Why travel to Arbo?
Arbo is a small wine town in the province of Pontevedra located in the autonomous region of Galicia, Spain separated from Portugal by the River Miño. Famous for its wines and its gastronomy, especially for a rare species of fish that has existed for more than 500 million years, and can still be found in the Miño River. The name of this strange-looking fish (but very tasty!) that Arbo has such a reputation for is the Lamprea (Lamprey).
The Lamprey and the roman influence
The Lamprey is a delicacy of this region, which is why Arbo is known as "the capital of the lamprey". It is a fish, shaped like an Eel with a circular mouth that feeds by sucking the blood of animals. The time to visit Arbo and taste the lamprey is during the “Fiesta da Lamprea” (Lamprey Festival) that takes place in April. Even if you can't make it to the festival, the lamprey is in season every year from February till April, freshly caught, but you can try it all year round smoked and dried which is also delicious.
There is no record of any other place in the world that follows such an ancient tradition linked to this prehistoric fish. It is a gastronomic delight in Galicia and well-known throughout Spain since visitors come all the way from Madrid just to have it for lunch! It can be cooked in different ways stewed in its own blood, grilled, fried, smoked, etc...
The Roman influence in this municipality of Galicia has left a particularly important mark on Arbo, an example of their fishing techniques can be seen in the still-standing Pesqueiras de Arbo, stone-walled construction that juts out into the River Miño from which the Romans, with a conical net, used to fish the lampreys, salmons, and other types of species and is still used nowadays to catch the Lamprey. The Romans held of great importance the lamprey, and it is said that the lampreys that they fished were sent alive to Cesar in Rome!
Condado de Tea Sub-zone of the D.O. Rias Baixas wine region
Arbo is one of the wine towns in the Condado de Tea sub-zone of the Denomination of Origin Rias Baixas. Making a blended white wine of the same name "Condado wine" a mix of three local grape varieties; Treixadura, Albariño, and Loureira. This wine can only be made in this sub-zone and must have at least 70 % of the Albariño grape in the blend. A monovarietal of the Albariño grape is also made being the most important grape of the Rias Baixas Appellation of Origin. Both of these white wines go perfectly with the Lamprey dishes made with traditional recipes. Young red blended wines can also be found in this sub-zone, an excellent pair for the "Cabrito de San Fins", Baby Kid Goat of the San Fins. There are many wineries that do visits to understand the making of these local wines and of course, taste them!
Arbo, a natural paradise for trail walkers
Arbo is a perfect destination if you want to unwind from the busy atmosphere of the city, enjoying nature at its full essence. Bathed by three rivers the Deva, Cea, and Miño, this town has a mix of different contrasts such as peace and tranquility, a special environment that allows you to do any type of outdoor activity, especially noted for the riverside walking trails on the banks of the mentioned rivers that cross through this village. Even get on the rivers and do some rafting or kayaking! To get a birds-eye view of the whole Condado de Tea valley make your way to the top of the Alto de San Fins (Hilltop lookout of San Fins).
Arbo allows visitors from all over the world to enjoy life at a slow pace, in touch with nature and savouring the excellent locally-sourced food and wines.
Our food, wine, and walking experts have chosen the best tours & experiences with food, wine, walking trails in Arbo. You can check our full list of top food tours to Arbo and recommended boutique hotels in the sections of the travel to Arbo destination guide.
Population: 2,636 (2021) inhabitants