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ViGo, Spain (5/14/2018)

Vigo, what to say? Never even heard of the place, but it turns out that I read a historical novel that included a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, that is in the same autonomous community (like our states) of Galicia as Vigo. Santiago is famous for having the shrine of Saint James the Great in the city's cathedral. It is the destination of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century. In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Santiago is 55 miles north of Vigo.

But, what about Vigo. As you can see in the pictures below, it is built in a very mountainous region. The Old City is built up these slopes to the hilltop fortress of El Castro. This fortress, or citadel, along with two others protected Vigo from invading forces over the centuries. Castro Fortress has a park worth visiting. It is suggested to take a taxi to the fortress, rather than walk up. From this vantage point you can see the city unfold below you and it is a great place to start your downhill stroll through the old town.

Vigo is the most populous municipality of Galicia with a population of 292,816 ranking it 14th in Spain. The city is located in the southern part of Vigo Ria, in one of Europe's rainiest areas. The Vigo Ria estuary is rich in marine life providing an abundant variety of seafood for both the locals and tourist. What surprised me most as I searched for things to do in Vigo were all the references to beaches. It seems that this place has something for everyone whether you prefer history, culture, a day at the beach or a just great meal.

Vigo Spain pic

Ships dock at the Muelle de Transatlanticos, right in front of the fortress city. To get there simply cross the palm tree-lined Avenida del Castillo waterfront promenade. It is a very busy commercial port as you can see in the picture above, but the port area has been redeveloped and makes a great impression on cruise passengers.


Here is a list of sites that could help you plan your day in port. Be sure to explore the links on each page for a wealth of information. Vigo isn't covered by some of the sites I use like Frommers and Tours By Locals.

Vigo Cruise Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for Vigo.

Vigo Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Vigo, with a ranked lists of attractions & activities.

WhatsInPort - Great info about the port including a webcam (some ports), printable map and ships in port: no 2018 info available.

Fodor's Vigo - The world best selling travel guide, has their take on Vigo and the region of Galicia, with lots of links to explore.

Lonely Planet's Vigo - Lonely Planet's coverage of Vigo.

Viator's Vigo Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Turismo de Vigo - The official website for Vigo Tourism. See their 4-min, hi-def Youtube video - Vigo, the Experience. It is narrated with music.

Galicia Guide on Vigo - Your Guide to Everything Galicia, with there info on Vigo.

Spain in 150 Seconds - Vigo (2016) - A professional, 3-min, hi-def video with music and titles for each attraction.

Rick Steves' Northern Spain and the Camino de Santiago - A 25-min, hi-def video by one of the best tour guides and writers around. It is a full episode of his TV show. One place his visits is the town of Santiago de Compostela, it is about 55 miles north of Vigo and in the same region. The cathedral in the video is a pilgramage site where people walk up to 500 miles to get there. Here is a website explaining it.

More to come...

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