Relax in Galicia


Your Pocket Nurse invites you to consider taking your next holiday in the North of Spain. This stunning region is often overlooked by tourists world-wide, with British visitors particularly preferring the warmer, drier South for their week of sun worshiping relaxation.  However, for those people wanting to visit the ‘true Spain’ it doesn’t get more beautiful than the North, and Galicia particularly.  With a more seasonable climate than the South, equalling far more annual rainfall, Galicia is a lush and green land. With mild rainy winters and sunny but cooler summers than the South, Galicia is the holiday destination choice for the Spanish people. Untouched and unspoilt, it remains a traditional Spain and even here, fortunately, summers tend to be dry but much more bearable than the often oppressively hot South.

The Galician coastline is one of spectacular beauty, with a choice of small coves and inlets perfect for those with small children wanting a safe, shallow swim with barely a ripple of waves.  There are also beaches perfect for the more active pursuits such as surfing and windsurfing.  With an Atlantic coastline, rather than the Balearic/Mediterranean Sea as is in the South, the water is much cooler, however the smaller and shallower inlets do warm up nicely.

There are four provinces of Galicia, A Coruna, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra and with a bit of exploration you can find so much more to Galicia than stunning coastline. A Coruna boasts some fantastic museums and a large aquarium and Lugo’s incredible Roman Wall which surrounds the old town has been painstakingly preserved.

Pontevedra’s old medieval town is absolutely worth a visit, and there are some fantastic scenic spots to grab some alfresco lunch whilst there.  The surrounding countryside is breath-taking, with stunning mountains forests, lakes and rivers, it is a hikers paradise. This region is perfect for some wildlife spotting also, with wolves, boar and pine martens in the woodlands. There has also been a recent sighting of a brown bear, which are perhaps making a comeback to this area.

If you are wanting to explore the more rural areas, but are not sure where to start, try booking onto one of the fantastic tours that are offered throughout Galicia which can be easily found with an internet search and are very reasonably priced.

Santiago De Compostela is the capital city of Galicia. Famous for its beautiful, preserved architecture and religious pilgrimage.  Known to many simply as The Way, the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage ends in this beautiful city and the resting place of St James The Great.   An emotional few hours can be spent watching these dedicated pilgrims reach their destination of the beautiful Cathedral. Dating back to the Middle Ages, The Way traditionally commences in the Southwest of France and is over 500 miles in distance, however there are now many other recognised routes available of varying distances commencing in Spain, Portugal and France, but all ending outside Galicia’s glorious Cathedral Basilica.  With nearly 350,000 pilgrims completing The Way in 2019 alone, Santiago De Compostela holds great religious significance for Christians worldwide, with only Rome receiving greater numbers of religious visitors.

The food in Galicia is exquisite.  A fertile and green land, farming is the main industry here. The Galician Empanada is a tastebud sensation, technically a filling meat or tuna pie, it is Galicia’s version of a Cornish Pasty, but even more delicious. Another must-try is Lacon con Grelos, consisting of salted pork shoulder, with chorizo and grelos (the top of a turnip), it is a simple but delicious meal not to be underestimated.  Dairy farming is popular here due to the fantastic year-round grazing, and Galicia subsequently produces some mouth-watering cheeses including Titilla, a mild, soft and buttery tasting cheese and San Simon Da Costa, a smokier and firmer cheese.

Last but best of all, is the sea food in Galicia. Boasting nearly 1600km of coastline, it is no wonder this region is famous throughout Spain for the quality of its catch. The seafood itself is so delicious, the Galician’s cook the food simply, letting the tastes of the food speak for themselves. The Pulpo is nothing sure of spectacular with the Octopus boiled and served with paprika, salt and olive oil – often with boiled potatoes to accompany. With the juices soaked up with a piece of Galician bread it is a meal fit for Royalty.  Along with their mussels, calamari, scallops and lobster a seafood only diet would be easily adhered to. If you want to try it all in one meal, that is possible too, ask for a Mariscada, and sit back and enjoy.

Food is central to life in Galicia, with families getting together in large numbers regularly and spending hours over lunch together. Usually starting around 1400, and often not stopping eating until early evening. Family is everything to the local people with entire generations living in the same street and being able to trace their history back to one particularly town for hundreds of years. Perhaps it is these family values which makes Galicia such a friendly and welcoming place to visit, particularly if travelling as a family. The locals are not so likely to speak English as they do in the South, so a basic knowledge of Spanish, or at least knowing how to operate Google Translate is essential.  Although most Galicians speak their local dialect Gallego, closer to Portuguese than Spanish, they won’t have any problem conversing in Spanish if required.

During the summer months, the Galician people enjoy their festivals. These festivals usually have their origin in Religion often on Saints Days, or based on the Patron Saint of a particular town.  They celebrate everything including a Pulpo festival, music festivals and medieval festivals.  With live traditional Celtic music, rock music, fireworks and a high emphasis on food, tying a visit to Galicia with a festival will provide a fantastic day out, however as they run throughout Galicia on a nearly daily basis anyway, you will probably stumble into one without trying.

Accommodation is reasonably priced in this part of the world. You will not find the large holiday resorts like in the South, but lovely AirBnBs often with shared swimming pools, close to beautiful beach locations can be snapped up for around £60 a night in the summer months.  Another option, if time is no issue, is catching the ferry to Santander and taking the coastal route to Galicia, perfect if you have a Motorhome and there are some great Campsites available in the region.

Unspoilt by tourism, and remarkably unchanged with time, Galicia is the true and historical Spain. I guarantee you will not find more unspoilt countryside, stunning coastlines, and fabulous people and food. It is a must visit. Prepare to leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and planning further visits to explore some more hidden gems.

wow romania

1 Comment

  • Excellent article, make me thinking of going there to relax, I am a big fan of food and drinks and looks like is a good destination for that. Thanks relax around the world for all the information

Comments are closed.