LUXURY HOLIDAY HOMES IN GALICIA

Galicia is a region steeped in history, with a proud local community, its own language and an exceptional food scene. Spain’s wild Atlantic coast is awash with stunning natural scenery including sharp cliffs, hidden coves with untouched beaches, intriguing inlets, lagoons and awesome rock formations that are asking to be explored.

Inland Galicia is known for its lush greenery. This temperate corner of Spain has a cooler climate than the rest of the country and a humid atmosphere, so expect a landscape of rolling hills and patchwork farmland that doesn’t look too dissimilar to back in Blighty.

Our collection of villas in Galicia allow you to make a base for exploring the region, giving you somewhere beautiful and relaxing to return to after a day of adventures.

Why visit?

  • Make sure to sample some of the local fare. It’s hearty and warming and has a big focus on local seafood and root vegetables – truly surf n’ turf!
  • The beaches are chock full of natural wonders. Check out Praia das Cathedrais ‘Cathedral beach’ named for its fascinating and lofty rock arches.
  • The region has a stunning history with beautifully preserved structures dating back to Roman times. Go and discover the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Roman Bridge of Ourense and the Tower of Hercules.

Read the Galicia Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in Galicia have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas and holiday homes in Galicia that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our luxury apartments all have that exclusive ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

Read more Read Less

Luxury Villas in Galicia: Our Top Picks

Galicia Travel Guide

Why visit Galicia

This unspoilt corner of Spain is home to Cap de Finisterre, which was once believed to be the ‘end of the Earth’ and is one of mainland Europe’s westernmost points.

One of Spain’s best-kept secrets is the annual seafood festival ‘Festa do Marisco’ held in O Grove every October. Taking place in the great covered market down on the waterfront, you can peruse a huge variety of locally sourced produce and see it prepared by locals right in front of you including crab, oysters, razor clams, octopus and the area’s famous mussels. This is an absolute must for foodies.

There are things to see and do year-round in Galicia, but remember that this climate isn’t too far off that of the UK, so summer is your best bet to get the most out of the region.

If you can’t get enough of this wild and welcoming coast, then you can check out our full collection of holiday homes in northern Spain.


Things to do

Galicia’s beaches are not to be missed. Comprising over 1,500km of coastline, there is a huge variety of beaches and coastal feature to discover. Playa Carnota is a breathtaking stretch of sand backed by beautiful dunes and with mountains off in the distance.

The Cíes islands off the coast of Vigo are like a little slice of the Caribbean in Europe! A total haven for nature lovers, the impossibly blue water and white sand is well worth the day trip and ferry ride from Vigo.

Praia de Rodas - Cíes Islands


Food and drink

Galician cuisine is criminally underrated. Home to a bounty of the freshest seafood and acres of productive fields, you definitely hit up local markets to get a flavour for the local fare. Make sure to pick up some polba à feira – a market-style octopus dish served with potatoes and lashings of paprika that is typically cooked up in great copper cauldrons.

You’ll find fried padron peppers and queixo de tetilla - a creamy, dome-shaped cheese – on starter menus all over the region, and Caldo Gallego (or Galician stew) made with root vegetables, cabbage, chorizo and a salty cut of pork in delicious broth is an unmissable menu staple.

Not only that, but Galicia plays host to 16 Michelin Star restaurants offering innovative cuisine that is unique to the area and places a real focus on local produce. This secures the region’s status as a global gastronomic capital.

Galicia is home to a surprising selection of top-quality wines, such as Abariño, a refreshing white wine with distinct stone fruit notes, Mencia, a rich and floral red, and Ribeiro which Don Quixote famously gave the moniker of ‘Mother of wines’. What’s more, you absolutely must try a Licor café – a super sweet and dangerously moreish coffee liqueur made from orujo pomace brandy, sugar and coffee.

Don’t leave the region without sampling a slice of tarta de Santiago, a delicious almond cake made with sweet wine and lemon zest and dusted with icing sugar around an elaborate stencil of the cross of St. James.

 

 


Why it's perfect for families

  • Great for babies: Take your budding little seafarer on a Rias Baixas boat trip and spot stunning scenery from the water.
  • Great for kids: Aquarium Finisterrae in A Coruña will fascinate the little ones who get the chance to see the marine life of the Galician coast up close.
  • Great for teens: beach bum teens will be easily satiated by the prospect of a day on the sand quite literally anywhere in Galicia. The perfect coves of fine light sand will surely delight.

Top tips

  • Try angulas - or baby eels - if you're not squeamish! They're salty and have a slight crunch and are quickly becoming something of a luxury.
  • Head to the town of Ourense and experience the natural thermal springs at As Burgas, a public outdoor bathing spot where the water can reach of 60c.

