Thinking of holidaying in Galicia, Spain!
These pages have been put together to help you decide if the region of Galicia in Spain is the kind of vacation destination that would interest you. They will try to anticipate your questions and offer specific information and advice on what you can expect to find and do in Spain's temperate and green region. Additionally, these pages will put forward some suggestions designed to help you get the most out of a vacation in Galicia, Spain.
Galicia, with its many small towns like Noia and Muros, is not every tourists cup of tea, that's its appeal. This part of Spain is geographically, climatically and culturally different from the better known and more cosmopolitan tourist resorts of the Iberian Peninsula. If you travel to Galicia and expect to find a Benidorm, Alicante or Mijas, you will be in for a shock and, if that is your kind of holiday, a big disappointment! Galicia is not typical of the rest of Spain.
What is different about Galicia?
Firstly, very few people speak English, so you will need a few basic phrases and some enthusiastic sign language. The Galicians will be friendly and foreigners (especially English speakers) are made to feel very welcome in this part of Spain.
Don't expect streets or districts focused on tourism with nothing but gift shops, bars and take away food outlets. There are no "Blackpool pleasure beaches" or Orlando style "International Drives" in Galicia. Galician tourism is there for you to discover and it requires you to make the effort. If you do, I guarantee that this part of Spain will not disappoint you.
A car is essential in Galicia, it feels like a big place and you need to get out and explore it if you are going to make the most out of your Galician adventure. The roads are generally very good and reasonably well signed, but if you are British, you need to feel comfortable driving on the right hand side of the road (as in the rest of Spain).
Exploration is the key to Galicia
Getting the most out of Galicia is all about exploration and that means getting into the car (or onto a bus or train) and having a good look around.
Obviously you have the major cities like "Santiago de Compostela" to visit, but if you want to see the real Galicia you need to take in some of the smaller towns like Noia. Padron, Monforte and Muros and enjoy the countryside as well.
Galicia is not that large, but the network of small roads will make it feel that way. You will also find that it is quite easy to take two hours to reach a destination which, if there were a motorway, could be reached in 45 minutes. That however is what Galicia is all about, the journey being as much a part of the experience as the eventual destination. I think of Galicia as a giant evolving theme park giving you a view into a history, culture and way of life that is very different to that which most English speaking tourists will have experienced. That said, if you are over 30 or 40 years of age, Galicia will quite probably evoke some childhood memories of places, types of retail outlets and people's friendly behaviour that you remember from earlier (better) times, it certainly does for me.