Baiona is a municipality located on the south west coast of Galicia, within the province of Pontevedra, in the area known as the Rías Baixas. It was here where La Pinta, one of the caravels in the fleet of Christopher Columbus, moored in 1493 bringing the news of the discovery of America. This event is celebrated every year on the 1st weekend of March in the Arribada, a traditional festival which has been recently declared of International Touristic Interest in Spain.
With an extension of almost 35 km2 and a population of about 11,000 inhabitants, the municipality encompasses the parishes of Baiona, Baredo, Bahina, Belesar and Santa Cristina.
Its medieval historical center, its white sand beaches and charming fishing port make Baiona one of the most popular and well-known touristic destinations in Galicia. Nature in the region has important intrinsic value, with several protected natural areas including A Ramallosa, a site of Community Interest and part of the Natura 2000 network. The neighbouring marine area has also recently been included in the Natura 2000 network due to its importance for seabirds. Other protected areas include the Serra da Groba and the Bahiña reservoir.
- The beaches of Os Frades and A Ribeira are the first two beaches in Galicia to become smoke-free.
- Two of the destination’s beaches (Os Frades and Barbeira) have been awarded with Blue Flags, as well as its two marinas.
- Beaches at the destination are accessible to disabled visitors, and there is also an adapted sailing school for physically and mentally disabled would-be sailors.
- Long standing commitment towards a model of quality tourism in the destination through the certification of local touristic enterprises by the SICTED project (Integrated Quality System for Tourist Destinations) and the support provided by the INNOVATUR program.
VISTAS BEST PRACTICE CASES:
Point for improvement:
- Although public transport within the municipality does not constitute a major issue, new sustainable mobility alternatives should be considered in order to prevent visitors traveling to Baiona by private car
- The full potential of the marine environment has not yet been developed for tourism, with opportunities for diving and marine life watching remaining to be explored.