A Guarda is a charming town overlooked by the river Minho and Monte Santa Tecla, a privileged location overlooking the Atlantic. It has the distinction of the European Commission of European destination par excellence (EDEN) thanks to its sustainable tourism proposal. Its town centre is full of history and its natural heritage is of great beauty. It is also famous for its lobsters, a sea area with an excellent gastronomic offer for all palates. A place to enjoy the views and stroll through its charming corners.
What to see and do in A Guarda
The Mount of Santa Tecla
The Monte de Santa Tecla is one of the most attractive tourist areas of Guarda, as it contains all the ingredients for a priceless excursion. It has interesting landscape, archaeological and religious values. Here we find the Citania de Santa Tecla, an archaeological site whose origins are documented in the 4th century B.C. It is an essential example of the castreña culture.
The hermitage of Santa Tecla is also in this location, a religious construction that originates in the 12th century and presents some later reforms. During excavations carried out in 1994 several Visigothic tombs were found there. You can take guided tours of this mountain to contemplate its heritage in its entirety, organized by the Patronato Municipal Monte Tecla. And, of course, the unbeatable views of the landscape should not be overlooked.
Within the Monte de Santa Tecla is also the MASAT, the Archaeological Museum of Santa Tecla. This building was designed to create a restaurant by the architect Antonio Palacios and is now an interesting museum. It houses a large collection of Roman coins, ceramic objects, glass etc.. An extensive exhibition of the findings made in excavations in the area that show the passage of mankind through this place throughout history.
The fishing port
The fishing port of A Guarda presents a landscape of beautiful colors in coexistence with the most interesting atmosphere of the city, full of restaurants and terraces for taste the best gastronomy. Very close to the dock you can see the Monument to the Sailor made by José Antúñez Pousa in 1991, pays homage to this profession so important for the city. In the old Ribeira you can also see the Monument to the Disappeared Sailor that focuses on this occasion on the wives of those who never returned from the sea, elaborated by Magín Picallo in 2004. Finally, both the promenade and the fish market are a must when passing through the port, places of great tradition.
The beach Area Grande
This beautiful beach bathed by the Atlantic Ocean is really accessible, as it is very close to the town centre and there is no excuse not to visit it. It is awarded with the blue flag and has all the services for an excellent day at the beach, lifeguard service, great water quality, access for disabled people, toilet and excellent public transport to the location.
The Miño Estuary
This is the natural space par excellence of A Guarda. The mouth of the river forms an estuary that is considered one of the most important wetlands in the whole peninsula. At this point the fluvial and maritime ecosystems converge with impressive beauty. In this area there is a great diversity of bird species, so it is a place protected by different entities and belonging to Red Natura 2000. It has different bird observatories to enjoy this excellent sample of flora and fauna. It also has information panels that help to learn more about the environment and the animals of the estuary.
The Old Town
The Old Town of A Guarda is also of great interest, where you can find the old convent of the Benedictine nuns transformed into a hotel in the twentieth century. In Muro Street and Ireira Street you can see the remains of the medieval wall that surrounded the town, and in Reló Square you can see the Town Hall building. Also the Torre do Reló, an ancient tower of medieval origin. The architecture of the place is fantastic, with remains of Indian style buildings and the dazzling presence of the church of Santa Maria.
The Abastos Square
In A Guarda, as in many other small towns, there is also a market square that is an essential centre of life and social gatherings. In it, you can buy fresh produce from the sea and the garden of excellent quality. It is an imposing building, spacious and full of light, designed by the architect Constantino Candeira. The square can be found in the descent of the port, in the heart of the city centre.