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!
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.
- Tide Times Cathedral Beach for the upcoming two weeks
Tide Times and 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 - Summer)
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)
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)
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 winter time 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
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
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, parking just in front
All available accommodations around Cathedral Beach. Bookmark the link for the lowest fares at booking.com.
The guided kayak trip takes up to 2 ½ hours in small groups. You get a brief explanation how to paddle and steer. Even for beginners, it’s quite fun and a workout.
The trips are offered from March to October; at the peak season in summer up to 4 times and in the shoulder season twice each day.
The morning tours are slightly quieter, and it’s less hot in summer. We preferred the afternoon trip to get the best light for taking pictures. Usually, the sea is calmer in the morning and a bit rough in the afternoon.
Some providers offer sunrise and sunset trips in summer.
Less busy during the shoulder season. The sea is still a bit cold in May and June, September is great.
There are 111 hiking trails in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate which are called "Traumschleifen"; that means a dream of circular hiking trails.
Usually from March to November. However, one highlight are the two Kneipp basins for water-treading. To enjoy these higher temperatures are recommended: May until September.
At least in the northern parts of Illinois, it can be challenging to find a spot to hike with rigor. Starved Rock offers visitors many ways to encounter the great outdoors.
It’s a magical year-round destination for hiking and sightseeing. In summer it’s very special to see the waterfalls after a hard rain, in winter when the falls are frozen. Spring offers the beauty of wildflowers. Fall shows its beauty with yellow, golden and red leaves that are present on the trails.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
The park is a less busy in winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb). Otherwise it’s often heavily crowded in spring, summer and fall. Even more on weekends and national holidays. To beat the crowds: Avoid weekends and be there early. The visitor center opens at 9 AM but you can arrive and park earlier. Another way to avoid the crowds is to hit the trails that are not located in the main hub. The park is large and has many trails where you can ‘hike away’.
Bird Watching Months (Eagles)
Every year, thousands of eagles migrate to the area, they come for the fish found in the cold waters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The birds begin arriving in late December and stay until March. To spot the eagles and be on the safe side visit in January or February. Park administration says, that depending on the weather, most of the birds are gone in March already.