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Official name; Praia de Augas Santas which means the Beach of the Holy Waters but much better known as Praia das Catedrais or Cathedral Beach.

The “Praia das Catedrais Beach” is the most popular beach in Galicia and a photographer’s dream. During the summer months, a permit is required. In the winter you may enjoy your walk at the beach almost alone. The beach and in particular the arches and the cathedral are accessible around low tide only!

Accessibility

Accessible during low tide only. This is particularly the case for the end of the beach where the three well-known arches are located. These arches are accessible during a short time frame roughly one hour before low tide and one hour afterward. Furthermore, the sea level has a relevant impact on how far you can get and how long you can enjoy your visit. 

Avoiding the Crowds 
Peak Season (Easter - Summer)


As Catedrais by Guillén Pére, CC BY-ND

Due to the popularity; well-known from social media, a permit is required since 2015 for Easter and from July to September now to preserve this extraordinary place. August is the worst month of the year. In July 2014 75 thousand visitors came here each week. The reason for the permit system. However, the limit of 5000 people per day is still quite high. To gain access, you even may queue before entering the beach. Cathedral Beach can get quickly crowded during low tide depending on the time of the day. Early morning is much quieter than the rest of the day. If you arrive at the end of the low tide in the peak season signs are put up, and you don’t get access to the furthest part which is the most stunning and picturesque. It's such an amazing place in winter that it is hard to believe having thousands of visitors here in summer. Consider that booking of at least 30 days in advance is mandatory. The permit is free and easy to book. Tickets Booking Cathedral Beach – Praia das Catedrais
Accommodation rates are the highest, and mostly there isn’t anything available on short notice. 

Shoulder Season (Spring - Autumn)

The Cathedral and Arches at Praia das Catedrais

Cathedral Beach is accessible without a permit except for Easter. Though the beach can get a little busy early morning or late in the evening it’s quiet and peaceful. Accommodations are available on short notice although the best rated are already fully booked. The weather can be capricious, therefore, carry a raincoat.

Low Season (Winter)

The Cathedral Beach arches at the furthermost part

During winter very few people visit the beach in the morning and also midday is bearable. It’s quiet and peaceful and you take back home unforgettable memories of this outstanding piece of nature. In our opinion the best time to enjoy this marvelous place in Galicia. You can book a cottage last minute for lower fares. Consider it frequently rains in the winter but you can't get disappointed at this time of the year.

Photography Tip

The Cathedral Beach and its famous rock arches and bridges are located towards the north. Getting the right light for a shot may be challenging but if you come here at sunrise during the winter time an atmospheric shot is almost guaranteed.

Weather 

Cathedral Beach with rainbow after a brief shower

The north of Spain experiences much more rain than the south. The driest and warmest months are from June to September. Usually, pleasant day temps around 20°C not hot as you would expect in Spain. Night temps can be chilly. Mostly one-digit day temps from November to April. Even if it is cold, foggy or rainy, Cathedral Beach does not disappoint,

Where to Stay

There is a variety of self-catering cottages, holiday homes, and hotels nearby. During the summer advanced booking is necessary. In the winter check the weather forecast first and then book your accommodation last minute as we did. Cathedral Beach is exceptional. We loved to explore this awesome beach and watched the incoming tide afterward. Stay at least one night to enjoy this place without being in a rush. We spent two nights here. 

Praia de Illas nearby Cathedral Beach
Praia de Illas nearby

There is a series of scenic and picturesque beaches where we also had a closer look too. Our favorite cottages are the Villas las Catedrales; fully equipped also with heating which is essential during winter. These villas are newly built and super clean. 

Villas las Catedrales close to the Cathedral Beach
Villas Las Catedrales, parking just in front

All available accommodations around Cathedral Beach. Bookmark the link for the lowest fares at booking.com.

Beach
ES Spain
4.833335

Amazing natural arches and surreal landscape where you have to hike to. The arches are not visible from the road. Roads are mostly paved and can get crowded in peak summer months.

Anytime is magical! Most comfortable temperatures in spring and fall. End of summer violent storm and heavy rainfall can occur which quickly causes flash floods.

More than 1.4 million visitors each year and the number is still growing. The most popular months are from March to October. Delicate Arch is the most famous one. Often there are more than hundred people and even more at sunset. Winter is great without crowds, but can be very cold. If you have snow trails can get slippery.

To avoid crowds and to get your car parked arrive early morning or even better late afternoon when temps are getting cooler. Morning and evening are best times to photograph.

TIP: If you want to avoid 100 degree temps but still enjoy comfortable weather go April, May or September, October. In September, it gets less crowded after Labor Day. Again, crowded in October at the Utah Education Association break
[updated by whentobewhere]

Hiking
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Just a short hike from the road, you will find Mesa arch. It is nice any time but magical in the morning and also at night with a full moon.

Fewer people in winter. Avoid peak tourist months in spring/summer, can also get extremely hot. The photographer crowds often leave shortly after sunrise.
A Great Place
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