Baiona is a tourist town with a medieval historical center situated by the outlet of the Vigo Bay. Its population of just over 11,000 rises to around 45,000 in the summer, if one includes tourists. Since it is on the Portuguese Way path of the Camino de Santiago 30,000 hikers also visit every year. Other than tourism the major economic activities revolve around fishing.
It was founded in 140 BC by Diomedes of Aetolia. Throughout its history it has had several names including Stuciana, Abóriga, Balcagia, and Erizana. In 1201 King Alfonso IX of Leon granted the town a royal charter. In 1370, King Ferdinand I of Portugal, who was proclaimed King of Castile took up residence in the town and established his seat there until being forced to return to Portugal. In 1474, the Baiona was seized by Don Pedro Alvarez de Soutomaior, also known as Pedro Madruga, Count of Caminha. On March 1, 1493, the Pinta, one of the ships from Columbus' voyage to the New World returned to Europe and arrived in Baiona, making the town's port the first to receive news of the discovery of America. A replica of the ship can be visited, and the event is celebrated every year.
In 1585 the inhabitants of Baiona repelled an attempt to take the town by the privateer Francis Drake. Five years later Philip II of Spain beat the pirates that were laying the Galician coast to waste with a fleet of 98 vessels and 17,000 soldiers.
The economy in Baiona is Tourism focused. The Parador de Baiona stands out from all the hotels in the village. Other activities are retail, subsistence agriculture, coastal fishing and construction.
Parador of Baiona. Within the official Spanish category of Paradores of Spain (hotels with a historical and architectural value), Baiona counts with a good example of a well-preserved historical building. Surrounded by a stone wall, sitting in a small peninsula, the old hotel and restaurant watches the entrance of the Rias Baixas and the Cies Islands.
Monte Real Yacht Club Baiona. The yacht club, founded in 1965, is located side by side with the Parador. It is host of international regattas and home to a sailing school, bringing maritime tourists to the city.
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