Galicia & Northern Portgual
January 24, 2017 11:28 AM   Subscribe

This year's summer hols have been picked and we fancy visiting Galicia in NW Spain and also spending some time in Northern Portugal, what should we not miss in either region re accommodation, food, sites?

We are very comfortable with eating as much meat, fish and other comestibles as our frames can carry. We will have a car so can get around. We'd like some nice places to stay (can go to €100 per night for a room, maybe a bit more), happy to stay in one place for nice apartments and take visits from there and recommendations for a base would be useful. Cool buildings old and new for visits would be great.

We are looking to fix pretty tightly on Galicia, and in Portugal nothing further south than Coimbra. We have visited Porto a couple of times and spent a week in the Douro valley not long ago so less bothered about those particular sites.
posted by biffa to Travel & Transportation around Spain (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cape Finisterre was once known as the "end of the world". It's a beautiful place to watch the sunset. I stayed at a BnB that we just randomly found and it was nice and affordable.
posted by monologish at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2017

Santiago de Compostela is well worth visiting for the massive imposing cathedral, which has been a pilgrimage destination since before 1000AD. Personally, it was probably more imposing than normal because we had cycled 250km to get there, but I imagine it would still be pretty impressive however you arrive.

The history of the pilgrimage is fascinating - at its most cynical it is a great example of early tourism marketing!
posted by kadia_a at 11:47 AM on January 24, 2017

If you are looking for a relaxed visit to the beach, go west from Coimbra to Praia de Mira.

I'm a bit biased, as it's my hometown :-) It's not crawling with tourists, and is small enough not to feel too crowded.

But it's one of the few beaches to consistently receive the "Blue Flag" award. Praia de Mira was the only beach that has received the award for the last 30 years.
posted by MiG at 12:15 PM on January 24, 2017

A Coruna has the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse in the world, you should check it out.
posted by suelac at 12:26 PM on January 24, 2017

We spent three night in Guimarães. Really nice little town.

We spent a night in Coimbra as well. Interesting place and really cheap. We found a great little bar and sat drinking €1,70 beers watching them set the band up. Then we had the cheapest meal at €27. I thought there was a mistake. We ended up leaving something like €35 just because I couldn't get over that bill.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:34 PM on January 24, 2017

Best answer: For ruins even older than the aforementioned Tower of Hercules, there are plenty of Celtic villages you can visit in Galicia, although being archeological sites you usually see mostly one foot of wall and some engravings. I was in Santa Tegra. I would also try driving through the countryside to see hórreos (raised granaries). The Costa da Morte has scenic cliffs.

July 25 is St James's feast, so Santiago de Compostela will be absolutely packed (well, more than usual in summer). June to August also has the rapa das bestas.

The two Galician dishes you can't miss are polbo á feira (boiled octopus with paprika) and empanada galega (tuna or meat pie). Percebes (goose barnacles) are much prized, but there are all sorts of seafood you can eat.
posted by sukeban at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2017

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