TOURISM IN GALICIA
Table of Contents
What to see in Galicia? El turismo en Galicia
Galicia is wonderful! When we talk about tourism in Galicia, the first thing that comes to mind is its nature. Galicia is magical for that reason, for a perfect combination of nature, traditions, gastronomy and Celtic remains that all tourists fall in love with and pilgrims, whether national or foreign.
In Galicia there are many things to see: cities, charming towns, wild beaches, natural parks, lighthouses, hot springs.
1. WHAT TO SEE IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA?
The Cathedral of Santiago of Compostela
Cities of Culture
Santiago de Compostela is an ancient city known for the Camino De Santiago.
No doubt the Santiago’s cathedral is the emblem of the city. It is the place that all pilgrims want to reach. In the Cathedral, during the Pilgrim’s Mass, you can see the botafumeiro of the Cathedral of Santiago in action (first for tourism in Galicia).
The old town is impressive, each corner, street and building has a thousand-year-old history saved, it is a walk through the history of Spain and Galicia.
Tourists in Galicia are fascinated by strolling through the old city and having a glass of wine in any of its bars.
2. WAY TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The Santiago’s road is a set of Christian pilgrimage routes that go to the tomb of Santiago el Mayor, located in the Cathedral of Santiago.
The busiest route is French Camino de Santiago, which starts from the Pyrenees and runs through Spain to Santiago, adding 33 stages to its main route.
3. DEATH COAST
The Coast of Death is a coastal area in the northwest of Galicia that begins in Malpica, passes through Laxe (with its Playa de los Cristales), Camariñas, Corcubión, Cee (the largest town in the region), Muxia (the most renowned tourist town in the area), Ézaro with its impressive waterfall and viewpoints, Carnota (famous for its beach) and ends at the Finisterre cape.
The Camino de Santiago also ends in Fisterra, which is why every year it is visited by thousands of pilgrims.
The Costa da Morte is recognized for the importance of its maritime ecosystems and for the biodiversity of its flora and fauna.
Tourism in Galicia takes advantage of this wonderful coastal area, for its history and beauty.
Read also : EXCURSION TO FINISTERRE + COSTA DA MORTE
In full Death Coast, Muxía is famous for the Santuario da Virxe da Barca and for Cape Touriñan.
In the Santuario da Virxe da Barca is the image of the Virgin, considered a defender of the sailors. Next to the Sanctuary you will find the stones of the miracle that, according to legend, are part of the stone boat in which the Virgin arrived to appear to the Apostle Santiago.
5. EZARO WATERFALL
You cannot visit Galicia and the coast of death without making a stop at this place. It is one of the most spectacular corners of Galicia and is the only one in Europe that flows into the sea.
The waterfall is 40 meters high and you can do it every day of the year. In summer you can enjoy a night lighting show and music that make the waterfall even more special.
Fisterra, as it is known in the Galician language, is located on the Costa da Morte and is one of the westernmost points in Europe, which enters the Atlantic Ocean and from which you can only see the sea.
Finisterre is fascinating for its legends, history, traditions and magic.
For centuries and centuries, and until just over 500 years ago, many Europeans lived convinced that the earth was flat and that the world ended in Fisterra and that there was nothing beyond. For this reason, that place was baptized with the name Finis Terrae (end of the earth).
Since 1868, the Finisterre lighthouse, the most important on the Costa da Morte, guides sailors and fishermen through these waters.
Most pilgrims finish the Camino in the cathedral of Santiago. But the path actually ends in Fisterra, at the milestone marked with kilometer zero on Monte de Finisterre. Pilgrims fulfill the tradition of visiting the church of Nuestra Señora de las Arenas, where the Santo Cristo de Finisterre is located, burning their clothes, bathing in the sea and eating a scallop shell. After fulfilling the tradition, they will be able to return to their places of origin as “new people” after being “born again”.
7. RÍAS BAIXAS
These are the Vigo, Pontevedra, Arousa and Muros-Noia estuaries. They stand out for their cliffs, lighthouses and beaches. In particular, it is famous for the Cíes Islands, with its paradisiacal beach, considered the most beautiful in the world, and an incomparable atmosphere.
In addition to the richness of the natural environment, the Rías Baixas have a wide range of products from the sea or land, fish, shellfish and wine.
One of the recommended activities for tourism in Galicia is to take a boat trip with wine and mussels, and much more…
Rías Baixas is one of the five Denominations of Origin existing in Galicia.
Ourense, the thermal capital of tourism in Galicia, is known for its thermal waters in pools and natural thermal pools on the banks of the Miño River. The city is very well located, just 100 kilometers from the coast and 100 kilometers from the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Ourense has different tourist attractions; It has hot springs, historical heritage, nature, gastronomy and much more.
There are free hot springs such as the hot springs of the mill, which are located on the banks of the Miño.
In addition to the free hot springs, there are two paid hot springs, the Outariz and Chavasqueira hot springs, which offer more complete facilities.
Read also : WOULD YOU LIKE TO VISIT THE CATHEDRAL
9. LAS CATEDRALES BEACH + LUGO
In the province of Lugo is the beach of the Cathedrals (or Aguas Santas beach ), recognized as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Spain. It was named for its cliffs, which, sculpted by the wind and the sea, form fascinating arches and vaults that date back 500 million years.
After visiting the beach of the cathedrals, you cannot fail to make a stop in Lugo and admire its magnificent wall that is a World Heritage Site and the only wall in the world that is preserved in its entirety.
10. DO SIL CANYON + ROUTE OF THE MONASTERIES
Between the province of Lugo and Ourense, there is Ribeira Sacra, an area characterized by the vineyards that crowd the walls of the Sil and Miño river canyons and by its natural landscapes.
The best way to discover these landscapes is through the routes. On the viewpoints route you can see the view of the Miño River, forming the O Cabo do Mundo meander with views of the walls that form the Sil Canyon.
The monasteries are the jewels of the Ribeira Sacra that can be admired through the route of the monasteries.
Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas
Monastery of Santa Maria de Xunqueira de Espadanedo
Monastery of Santa Maria de Montederra
Monastery of San Vicente do Pino
The starting point is the oldest monastery in Galicia, the monastery of San Pedro de Rocas (so named because it is built on a rock), its cave church, the anthropomorphic tombs, the miraculous fountain of San Benito and the Interpretation Center, a space where curiosities about the Ribeira Sacra are exhibited, customs and life in monasteries.
The monastery of Santa María de Montederra, whose origin is attributed to the document of Doña Teresa de Portugal (year 1124) in which the place name Ribeira Sacra appears.
On Mount San Vicente, the highest point in the city, is the monastery of San Vicente do Pino, one of the two Paradores Nacionales of Tourism in Ribeira Sacra. Thanks to its location, it also acts as a viewpoint over Monforte de Lemos.
11. TO CORUNA
A Coruña is an important city for tourism in Galicia. The city extends over a peninsula with two different maritime facades, one port and the other open sea, where the main urban beaches are located.
The Tower of Hercules is the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world and is the emblem of the city.