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Galicia Holidays - Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Ourense & Pontevedra

The region of Galicia can be found in northwest Spain bordering Asturias, Castilla & Leon and Portugal. Through the centuries, Galicia has experienced a varied and sometimes violent history having been invaded by the Romans, the Visigoths in the 6th century, the Moors in the 8th century and occasional visits from the Normans and Vikings. King Ferdinand I of Castilla and Leon finally brought Galicia under control in 1063.

The Galicia Coastline
Galicia is a mountainous, wet region noted for its jagged coastline and many fjord-like indentations on the coast, estuaries that were flooded with rising sea levels after the ice age. These are called Rias and are divided into the Rias Altas, those on the northern Galicia coast, and the Rias Bajas on the western coast. The Rias form a wild and spectacular landscape all along the coastline, attracting great numbers of tourists throughout the year. The Galicia coastline is characterised with beautiful beaches offering magnificent panoramic views and small fishing ports serving fantastic cuisine rich in fish and seafood.

Galicia Scenery and Climate
Galicia has many low mountain ranges that have served to isolated the inland rural population from the more accessible and popular coastal towns and cities. The region is filled with extensive natural areas with many protected Nature Reserves offering a wide variety of plant and animal species. There are also many dense Atlantic forests, rolling green meadows, small rivers and dramatic cliffs on offer for the traveller who enjoys outdoor activities. The climate of Galicia is generally mild winters and hot summers with the more mountainous towns of Ourense and Lugo experiencing more extreme conditions with significant snowfall during the winter months. It is also quite a wet region with Santiago de Compostela receiving on average 100 days rain a year.

Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia in the province of La Coruna. Santiago means 'Saint James' and the city, according to legend, is the resting place of the Apostle Saint James the Great, the brother of John. His remains are believed to be beneath the altar in the crypt of the cathedral after Theodomir, bishop of Iria Flavia, discovered his relics in 835. Santiago de Compostela is a historic city with many beautiful churches, monasteries and monuments. It also has a fine University near the large municipal park, which ensures a lively nightlife within the old quarter of narrow winding streets and historic buildings.

Way of Saint James
Santiago is the third holiest shrine in Christendom (after Jerusalem and Rome) and since the Middle Ages it has been one of the most important places of pilgrimages, attracting over 100,000 pilgrims each year from all over the world. This pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral of is known as the Way of Saint James and in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago.

Lugo Holiday Attractions
The main attraction of Lugo lies in its Roman Wall, which dates from the 3rd century and forms a complete circuit through the city. It measures 2.5km in length and reaches a height of between 10 to 15 metres. It is possible to walk the entire length of the Roman wall, which is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Ourense Holiday Attractions
Ourense is the only province in Galicia to be surrounded by mountains on all sides, keeping it economically isolated from the more populated coast. However, there is a growing tourism to Ourense attracted by the spectacular scenery afforded by the river valleys and Manzaneda, a popular skiing resort just north of the capital. The city has a microclimate that brings much rain to the surrounding area, helping with the regional economy of wine production, animal breeding and potato growing.

Pontevedra Holiday Attractions
Pontevedra is the smallest of the 4 Galicia provinces and one of the most varied in scenery. This historical city has many fine buildings and monuments, of which most are located in the old quarter of town. Pontevedra has a wonderful complex of stone streets, pretty gardens and spacious squares including the Plaza de la Leņa, which stands its Provincial Museum.

About the Author: Steve Greenwood invites you to visit for Galicia Holiday Apartments accommodation and attractions in Santiago de Compostela, Coruna, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra. Visit for holidays and accommodation in all the regions of Spain including the Canary Islands Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Lanzarote.

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