Anywhere you go in Spain you feel it…there’s an intoxicating vibe in the air. Culture, history, music, dance and cuisine set Spain apart, and every region in Spain offers unique experiences. Vigo, a city in Spain’s Galicia region on the northwest coast, is no exception.
We’ve said in many blogs that the best way to get a feel for a city is by taking a walking tour, so that’s where we’ll start. Vigo has a fascinating history that includes Celtic warriors and Spanish colonists. There’s a 15th century fort, the O Berbés fish market and local life in the Jewish Quarter. There are spectacular views of Vigo Bay from the Castillo de San Sebastián where you can explore the city center and its impressive stone buildings, the old town, El Olivo, and the port of Vigo where you can hear about the pirates who stalked Vigo. Old Town is a great place to sample local specialties at the La Piedra oyster market or have a refreshing glass of Albariño and tapas because…when in Spain…
Speaking of Albariño, take a tour and discover the history of one of the most valuable grapes in Galicia. The Salnes valley is home to these grapes and it’s where one of the most prized white wines in the world is produced every year. Its capital, Cambados, is a land of nobles, Pazos (traditional Galician homes) and a tradition of producing excellent wine, a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation since the 12 th century. The special care given to the vineyards throughout the year as well as the ideal climate are key to producing the wine known as Albariño.
This year more than any other has given countless people a newfound appreciation for being outdoors. Anywhere outdoors. Hiking in nature. Lazing on a beach. Cycling a trail. If you’re looking for stunning beaches, visit Cies Islands. A 45-minute ride on a ferry will get you there but you’ll need to book in advance since the daily limit to the islands is 2,200 people. Playa de Rodas is the hands-down favorite. Powder soft, sugary white sand and crystal clear water have people coming back again and again. Cies also has hiking trails so you can start with a hike up to the lighthouse, take in the magnificent view, and spend the rest of the day on the beach. Instagram moments waiting to happen. Pro tip: don’t miss the excellent seafood restaurants in Cies.
There’s no shortage of interesting history and culture to explore. Pazo Quiñones de Leon is a museum dedicated to telling the history of Galician aristocracy. Built around 1670, it was the home of a nobleman and contains artifacts and furnishings from its owners. The grounds are beautiful and expansive. The property was donated to Vigo in 1924 and has since been maintained as a museum. Mount O Castro dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, and Fortress of O Castro was built in 1665 during the Portuguese Restoration War to protect the city from continuous raids by the British Royal Navy. O Castro is also a magnificent botanical park with a great variety of both indigenous and foreign species. The pines, cedars and camellias stand out.
So many of us are ready to get out and explore the world again. We hope this will inspire you to plan and include Vigo in those plans. Time to travel…it can’t come soon enough.
Photo credit: Royal Caribbean