Vigo, located in the Galicia region in northwest Spain, surrounds a large protected harbor that's a major commercial port and marina for visiting yachts. Unlike many of Spain’s coastal cities, Vigo has only recently come into its own as a popular cruise ship destination for its medieval center, seaside attractions, and proximity to the major pilgrimage site Santiago de Compostela, just 60 miles north.
What We Love
Santiago de Compostela: This is an impressive medieval center with an elaborately carved stone cathedral consecrated in 1211— and the final resting place for the apostle St. James. Thousands of pilgrims (and even more tourists) stop here on the route of the Way of St. James.
Best Known For
The Medieval Center (Casco Vello): This section of town has narrow lanes and steep stairs; perched high above it, there's a fortress (castro) with a view of the entire region.
Architecture: The city has examples of Romanesque architecture dating from the 10th to 13th centuries, plus the fine neoclassical cathedral of Santa Maria de Vigo, completed in the early 19th century. You may also come upon Roman ruins — Vigo was once an ancient trading city.
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Who It's Best For
Hikers, History Buffs, and Foodies: With steep steps leading to the best city and harbor views, medieval quarters to explore, and fresh seafood caught in abundance by Vigo’s sizable fishing fleet, there's something for every trekker, culture aficionado, and culinary buff.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Walking Can Be Strenuous: The streets are sloping, and there are many stairs. Expect to putter around small sections of the city.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.