History and Outstanding Scenery in Ribadeo and the Rias Altas

By: Scott James

With regards to the entire Spanish tourist industry Northern Spain and Galicia especially have been very much a hidden treasure and hidden within lies a further particular treasure called Ribadeo.

Of all of the autonomous regions of Spain it is understandable given its location that Galicia is considered the most remote and therein lies the charm of Ribadeo hidden away longing to be discovered.

The traditional concept of Galicia was always that it was supposedly a poor agricultural region and as such the economy would not be the easiest to modernize yet one of the fasted growing sub sectors within the Galician Economy is tourism and it is this very real relationship with its historical past that give the region its particular appeal.

The cultural and language origins of Galicia are very much rooted within the Celtic family of communities found elsewhere in North West Europe and has led to Galicia always having a sense of looking outwards from their regional base as opposed to looking inwards towards the rest of Spain.

Because of its location and partisan traditions Galicia was always fairly inward looking having managed to survive throughout the centuries without ever really been conquered by anybody and this degree of fierce independence has lasted and developed down through the centuries.

In what has been a mountain to climb slowly but surely Galicia is now trying to manage successfully the twin track of its regional lifestyle with a much more modern society and thankfully this appears to have had very positive results with regards to tourism with little sign of negative effects..

Ribadeo can be found on the northern coast of Galicia and Northern Spain. It is actually the most eastern of all of the major towns in Galicia and is on the main coastal road into Galicia (the N634) from Oviedo.

Like its near coastal neighbour, Viveiro, Ribadeo is on the stretch of coastline known as the Rias Altas, an area of outstanding natural beauty that should not be missed by any tourist or visitor to the area.

It would be wrong to call the Rias Altas paradise as that in itself would tend to attract possibly the wrong type of visitor that could in fact damage the very reason for visiting the area in the first place.

And Don Henley of the Eagles sings in the "The Last Resort" on the album Hotel California: "Call someplace paradise, I don't know why. Call someplace paradise kiss it goodbye" and such it would be with the Rias Altas.

Let's just leave it that it is an area of outstanding natural beauty that hopefully will be well preserved by European legislation and will be there for visitors and locals alike for a great many years to come.

With regards to Ribadeo, it can be found at the head of the Ria de Ribadeo and at the mouth of the river Eo from which the town gets its name. It is an attractive fishing town and the town itself is home to the Colegiata de Santa Maria de Campo, an 18th Century church with two extremely attractive baroque altarpieces. The harbour area of the town is extremely pleasant and can be found at the end of a series of steep streets leading down the hillside.

All in all it is quite picturesque, certainly with the views across the river to the neighbouring region of Asturias.

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