A Guarda has a population of just a smidge over 10,000. The town is dominated by the hill of Santa Tecla at 341 metres high overlooking the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the river Miño on the other. The view from the top is fantastic, with Portugal just over the river.
The hill has been a fort as well as a more ancient site of a Celtic settlement from around 100BC. Nestled in the hill’s less windy side is a series of circular and sometimes oval structures, the remains of this original settlement. It is estimated that around 3,000 people lived here, it is an amazing site. There is a museum located on the mountain with excavated pottery, carvings etc but was closed. Not that surprising since it is January.
The modern town of A Guarda sits on the Atlantic side of the hill and is a pretty bustling town which is surprising given its modest population. It is always a surprise to us how well serviced small towns are compared to the same in the UK. It has several bakers, butchers/delicatessens, grocery shops, a couple of supermarkets right in the centre of town. Want a coffee? No problem. Want a restaurant? Again no problem. There are also plenty of clothes shops and at least a couple of places to buy furniture. We even saw four toy shops. It is a working town rather than just a holiday resort that dies in the winter months.
A Guarda even has its own ET!
A Guarda also has a fortress (known as ‘the castle’) which was part of the defence systems built in the last stretch of the Miño river during the Independence War between Spain and Portugal in the 17th century.
Views of the town Harbour…..
The second picture has Monte Santa Tecla as the backdrop. The last picture is us standing in front of part of a huge mural decorating the harbour wall. You can just make out the wall in the distance in the first picture.
We enjoyed several walks along the river and ocean. Especially when the wind was up which was most of the time!
One of the pictures captures water horses in the waves, can you see which one?
In contrast, the calm of the river….
Had the town (and Galicia) been better connected for us to get back to the UK, it would have been a contender for somewhere to settle. Oh well.
My next post will talk about our visit to Tui, another lovely city just further up the river Muño.
Tomorrow, we are leaving A Guarda and the campsite with access to Wifi. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post anything so please bear with.
We will be slowly making our way back along the northern Spanish coast to enter France via Saint Jean de Luz (near Biarritz and Bayonne). It’ll take us about a week and we plan to visit Santiago de Compostela and Gijon along the way. So I’ll have lots to talk about when we arrive in France. Until then…..
Ciao! (as they say here) or Hasta luego.