Perched over Portugal and overlooking the Atlantic and the Mar Cantabrico, this region is a fabled pilgrimage destination with ancient monasteries and vineyards.
Galicia is a magical region tucked into Spain’s rugged northwestern corner. It has long been a cherished destination for travelers. Whether you are one of the thousands of visitors who set out on Spain’s most famous pilgrimage or simply seeking the rugged beauty of some of the country’s most dramatic coastline, Galicia’s landscape is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Trekkers on the Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago) trail will be overjoyed to reach their final destination, Santiago de Compostela. This city of arcaded cobblestone streets is a picturesque spot where you can relax in charming tapas bars or check out stunning city views from a tower on the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela.
Visit Cabo Fisterra and you can join Camino de Santiago hikers as they end their journeys by the panoramic bluff topped by a lighthouse. Go on a road trip along Galicia’s 930-mile (1,500-kilometer) seashore and explore the varied coastline. See awe-inspiring cliffs plunging into the ocean, quiet bays, rugged islands and busy fishing ports. If the sun is out, go swimming at one of the broad sandy beaches such as Porto do Son.
Be sure to try fresh local seafood from one of the Galician fishing villages. The region is well known for its delectable shellfish dishes.
Make your way inland to see Galicia’s wildly undulating landscape of lush valleys and forested hills. Sheltered by these careening peaks, you’ll find historic villages and monasteries, as well as the crosshatched plantations of vineyards and crop fields. Check out the Monasterio de San Pedro de Rocas or the Monasterio de Santo Estevo in the Luintra area.
Reach Galicia by plane to Santiago’s international airport and explore the picturesque region by rail or rented car. Peak season is between July and August, when Santiago has a festive atmosphere as the hikers trickle into town. May, June and September are better options if you would prefer a quieter trip.
Strewn with ancient monuments and dotted with pine-forested mountains, Galicia’s history, scenery and intriguing Celtic connections make it an unforgettable destination on the Iberian Peninsula.