Galicia Region (Spain)

January 15, 2018

The word Galicia bring to mind lush green vegetation, glorious beaches, amazing seafood, the stunning scenery of the highest cliffs in continental Europe and, of course, the world-famous pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. With over 300 mineral springs, it's also Spain's leading thermal destination.

The mild, rainy climate of the region lays a green carpet all over Galicia, a landscape mixture of meadows, gentle hills, woods and rivers that boasts one of the highest concentrations of mineral hot springs in Europe. Its 21 thermal spas, with acommodation up to 3.000 beds, represent more than the 20% of Spanish spa industry, welcoming around 150.000 visitors every year. No doubt that, after the Way of Saint James - the first European Cultural Route certified by the Council of Europe, also acknowledged by the UNESCO - thermalism is the tourism product with more international potential in Galicia.

Water in Galicia is plentiful,and besides the spas and thermal centres, the region is home to 10 mineral water bottling plants. Thalassotherapy centres are also very popular along Galicia's coastline: almost 1700 km filled with sandy beaches and sailing ports.

Associate Member

Galicia has a long thermal tradition that goes back even before Roman times. From the Roman period itself, many archaelogical sites have been preserved and can be visited today, in Lugo, Ourense, Caldas de Reis or Caldelas de Tui, just to name a few

Most of these splendid Roman thermal complexes felt into disuse during the Middle Ages and Galician thermalism would not begin to bloom again until the 18th century. The very first modern written references about the springs were published during this period.

The first ‘modern’ spas appeared in the 19th century, under the new Spanish regulation for medical thermal complex. By 1826, 30 hydrotheraphy centres were oficially recognised and five of them were in Galicia: Caldas de Cuntis, Caldelas de Tui, Cortegada and two in Caldas de Reis. By 1875, hotels and enterntainment facilities began to spread around the baths, attracting more and finer guests.

Galicia's thermal industry flourished in the second half of the 19th century, attracting major investments that allowed some of these spa towns to evolve into sophisticated health and leisure centres, specially A Toxa and Mondariz . During the Belle Époque these spa towns came to prominence among social elites, and word of the quality of their waters and treatments spread beyond Galician and Spain boundaries, notably increasing their fame and reputation.

Galicia's Historic Spas

Date of creation
  • Balneario de Carballo (A Coruña, 1716)

  • Balneario de Arteixo (A Coruña, 1760)

  • Balneario de Nosa Señora dos Ánxeles (A Coruña, c. 1923)

  • Balneario de Guitiriz (Lugo,1908)

  • Balneario de Lugo (1847-1905)

  • Balneario de O Incio (Lugo,1897)

  • Balneario de Cortegada (Ourense, c.1818)

  • Balneario de Caldas de Partovia (Ourense, c.1840)

  • Balnearios de Sousas y Caldeliñas (Verín, Ourense c.1859)

  • Balneario de Molgas (Ourense,1876)

  • Balneario de Requeixo (Vilaza, Ourense, c.1900)

  • Balneario de Cabreiroá (Ourense, 1908)

  • Gran Balneario de Carballiño (Ourense, 1900)

  • Balneario Hotel Dávila (Caldas de Reis, Pontevedra, 1780)

  • Balneario Acuña (Caldas de Reis, Pontevedra,1813)

  • Termas de Cuntis (La Virgen, Pontevedra, 1881)

  • Balneario de Caldelas de Tui (Pontevedra, 1890)

  • Balneario de Mondariz (Pontevedra,1898)

  • Gran Hotel La Toja (Pontevedra, 1907)

Santiago de Compostela, Capital of Galicia is known worldwide for being the end of the Way of Saint James, the "Camino de Santiago"

A Capelada mountains are the best example of a typical landscape of Galicia; green hills over the Atlantic ocean, forming impressive hills

Guitiriz thermal spa resort

Guitiriz thermal spa resort

Rodas beach, in Cíes Islands has been many times recognised as "the best beach in the world"

A Toxa Thermal & Thalasso Spa

Cortegada thermal spa

The Roman Wall of Lugo - UNESCO World Heriatge Site - is one of the best-preserved Roman urban constructions in the world

Lugo thermal spa resort

The thermal springs of Lugo were already used by the Romans

Acuña thermal spa, in the villa of Caldas de Reis