The autonomous community of Galicia is divided into four provinces that make up the region of Galicia as a whole. Each province has its own provincial capital city and each of these capitals takes its name from the province it heads.
The provinces are, la Coruna, Pontevedra, Ourense and Lugo. The capital of the Galician region is Santiago de Compostela which lies in la Coruna, but is not the capital of the la Coruna province!. Below the ads you will find some general information about each of these four provinces.
This is the best known and most prosperous of the four provinces and it has three cities, la Coruna itself, Santiago de Compostela and Ferrol. La Coruna has a long coastal border and a number of tourist attracting towns within it. It also possesses two international airports and the regional parliament. La Coruna attracts more overseas tourists than the other three provinces combined. It is also the easiest province to explore without a car and many of its visitors confine their stay to Santiago de Compostela, possibly with a day trip to la Coruna city.
With Galicia’s largest city, Vigo, the Pontevedra province has a powerful economy and is popular with domestic and overseas tourists. It also has the small city of Tui and a significant coastline containing many beaches. Pontevedra is known for having the best climate in the region, no doubt due to its comparatively southern location. Vigo city has an international airport and the province has both an agricultural and seafaring heritage. An increasing number of foreign tourist split their Galician holiday between stays in la Coruna’s Santiago and either Pontevedra or Vigo.
As Galicia’s only province without a coastline, Ourense has historically been a farming community and is also the region’s least economically prosperous territory. With a driving time of one and a half to two hours from Santiago de Compostela, Ourense’s capital is relatively unvisited by tourists and its scenery is amongst the best in Spain. The drawback to Ourense is its accessibility, with no major roads linking it to any of the region’s other capitals.
Geographically Lugo is the largest of the four provinces and manages to touch the coast as well as encompassing large swathes of mountainous landscapes. Although the province’s most popular tourist draw is the capital city with its walled old town, Lugo has a number of towns and some truly spectacular scenery. Like the other provinces, Lugo also possesses a number of Celtic ruins known as Castros and has some hill forts, monasteries and tiny villages, some precariously perched on mountain tops. Lugo is the province for those wishing to explore rural Galicia, especially if they have hired their own transport.