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I first visited Galicia over 25 years ago, on the pilgrim old road linking the holy city of Santiago de Compestela, and Tui on the Portuguese border. My memories were of lush countryside, with dramatic mountains, heavily wooded with eucalyptus, pine and oak, deep gorges, wide estuaries, and terraced farmland with vines, orange trees and colourful shrubs. And I wanted to return.
My next visit was 7 years ago by sea, and my memories were enriched by the charm of the rugged and beautiful coastline, with the five rivers of Galicia forming individual and varied estuaries and headlands like the fingers of a giant hand.
The River Miño is the longest river in Galicia , forms part of the border with Portugal and is unspoilt with an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding area. The air and water is clean with small, quiet sandy beaches dotted almost 25 kilometres from the estuary and its guardian, Monte Tecla, with its loftily placed Celtic settlement .
Indeed there are many reminders of the areas Celtic past, in the traditional costume, instruments and music, and the countryside inland has similar beauty to that of Celtic Britain and Ireland . The resemblance ends there with the food and weather.
Summer temperatures are often similar to southern Spain, with mild moister weather during the winter months.
Delicious fresh seafood is the base of local fayre and is complemented with organic vegetables pork and chicken. Local restaurants are plentiful, and reasonably priced, and tapas can be washed down with excellent locally produced wines.
There are woodland walks near to the finca, and a clean river beach is only ten minutes by foot.
A short distance away is the old frontier town of Tui , with cobbled streets and a cathedral dedicated to San Telmo, patron saint of fishermen.
Even nearer on the coast is the fishing port of La Guardia , the lobster capital of Galicia , with Monte Tecla standing guard over the river entrance. The hill behind the finca has super views of the estuary and Miño Valley , whilst wild horses abound in mountains beyond where pony trekking and mountain bikes can be organised.
There are scenic mountain and coastal routes to Bayona, a smart seaside resort, where lies a replica of Columbus 's Pinta, a caravel which brought the news of the new lands to the Spanish King.
Bayona has a wonderful walk around the fortaleza promontory, with boat trips out to the magical Islas Cies, and a choice of beaches of varying size and seclusion.
It is always worth spending a day here finishing up with tapas and watching the Spanish 'paseo'.