Vigo – Galicia’s largest city
With the region’s largest population and a massive port there are still many who feel that it should be Vigo and not Pontevedra that holds the provincial title. Wars and disputes between these two cities have raged on for centuries, but now a peace is maintained with Vigo’s economic importance acknowledged throughout Galicia.
General information about Vigo
Vigo is a relatively short distance from Pontevedra city and it lies on the coast in its own ria. It is undoubtedly Galicia’s premier commercial centre although foreign tourists have not really discovered this destination yet. However, the Spanish love it and it is renown for having its own unique micro climate with ambient air and sea temperatures that are higher than those of Galicia’s other major cities.
Vigo’s big population is still only approximately one third of a million, offering an indication of the sparse population and massive open spaces that Galicia has to offer. The most dominating feature of Vigo is probably is large port that literally runs for kilometres. It also has a very upmarket sports marina and a newly refurbished old district.
Due to its status and visting business community, Vigo has many hotels and it is ideally located for anyone wishing to explore southern Galicia.
Buildings and historic monuments in Vigo
Fact and tip 1. The many Spaniards who holiday in Vigo do so to escape the oppressive heat of the central and southern parts of the country. They see Vigo as having a culture and climate that is very different to that of Spain’s south. They also enjoy Vigo’s beaches, two of which are regarded as amongst the best in the region (more below).
Fact and tip 2. Vigo and the towns close by can certainly claim to be in possession of some great beaches with long sandy streches and a protected climate. Whether you like your beaches deserted or packed, Vigo can deliver. The beach side facilities (e.g. showers etc) at Vigo’s beaches are very good.
Fact and tip 3. Vigo is famous for the knight Templars, the guardians of the Roman Catholic religion and the cities symbol is the olive tree which they bestowed upon it. Although history now questions this story, the people of Vigo beleive it to be true. You will see artifacts and hear of myths and stories connected with the knight Templars in this city.
Fact and tip 4. Vigo is the most modern forward looking and future embracing city in Galicia and many attribute this to its economic success. Despite this, its once derelict monumental area has been cleaned, refurbished and generally brought back to life over the last few years.
This historic district runs down a hill that starts close to the new town and reaches the marina. It has some attractive buildings and is now a very pleasant area to explore.
Commuting to Vigo and beyond
There is an airport close to Vigo that offers some internal flights. International airports at la Coruna and Santiago de Compostela serve the whole of Galicia and are just over one hours drive away from Vigo city.
Driving to Vigo from other parts of Galicia is very straightforward. This important city is well served by roads and toll motorways. This means that you can get into or out of Vigo very quickly.
Foreigners to Vigo are few, but most like the city which is also serviced by a railway network.