Galicia, which is one of the most beautiful regions in Spain, is one that you may never have even heard of. The area has strong Celtic roots as well as some amazing beaches and in all honesty, probably the best seafood you’ll find in all of Europe. The unique Galicia region lies in the northwest section of the country and compared to the rest of Spain is relatively unexplored since most of the tourists head to Barcelona, Madrid, and the Costa del Sol.
The most well-known city in Galicia is probably Santiago de Compostela as it’s one of the biggest pilgrimage destinations in the world. The area is also home to some magnificent rivers, such as the Rias Baixas, which are located in the south and the Rías Altas in the north.
The local residents love visiting the Rias Baixas as much as the tourists do, especially between the months of June and September. Down by the rivers you’ll find some excellent marisco restaurants where you’ll sample some of the most delicious seafood you can imagine. Some of the specialties that can be found here include mouthwatering fish pies, breaded scallops, and boiled octopus with paprika and garlic.
There are five rivers in the south, three of them, Ria de Pontevedra, Ria de Vigo, and Ria de Arousa are all easy to get to and are favorites with visitors. If you head north you’ll find that the terrain gets a little bit rougher and the landscapes and scenery become quite a bit more dramatic. The two rivers up there are Ria de Corcubion and Ria de Muros.
If you’re looking for a beach to swim and sunbathe on then you should head to Sanxenxo. This small community has several wonderful sandy beaches along the 20 miles of superb coastline that it boasts. The most famous beach is A Lanzada, while other fine samples are Montalvo, Bascuas, and Paxarinas. The sea and sand are among the best on the planet at these spots.
When you feel like learning about the area’s past you may want to visit the ancient Celtic settlement known as Castro de Barona. This can be found near Ria de Muros e Noia. You have to hike along a mile-long path to reach it and the breathtaking views that greet you here will amaze you. Close by are the picturesque villages of Pobra do Caraminal, Ribeira, and Porto do Son, which are all unspoiled.
If it’s some water exploring that you’d like to do you’ll probably find the Illas Cíes an ideal spot. These are a group of beautiful islands that lie in the water off the rocky coastline of Vigo and the only way to reach them is by ferry. The islands belong to a natural bird reserve. There aren’t any hotels here, but you can spend the night if you like as there’s a campground and restaurant. The scuba diving here is second to none and Mother Nature has done some of her best work on the islands.
There are so many more destinations to visit while in Galicia, such as Land’s End, Costa da Morte, Praia das Catedrais, Ortigueira, and Estaca de Bares. You can reach this lovely Spanish region by air at any of the three airports, which are in Santiago de Compostela, A Coruna, and Vigo. Trains and buses can also get you there. You may find some of the local residents even speak their own Galician language, which is a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish.