The Praia de Augas Santas ‘Beach of Holy Waters’ lies at the northwest corner of Spain in the province of Galacia. This is just before the road from Gijón turns southwards on the final leg of the pilgrimage to Compostela de Santiago and its holy relics. The locals call it Playa de las Catedrales because of natural caves and arches. These remind them of soaring cathedral buildings.
Praia de Augas Santas at High Tide
Cathedrals Beach as the English call it is on a golden coastline where hotels and resorts nestle among rolling farmland. It is ten kilometres to the west of Ribadeo renowned for deliciously prepared white fish and mussels. The town has a delightful small-craft harbour, and supplies everything you might need for a self-catering holiday in this lovely place.
Praia de Augas Santas Beach at Low Tide
It is possible to wander beneath the cliffs during low tide at Cathedrals Beach, and explore spaces between arches that may be thirty meters tall. Do not be tempted to linger too long in caves many meters deep. When the tide turns, it does so at a rate that says ‘get out of my way.’ I mention this because the ‘Beach of Holy Waters’ could be a treasure trove.
Quiet Cove on the ‘Beach of Holy Waters’
Legend has it the Ancient Romans mined the coastline for gold they used to mint their coins. There are still abundant lodes under the watchful eye of the authorities. There may even be some undiscovered ones deep in the caves down on the beach. Beware of visiting in the summer when the pilgrimage is on. Every square meter of accommodation will be taken, sometimes years before.
Ancient History on Praia de Augas Santas Beach
The rocks themselves are part of ancient history. Cathedrals Beach lies on the fault line where the Laurussia and Gondwana continents collided 350 million years ago. The force threw up a mountain as high as the Himalayas. The remnants of the mountaintop became the caves and arches on the Praia de Augas Santas beach.