The most beautiful villages of Galicia: Combarro

Galicia has around 30,000 towns and villages, which is almost half of all the towns in Spain. This impressive number contains a wide variety of very different places, varying in size and appearance. That’s right: it is very hard to find a Galician village that does not have a river, or an estuary, or beaches, or cliffs, or a mountain. There is also a big chance you will find villages that have a little bit of everything.

In response to this great diversity, we have started a little series about the most charming towns of Galicia. Our intention is to present you a list of towns and villages of the four Galician provinces. We want to start our list with, since you have to start somewhere, Combarro, a small town of the Poio municipality over the northern side of the Pontevedra estuary.


Boat in Combarro

The historical part of Combarro, which has been preserved perfectly, represents one of the most outstanding examples of the traditional sailor-style architecture that you can find in Galicia.

Image of Combarro

Strategically located on the inner part of the river, it is very close to both the main touristic attractions of the Salnés area (Sanxenxo, Cambados, O Grove) and to the capital of the province; Pontevedra. For this reason, Combarro is one of the most visited destinations of the Rías Baixas.

Handicrafts shop

However, the continuous presence of foreign visitors in Combarro has not yet changed its culture and lifestyle, which is a serious phenomenon related to mass tourism that affects many cities around the world. Fortunately, the locals of Combarro continue to live their normal lives and are able to do their routines as in any other place. This fortunate fact will lead to very curious, picturesque and colourful pictures. 


Besides that, its fisherman harbour still maintains a little fleet of boats dedicated to inshore fishing. And the winning of mussels, which are cultivated in several points of the coast, is one of the most important, economic activities of Combarro. Creels, fishing gear which are easily recognised by their characteristic cylinder shape, are one of the reasons that the fishing tradition is so well preserved.


A village of granaries, sunny porches and crosses

The old part of Combarro can be accessed from the plaza da Chousa via the the street called Rúa do Mar. Declared of Cultural Interest in 1972, it is impossible not to highlight its functional stone buildings representing an elegant mannerism style, non artificial, and very well integrated into the bright environment of a river, which more than just a geographical phenomenon, seems the main avenue of the village.

From the houses you can look over the sea from the typical “solanas”, these are porches covered in sunlight during the day, which seem more typical for great palaces than for the properties of the humble sailors and peasants. Also made of stone are the granaries, granaries might be one of the most characteristic elements you can find in Combarro.


Granaries are all over Galicia. They served and still serve for drying and storing agricultural products, especially corn. In every area the granaries are called differently: cabaceiro, cabazo, cabás, canastro, canizo, palleira, piorno or sequeiro are some of the most common names.

However, the granaries of Combarro are unique because of the amount and the location. The amount is special, because in a very small space you can count a couple of dozens of granaries. And their location is interesting, because the granaries of Combarro are sea granaries: many of them are not even separated one meter from the river. This fact gives us the possibility to take some very pretty and characteristic pictures of the Rías Baixas.


Just like the granaries, you will also find many and beautiful crosses in Combarro, located at the crossing of the narrow streets in the centre of the village. The thousands of crosses that you can find in Galicia are very typical for its landscape and show the importance of the religion. The crosses are usually placed at the entrance of the towns and around the churches, but also in places where it is easy for evil things to enter, like crossroads, mountains and riversides.

Square and cross

The crosses of the historical Combarro date from the 18th and 19th century. Some of them are located on an altar which is tediously decorated during the procession of the body of Christ. All of them, without a doubt, are worthy to be studied carefully. Like the great Castelao, who called them prayers of stone, said, where there is a cross, there must have been a sin...

Eating in Combarro

Tasting the flavours of the typical gastronomy of the Rías Baixas in one of the many restaurants, which are close to the sea like the granaries, is definitely a unique experience. If the weather is good, the best thing you can do is going to one of the terraces of the Peirao, the old fishermen harbour, and enjoy a delicious lunch with spectacular views. 


A first dish of mussels or a nice mix of seafood is something that will always be on the menu of a Galician restaurant. Of the specialties of the local cuisine the highlights probably are the rice dishes, prepared with many different kinds of ingredients. The arroz con pulpo (rice with octopus), for example, is one of the most asked dishes by tourists. Merluza (hake), pez espada (swordfish), or empanada de berberechos (puff pastry with clams) are other specialties that you can taste in Combarro.

Another option for having a tapa and tasting the excellent wines of the Rías Baixas, of which the albariño and godello are definitely the best, is offered by several taverns that you can find in Combarro. Each tavern is more picturesque than the previous one.

Taberna O Bocoi

Being a destination that focuses mainly on tourism, you will find a good bar or restaurant no matter what you like. This is our little list of recommendations:

+ O Bocoi: Rúa do Mar 20 (+34 986 77 11 42)

+ Restaurante O Peirao: Rúa do Mar 6 (+34 986 09 50 45)

+ Entrepedras: Rúa de San Roque, 15 (+34 986 77 23 18)

+  O Peirao de Rial: Peirao da Chousa 43

But the best is always just going with the moment and choose whatever you feel like at that moment. One thing is sure though: in all the bars and restaurants of Combarro you will the opportunity to try and taste a delicious meal for a very reasonable price!