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Pontevedra Mini Guide
Pontevedra lies close to the Portuguese border in the province of Galicia on Spain's west coast. The city is built around the River Lerez and the Pontevedra estuary in an area known as the Rias Baixas.
Its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean gives it has a mild climate, but this also means it can be rainy and wet weather occurs during about one third of the year. The best time to go is in the summer when it is generally dry.
Pontevedra used to be a very important port but as the river gradually silted up and its international trade dried up. This once decadent city then started to go into decline. Now that decline is reversing once again as Pontevedra is being transformed from a small, backward fishing town to a thriving cultural, economic and urban centre.
Most of the industry in the city is service industry which means that the increasing numbers of tourists who are going there from Spain and Portugal
are well looked after.
Open air shows are very popular in the town. When its residents are not going to the main theatre or the large auditorium which holds 700 spectators, they can see live jazz or even historical reenactments in Pontevedra. And with cinema sessions held in public parks by the city council, there is much to do.
This ancient town and medieval port is well worth taking a stroll around. Don't miss the pilgrim chapel Plaza de Peregrina and the Alameda promenade along the river. The Praza de Lena market is also a great place to shop for authentic local fare.
Some of the best beaches in the area are A Lanzada, Sanxenxo and Bueu where you can enjoy many water sports like sailing and surfing.
If you are looking for a truly Galician experience be sure to request a room in the Hotel Parador de Pontevedra. This exquisite 16th century four star hotel has renaissance furnishings which include magnificent carpets, curtains and chandeliers and fine cuisine. All its luxury does not come cheap, but it is reasonably priced for what is on offer.
Pontevedra's position between Santiago de Compostela and the capital of Galicia, Vigo, means that the city is well served by rail on the Ferrol-Vigo railway corridor. Both of those other Galician cities have international airports as well. Furthermore buses run to many of the other major Spanish cities such as Madrid
- On the 4th August this year, the city will celebrate its annual Viking Festival. Commemorating the original Viking attack on the city a thousand years ago, there's an invasion in a Viking longship, a mock battle where the blood is represented by copious red wine and a huge picnic afterwards of octopus, sardines and other freshly grilled seafood.