The Galician holiday town of Noia is located in the Noia-Muros bay on the North West coast of Spain, just above Portugal. It is a 40 minute drive from the historic city of Santiago de Compostela and lies adjacent to the popular coastal resort of Porto do Son.Although Noia is worth a visit on its own merit, it is also ideally located for visiting other seaside towns like Muros, Porto Sin and Boiro and of course anyone holidaying in this part of Spain is bound to want to see Santiago de Compostela.
What makes Noia worthy of note is not just its location, but its history and appearance. Noia has existed for well over a thousand years and was, for 700 years, the seat of the Archbishop. It has two churches dating back to the eleventh and twelfth centuries and many other ancient buildings in its original mediaeval quarter.
An unfortunate feature of Noia, but one typical of this region, is the constant presence of decrepit old buildings adjacent to well maintained ones. This is the result of the land registration laws, or lack of them, in Galicia. If you can ignore this failing, Noia is an attractive town with many tapas bars, plenty of shops and the feel and atmosphere of a genuine Spanish town. Noia still has a thriving market and the locals speak their own language, Gallego.Noia's nearest beach, "la praia de Testal", is only a five minute car journey away and several other beaches can be reached within minutes. A short drive out of town and into the country will see you quickly gaining altitude, Galicia is hilly and sometimes mountainous, but this adds to the views and scenery.
You will also notice the smell, Galicia is a forested region with pine and eucalyptus grown as a crop. Futurist looking windmills will also be in evidence on the hill tops and generate a substantial amount of the regions "eco" friendly electricity.In cultural terms the Galicians are Celts, so do not expect flamenco dancing and spanish guitar, instead the traditional instrument is the bagpipes and the dancing is very much in the "folk" mold. If you are from Scotland or Ireland, you will feel at home here. Also the most popular crop vegetable is the potato, although it is usually poached in a seasoned liqueur and has a pale orange hue to it when served.In summary if you want a Spanish holiday, but one away from the tour operators, crowded beaches and commercialism of the south, then Galicia (and Noia) may offer a welcome alternative.
If you do travel to this part of Spain, remember it does have seasons, so visit between May and September and be prepared to try and speak a bit of Spanish! Visit www.galiciaguide.com for further information about Noia and the Spanish region of Galicia..I am an IT professional living and working out of Leeds, England. I have a particular interest in the Spanish region of Galicia on the North West coast of Spain (from which my wife and her family originate).
I also run a "destination guide" web site about this province, http://www.galiciaguide.com, and periodically write articles about the towns and cities within it.
By: Martin Lambert