Muros is a well known Galician coastal town and it is located at the northern entrance of one of the region's bays known as the "Muros y Noia rias". It is a popular day out with many tourists visiting this part of Spain and has a population of about 11000 people employed in fishing, agriculture and tourism.
In order to reach Muros from the bay's mouth, you head both north and west, arcing your way around the "ria". The route is coastal and provides some spectacular beach views, many offering a "sight line" back across the bay to the beach of Testal and the many towns of the Porto do Son conurbation occupying this large cove. Some smaller beach side towns such as "Esteiro" and "Ribeira" are also passed on route. Many of these places are worth a visit and all have their own beaches, bars and shops.
On arriving at Muros the first thing you will notice is the constructed harbour which has an attractive promenade running the length of the town’s sea front (photo above). Plenty of free parking is available both off road and in a large car park at the westerly end of town adjacent to the ocean. The town is still a working fishing port and you will see many small vessels moored up, or setting out to sea.
Around the town
Facing the harbour, most buildings are terraced and have shops or bars at ground level with the glazed "galeria" feature noticeable above the first storey height. The buildings in the old district are predominantly white, no more than three storeys high, and the main street runs between the sea and the harbour facing buildings. This part of town is an ideal spot for having a drink or a plate of tapas and watching the world go by.
The photo to the above right illustrates the typicial galeria style facades that line the harbour front and give Muros its own distinctive feel.
The sea front at Muros contrasts significantly with that of Noia, one of the other local towns featured in this guide and located just a few miles away. Firstly Noia's buildings are nearly all of exposed granite, whilst the facades of the buildings in Muros are predominantly white and feature the galeria style balconies. Secondly, the areas of interest to a visitor are primarily bay-side in Muros, whilst set back several hundred metres from the ocean and in the old town center in Noya. A visit to both locations aptly demonstrates the diversity of Galicia.
The sea front promenade
Left, a view looking along the promenade that runs the length of the town front.
The sea front promenade is set "a top" the harbour wall, but at a slightly lower level than the road behind it. It offers uninterrupted views, both out to sea and looking back towards the coastal road as it meanders its way around the bay. If you walk to the end of the promenade, and then cross the street (so as to be in the town itself), you will see the small town square with a fountain at its center.
Behind the harbour front buildings is the center of town where a busy outdoor market is held weekly. The main residential part of Muros is then built back into a steep hill (the "Monte Louro" mountain) with steps, pathways and narrow roads negotiating the slope. Most of what you would want to see is however on the first or second level as the town steps up from the sea. This area of town is located directly adjacent to the harbour and requires a minimum of physical excursion.
Whilst Muros does not possess the size or historic tourist attractions to make it a busy day out, it is an ideal "stopping point" in which to spend two or three hours sandwiched around a leisurely lunch, especially if you are planning to spend a day driving down this part of the coast. The cost of a tapas or bocadillo (sandwich roll) lunch with drinks will probably be less than five Euros per head at any of the bars on the sea front. The quality of the food is also very good, although you may have a wait at some of the busier bars at certain times.
The Muros-Noia bay is about one third of the way up the Galician coast (travelling south to north) and is located in the "rias baias" (lower bays) beneath the famous fishing port of "Finisterre", around an hour and a half away.
Left, a view of the ocean from the promenade on a cloudy day
Although Muros is some 40 minutes drive from Noia, it is in fact on the opposite side of the bay and fairly close "as the crow flies". If you are visiting this part of the Galician coast it is definitely a town you should consider visiting. Incidently, Muros does have a small beach, which you pass as you approach the main "built up" area, but there are many far more appealing beaches only "a stones throw" away.
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Above, a postcard view of the sea front buildings taken from the bay just beyond the key.