Above: Islas Cíes, off the coast of Baiona

One of the pleasures of travel in Europe is that there is always a new region to discover. I have lost count of my visits toSpain, but my recent trip to the northwest still felt like a journey into the unknown. Coming out of the airport in Vigo after a 75-minute flight from Madrid, the air smelled bracingly of the pines and eucalyptus trees that cover the steep green hills of Galicia, a Celtic region that in some ways has more in common with Brittany or Ireland than it does with the rest of the country.

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Above: Islas Cíes, off the coast of Baiona

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