe, Common Coot, Moorish Cormorant, marine birds, whereas the estuaries along this coast (eg Ria de Ortigueira) are the home of a great number of of aquatic birds as well as the natural habitat of wintering animals such as Eurasian Oystercatcher, Corregimos Gordo y Común, Aguja Colipinta, Curlew and the Nival.Any season of the year is good, except for winter due to adverse weather, temporary at sea, we are at the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea.

How to get there : By plane to Santiago de Compostela airport.From Compostela on the AP-9 motorway to Ferrol and then on the AC-566 road to Cedeira.From Cedeira on the AC-862 road.

Visits : There is no restriction to visit any monument or natural space, nor does it have to be paid.

Notes :


Sunrise: 07:40, Sunset: 21:20

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Moon Phase

🌔 Waxing Gibbous, Brightness: 82%

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