While Ferrol’s glory days as a naval harbour ended abruptly (along with most of Spain’s fleet) during the Peninsular War, it’s still an important port, and the navy is very much in evidence. Although poor and with high unemployment, Ferrol has not been shorn of its dignity; the streets around the harbour are lined with noble terraced houses, and locals are proud of their city and its hardworking heritage. Perhaps Ferrol’s greatest claim to fame, however, is seldom mentioned these days: in the winter of 1892 an uptight little boy was born to a naval family in a house near the harbour. Francisco Franco y Bahamonde went on to rule Spain with a concrete fist for the best part of four decades .
Hurry through Ferrol’s outskirts and modern expansions, some of the more depressing urban landscapes in modern Spain. In some of the poorer, high-density areas, the council inexcusably hasn’t even bothered to give the streets proper names; just letters. Nevertheless, the city centre conserves a certain maritime charm, and the council is making big efforts to spruce the place up to encourage a bit of tourism to this unfashionable place.
From the waterfront, hour-long cruises run hourly from July to September, costing €7. Phone T620 926 958 for details. You could also take a boat across the bay to Mugardos for a seafoody lunch.
Get the best info about sights, places to eat and sleep in Ferrol free to download!download free pdf