Why Travel to Galicia?
The kingdom of Galicia is a magical land located on the north-west of Spain’s Atlantic coast. Formed by 1,300 kilometers of coastline, 772 beaches, five large rias (bays or long sea lakes that stretch inland) and over 1000 rivers. Local legends say the beautiful landscape has been blessed by God's right hand which he laid down creating the dramatically shaped coastline of the Rias Gallegas! This autonomous region of Spain is divided up into 4 provinces; A Coruña, Pontevedra, Ourense and Lugo. It has its own character and traditions, visitors from all over the world fall in love and wish to stay here forever enjoying the delicious food, best wine (Albariño wine, Ribeiro wine, Mencia wine, etc..). Galicia's unique culture and gastronomy combine so well together that it would be hard to find better anywhere else in the world!
In Galicia you can taste the best food, with a huge emphasis on fresh and abundant seafood such as pulpo (octopus), percebes (gooseneck barnacles), mussels, oysters, etc… Without a doubt, this region is one of the richest in Spain’s gastronomy that will not disappoint food lovers. To really understand the gastronomy of this land you must do it the Slow way! Immerse yourself into the local food culture by taking food tours, wine tours, foodie walking tours, etc... are only some suggested activities that you can do when touring Galicia.
Different cultural influences
Galicia differs from the rest of Spain as it has an imprint of Celtic and Gaelic origins, bringing a characteristically musical instrument, the Galician bagpipe (Gaita). You will not get bored listening to the traditional bagpipe music at one of the Celtic music festivals like the Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta de Ortigueira. Not forgetting to mention the roman influence that you can admire in Galicia’s historical landmarks such as La Muralla Romana de Lugo (Roman Wall of Lugo).
Best places to discover in Galicia
The best destinations to travel while you are visiting Galicia Spain are; Vigo, the largest city of Galicia with approximately 300,000 inhabitants and the second biggest (behind Tokyo) fishing port in the world! Protecting the mouth of Vigo bay are the popular and breathtaking Cíes Islands, a must-see on a day boat trip from Vigo. The Rande Bridge is another icon image of the city crossing over the Ria de Vigo, consider one of the world’s most beautiful natural estuaries. Santiago de Compostela, the historic capital of the region and the end of one of the most important pilgrimage routes in the world, the Camino de Santiago (St James Pilgrimage or Way of Saint James). Other cities worth visiting in Galicia are; A Coruña, Ourense, Pontevedra and Lugo. Outside of the main cities get lost along the Rias Baixas or Rias Altas coastline stopping in fishing villages like Cangas, Burela, A Guarda, O Grove, Baiona, Combarro, etc... these are only a few examples, there is so much more to explore in this beautiful region of Spain.
Our food experts have chosen the best tour operators offering tours with food, wine, and walking holidays in Galicia. You can check our full list of top food tours to Galicia and recommended boutique hotels in the sections of this Galicia travel destination guide.
Capital of Galicia: Santiago de Compostela
Population: 2,702 million (2018)