Galifornia: reasonable similarities between the two west coasts
Incredulous: it is said of those who label the northwest of the peninsula as an ice cube where it does not stop raining. Galifornians: It is said of those who break with the topics and find in Galicia the summer in all its splendor, in blue flag beaches and paradisiacal landscapes. And yes, that the Atlantic water is freezing and that if Galicia they have about 70 terms to define the rain "there must be a reason". But who warns is not a traitor: the northwest veranillos are pure Galifornia.
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Galicia is GALIFORNIA © Alamy
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Las Rías Baixas (or why paradise is closer than you think)
Freak-show Venice Beach
Just like Patti Smith sang to Redondo Beach and Coutney Love to Malibu, the Total Sinister sang to Samil (and Cíes). And no, it is not trivial.
The beaches of Galicia are something else: some more wild, almost tucked into the mountain (or rather, just out of it), others more typical and topical, such as Samil in Vigo. Life in the long Samil (almost two kilometers) revolves around the promenade, with its restaurants, basketball courts, terraces and even swimming pools.
But beyond the cement mole (which occupies some ancient natural dunes ...), It has a certain tacky charm, so that you deserve to overflow with people, on vacations of another era, of refrigerators full of tuppers, of that beach of large family, of a typical group of friends exercising without a shirt in an improvised gym, throwing the pachanga in the sun or skating on the slopes on the other side of the promenade. It is another world. Not very different from freak show American (and I say freak show with all the 'agarimo') from beaches like Venice.
Samil beach in Vigo © iStock
Wild beaches in the Big Sur
And then we have the coves, the wild beaches, the hidden ones between pine trees and carballeiras... Those are the beaches “More Californian Big Sur”, like the cliffs of the Costa da Morte. This legendary land of violent tides takes a break on beaches like Or face (Perhaps one of the best sunsets in the Community?) or Carnota's, seven kilometers where we find dunes, marshes and a sandy area with views of the Cape Fisterra.
There are even beaches that are works of art. It is the case of Arealonga whose difficult access leads to a greater reward: the beach is located next to the castro de Baroña, millennia of history mixed with torsos in the sun. This is Galicia. The beach of the Cathedrals is natural art. The rock formations invite (at low tide) to walk among caves, caverns and galleries created by the erosion of the rough sea.
La Guapura continues south, towards Rías Baixas, with incontestable beauty queens like Melide, within the natural space of Cabo Home, or Barra Beach, collected and intimate, perfect for sunbathing completely naked. But in addition to the sandy beaches, the Galician coast is to investigate, cala a cala.
Praia do Mar de Fora in Finisterre © iStock
Beyond C (g) alifornia: the Caribbean touch
The Cies Island and the Ons Islands, more than Galifornia They are a kind of Galician Caribbean. They deserve a point and apart: they deserve a couple of days of exploration, walking, beach and chicory in the sun.
Here are the most beautiful beaches (like Rhodes or Nosa Madam in Cíes; Melide or Pereiro in Ons) here the sun itches until it burns and the water freezes to numb the joints (what is going to be done, it could not be perfect).
We recommend being forecasters in summer times to reserve a place in both campsites. But beyond the beach, theirs is to kick the islands, observe the fauna and the views of the open Atlantic or the estuaries. Too.
Seagull prepared for the attack in the Cies Islands © Alamy
For the novels in the art of Galician playeo, we warn of the existence of the odd sea being bloody. It's not about the white shark of the American coasts (although you doubt, "habelas haylas"). In Galicia they are more than golfers (dolphins, but of the other 'golfiños' there are also) and of pout, small fish with poisonous thorns on their head that hide under the sand waiting for a bare foot to step on them. It goes a long way. Bring crabs if the Red Cross post is full of lame bathers.
And watch out for the seagulls. Hyper-evolved specimens capable of stealing the typical beach sandwich have been seen with astonishing ease. In fact, there are witnesses of how they do not disgust even the foil itself. They are organized. They have specialized. And you have to fear them.
Yes, yes, it is very cold here and it rains all the time ... © iStock
FROM 'BEACH CLUB' TO CHIRINGUITO
There is a legend in Galicia, that of the 'lobishome', the werewolf that transforms at night and travels the villages looking for victims. Not far from reality, the nights of Galicia transform anyone. The culture of enjoyment in the moonlight is something else.
