The Road to Baiona…

The Road to Baiona…

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

If you’re headed to Spain from Portugal and have some leisure time, you may want to opt for the scenic coastal route to watch the whales and preying seagulls doing the food chain thing. We took the highway, a snooze fest of asphalt and mini gas/food stations. It was like what you would expect to see on an Interstate 95 roadie in Maine, minus the deer in the headlights.  Four hours later, along comes Baiona – a charming seaside municipality in Galicia.


Baiona is a popular resort town with its own little place in history. On March 1st of 1493 Columbus’ small fleet (the Pinta) stopped in for supplies while bearing news that the explorer had made it to the (West) Indies. You can’t miss a replica of the Pinta in Baiona’s harbour whether from the shore or the cafe terrace of the majestic Parador situated on rocky cliffs with breathtaking views of the bay.


According to our guide book, The Parador de Baiona was built in the style of a Galician manor house within the walls of a medieval fortress built to protect the port of Baiona from enemies and pirates. “Nestling below the Parador is the marina full of yachts from all over the world. It is a favourite landfall for yachts crossing the Atlantic and also for those going from northern Europe to the south Atlantic, the Mediterranean or crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean Islands. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the combined English and Dutch fleets sailed through these waters to the battle of Vigo in October 1702. It is believed that there is still a treasure ship on the bottom which was sunk while trying to escape from “fire ships” trying to set them ablaze.” 


Inland from Baiona’s waterfront is a cluster of streets with an abundance of seafood restaurants, lively cafés and bars with tourists doing what tourists do…….snapping photos, taking selfies, drinking beer, listening to street music and wearing straw hats to blend in with the locals.



Dining was always a visual masterpiece. On our farewell night a whole fish spawned the entire length of a twelve seat table with lots of other seafood mixed in, including what appeared to be blue lobster. It was late, we had consumed a lot of liquid refreshments. We didn’t ask.

 On to Vigo, on to Madrid, on to Washington.  Hasta la próxima!