Galicia is a place to be explored from end to end, slowly: crossing forests, rivers, walking along its beaches and greeting all the pilgrims we may meet on the way. Choosing the most beautiful villages in Galicia seems really difficult because of the great cultural and landscape diversity this land holds. For this reason, we have drawn a route through which we present some of the most beautiful. All of them can be seen in a day, so you have no excuse to prepare a short getaway.
Combarro is a postcard place. Since 1972, it has been classified as a Historic-Artistic Ensemble. You can walk through the picturesque alleys of its Old Town, take a peaceful stroll through its port and stop for lunch in one of its many restaurants with spectacular sea views. The most remarkable element about this place is, undoubtedly, the numerous wooden and stone granaries, many of them hanging in front of the sea. We should also add the repair of networks as well as the fishing boats entering and leaving the port, in an attempt to try their luck.
O Cebreiro must on no account be left out of our list of the most beautiful villages in Galicia. It is the entrance to Galicia from the French Way and, therefore, a relaxing place for the pilgrims to rest after a great effort to cross the mountain. This small village is one of the few that has preserved the typical pallozas, pre-Roman homes. One of these little houses opens every day as ethnographic museum showing the simplicity of life in those places. On the other hand, you can also visit the village’s pre-Romanesque temple and try the delicious O Cebreiro cheese with a designation of origin. In winter, all televisions usually echo the first snows that cover the area. Although this is a show to be seen all year round, visiting the village during this season ensures an indelible memory.
According to the legend, the streets of this charming village were paved with the stones of a castle that existed in the past. This place has a medieval touch which is reflected in its quiet plazas, monumental churches and in the hydraulic mills you can see around. Alfonso X the Wise, a very popular monarch in Spanish history, was educated and resided for a long time in Allariz. And, as they say that everything is perfectly linked, this village must have contributed to his renowned wisdom. Be that as it may, it is a surprising place in which the Church of Santiago, the Convent of Santa Clara and the strange Jewish neighborhood really stand out. Another attraction for many visitors and locals is the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing walk on the banks of the Arnoia River.
In the border between Rías Baixas and las Altas, this noble stone-built village opens up to the sea. Despite the existence of many fishing communities, scattered throughout the Galician coast, Muros is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in Galicia. The strong contrast between the water and the green of its mountains captivates every visitor who comes to spend a few days. When walking through the old town you can see traditional fishermen and noble architecture houses, small squares, fountains, cruceiros (stone crosses) etc. Its winding streets guide you through many charming spots, such as the Parochial Church or the old mill of Chacón.
Tui is an enclave on the banks of Miño, amply proving how capricious nature can become. It is a dominant hill at the foot of the river with an imposing cathedral located at the top. Between this enclave and the river, other spots of interest such as Paseo de la Corredera or the Monjas Clarisas Tunnel can be found.
Medieval times left a surprising monumental heritage in Monforte. The capital of Ribeira Sacra was a great example of a fortress city at that time, located around a monastery, with a castle strategically placed on a mound, the River Cabe running at its feet, and surrounded by a walled enclosure with several defensive towers. The well-known Escorial de Galicia, the Poor Clare’s Convent, the County palace (where the Parador de Turismo is located), and the monumental site of San Vicente do Pino are the aces this Galician village keeps under its sleeve.
It would be impossible to make a complete list of the most beautiful villages in Galicia as each and every one of its corners is special and unique. However, we have already made our bet. Are any of your favorite villages missing?
Texto: Carolina Cárcamo Villar