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Pontevedra is an inviting, small riverside city that combines history, culture and style into a lively base for exploring the Rías Baixas. The interlocking lanes and plazas of the compact Old Town are abuzz with shops, markets, cafes and tapas bars.

Back in the 16th century, Pontevedra was Galicia's biggest city and an important port. Columbus' flagship, the Santa María, was built here, and indeed some locals are convinced that Columbus himself was not Genoese as is commonly believed, but was really a Pontevedra nobleman called Pedro Madruga, who for obscure reasons faked his own death and took on a new identity.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pontevedra.