The Lighthouse Route, popularly known as the Ruta dos Faros de Galicia. It’s a network of almost 200 kilometres of fascinating trails, divided into eight stages of about 25 kilometres each, which run along the Costa da Morte from Malpica to Finisterre.
Although it is true that the route is designed for walking or mountain biking, we propose you to discover this Route Lighthouses with our car, following the road closest to the coast. With the sea accompanying us, incomparable views of impossible cliffs, stops in those Galician seaside towns loaded with tradition. Lighthouses that tell stories, beaches to reach and never leave… In short, 120 kilometres of wild nature, tradition and culture that start in the beautiful port of Malpica and reaches the lighthouse of the end of the world. Finisterre.
Lighthouse Route: Itinerary
Malpica, 100% seafaring tradition
We start the Route of the Lighthouses in Malpica, a fishing village that has been tanned with the beating of the waves against the jetty of the port. A port that once served as a base for whaling and is still fully operational today. It will be in this first stop where we will enjoy the beach of Area Maior, the hermitage and the viewpoint of San Adrián. From there we will see the Sisargasque Islands that welcome the first of the lighthouses of our route since 1919. Before leaving, we will pass by the beach of Beo, stopping to see its cross, the beach of Seiruga and continue to Punta Nariga. Here we find the second of the lighthouses of this route, surrounded by rocks carved by the sea and the wind, creating a breathtaking and fascinating landscape. One of the most beautiful stops along the Lighthouse Route.
From Niñons to Ponteceso with the sea as protagonist
In this part of the trip we will end up in many corners that will be difficult to forget due to their peculiarity. The Port of Santamariña is one of them, as it offers us a beautiful view of Punta Nariga. Although the most significant thing that we are going to see will be the houses of the village Roncudo, where the construction adapts to the hardness of the zone, where the sea does not forgive.
In this area we will find the third of the lighthouses crowning a projection of grey rock where the sea whips without mercy producing a deafening, hoarse noise, which gives its name to this lighthouse, Roncudo. There will be several beaches where we can stop. The Osmo, The Rio Covo, and the Ermida. Impossible not to stop to see A Pedra da Serpente, a unique vestige in Europe, belonging to the Roman era in which the pagan and Christian shake hands. And before continuing our way, a stop in Ponteceso, to see its bridge over the river Anllóns. The pazo where the poet Eduardo Pondal was born.
From Laxe to Arou, unique ecosystems and a lot of history
Once we leave Ponteceso, we will turn inland to discover two unique archaeological prints: the castro A Cibda de Borneiro, inhabited between the 6th and 1st centuries BC and discovered in 1924 by Isidro Parga Pondal; and the Dolmen of Dombate, a jewel of megalithic art that surprises us with its grandiosity and magnificent state of conservation. There we can also visit the interpretation centre. From there, in order to have one of the best views of the Atlantic Ocean of this Lighthouse Route, we will climb up to Mount Insua where the Laxe Lighthouse is located. Here we find the sculpture ‘A Espera’. A tribute to all those women and children who wait patients on land for their parents, children, grandchildren, husbands and sailors.
Its location is privileged, the infinite ocean on the left, the Laxe estuary on the right, a spectacle for the senses. The beach of the crystals deserves a visit, where the ocean returned the crystals of different bottles, that was a dump, turned into small colorful tears. The lagoon and the beach of Traba give us a peculiar ecosystem with the dunes as protagonists in the beach, and a footbridge in the lagoon from which to contemplate the flora and fauna of the zone. Leaving Arou we must not miss the chance to stop at Lobeiras’s viewpoint.
From Camariñas to Muxía, pure Costa da Morte
In Camariñas we find the Cabo Vilán lighthouse, the first electric lighthouse in Spain in which we can visit the Interpretation Centre for shipwrecks, lighthouses and maritime signs, and the Faro Vello, which worked with steam and is still maintained. The path that leads us through this area is pure Costa da Morte, a wild road, overlooking those cliffs of vertigo, where the stone is our companion, showing us impossible sculptures forged by waves, wind, time. We arrive at an obligatory stop, Punta Boi, where we find the so-called English Cemetery.
Here, in the middle of the 19th century, there were three shipwrecks, leaving this part of the Costa da Morte cursed. In 1883 the ‘Iris Hull’ left Cardiff not to return. In 1890 the ‘Serpent’ left Plymouth for Sierra Leone but a storm crashed the ship against the rocks of Punta Boi and did not reach its destination. Finally in 1893 the ‘Trinacria’, which left Glasgow bound for Gibraltar, would never reach its destination. Here, in this place as beautiful as it is tragic is located this cemetery, homage to those British subjects who left their lives on the Galician coast.
And we came to Muxia. If Santander is the bride of the sea, this emblematic Galician city is the bride of the wind. The port, the one that feeds the locals welcomes us, the one that in 2002 was hit by the ‘Prestige‘ disaster (a walk has been created in memoriam) welcomes us, but we are going to continue towards the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Barca, built in the 12th century, pure Romanesque. We climb the steep staircase to Mount Corpiño. It is worth the effort. In front of us we are presented with a panoramic view of Muxía, the Vilán Lighthouse, the sea, the green of the meadows… Our next stop is the Muxía Lighthouse, whose enclave is privileged. A visual spectacle at dawn, at dusk, with the rough sea shaking the rock mercilessly. Impressive.
And before reaching the end of this route, we stop in Touriñán to see the Cape of the same name. A stony place, with its two lighthouses, which is contemplated when spring starts and ends the summer. The last sunset of the European continent.
End of the Lighthouse Route: Finisterre
And we arrive at the end, at the end of Finisterre. The end of the world cape, an obligatory stop on the Camino de Santiago. A set formed by the octagonal lighthouse, a building called La Vaca de Fisterra. It houses an alert siren and another called the Traffic Light, from where signals were sent to warships since it was built in 1879. And what a wonder to say goodbye to this fantastic route with the Atlantic Ocean at our feet, like a carpet of water and salt. With that scent that permeates everything, contrasting with the green of the meadows that surround the lighthouse.
A route full of sensations that we cannot stop enjoying. Sea villages with a special charm, immense beaches, impossible cliffs, royal lighthouses, rocks that are art. Pure nature or viewpoints that give us priceless views, are some of the attractions to consider doing this route. Would you like to visit the Lighthouse Route?