Galicia Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Galicia looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay with
over two thousand years of history behind it. Largely undiscovered by
foreigners, it is very picturesque and mostly
unspoilt. It also offers some of the prettiest Spanish landscapes.
To explore these lands in the north-west of Spain means a chance to
live the adventure of a lifetime, full of tradition, lush landscapes
and unique cities. In Galicia, the frontiers between sea and land
cancel each other out. Both blend together along the 1,300 kilometres
of coastline, 772 beaches, and five large rias (long sea lakes that
stretch inland) where, tradition has it, the right hand of the Creator
shaped the dramatic coastline that now defines part of this land.
A traveller coming to Galicia soon discovers that, in this territory
situated in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, over two thousand
years of history have endured. Local history offers every visitor its
enigmatic castros (Celtic dwellings) with their peculiar citadels; and
in them, perhaps, discover the Celts, ancient occupants of an evocative
granite world (the castros at Baroña -Porto do Son-, Viladonga -Castro
do Rei- or Santa Tegra -A Guarda- are the best-preserved).
The traveller can also see Gallaecia, the Roman Galicia. The great
Roman Wall in Lugo is still standing, a unique fortified enclosure with
a circular structure and a perimeter of 2,200 metres lasting since the
3rd century. Something different is immediately noticeable here. Clear
connections with the Celtic peoples are to be seen in this fertile
land. Galicia is also the land of a thousand rivers. Water runs into
many of them off the mountains of Os Ancares, O Courel or Peña Trevinca
(with altitudes over 1,800 metres). The father Miño crosses Galicia
from north-east to south-west, to flow placidly out to sea at the
Portuguese frontier. The river channels are as varied as the landscape:
from the remarkable Sil Canyons (whose river is the Miño's main
tributary, and which can be comfortably travelled by catamaran) and the
Ribeira Sacra, an area of uneven contours, ideal for vine growing. The
way out of Galicia by sea is through its rias. Altas (high) or Baixas
(low) which nestle into the landscape making an incomparable backdrop
for water tourism, with five blue flag ports in 1997 (A Coruña, Porto
do Son, Ribadeo, Baiona and Vilagarcía de Arousa).
Mountains, lush valleys and the most dramatic piece of coastline you are likely to find in Spain can be found in the four districts which make up the region. The district of Orense is by far the most mountainous with peaks reaching up to 1800m.