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 Ferrol.
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 Ferrol 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..
Ferrol can be found on the northern coast of Galicia and is mid way between the coastlines known as the Rias Altas and the Costa da Morte. It is located on the northern shores of the Ria de Betanzos.
Ferrol is perhaps better known for one of the towns most famous (or infamous) sons, a certain Francisco France y Bahamonde who later on in life became better known as just simply General Franco, leader of Spain between the between the 1930s up until the ate 1960s and extremely influential up until his death in 1975.
Perhaps it is something to do with the local approach to the whole General Franco association but Ferrol is very much a town that has possibly a schizophrenic approach to itself and its history.
As a naval port, Ferrol lost most of its influence (and Spanish fleet) in the peninsular war of the early 1800s but it still retains quite some influence us fall as being a port is concerned and evidence of the Spanish Navy can be found throughout the town.
Sadly as an area of quite high unemployment many would view that Ferrol’s greatest days are behind it, however the streets around the harbour would tend to suggest otherwise.
Sadly the outskirts of the town have been described as some of most depressing urban landscapes in all of Spain but don’t let this distract you from visiting the city centre is this still retains a certain charm.
Yes, the waterfront is mostly dominated and taken out by naval buildings and dockyards but if you walk along the waterfront you can get a good idea of just how large Ferrols natural harbour actually is.