Galicia region in northern Spain is a real heaven for seafood and wine lovers. And we definitely are the ones! Living in Porto makes it very easy visiting our neighbors and explore this part of Spain on one or two-days trip, so it is a kind of program that we do quite often.
We like Galicia a lot because it is less touristic than many other regions in Spain and you still can feel and experience the local culture in its most authentic way. It also has plenty of beautiful beaches (the water is cold, but living in Porto we are used to it) and has a very rich gastronomy. Today we will tell you more in detail about one of our favorite weekend programs in Galicia to enjoy 2 things we love – seafood and wine! We are talking about Rias Bajas boat trip.
Normally, we wake up early morning and hit the road. Then after 2,5 hours driving, we reach a small fisherman coastal town called O Grove. We get there just by lunchtime (there is a different time zone in Spain, so in Galicia it is 1 hour ahead of Portugal). In the harbor, there are several companies offering boat trips, but the program and the prices are very similar. So, just choose the next one and enjoy your day! The ticket costs about 10€ and it’s great value for money considering what you are going to experience!
Every tour lasts about 1,5 hours and includes several experiences. You will enjoy a nice time on board, with amazing views. The boats have an open deck, so with good weather, you may also catch some sun.
First, you will learn about the growing and harvesting process of mussels and scallops. You will see an endless “field” of nurseries where they are growing for several years. The production is massive! When your boat parks in one of those nurseries, you can expect to see the crew members of the boat jump into it and collect the fruits de mer that you are already drooling for! They explain everything about the growth and harvesting and give you some facts and figures of the industry (be aware that it’s all in Spanish but you can ask for guides with other languages). Normally, the boats also have a panoramic glass floor in the bottom, so you can also observe the underwater part – clams and mussels growing on the huge cords!
The panorama is breathtaking with clear waters, plenty of fish (you can see them through the glass bottom), and of course seagulls that you can feed during your journey… those beasts really fancy mussels 🙂. Once we were even lucky to see some dolphins following our boat!
After some theory, let’s get to practice! By that time and after all the educational part of the program, you may be already hungry. So, there comes the awaited reward – fresh seafood tasting! And to make it even better, you are also offered great regional wine!
Fresh mussels cooked onboard… from the water directly to your plate! And the best part is… it’s all you can eat (and also your seagull friends! 🙂) This delicious treat is served with white wine from the region at freezing temperature… hmm… perfect combination! If you are a “good fork” and you do love your wine, by this time you must be thinking that you are where you are supposed to be!
Music is loud, people are happy, smiling and dancing, and what seemed to be a cultural boat trip to learn about fauna and flora of the north of Spain, suddenly turns into a party all the way back to the port. It’s really good fun and by the time you reach the land you can be sure that you will:
After all of this, the day is not over! There is still plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful fisherman village of O Grove, perhaps enjoy some tapas bars to try specialties of Galician cuisine or just walk around the old center with narrow picturesque streets. There are also a lot of restaurants, but after the mussels feast, it’s difficult you will manage to put some more food in your belly… But, if by any chance you are a tough one and manage to do that, we highly recommend trying every kind of seafood Galicia has to offer, the cheeses, and the smoked meats… they are just fantastic! If you go for any of these options nothing can go wrong!
Close to the O Grove village, you can also find the island of La Tocha. It is a small island with a soap factory in the middle where you can appreciate the elegant facilities, learn about their operation and of course… shopping! Plenty of natural cosmetics are available at pretty decent prices. There is also a small traditional market with handcraft and traditional food goodies from the region that you can take home and appreciate later on to remember the wonderful day you spend in this area. In La Tocha we usually also do a picnic because it has nice green areas and by the river, you can always find a nice spot to enjoy some quality time with your family and friends over a bottle of your favorite wine.
And that’s it! If you are in northern part of Spain, Galicia offers a perfect one-day getaway to enjoy the best things in life: family and friends, good food, great wine, and mesmerizing nature. And all of that without a big plan or high costs. What more could you ask for?
Enjoy and… see you Around The World!
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