Galicia is a region located in the North-Western corner of Spain, bordering with Portugal. Thanks to its geography and weather, it has a very rich gastronomy. From fresh fish and seafood from the Atlantic Sea to excellent wines from the Ribeiro river region, any foodie would enjoy tasting the flavors of Galicia. The following are a selection of 4 Galicia tours that will help you try the best foods and drinks this region has to offer.
TAKEAWAY: Galicia has Celtic influences that can still be found in many aspects of its culture such as the music, the language, the mythology and, of course, the food. Queimada is a typical beverage drank in festivals that perfectly represents the Celtic roots. It is made of orujo (a local “aguardiente” – burning water – or moonshine), coffee beans, lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon. While locals prepare this drink in a pot of clay, they recite a spell to keep evil spirits away and then, they light the drink on fire. This ceremony binds together the water (orujo), the earth (the clay pot) and the fire, following a Celtic tradition.
Tapas in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the end point of the pilgrimage of Saint James Way. While it is a great city to visit all-year-round, if you go towards the end of July you will be able to enjoy the celebrations of Saint James’ Day on the 25th. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that’s where this food tour takes place. Accompanied by a local food expert, you will stop at a few bars to taste local red and white wines and some popular and delicious Spanish tapas selected by your guide. Pulpo á Feira (Galician style octopus), Spanish tortilla, pimientos de padrón (fried green peppers) and shellfish are some of the foods you will try on this tapas tour in Santiago. If you prefer, you can also enjoy a tapas tour in the cities of Vigo, Lugo or Baiona.
Culinary Boat Trip and Coastal Walk Through the Rias Baixas
Departing from Vigo (the second biggest fishing port of Europe), a ferry will take you through the Bay of Vigo and its estuary to the small fishing town of Cangas. From there, you will get to take a walk through a coastal trail. Once there, you will get some great views of the Cíes Islands National Park. These three islands are uninhabited, but its beaches can be visited and are considered some of the most beautiful in Spain. After the walk, you will return to Cangas to lunch at a local tavern where you’ll taste some local delicacies like octopus, Tetilla cheese, croquettes and green peppers. Accompany these tapas with a selection of Galician wines from different regions for a perfect flavor combination.
Wine Tasting at Ribeiro Region
Galicia has a recognized wine industry with five certificates of origin: Monterrei, Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro, and Valdeorras. However, the Ribeiro region is the most famous of them all. At the center of Ribeiro is the historical town of Ribadavia, surrounded by rivers, mountains, and vineyards. Therefore, it’s the perfect place to go visit a winery. On this tour, you will have the pleasure of tasting some of the best red and white local wines. You will learn to appreciate all the different hints, aromas, and the peculiarities of each grape variety. Furthermore, you will enjoy a gourmet lunch featuring some fresh quality ingredients like meats, fish, and vegetables.
Complete Galicia Foodie Tour
Finally, if you are looking for a complete foodie trip, a four-day culinary tour is your best choice. This longer stay will allow you to best enjoy and understand Galician cuisine. For instance, you will visit the famous food Market of Santiago. There, you’ll not only see all the fresh produce and daily catch, but you’ll also participate in a hands-on cooking class with an expert chef. You will eat what you cooked, and you will learn several local recipes that you can further try at home to impress your friends and family.
Moreover, you will meet local clam diggers that will teach you how they dig clams the traditional way and local winners that will tell you the secrets of their best Albariño wines. You can’t miss a tapas tour through the Old Quarter or dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant. That will enable you to compare many Galician preparations, from the simplest to the most refined.
As you can see, Galicia has many cultural and culinary adventures to offer. It’s a beautiful region that has learned to mix the products of the sea and the earth to create distinctive flavors that will delight any foodie’s taste buds. And the best way to experience it all and don’t miss a thing is to sign up for one of these tours for foodies in Galicia. Which one suits you better?