100 books like Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain

By Annette M. B. Meakin,

Here are 100 books that Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain fans have personally recommended if you like Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

If there is one book that will make you want to jump on a plane or get in your car and travel to this unique and beautiful corner of Spain, then it’s this one. A sumptuous coffee table book, Maravillas de Galicia introduces the reader to the wonders of Galicia with stunning photography by José Lourido, a Galego himself. More than simply a guide book, Maravillas is a book to be pored over and savoured again and again. 

The book is well laid out in both Spanish and English: There are chapters covering the major Galician cities as well as national parks and bio-reserves, ancient Celtic ruins and Roman monuments, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages. There are maps for each entry and a list of other must see places nearby making this book the perfect starting point to discover everything which Galicia has to offer. And if you can’t get…

Book cover of Death of a Pilgrim

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

This series of murder mysteries set along the pilgrim’s way, El Camino de Santiago ought to do for Galicia what Montalbano did for Sicily, with beautiful scenery, Galician food, intrigue, and of course, suspicious death.

The stories are interesting and clever but for me it’s the sense of place which really draws me to these books. The author writes with a love for the area which comes alive through her descriptive prose so I can see the places clearly in my mind as I read. Thankfully there are far less murders in Galicia than in A D Thorne’s books but I don’t mind a body or two when the setting is so beautiful.

By A. D. Thorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death of a Pilgrim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two years previously Richard's quick thinking and brave action had prevented a bomb blast which would have killed schoolchildren and politicians. A second blast injured him and caused the death of his wife. Unable, physically and emotionally, to continue his police career, he retreated to a cottage in rural Galicia and opened up a small gallery to sell his watercolour paintings, putting his past life firmly behind him. One morning, he finds an English pilgrim murdered in front of his gallery. Once her identity becomes known he is forced to face his past and the truth he has been running…


Book cover of Everything But the Squeal: A Year of Pigging Out in Northern Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

A Yorkshireman married to a Galega, John Barlow has a unique perspective on Galicia and Galician people. Add to that a wild idea to travel throughout Galicia over the course of a year trying to eat every part of a pig (except the squeal), and you have a book which beautifully evokes the people, the landscape, and especially the gastronomic fiestas of this area. Galicia has traditionally had a heavy reliance on the pig, often grown at home on scraps: Barlow writes with humour and a love of Galician food but he missed out the most famous of all the piggy fiestas… around our own town of Taboada anyway, A Festa do Caldo de ósos. Yum!

By John Barlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything But the Squeal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Barlow, self-confessed glutton, found himself in a tricky situation: living in one of the most meat-loving places on earth, married to a vegetarian.  The Barlows live in Galicia, the misty-green northwest corner of Spain, and home to a population that reveres and consumes every part of the pig. This gets Barlow thinking about the nature of our relationship with food—what’s delicious, what’s nasty, and what sort of obligation we have to the animals we eat. Over the course of one glorious, bilious year, Barlow vows to eat everything but the squeal.  In his travels, Barlow takes part in the…


Book cover of Cantares Gallegos

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

To really understand Galicia I feel one needs to read some of the evocative Galician poets. Galicia is a land of poets and of writers, and the Galician language has been associated with poetry since the middle ages. Rosalia de Castro was known as ‘Galicia’s nightingale’ by her biographer Failde, and she loved her homeland with a real passion. This passion shines through in her works, none more so than Cantares Gallegas. Her poems are simply told tales of love and loss, of her beloved country and of her people, which evoke all the senses. Rosalia de Castro died in 1885 but her words are still quoted with passion by Galegos today. I was unable to find an English translation of Cantares Gallegas but if you can read Castro’s works in the original language, then it will give a far greater understanding of this unique land in which I…

By Rosalia de Castro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cantares Gallegos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Escrito en gallego, este libro marca con paso fuerte la literatura de un pueblo. Los Cantares gallegos arrancan de la imitación y de la glosa, entroncando con los viejos poemas de lírica galaico-portuguesa medieval, para cumplir un objetivo concreto: cantar a Galicia, sus paisajes y tierras, sus rías y romerías, sus foliadas y costumbres, sus antiguas tradiciones y sus mitos campesinos.


Book cover of Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia

Amanda Scott Author Of The Basque Seroras: Local Religion, Gender, and Power in Northern Iberia, 1550-1800

From my list on Spain’s golden age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a stubborn teenager, and growing up, I vocally declared I would never set foot in Spain. The Spanish Empire was oppressive! It was full of religious fanatics! Yet… in college I took a course on Spain’s Golden Age, and for the first time I saw a different side of history, full of paradoxes and contradictions, Inquisitors and female mystics, bumbling priests and powerful nuns, decadence and poverty, emperors, tricksters, artists, pirates, scientists, and everything in between. Spain of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries was extraordinarily complex and far from one-dimensional. Now, years later, I have travelled to Spain over twenty times, lived in Pamplona, and I am a historian of early modern Spain at Penn State University.

