What to see in Galicia: cities and attractions not to be missed

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Galicia is a very characteristic region of Spain, located in the north-west of the country. It stands out for its strong tradition, for the green landscapes and also for a climate very different from that which characterizes the rest of Spain: in Galicia the winter rains are frequent and in summer the days, although sunny, are cool and particularly enjoyable.

A trip to Galician land represents a tour of lighthouses of ancient and legendary origin, national parks that guard, in the shade of centuries-old trees, rare species of animals and plants, white beaches with crystalline waters, impressive cathedrals and small and large traces of a people who here marked history forever: the Romans. Here what to see in Galicia, all the cities and attractions not to be missed!


  1. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
  2. Park de la Alameda, Santiago de Compostela
  3. Galicia Atlantic Islands National Park
  4. Lugo and its Roman Walls
  5. The Tower of Hercules, A Coruña
  6. Vigo
  7. Fragas do Eume, A Coruña
  8. Castro de Santa Trega, A Guarda
  9. Ourense
  10. Finisterre
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral of St Jacques de Compostela is one of the most important sanctuaries for the Catholic world. The construction of the church began in 1075 and ended in the late 1700s, so the imposing architectural style that characterizes it is the result of the encounter between the Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque styles.

Inside, in addition to the majestic Portico della Gloria and the high altar, are keep the relics of San Giacomo Maggiore, venerated by the faithful. The cathedral, in fact, is the arrival point of the well-known Camino de Santiago, the medieval itinerary during which pilgrims cross Spain, France and Portugal. The Cathedral can be visited for free, while the visit to the adjacent museum costs € 5,00 and the visit to the bell tower € 8,00.

2 - Park of the Alameda, Santiago de Compostela

In the heart of the city of Santiago de Compostela stands this huge city park, which houses centuries-old oaks, more than 90 species of plants, numerous lakes, fountains, benches and even a sumptuous chapel, dedicated to Santa Susanna, in full Baroque style. The area is as big as that includes three zones: Paseo da Alameda, the Carballeira de Santa Susana and the Paseo da Ferratura.

In the park there are several panoramic terraces, from which you can enjoy a beautiful and privileged view over the city, in particular on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Cultural events and concerts are often organized in these internal gardens.

3 - National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia

Covering an area of ​​8,480 hectares, the Atlantic Islands National Park of Galicia includes the Cíes Islands (famous for their tropical aspect) and the Islands of Ons, Cortegada and Sálvora. Inside are located cliffs and beautiful beaches, cliffs overlooking the sea and the splendid seabed of the Atlantic Ocean, with a thousand natural and marine riches.

Among the activities to be carried out in the Park there it's diving, during which to admire the biological variety present in the seabed, paths to be traveled between observation points of rare birds and mini-cruises to be enjoyed between one island and another.

4 - Lugo and its Roman Walls

Lugo was founded by the Romans between 26 and 12 BC and is the only city in Europe to be surrounded by the ancient Roman Walls, remained practically intact. With 71 towers, up to 15 meters high and 2,5 km long, the walls are entirely accessible for free and have been included among the assets that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the city there are several historical attractions which are absolutely worth a visit: for example, the Roman Bridge, which crosses the Miño River, and the majestic Lugo Cathedral, both dating from the rd century.

5 - The Tower of Hercules, A Coruña

The city of A Coruña is home to the historic Tower of Hercules, the lighthouse of Roman origin currently in operation oldest in the world and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. The lighthouse was probably built around the st century AD, and according to legend it was erected in honor of Hercules, the hero who came to Galicia to kill the giant Geryon, who illegally ruled over these lands.

The Tower is almost entirely open to visitors, with the exception of the top floor where the lantern is located. Climbing the steep stairs that compose it, you can enjoy an enchanting view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The cost of the ticket is € 3,00

6 - Vigo

Vigo is a city located in the province of Pontevedra, and is located on an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can spend time on the beach, as is the case of the famous Praia de Samil, 1.700 meters long, stroll along the seafront, full of cafes, restaurants and kiosks, go around the Casco Vello, the old town and visit ancient historical sites.

One of these is the Castro Fortress, just 15 minutes from the center. It was built in 1665 on a hill and from here you can enjoy the city and ocean views, while immersed in beautiful gardens. Do not miss the free visit to the Quiñones de León Museum in Vigo, located in a historic building from 1670, which houses precious collections of Galician painting.

7 - Fragas do Eume, A Coruña

Near A Coruña, there is the beautiful Fragas do Eume Natural Park, the forest that covers 2.500 hectares and rises in the Eume River basin. Fragas do Eume represents one of the most important forestry realities in Galicia, inside you can stroll under the shade of tall oaks, oaks, birches and chestnuts, moreover the typical habitat of this area dates back to the Neolithic.

Do not miss the visit to the Monastery of Caaveiro, dating back to the th century, which rises in the middle of the woods (free on some days)

8 - Castro de Santa Trega, A Guarda

In the municipality of A Guarda (near the city of Pontevedra) is the Castro de Santa Trega, located on the slopes of the homonymous mountain. It is a ancient fortified settlement of Celtic origin, built 340 meters above the sea level, characterized by particular circular stone and clay structures.

From this strategic position it is possible to enjoy a magnificent view of the Atlantic ocean, on the Miño River and on the neighboring and neighboring Portugal. If you reach the mountain by car you must pay a toll of € 1,00.

9 - Ourense

Far from the sea but worth discovering, Ourense is the Galician city famous above all for the thermal baths of As Burgas, which arise right in the historic center. Outside the city you will find several spas, some free and some for a fee and they can all be reached on board the Tren de las Termas, the tourist train that stops at all the thermal water facilities of Ourense.

In the area of ​​the historic center is the Plaza Major, with a very particular, irregular appearance and a sloping floor. To visit in these parts the Cathedral of Ourense, dating back to the twelfth century, inside is the Portico del Paraiso, inspired by the Portico de la Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, full of arches and magnificent iconographic decorations (cost of the visit € 5,00 , ).

10 - Finisterre

A trip to Galicia cannot be considered complete without a visit to Finisterre, a municipality in the province of A Coruña, whose name derives from the Latin and means "border of the land". Finisterre was considered by the Romans the furthest edge of the earth, considering that it is one of the westernmost points of Spain. Some faithful who embark on the way to Santiago de Compostela continue the path for about a hundred kilometers, stopping right in Cabo Fisterra, where they traditionally burn one of the garments worn during the journey.

One of the major attractions in the area is the Lighthouse located on Mount Facho, which is accessed along a small road that starts from the village. During the uphill path it is possible to admire the view of the coast and continuing further you reach the hermitage of San Guillermo. From here the sunset offers a unique spectacle: the sun plunges into the depths of the ocean, coloring the sky with a thousand shades.

Travel informed: useful information and necessary documents

  • Inhabitants: 2,7 million
  • Capital: Santiago de Compostela
  • Languages: Spanish, Galician
  • Local currency: euro (€)
  • Weather: mild oceanic, with mild and rainy winters (average temperature 11 °) and cool and sunny summers (average temperature 20 °)
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    Galicia is located in the northwestern part of Spain. It borders to the east with the two Spanish regions Asturias and Castile and Léon, to the south with Portugal, while to the west it is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north by the Cantabrian Sea.

    Tours and excursions in Galicia

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