Galicia: The green
Galicia is known
in Spain as the "land of the 1000 rivers". Those rivers cross all the
from the mountainous inland to the coast, where they form the
characteristical "Rias". The coast itself offers great contrasts,
from the smooth beaches of As Mariñas to the dangerous cliffs of
Costa de la Muerte, the "coast of death".
The climate of Galicia is tempered, and specially in winter, with
minimal temperatures of about 5 degC, quite rainy. During the summer
season, maximum temperatures are around 20 degC. Galicia's richdom in
water and its Rias are characteristical for its nature. At the
area of Rias Altas you will find magnific beaches, impressive
towns and beautiful fishing villages. Rías Baixas are worth a
visit for their natural preserves and balnearies, as A Toxa. The
inland shows green landscapes and romantic villages.
The first cultures which left their tracks in Galicia were Celtic, while
Romans left as a legacy the walls of Lugo, the bridge of
Ourense, and the Tower of Hercules. Middle Ages were marked
by the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle Santiago (Saint
James). Thousands of pilgrims made their way to the cathedral of the
newly founded town Santiago de Compostela, and the world-famous
Way of Santiago (also known as Way of Saint James or
Camino Jacobeo), which is flanked with numerous churches,
monasteries and chapels of high historical-artistical value, was formed.
Galicia's folklore clearly shows its Celtic and Gaelic origins, and the
most characteristical musical instrument is the Gaita (bagpipe).
Regional gastronomy is of great reputation for its excellent fish,
Empanada Gallega (a typical pie of fish or meat), traditional sweets
prepared in some monasteries (where the recipes are kept in secret
jalously), and the Ribeiro wine.
Santiago de Compostela
The capital of Galicia and final destination of the famous pilgimage way
is certainly among Spain's most beautiful cities.
This city, of high economical importance, is located at a peninsula.
Major attractions include the Romanesque churches, the synagogue
and the old quarter which offers an interesting contrast between almost
fragile buildings and massive stone palaces.
Galicia's most populated city, with the most important port. The
historic quarter is very charming and well preserved.
Lugo is surrounded by Roman walls which are perfectly preserved, and has
a beautiful Romanesque cathedral.
Located inland, also has a beautiful Romanesque cathedral.
This province is said to be one of the most beautiful of Spain, thanks
to the marvelous landscapes of Rías Baixas. The city itself
offers an outstanding monumental center.
Town of the Apostle
Santiago de Compostela
is the final destination of the legendary medieval way of pilgrimship
Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), now considered by Unesco a
World Heritage Site. Until today it attracts visitors from all over the
world thanks to its fantastic monuments. The town is named after the
Apostle Saint James ("Santiago"), who is buried here.
Santiago is certainly one of Spain's most monumental towns, with a
particular architectonical style all of its own. But it is as well a
town plenty of life, with one of the most famous Universities and a
large number of students who guarantee youthful ambience inbetween the
historical walls. Also the region's cuisine is of great reputation, and
it is said that nowhere you can eat better sea-food than in Galicia.
So this is a place with a really varied offer, and one of the great
cultural centers of the continent.
The Principality of Asturias is
constituted of a single province, the capital is Oviedo. It is limited
by high mountain ranges, Cordillera Cantabrica, where you find
some outstanding natural preserves such as Picos de Europa
and the national parks of Covadonga and Somiedo. Asturias
is well known for its green landscapes, and just at a few kilometers
from high mountain peaks there is the Cantabric coast with great beaches
and colorful fishing villages.
Major attractions are the Way of Santiago with its numberless
monuments and the Ruta de la Plata, "silver route", which
both lead through Asturias.
Asturias too is the home of ancient rites and beliefs, and this region's
popular customs are among the most interesting of Spain. Artisany and
gastronomy are of high reputation, you may try excellent sea-food along
the coast and, in the mountains, typical dishes such as Fabada,
made of a special sort of beans, blood sausage and various cheese
specialities, together with a glass of cider.
The region's capital, located more or less at its geographical center,
is specially remarkable for its pre-romanic monuments and its great
This historic city, founded already by Romans, is today one of the most
important sea-ports and offers active cultural life.
Aviles, one of the oldest settlements of the Cantabric area, is of high
economical importance too, but conserves as well its traditional style.
All three cities were declared Patrimony of the Humanity by
UNESCO, due to their outstanding monuments.
beautiful sea and mountain
With a surface of 5.300 square kilometers
Cantabria offers extremely varied landscapes and climates. In its
mountain ranges, Picos de Europa and the natural preserve of
Saja, still live bears, wolves and eagles, and the rivers are full
of salmons and trouts. Pico de tres Mares ("peak of the three
seas") is a real curiosity: a drop of water that falls here may equally
arrive to Atlantic Ocean, by Duero river, the Cantabric Sea, by
Nansa river, or the Mediterranean Sea by Ebro river.
In total contrast is the coast with beautiful bays and romantic fishing
villages. Inbetween you will find green valleys and hills.
The capital, Santander, is located
at a beautiful bay. It is an economically extremely active city with an
important port. There is an ample cultural offer, specially remarkable
are the Menendez y Pelayo International Summer University, and
the International Festival. Santander's great sports facilities
make it an ideal place for leisure.
At a few kilometers from the capital there are the medieval town
Santillana del Mar, and the highly
interesting prehistorical Caves of Altamira.
Some other attractions in the surroundings of Santander are the church
of Santa Maria de Valverde, or the natural park of Cabarceno,
where you will find animals from the five continents in an outstanding
and singular landscape.
Finally, Cantabria's colorful popular customs, its artisany and
gastronomy make it a holiday destination which certainly will not