Whether a stylish boutique hotel in the center of Santiago de Compostela or a cozy beach hotel with a fantastic view of the Atlantic, Galicia’s wonderful variety of destinations and impressive culinary and cultural tradition attracts only the most discerning of travelers. From the lush green meadows and carved canyons of the inland, to the cliffy coastline and blue flag beaches of Rías Baixas, Spain’s northwestern-most region offers all the best aspects of Spain while exuding a totally different energy, thanks to the region’s Celtic heritage and hugely dynamic cities and landscapes.
A wonderful and particularly green corner of “Green Spain, ” Galicia’s verdant inland has a Celtic history, manifested in kilt-wearing locals who speak a special language called Gallego, and a rich culinary and cultural tradition. The best way to do Galicia’s countryside is to eat and drink your way through; with local dishes like Cocido Gallego (Galician stew) and the region’s famous albariño white wine, all savored within impressive scenery, a stay here promises a pampering of all the senses. The region of Ribeira Sacra is a mysterious area comprised of lush forests, winding rivers, and vast canyons—the Sil Canyon being the most impressive of them, together with a 50-kilometer gorge that is even explorable by kayak. Admirers of fine wines will be pleased to find grape vines lining almost all surfaces, including the slopes of cliffs, making for both impressive and tasty varietals. The hotels that speckle this wonderful countryside come equipped with all you need for an escape into nature: spa centers with a view, sprawling hotel gardens, and access to all of the area’s greatest natural sites. If you’re looking for a little more city in your nature, Santiago de Compostela is Galicia’s capital and most famous city. Whether or not its your final stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a great place to end up. Feel the energy of eras passed in a parador or luxury hotel a few steps from the iconic cathedral, or on a romantic stroll through the Gothic historic quarter.
Getting there: The easiest route to Galicia is by plane; fly into one of the region’s three airports, Lavacolla Airport in Santiago de Compostela, Alvedro Airport in A Coruña, or Peinador Airport in Vigo. There, you’ll find trains that connect to the region’s major cities. If you are not staying in a major city, it is recommended to rent a car, as many of the more secluded hotels and destinations are not reachable except via private vehicle or bus. The rail company Renfe connects Galicia with the rest of Spain.