Visit Cabo Fisterra

by : Scott James



Northern Spain and Galicia particularly has long been an undiscovered jewel in the whole of the Spanish tourism industry and within that undiscovered jewel in particular we are going to take a look at Cabo Fisterra.

Overall of all of the autonomous regions of Spain possibly Galicia is the most remote and this makes Cabo Fisterra even more of an undiscovered treasure.

Traditionally, Galicia was seen as a poor agricultural region, whose economy 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, whose origins are Celtic, are fiercely proud of their culture and language; it is what makes them unique (they feel) within modern day Spain.

It absorbed little in the way of outside influence being fiercely resistant to all forms of outside intervention (and we mean all forms of outside intervention), was never conquered by the Moors, and in the Middle Ages fell under the control of the kingdom of Asturias.

Thankfully slowly throughout the 20th century Galicia has begun to develop a way in which to manage the traditional lifestyles with a modern community to ensure that none of its rich history is lost and this is now starting to show very real and tangible benefits as far as the local tourism economy is concerned.

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.