Things to do in Galicia (Spain), 30 best places to visit
Ready to get to know the best places to visit in Galicia? Let’s begin!
1. Cies Islands, one of the best places to visit in Galicia
The Cies Islands are an archipelago in the province of Pontevedra. It is one of the most popular places in Galicia and a place that any tourist who visits Galicia should visit. The three islands are Monteagudo, do Faro and San Martín. They stand out for their fine sand beaches and crystal clear waters. One of the most beautiful places in the Cies Islands is Playa de Rodas.
If you’re interested in visiting the islands, you must request an authorization. However, if you book your tour through Civitatis, they’ll take care of transfers and providing you with the authorization.
2. Las Catedrales Beach, it’ll leave you speechless
This beach is one of the most popular and impressive beaches in Galicia for good reason. It is an authentic natural monument. Las Catedrales Beach is located in the Ribadeo region, in the province of Lugo. What makes this beach so incredible is its incredible arched rock formations. You don’t want to miss the Isla Pancha Lighthouse, located near this beach.
Keep in mind that in order to visit Las Catedrales beach, you have to make an entrance reservation. You can make a reservation on this website.
3. Combarro (Pontevedra), charming town you worth visiting
Combarro is not only one of the most beautiful places to visit in Galicia but also one of the most charming towns in Spain according to many. Combarro is a very picturesque fishing village where you can see numerous granaries (traditional buildings on columns designed to preserve food) and cruceiros (stone crosses). If you want to know a bit more about the history of this Galician town, do not forget to stroll through its historic center.
4. Visiting Santiago de Compostela, one of the best things to do in Galicia
A trip to Galicia isn’t complete without it including a visit to Santiago de Compostela. One of the best places in the city is Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, where the famous “Camino Santiago” ends. I also recommend visiting San Martiño Pinario Monastery, Alameda Park and the Abastos Market. You should take a look at all these guided tours in Santiago de Compostela. I recommend a free tour of the historic center.
5. Finisterre (A Coruña), ready to get to know the end of the world?
Finisterre is located in Costa da Morte. The Romans thought it was the westernmost point on earth, hence its name. You will see many pilgrims walking (camino santiago) from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Finisterre. I recommend going for a walk through the historic center and visiting the Lighthouse. As for beaches, you definitely don’t want to miss Mar de Fóra, a spectacular beach. I recommend going for sunset!
6. Do Sil Canyon – Ribeira Sacra, a natural wonder
Ribeira Sacra is located in the southern area of Lugo, north of Ourense province. Its a place where the banks of the Cabe, Sil and Miño rivers meet. I recommend visiting Do Sil canyon. If you are going to visit this part of Galicia, I recommend taking a look at the Ribeira Sacra tourism website where you’ll be able to find information about the place. You can book a day tour to Ribeira Sacra from Santiago.
7. Santa Comba Beach (A Coruña)
It is not very known by tourists; however, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Galicia. Santa Comba Beach is located about 12 km away from Ferrol. Its turquoise water and surrounding nature makes this beach one of the best beaches in Galicia. There is a church on one of the cliffs near the beach.
8. A Coruña, no te pierdas la Torre de Hércules
A Coruña is a city in Galicia that should be on your itinerary if you’re going to visit the northwestern part of Spain. After taking a walk through the historic center, I recommend visiting the Tower of Hercules, on of the best places to visit in Galicia. Rosa Dos Ventos is located near there tower. You don’t want to miss it!
Other places to visit in A Coruña are Plaza Maria Pita, the San Pedro viewpoint, Port of A Coruña and the San Anton castle. I recommend taking a look at all the guided tours in A Coruña.
9. Roman wall of Lugo
One of the most interesting places to visit in Galicia is the Roman Wall of Lugo. The wall, more than 2 km long, surrounds Lugo’s historic center. It has a total of 85 towers, of which 71 are preserved today, and 10 gates. Don’t miss “Puerta de Santiago”. The best way to get to know the wall is by walking in the area.
Another interesting place to see in Lugo is the Cathedral of Lugo. If you want to get to know the city better, I recommend taking a free tour of Lugo.
