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The night of San Juan is celebrated with enthusiasm throughout the Peninsula: Alicante, Porto, Lanjarón and a multitude of towns in Catalonia that night form a map marked by bonfires, food and drink.
Galicia, with its San Xoán, is not far behind. Discover how to celebrate this magical night in the purest style of the Northwest.
COSTA DE MORTE: CASA LESTÓN (SARDIÑEIRO), VERBENA AND TORTILLA DE LONGUEIRÓNS.
Like any celebration worth its salt, that of San Xoán begins earlier than the calendar. So, although the big night is the one from 23 to 24, we can start the tour the day before visiting Muros, one of the most beautiful locations in the northern Baixas estuaries.
Come to the village of Serres, where a great popular mussel is celebrated on the afternoon of the 22nd . In coastal Galicia, in summer, if there are no mussels there is no party.
The tour can continue towards the Costa da Morte, with a stop in Sardiñeiro, a village by the sea that celebrates that day the feast of its patron. And although the party is the pretext, do not forget to reserve a table at the centennial restaurant Casa Lestón and to order your mythical longueirón tortilla, similar to the razors but finer.
A Coruña welcomes summer on the beach and at the stake © Getty Images
TO CORUÑA: HOUSEHOLDS, OCTOPUS AND TABERNAS
Another essential stop is A Coruña, a city that overturns with the Feast of San Xoán as few. Literally hundreds of bonfires take the beaches of Riazor and Orzán at night .
But as the day is long and you have to regain strength, what better way to do it in one of the mythical taverns of the center, O Tarabelo (Barrier 15), with a portion of parrochas, small fried sardines. Or, as an alternative, with a classic among the classics, the octopus of A Pulpeira de Melide, in the neighboring Plaza de España.
Hundreds of bonfires take the beaches of Riazor and Orzan during the night of San Xoán © Getty Images
COMARCA DEL ULLA: ASCENT TO Pico SACRO WITH STOP IN FOGAR DO SANTISO
Back to the south we can join those who greet the summer solstice every year at the summit of the Sacred Peak, a few kilometers from Santiago.
As the wait at the summit can be long, it is best to stop at Fogar do Santiso, a restaurant that is distributed throughout a series of cabins and buildings in the middle of a forest and that bets on local, ecological and local produce. season.
Their grilled meats and their organic Padrón peppers, collected just a few steps from your table, will put you in an environment to face the night with the best of spirits.
Do not rule out finishing the meal with a queimada. The steep last meters of the top of the Sacred Peak will be made after this stop much more bearable.
Grilled octopus from Fogar do Santisto © Fogar do Santisto
O GROVE: WAVES AND BRASAS
If you prefer a more beach plan, perhaps yours is to comply with the ritual of the Nove Ondas, the nine waves, on the beach of A Lanzada, in O Grove (Pontevedra).
It is an ancient fertility rite that today many people continue to practice as a pretext to take a bath on this first festive summer night rather than for its miraculous potential.
Anyway, as in San Xoán everything revolves around magic, but also of fire and smoke, take advantage that you are in the area to stop at the Brasserie Sansíbar, one of those names that run from mouth to mouth among fans of the gastronomy. Their grilled meats have no magical properties, but they will make you feel like new.
The ritual of the Nove Ondas is the perfect excuse to receive the summer with a bath on the beach of A Lanzada © Getty Images
RÍA DE PONTEVEDRA: CASA SOLLA AND THE MIRACULOUS HERBS
In Poio, a step away from Pontevedra, is Casa Solla, one of the historic restaurants of contemporary Galician haute cuisine. About six decades at the foot of the canyon and the oldest Michelin star in Galicia (they have been holding it since 1981) make the restaurant an essential visit.
Poio also has the peculiarity of being divided into two nuclei each dedicated to a saint. The Solla restaurant is located in San Salvador, but next to it the village of San Xoán celebrates its big days that week.
You can start by trying the traditional sweet thread on the 22nd or fulfill some of the essential rituals, such as going out for the miraculous (miraculous) herbs the afternoon of the 23rd.
Prepare with them an aromatic water with which you will have to wash the next morning after leaving it all night outdoors, so that the smoke from the fires transfers protective properties, and then join, already at dusk, to the great sardiñada that It is organized in the village.
A shared post by Pepe Solla (@pepesolla) on Feb 16, 2017 at 10:53 PST
OURENSE, SÁBREGO AND THE MAGICAL RITUALS
The province of Ourense is loaded with magic, so in San Xoán we have a choice: we can take a night bath in the Entrimo hot springs or collect walnut leaves and elder flowers in Amoeiro to protect our house throughout the year .
In this area, the base camp may be the beautiful rural house of the Casal de Armán winery, where Sábrego is, one of the most interesting restaurants in the province. Waking up in such a place, having tried the menu proposed by chef Marco Varela is almost as curative as the more traditional rituals.
Casal de Armán, a country house that houses one of the most interesting restaurants in Ourense: Sábrego © Casal de Armán
SANTIAGO: CACHARELAS IN THE OLD AREA AND THE MANSO RESTAURANT
The tour can end in Santiago, the capital of Galicia. That night the squares of the old area are filled with cacharelas - so we call the fires of San Xoán here - with which neighborhood associations and cultural groups invite locals and tourists to join the party.
The plan may include some live music in front of the convent of San Martín Pinario, jumping over a bonfire in the collected alley of Jerusalem, sardines in the neighborhood of San Pedro, wine in a clay bowl in the Plaza del Matadero, bagpipes and tambourines in the Plaza de la Algalia de Abaixo and, as a party end, the sardines with Padrón peppers and cornbread that chef Alberto Lareo offers in the tapería of his Manso restaurant .
Start the afternoon covering the old area to see how it is called cacharelas (bonfires) © Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash