Is There Gold on Praia de Augas Santas Beach?

The Praia de Augas Santas ‘Beach of Holy Waters’ lies at the northwest corner of Spain in the province of Galicia. 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 tides cliff sea ocean rocks spain
Praia de Augas Santas: Avaldia / CC BY-SA 4.0

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 at Low Tide cliffs rocks sea ocean spain
Praia de Augas Santas at Low Tide: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez / CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Small Cove at Praia de Augas Santas beach spain outdoors rocks cliff
Small Cove at Praia de Augas Santas : Linwind / CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

Praia de Augas Santas beach cliff seascape outdoors spain
Ancient History on Praia de Augas Santas Beach: Xelo 2004 BY GNU Free Documentation

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.

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

Other posts by the Author

One Response

  1. Top 3 Camino de Santiago Routes - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] picturesque sites. You will pass many a medieval town, countless vineyards, and will breathe in the beauty that is Galicia before you reach your […]


Leave a Reply