Carballiño (literally meaning the little oak), a little town in Galicia has celebrated, since 1969, on the second Sunday of August, “La Festa do Pulpo”. This is a culinary party with an estimate of 80 to 100 thousand guests who consume around 50 thousand kilos of “pulpo a la gallega” during the event.
It is said that the festival started as the fishermen of the area were obliged to pay a tax in produce to the frays. Amongst their catch there was the octopus, plentiful in Pontevedra. With the quantities they were receiving, the frays had to commercialise it and the festival began.
The “polbeiras” or “pulperas” (women who cook the octopus) cook this animal in copper pots. The octopus has to be ‘scared’ and is introduced into boiling water for a few seconds and taken out again a few times. This technique helps the octopus keep its skin once boiled for longer amounts of time. After its boiled, the octopus is cut in slices and served with olive oil and cayenne pepper sprinkled in the top. Perfect to pair with a local brew or wine.
Once a fruitful town that housed more than a thousand people, the Malta knights amongst them, now it struggles to reach one hundred. Pazos de Arenteiro is a town that almost disappeared near the rivers of Arenteiro and Avia. A disease struck the grapes of the region which declined the (fruitful) wine making business and took almost every vine to its death. But now, a passionate galician has the dream of restoring this little town to its former grandeur attracting tourists and locals to stay or give them a homemade meal as good as any high end restaurant in a big city.
This tiny village has plenty to offer: a XVI century church you can visit and tracks to stretch the legs. One of the walks will take you through an abandoned village, a medieval bridge and the vegetation of the area.
Functioning since late 1st century AD, the Tower of Hercules is considered as the most ancient lighthouse in the world. It was chosen by its ancient Roman builders for its view of the sea.
The Hercules Tower, was once known as “Farum Brigantium” or “Brigantia Lighthouse” and it was built on a 57 metre high rock, and it rises a further 55 metres, making it the second tallest lighthouse in Spain.
It is said that that Hercules, son of Zeus, slew the giant tyrant Geryon, after 3 days and 3 nights of continuous battle, with an arrow dipped in Hydra’s blood. Hercules then buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city be built on the burial site, where now the lighthouse sits. This is why now a skull and crossbones appears in the coat-of-arms of the city of Corunna, representing the buried head of Hercules’ slain enemy.
Surrounding the tower, 47 hectares border the sea and are home to 19 sculptural projects, including the “Menhirs for the peace” representing Family. Menhirs allow for the energy that is around to be captured. These sculptures have holes that allow visitors to frame the Tower of Hercules on one angle or the ocean on another.