This journey along the Autopista Del Atlantico travels across the northernmost region of Spain in Galicia, a green land on the roaring Atlantic, similar to Scotland, and abundant with colourful tradition and culture.
Coruña’s history centres mainly around its harbour. In ancient times the city was an important seaport and under Roman occupation it was known as Flavium Brigantium. Legend has it that the vivacious Maria Pita revolted against the former pirate Sir Francis Drake and thus assisted in the liberation of the city. The Santiago De Compostela Cathedral is said to be the most outstanding monument in Spain. It covers 23,000 square metres and took more than a hundred years to build.
Pontevedra is a city on the mouth of the Rio Lérez. Cobbled pavements lead past splendid Pazos, the residential palaces of the city’s old trading families.
Two hundred kilometres long, the Galician coast represents thirty per cent of the Spanish coastline. Its strategic location once made Galicia an ideal haunt for smugglers and pirates and its tiny villages give the impression that time has stood still.
A large chain bridge leads to Vigo with gently sloping wooded hills that surround Galicia’s most dynamic city. The narrow alleys of the old town of Berbés with its pretty middle class houses, arcades and historic squares indicate the dramatic history of this battle-scarred city.
The journey via the Autopista Del Atlantico through the captivating and dramatic landscape of one of Europe’s most beautiful regions is one that covers much Spanish history swathed in the rich ambience of a truly golden past.