In summer the beach parties stand out, the beach bars overlooking the estuaries, the towns that transform in summer just like those werewolves. It is the case of Baiona, Portonovo or Sanxenxo known for the nightclubs that close their doors at dawn.
We can't forget beach myths like Beach Club in the same Riazor, in La Coruña, or great places to have a cocktail with the mainstream Atlantic breeze like Sailing or the Pénjamo (Vigo and Nigrán, respectively).
Sunset in La Vela, Vigo © María F. Carballo
Along the coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco:
Take the route of the Rías Altas (from Ribadeo to La Coruña, for example, with mandatory stops in Viveiro and Ortigueira), or that of the Baixas (Muros, Rianxo, Vilagarcía, Cambados, Sanxenxo, Marín, Bueu, Cangas, Moaña, Vigo, Nigrán, Baiona ...), beach to beach (and curve to curve).
The interior, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas:
The difference is clear: in Galicia this of the great moors and deserts is not stylized. Nor is the palm tree stylized: the pine tree, the carballo (even, unfortunately, the ubiquitous eucalyptus), the big fragas ...
The American motel is not stylized, the village hostel, the stone house, the dispersed populations are stylized. We could propose thousands (for another topic), but we recommend a trekking to the waterfall of Toxa river (Bandeira-Silleda), one of the most beautiful enclaves of Galicia, a walk through the Rexo Forest (marked by the works of Agustín Ibarrola) or the route of the mills of the Barosa River Natural Park, between Pontevedra and Caldas de Reis.
Ferrolana happy © Alamy
THE ORANGE COUNTY OF THE RÍAS BAIXAS
For having, Galifornia has even its own 'Orange County': Toralla Island in Vigo It is a rocky and private promontory, where the great casuplones with a pool and overlooking the infinity of the estuary (with the Cies in front) are the protagonists.
Access is only for neighbors, but you can enjoy two small sandy beaches protected by walls (rather, what houses are protected) rather less crowded than the beach on the other side of the bridge, the Vao.
Toralla Island © Alamy
Alcatraz-San Simón. If San Francisco boasts a morbid destination with the island - Alcatraz prison, the Galicians too.
An old jail, which was also a horfanato and ended up being leprosarium, occupied the island of San Simón: today, there is a very rich and tasteful festival (SinSal San Simón) with a secret sign until the moment when the artists rip Guitar.
The history of San Simón is as full of anecdotes as whole Galicia, with his Templars, with his battle of Rande, his English invasion with Captain Drake giving the war cry, his use as a concentration camp during the Civil War ... If Alcatraz has been dedicated a series, with San Simón you can make an entire saga.
View of San Simón Island from Cesantes © Flickr / Juantiagues
A few years ago there were no surf schools in Galicia. But surfers who climbed the boards on the beaches of Ducks, Melide, Malpica, Doniños or Frouxeira.
Today the beaches are filled with wetsuits, fins, bodyboards, kite surfing and planks. It is not uncommon to meet surfers who make the Galician-Portuguese route uploaded to a board and surf schools begin to make a dent in the little ones. It is the case of the school of the Prado beach in Nigrán (where professional surfer Gony Zubizarreta began to ride the waves), that of neighboring Patos or Pantín Surf House.
A GOLDEN GATE GALLEGO?
We admit that this statement may be caused by a Molotov cocktail of sensations: that melancholy that invades anyone who visits the Galician Community and has to return, to get away by train or car from the Galician landscapes and see how the estuaries and mountains escaped fade giving way to the Spanish plateau ... Come on, the 'saudade' of a lifetime.
Is the Rande Bridge the Golden Gate of the northwest? This 'cable-stayed' bridge connects Redondela with Moaña and its appearance between the 'brétema' (sea mist), can be something like a Sanfranciscan stamp of the Golden Gate. Mirage or reality? Galifornia
The 'cable-stayed' bridge of Rande © Thinkstock
Than Galicia is Galifonia and California has some Galicia, not only do we say it: Instagram shouts. Getting up one day in the capital stepping on cement and seeing these photographs of that evil called our rainy northwest, is a zas-in-the-whole-mouth. The same Zas! What has motivated the article. Take a look and head to Galifornia (hopefully, it will be good weather).
#Galifornia on Instagram (Patos beach) © Miriam Pérez Diz / @GivemeurdreamSee 18 photos
Las Rías Baixas (or why paradise is closer than you think)