This is the entry page to our guide covering Pontevedra, one of the four provinces of Galicia. Most of our content describes and illustrates Pontevedra city, but you will find pages providing information about the province's other districts, towns and attractions. If you want more deatil on any of the towns within the Pontevedra province, then use the "Galician Towns" button in the left hand menu. There you can find out about another 9 or 10 provincial towns in greater detail.
Please use the buttons in the menu bar to the right to navigate around this section.
Some of the pages will also have "in-site" and "off-site" links on them.
Right, a view of the older part of Pontevedra showing the unusual and famous "Pilgrims" church at night.
Pontevedra is situated in the rias baixas (or lower bays) of Galicia and it is the region's most southern sea facing province. The name Pontevedra refers to both the province and its self titled capital city. Interestingly, Pontevedra's largest conurbation is in fact the port city of Vigo in a lower bay to the south of Pontevedra city.
The City of Pontevedra
The provincial capital of Pontevedra is located in its own ria (bay) and is bisected by the "rio" (river) "Lerez". The parts of this city that a tourist would want to visit are nearly all on the south side of the river where the original old town is situated.
It takes about an hour (60 kilometres) to reach Pontevedra from Santiago de Compostela in neighbouring A Coruna province and you can reach it by the N-550 or, more quickly, by the AP-9 toll motorway at a cost of about 5 euros each way.
When you reach Pontevedra, parking up is not a problem and the easiest solution is to follow signs for the town center and then park in the underground car park directly beneath the "alameda" (town square). This car park is fairly cheap, secure and more importantly easy to find when you are ready to leave.
As a minor note of caution, much of Pontevedra has a one way road system and getting out of it requires you to traverse one of its bridges in order to reach the main highway routes on the northern side of the river "Lerez". There are also extensive road workss taking place during 2009 which will also slow down traffic.
Why visit Pontevedra?
From a tourist perspective Pontevedra is becoming increasingly popular with domestic and foreign visitors to Galicia. The city is historically famous, culturally rich and has a significant number architectural attractions worth seeing. It has a very well preserved medieval town centre along with many small and popular squares, most of which have cafe's and bars around them.
So what does Pontevedra have to offer?
Whilst not on the same scale as A Coruna or Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra has its fair share of historic buildings, churches and monuments, along with plenty of attractive plazas and a large shopping district. Most of the town is on the flat, although the older district requires you to walk up and down a slight incline.
Bars and cafes are plentiful and a series of "prazas", or small plazas, including the Teucro and Ferreria, punctuate the inter-linked streets. Much of this area is also pedestrianised making travel on foot the most convenient and straight forward option.
Although many of the buildings in the old town of Pontevedra are not quite on the same scale as those of Santiago de Compostela, this is a city that has a wealth of charm and a great atmosphere. The old town really does come alive at night and all of the bars are full to over-flowing (which they do into the numerous plazas) and the activity and vibrant atmosphere continue well into the early hours. Main day time attractions include the large "multi building" museum and the weekly market on the alameda (town square).
English speaker friendly
Pontevedra is extremely well catered for by "English" language guides and booklets. In fact we were able to get hold of no less than nine different English guide books (leaflets) about the province and its monuments from two of the city's central tourist offices. English language speakers were also on duty.
One of the leaflets that we picked up was a useful town plan and tourist guide offering a "step by step" route around the town's main tourist haunts. We chose to follow this and therefore many of the places and buildings we describe are on this main sightseer's trail.
To explore Pontevedra Galicia in detail, visit the rest of our pages by selecting attractions of interest from the menu to the right.
If you speak spanish, then concellopontevedra.es is the official site about the area.