Amanda's book list on Spain’s golden age

Amanda Scott Why did Amanda love this book?

This book centers the experience of global empire on the ordinary women left behind in northwest Spain. In many parts of the peninsula, the empire was felt most acutely and at the day-to-day level through absence: Galicia, in particular, had extremely high levels of male migration, creating communities dominated by women. Drawing upon court cases, marriage contracts, testaments, and Inquisition records, Allyson Poska shows how peasant women seized legal and social power in the sometimes-permanent absence of their spouses, eschewing norms on sexuality, property, and family.

By Allyson M. Poska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While scholars have marvelled at how accused witches, mystical nuns, and aristocratic women understood and used their wealth, power, and authority to manipulate both men and institutions, most early modern women were not privileged by money or supernatural contacts. They led the routine and often difficult lives of peasant women and wives of soldiers and tradesmen. However, a lack of connections to the typical sources of authority did not mean that the majority of
early modern women were completely disempowered.

Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain explores how peasant women in Galicia in north-western Spain came to have significant…


Book cover of The Camino Ingles: 6 days (or less) to Santiago

Sanjiva Wijesinha Author Of Strangers on the Camino: Father, Son - and Holy Trail

From my list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it.

Why am I passionate about this?

The pilgrim’s journey to the ancient Catholic shrine at Santiago de Compostela had fascinated me ever since I first read about it. For centuries, pilgrims had made this arduous journey, the majority of them on foot, along a trail in northern Spain that stretched for over five hundred miles. Many had written of the transformation they underwent as a result of making this journey. Even though I am not a Catholic, I decided to undertake the journey myself in 2011 in the company of my son – and then decided to write about what I had experienced and learned as a result of my journey. Having written my book I became interested in learning what others who had done this journey had to say about the Camino. What was their experience, what perspective did they offer, were they also changed (as I was) by undertaking this “pilgrimage”?

Sanjiva's book list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it

Sanjiva Wijesinha Why did Sanjiva love this book?

For anyone who would like to walk the Camino Ingles (the 'Short Camino' - or the 'Road less traveled by'), Susan Jagannath's book is the ideal companion.

I liked the way she began each chapter with an apt quotation. In addition to encouraging and motivating the reader to undertake this journey, she provides much practical advice about planning and preparation, and then proceeds to describe her own journey along this ‘One Week Camino’ together with a lot of useful information about places to stay and things to see as well as addresses, phone numbers, and webpages. The e-book is regularly updated – which makes it essential reading for the prospective pilgrim

By Susan Jagannath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Camino Ingles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE 2022 UPDATE

Are you thinking of walking a Camino? But a bit overwhelmed by the thought of the Camino Frances? Walk the Ingles, the shorter, sweeter, safer, and just as authentic hike in a post-pandemic world.

Get checklists, printables and fully updated information sheets on the "new normal" from the reader bonuses.

The Camino Inglés is a smart choice if you want to walk in 2022.

The Camino Inglés spans one province, Galicia, and its capital is Santiago de Compostela, the hallowed goal of the centuries-old pilgrimage. The Cathedral is now open to visitors and pilgrims.

Did you want…


Book cover of Tender

Kevin J. Fellows Author Of At the End of the World

From my list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading The Enormous Egg as a child, I’ve been devoted to stories where the strange, the uncanny, and the magical are all elements of the worlds characters must negotiate. I’m most drawn to fiction containing seemingly unreal elements because, in my experience, that is reality. Those moments when the past suddenly feels present, or when you glimpse something at the edge of your vision that feels significant, but you can’t quite catch it. Moments when anything is possible. No surprise that I write fiction that explores those moments of uncertainty and leaves the reader unmoored, thinking about the people and their experiences long after they’ve left the book.

Kevin's book list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both

Kevin J. Fellows Why did Kevin love this book?

One of my favorite fiction collections, it contains everything from selkies to homework assignments to imagined histories.

I’m drawn to stories that illuminate hidden literature, imagine landscapes, or unearth a secret history. Stories with footnotes, poems, and epistolaries. Tender is all these things, and in the best fabulist tradition, these elements are not the point. They heighten the stakes and experiences.

I love books where the unreal and uncanny don’t distract from reality but create a focus to make a fictional reality more real. In Tender, even stories that appear to be straight science fiction become something bigger and stranger.

Samatar is a masterful stylist, and her prose is outrageously good.

By Sofia Samatar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tender as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Locus award finalist

Divided into "Tender Bodies" and "Tender Landscapes," the stories collected here in this first collection of short fiction from a rising star travel from the commonplace to the edges of reality. Some of Samatar's weird and compassionate fabulations spring from her life and literary studies; some spring from the world, some from the void. Tender explores the fragility of bodies, emotions, and landscapes, in settings that range from medieval Egypt to colonial Kenya to the stars, and the voices of those who question: children, students, servants, researchers, writers.

