Cathedrals Beach in the north of Spain.

© Perszing1982/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Praia As Catedrais

Top choice in Ribadeo

This spectacular 1.5km sandy stretch is strung with awesome Gothic-looking rock towers, arches and chambers, sculpted by aeons of sea-water action. Avoid the hour or two either side of high tide when the beach is under water. Such is its popularity that during Semana Santa, July, August, September and some holiday weekends, permits (free from are required to go down on to the beach. Tickets or receipts from taxis, trains or buses to the beach are also valid for access.

Esteiro train station is 1.3km from the beach. From July to September a four-times-daily bus service (€2.50 roundtrip) links Ribadeo's tourist office with As Catedrais. The beach's daily limit is 4812 visitors. There's no restriction on looking at it from the clifftops above.

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