Castro de Barona
The "Castro de Barona" is the excavated site of an old Celtic fortress settlement and is situated on a highly exposed and rugged outcrop of land some twenty three thousand square metres in area. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow sandy stretch (over which you walk to reach it) and occupies a position about halfway down the Porto do Son coastline.
You can reach Castro de Barona directly from the C550, the main coast shadowing highway of the region and there is adequate parking available in a car park adjacent to a bar and restaurant which is located immediately in front of the path that leads to these artefacts. This also comes in handy if you want some refreshments after your excursion.
Typical of many of Galicia's less monumental historical sights, signs to the Castro de Barona are few and once you park up you may be forgiven for thinking that you have found the wrong spot. But look around carefully and you will see some very un-distinctive signs directing you in one of two directions - either will take you to the Castro de Barona. Additionally, expect the worse path you have ever encountered, it is truly appalling and highly dangerous and, without trying to cause further alarm, we crossed two areas splattered with blood, no doubt from recent falls.
The shot above shows the view of Castro de Barona that you will get after you have descended from the cafe area and walked for a about 5 to 10 minutes. If you reach this point and are happy with the path, then you can probably make the remaining (and much longer) part of the trip.
A cautionary note
At this point I must emphasize that the path that leads to the fort's ruins is about a mile in length (each way) and very difficult to walk on. You MUST wear trainers/sneakers at the very least and if you are elderly or have any medical problems I strongly advise you NOT to make this journey. Furthermore if it is wet or extremely windy, then give it a miss, whatever your age. The route involves walking over many small boulder-like stones which will become slippery and dangerous when wet.
Continuing on from the vantage point from which the photograph above was taken, you head downwards on a winding and undefined path, but with your eventual target now in view. When we made our visit it was a dull and blustery day, but the spectacle of the ruins still impressed and we were glad we made the effort.
Above and right you can see in more detail the old walls that make up part of the Castro de Barona. The ruins appear to occupy two of the three mounds that form the outcrop and are only a couple of feet in height. In truth, what remains of the fort is more easily distinguished from a distance than in close up, but when you reach them it is fun to have a wonder around.
When you finally reach, and climb on to, the land mass on which the Castro de Barona lay, you have some excellent panoramic views of the surrounding Porto do Son coastline. In particular, if you look to the right (as in the view in the foto to the left) you can see the nearby beaches of "praia Area Longa" and "praia de Queiruga".
Area Longa, although difficult to get to, is renown for its long and large waves and is regarded as the best surfing points in Porto do Son. It also has a famous surfing club associated with its beach.
Castro de Barona - a verdict!
Should you visit Castro de Barona? The answer is dependant on what you like to do and see. We found it a great way to spend a couple of hours on a not too sunny day and whether the experience would have been heightened by good weather is hard to say - I suspect it would. Certainly it was not somewhere we had been determined to visit, especially if it meant sacrificing sun bathing weather on a very hot day.
If you are into your history and would like to know exactly what you are looking at, then you may be dissapointed by the abject lack of any information at the site itself. But fear not, there is a visitors center in the near by town of Porto do Son which contains some artifacts from, and information about, the Castro.