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Monday, June 20, 2022

Things To Do Near Vigo, Spain Cruise Port

Are you going on a cruise that ports in Vigo, Spain? Check out these things to do near Vigo, Spain cruise port before you go.

Do you need help with packing for your cruise? Go to our post here to see what we packed for our European cruise.

The second port stop on the Transatlantic cruise we took from Miami, FL last month was Vigo, Spain. We arrived here in the wee hours of the morning and saw this amazing view from our balcony stateroom.

Our blog is all about living the good life on a retirement budget. A balcony room on a cruise ship is definitely living the good life but not on a retirement budget. A balcony room usually costs at least double what an interior stateroom costs so we never consider booking one. But twice we have gotten an email from Royal Caribbean inviting us to put in a bid to upgrade to a room with a balcony. The minimum bid both times was $150. The first time we tried bidding on the upgrade and we never heard back from RC. This time we made the same $150 bid on their offer and crossed our fingers because we would be on the ship for 14 days and having a balcony room to enjoy, especially for the nine days straight that we would be at sea, would be awesome. I think you guessed by now that our bid was accepted which we found out by Royal Caribbean sending us an email to congratulating us on winning the upgrade!

By the time we were ready to leave the ship the sun had risen and we were off to the first destination on our to do list, the Jules Verne monument. I saw pictures of it as I was researching the area for things to do and it looked very cool and I wanted to see it for ourselves. I also wondered why there would be a monument honoring Jules Verne here in Vigo and found out that he devoted a chapter to Vigo titled "The Bay of Vigo" in his book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Next on our list was going to see an interesting sculpture in a plaza not too far from the monument. I printed out directions to the plaza and had them in hand and we were also using the gps on my phone but was never able to find Praza de Compostela. So we just continued onto our next stop but before we got there, we found Fortaleza de San Sebastian which was not on our itinerary. There was not much of the fort to see beside a couple of walls but the nice view we got after climbing up the small hill was an unexpected treat.

After spending a bit time at this fort, we were on our way to find the fort that was the highlight of our day in Vigo. Castelo do Castro is a fortress that was built in 1665 to protect Vigo from raids by the British Royal Navy during the Portuguese Restoration War. 

It was built on a high hilltop and it took us about 30 minutes of climbing stairs and steep walkways to reach it.

We stopped along the way when we saw something interesting to look at like this statue. Stopping to take pictures gave me a chance to catch my breath!

I was very happy to see the entrance to the fort after our climb up the hill.

As soon as we entered Castelo do Castro we were rewarded for the hard work of climbing up the hill by the sights we saw which included the other side of this magnificent cross that we saw as we entered the "foyer" of the fort. 

I couldn't believe how nice this fort was with all the sculptures, a little pond and pretty flowers all throughout. It was not the usual old cannons and empty rooms that we expect to find in forts we visit.

But the views were the highlight here and they were incredible. From the top of this hill you could see, among other things, the harbor, mountainscapes and the Cies Islands. It was so gorgeous. Every picture I took looked like something I might see on a postcard.

After our visit to the fort, which we agreed was the best fort we have ever seen, we were on our way to Casco Vello, Vigo's Old Town. Here, I read, that we would see a town full of slopes and stairs. Yes, more stairs. I found out that you can't avoid steps in Vigo. (But sometimes there is an escalator near the steps or walkway that you can take if you are tired of walking and, yes, we jumped right on it!)

It was so quiet in this town with only a handful of locals walking the streets. We loved strolling around the peaceful neighborhood that we had all to ourselves. The "stately houses built of granite" we read would be here were as grand, old and beautiful as we were hoping they would be.

As we were walking through the streets, we were keeping an eye out for the remains of an ancient city wall that I had heard would be here. We did come across what looked like an old wall that was mostly hidden behind a protective wall or barrier. I'm still wondering if this is what we were supposed to find.

After our time in Vigo's ancient city, we were off to our last tour of the day, a stop into the Basilica de Santa Maria de Vigo. It is Vigo's oldest church and is located in the Plaza de Pedra. To our surprise, when we entered the church a mass was going on. It was Tuesday and late afternoon so it was unexpected. There were other tourists doing the same thing as us. Walking in and quietly sitting in the back for a few minutes because when you walked in you were in the church. This church didn't have an entryway or narthex that you could just turn around in and exit out.

As we waited for the right moment to leave, we looked around and noticed that it was a small church, slightly smaller than the one in Portugal. It had small alcoves in the walls that held statues and paintings on the ceilings and walls that were magnificent. We would have taken many pictures if mass was not in session.

Now it was time to head back to the ship. On the way back we found this map of Vigo. We wondered if we saw this map when we first came out, would we have found the sculpture I wanted to see? Upon closer inspection of it, there would be no way we could have used it to find anything but it was a very nice and interesting map nevertheless and answered our question of why are there so many steps in this city.

We had a great time in Vigo walking around and enjoying everything this city had to offer. We walked 22,000 steps this day and lots of those steps were actual steps. 

Getting exercise outdoors is never a bad thing and it a place this beautiful, it made it so much fun. We would definitely love to come back and do it again!

Check out the other stops we made on this cruise.

Have you been to Vigo, Spain? We would love to hear about your adventure there!

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  1. Hello from TN!
    I have read your blog on and off. You folks still doing RV, and going between NC and FL?

    Interesting port! was your cruise pretty full? Any problems with Covid?

    1. Hi there! Thanks for visiting. We are definitely doing RV trips. Beginning August 1 we will be on a two month cross country road trip. I hope you will follow along! You will find our daily posts on Facebook and Instagram.
      To answer your second question, our cruise was only half full and we heard of one case of Covid. We were never alerted to any major problem with cases on the ship. We felt very comfortable and noticed a lot of extra cleaning going on almost constantly.

  2. Thanks for sharing your adventures - it's always fun to get a peek-a-boo into life outside your own little space :-)

    1. Yes I love to see the locals going about their lives and I enjoy trying their food. We didn't get a chance to in Vigo though but would have tried a fish dish which I read would be fresh off the boat in that area. Thanks for coming by!

  3. Vigo looks like a lovely place to explore. It's always fascinating to walk in the footsteps of history, thinking of all the people and events that have occupied the space over the centuries. It's also nice to walk through an interesting place without crowds of tourists. Thank you for participating in Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 23.

    1. Thank you for hosting your nice party and for stopping by our blog today!

  4. I enjoyed the travelogue and beautiful photos.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by to check out our blog post!

  5. I love your lovely photos; this is a beautiful, fun place to visit.

  6. I’d love to visit. It’s beautiful. Regine

  7. $150 well spent for that room upgrade! That's fabulous. The views from the top of the fort are just amazing and I have never seen a fort with statues and such inside it. How neat!


    1. We were so excited to hear that we were able to get the upgrade. It really turns out to be a real bargain also when you divide the $150 by the 14 days we were on the ship.

  8. I've searched about Vigo several times for our upcoming trip, but this is the best resource so far; thank you so much for posting!! Our cruise ship sold out of our top choices of tours, but after reading this, I think we could do a walking tour of our own.

    1. So happy you found us! Yes you can definitely do Vigo on your own. The Jules Verne monument was only a 7 minute walk from the ship and there was plenty more to see in the area. The fort was the best though. Map all the stops out on Google Maps, print it out and bring it along with you. We had a little bit of problems with our GPS and the map came in handy. Enjoy your trip!!