Bridge from Moncao Portugal to Salvaterra Spain
 

 

 




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 Agreement.

Salvaterra de Miño Apartments

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: Business Opportunities). 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.

Salvaterra Spain Park

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, see Salvaterra Public 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.

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