Fariña route: the history of narcos on the Rías Baixas
The history of smuggling on the Rías Baixas has become a talk point in Spain lately, thanks to the book Fariña and the tv show of the same name. If you are curious about the story of Galicia’s narcos, this tour will take you through the ría de Arousa and its recent past. You will discover the stories of smugglers as you walk by the ría’s beautiful landscape and even get a taste of the sea.
We will start walking near Cambados, at the heart of the ría de Arousa. From there, we will walk 2 km of the Padre Sarmiento route, a spiritual variant of the Portuguese Way. While we breathe the fresh air of the ría and admire its beauty, we will start diving deep into the history of the area.
On the way, we will pass what is left of the old telleiras (clay tile factories). We will also visit the still active shipyards, where the planeadoras (speedboats) were built. These speedboats served to transport drugs and “Winston de batea” (smuggled tobacco named after the floating structures where mussels are grown).
After the hike, we will get on a van to Cambados, where we will walk through the streets of Santo Tomé, an area originally populated by sailors. On these streets, Fariña’s narcos (and their real-life counterparts) could make disappear in minutes any of their smuggled material. From there, we will see San Sadurniño Tower, as we look at the history of smuggling in the area: how it evolved from the estraperlo during the post-war period to the drug trafficking of the 90s.
Once again, we will get on the van and drive to Vilanova de Arousa. There, we will walk through O Terrón, a beach where contraband was unloaded. Locals say that when they saw street lights blink it meant that something fishy was going on at sea. We will also visit Vilanova’s port and the place where mussels are grown.
From Vilanova we will travel to As Sinas, following a coastal road. In As Sinas we will enjoy a typical Galician picnic. And afterwards, the star of the trip: an hour and a half sea route in planeadora from Aguiño.
We will sail amongst the bateas (rafts) and will see the islands of Areoso and Rúa, whilst we tell stories of smuggling.
Finally, we will end our tour on As Furnas, a bar by the sea known for being one of Fariña‘s most iconic locations.
On this tour you will learn about Galicia and Spain’s most recent history, seeing the locations of the famous TV series, but also the places where Galicia’s smuggling industry developed.