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Travel from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid in ten days

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I am looking for advice on the most interesting route to take when we travel from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid. We have ten days. We could hire a car, or use public transport. We prefer places which are a bit off the beaten track. One idea would be to travel down to Porto in Portugal, then inland back to Spain via Salamanca then on to Madrid, but I have no idea which route would be the best, and which places would be nice to stop in. Another idea would be not to go to Portugal at all, and to explore Northern Spain , Cantabria and Asturias, and then somehow make a long bus or train journey to Madrid.
I would welcome any suggestions, as I am a bit in the dark. We are taking unpaid leave to do some of the Camino walk and then 10 days exploring Spain or portugal , so we want this to be a really special experience.

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