11 Jun Mussel farms of RÍa de Arousa, Galicia – Spain (TRAVEL – boat trip)

Photography by: Luis A.

LOCATION (Google Maps): The Ría de Arousa estuary, Galicia – Spain.


We highly recomend to visit the beauty and way of life of Ria de Arousa (south of the province of Pontevedra, Galicia). If you have the chance, summer is a lovely time of the year to enjoy Galicia’s largest Ría (Rías Baixas).

Best way to do it, tasting the flavours of the sea on a full-day tour that combines boat trip and Albariño wine tour, two of the Ria de Arousa’s top attractions.

Yeah, everyone aboard! The tour was created because of the importance of the seafood industry and has a special emphasis on the Galician mussel sector.  Well, mussels are farmed in the ¨Ría de Arousa¨ by means of a floating raft culture.
Rafts are pretty big with lines of rope where young mussels are seeded. Wow, really interesting!
sitanenaweb-travelblog-rarousamejillones2It´s really awesome the underwater view of the lines of mussels, some algae and little fish swimming around.
After that experience you realize why Galician mussels are so tasty! Luckily, we can confirm that dolphins love Galician mussels too. In fact, a group of dolphins was swimming around our ship. Beautiful memories indeed! 

Then, time to eat the fresh mussels. Well, the mussels Galician style are steamed to perfection and garnished with lemon wedges. Simply  yummy.

Of course, seafood and Albariño white wine make a natural pair… Mar de Frades (D.O. Rías Baixas), ¨unexpectedly unique¨, was the perfect choice in order to make an occasion memorable. Fruity wine with marine reminiscence that seduces with its elegant freshness. 
Definitely a well-chosen wine that captures the spirit of our boat trip. Cheers ¨Ría de Arousa¨, Galicia! 

In summary, Galicia probably has more food-orientated festivals than anywhere else in the world, with almost daily events to exalt the merits of Galician gastronomy. Enjoy the flavours of Galicia & bon appetite!





Mussel (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) is the common name used for members of several families of clams or bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval. Mussels grow quickly and are usually ready for harvest in less than two years. Unlike other cultured bivalves, mussels use byssus threads (beard) to attach themselves to any firm substrate, which makes them suitable for a number of culture methods. There are a variety of techniques for growing mussels.

Raft culture is a commonly used method throughout the world ( traditionally practiced in Galicia, NW Spain ). Lines of rope mesh socks are seeded with young mussels and suspended vertically from a raft. The specific length of the socks depends on depth and food availability. 

The Galician coast is the natural environment in which more than 95% of Spanish mussel production occurs. Galicia is a Spanish region located in the far North-Western corner of the Iberian Peninsula and its coastline is 1200 km long. In this coastline there are a series of estuaries or bays (also referred to as “rías”) that are actually ancient drowned river valleys that were taken over by the sea.  The Galician mussel sector is based on nearly 3300 installed floating rafts in the five “rías” (Vigo, Pontevedra, Arousa, Muros, Ares). These ría waters are blessed with an extraordinary quality for the farming of mussels due to their warmth and the high amount of nutrients which they contain. Moreover, the rías are ocean areas that are protected from severe weather conditions, which is why the mussel farms are resistant to the changing maritime weather. The Galician mussel production has surpassed 200,000 tonnes annually. Consequently, we are talking about one of the largest mussel producers in the world, and the sector directly generates more than 8000 jobs and incorporates 1000 aquaculture support vessels.