10. Costa da Morte, a must see place in Galicia
Although I’ve mentioned Finisterre in the past, Costa da Morte has plenty of places to visit. Some of the places that you cannot miss on your visit to this part of Galicia are Cascada del Ezaro, Cabo Vilan-Camatiñas lighthouse, Carnota Beach, Laxe Beach and Touriñan Lighthouse.
I recommend road-tripping through this part of Galicia.
11. Cambados (Pontevedra), a charming town in Galicia
Cambados is a charming town in Pontevedra worth visiting. Apart from being the capital of Albariño, it has many beautiful corners worth visiting such as, Santa Mariña Dozo ruins, Fefiñáns Plaza, A Pastora viewpoint and San Sadorniño tower. Don’t forget to visit Lanzada Beach as well as Siradella viewpoint, located 20 kilometers from Cambados. The view is incredible. Don’t forget to book this free tour of Cambados. During this free visit, you’ll be able to become familiar with the town’s history.
12. Tui (Pontevedra), don’t forget to visit the cathedral
Tui is one of the most beautiful towns in Galicia. It has 17,000 inhabitants and is located in the province of Pontevedra, near the Portuguese-Spanish border. One of the most popular cathedrals in Galicia is located in Tui, the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Tui. It is romanesque and gothic in style.
After visiting the town, you can take a walk through Mount Aloya, located in the outskirts of the city. If you want to learn more about the town’s history, I recommend this free tour of Tui.
13. Santa Trega Mountain (Pontevedra), a must-see viewpoint in Galicia
Santa Trega mountain is located in La Guardia which is southeast of Pontevedra. One of the most beautiful places to visit in this area is Castro de Santa Trega which is an archaeological site once part of a Castrexo-Roman town inhabited between 4th century BC and 1st century AD.
Don’t forget to enjoy the incredible view from Santa Trega Mountain viewpoint. I recommend visiting the viewpoint locates in Facho Peak and San Francisco Peak.
14. Ourense, don’t forget to visit the hot springs
The city of Ourense is also worth visiting during your trip to Galicia. You can walk through its beautiful historic center and enjoy its amazing restaurants. One of the best activities in Ourense is visiting the hot springs. Some of the most popular ones are As Burgas, in the center of the old town, and Outariz hot spring.
Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Ourense, the medieval bridge of Ourense, Plaza del Hierro, San Lazaro Park and San Francisco Convent. If you want to get to know the city a bit better, I recommend going on this free tour of Ourense.
15. Visiting Souto da Retorta, one of the best things to do in Galicia
Souto de Retorta, also known as “eucaliptal de Chavins” is a eucalyptus forest located in the province of Lugo. Avo, which is one of tallest eucalyptus specimens on the continent can be found in Souto da Retorta. Avo was planted in 1880 and measure 67 meters high. There is a 2 km marked route to make the walk easier. It takes about an hour to hike the trail.
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16. Castro de Barona, beautiful place to visit in A Coruña
You can visit many famous forts throughout Galicia. These forts are fortified towns where the inhabitants of Galicia took refuge during the wars. One of the most spectacular forts is Castro de Baroña which was built on rocks next to a beach. It was occupied between the 1st centuries BC and 1 AD. A total of 20 houses of circular or oval shape were preserved.
17. Mondoñedo (Lugo), one of the most beautiful towns in Galicia
Mondoñedo, located in the province of Lugo, is one of the best places to visit in Galicia. It was once the capital of one of the 7 provinces from the Old Kingdom of Galicia. Mondañedo Cathedral is one of the best places top visit in town and one that you should visit. The cathedral is of roman-gothic style. You must visit the historic center of town and taste some of the tasty food. Red Cintolo Cave, located near Mondeñed, is also a place worth visiting.
18. Loiba Bench, one of the best viewpoints in Galicia
Loiba Bench is known as one of the most beautiful benches in the world. It is located in Coitelo Viewpoint, on the Loiba cliff (Ortigueira). You can enjoy wonderful views of the entire area, which extends from Cabo Estaca de Bares to Cabo Ortegal.
19. San Andres de Teixido, a well known place among pilgrims
San Andrés de Teixido is a village located east of Cedeira region, in A Coruña. The sanctuary of San Andrés de Teixido is located in this village. The sanctuary is a famous pilgrimage site. I recommend visiting this sanctuary as it has historic importance. The sanctuary is also beautiful.
