Recreation, sport and entertainment
There is always something to do in Galicia, but Spain’s theme parks, water parks and streets of English style eateries disappear long before the Galician border is reached. Organised shows with dancing, singing, English speaking compares and comedians are also absentees and the entertainment that you will find is designed for local consumption rather than foreign holiday makers.
In Galicia, recreation and entertainment is not provided specifically for the international holiday maker and the organisation of holiday activities that many take for granted are absent in this region. Entertainment is however all around, but rather than being themed or contrived, it is an integral part of the Galician culture.
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Eating and drinking is a big part of the Galician lifestyle and restaurants and bars can be found everywhere. The seafood obsession in this region becomes apparent in any restaurant where dishes comprising fish and shellfish proliferate. Tapas is also popular and again it is usually centred around something caught in a net or extracted from a submerged rock or sand bed. Local specialities include octopus and a mollusc called goose barnacles, but dishes of pork, chicken, veal and beef are also popular, as are a number of stews which the locals enjoy during their cool winters. Eating times in Galicia also deviate from those of most other nations with the evening meal taking place between 11.00pm and midnight. Most restaurants do not open until 8.30pm or 9.00pm in the evening.
Sport is ever popular in Galicia and even the smallest town will have municipal tennis courts and football grounds. Surprisingly, not just bars, but many restaurants will have TV’s showing national league football matches and the obsession with this sport is evident everywhere. Golf, whilst not as popular in the north of Spain as the south, is played in Galicia and there are a number of fine courses across the region although their numbers are limited. Adventure golf, ten pin bowling and similar pastimes have yet to reach Galicia where the more mundane activity of taking a walk in the evening and then enjoying a family dinner still dominates everyday life.
For a taste of regional entertainment, Galicia’s festivals offer a chance to see culture, music, dancing and often some elaborate outfits, floral displays and fireworks. Festivals take place all year round although most are in the summer months of July and August. Anyone is free to watch and participate in these events and they vary from town to town, often celebrating a Saint’s day or some regional anniversary. The larger festivals, e.g. that of Saint James’ day at Santiago de Compostela, are massive spectacles with concerts, fireworks and attended by tens of thousands of party goers. Some festivals last a day whilst other may extend to four or five days and encompass a number of different activities.