Ria de Arousa is the largest of the Rias Baixas. Protected by Isla Salvora at its entrance it is home to half of the 3,500 bateas that are used to farm mussels in this part of Spain. It's a busy Ria, with the constant activity of the mussel boats, however it is possible to find numerous anchorages that feel remote and the various towns in the Ria provide a real taste of Galician food and character.
The various marinas here offer secure facilities to leave a boat long-term. Although the summer season is busy, space is always available. A new boatyard facility opened in April 2013 on Ila de Arousa with a 180 ton travelift, making this a possible choice for wintering your boat and carrying out repairs.
Visit the old town of Cambados, home town of Albarino wine, and the pretty Pobra do Carabinal. Anchor at Isla de Salvora, visit the Corrubedo, walk the nature paths in the hills behind Vilagarcia and of course, don't leave without trying some mussels.
Good shelter can be found in most winds in Ria de Arousa. Initial shelter can be found from the Atlantic swell and W winds behind Isla de Salvora. Whilst there are an abundance of anchorages, many are only suitable for day stops. Good anchorage near Pnta Pineiro or Insula, 4 M west of Villagarcia. If anchoring just south of Pobra de Caraminal marina opposite the beach - beware of what appears to be an unmarked concrete column 100-200m SE of the marina entrance, barely sticking out of the water on springs.
There are 8 marinas in the Ria: At Vilagarcia; Pobra de Caraminal; Cabo Cruz (new); Santa Uxia de Ribeira; Rianxo; Vilanova and Pedras Negras (adjoining San Vicente de Mar) and Escarabote. It is advisable to call by VHF on approach so that you can be directed to a berth on arrival.
Vilagarcia is the principal harbour/town and is situated in the NE corner of the Ria 12nm from the entrance. Pobra de Caraminal is one of the nicest small towns and offers probably the best shelter in the Ria. The marina is reported to be excellent, however it is very popular in the summer and may well be full. A good nearby alternative is the new marina at Cabo Cruz on the opposite side of the bay to Pobra.
The most straightforward harbours for a night-time entry are Santa Uxia de Riveira, Pobra do Caraminal and Vilagarcia. The main hazard at night here are unlit viveros (mussel farms).
Port Control for all harbours monitors VHF Ch. 09 or 16.
Last updated September 2015.