Cariño: A Nice and Impressive Corner in Northwest Spain

Until one week ago, I did not know that Spain has a village with such a nice name: Cariño. I was listening the radio and they talked about that village.

If you know a little bit of Spanish, perhaps you know that “Cariño” means “Affection”. But, in this case, the name of this village does not have that meaning.

Apparently, a Roman man, who owned land in Cariño, was named Carinus and, therefore, it is thought that the name of the village comes from that Roman. There is no evidence of the truth of this version, because the first written references of Cariño are found in a document of the Monastery of San Martiño de Xubia, dated in 1101, in which an exchange of possessions among nobles is performed, among which lands “in Villa de Carino et alia in Sancto Juliano de Trebula” are included.

Cariño is a municipality, in the province of La Coruña, which belongs to the region of Ortegal, in Galicia, Northwest Spain.

Region of Ortegal

Region of Ortegal

In 2012, Honey had 4373 inhabitants.

People from Cariño are called “cariñés” (male) or “cariñesa” (female).

Cariño was segregated from the municipality of Ortigueira, in 1988. Ortigueira is the bigest municipality in that region of Ortegal.

Estuary of Ortigueira

Estuary of Ortiguieira

In this Estuary, you can see the Ortegal lighthouse-cape. This Cape is the dividing point among the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea.

Ortegal lighthouse-cape

Ortegal lighthouse cape

Ortigueira or Santa Marta de Ortigueira

Ortigueira or Santa Maria de Ortigueira
The Sierra of Capelada rises, in the western part of the village of Cariño, and descends facing the Atlantic Ocean, with high cliffs, one of which, the Herbeira (620 metres high), is considered the highest in continental Europe.

Vixia Herbeira

Vixia Herbeira

On the edge of this cliff, you can see the “Cabin of Herbeira”, which was built in the eighteenth century, for surveillance of the coast, against attacks by pirates.

Cabin of Herbeira

Cabin of Herbeira
The eastern part of Cariño is formed by the descent of the mountains, gently, facing the Estuary of Ortigueira.

Cariño to the Estuary of Ortigueira

Cariño to estuary

Another view of Cariño

Another view of Cariño

A nice beach of Cariño

A nice beach of Cariño

Cariño close up

Cariño close up

How can you arrive to Cariño?

Well, the main road of Cariño (CP-6121) connects you to Ponte de Mera, in Ortigueira, and runs almost next to the coast, through the parishes (districts) of Feás, Landoi, Sismundi, La Piedra and, finally, Cariño. From here, you can continue to Cape Ortegal, face by a local road; likewise you can ride the Sierra de la Capelada by two branches, one from Feás and, the other one, from La Piedra.

The economy of Cariño is based mainly on fishing, directly and with canning industries. But, it is also important the woodworking.

The fishing role of Cariño was strengthened between the last quarter of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, with the establishment of canning factories, by immigrants from Catalonia, a new local bourgeoisie, to which some families of the region and from others points of Galicia were joined.

But the first settlers of Cariño were from prehistoric times, as evidenced by the remains found on the Sierra de Capelada. On the Mount Limo, chert chippings were found, and there are five dolmens (on top of Lodeiro, in the Cave of the Alcove, on top of the Bramble and two in the Mount of Herbeira).

Menhir on Sierra de Capelada

Menhir on Sierra de Capelada

Several thousand years later, Cariño remained populated by Romans; proof of this is that, in San Xiao do Trebo, a small village located to the north of Cariño, remains of a Roman villa were found under a chapel (Hermitage)

Hermitage of Saint Xiao
In the Middle Ages, various constructions are known, including A Pena do Castelo de Cariño (in the parish of La Piedra), of which only some remains are preserved.

And later, Cariño was becoming a fishing village. In 1584, the census recorded “39 neighbors and 124 souls”. From the seventeenth century, Cariño becomes a part of the county of Santa Marta de Ortigueira.

In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the fishing industry was strengthened, in this area, as I told you before. An industry, that remains today.

Well, I hope that you have liked this article and hope that you can go to Galicia, to enjoy such a nice land, in Spain.

Until my next article, kind regards,


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