Vigo is Galicia’s largest city (the fourth largest in Northern Spain), and the world’s second largest fishing port by volume (after Toyko), supplying huge quantities of sardines, among other things, to the whole of Europe. With a beautiful location spread along its wide bay, it’s a curiously divided place. The old part of town is a working port and wholly down-to-earth. Traffic problems, urban decay and poverty are all present and evident, but it still recalls its golden days as an important steamer port bustling with passengers bound for London, Portugal and South America. Faded but proud old buildings line the streets descending to the harbour, and the fresh seafood on offer here is as good as anywhere in Europe. By contrast, the newer zone around the marina is full of trendy cafés and waterfront promenades. If you’re looking for a quiet, restful stop you may hate Vigo; if you’re the sort of person who finds busy ports and earthy sailors’ bars a little romantic it’s an intriguing and likeable place.
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