Vigo is situated in the Southwest end of Galicia, in the province of Pontevedra (42º 13’ 51’’ N–8º 44’ 03’’ W), and spreads Northeast to Southwest along the namesake Estuary. Its boundaries are: to the North, the Estuary of Vigo; to the South, the municipalities of Gondomar, Porriño and Mos; to the East Redondela and Mos; and to the West the Estuary and the municipalities of Nigrán and Gondomar. The city —represented by an olive tree— is located between the Estuary and the Fragoso Valley. The territory is rugged and the coast broken, with abundant rocky areas —such as the section between Saiáns and Cape Sobreira— and sandy portions, like the beaches of Samil, O Bao and Canido. Mount Castro —height 149 meters (488.8 ft)— is at the core of the city. The climate is humid oceanic with a Mediterranean influence.
The annual average temperature is 14.9 ºC (58.82 ºF), with an annual thermal variation of 9.5 ºC (49.1 ºF). The Winters are mild, and in the Summer the temperature will not rise above 35 ºC (95 ºF). The rainfall is about 1,500 mm per year. Vigo spreads over an extension of 109.1km (67.79 miles) and is the most populated city of Galicia (number 14 of the largest Spanish cities) with 294,772 inhabitants (official figures of 2007), 465,000 people if we include the city’s metropolitan area, ranking 15 on the list of Spain’s most populated conurbations.
The municipality extends over an almost entirely urban area, but preserves beautiful natural spaces on the coast which are worth a visit. Among these, the marshlands of Xunqueira of River Lagares, a shelter for varied waterfowl like royal heron, little egret, seagull and cormorant. Equally significant are the Fontaiña dunes, a singular coastal ecosystem which is attractive from both a geological and a purely aesthetic standpoint. This area has been reduced in size over the last few centuries and the level of deterioration is high, but certain characteristic native plant species like the sea onion and ammofila still remain.The districts which make up the municipality of Vigo are: Central Vigo, Teis, Coia-As Travesas, Bouzas, Navia, Coruxo, San Miguel de Oia, Saiáns, San Andrés de Comesaña, Matamá, Castrelos, Freixeiro, Sárdoma, Lavadores, San Paio and San Xoán do Monte, Candeán, Cabral, Bembrive, Beade, Baladares, Zamáns and Santa Eulalia de Alcabre. The latter is the district where Galicia’s Museum of the Sea sits, and one of the smallest districts of Vigo in terms of both size and population.
The Museum is placed on the top of a small hill, at a height of some 60 meters (197 ft) above sea level. The coast of Alcabre spreads from the Museum’s pier to Cape do Mar. In this small section of the coast, hidden in-between rocky areas, are the beaches of Carril, Santa Baia, O Cocho, Mourisca, Fontes, Tombo do Gato, Espedrigada and O Cocho das Dornas.