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From Santiago to A Toxa

The keen tourist will have to leave the motorway behind to make this journey, and travel down the N-550 instead, passing through the delightful countryside of A Mala before reaching Iria Flavia and Padrón, replete with reminders of Santiago and home to museums commemorating the poet, Rosalía de Castro and the writer, Camilo José Cela.

Next we follow the western shore of the Ulla estuary which leads to the end of the Arousa estuary. Among the most interesting points before arriving in the historical town of Cambados are the medieval towers of Catoira, the cave engravings of Os Ballotés, Vilagarcía de Arousa, the vantage point of Monte Lobeira in Vilanova - the hometown of the writer, Valle lnclán - and the evocative Isla de Arousa.

On leaving Cambados it would be worth your while to make a little detour to visit the Monasterio de Armenteira, and, lying just beyond, the Grove peninsula, the enormous A Lanzada beach, and the pretty island of La Toja, with its hotels, casino, golf course, spa and many other facilities catering for tourists.

The return journey can be made via Pontevedra, passing by the string of beaches at Sanxenxo and visiting the Islas Ons on one of the speedy boats which regularly make the journey across during the summer months. The route continues to hug the northern shore of the Ría de Pontevedra by Combarro - taking in typically Galician sights such as the hórreos (raised granaries), cruceiros (stone crosses) and the sea – before reaching the Monasterio de Poio and the historically important city of Pontevedra.

If you have enough energy left to carry on with the journey, you could go to Campo Lameiro to inspect the fascinating cave engravings to be found in the hills nearby.

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