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The affordable but unspoilt Spanish coast where the beaches are as wild as the nightlife

THERE’S a corner of Spain where the beaches and the nightlife both have a reputation for being a bit wild.

The Northwestern region of Galicia is an often overlooked, cheaper, and less crowded alternative to much of the country’s busy coast — even during the peak summer months.

Getty
Galicia is an often overlooked, cheaper, and less crowded alternative — even during the peak summer months[/caption]
Getty
The region is well-known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, local cuisine and picturesque coastal areas and landscapes[/caption]
Getty
Locals have been raving about the nightlife in La Coruña, Vigo, Lugo and Santiago de Compostela[/caption]

Why Galicia?

Galicia is an independent region on the Atlantic coastline with stunning countryside and some of Spain‘s newest party hotspots.

Although not internationally recognised yet, locals have been raving about the nightlife in La Coruña, Vigo, Lugo and Santiago de Compostela.

But the nightlife is just a fraction of the things worth doing in Galicia, as it’s well-known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, local cuisine and picturesque coastal areas and landscapes.

The Spanish region has something for everyone, with great seaside resorts, monument-rich towns and countryside villages.

The most popular location for a beach holiday is La Coruña, surrounded by a golden bay split into two major beaches: Playa de Riazor and Playa del Orzán.

Playa del Orzán is the most popular for watersports, surfing and beach volleyball. At the same time, Playa del Orzán is quieter but equally as nice.

The town is also often referred to as “Crystal City,” as sunlight gleams off the apartment buildings surrounding it.

The fashion chain Zara was born in La Coruña in 1975, and the legacy remains, with more than five stores around the city.

Santiago de Compostela is another well-known city in the region, thanks to the pilgrims who visit the famous Cathedral every year.

It’s also home to the Mercado de Abastos, an historic covered food market that sells a wide range of seafood, local cheeses Padrón peppers, wines and plenty of other regional produce.

What is it like in Galicia?

In addition to the region’s cultural heritage and cuisine, Galicians have a reputation for being “huge partygoers” — especially over the summer.

So, after spending your day relaxing at the beach or browsing around the monuments and shops, the cities come alive.

In the summer, parties are “guaranteed”, and the locals find “any excuse to go out” across the region, but without beach clubs and exclusive parties that will break the bank like Ibiza or Malaga.

The cost of drinks in Galicia is relatively low when compared to its Spanish rivals, with cans of beer costing from 3€ (£2.70) and glasses of regional wine from 3,50€ (£2.99).

A cappuccino costs around 1,50€ (£1,29), while meals, including a drink, cost around 15€ (£12.85).

According to La Voz de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela was ranked as one of the top cities in Spain for nightlife.

Galicia’s has many bars, clubs, and venues that are open until the early hours.

The historic centre transforms into a place for “good vibes and live music” at night, with legendary pubs like Momo hosting resident musicians during the summer.

Locals recommend starting your night in one of the trendy restaurants or traditional tapas in Calla de la Estrella, before heading to the Marina for DJ sets and live music.

For those wishing to party until the following morning, the Oceanico is open from 8pm to 6am on Fridays and Saturdays.

When is the best time to visit Galicia?

As with most coastal locations, summer and its shoulder months are the best time to visit if you’re after a beach holiday.

From May until early October, coastal areas experience high temperatures of 30C, with daily averages around 25C.

Meanwhile, inner cities will see highs of 25C and average temperatures of 22C over summer.

But Galicia is a great destination all year round, with temperatures around the low teens, even during winter.

What are the best deals to visit Galicia?

If you’re ready to visit Galicia this spring and summer, we’ve found some cheap deals.

These are some of the best package holidays we’ve spotted:

  • 4 nights at Norat Marina and Spa in Galicia, Spain – from £173pp
  • 7 nights at NH Collection in Galicia, Spain – from £327pp
  • 7 nights at Hotel Santiago Plaza Affiliated by Meliá in Galicia, Spain – from £400pp
  • 7 nights at Gran Hotel Nagari Boutique & Spa in Galicia, Spain – from £450pp

If you’d rather sort your flights and accommodation separately, there are return flights costing from £36pp.

Meanwhile, these are some of the cheap accommodations we’ve found:

What else should I know about Galicia?

Galicia has three international airports: Lavacolla Airport in Santiago de Compostela, Alvedro Airport in La Coruña, and Peinador Airport in Vigo.

There are direct flights from the UK to Galicia, flying from Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh.

However, flights from other UK airports are also available with one layover.

The official language is Spanish. However, Galician is also recognised as the area’s official language, but many people working in hotels and tourist areas can understand English.

Galicia is one hour ahead of the UK, and the local currency is the euro.

For more underrated destinations, we’ve found the budget-friendly alternative to Corfu that’s hundreds cheaper & fans claim has ‘better beaches’.

We’ve also revealed the tiny Italian island only locals know about—it’s as good as Capri but much cheaper.

Meanwhile, we’ve also spotted £100 discounts on spring holidays to Europe’s top destinations.

Prices correct at the time of publication.

Everything you need to know about visiting Spain

  • Brits must have at least three months left on their passport from the day they plan to leave the country.
  • Tourists do not need a visa if visiting for up to 90 days in an 180-day period.
  • Make sure your passport is stamped on entry and exit.
  • Travellers may be asked to show hotel booking confirmations and that they have enough money for their stay at the border.
  • Spain is one hour ahead of the UK.
  • The country uses the euro with around €10 working out to £8.55.
  • Flights to Spain from the UK take between 2-4 hours depending on the destination.
Getty
According to a study by a Spanish newspaper, La Coruña was number six among “the capitals and most visited tourist areas” during the summer[/caption]
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