Vigo is the heart of Galicia, Spain
The Galicia region of Spain is often overlooked for the more frequented tourist destinations of Madrid and Barcelona, however there are many surprises in order for those willing to venture off the beaten path. The charming coastal city of Vigo has a sordid history dating back to Medieval times, and today it’s home to a population of some 300,000 inhabitants. Much commerce is brought to the city by way of the large working port, as well as mega automobile manufacturer Citroen.
Recently leisure tourism has started to grow, as travellers discover the laid back and open atmosphere of this welcoming city. The old town’s ancient winding streets are filled with bars and restaurants, and is frequented by both locals and visitors. The newer part of town has the main Príncipe and Urzaiz Streets, which are lined with the latest fashion shops. There’s also several interesting museums, and even Roman ruins to be found just outside the central part of the city. As for dining, there are restaurants of all sorts scattered throughout the city, and the prices are considerably lower than in the much larger cities in Spain, and around the world. Take note though, that dinner doesn’t usually begin until 9pm at the earliest.
The streets are also very safe to roam day or night, and same-sex couples are often seen walking hand-in-hand throughout the city. There’s no gay village, but there are a handful of gay bars that seen to be clustered within a few blocks of each other. There’s also the sea to explore, and a day trip to Cies Islands is a definite must. There are regularly scheduled ferry departures, or private charters can be arranged as well. Once there, there are plenty of beaches, hiking trails, restaurants, and even overnight camping for those so inclined. As for other accommodations back on the mainland, there are plenty to choose from, and again the prices are considerably lower for what one would get elsewhere.
The Gran Hotel Nagari is the only 5-star property right in the city, and the rooms are all quite spacious and luxurious, as is to be expected. The property also has an onsite spa and upper level thermal pool with an outdoor hot tub overlooking the harbour. There’s also an onsite restaurant with outdoor sidewalk terrace, and a small cocktail bar. It’s ideally situated within easy walking distance to all attractions.
The Silken América de Vigo Hotel opened in 1957 and was recently fully refurbished as more “boutique”. Each room is designed a bit differently, offering basic comfort with all the needed amenities. There are also upper level rooms with outdoor balconies for a small additional charge, and two suites (New York and Paris) with full kitchen and separated living area that are perfect for entertaining guests. A large terrace offering great harbour views of the Ría de Vigo.is open to all guests on the upper level. It’s adjacent to the the Mirador Cafe where both the breakfast buffet is served, and also appetizers and drinks throughout the day and evening. There’s also a lounge and cafe of the ground floor adjacent reception.
Recommended to visit Vigo in spring or fall, when the weather is warm and temperate, avoiding the heat and crowds of the summer months.
Gran Hotel Nagari – Praza de Compostela, 21, 36201 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain +34 986 21 11 11
Hotel America –Pablo Morillo, 6, 36201. Vigo, Spain T: +34 986 438 922
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.