El Camino, A Galicia Trail Less Travelled

El Camino, A Galicia Trail Less Travelled

Hike GR-94 Galicia’s alternative Camino

Camino de Santiago

Hiking Galicia’s most famous attraction, the Camino de Santiago is one of the most highly-sought pilgrimages in the history of humanity.

Caminos are both a challenge and an adventure some 350,000 people take each year. By all accounts, 2022 Año Xacobeo or Jacobean year was the most visited year to date.

Popular Routes

The second most popular route is the Camino Portugués de la Costa (The Portuguese Way) pilgrim route from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. At a distance 610 km starting in Lisbon or 260km if you start from Porto, the route passes through our province of Pontevedra along the Atlantic coastline.

Hikers will have the pleasure to experience golden sandy beaches, turquoise waters and many magnificent rock formations battered by thousands of storms.

The unique Galician coastal landscapes and protective coves have been home to Neolithic Stone Age settlements, navel fortifications and sleepy fishing villages time seems to pass by. This route has it all.

After days of hiking, even the most incredible routes can become less attractive. Scenery fog, places and landscape blend together.

We all like a change of scenery and if you are looking for one while considering hiking this route, the GR-94 hiking route offers exactly that.

An Alternative

The GR-94 route offers an alternative hiking section, 126km long from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela passing through a diverse rural landscape of mountains and rivers.

Furthermore, it is a quieter route, away from the more populated coast, the route highlights include the medieval Castelo de Soutomaior, numerous petroglyph sites (prehistoric rock art) and the magnificent and magical Ponte Almofrei.

You can choose to split the GR-94 route into several sections or complete it as a ‘through route’ in a single attempt.

Whatever you decide is right for you, know that the route is a few minutes walk from our resort, FincA Galicia. Maybe one day you come and stay with us.

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!

https://fincagalicia.com

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia Resort

Creating memories beyond a vacation

Castañas – Galicia Chestnut Festival

Castañas – Galicia Chestnut Festival

Roasted chestnuts on an open fire

When the leaves change colour and the Galician summer light fades into autumn black, there is nothing better than sitting by an open warm fireplace with friends and family eating roasted chestnuts and celebrating Magosto festival

Traditionally symbolises the onset of autumn, the delicious nut is integral to the Galician past and a driver for sustainable agriculture as an engine for change.

The end of the harvest season in Galicia is traditionally celebrated in November with Magosto or Festa de Castaña. The festival, dating back to the Iron Age Celts, has many pagan rituals relating to death and rebirth. Marking the end of summer and the changes in the solar cycle. The festival is a celebration of local gastronomy with music, song and dance. Paired with wine and chorizo, it is a genuinely authentic experience attracting locals and tourists alike for an immersive taste of Galicia.

Before the arrival of potatoes and Corn from the Americas, chestnuts were the main food staple in Galicia. The Edible nut, chestnuts are packed with potassium and vitamin C. High in fibre and are a good source of antioxidants. The nut can be eaten roasted or added as a supplement to other local recipes and it can be also grounded into flour for baking traditional bread and cakes.

The chestnut tree can grow up to 30m and live up to 1000 years. The tree provides wood for construction, firewood for heating and cooking and fruit for food and flour. Figures collected by PEFC Galicia, show the current estimate of nearly 50,000 hectares of chestnut trees in Galicia. The tree only cover 3.5% of the woodland forest, producing around 20 million kilos annually with an estimated turnover of over €50 million.

According to Jesús Quintá, Presidente de la IXG Castaña de Galicia, in his interview for La Voz de Galicia, climate change is bringing more severe droughts and heat waves impacting both the quality and quantity of the harvests. However, he is still bullish about the chestnut business and its benefits to both the community and the economy.

In recent years there has been a conflict between planting and growing Chestnut trees and Eucalyptus trees across Galician communities. With many challanges for both local government and industry. Both are vital natural commodities for the local economy but with very different environmental and biodiversity impacts.

When we bought the land, we found some fruiting chestnut trees. We intend to plant more native trees such as oak and chestnuts on the land as part of our biodiversity efforts to rehabilitate the scars left by the old granite quarry.

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and want to discover ours, head to our homepage for more!

https://fincagalicia.com

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia Resort

Creating memories beyond a vacation

Cool Galicia

Cool Galicia

Escape the heatwave

Visit Cool Galicia for the best place to escape the heatwave

We all want to escape the heatwave. It seems like everywhere you look this summer, the news headline is all about the heatwave. Negative headlines about wild forest fires, unbearable temperatures and global warming and the future to come.

