Galicia, Spain’s northwest province, is a beautiful place that anyone studying in Madrid should take the time to visit. Its prime location—the region has borders with Portugal, the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea—allows visitors to take in a variety of views from the vantage point of one place.
Some of you might have heard of Galicia’s key feature, Cape Finisterre; its nickname is the “end of the world,” because in ancient times it was believed to be so. And while modern geography has proved this theory wrong, the views from this site still can’t be beat. From Cape Finisterre, you can enjoy a panoramic view of water that you won’t find anywhere else—especially not on your average beach.
After taking in the beautiful water views, Galicia’s city of Santiago should be high on your list. Here, you can find the city’s cathedral of Saint James; furthermore, this city marks an important site on the Camino de Santiago, the famous ancient pilgrim route. The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages; by walking any of the various routes, you can get a great workout, beautiful views of Spain, and go back in time—all in one sitting. People come from all around the world to participate in the Camino de Santiago, and I highly recommend that you become one of them.
If walking isn’t your thing, there are still other activities to do—for instance, visiting the University of Santiago de Compostela (maybe you can rent a scooter to do so?). By wandering around, you can see the city’s history, as the university date back to the 1400s. So if you’re sick of your own university already, why not go see another one? You get to take in new views, AND the professors there won’t give you any homework.
Finally, I’ll end with everybody’s favorite feature of any region: food. My motto is “sweets first,” so satisfy your sweet tooth by trying Tarta de Santiago, the town’s most popular almond cake dessert. After this, you can dive into the savory options—from Pulpo á Feira (paprika and olive oil-cooked octopus) to the freshest seafood of your life, you can’t go wrong.
So if any of your upcoming weekends in Madrid are free, I recommend—better yet, I encourage—you to head over to northwest Spain. And if you’re too lazy to plan your own trip, let us help you out!