The Hidden Gems of Galicia
Galicia is located in the North West part of Spain; to the north it borders Portugal while to the east it borders both Leon and Castile. Its regional capital, the Santiago de Compostela is the perfect jewel of this beautiful land that’s surrounded by lots of tree covered hills and a stunning rocky coastline. This Land is for all intents and purposes a holiday maker’s dream destination. It has four provinces, namely; Pontevedra, A Coruna, Lugo, and Ourense. All the above mentioned places are all known to embody a culture that’s beautifully unique and quite distinct from anywhere else in Spain.
The superb local cuisine and wines combined with the melodious musical tunes of the traditional bagpipe and the pre-eminent architecture and art are bound to leave any visitor spoilt for choice. It is home to a large pool of cultural heritage which includes the Moorish, Celtic and German cultures. This explains the varying culinary delicacies available in this region, such as the highly popular Pulpo a Galga. Even though there are numerous attractions in this region, there are some places that any holiday maker must and should visit.
A visit to the Roman Walls of Lugo is a must if you are visiting the Lugo province. These ancient walls were built in the 3rd century by the Romans; spanning over 7000 ft in length and over 40 ft high, these fortified walls are in superb shape when you consider that five of the original gates in these walls are still intact. It is worth noting that the walls have been designated as a UNESCO World heritage site.
Another great place to visit is the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. This architectural masterpiece is located right at the heart of Galicia and is best known as the place where pilgrims using the highly popular pilgrim route aptly known as The Way of St James do converge; they do this after walking through this route for several weeks. The 12th Century Roman interior design inside the cathedral is quite breathtaking to say the least.
The picturesque beaches or playas that dot Galicia do make this region an ideal place for beach holidaying and a must visit for any visitor coming to this region. The beaches in this region are sparkling clean and do boast of some of the longest stretches of very fine and soft white sand; a visit to either the beaches of Cies Islands or the Las Catedrales beach in Ribadeo is highly recommended. The sea caves, rock formations, huge arches and sand corridors of Las Catedrales do make it the most spectacular of all the beaches in this region. The pristine and calm waters of the beaches in Cies Islands make them some of the most romantic areas in the world. Other beaches worth mentioning include Playa de Areas in Areas, Playa Samil in Vigo, Playa de Doninos in Ferrol, and Playa de la Lanzada in Grove amongst others.
A visit to the 2000 year old Celtic settlement ruins at the Castro de Barona is also highly recommended. Its unique location, atop a very rugged promontory that overlooks the beautiful estuary of Noya and Ria de Muros makes it quite a sight to behold. These ruins are located in Barona (Porto do Son); a mere one hour’s drive to the southwest of Santiago de Compostela.