With 1300kms of coastline
in Galicia there are plenty of beaches of all types for you to discover. One of the prettiest is on your doorstep - a short stroll from the house to Limens beach - a perfect way to spend a relaxing day.
For a truly Galician Sunday lunch
order a stew (cocido) from nearby restaurant Casa Broullon. Work up your appetite by walking to the restaurant along the beach. Or try one of their tasty 'empanadas' for a midweek special treat.
Head back towards the beach
and follow the path which runs alongside the Ria de Vigo for a pleasant stroll after your lunch - the path eventually takes you to Cangas if you're feeling like a longer trek!
The Morrazo peninsular not only has a beautiful coastal landscape but has several hiking routes through the hills to viewpoints offering amazing views over the rias.
La Toja is home to a 'Balneario'
of spas and thermal waters. Take the bridge over to the island to take the waters, renowned for their healing effects on the skin. Buy some of the toiletries made with the local minerals in the little shop on the island, which also serves as a fascinating museum.
Tui is a pretty border town on the edge of the Minho River.
Dating from Roman times, and one of the seven ancient capitals of Galicia, the town has much worthwhile architecture scattered through its narrow, granite lanes. If you find the Clares Convent be sure to buy some of the almond cakes made by the nuns who live there.
Take the half-hourly ferry service over to Vigo
for a spot of retail therapy. You can buy almost anything in Vigo from one of the four main shopping areas all within easy reach of each other. Visit the Basket Weavers Street where hand made baskets have been produced and sold for decades.
Interested in nautical history? Visit the Masso Maritime Museum in Bueu
which has grown from the area's fish processing industry. The museum contains maritime ethnography, nautical instruments and furniture and interesting archaelogical remains.
Not far away via the motorway and well worth a visit. Walk along the Marina promenade, tour the grounds of the Monterreal Castle, visit the replica of La Pinta (which brought the news of the discovery of the New World to Baiona). Explore the old town or make your way up to the Virgen of La Roca statue and admire the views. Not to mention the excellent restaurants - find time to stop for lunch!
Take a ferry from Cangas to the Cies Islands,
now a National Park, to enjoy a lazy day on the fabulous beaches of fine white sand. Or walk through the sand dunes to sweet-smelling eucalyptus groves, watch for rare species of birds or enjoy a meal in the islands' restaurant.
Vigo is justly proud of its Museum 'Quiñones de León' housed in a Galician Manor house, one of the best preserved of its type. It has nearly 300,000 square metres of parkland and gardens, including English, French and Rose gardens. Also, every summer live performances of all types of music, dancing and theatre are held there
Wend your way to the preserved fishing village of Combarro
to see the famous view of its horreos (grain stores) lined up in perfect formation overlooking the banks of the Ria of Pontevedra. An enchanting village and now preserved as a National Heritage Centre.
The Monastery of Poio.
A fascinating and atmospheric monastery officially declared to be of historic and artistic interest dating from the year 942 or possibly even earlier. It has a interesting library containing the smallest book in the World, an impressive mural of mosaic depicting the French road to Santiago and possibly the largest horreo to be found in Galicia.
A trip to Santiago is obligatory!
The jewel of Galicia where, for more than 1000 years, pilgrims have gathered from all over Europe. Visit the impressive cathedral, the Plaza del Obradoiro and the old pilgrims' hospital, now a luxurious Parador.
- one of Spain's oldest is in Cambados. All you need to know about cultivation, history and processing of the Albariño wine. Combine with a visit to a bodega - there are many on the roads around Cambados or Tui. (A tour lasts about an hour.)
Ons Island on the Pontevedra Ria,
presents contrasting coastlines - craggy rocks to the West with steep cliffs and caves, and fine white sandy beaches to the East. During summer months boats leave from many of the mainland towns - the journey lasts around 40 minutes.
Take the children to the aquarium at O'Grove,
built on a strip of land which is almost completely surrounded by the sea.
Galicia is steeped in legends
- it is said, for example, that when God put his hand down on the earth between the Atlantic sea and Galicia he formed the Rias with his fingers. La Lanzada beach between Sanxenxo and O'Grove has its legends too and women go there still to perform the Ritual of the Nine Waves to guarantee their fertility. It is a glorious sandy beach backed by dunes and great for beach and seaside activities
Pontevedra, with its beautiful old town,
is not only a feast to the eyes but also the taste buds! Try some Iberian pork, some delicious Spanish cheeses or the unforgettable home smoked salmon from the Meson area situated behind the Town Hall. If you would like to see a bull ring, take the opportunity whilst visiting - Galica's only bull ring is here and the tradition of bull fighting is still strong.
Stop in Hio to view the elaborate stone cross,
beside the church, a true work of art, crafted from a single piece of stone and famous throughout Galicia.
Visit the Castle of Soutomaior
surrounded by 100 year old trees and set in magnificient grounds which contain many rare species of plants, including Camelias which thrive in the is part of Galicia. This imposing castle, with drawbridge, portcullis and well preserved walls, has spectacular views from the battlements. Take a picnic or enjoy a meal in the adjoining hotel.
Seafood at O Grove
For late season visitors to Galicia, indulge yourself at O Grove which becomes seafood party central during the first two weeks of October! Seafood menus, stalls on the quayside, cookery demonstrations and delicious local wines, O Grove has them all. Expect fresh langoustines, crabs, shrimp, octopus and squid plus inshore and deep sea fish. Plus barnacles, a local delicacy.
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