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Reasons to visit Green Spain (the North)
An area of great natural beauty, the north of Spain (the north-western regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria) is still a relatively unknown area for foreign visitors and therefore remains very Spanish - a good place to practiceyour Spanish language skills!
The rugged and remote region of Galicia with its celtic origins, is steeped in folklore and tradition. Its capital, Santiago de Compostela, is one of Spain's most beautiful and most visited cathedral towns. Along its coastline, which is indented with fjord-like rías (estuaries), Galicia has many stunning beaches and picturesque fishing villages.
The regions of Asturias and Cantabria are ideal for those who love outdoor activities such as walking, horse riding, fishing and bird watching or for the more adventurous sports enthusiast, white-water rafting, kayaking and canoeing. If you prefer the beach, the area does not disappoint, having long dune-like beaches which stretch for miles along its Atlantic coastline, elegant seaside towns with attractive promenades and excellent restaurants.
For those seeking out culture and history this area has so much of interest. As the route of the "Camino de Santiago" (Pilgrims Way) meanders through these regions there are hundreds of buildings of historic importance to see and visit. Oviedo, capital of Asturias, has several fine pre-Romanesque buildings and a gothic cathedral, the Basilica del Salvador. Santander, capital of Cantabria, also has a wonderful Romanesque and gothic cathedral and the Palacio de Magdalena. Visit during August for the city's International Festival of Music and Dance. Other places worth visiting in Cantabria are the beautifully preserved medieval village, Santillana del Mar and the unspoilt market town of Picos, close to the Picos de Europa National park.
With its lush green meadows, miles of uncrowded sandy beaches, huge forests, awesome mountains and beautiful national parks, and its reputation for some of the best seafood in Europe, its not surprising that this area of Spain is very popular with Spanish holidaymakers, but they can't keep it to themselves forever!