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Galicia: environment, geography, climate, nature and wildlife

La Playa de los Ingleses on Galicia's bleak Costa da Morte

Climate of Galicia

The climate of Galicia is classified as Atlantic, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Although the wettest spots in the Peninsula are probably in Navarra, this is rainiest region of Spain, with well over 1,000mm a year across almost the entire region. The town of Vigo receives, for example, 1909mm. Most years, Galicia is swept by rainy fronts coming in from the Atlantic. Snow falls inland abundantly during the winter, with Los Ancares being one of the snowiest areas in Spain. Maximum summer temperatures are around 20ºC.

Average climate figures for La Coruña

  Av. min Av. max Average rainfall
Jan 7 13 118
Feb 7 13 80
March 8 15 92
April 9 16 67
May 11 18 54
June 13 20 45
July 15 22 28
Aug 15 23 46
Sept 14 22 61
Oct 12 19 87
Nov 9 15 124
Dec 8 13 135

Geography of Galicia

The coast of Galicia is by far the most indented stretch of the Spanish coast with its famed succession of flooded valleys, known also in English, as well as Spainsh, as rias, and formed by rsing sea levels after the last ice age. The coastlne is divided into three sections running west to east (Rias Bajas, Costa da Morte and Rias Altas). Most of Galicia's population lives on or near the coast and to a much lesser extent than the Mediterranean, villas and holiday homes now mar large stretches of the two Rias Altas and above all the Rias Bajas. There are still however long stretches of unspoilt coastline, particularly along the wild, rugged and extremely Costa da Morte, (which by writing this I am adding my grain of sand to its invasion). Inland, populatation is much sparser. The region is crossed by several low mountain ranges crisscroosed by numerous small rivers.

Much of Galicia's native forest has been lost, particularly along the coast, to the continual spread of the eucalyptus plantations for the paper industry. Many of the fires reported in the world's press are no more an ecological disater in themselves than the burning of other crops, say a wheatfield. Such industrial disasters do have, however, negative knock-on effects (pollution of esturies - mass death of shellfish, burning of remaining natiive woodland, destruction of heath important for wildlife such as wolves and their prey species). Eucalyptus is highly combustible but also regenerates incredibly quickly afterwards. There are hundreds of fires along Galicia 's coast of year, yet all along the Rias Bajas and Altas there is an almost continuous mono-crop swathe of these Australian trees. The Costa da Morta has to an extent escaped.

Another environmental issue is the infamous Prestige Oil Spill, the worst environmental disaster in Spaninish history. As of 2007 most of the coast has now recovered from this, though small slicks still seep from the wreck. More here:

Provinces and surface area of Galicia in km2

Coruña (A)








Highest moutains in Galicia

A Coruña


Montes de Bocelo




Los Ancares




Sierra segundera




Sierra del Faro


Flora and wildlife of Galicia

Nature reserves in Galicia

National parks

Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park (Cies Islands)

More here from Wikipedia

Natural reserves

  • Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures
  • Dunas de Corrubedo y Lagunas de Carregal y Vixán
  • Eciña de Lastra
  • Las Fragas del Eume
  • Monte Aloia
  • Monte do Invernadeiro

Environment of Galicia
Wildlife of Galicia
Galicia Environment
Galicia climate
Galicia geography
Galicia nature
Galicia wildlife
Environment of Galicia
Geography of Galicia
Climate of Galicia
Natural history of Galicia
Wildlife of Galicia
Galicia wetlands
Galicia birds
Galicia wetlands
Galicia birds
Mountains of Galicia
Rivers of Galicia
temperatures of Galicia
Rainfall of Galicia



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Facts about Cantabria, Facts and figures about Cantabria, Trivia Cantabria
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Rural accommodation & tourism guide to Galicia

Information on Galicia