Galicia and the Spanish Old World | Travel Research Online


Galicia and the Spanish Old World

Being a commonly visited country, Spain often brings up an image of grand churches that inspire faith in the eye of the beholder—perhaps pictures of flamenco dancers, as they seduce an audience into a story of love and passion. These are accurate portrayals of a country that charms the traveler. But, Spain is a diverse destination, one that brings the culture of surrounding nations together in harmony. In the northwest sits Galicia, an ideal look at this cultural harmony.

A Walk Through Holy History

Galicia is a region in the furthest northwest of Spain. And, with this location, comes the final stop along a pilgrimage route traveled since the middle ages. Often called the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James, there are five main paths leading up to this point. Though the most traveled is the Camino Francés (French Way), which starts in St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, France. It stretches a path of 560 miles and provides a view of mountains, meadows, vineyards, valleys, and moors. The Camino de Santiago is a unique experience, regardless of the distance traveled, and ultimately ends at the town of Santiago de Compostela—more precisely, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Travelers can traverse this pilgrimage by bicycle or foot. It has been a transformative experience for hundreds of years, as people travel the path for the calm and meditation it was originally intended to provide.


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Capital City of Santiago de Compostela

Mentioned in the previous point, the city of Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia. It is a place where the old world reaches out to the new, a place of small bridges connecting different parts of the city and an old town with small lanes to explore—also considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nightlife lets the traveler revel with the locals in the old and new town. For lodging, the Parador of Santiago has been the refuge of relaxation for the pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago since 1499. As one of the oldest functioning hotels in the world, a mix of history and art combine to make the Parador a classic choice for the traveler. A walk along the stone streets of this city inspires a sense of romance and awe in simplicity, and is perfect for the traveler to truly see Galician culture in the heart of Galicia.

Outside the Capital

The autonomous region of Galicia has more than a charming capital city and an ages-old route of pilgrimage. With coasts bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, villages like Viveiro offer a coastal view with hills leading inland. The Beach of the Cathedrals will show the traveler rock structures carved from the tide of the Atlantic, where large arches made of rock demonstrate the power of nature. Finding Celtic ruins, particularly around Monte Santa Tecla and Castro de Baroñ, adds to the natural wonders of the Galician landscape.

Inland, the Sil River is perfect for a slow sail along plains and hilly banks. Also along this river are the terraced valleys where Ribeira Sacra, a Spanish white wine, is made. An idyllic sight and great for tastings. Known as one of the oldest wine-making regions in Spain, the area’s wine-making dates back to Roman times. And, though it isn’t the capital, Vigo is the most populated city in Galicia. As one of the most important fishing ports in Europe, the seafood meals are always fresh and prepared in Spanish stylings that will wow the traveler’s tastebuds. Add in a stopover to Cambados for a taste of Albariño, considered to be the best white wine in Spain—and Galicia will be just the vacation travelers are seeking.



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Journey the route of this holy pilgrimage in different ways, whether it be for the avid walker, casual walker, or the bicyclist. The traveler will see the best parts of an epic trail in style.

See the many visions of beauty around Galicia, with wine tastings and excellent culinary treats. Destinations include Vigo, Baiona, Tui, A Guarda, Rias Baixas, Ourense, Allariz, Ribeira Sacra, Monforte, Sarria, Cervo, Ribadeo, Santiago.


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