The soils developed from crystalline and metamorphic rocks in Galicia (NW Spain), are characterized by high concentrations of 1 : 1 phyllosilicates and gels. Thermal analyses, X-ray diffraction after formamide treatment, and IR spectroscopy in the OH vibration range have been performed on the clay fractions, but do not discriminate clearly between the different associated mineralogical phases. HRTEM studies linked with microdiffraction and microanalyses have led to the identification of several types of gel which transform into goethite, gibbsite, clay precursors, and/ or halloysite according to their composition (Fe, Al or Si-Al). Halloysite-like minerals are the main constituents and they have a great variety of morphologies: lamellar, spheroidal, tubular, platy or poikilitic. In general, halloysite and gel formation on crystalline rocks is related to the bioclimatic conditions, involving high hydrolysis in the presence of organic matter. This halloysite seems to be a metastable mineral which would evolve into kaolinite with increasing weathering time.