Termaria Casa del Agua is one of Europe’s largest water leisure centres and it’s situated right here, in the centre of A Coruña. This fabulous space is a veritable urban oasis, housing the city’s largest thalassotherapy centre, an Olympic sized swimming pool, treatment rooms, a fitness centre and indoor as well as outdoor relaxation spaces.
Every city has its local team, and A Coruña is no different. Here it is Deportivo La Coruña that carries the banner, and it has done so very well over the years, representing the city and region at the top level of Spanish football – and allowing it to punch above its weight and mix in with traditional giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The city of A Coruña is bursting with a wide range of popular, authentic, traditional and up and coming restaurants, and there is certainly no shortage of delicious eateries in town. But the one that tops all the polls consistently and never fails to disappoint is the renowned Alborada, which has been awarded a much-coveted Michelin star for the fourth year running.
We’ve heard a lot about the bounty of the Basque kitchen in recent years, but Galicia is every bit as blessed with a veritable cornucopia of gorgeous ingredients that form the basis of an honest but delicious culinary tradition. From the deep blue waters off its coast comes some of the finest fish in Europe, from the rocky cliffs and coastal lagoons delicious shellfish, and from the lush green pastures, forests and fields a range of produce that includes first class dairy products, meat, vegetables, bread and mushrooms.
A Coruña’s location on the northwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsula makes it an ideal port of call for cruise ships travelling between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. So much so that over the past few years it has become an increasingly popular cruise destination in its own right, with most cruise lines now including this fair city in their itinerary, be they on European routes or transatlantic cruises to and from the Americas.
It’s a curious fact that in Mediterranean Spain the locals call their coasts Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) or Costa Blanca (White Coast) that are designed to appeal to savvy, sun-seeking tourists, while Galicia features a coastline with a rather more grizzly but intriguing name – Costa da Morte (Coast of Death). But fear not intrepid traveller. For while it is fair to say that its name is unlikely to conjure up images of fine beaches and a stunning shoreline, this largely unspoilt coast is everything but as foreboding as the name suggests.
Anyone who has not tried these delicious delicacies before, would be forgiven for giving them a wide berth should you innocently stumble across them in a Galician fish market. But although percebes are often described as slightly odd looking, they are known to reduce seafood fans to a bunch of salivating shipwrecks. Those in the know say that they have a sweet lobster taste and are usually boiled and served piping hot – washed down with a glass or two of the local Galician Albariño wine, of course.
Having elaborated in a recent blog about how there are Galician communities across Europe and the Americas, we naturally couldn’t ignore all those Galicians who have risen to fame and/or notoriety.
Among them are such venerated writers as Álvaro Cunqeiro and Camilo José Cela, who won the 1989 Nobel Prize for Literature. By then Cela had been writing for almost half a century. Born in Padrón, in Galicia, he was later ennobled by King Juan Carlos, receiving the title ‘1st Marquis of Iria Flavia’, the irony of which was no doubt not lost on the man who’d spent his life being irreverent.
A home made from granite is a home made well – and if it’s made from Galician granite then you can rest assure that it’s rock-solid.
The geology of Galicia has endowed it with one of the finest building granites in the world. Used in construction and architectural elements since the earliest of times, it can be seen in the grand mansions, country estates, public buildings and even traditional farmer’s cottages of the region.
Speaking of Galician architecture it is tempting to start right at the beginning, with the mysterious walled stone settlements known as castros that have been found in remote countryside and coastal areas across the region.
They, however, form part of a merger of Iberian and Celtic culture that dates back thousands of years, and while elements of this form of architecture can still be seen in the rural cottages of Galicia, the styles and buildings of cities such as A Coruña are a different thing altogether.
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