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 Rias Baixas.
Overall of all of the autonomous regions of Spain possibly Galicia is the most remote and this makes Rias Baixas 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.
This southern part of Galicias west coast consists of a series of four Rias or inlets set amongst pine covered hills and really is a most beautiful location.
The beaches on this part of the coast are extremely good, the scenery is terrific and beaches are extremely safe for tourists to bathe in and given that the climate is much milder than on the wild Coast to the north and you can understand why there is such an appeal for this part of Galicia for tourists.
This part of the Galician coast is very much the most popular part and whilst as has been said that the beaches are good they are perhaps not as good as those found further north round the Coast da Morte.
The Rias Baixas is very much the coastal tourist attraction as far as most Galicians are concerned and the description of the area can be very confusing. Firstly there is this general conception that the Rias are like Norwegian Fjords and whilst there may be an argument to be had on this issue further north, in the Rias Baixas the waters are very shallow and the beaches very sandy. The majority of the quality shell fish provided by Galician fishermen is farmed and caught in this area.
There are parts of the coast line of the Rias Baixas that are popular but by and large the coast is unspoilt. The areas around Vilagarcia de arousa and Panxon are the made tourist areas but there are quieter areas of the Rias such as the stretch of coast between Muros and Noia.
This part of the Galician coastline provides some of the richest and most fertile fishing areas on the entire Spanish coast and the climate in this area is such that it produces the finest in Galician Wines.