The first thing that most people think of when you mention Spain is the “Costa’s”.
The mental picture is of a coast line, lined with bars and hotels and there is nothing wrong with that. But as the Spanish already know, move away from the Mediterranean coast line and you enter a country of diverse cultures with the most stunning and varied scenery.
Why visit Galicia.
It is often described, as green Spain or real Spain, this temperate northwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, is simply beautiful. It has magnificent beaches, mountains and lakes with views that take the breath away and is also known to the rest of Spain as the land of a thousand rivers. It has an abundance of historic towns and cities like the world famous old pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela or the Roman walls round the city of Lugo, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as are now the Camino Primitivo and the Camino Frances.
With a history and culture descending back well before the Celts and Romans, Galicia is a perfect place to visit for anyone with a love of Culture, History and Architecture. It is almost impossible to pass through any hamlet or village without discovering an ancient house or church.
The whole region is rich in the finest quality food and drink, and the seafood in Galicia is said to be amongst the best in world. You have to try some of the locally caught fish with one of the fabulous locally produced white wines. Possibly the Albarino, which has now become one of the most sort after wines in the world and is highly recommended with seafood. Food, drink and its traditions are very important to Galician’s and what better occasion is there than to celebrate the importance than at one of Galicia’s numerous local fiestas. It is very difficult not to find yourself caught up in one of the hundreds of fiestas, which seem to happen in towns and villages at different times all over Galicia.
Don’t be afraid to enter or join in, you will always get a warm and friendly welcome from the locals who are intensely proud of their heritage and would love to share it with you.
With thousands of acres of woodland, unspoilt beaches and fabulous countryside, Galicia is the ideal place for those who like to walk, cycle or tour and of course there is always the world famous Camino de Santiago. The Camino is the pilgrimage that crosses Galicia from starting points all over Europe. It may have various starting points but always concludes at the incredible Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, though some hardy Peregrinos (Pilgrims) finish their camino on the Atlantic coast at Merca the ancient end of the world. The Cathedral in Santiago is the place where the ancient remains of St James are housed making this the third most important site to the Roman Catholic Church after Jerusalem and Rome. A visit is a must for every visitor to Galicia whatever your beliefs or religious background, this ancient city exudes history and culture from every pink granite block. In the city of Lugo each year in the middle to the end of June the entire city celebrates it’s Roman history by going Roman or Celt at the Ardus Lucas Festival. They have an entire arena built for real chariot racing and the winning Gladiators roam the streets seeking praise and laurels. This event is a must see for anyone who enjoys history and having a really great party at the same time, the bars never seem to close.