So you’re planning on visiting Playa de las Catedrales to see the incredible phenomenon in person? I don’t blame you.

Playa de Las Catedrales is a famous beach located in Ribadeo, in the northwestern community of Galicia, Spain. Over the years, both the wind and the waves have created these incredible 30 metre high rock formations.

The downsides to reaching this location are 1. In winter, you’ll freeze your feet off, or 2. In summer you’ll be joined by 100’s of other tourists trying to do the exact same thing.

The likelihood of seeing the catedrales are slim, although I’m going to try to help you prepare to increase your chances!

** The photos in this blog are from my friend and travel buddy Igna & his dog Hanna, who managed to reach the rocks after 4 tries!**

Even with a lot of planning and checking of the tide times/coefficient, the two times I tried visiting playa de las catedrales were unfortunately not a success.

I’ve spoken to many people who had the same problem.

I’ve spoken to many people who had the same problem.

You MUST go at low tide, and I mean reaaally low. Pick a day that has an actual low tide (less than 1m).

TIP! The higher the coefficient, the bigger the difference between high tide and low tide.

This means the water comes in higher, but also goes out lower. Look for a day with low tide and high coefficient.

Check tide times here.

If you really want to see this beach, you’re going to have to get wet.

I was visiting Asturias in January and the water was ice cold. The first day, we visited the beach at low tide, but it wasn’t low enough. We took off our boots and braved the cold water, but it was too deep to get past.

The sea level was also beginning to slowly rise, and so we decided to abort the mission to avoid getting stranded.

We were bare foot for around 30 minutes and my feet turned completely pink. They were in a lot of pain. That night I came down with a cold (which I hadn’t had for over 3 years!) and was run down for the following few days.

We tried our luck and prepped for a second visit to this beach.

This time, the coefficient was higher and the tide lower (in metres), and so we really thought we’d make it through.

We got a lot further, but the 20 metres that separated us and the famous rock formations had water up to our waists.

After just recovering from the previous trip, I decided not to take off my boots again, and gave up.

If it were the summer, I’d have jumped in. But so will 100’s of others.

There are lots of photos of huge queues of people during the summer months trying to see them. Even if you’re not bothered about taking a photo, there’s still a queue.

Following the guidelines above and visiting playa de las catedrales when there is a low tide and high coefficient will greatly increase your chance of making it to this incredible place. If you are able to get in low season (avoid summer) you may be able to miss the queues.

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