Here's why Galicia is Spain's Best Region to Visit

09/22/2017 08:00 am ET
Isla Pacha
Alfonso Masela Vareda
Isla Pacha

For centuries, Galicia’s Cape Finisterre marked the end of the world and its churning seas and thick forests were shrouded in legend. These days, Galicia is one of Spain’s most amazing regions to visit and its combination of spectacular beaches, rich culture and hearty cuisine make it one of the country’s true undiscovered gems. We’ve poured through thousands of recommendations from the community of travelers at minube to create this list of why Galicia is Spain’s top region to visit.

Playa de las Catedrales
Eugenio García Fernández
Playa de las Catedrales

1.) The coastline is breathtaking

From the wind-swept arches and caves of the Playa de las Catedrales to the powdery white beaches of the Islas Cíes, Galicia has one of Spain’s most diverse and undeniably beautiful coastlines. While the water may be chilly, the region’s wild beaches are a favorite among Spaniards and attract everyone from families to surfers.

Castro de Santa Tecla
Grancalili
Castro de Santa Tecla

2.) It’s an outpost of Celtic history

The Celts? In Spain? Yes, northern Spain was once one of the richest centers of Celtic culture, an influence is still felt in the region’s music, dance, and festivals. For travelers, some of the most interesting relics are the castros, mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins found throughout Galicia and neighboring Asturias.

Torre de Hércules
Alfonso Maseda Varela
Torre de Hércules

3.) And has amazing Roman ruins

Known as Gallaecia in Roman times, Galicia is home to some true marvels of Roman engineering and two of the region’s four World Heritage Sites date from that era. Built over 1,000 years ago, the imposing Roman walls of Lugo stretch for over a mile while the Torre de Hércules in A Coruña is the world’s only Roman lighthouse.

Pulpo A Feira
Victor Gómez
Pulpo A Feira

4.) The best seafood you’ll ever try

Spain consumes more seafood than any country on Earth except Japan, and any Spaniard will tell you that the best seafood comes from Galicia. From cockles and scallops to briny oysters and mussels, the Galician coast is a veritable wonderland for foodies. Don’t miss the region’s most famous dish: Pulpo a Feira, tender octopus topped with smoky paprika and drizzled with extra virgen olive oil.

Combarro
Andres Garcia
Combarro

Galicia’s fishing villages are the real deal

While many of the Mediterranean coast’s more popular towns make you feel like you’re in an elaborate set designed for tourists, Galicia’s charming villages are the real deal. The cobblestone streets and colorful fishermen’s home of town like Combarro, Muros, or Cambados ooze old-world charm, and if you go in the off-season you’ll have them practically to yourself.

Camino de Santiago
Xacabeo2010
Camino de Santiago

5.) The Camino de Santiago

In Galicia, all roads lead to Santiago de Compostela, the culmination of the legendary Camino de Santiago. Considered one of the world’s greatest walking routes, the Camino de Santiago stretches from as far away as France, but many travelers consider the route’s final stretch through Galicia’s fairytale forests and scenic villages to be the most rewarding.

The best bench in the world - in Oritgueira
Javi
The best bench in the world - in Oritgueira

6.) The sunset at the end of the Earth

Few places offer a sunset as spectacular as the rugged cliffs of the Galician coast, where the sun’s last rays create a symphony of red and gold over the endless Atlantic. Setting down with a cool glass of Galician alabariño white wine to watch the sunset is literally the perfect way to end the day.

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