Galicia in northwestern Spain forms the corner of what is known as Green Spain extending from the Basque Country’s border with France and encompassing the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. With landscapes atypical of the more arid south and Mediterranean coast, Galicia exhibits Celtic characteristics not limited to their use of the gaita (bagpipes) in the traditional music. The rural wooded and hilly interior is covered in oak and chestnut trees and punctuated by historic granite pazos (manor houses) and hamlets and villages, some of which are, sadly, empty, abandoned in the migration to the cities and opportunities in the Americas. The misty fjord-riddled coastal areas produce much of the finest shellfish in Spain and the majority of the Albariño wines from the Rias Baixas appellation.
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On or near the Galician coast is also where many of the cities are found: Santiago de Compostela, famous for its cathedral begun in the 11th century and the finish line of the Camino de Santiago; Pontevedra, a lovely city with the largest medieval center in Galicia after Santiago, and largely pedestrianized since 1999; the fishing port of Vigo; and A Coruña on the northern coast.