Tender includes two new…


Book cover of Exotic Nation: Maurophilia and the Construction of Early Modern Spain

Teresa Tinsley Author Of Reconciliation and Resistance in Early Modern Spain: Hernando de Baeza and the Catholic Monarchs

From my list on memories of Moorish Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an avid Hispanist and have for a long time been fascinated by the mix of cultures in medieval Spain. Soon after 9-11, I was forced to take part in a barefoot ritual of security checks on arriving at Zaragoza airport to see something of the Moorish heritage there, and it hit me how important the way we tell the story of ‘Moors and Christians’ is to our own times. My own experience as a linguist and of living abroad made me particularly interested in people who are able to see both sides of a story and transfer between cultures. This is what I researched further in my Ph.D. in relation to the demise of Muslim Granada. 

Teresa's book list on memories of Moorish Spain

Teresa Tinsley Why did Teresa love this book?

This is a book that made me think again about the ‘Moorishness’ of Spain.

How to square the repression and ultimate expulsion of people of Muslim origin in the early sixteen hundreds with the obvious delight taken in aspects of their material culture such as architecture, fashion, and horsemanship, not to mention the sympathetic portrayal of Moorish characters in sixteenth-century Spanish literature?

It’s a well-argued book full of fascinating examples which examine and enlighten this paradox. 

By Barbara Fuchs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Exotic Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Western imagination, Spain often evokes the colorful culture of al-Andalus, the Iberian region once ruled by Muslims. Tourist brochures inviting visitors to sunny and romantic Andalusia, home of the ingenious gardens and intricate arabesques of Granada's Alhambra Palace, are not the first texts to trade on Spain's relationship to its Moorish past. Despite the fall of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 and the subsequent repression of Islam in Spain, Moorish civilization continued to influence both the reality and the perception of the Christian nation that emerged in place of al-Andalus.

In Exotic Nation, Barbara Fuchs explores…


Book cover of Lonely Planet Spain 12

Alan Cuthbertson Author Of Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart

From my list on emigrating to Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I suffered very badly from asthma, and consequently, I missed a lot of schooling. When I left school at 15 I had no qualifications and could hardly read or write. I had a lot of catching up to do. I was married at the age of 19 and in partnership with my wife Heather, we started the family business. After retiring, I now live in a small Andalusian villageI in the south of Spain. It was here where I began my writing career. At first it was just contributing to local magazines and newspapers, then I wrote my first book, Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart.

Alan's book list on emigrating to Spain

Alan Cuthbertson Why did Alan love this book?

This book is the equivalent of Google for Spain. Any expat, holidaymaker, or even if you're just passing through, you need this book. No matter where you are, or going to in Spain, this book will have everything you need to know, from opening times, fiesta dates, accommodation, even directions.

By Anthony Ham, Stuart Butler, Anna Kaminski , John Noble , Miles Roddis , Brendan Sainsbury , Regis St Louis , Andy Symington

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lonely Planet Spain 12 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lonely Planet's Spain is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at Modernista masterpieces in Barcelona, enjoy beachside Basque cuisine in San Sebastian, and taste sherry and flamenco in Andalucia - all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Spain and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Spain:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds…


Book cover of We've Gone to Spain

Alan Cuthbertson Author Of Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart

From my list on emigrating to Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I suffered very badly from asthma, and consequently, I missed a lot of schooling. When I left school at 15 I had no qualifications and could hardly read or write. I had a lot of catching up to do. I was married at the age of 19 and in partnership with my wife Heather, we started the family business. After retiring, I now live in a small Andalusian villageI in the south of Spain. It was here where I began my writing career. At first it was just contributing to local magazines and newspapers, then I wrote my first book, Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart.

Alan's book list on emigrating to Spain

Alan Cuthbertson Why did Alan love this book?

I bought this book when we first decided to move. It's jam-packed with advice and tips for anybody thinking of moving to Spain. From the kind of property available, to the cost of living, right down to the small details like, the postal service and internet availability. This book is great for those traveling through Spain looking for somewhere to put down their roots.

By Tom Provan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We've Gone to Spain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

REVIEWS: 'Buy it, absorb it and be sure to make your move an enjoyable one.' A PLACE IN THE SUN 'Reading it is like listening to a friend whose advice and ideas you trust and who has also experienced making the move.' SPANISH MAGAZINE '...probably wins the prize for plain- speaking. The author upped sticks for the Costa del Sol after a long and successful career in marketing and PR, but writes with an honesty and directness not always evident in the world of mail shots and spin...It is difficult not to be enthused by his book, again because of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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