Thousands of tourists come here every year to visit the local fish restaurants and relax on the best Blue Flag beaches. And wealthy Spaniards relax in the thermae of La Toja, one of the best and most expensive in the country.
Things to do in O Grove
One day in O Grove is enough to visit interesting places and 1—2 establishments. But people come here for longer periods of time: seafood fans spend their vacations with a plate of oysters and a glass of local wine, interspersed with ocean beaches and thermal spas. It’s an enjoyable place to spend a week or two. Let me tell you what to do during this time.
Visit a local fish restaurant
Mariscada (Mariscada) is a dish of several types of seafood that was invented in Galicia. There are over a hundred seafood restaurants in O Grove. In addition to mariscada, every restaurant offers a local dry white wine called albariño (albariño), the grapes for which are grown in Galicia.
View information about O Grove restaurants on the city’s official website. Here the restaurants are ranked according to the Spanish classification by «forks». This classification is official and is similar to the classification of hotels by «stars». The more «forks», the more services a restaurant must provide, but this indicator has little effect on the quality of dishes.
- Address: Avda. Beiramar, 30
- Open daily from 13:00 to 16:00 and from 20:30 to 23:00
- You can reserve a table on the restaurant’s website
Spanish acquaintances recommended Marisquería O’Cruceiro (Rúa do Cruceiro, 17) for its value for money, but it was closed at the time of our visit. It accepts day and evening guests from July 1 to October 15, and only offers lunch from mid-October through June.
We managed to try mariscada at Ruamar restaurant. This is an institution with a simple interior, good cuisine and friendly staff.
- Restaurant address: Avenida Beiramar, 160
- Mode of operation: Tuesday-Saturday from 13:00 to 16:00 and from 20:00 to 23:30, Sunday from 13:00 to 16:00, Monday — day off.
Embark on a maritime gastronomic excursion along the Ría de Arousa
The main attraction for gourmets is the excursion to the sea raft farms where oysters, mussels and scallops are grown. The excursion starts from the port of O Grove and takes place on special flat-bottomed ships.
The average duration of the event is one hour, during which the guide will tell you about the peculiarities of shellfish farming. During the tour it will be possible to observe the clam colonies through the windows on the bottom of the ship. The event will end with a mussel tasting with a bottle of local wine.
From the port of O Grove, several companies operate excursions on the Ria de Arosa. Each company has its own schedule, which you can check on the website:
The cost of excursions in all companies is the same: 15 € per adult, 7 € per child up to 12 years old. Children under 2 years old are free of charge.
Visit the municipal and fish market (Mercado Municipal do Grove, Lonxa O Grove)
The fish market in the port of O Grove offers all edible sea fauna at a fairly democratic price: for example, a kilogram of mussels costs 2 €. The municipal market has everything else: vegetables, fruit, meat.
Relax on clean ocean beaches
Besides gastronomy, O Grove is famous for its excellent beaches, the total length of which is 10 km. The beaches are marked with the Blue Flag, which means clean coast and water, excellent infrastructure. The largest beach of O Grove is Playa A Lanzada.
View Isla de la Toja (Isla de la Toja)
La Toja is a small island that is connected to O Grove by a bridge. The island is famous for its thermal waters, therapeutic muds and expensive real estate. The Spanish elite come here.
The main attraction of the island is the chapel, which is completely decorated with scallop shells on the outside. In front of the chapel there is a picturesque small park. For those who love nature, I recommend going to the pine relic forest of La Toja.
Visit the Oceanarium (Acuario de O Grove)
If you are traveling with children, you can go to the local Oceanarium. It is small, so it takes a little over an hour to visit.
- Opening hours of the Oceanarium: in winter from 10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and from 10:30 to 19:30 on weekends; in summer daily from 10:30 to 21:00.
- Tickets: 15 € for adults, 10 € under 14 years, free for children under 4 years old.
- Oceanarium website
Holidays and events in O-Grove
Since 1963, the Fiesta del Marisco (Seafood Festival) has been held every October in O Grova and is considered one of the most important culinary events and the largest seafood festival in Spain. This gourmet festival takes place in the second week of October and attracts hundreds of thousands of participants. Here you can taste seafood specialties prepared by the best chefs from around the world. The festival program also includes an exhibition of sculptures, competitions among fishermen, and traditional dances.
In November-December there is a festival dedicated to the giant spider crayfish, which is also the peak season for it. In February , O Grove hosts a local carnival. And in mid-summer, on July 16, there is a traditional festival of worship of the sea.
Dates are subject to change. Please check the website before traveling.
How to get to O Grove
The nearest major city is Pontevedra. From here you can get to O Grove on Monbus buses.
- Travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- The ticket for an adult is 2,2 €.
- The schedule is on the company’s website.
You can buy a ticket from the bus driver.