Visit the Beach of the Cathedrals

Galicia has many beautiful places and natural spectacles to discover. But, in recent years, the Playa de las Catedrales has become a tourist emblem of the region. It is a remote place on the Galician coast where you can admire the rocky arches at low tide. 

Currently, the Playa de las Catedrales is one of the most popular tourist places in Galicia and is even in the category of the most spectacular beaches in Europe. 

Where is the beach of the cathedrals?

Located in the municipality of Ribadeo in the province of Lugo, in the extreme northeast of Galicia, the Playa de las Catedrales has an extension of 1,300 meters at low tide. 

Originally called Praia de Augasantas, due to the presence of an old spring with medicinal waters according to the locals, over the years the monument became better known as the Beach of the Cathedrals in Lugo. 

Its main attraction is determined by the caves, passageways and arches formed by gigantic rocks as a result of the erosive action of water, wind and saltpeter. So if you like all these rocky and impressive landscapes, you can visit the Playa de las Catedrales and spend several hours enjoying the view. 

How to get?

To get to Playa de las Catedrales you can travel to Asturias airport, which is the closest, an hour away by car, while A Coruña and Santiago de Compostela are an hour and a half away. 

Being in the center of Ribadeo you can take the A-8 road, with its detour 516 that leads directly to the beach. Another faster option is the N-634, which is also a nicer ride, because it runs along the beach route, so it can take longer if you make several stops to take photos.  

a natural monument 

The impressive morphology of Playa de las Catedrales is the result of thousands of years of marine erosion, which allows us to appreciate an architecture of arches, corridors and rocky caves that has been recognized as a Natural Monument. 

In this sense, the arches that measure between 10 and 30 meters high are popularly called the Cathedrals of the Sea and can be seen better when the tide is low.

However, the effect of the rains in recent years and human pressure due to the high influx of visitors, especially in summer and Easter, has made it necessary to restrict access to this beach in order to protect the natural monument, reduce risk of accidents and have greater access control. Due to the restriction, only a maximum daily entry of 4,800 visitors is allowed during these times of the year. 

For this reason, the Xunta de Galicia has established a reservation system for Playa de las Catedrales, in which you can notify your trip to this beach one month in advance.

Access is completely free, and the official site ( shows the calendar with the days available. Likewise, you can consult the tide table to choose the most convenient time for your visit, because as we already mentioned, the best time of day to take advantage of all the beauties of the beach is at low tide.

However, your visit cannot be limited exclusively to low tide, since from the cliffs you can appreciate a wonderful view of the beach during high tide hours.  

Tips to enjoy the walk to the Playa de las Catedrales

In order for your visit to be totally pleasant and an unforgettable experience, you must not forget that this natural monument is a dynamic and unpredictable system, due to the timing of the tides, as well as the lunar phases. Therefore, we have some tips that will be very useful during your walk. 

1. Plan your walk according to the tide table , it is advisable to start the walk one hour before low tide and go to the right of the access stairs, making the route of approximately 600 meters.

2. You must wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as those suitable for water, since the waves are unpredictable and can surprise you during your walk.

3. Do not approach the edge of the cliff if you take the walk on the trail during high tide

4. In order to preserve the natural monuments, the islets should not be climbed, stones removed from their original places or residues left on the beach. 

5. If you go with children, it is not advisable to take the baby stroller, as the accesses of sand make it difficult to use. 

6. During the walk it is important to stay hydrated, so it is advisable to bring a bottle of water and some fruit to eat, as long as you take your waste with you.

Tourism in Ribadeo

To complement your walk along the beach, you can go along the coast towards Ribadeo, where you can enjoy unique landscapes, unique geological formations in the region and a rich biological heritage.

Known as the Coastal Route , this tour can be done by bicycle, car and even on horseback, following the local road that traces the coastline. You can plan a trip of about 4 days to get to know this area with greater peace of mind.

And if you are wondering where to sleep in Ribadeo, you have numerous lodging options that range from hostels and campsites, small hotels to rural houses for greater contact with nature.

What to see in Ribadeo?

The Beach of the Cathedrals is not the only tourist site that you can visit during your stay in Ribadeo, since there are also other recommended visits such as the Ruta de Los Miradores, which consists of touring the most emblematic places in the region, walking through the historic quarter of the town to reach the Atalaia viewpoint. Then, you can get to the Paseo del Faro, to enjoy the view from its three viewpoints: the Chapel of San Miguel, the Cargadoiro and the Illa Pancha. In total there are 11 km of paved road that you can travel on foot, by car or bike, with family, friends and children, since it is a safe and accessible route for all ages, without demanding physical conditions. 

Likewise, the Route of the Parishes takes you to know the different neighborhoods and most representative urban buildings of Ribadeo that you can go through in a short time to see the houses, schools and squares of the Indians during the boom period that began in the last decades of the S. XIX. 

To do these tours you can also opt for the tourist taxi service offered in the region, since they have complete itineraries that adapt to your budget and time. 

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