Salvaterra de Miño & Porriño
- across the border to Spain
The above road bridge allows traffic to freely pass between Monção
in Portugal and Salvaterra de Mino (Miño) in Spain without
any immigration stops; the authorities do conduct occasional vehicle
/ ID checks but the existing owners have only been stopped twice
in six years and they use the crossing a lot. You can see the construction
cranes and some of the new apartment blocks that have sprung up
in the last few years. Visas / passports valid for Portugal are
also valid for Spain as they both are signatories to the EU's Schengen
The above shows the huge number of new apartments being built in
Salvaterra de Mino; a three bedroom apartment typically costs 180,000
Euros. The need for all of this housing comes from the commercial
success of Porriño just a few Km west, which is now basically
one huge industrial / technology estate including a large Peugeot
car plant, plus from a population overspill from Vigo (a large port
and one of Spain's largest cities), and in particular PLISAN (see:
This construction is carefully zoned, so our own villa on the Portuguese
side of the river, further East, is unaffected. But it does illustrate
some of the dangers of buying property as, in amongst these new
tower blocks, are the original little houses of once sleepy Salvaterra.
Porriño is known for its own pink granite, which you can
see used in construction profusely locally, and is the centre of
the fine cutting granite industry where large granite blocks are
trucked in from the whole North West of Iberia (including Portugal)
to be made into granite work surfaces, furniture and tiles.
On the plus side, all these extra habitations create extra wealth
for the area and of course are pushing all land prices up dramatically.
Also, these blocks generally have shops and other commercial premises
occupying the ground floor level which, combined with the existing
numerous cafes, restaurants and bars, increasingly makes Salvaterra
a very worthwhile place to shop, eat and drink. Several good tapas
bars and cafes are to be found in the old quarter and riverfront.
Just outside Salvaterra is a worthwhile supermarket which generally
has lower prices than Portuguese supermarkets for many items and
is an exceptionally good place to buy Spanish wines as they frequently
have producer sponsored promotions. Porrino is a shopper's paradise
also in that it has a sales warehouse outlet owned by the large
and prestigious"El Corte
Ingles" department store of Vigo; the Porrino factory outlet
is used to sell their surplus and end of lines at knock down prices.
The Spanish have invested a great deal into facilities for their
population, which we are very happy to benefit from and enjoy also.
Just over the bridge into Salvaterra is a massive park area with
huge children's playground, picnic area, boating lake, duck / swan
pond and lake, amphitheater, outdoor gymnasium, bird park, animal
and plant open museum (where you can see the main animals and plants
of rural Galicia), riverfront cycle and walking path, children's
miniature road safety area (where they ride their bikes and learn
road safety at the same time); the park has ample parking and you
can see from the car registration plates maybe a third of the visitors
are from Portugal. For more photos of this sensational family park,
This development also provides other, perhaps much better medical
options for anyone resident over the border / river; many Portuguese
actually register with doctors and hospitals in Spain. Other benefits
such as Salvaterra having a fully authorized Peugeot service centre
for example means that Peugeot owners in Monção can
drive 5 minutes into Spain rather than an hour down to the nearest
authorized Portuguese centre in Viana do Costello.
Just the other side of Salvaterra de Mino is the A52 "Rias
Baixas" motorway which takes you via Ourense to the Spanish
interior, the ferry ports of Santander and Bilbao, plus on into
France and Europe.