With more and more Spaniards travelling to the northwest province of Galicia to escape the unbearable heat in the south and in the scorching large metropolitan cities, Galicia is fast becoming a green oasis to escape the heatwave. 

Galicia’s green mountainous landscape offers plenty of options for adventure, escape and wellness tourism. There are many places to cool down and chill around in the “Land of a thousand rivers”. These are some of our summer favourites:

Finca Galicia is located on the hills overlooking the Ria of Pontevedra and will offer a unique wellness resort to escape the summer heat.

Take a short hike down to the river Almofrei, if you like us and love wild swimming. The river has an ancient stone bridge presiding over an ancient trade route dating back to Roman times, although the bridge’s current stone construction probably dates to medieval times. There are cool dipping pools on both sides of the bridge. A great spot to escape the heat and the crowds for lovers of wild swimming

  • Puente de Almofrei (Almofrei Bridge)

The river and bridge are a focal point part of the famous mountain hiking route GR94 between Vigo and Santiago de Compostella.

https://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/33775/gr-94-rural-de-galicia?langId=en_US&tp=6&ctre=23

Our second spot is located a short drive or ride (22km) from the Finca, Praia de Portocelo is an incredible beach in the Ria de Pontevedra. One of the four rivers estuaries protected inlets, making the famous Galicia’s The Rías Baixas.

  • Praia (Playa) de Portocelo (Portocelo Beach)

A small cool & secluded bay with crystal turquoise water and a white sandy beach. Located to the south of Pontevedra, between the Port of Marin and the village of Mogor, offers a quiet spot to chill and spend the day on cool Galicia’s Atlantic coast. The beach is accessible by car, bus (Monbus services) or as we recommend, cycle. It has a lifeguard, toilets and changing rooms and a bar (in season).

https://turismoriasbaixas.com/en/recursopan1?content=280379096

Come to Cool Galicia to escape the summer heat.

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin 

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia – Outstanding stories, not just a vacation!

https://fincagalicia.com

Sharing Economy Galicia

Sharing Economy Galicia

Making it differently in rural Galicia

Sharing skills and experience, circular economy rural life in Galicia.

I’ve asked my friend Pablo if he can help me clear out the overgrown vegetation on my land. He didn’t hesitate and joined me. I had gone to the land every week over the past few months to get my bearings, orientate and connect with the forest I now call mine. FincA never stops surprising.

Every time, there is something new to discover. On my last visit, I reached three huge granite blocks, squared cut and ready to be transported. I wonder how much these can be sold for?

The plan at this stage is to recreate the old pathways used by the quarry machines when the site was operational approximately 12 years ago. A tall order, almost as tall as the vegetation now covering the site. Some of which have grown tree tall. Nevertheless, Pablo was happy at the opportunity to work outdoors. He studies Forest Engineering and has a small parcel of land himself. Working alongside him provide me with the opportunity to observe skilful methods of cutting through the brush and learn Spanish and Galician names of different plants and animals.

Last year I had the pleasure of helping him build a small wooden treehouse in his back garden. An elevated small square box, with a gable, pitched roof. When asked, I offered some expert architectural advice on the aspect and orientation of the interior space.

On Monday, he asked me back again, this time to ‘scarify’ the lawn, remove dead patches, and moss and open the soil surface by raking. The cuttings were collected into a large composting area, he has been using over the years. The most interesting discovery happened when I turn the grass left in the heap the day before, and realised it was piping hot. The organic matter was decomposing so quickly, generating energy high enough to heat water to 60c. A living Biodigester. Perhaps more on that in another post.

Us helping each other, working together and learning new professional skills and vocabulary, got me thinking about the concept of the Sharing Economy. What does it mean today? How do we help connect more people like Pablo and me and the wider community? In the past, ‘helping’ your neighbours was a common aspect of life. You didn’t get a contractor to build your house. The whole village built it! and in return, you helped build your neighbours. The same goes for ploughing the field or collecting fruits from the orchard.

Is there an App for that? There are Apps claiming to support the Sharing and Circular Economy, helping connect unloved goods, clothes and products with new owners. Re-cycle and donate. Apps like eBay, Good On You and Feedie. Then there are Apps dealing with odd jobs (Paid) connecting freelancers and tradespersons with local or even international clients for all sorts of tasks, including anything from furniture assembly, TV mounting, yard work, ‘helping’ you to move house and more. Apps like eBay, Fiverr, Taskrabbit and Handy, to name but a few.

There is volunteer work. But is it really sharing?

There is WorkAway, https://www.workaway.info But that relays on gap year students and backpackers looking for a free place to stay while they travel in exchange for some labour. Great concept, however not very ‘local’.

