Arcade: Oysters, what a place!

A small coastal town with a very seafaring flavour located in the province of Pontevedra.

You can enjoy the sea, mountains, gastronomy… Among its heritage, the Castle of Soutomaior stands out, with a great botanical collection, located in immense and well-kept gardens.

Famous for its oysters, if you happen to be here during the first weekend of April, don’t miss the Oyster Festival.


Try the oysters

Visit the Castle of Soutomaior (4,3 kms-150 meters of positive slope. 1 hour walking).

Go to the port and see the monument to the shellfish gatherer.

Nearby places:


Salinas do Ulló (3 kms, 42 minutes)

Suspension bridge over the Verdugo River

San Simón Island (boat or kayak and access permit required)

O Viso (Redondela) (3 kms-220 metres positive vertical drop, 50 minutes).

Nearby QRs:

Soutoxuste Natural Area


Websites of interest:



Further information:

Located in the municipality of Soutomaior, in the province of Pontevedra. For many, the name of Arcade is inescapably linked to that of its oysters: the “oysters of Arcade”, a delicious mollusc that was already appreciated in Roman times and is nowadays actively exported. There are hardly any natural oyster beds left; the ones we can eat today are the product of cultivation. They were not born here, but they were made here. The small young, what we might call the “seed”, come from France or Greece. But it is their cultivation in the waters of the estuary, over two or three years, that gives them that special, unmistakable and unique flavour that delights the most demanding palates.

It is located at the exact point of the mouth of the River Verdugo (which has already joined the River Oitavén) and is linked by a beautiful medieval bridge of Roman origin to Pontesampaio. Other much more modern bridges cross the Verdugo River right at its mouth: the 19th century iron railway bridge, the bridge over which the national road runs (20th century) and the new iron bridge for the high-speed railway line (built in 2010).

In its streets is the church of Santiago de Arcade, from the end of the 12th century, beginning of the 13th. Although a series of alterations have eliminated almost all the original Romanesque elements. Of what remains, the most noteworthy on the outside is the western doorway, flanked by four columns (one of them with a helicoidal shaft); inside, the triumphal arch supported by two sturdy columns with historiated capitals that leads to the rectangular apse covered with a stone barrel vault.

New elements have been added to the original structure, such as two bland side naves and a small baptismal chapel, decorated with a mural painting of the Baptism of Jesus, the work of a local artist.

The Castle of Soutomaior, which is worth a visit, is a medieval castle from the 12th century, the place of origin and centre of power of one of the most significant lineages of medieval Galicia.

Nowadays it can be visited and has a museum that contains chronological milestones and information about different historical moments of the place.

The fortress was inhabited in the 15th century by the nobleman known as Pedro Madruga, who improved its defensive aspects and introduced new features to adapt the fortification to the use of firearms. It recovered its splendour as a summer palace at the end of the 19th century with Antonio Aguilar y Correa, Marquis of Vega de Armijo and Marquis of Mos and his wife Zenobia Vinyals who carried out neo-Gothic style transformations. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was inherited by his niece María Vinyals, writer and pioneer of feminism in Galicia.

The estate is a botanical garden of 15,700 m2 in which 175 different tree species can be found, some of them more than eight hundred years old. There is also a collection of 300 camellias of 22 different types. In 2012 it was declared a Garden of International Excellence by the International Camellia Society and is located on the Route of the same name.


The oyster festival: The celebration that exalts this seafood product is held on the first weekend of April. It is the biggest gastronomic festival in the municipality and the perfect occasion to taste them in any of their traditional preparations. During the two days there will be folkloric performances in the town centre and on the site itself, parades by the music bands and the classic proclamation. There will also be the classic Saturday night verbena and the traditional fireworks display, a spectacle that year after year brings thousands of fans to the Peirao beach.

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