Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Trip to the Island...La Toja, Spain

Imagine a church covered completely in sea shells...its outer walls adorned with messages from pilgrims who seek its sanctuary and tourists who seek its quirkiness.

Iglesia de las Conchas



Passersby glance and then move closer, curious as to the messages left by those who came before.


Such a church is a reality on the La Isla de La Toja (A Toxa in Gallego, the language of Galicia), across the bridge from El Grove (O Grove) in the Rias Bajas (Baixas), meaning "lower rias," in Galicia, Spain.

The island of La Toja is a summer and fishing resort in the south of Galicia, which boasts warmer waters, a luxurious mineral spring-fed spa, a casino and golf course, creating a playground for the wealthy.  


La Toja known throughout Europe for its therapeutic, healing thermal spring. Legend has it that a man left his dying donkey on the island, only to return and find him youthful and spry. It is used by the famous soap company, La Toja, which has been making mineral salt based soaps since the early 20th century.

Granite engravings lining the streets downtown.
Galicia is known for all-things scallop shell,
the symbol of St. James, the Great...an apostle of Christ.

During low tide, you will find women of all ages, harvesting clams and other shellfish from an area that celebrates the bounty of the sea every October in a grand seafood festival.



La Toja is a fun destination, about six hours from Madrid and only an hour from Santiago de Compostela.

Take the trip, sip the Albariño (Galicia's white wine) and take in all that this lovely little island has to offer.

Salud!



11 comments:

  1. Awesome! We used to live in the Turks and Caicos, where there all kinds of strange little spots to explore. This looks beautiful and interesting.

    http://pilatesandreiki.com/how-do-you-feel/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynda, Thanks for your visit! It must have been beautiful in the Turks and Caicos. The villages in Spain are exactly how you described...so many nooks to explore. Thanks again. I hope you come back again soon.

      Delete
  2. Wow, I've never heard of La Toja, but now I can't wait to go! A church made of seashells sounds like it's out of a storybook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do get to visit, Christy. It really is beautiful. It's fun reading the messages left on its walls. Thanks so much for stopping by! :-)

      Delete
  3. a great post!! I encourage to visit La Toja and discover many nice places in Galicia!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Galicia is beautiful...so much to see and do.

      Delete
  4. Kelly, this Post is amazing, really enjoyed the fascinating church and the great photos on the women collecting the shell fish, this would definitely make a great travel feature article!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Peggy! I would love to submit it...I just don't know the first thing about how to do that. Time to do some research, I think. :-) Happy New Year to you!

      Delete
  5. Nice one Kelly! Haven't been for a while but Galicia is one of my favourite parts of Spain...the wilder and lonelier the place the better. We used to go on family holidays there when the kids were kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patrick! I am still learning and discovering much of Galicia and there are still many areas I haven't been, but this seemingly forgotten area has captured my heart. Part of me wants people to discover it, but other parts of me want it to stay non-touristy and rather unspoiled. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments.

      Delete
  6. I was there last June, on a day trip. I enjoyed my two weeks in Santiago, and the surrounding area. The seafood was awesome and the people so kind!

    ReplyDelete