Planning a trip to Galicia? Don’t you know where to start? Let’s see which are the best things to do, the must see, to help you with such a difficult veredict.
Supposing you only have a chance in a lifetime to know this land, and , of course, you would love to understand the essence of Galicia, people way of living, and their history.
Whit this in mind, I’ve created a list with the best places to see. This is a first, summarised list, however, not an easy decision as there are many stunning places… But, I promise, there will be more lists.
10 Best things to do /visit in Galicia
1- Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the region and goal of the Way of St. James. Along the centuries pilgrims had been arriving to the city, giving shape to Galician and European history. You can smell, feel history and brotherhood here. The well preserved city Old Town is listed Unesco Patrimony.
2- River Sil Canyon. The deep wound the river opens in the Galician mountains is part of the Ribeira Sacra. A unique space where ancient orders settled in, leaving a landscape sprinkled of romanesque monasteries. The high walls of the canyon hide an endless number of viewpoints, and ancient vineyards. I’m afraid no picture shows the beauty of the area. One need to go and see it
3- Cies & Ons islands: both archipelagos belong to the only National Park in Galicia. Similarly, both share the same flora and fauna diversity, but there are some singularities.
The Guardian made famous Rodas Beach, in Cíes islands in 2007. The white sandy beach is indeed beautiful. Ons Island, however, is more genuine as there is still a town. A visit to the naturist beach of Melide deserves the walk.
4- Santa Tegra Hillfort: Do you know what a castro is? It is said that there is one at the top of every mount in Galicia. Castro (hillfort) of Santa Tegra is one of the largest and more excavated ones. With no doubt, is the best place to learn about this chapter of the Galician History.
The place that ancient settlers chose is still an strategic point: with the estuary of the river Miño at one side, and the Atlantic coast at the other. A landscape full of history.
5- Costa da Morte and the Lighthouse of Vilán (villain) facing the indomitable landscape of the Atlantic coast.Costa da Morte is an irregular shore sprinkled with white sandy beaches, small typical ports and traditional towns.
A visit to the museum will show you the tragic past that the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) name keeps. Unquestionably one of the most beautiful lighthouses of the Galician coast.
6- Cathedrals beach: like a painting, including brush-strokes with the colours of the sea, sand, sky and slate board walls. This 4 elements plus the wind, shape the geology and origin of the Atlantic Rasa and this beach. High or low tide, it doesn’t matter, Cathedrals Beach will deserve the visit. It’s a pleasure to admire the every 6 hours changing scenery.
7- Ourense hot springs: Gold and hot springs, two roman passions, were good reasons to install their camp here. Hot springs are still there, providing its mineral waters to continuously providing healthcare. It’s true that Ourense is much more than the hot springs, but they are a must in Galicia.
8- Tower of Hercules: the origin of the Tower submerges in ancient legends. Learning about the history of its construction you will understand the roman legacy in Galicia. Besides, Galician people is passionated about explaining history with legends, and the Tower has it owns. This is the oldest roman lighthouse still working in the whole world, listed in Unesco World Heritage Site. Don’t miss it!
9- Lugo Roman Wall: the only complete Roman Wall in the world. It was built during the III century, and is so amazing to walk its parapet! It’s free, truly ancient and of course, a must.
10- Os Ancares & O Courel: one of the largest protected environments in Galicia in a montainous area. Piornedo, in Os Ancares, is a traditional town with pre-roman houses called “pallozas”. A Devesa de Rogueira is a magical forest, probably the most beautiful in O Courel and Galicia.