Spain is a massive hot spot for tourists, as it has great weather all year round, an amazing culture and a very interesting history. Most visitors explore the capital city Madrid, Barcelona and the region of Andalucía. Whilst, these are magnificent places to visit for a holiday a major part of Spain is being missed, and it’s called Galicia.
Galicia is an autonomous community located in the North West of Spain, directly above Portugal. This luscious green land has so many exciting attractions and beaches for tourists to explore and admire, but for some reason Spaniards are keeping it a secret for themselves.
Here are 10 things you are missing by not visiting Galicia:
Best tapas in Spain
Galicia is on the coast of Spain with the Atlantic Ocean as its neighbour. With this, comes a great selection of fresh seafood, perfect for tapas and main courses. All visitors must try the traditional local delicacies, boiled octopus with paprika, freshly caught and grilled sardines and chargrilled squid.
Green Natural Beauty
When people imagine Spain, they think of a hot sunny climate with either dry grasslands or beaches. But because of Galicia’s locations it does get more rain than the rest of Spain. This has created a green wonderland full of beautiful landscapes and forests. During the summer months, the temperature is a refreshing 28-35˚C, depending how far away you are from the gentle sea breeze. Galicia also has mild winters, making it perfect to visit all year round, but you should probably pack an umbrella just in case.
A Historical Pilgrimage
Have you heard of the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James? It is a Christian pilgrimage that begins at the French border and continues across the North of Spain to finish in the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrimage is the main attraction to the area. But most people don’t stray far from the official path. If you are looking interesting challenge and/or some spiritual enlightenment why not investigate this tremendous outdoor challenge.
Santiago de Compostela is home to the magnificent Cathedral named after the city. Not only is it the finish line for the pilgrimage but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This should definitely be on every Galician bucket list.
The Oldest Working Roman Lighthouse in the World
On the North West coast of Spain lies the city of A Coruna, here stands a 55 metres tall lighthouse, called the Tower of Hercules. It was built in the 2nd century and renovated in 1791. It still operates to this day, as a safeguard warning to passing ships to stay clear of the dangerous rocks. It overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, Hercules gardens and the city. Climb to the top of the Tower of Hercules and be rewarded with views that are simply spectacular.
An Authentic Roman Wall
In the city of Lugo, you can walk the full circumference of a real Roman Wall, built in the 3rd century. At just over 2 kilometres long and walking the top of this structure is a unique experience, interesting and best all fun. Built with the purpose of protecting the city as an undefeatable border, it no longer protects a majority of the city because through the centuries the city has out grown the walls. The famous wall is now a feature of the old town.
Incredible Waves for Surfing
A Galician Autumn brings some of the best European surf. The rugged coastlines bring strong currents and Atlantic waves. In many places, they are calmed to provide ideal surfing conditions. The hot spots are Ferrol and Valdoviño. But REMEMBER: Always check beach flags for safety warnings, the sea can be a dangerous place.
Natural Thermal Pools
The city of Ourense has public and private natural thermal pools, in the city centre and surrounding areas. This is a great city to relaxing day, all public pools are free to use. Just remember to take a towel.
The Largest Shopping Centre in Spain
A Coruna is home to the 3rd largest shopping centre in Europe, Marineda City. If you are a shopaholic this is the best place to buy Spanish fashion brands because all headquarters are in Galicia. Zara, Pull and Bear, Berskha and Straviarius are all Galician brands and part of the Inditex group. The owner, Amancio Ortega, still lives in the city, living a reasonably basic and down to earth life considering he is one of the richest men on the planet.
The Natural Monument of ‘As Catedrais Beach’
Known in English as Cathedral Beach it is a sandy landscape definitely worth exploring. It is unlike any other beach in Spain because of its natural arches and caves. The tallest arches are 30 metres tall but can only be seen during low tide. Make sure you don’t visit during high tide because the beach is both unimpressive and small. The best features will be hidden like a secret under the cold salty water.
Visiting the End of the World
Finisterre is a small Galician fishing town and its cape is the most western point of Europe. The Romans believed that it was the end of the World as no other land had been discovered. To say that you stood on at the ‘end of the World’ is a great thing to brag about to other, plus the views are unmatched.
After learning about all these wonderful attractions in Galicia, what are you waiting for? Visit Galicia, Spain’s best kept secret, on your next vacation.