The geography and climate of Galicia
Galicia is in the north west of Spain. Above it lays the Mar Cantabrico or Bay of Biscay, whilst to the west is the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Galicia also has an international boundary with Portugal and national boundaries with other Spanish regions including Asturias.
The region is divided into 4 provinces, namely, la Coruna, Ourense, Pontevedra and Lugo. Each province has a capital that takes its name from that of the province. The regional capital of Galicia is Santiago de Compostela in la Coruna district. In addition to the cities named above, Ferrol and Vigo (the latter with the regions biggest population) are the other main population centres of the area.
Galicia has a long expanse of coast and this is divided into what are described as the rias altas and rias baxias, or upper and lowers bays. It is the protected nature of these bays which, it is claimed, result in the distinctive and superior taste of shellfish from the Galician waters. Galicia has a higher count of beaches on its coastline than any other region in Spain.
The Galician climate is one of four seasons and the region is often referred to (by other Spaniards) as the wet or rainy region. Despite this, it is those in the south and central cities of Spain that flee to Galicia in July and August to enjoy the hot, but not oppressive, summer weather. The local geography is also dramatically different from that of Spains south with meadows, hills and mountains all demonstration why Galicia is nick-named Green Spain. The area is also known as the region of rivers and has several long rivers including the Mino and Sil covering large swathes of Galicia before running off into the sea.
A few facts and figures
- The city with the biggest population = Vigo
- Population of Galicia = 3 million approx.
- The number of British ex pats living in the region = less than 1000
- The number of provinces = 4
- All but 7 of the areas towns and cities have a population of less than 50 000 inhabitants
- It is approx 2 000 km from (London) England to Galicia
- Galicia is an autonomous (self governing) region
- Summer temperatures can reach 30 to 35 degrees centigrade and although uncommon, it can freeze in winter