Travel To The End Of The Medieval World At Cabo Fisterra

Galicia in particular and Northern Spain in general have long been considered to be a hidden jewel in the entire Spanish tourist industry and hidden away within Galicia itself are some further jewels and we are going to examine Cabo Fisterra further.

If you look at all of the autonomous regions that make up modern day Spain, Galicia has to be the most remote and hidden away within that remoteness lies Cabo Fisterra.

Historically, always classed as the poorer cousin to some of the other richer regions Galicia had an economy that did not easily lend itself to modernisation and herein lies a paradox in that it is this very reluctance to embrace modernity throughout that gives the region much of its appeal as far as tourism is concerned.

The natives of Galicia if you trace them back far enough have origins very similar to their Celtic cousins in the north and are justifiably proud of their language and culture and these connections no matter how stretched or tenuous give them their sense of regionalism and uniqueness.

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.

Slowly but surely in the 20th century, Galicia began to develop and today traditional lifestyles rub shoulders with modernity throughout the region whilst at the same time the region has lost none of its more traditional culture and within the tourism economy this is starting to show real benefits.

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.