What Oliver loves

Delightfully green in comparison to the Spain you’d probably first think of, Galicia feels like a real home from home with sleepy villages, rugged coastline and curious Celtic elements strewn around the countryside, giving it an almost Irish feel.

Towns and villages

Galicia is dotted with buzzy towns and sleepy villages. From A Coruña with its busy port to Pontevedra with its beautifully preserved old town and gothic basilica and Vigo with its hilltop castle ruins, there’s a little something of everything for all to relish in.

Fancy extending your trip even further around this region? We have holiday homes to rent all over northern Spain or take a look at our offering in neighbouring Portugal to carry on your Atlantic adventure.

 

 

 

 


Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Something uniquely Galician that you must go in search of are forranchos. This is where family homes open their doors to tourists and strangers to come and enjoy a whole host of homemade small plates for a very compelling price.

The region’s capital centres around the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela which serves as a shrine to the apostle Saint James the Great and the end of the Camino de Santiago, a renowned Christian pilgrimage. While steeped in history, the city is also home to an awesome contemporary art scene and is a foodie haven, frequented by a fashionable young set.

Pronounced like ‘sang-shen-shou’ this popular seaside town is located where the Ria Pontevedra meets the sea. A confirmed tourism hub in Galicia, Sanxenxo’s coastline is peppered with little coves and beaches and cool bars where you can take the weight off and take in the views.

This historic town was once the most important in the region as a hub for trade and fishing. Nowadays it is known for its delightful beaches and the Renaissance ‘Arrival Festival’ that occurs every 1st of March. Don’t miss the sunset from Monterreal Fort and its famous Príncipe Tower and the charming nearby cliff walks.


Beaches

Forget the Costa del Sol and all the tourists that throng to it, Galicia is awash with beautiful beaches, curious coves and stunning river estuaries. Its 1,700km of wild coastline gives way to an astonishing array of beaches that range from golden sand to the purest white.

Much of the shoreline features sheer rock faces and tiny villages that cling to cliffs, giving you views to die for and activities a-plenty. You’re never too far from the scent of freshly grilled seafood, and you can easily find boat trips, snorkel hire and island escapades in the plethora of seaside towns.

 

 

 

 


Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Right up at Spain’s northernmost point, you’ll find Bares beach – or Praia de Bares – a hook-shaped, 1km stretch of beach that has a backdrop of dense forest leading right up to the sand. There’s a tiny village too where you can organise boat trips out onto the gorgeous turquoise water.

The longest stretch of sand in all of Galicia, Playa de Carnota makes for an unmissable beach day. The white sand here makes the calm water an almost Caribbean blue, the perfect spot to bob about in and enjoy the mountain backdrop.

The rock arches from the sand right up to the cliffs define this beach as one of the most unique in all of Spain. Sculpted by the swirling seas, these rock formations have been compared to the buttresses and vaultings of cathedrals, hence the beach’s name.

Found on the Cíes islands just off the coast of Vigo, this tropical-seeming paradise comprises a beautiful, sheltered beach on one side of the island, with the crashing waves of the Atlantic into the lagoon at the beach’s backdrop.

Galacia travel: Getting there and around

Galicia is found in the northwest corner of Spain and is well connected to the rest of the country by modern train routes and roads. You can get trains from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela in 3 hours.

You can also enter the region by sea via the port cities of A Coruña and Vigo.

Alternatively fly into Santiago de Compostela, the largest city and capital of the region. Here, you'll have multiple car hire options.



By car

To get the most out of Galicia, it will be easiest to have access to a car. Parking is generally cheap and easy to find out in the rural areas. In towns, parking is heavily regulated. Make sure you are aware that:

•    Blue zones indicate that you have to use a parking meter.
•    Green areas are often more expensive than blue areas as they are reserved primarily for local residents.
•    Red zones are not free and are often placed in tourist areas.


By train

The Spanish national rail company Renfe operates short-distance services throughout the region as well as long-distance journeys that connect Galicia with the rest of Spain and to Portugal. Take a look at their handy Discounts page which may serve very useful if you’re travelling in a group or with older or younger members of your group.


By ferry

While you can’t access Galicia directly from the UK by ferry, a recommended option is to take the Brittany Ferries service from Portsmouth to Santander and embark on a coastal drive from Santander (Cantabria) through Asturias and into Galicia. The drive can take up to 4.5 hours but is well worth it for added scenery en route.


By foot

Galicia was made for exploring on foot. From awesome and very walkable towns and beachfront promenades to nature trails and coastal walks, you won’t need much encouragement to set out on a walk. A leisurely pace very much suits this area of the world.

From the blog...