North-West Spain: Galicia
Discover Galicia: a different Spain. Away from the costas, away from mass tourism you will find silence in a beautiful mountain landscape, forming an interesting contrast with the rías, a kind of low fjords formed by the Atlantic Ocean. It is a land of rocks, stones, granite and lush mountains. Its climate is mild, with pleasantly warm summers, occasional rain and beautiful colours in autumn, and some snow in winter. Everywhere you see those typical granite granaries, hórreos in Spanish and crosses by the wayside.
This particular version of our tour through Galicia takes place in winter, which adds a very special flavour to it. There is likely to be snow, not too much, making for even more interesting driving than the trip is in other seasons. It’s still very doable, though, with a standard 4×4 as long as it’s got all terrain tyres (mud terrain tyres are less advisable).
Evenin winter it’s not always white. The colours are beautiful, though.
Check out this video for an impression of the kind of tracks we drive:
Into the mountains
Our 4×4 journey starts in the province of Ourense, in the southern part of Galicia, close to the Portuguese border. For a long time this area was isolated from the rest of Galicia: the mountains made it hard to reach. With the construction of roads this has improved and both its standard of living and its liveliness have picked up substantially.
Its peace and quiet have been kept and those same mountains make it attractive for us to traverse with our 4x4s. Tracks not accessible for regular cars, are open to us, making for stunning views and interesting driving.
Soon after our start on the first day, we get onto a track that leads through the Sierra (mountain range) of San Mamede, offering beautiful views of the valley below us. We descend to Montederramo, where there is an imposing convent.
On our way we come through a small village renowned for its many hórreos.
Valley of the river Sil
The river Sil has created a magnificent valley. We drive some long tracks, offering terrific views time and again.
Santiago de Compostela
Of course we also visit Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the famous pilgrim’s way. When we are there it’s the low season, meaning its streets are not overcrowded and we have plenty of time and to wander the streeets and admire the cathedral.
Peace and quiet
The roads we travel, including those on tarmac, are invariably beautiful. We drive slowly, stop a lot and generally do no more than 100 kms per day. Sometimes, though, we have to do our best to get through the harder parts of the track: either by guiding each other or by removing trees that have fallen across the track.
The dates in the calendar are the days that you are on the trip. In the afternoon before day one, we get together in the neighbourhood of Xinzo de Limia, just north of the Portuguese border. We end near Cap Finisterre in the afternoon of the last day. Thus the trip takes seven full days.
If you want to join this trip, but haven’t got a suitable 4×4, you can use our Land Rover Defender 110 against an extra charge, if available. Contact us for more details.
- Seven overnight stays in comfortable hotels, including breakfast
- Welcome dinner
- Researched and prepared route
- Trip description
- Support car with two guides
- Walkie talkie in your car
- Other meals
- Overnight stays on your way to and from Galicia
The trip is approximately 600 kms long, with 60% on tracks. It is at times somewhat challenging, especially in winter. A low-range gearbox is a must, as are good all terain tyres. No special preparation of your vehicle is necessary.
It can be pretty cold, no basking in the sun on this trip.
About four weeks before the trip, you will receive extensive information with the route, the day-to-day itineraries, all the hotels and everything else that you need to prepare for a successful journey.