Castro de Baroña, Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain

Castro de Baroña, Celtic fort on Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

Looking over Castro de Baroña to Praia de Area Longa beach.

What is Castro de Baroña?

Castro is an ancient, fortified celtic village in the Rias Baixas region of western Galicia. Small but incredibly beautiful this was the most dramatic coastal site we saw in northern Spain. And it’s free to enter. This Iron Age settlement on a rocky promontory was inhabited by a skilled fishing and farming community – rumoured to be of Celtic origin – for around 200 years from 1st century BC to 1st century AD. In addition to their obvious stonework skills there is archeological evidence that the people living here were capable at metalwork, textile creation and animal husbandry – goats, sheep and cattle – though their primary source of nutrition was naturally derived from the sea. The main thing lacking from this village was water which had to be sourced from elsewhere.

The lovely short walk down to Castro from the main AC-550 road

The lovely short walk down to Castro from the main AC-550 road where there is a large brown information hut clearly labelled Castro de Baroña – which is the main indication that you have arrived at the right place, along with a large bar/restaurant.

Getting There

Castro de Baroña, Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain

Castro de Baroña, on the Ria de Muros y Noia. Beyond is the Atlantic Ocean.

Visible here is the first defensive wall, which is behind partly a natural sea trench (not visible) that has been extended into a 3m deep, 4m wide defensive moat. Behind that is the second defensive wall with gateway into the village.

Access to Castro involves an easy drive on the gorgeous AC-550 coast road from Noia/Porto do Son in the north part of the Serra do Barbanza peninsula (beside Ria de Muros y Noia, one of Galicia’s Rias Baixas) or approach from Ribeira (aka Riveira) on the south side of the peninsula, beside Ria de Arousa.

There’s a convenient, large restaurant/café/bar beside the Castro information hut on the road. Park anywhere you can! There don’t appear to be any prohibitions.

We drove down to the coast from Santiago de Compostela on a day trip, taking in Riveira’s Coroso beach (OK); the Corrubedo Dunes (rubbish! ); the Corrubedo lighthouse and beach (pretty good); Dolmen do Axeitos (small but impressive); Castro (awesome! ); Porto de Son beaches (OK); Noia’s ‘mysterious’ cemetary at Santa Maria a Nova church (rubbish! ). See all the photos here

Stone walled rooms in Castro de Baroña, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

The village encloses about twenty roundhouses.

A walled room with fireplace in Castro de Baroña, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

The (relatively) substantial fireplace in this higher-walled room indicates that it might have been a forge.

A beautiful path around Castro de Baroña, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

One of the several, delightful, must-walk paths around the settlement’s high point.

There are supposed to be man-made structures in this elevated area of the Castro but apart from some suspiciously unnatural depressions in several large rocks we saw nothing.

Castro de Baroña's necropolis, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

Looking from what we believe is Castro de Baroña’s necropolis zone and highest point, over to the Playa Area Longa and Playa do Dique.

There are curved depressions that appear to have been carved into elevated areas of the village (e. g. on the lower right of the photo above), with drainage cuts. We assume these are signs of a necropolis, but we have no information to confirm or deny this. If it is correct were these depressions cut to contain bodies in a sitting position? They certainly make comfortable seats for tired travelers!