Galicia is located in the green and lush north western corner of Spain. Geographically, Galicia is situated just above Portugal and faces both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mar Cantabrico. This part of the country has an economy based on fishing, farming, agriculture and increasingly tourism. Galicia also has a climate offering four separate seasons and is actually pronounced "Galithia" (the "ci" pronounced as "th" in spanish).
Right, a valley in Galicia's Lugo province in the central part of the region.
Whilst a part of the mainland, Galicia is an autonomous community with a cultural heritage, climate and geography that are distinct from the rest of Spain. Although the region's history and scenery are often promoted as the areas main vacation attractions, beautiful beaches fill the "rias" (bays) of three of the four provinces in Galicia and the scent of pine and eucalyptus are ever present.
Galicia, and in particular the towns close to "Santiago de Compostela" and its airport, have become increasingly popular with British and American holiday makers over recent years. This part of the Iberian Peninsula offers a taste of "real" Spanish culture, taking you away from the tourist frequented Costa's and into a greener and more culturally defined part of the country. Here you can escape the commercialism that has tainted so many other European holiday destinations and explore a region rich in history, tradition, culture and architecture. Left, a further taster of what the scenery of Galicia has to offer.
In terms of getting to Galicia, "Santiago de Compostela", the provincial capitol of "la Coruna" and Vigo (in Pontevedra) all benefit from International airports, although "direct from the UK" flight schedules are limited.
What makes Galicia different
The landscape of Galicia is lush, mountainous and peppered with forests of pine and eucalyptus, but just like the rest of the Iberian regions it has a high level of autonomy and provincial self determination. This ensures that whilst the population are Spanish, they see themselves primarily as "Gallegos" - so when the Galicians talk about nationalism, they are generally referring to the "nation of Galicia", rather than the nation of Spain!
Right, just one of the multitude of beaches stretching along the undulating coast line of Galicia. This one is in "Porto do Son" in the la Coruna province.
To a tourist, the biggest difference between Galicia and the more commonly visited southern Spanish resorts will be the landscape and climate.
Firstly, the predominant colour of the landscape is green, and not the parched or burnt green you see in the Southern parts of Spain. The scenery varies between the hills and fells found in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District (England) and the more mountainous vistas found in the Scottish highlands. A further Celtic connection is the traditional instrument of Galicia known as the gaita, it is similar to the bagpipes in sound and appearance.
Galicia's climate and economy
The north of Spain has an average rain fall comparable with that found in the UK and France and four distinct seasons, although with what most would view as an extended summer. This temperate climate, combined with the hundreds of kilometers of coastline, have resulted in a dual economy of farming and fishing.
Much of the local fishing is however shellfish and crustaceans for which the region is internationally renowned. The traditional vegetable of Galicia is the potato, although the most visible crop you will see in the fields is sweet corn.
Interested in finding out more about Galicia? Just select one of the menu items from the index bars running down the left and right hand sides of this page and then click the appropriate button for more information.
The AGA is a society that has been set up for English speakers with a connection to, or an interest in living in, Galicia. It is operated out of Pontevedra and the association tries to arrange occasional meetings, diners and events within the region. Please be aware that their website is not an information portal about the region, but rather a means of making contact with British, American, Australian, Canadian ex-pats who now live in Galicia.
Living outside of Galicia (or even outside of Spain) does not prevent you from becoming involved in this assocaition and they also have a notice board for questions, posts and tips. Please note, we have no connection with the AGA, so do not contact us with regard to it.