Las Catedrales beach, Galicia, Spain

The “cathedral” of the Cantabrian Sea
Las Catedrales beach, Galicia, Spain © Davide Seddio/Getty Image

The beach of As Catedrais (The Cathedrals) featured on today’s homepage is one of the most beautiful and mysterious in northern Spain. Close to the Galician town of Ribadeo, its proper name is Aguas Santas beach (Holy Waters). The Cathedrals gained its moniker, however, due to the arches growing from the sand tongue, which look like the buttresses of a Catholic church. They’re supposedly naturally carved by saltwater and wind over millions of years, while more superstitious locals believe there’s a door in this place connecting with the beyond.

Interestingly, a group of expert geologists maintain that these arches and caves are actually the remains of an ancient Roman gold mine. They refer to archaeological studies confirming the presence of this civilization in the area who were on the lookout for gold, and believe certain capricious forms of the stone suggest the action of men rather than nature. But no matter the real truth to its creation, Las Catedrales offers breathtaking views of the Galician coast, either from the beach or atop of the 30-metre cliffs that break over the sand.