The green Galicia in the far northwest of Spain is one of the seventeen autonomous regions of the country.
The capital of the area, Santiago de Compostela, is the final destination of the famous Camino de Santiago, the Pilgrimage of Santiago. Outside the city, however, the region is unknown to many. Sin, because Galicia is the greenest region of Spain is worth exploring. The area has forests, hills, mountains and kilometres of sandy beaches, hidden in rocky bays on the Atlantic coast.
Despite the small 100,000 inhabitants in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia is one of the most densely populated areas of Spain. Most of the population lives in rural agriculture or forestry. In recent decades, however, there has been a trek to the cities. The largest city, the port city of Vigo, has inclusive suburbs of some 450,000 inhabitants and the port city and economic centre of the region, A Coruña, about 400,000.
Galicia borders the neighbouring country of Portugal in the south. Some 70 per cent of the population speaks Galician, a variant of Portuguese, with some influences of Spanish. River Miño forms a natural boundary between the two countries. The river Landscape offers a beautiful sight and the river itself is declining, for the people who love rafting. To the east, the region borders the autonomous regions of Asturias and Castile and León, with the ‘ Macizo Galaico ‘ – the Galician massif on the border. Where Castile and Leon are dry, Galicia is green. The inland is, to a large extent, formed by vast forest areas. The region has about 1200 kilometres of coastal areas, which constitutes 30% of the total Spanish coastal area.
The location of the mountains close to the sea has the disadvantage that it rains a lot. Although it creates a beautiful green hinterland, in the summers, however, it is drier and can also be hot. In this region, the likelihood of forest fires is too high. In June and July, you have the most chance of sun and the least chance of precipitation. Moreover, it is the most extended light, which is undoubtedly excellent for (pilgrimage) hikers.
Galicia has some beautiful cities. Besides Santiago de Compostela, with its famous cathedral, the towns of Ferrol, Lugo, Orense and Pontevedra are worthwhile. This tower is the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world that is still in use.
Ferrol is a smaller port town, where scallops, the sign of Saint Jacob, are cultivated for the coast. Vieira is a local delicacy made with scallops. Many pilgrims do the city to follow the 118-kilometre long pilgrim pass to Santiago from the medieval port of Curuxeiras. The Roman towns of Ourense, on the Miño, and Pontevedra, on the Atlantic coast, both offer several historical sites.