Exploring Europe through its wines can lead you to some wonderful adventures. That is why I love trying different European wines even while home. I recently had the opportunity to try a wine made from a grape I’d never heard of, Albarino. Once I discovered it was from Spain I had to learn more about the region producing Albarino wine!
This led me to the rugged Northern coast of Spain, Galacia.
Galacia is not on the normal tourist track and since it is separated from the rest of Spain by a mountain range, it has a very different feel to it. In Galacia you’ll experience a different language and a strong Celtic influence especially in its music which still uses bagpipes. Set along the Atlantic coast, the region also boasts a very strong seafaring tradition. Inland the region is full of rugged and wonderful mountains.
Here are 5 reasons you might want to explore Galicia!
1. Albarino Wine
One of the wine worlds best kept secrets is the Rías Baixas area, home to Spain’s Albarino grape. The grape has been growing in the area for 900 years and produces a crisp white wine that pairs well with seafood. The wine region is mainly centered on Cambados where you’ll find a bodega in an old castle and an annual wine festival.
2. Santiago de Compestelo
The most well known city in the Galicia region is also one of Spain’s most beloved. In the center of town you’ll find Plaza de Espana which is bordered by the Baroque cathedral, a Romanesque college and Neoclassical city hall. The cathedral has been the goal of pilgrims for hundreds of years and is known for its Baroque façade, a Romanesque sculpture and the crypt of St. James.
The coastal area of Galicia is full of scenic, windy and sometime treacherous shoreline. Take time to explore some of the estuaries and enjoy the beaches. The many resorts are full of wonderful streets with Gothic arches and churches as well as miles of sandy beaches and beautiful clear water. The beaches are so inviting you’ll want to grab some bread, cheese and wine for a wonderful seaside picnic!
4. Quaint Villages
The quaint fishing villages, gorgeous scenery and sandy beaches of Galicia are the heart and sole of the region. The list of villages include La Coruna which is Franco’s hometown, Lugo is known for its Roman wall, preserved ramparts and shellfish festival while Baiona is a chic resort known as the first town to know of Columbus’ discovery and its medieval architecture.
5. Varied outdoor activities
Galicia is also known for its outdoor adventures. While the coastline adventures revolve around water sports including sailing and surfing, the rugged hills entice the hikers and walkers. Other adventures include hot air ballooning, golf and horseback riding.