Exploring Cabo Fisterra

By: Stephen Stewart

With regards to the tourist industry within Spain, Northern Spain and in particular Galicia especially have been very much a hidden treasure and hidden within lies a further particular treasure called Cabo Fisterra. Of all of the autonomous regions of Spain Galicia is considered the most remote and therein lies the charm of Cabo Fisterra hidden away longing to be discovered.

Galicia has always been seen as a poor rural region, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture and fishing and did not lend itself to modernisation and yet as far as tourism is concerned it is this constant contact with the past that gives the region its appeal and charm.

The Galicians are fiercely proud of their culture and language and their Celtic heritage; it is what makes them unique (they feel) within modern day Spain.

Galicia always seemed to be a very closed and inward looking area being fiercely resistant to any formal external invasion and in many ways this degree of isolation was very much driven by the geographical location of the region.

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..

The term Cabo Fisterra translated into English is Cape Finisterre and means roughly "Worlds End". Back in the days of the flat earth society and various folks this was considered to be the veritable edge of the world (what they thought was over the horizon heaven alone knows but that perhaps was it?).

Back in the middle ages this was considered to be the most westerly part of continental Europe though later on more accurate surveys pointed out that the most Western part of Europe actually lies much further south in Portugal.

The town of Fisterra actually makes quite a wind swept small fishing port and there are a few facilities here to cater for the passing tourist and certainly those heading for Cabo Fisterra which lies a few kilometres west. It is ironic that actually the most westerly part of Spain lies a few kilometres north but when it comes to folklore and history why let the truth get in the way of a good story.

It probably old stems from a multitude of things. Firstly you have the actual geographical location and let's be honest there are very few things more dramatic in landscape terminology than jutting rock outcrops into a wild sea and then you have the name which literally comes from the Latin "End of the World".

There is a small bar on the cape head itself and tourists can stay at the "pousada" on the headland.

Nearby is the Iglesia de Santa Maria de las Arenas which actually is the last point on the Way of St James and is where pilgrims symbolically and traditionally burn the clothes they wore in their pilgrimage as some sort of closure of the entire event.

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