The Portuguese Coastal Way begins in A Guarda, a
historical locality that borders with Portugal. During this first stage, the
pilgrim will travel almost 17 kilometers (10,5 miles) of a low difficulty path
but with unparalleled views.
From up high, the Santa Trega mountain watches
over the port of A Guarda. This mountain is famous for its celtic fort, its
petroglyphs, its twelfth century chapel and its viewpoint. The town, which is
partly excavated, maintained a constant occupation since the first century B.C.
until the First Century C.E. and is the most visited of Galicia. Stopping to
contemplate A Guarda from this viewpoint is a mandatory stop and it is
highly recommended to do so during sunset. This enclave was a strategic place
to watch the Galician and Portuguese coasts, which gives you unbeatable views
of the estuary and the port of A Guarda, which in other times was a territory
feared by pirates and today bustles with activity.
We leave A Guarda through a road that doesn’t
deviate from the coastline. From there, the pilgrim must continue north through
a trail that runs between the C-550 road and the beaches until Portecelo. You
will have to cross the road to start a short climb, then go back down and cross
the road again.
A route of low difficulty but with steep
sections to reach Oia: the last step of this first stage. In this
Pontevedran town, the pilgrim can rest and discover, before continuing on to
the next stage, a medieval jewel of the twelfth century: the Cistercian
monastery of Santa María de Oia. This building has a medieval church sheltered
behind a baroque entrance.