Galicia in Spain
Galicia is situated in the northwest part of Spain. It is bordered by Asturias in the east, Castile-Leon in the southeast and Portugal in the south. To the north Galicia looks out onto the Cantabrian Sea (el Mar Cantábrico), and westward is the Atlantic Ocean (el Oceano Atlántico).
Galicia has around 1,300 kms of coastline, which provides a bounty of seafood for the Galician cookbook. The most famous Galician dishes are octopus (pulpo a la gallega), seafood stew (caldeirada de pescado) and scallops (vieira).
The surface area of Galicia accounts for some 5.8% of Spain’s total, and 69% of its land is covered by woodland. Galicia has many rivers and springs. Its main river is the 300 km rio Miño, rising in the Sierra de Meira and meeting the Atlantic Ocean between A Guarda and Caminha (a region of Portugal).
The capital of Galicia is Santiago de Compostela, which is situated in the province of A Coruña (La Coruña). The other three provinces making up this region are Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra.
Galicia has a climate tempered by its Atlantic coast: inland, continental oceanic climates are dominant, while the south and southeast are more Mediterranean.
Major industries of the region are food, textiles, cars and shipbuilding. Also in Galicia tourism plays a significant role (Galicia tourism is boosted by the interest in the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage). A key resource is natural stone (slate).
Galicia has a population of around 3 million people.
Spanish and Galego are the co-official languages of the region: both are romance languages. Bilingualism is fully recognized in Galicia as a consequence of the 1978 Spanish Constitution and the 1981 Galician Statute of Autonomy. Galego is spoken by around 90% of the population of Galicia.