This is a festival in honour of seafood. It is celebrated in O Grove (Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain) during the first two weeks of October and it is one of the most important festivals of Galicia.
Here, anyone can taste the different kinds of seafood: from oysters, mussels and cockles to prawns, crabs and barnacles. It is amazing how many different dishes there are for a good price. Moreover, there are also folk performances.
This year, there were more people than ever. The village was full of people from all parts of Spain, and even from outside. It was very difficult to book a hotel for those people who did it in the last days before the event because the occupancy rate was at the highest level.
Two of the main important characteristics that make this festival different are the fact that the seafood from this area is among the in the world; and the second fact is that it is awesome to have lunch in front of the estuary Ría de Arousa. It is a perfect location for this festival: you can enjoy this wonderful landscape while you taste the best seafood.
Galicia is quite simply one of most picturesque areas of Spain I have visited
After residing for so many years in the dryer, hotter south, one really notices the change in climate, vegetation, atmosphere and old-worldy charm so similar to the villages of Ireland or a small hamlet in Britain.
Galicia has really everything to offer: it is clean and green; it offers a pleasant climate throughout spring and summer; the coastline is dotted with picturesque villages and small quaint harbours; most of Spain's best beaches are to be found in this area; and lush meadows and orchards are abound.
Driving around the countryside and coastline is a real pleasure, with fantastic views from almost every corner of the province, and of course a word on Galicia would not be complete without mentioning the incredible selection of super fresh seafood and fine wines on offer in almost every cafeteria, restaurant
and tapas bar in Galicia.
One of the prettiest towns in Galicia would have to be O Grove.
O Grove is one of Galicia's many charming fishing villages, and due to its situation on the eastern side of the headland which faces the mainland it is protected from the tidal force of the Atlantic Ocean.
It has a gentle personal charm endearing to all visitors, there are a good smattering of restaurants to suit all prices, and most of them with one thing in common: seafood. It's everywhere, and so fresh it basically walks onto the plate by itself.
As you walk along the beaches in the area as the tide recedes, you will come across cockles, clams, shrimps and small crabs laying in clean golden sands of the Rios.
Be careful though not to get the urge to fill up a bag to take away, as that is not allowed. This true treasure of the sea is jealously guarded by the ladies who work in the local cooperatives making their living cultivating this local delicacy.
One strange occurrence was that the locals understood my Spanish, Andalucian twang included, which is not always the case in other parts of Spain.
I would highly recommend a trip out into the Rios on one of the many comfortable glass-bottom boats that take sightseers out to the mussel and oyster platforms. Included in the trip is a plate of freshly harvested and cooked mussels washed down with a cold glass of Ribero (local young white wine) ... Delicious.
Situated in the middle of the Rias Baixas region, some 25km west of Galicia's capital Pontevedra.
In the Rías Baixas, each season and each month has its own gastronomical festival to honour the different tasty food of this region.
So, for example, the first two weeks of April, there is an oyster festival. The festival is during this date because the oysters are in the best moment to be tasted. Together with the gastronomic festival, there are other performances for the public.
You can enjoy non-stop eating from the oyster sample plates.
Why lamprey? Lamprey is a delicious fish that lives in the southern rivers of the Pontevedra province. It is a tasty fish cooked with its own black sauce. It is cooked in diferent ways but the most delicious is the recipe that came from France.
Romans settled in Pontevedra, fell in love with the fish and tried to take it to Italy.
During the last weekend of April, in Arbo (Pontevedra, Galicia), there is is a fiesta in honour of the fish. People can taste different recipes made from lamprey with a traditional wine of this area.
Apart from the fiesta, tourists can taste this dish in many restaurants of the region, one of them is A Rula in Arbo.
Do not miss LAMPREY.
I love it.
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