There is a legend in this place that says “vai de morto quen non foi de vivo” (they who did not visit alive will visit when they are dead), so if you don’t visit it, don’t worry. You will visit this town regardless!
20. Os Ancares, a unique place to visit in Galicia
If you want to get lost in nature, I recommend visiting Sierra de Os Ancares, located east of Lugo. You can hike several trails that cross valleys and peaks of up to 2,000 meters. Some of the most beautiful places in Os Ancares are Doiras castle, the Palloza Museo Casa do Sesto, the village of Piornedo, O Cebreiro and Balboa castle.
21. Cape Orgtegal, one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Galicia
If you are interested in visiting some nice cliffs, you don’t want to miss Cabo Ortegal which is located in the province of A Coruña. There are two visiting points: Punta dos Aguillóns, where Cape Ortegal Lighthouse is located, and Punta do Limo. The sea of Cantabria and the Atlantic Ocean meet in Punta dos Aguillón. Near Cape Ortegal, I recommend visiting Ortigueira and Cariño. Da Miranda viewpoint is also worth visiting.
22. Muros (A Coruña), a charming town in Galicia
Muros is one of the best places to visit in A Coruña, Galicia. It’s a fishing town located in A Coruña, north of Rias Baixas. Aside from being able to enjoy its rich gastronomy, you’ll be able to walk along its old streets and its amazing boardwalk along the coast. I recommend visiting Area Mayor Beach (Louro) and Carnota Beach.
23. Corrubedo Sand Dunes, did you know there were sand dunes in Galicia?
Corrubedo Natural Park is a must-visit place in Galicia, especially if you’ve never visited sand dunes in the past. The dune of Corrubedo is 1 km long, 250 meters wide and 20 meters high. The national park is home to Corrubedo beach, Vixán lagoon (fresh water) and Carregal lagoon (salt water).
Around 3,000 aquatic birds live in this natural space. There is a network of paths and walkways in the park. There is also an interpretation center of Galicia’s litoral ecosystem.
24. Vixîa de Herbeira Cliff, incredible landscape in Galicia
Vixía de Herbeira cliffs are amongst the most beautiful cliffs in Galicia. They are located in A Capelda mountain range, near Cariño (A Coruña). The cliffs are about 615 meters above sea level. They are amongst the highest cliffs in Europe which provide an amazing view. I highly recommend visiting Vixîa de Herbeira Cliff.
25. Allariz (Ourense), don’t forget to visit this bridge
We continue with this compilation of places to visit in Galicia with Allariz, located near Arnoia River. The old part of town and the nature in it have made this little town one of the most beautiful towns in Galicia.
The most interesting places to visit in Allariz are Church of Santiago de Allariz, Church of Santa María de Vilanova and the Convent of Santa Clara. One of the most picturesque places in Allariz is the Romanesque Bridge of Vilanova, was once the entrance to Allariz.
26. Fragas de Eume, perfect for nature lovers
If you like nature, you must visit Fragas do Eume (A Coruña). It is one of the best preserved riverside Atlantic forests in Europe. It has a total of 9,000 hectares where you’ll be able to walk and visit. You will be able to see poplars, oaks, alders, ash trees, around 28 species of ferns and about 200 species of lichens. Insane!
Inside the reserve, you can visit Caaveiro Monastery, a place worth visiting. It is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible landscapes in Galicia.
27. Ezaro Waterfall (A Coruña), a unique place in Galicia
Although I have named this popular waterfall in the Costa da Morte section, I think it deserves its own section. Ezaro Waterfall, located in A Coruña, has become one of the most visited places in Galicia for being one of the few river mouths in the form of a waterfall in Europe. It has a 80-meter drop.
28. Pedra Negras, one of the best beaches in Galicia
If you want to take a walk along a beautiful wooden walkway that will take your breath away, you have to visit San Vicente do Mar, located in Pontevedra. Pedras Negras route will only take about 30 minutes to complete. You will discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Galicia during the hike. The hike is from Porto Deportivo San Vicente do Mar to Con Negro area.
