Unknown and unspoiled gems in Galicia

Galicia is full of fascinating spots, such as perfect villages to see in a day or unspoilt beaches located in natural parks. However, there are still many unknown gems in Galicia. The beauty of these areas is perfect for a morning or even a whole day, and even more so if accompanied by the excellent Galician cuisine. Have you ever been to one of these unknown gems in Galicia?

Cape Touriñán

gems in Galicia
Photo: Basotxerri

Cape Fisterra is usually known as the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, but geographically it is Cape Touriñan, located in Muxia, in the province of A Coruña. It is one of those unknown gems for many that one must visit in order to enjoy spectacular views. The construction of the Touriñán lighthouse was carried out with the aim of guiding boats during the journey, as the waters here are very dangerous.

gems in Galicia
Photo: turismo.gal

Here there is a path that borders the cape, bringing the hiker closer to the breathtaking views of the Gaivoteira cliffs. Under this 11-metre-high lighthouse, one can enjoy privileged views of the Atlantic Ocean. Looking down on the right, the Laxe dos Buxeirados, an imposing sandbank that goes into the sea. Twice a year, between March 21 and April 25, and later, from August 13 to September 22, Touriñan is the last place in continental Europe to see the sun set.

Oseira Monastery

gems in Galicia
Photo: turismo.gal

In the Sierra Martiña, in the province of Orense, is the monastery of Oseira. With its eight centuries of history, it is in excellent condition. Located in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Cea, its existence is known since 1137. It later became a monastery of the Cistercian Order.

gems in Galicia
Chapter Room | Photo: Lansbricae

Some of the most striking areas of the monastery of Oseira is the church, built between 1200 and 1239. Considered one of the masterpieces of Cistercian architecture in Spain, it has a characteristic Romanesque Gothic style. Influenced by pilgrimage churches, this monastery is part of the Sanabrés or Mozarabic Way, an alternative end to the Silver Way. For its part, the monastery’s chapter house is popularly known as the “hall of palms“, a name that alludes to the architecture of its columns. It dates back to the end of the 15th century.

Basilica of San Martiño de Mondoñedo

gems in Galicia
Photo: Yeza

In the town of Foz, in Lugo, the picturesque basilica of San Martiño de Mondoñedo awaits as one of the unknown gems in Galicia. Considered to be the oldest cathedral in Spain, the current building is Romanesque, specifically from the end of the 11th century, although the buttresses were built in the 18th century. It has been catalogued as an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1931.

Next to the basilica is the fountain of A Zapata. According to the legend, the bishop San Gonzalo threw a shoe here and water sprang up in the place, the same water that some believe has miraculous properties.

Lighthouse of Cape Ortegal

The views from the Cape Ortegal lighthouse are one of those unknown gems in Galicia that deserve to be included in a visit to A Coruña. Located to the north of the town of Cariño, Cabo Ortegal is a very mountainous peninsula formed by two points. One of them is Punta dos Aguillóns, where the lighthouse is located, and the other is Punta do Limo. In the surroundings you can see a series of spectacular cliffs.

gems in Galicia
Photo: Vicente Villamón

At the Punta dos Aguillóns you can find the real zero kilometre where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cantabrian Sea. For its part, the Cape of Ortegal lighthouse rises on a rock at no less than 100 metres above sea level, defying the strong wind and the bravery of the sea. From the lighthouse you can see the stones of Os Aguillóns, which emerge in a northward direction.

Thus, on rainy days, at Punta do Limo, you can see the waterfalls of the Limo River, which fall into the sea from 300 metres above sea level. Finally, between the two points is the Ensenada da Cova, an arch from which unique rock formations such as the “Lonja da Moreira” are born. In summer, the sunsets from the Punta do Limo are a real spectacle.

Castro da Lanzada

gems in Galicia
Photo: web turismoriasbaixas

A Lanzada is one of the best beach areas in the Rias Baixas, in Pontevedra, but it also hides places with a lot of history. Next to the beach of Area Gorda and Praia de Foxos there is a castro dating from the 8th century BC. The site includes a castro, a necropolis, a chapel and a medieval fortification. Due to its ideal location, it was a good commercial site. It is located in the parish of Noalla, in Sanxenxo, and is established on a headland that goes into the sea. In the vicinity are the remains of a medieval fortress called the tower of the Lanzada. The chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Lanzada also stands in this location.

“Bank” of Loiba

Photo: Amaianos

On the coast of Loiba, in the municipality of Ortigueira, there is a very special bench. It is popularly known as “the most beautiful bench in the world” due to the inscription that can be read on it (actual inscription “the best bank of the world”). From this bench you can enjoy privileged views of the coast located between the cape of Estaca de Bares to cape Ortegal.

gems in Galicia
Cliffs of Loiba | Photo: Onioram

Without a doubt, the history surrounding this bench is very peculiar. In 2009, a neighbor from the parish of Loiba decided to install a wooden bench on the edge of this cliff on his own. One year later, during the Ortigueira Festival, a group of Scottish musicians who were participating in the festival visited the area and wrote behind the bench the already famous phrase “the best bank of the world”. The translation of “bank“, which actually means bank of a financial institution, refers to the cut of the cliff. Since that day, every time the bench is restored, the sentence is copied.

*Main photo: Vicente Villamón

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