Visit Galicia - Travel to the Greener Spain

By: Scott James

The common perception of most people's view of Spain is one of a country that effectively is just sun, sand, high-rise hotels and some parched landscape in between.

However when you travel to the north of the country especially Galicia, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Galicia makes up along with Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque country what people quite often refer to as "Green Spain."

The climate in Green Spain would effectively be described as temperate maritime which means it's influenced by the North Atlantic current and the Gulf Stream. This leads to the mild winters, warm summers and an effectively and consistently humid environment.

Here in this part of Spain the average precipitation is about 1200 mm which means that this allows fairly lush vegetation to grow. In this part of Spain the main tree species are beeches and oaks. However as in all things certain parts of the country suffer from more deforestation than others and to counter this, native forests that have been depleted have been replaced by plantations of Eucalyptus and Monterey pine in wide areas.

In Galicia, the average temperature and rain fall index is as follows. In the middle of the summer temperatures in the west of the region would range between 13?C to 25?C. In the Southwest round about Vigo, the temperatures might be an average lower by about 2? but that would be about it. The average temperatures in January or midwinter would be between 3?C and 9?C and conversely in the southwest around Vigo the temperatures would be slightly warmer by about 2? C. as you would expect in a maritime climate.

It is only when you take a look at rainfall that you start to see fairly distinct differences. Here the average in the West and Southwest is between 1700 mm of rain and about 1810 mm in the Southwest. Often the north of the region however average precipitation is approximately about 60% of the rainfall figures expected elsewhere.

These conditions mean that quite often outdoor activities are perfectly feasible all year around. Okay in the winter some of the rainstorms coming in off the Atlantic can be as they say, quite tasty but by and large the opportunities to take part in the water sports especially windsurfing etc are available virtually all year-round.

The naturally occurring vegetation means that hiking and climbing are pleasant activities virtually all year-round with the trail was being used sometimes giving participants quite spectacular scenery.

Don't be fooled however by thinking that just because Galicia can offer a wide range of climate doesn't mean to say that doesn't have extremely good beaches for those who just preferred to sun worship. Some of the beaches in Galicia are quite spectacular and are well worth spending time on.

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