Exploring Galicia

Todays post was written by Femke Gow.

Located just north of Portugal, Galicia’s exotic coastlines and white sands compose what are known as the Cies Islands, the Islands of the Gods. Although this is a massively sweeping statement, these islands are visually nothing short of God’s creations. The most popular destination for tourists is the beautiful strip of white sand, which connects together two of the islands of  what I like to refer to as my destination Galicia. This is called Rodas Beach, which is where I spent a week in paradise. I’ve never been anywhere more remote, more relaxing, more like heaven than Rodas Beach. It has the beauty of still feeling isolated while there are quite a few other people around; with the vast landscape continuously spreading over the water, the feeling of freedom and enormity was overwhelming in the best way possible.

Although the temperature does reach about 27°c on a regular basis, do not assume the water absorbs this heat! I made that mistake the very first day I got there with my friend, after the long 40 minute journey from the port in Baiona. Despite the trip’s length, it does drop you off right by Rodas Beach, which made us even more excited to get in the lovely warm water and soak up the sun. As we walked excitedly towards the water, I was planning on slowly entering but pushing my friend down as I went, which I did, however, my comedic plan backfired. As she fell into the water, just as my toes were being chased by the tide, she let out a yelp of sheer, uncomfortable, coldness and retaliated by splashing me from head to toe. At this point I thought it might just be warmer to entirely submerge myself in the water, but either way, we were both freezing. Seeing as the water off Rodas Beach (and all of Galicia’s coastline come to that) is on the Atlantic side, it tends to be admittedly colder than the Mediterranean – lesson learned!

You may be thinking; what does one do for any extensive period of time on a small beach besides sunbathe? Looking for evening activities or a day trip? Head to Baiona, the closest town to the island where you can stroll along the beautiful, picturesque promenades and find a secluded little café to enjoy your lunch and a coffee. If you’re looking for a wild night out on the town, then you’ve definitely come to the wrong place but Baiona has so much more to offer than the same bars and clubs you see everywhere else. Just one stroll around this town will make you appreciate its ancient architecture and it’s peaceful, exotic yet comfortable vibes. Most nights, I sat with my friend on the restored sea front, shared a bottle of wine while simply day dreaming out in to the welcoming bay. The town of Baiona is somewhat busier than Rodas beach due to the hotels, cafes, restaurants and luxury boutiques. If Galicia has a touristic side, this would be it, but don’t let that put you off, as the Galician idea of mass tourism is a few people all looking to relax and enjoy the hospitality of an island so beautiful; very different to finding relaxation on the beaches of mainland Spain or the Greek islands.

Baiona is just entirely different to anywhere I’ve ever been; I felt I got the best of both worlds when I stayed on Rodas Island, with Baiona so close by. Baiona was even voted most historically and artistically interesting area by the Galician Heritage Board. Living in Amsterdam at the time, I didn’t think there could be a more historically and artistically interesting area, but in many ways, Baiona reminded me very much of Amsterdam with its cobbled streets, but namely the nature of people I encountered. They’re after the same things; adventure, beauty, art and relaxation and in my opinion, Galicia captures the all of that between its surreal beaches and its white glass galleries along the marine front; definitely one of the more perfect places I’ve been.

One Response to “Exploring Galicia”

  1. Rhona says:

    wow, it looks stunningly amazing there.

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