Cambados is a real gem and one of the most attractive and appealing Galician towns that we have visited. It is located towards the entrance of the ria de Arousa in Pontevedra province and contains all the best features of Galicia whilst omitting all the worst ones.
The easiest way to approach Cambados is via either the AP-9 toll road or the N-550 highway. Both of these roads take you from the north or south of the region and avoid the much longer (but more scenic) coastal roads.
We often travel to Cambados on the coast road and then return on one of the faster highways.
The main point of entry into the town is through a stone arch in what were once the town's secure walls and when inside you see a magnificent stone pazo like building that is now a bodega. There is another pazo a little further into the town that is now a hotel.
Left, prazo de Fefinans, now a large bodega at the entrance to the town.
This part of Pontevedra province is a center for Albarino wine production and Cambados is full of merchants and specialist wine stockists selling the produce of the provinces many bodegas.
In total it is estimated that there could be as many as 1000 bodegas in the province, although many will operate on a very small scale, probably supplying a couple of local bars.
The main square, prazo and church
The most obvious and notable part of Cambados is the large plaza (below) containing the fortified prazo de Fefinans and an elevated church. Together they shape the main town square and represent classic examples of vast Galician granite structures.
The prazo, now a bodega, offers limited tours, but hours are restricted and it is always closed between 2.00pm and 5.00pm. This building is L shaped in plan and mainly two storeys in height with a red tiled roof. It possesses the appearance of having occupied its location forever.
During the Albarino wine fiesta (July - August) this large plaza hosts music concerts and other events.
Throughout the summer period you can also take sight seeing tours from this point via a series of small carriages pulled by a little train.
The town's main church lies adjacent to the pazo and you need to climb a short flight of steps to reach it. It is one of the better examples you will see in Galicia. Both pazo and church have some highly ornate and three dimensional stone heraldry embossed upon them and both dominate the plaza in their own individual ways.
Left, the church in the plaza opposite the pazo.
Behind and to the side of the church are a number of traditional granite houses in very pretty streets, whilst the main street (Calle Real) leading away from the square continues the elegant look with quality restaurants, enticing bars and numerous wine merchants displaying the products of the vine lining both of its walkways.
Continuing down this road and then forking to the right takes you to another open plaza where a second pazo appears to the left. At this point the ria is on the right. This is the area where the bodegas set up their stands during the Albarino festival.