29. Betanzos (A Coruña), a charming town in Galicia
If you wish to visit more charming villages, I recommend visiting Betanzos, located in A Coruña, approximately 25 minutes away from the province’s capital. The old part of town, which was the capital of one of the 7 provinces that made up the Kingdom of Galicia, was declared a Historic-Artistic Site.
Don’t miss Pasatempo Park, Santa María del Azogue church and Pazo de Mariñán. If you visit during lunch or dinner time, let me remind you that potato-omelette tapas are very popular and tasty in this part of Spain.
30. Ribadavia (Ourense), a town with plenty of history
Llegamos al final de esta lista de lugares que visitar en Galicia con Ribadavia, uno de los pueblos más bonitos de Ourense. Te recomiendo visitar el Castelo de Ribadavia (residencia de los Condes de Ribadavia hasta el siglo XVII), el Museo Etnológico de Ribadavia, la judería de Ribadavia o la Plaza Mayor. Si te gusta el vino, también puedes hacer una visita a la bodega Viña Costeira.
Si quieres conocer más información sobre Galicia, te recomiendo visitar la web oficial de Turismo de Galicia.
The last place on the this list of the best places to visit in Galicia is Ribadavia. It is one of the most beautiful towns in Ourense. I recommend visiting Castelo de Ribadavia (residence of the Counts (noble rank) of Ribadavia until the seventeenth century), the Ethnological Museum of Ribadavia, the Ribadavia Jewish medieval quarter and Plaza Mayor. If you like wine, you can also pay Viña Costeira winery a visit.
If you want to know more information about Galicia, I recommend going on the official Galicia Tourism website.
MAP OF GALICIA
In the following map of Galicia you can find the 30 must-see places in Galicia. It will be easier for you to plan your visit and know what to do in Galicia.
WHERE TO STAY IN GALICIA
If you want to stay in a charming hotel in Galicia, here are some recommendations:
Casa Lourido is one of my favorite hotels in Galicia. It is located on the outskirts of a coastal town called Sada, about 20 km from A Coruña. It is a family hotel in which everything is taken care of in detail. The rooms are spacious and furnished with all the essentials. The courtyard full of plants and flowers is just lovely.
Another very good looking hotel in Galicia is Cabañas Fisterra. It is in one of my favorite corners of Galicia, Fisterra, and the view from the private terrace is spectacular. The rooms are also very charming and include a kitchen and a Jacuzzi. They also offer various activities and massages as well. It is the perfect place to stay if you are visiting Costa da Morte.
I also recommend Hotel Quinta de San Amaro. It is located in Meaño Valley, in Pontevedra’s countryside. It is a perfect place to relax and unwind and visit Rías Baixas. It has a garden and swimming pool with a very beautiful view. This hotel also offers a free visit to Albariño winery, which includes a tasting. Pets are allowed.
I hope this post about the best things to do in Galicia has been very useful and has helped you plan your visit to the northwestern part of Spain. If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to leave a comment, contact mr though social media or by email. Until next time, travelers!
Foto Islas Cíes: Inmobiliaria Lares (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Foto Muralla Lugo: Photo by byb64 on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Foto Cambados: Quim Perelló (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Foto Tui: Photo by Julio Roman Fariñas on Foter.com / CC BY
Foto Ribeira Sacra: Rafael Ojea Perez / CC BY-NC 2.0
Foto San Andrés de Teixido: Juan José Hernández Rodríguez / CC BY 2.0
Foto Finisterre: Fresco Tours / CC BY 2.0
Foto Souto da Retorta: RodrigoRega / CC BY-SA 4.0
Foto Cabo Ortegal: Photo by CARLOS CALAMAR on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Foto Muros: James Stringer / CC BY-SA 4.0
Foto Dunas de Corrubedo: Photo by Bernt Rostad on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Foto Torre de Hércules: bgrimmni / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Foto Castro de Baroña: Jorjum / CC BY-SA 4.0
Foto Banco de Loiba: amaianos / CC BY 2.0
Foto Vixía de Herbeira: Photo by Septem Trionis on Foter.com
Foto Fragas de Eume: Photo by Neticola on Foter.com
Foto San Vicente do Mar: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Foto Betanzos: Photo by xindilo on Foter.com
Foto Ribadavia: Photo by sergei.gussev on Foter.com
Foto Os Ancares: Fernando García Redondo / CC BY-NC 2.0