I am talking about the old fashioned local exchange of skills, expertise and labour. I will give you some tips on renovating your house and you help me with my taxes.

Is it scalable?

 

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!

 

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin 

 

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia – Outstanding stories, not just a vacation!

https://fincagalicia.com

Hot Springs Galicia

Hot Springs Galicia

Capital Termal or Hot springs capital

Galicia is the number one hot springs destination in Spain. They are called Termas.

There are more than 300 hot springs in the region, making it one of the richest in Europe. No wonder the Romans settled here.

Geothermal-heated groundwater rising from the Earth’s crust, emerge through the granite bedrock alongside rivers and springs to create this magical phenomena.

Bathing in the thermal hot spring waters is not only a relaxing experinace served along with health benefits. The healing powers of hot springs have been known for thousands of years. The mineral rich waters, found in Termas have a number of therapeutic benefits.

When bathing in thermal hot spring waters our bodies soak up these minerals, increasing blood circulation and overall oxygen flow. Help promote healthy skin, relive pain and reducing stress.

If you brave enough, combine bathing in the thermals with plunging into cold water. Shock therapy as one can describe it. Many hot springs are located near fresh water rivers and so provide this unique experience. Always be mindful of your body and take care.

Join us at FincA Galicia… Detox and rejuvenate yourself.

 

Here’s a list of some of the best locations around Galicia for these naturally warm and healing springs.

– Los Baños de San Xusto, on the banks of River Lerez.

– Outariz, Ourense, free public pools and spa on the banks of river Miño.

– Termas Prexigueiro, Ribadevia, Ourense, wild swimming and spa.

– Mondariz, Pontevedra late nineteenth century spa town.

 

We recommend visiting at night, where the steam rising from the hot pools can be seen in the night sky. Nothing beats bathing under a canopy of stars.

Alternate between the pools to modulate the temperature. Take regular breaks out of the pools to avoid over-stressing the body and hydrate regularly.

Bathing suit is optional, but please be respectful of others.

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!

 

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin 

 

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia – Outstanding stories, not just a vacation!

https://fincagalicia.com

 

Wild Swimming Galicia

Wild Swimming Galicia

Who hasn’t dream about wild swimming out on an adventure?

Galicia is known as “the land of a thousand rivers” presenting an incredible opportunity to discover something new, if you haven’t tried it before. How cool is that! 

Secret golden sandy beaches, hidden coves, meandering rivers and cascading waterfalls, Galicia has it all.

Crystal clear waters, perfect for wild swimming year round, offer you a diverse choice for your wild-swimming adventure.

Galicia feels remote. Granite rock formations and lush green forests dominate the landscape. It could not be more different from the mass-tourism spots of the south.

White water rivers meandering down the mountains to reach Galicia’s 1600km Atlantic coastline. Carving the landscape, eroding the Galician massif creating grand canyons, dotted with waterfalls and pools (Pozos). Most can be reached with s short hike from the road or a designated public carpark

So many options, you are truly spoiled for choice.

 

Our top 5 spots.

 

– Rio Almofrei

GPS position: 42°25’59.761″N // 8°32’39.915″W

A short walk from our land, along an enchanted ancient trade route to discover the natural swimming pools with a medieval stone bridge and grain mills.

 

– Fervenza de A Fírveda

GPS position: 42º 26 ́23.258 ́ ́ N // 8º 22 ́ 36.415 ́ ́ W

The waterfalls and pools of the Verdugo River are located near Firveda, a small mountain village of the Council of A Lama at the foot of the Sierra do Cando mountains.

 

– Fervenza do Toxa

GPS position: 42º 45 ́34 ́ ́ N // 8º 16 ́ 42 ́ ́ W

A towering 60m high waterfall creating a majestic mist over the natural pools below.

Located near Silleda, Pontevedra, Spain

 

– Praia de Barra

GPS position: 42º 15 ́38,88 ́ ́ N // 8o 50 ́ 52,57 ́ ́ W

Relaxed nudist beach with white sand & basic facilities, accessed through a pine grove. Cangas, Pontevedra

 

At FincA Galicia, we discovered a natural lake was formed by collecting rain water and natural stream run-offs over time into the lowest point of the Cantera (quarry). We plan to offer our adventurers the opportunity to discover this unique experience at FincA Galicia.

If you want to explore more, check this incredible book Wild Swimming Spain

Discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of Spain
Lola Culsán and John Weller

http://www.wildthingspublishing.com/product/wild-swimming-spain/

 

Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.

If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!

 

Don’t do more, do better!

… and always keep on rockin 

 

Danny Shafrir

Founder | FincA Galicia – Outstanding stories, not just a vacation!

https://fincagalicia.com