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 Viveiro.
Overall of all of the autonomous regions of Spain possibly Galicia is the most remote and this makes Viveiro 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.
Viveiro can be found on the northern coast of Galicia and Northern Spain, almost mid way between Ribadeo and the naval port (and birthplace of Francisco Franco y Bahamonde better known as General Franco) of Ferrol.
It is on the part of the northern coast of Galicia known as the Rias Altas which is not as overdeveloped as the more developed and possibly better known western shores of Galicia, the Rias Baixas.
The Rias are slightly gentler and softer forms of coastal landscapes than the Norwegian Fjords but the principle is almost the same? The inlets of the Rias Altas are deep and make the almost perfect natural harbour and again almost the perfect (if not extremely chilly at times as you have to remember that this is the North Atlantic Ocean out here) points for swimming.
All of the stops on this stretch of beautiful coast, Viveiro is perhaps the best and most interesting. Viveiro is a curious place, right at the tail of the particular Ria, it is not uncommon to see small boats getting marooned on the mud flats at low tide. Viveiro is a busy place in the summer and it is not untypical to see a constant stream of tourists and holiday makers passing through.
In winter however it is a different story and has been described as a strangely lifeless. However, as they say I guess it is all down to what floats your boat with regards to what attracts you what makes you Tick in that sometimes there is a degree of attractiveness about being able to go somewhere that is the extremely quiet and unspoiled.
After the tourist season, Viveiro can be that place. The time of the year that perhaps Viveiro is best known is Easter. Viveiro has an Easter Festival which is quite a serious event that culminates with a candlelit procession throughout the town enacting the Stations of the Cross.
If you happen to be in Viveiro at this time of year then this festival and possession can be quite a moving event.