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. People from all over the world come here during the summer attracted by pictures on social media. Due to the popularity, a permit is required during Easter, the summer months, on long bank holiday weekends.
The best time to visit this awe-inspiring beach without a permit and very few people is during winter, followed by May, June, and October. Regarding the weather May to September are the best months. The beach, in particular, the arches and the cathedral are accessible around 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 afterwards. Furthermore, the sea level has a relevant impact on how far you can get and how long you can enjoy your visit.
- Tide Times Cathedral Beach for the upcoming two weeks
- Tide Times and permit booking; open the booking system and select a date to get the low tide for your visit. It doesn't exist any other website for low tide data for the entire year.
Avoiding the Crowds
Peak Season (Easter; Holy Week and Summer; July-September)
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; March-May and June - Autumn; Oct-Nov)
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; December- February)
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.
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 wintertime, an atmospheric shot is almost guaranteed.
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
Our favourite cottages are the Villas las Catedrales; fully equipped also with heating which is essential during winter. These villas are newly built, super clean, and Maria is taking care of you. She lives just 100 m before the self-catering cottages. You can park your car right in front of your rental home. Leave your car at your accommodation and take their offered bikes to get to the nearby Cathedral Beach. Especially during the peak season or long bank holiday weekends the parking might be full.
Praia de Illas nearby
There is a variety of self-catering cottages, holiday homes, and hotels nearby. All available accommodations around Cathedral Beach. Bookmark the link for the lowest fares at booking.com. 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 mind-blowing beach and watched the incoming tide afterwards from the cliffs. Stay at least one night to enjoy this place without being in a rush. We spent two nights here and went twice to Cathedral Beach. This place is too amazing to be in a hurry. We enjoyed walking along the beach in both directions, watching the incoming tide. There are more scenic beaches around where we also had a closer look too.
An UNESCO World heritage site with caves and cave temples built between the 5th century and 10th century. There are 34 listed caves which can be found in the map or any tour book.
JUNE - SEPTEMBER (monsoon season): During and immediately after monsoons is the best time to visit: Lush green vegetation and exciting streams and waterfalls forming randomly amongst the caves. The climate is also pleasant. Beginning of June might still be hot and humid. To be on the safe side visit mid-June or later.
OCTOBER - FEBRUARY (winter season): Also a great time to visit the caves. Mild climate, cooler and dry.
MARCH - MAY: Too hot and humid. A single cave tour takes about 3-4 hours and temperatures up to 43 °C (110°F) would lead to an unpleasant experience.
TOURIST CROWDS: The caves are popular and often crowded. Especially during peak season from December until March. Try to be there early right before 9 AM to beat the crowds. It usually gets more crowded after 11 AM.
OPENING HOURS: 9 AM - 5:30 PM (sunset). Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
Lake Waikaremoana is part of the 1954 established Te Urewera National Park. The Name of the Lake was given by the Maori and means “sea of rippling waters”.
Lake Waikaremoana is located on an elevation above 600 m. The reason that the best time for hiking is actually pretty short. Snow can happen until November, December to March are the most pleasant months; not too hot while the winter is pretty cold with snow, hail, and strong winds. It frequently rains throughout the year.
Heavy rainfall during winter until early spring. Even snow is possible until the end of November due to the high elevation. The best time is summer and early autumn from November/December to March, but it can turn cold at any time of the year. Be always prepared for 4 seasons in one day.
Due to the remote location, it is more popular with the "Kiwis". More crowded at Christmas school holiday which lasts to the end of January/beginning of February. Not many foreign visitors come here. The Te Urewera Great Walk is the at least popular trail although it's the biggest forest wilderness area which remained on the North Island of New Zealand. School holidays
The reserve was created in 1956 and is popular for the terrific tsingy, caves, and underground rivers. Schedule a minimum stay of three nights to get an idea of this stunning place.
The dry season from April to October is the best time to travel to the north. Usually, it's very hot at midday. Avoid the rainy season from December to March. Tropical storms can occur and it is even hotter.
Adraga beach is a beautiful small beach. The highlights at Adraga are the restaurant and the caves.
Praia da Adraga is worth a stop for lunch and the caves as well when traveling to Sintra and Cabo da Roca. The caves are accessible at low tide only. It's not a huge beach but gets longer during low tide. In the caves and at the rocks you can spot the typical clams called "percebes". There is a small car park close to the excellent restaurant and a second for a small fee is open during summer. Parking can be an issue during the summer and Christmas holidays.
If you like to eat at the restaurant booking is recommended. Restaurante D'Adraga is pretty popular and offers exceptionally fresh fish. Many locals come here as well. In the summer you can also sit outside.
Different species of dolphins can be spotted like the common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin, Risso's dolphin and the little and shy porpoise.
The Algarve is a year-round destination with pleasant temps during the winter and hot temps in summer. Anyhow, there is often a breeze in summer. Dolphin tours are offered from March until late November. Although the best months to spot schools of dolphins are from June to September. In spring and at the end of the summer from September onwards it's cold out on the sea in the morning; bring a warm jacket.
Crowds at the Algarve
The Algarve is a popular destination by the Portuguese. They spend their summer holidays here between the end of June until the beginning of September. It's pretty busy and accommodation prices are at a high level. It's almost the same at Easter and Christmas.
Weather at the Algarve
The summer from June to mid-September is quite hot with temps in the high 20s and above while nights are pleasant below 20°C. In spring and fall, the day-temps are between 20°C-25°C and nights are between 10°C-15°C still comfortable for camping. During winter the temps are still lovely below 20°C, but one digit temps in the night. Most precipitation during winter. Summer is almost dry. Rain can occur from autumn to spring, but usually not much.