Galicia is an autonomous region in northwest Spain that comprises the four provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense, and Pontevedra.


The regional capital is Santiago de Compostela in the north-western part of Galicia about 20 miles (30km) from the Atlantic, which is a thriving university city with a unique architectural style. It is also the destination of a pilgrimage path that has now been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and is traditionally the third most important pilgramage a Christian can undertake (after those to Jerusalem and Rome). Santiago de Compostela is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and home to a beautiful Romanesque cathedral with a Baroque façade.


A Coruña, also the capital of the province of the same name, is some 20 miles to the north of Santiago along the Atlantic coast. This picturesque city offers many architectural attractions, including stone palaces and Romanesque churches.


About the same distance to the south of Santiago is the important seaport of Vigo, Galicia's largest city and Europe's largest fishing port. It claims to be the most densely populated part of Galicia. It is located only a short distance away from the Portuguese border. Vigo is not worth visiting as it is just a modern seaport, with a small old quarter of a few streets. The beaches around Vigo are quite nice but very busy during summer.

The other provincial capitals are Lugo (30 miles northeast of Santiago), with an excellent Romanesque cathedral. Lugo is the secret of Galicia. It is the most ancient city in all of Galicia. It has a complete circle defensive wall of about 2.5km in circumference. The walls date back to the Roman times. It is the only city in Europe to be surrounded by its original walls!! The provincial museum is also worth a visit. It is one of the few places in Galicia where they have published guides in different languages. Entrance is free.

Ourense (30 miles southeast of Santiago). Here is again a quite modern city but with a larger old quarter than Vigo. There are hot water baths that you can enter for free. Others require a small fee of a few Euros.       

Pontevedra (between Santiago and Vigo) is a lovely old city and is worth a visit. It is near the beautiful Rías Baixas, a series of inlets along the coast.


Also along the Galician coast are estuaries, scenic port towns and isolated beaches. Many Romanesque cathedrals and Gothic churches can be found in towns along the shore.


The areas of countryside that are of interest too.

Ribeira Sacra, where vine is produced, and the countryside looks similar to Wales or Scotland. Loads of Romanesque churches.


Another area of countryside worth a visit is O Courel. High mountains with outstanding beauty. Very isolated.


The overall site for Galicia is