A WEEK IN GALICIA..May

Old Jan 25th, 2024, 03:01 PM
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A WEEK IN GALICIA..May

I began the thread in December, about a planned visit to Galicia and Lanzarote; but since it is confusing to tie the two destinations together, I am beginning this separate thread about Galicia.

This is the combined thread:

https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/surprising-combo-spain-or-maybe-italy-lanzarote-galicia-1719277/

So to begin this, I want to ask a question:

We are planning 3 nights in Santiago de Compostela, at the San Francisco Hotel Monumental. From there, I had planned to take a taxi to Pontevedra, where I've booked the parador for 4 nights.

I want to dine at D'Berto in O"Grove on Saturday (the day we leave Santiago). Both Culler de Pau and D'Berto are in O"Grove. So I am now wondering about the seemingly crazy idea to fit in a night at Gran Hotel La Toja on Saturday night, so we could be close to D'Berto and (maybe) have lunch at Culler de Pau the following day (Sunday) before leaving for Pontevedra and checking in at the Parador. It does mean more checking in and checking out, but I know Maribel has stayed at the GH La Toja. I've had it in my mind for decades, ever since it was featured in a book I still have called something like, "Grand Hotels of Spain (that's not the actual title and I am not in NYC now so cannot look at my bookshelf; its a large format paperback that features alll these (o obviously) grand old hotels. Not only that, but I've been a fan of 4th black soap, Magno La Tojo, for years; I used to bring back boxes of it when I came home from Spain. This option would save me going back and forth from Pontevedra to O'Grove and La Toga looks pretty in photos, and the pools at the hotels look incredible (I've written to them to ask if a large pool is open and heated in May)

So that's kind of a crazy idea....or is it: Check out of Santiago, taxi to LA Toja, check into hotel, relax for the day and have dinner at D'Berto. The next day maybe lunch at Culler but surely: Txi to Pontevedra and check into Parador. Maribel, do you know off any Pontevedra restaurants open on Sunday night, in case we skip Culler de Pau?

All comments welcome!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jan 25th, 2024 at 03:06 PM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 03:20 PM
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In this situation, stay overnight stay at La Toja!! No question st all.
Wr love that area ofSpain. We stayed in the Parador in Baiona, then in O Grove and Cambados. Enjoy your dinner and relax!
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 08:19 PM
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Thanks, Happy!!! Didi you by any chance write a trip report? Your trip must have been wonderful!

Now I am finding that Sundays, many places are open for lunch, but MONDAY looks like a problem...I can't find many restaurants open. One I did find was Loaira Xantar, which might be good, but I've not read anything here, or anywhere else for that matter. But no website that I can find.

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/gal...taurant/loaira
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 10:45 PM
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I would do it!
Yes, I've stayed at the Gran Hotel La Toja twice and loved it. It's very classic, Old Style (I also have that book!!), and there's that indoor pool! And as you know, La Toja black soap comes from there.
Like HappyTrvlr I've also stayed in the Baiona Parador, the one in Cambados, the one in Pontevedra and Tui (plus the ones in the countryside in mid-east Galicia).

But the Gran Hotel La Toja would be much closer to D'Berto and Culler de Pau for you.

La Toja-O'Grove restaurant open on Sunday night, starting at 8:30---BEIRAMAR
https://guide.michelin.com/es/es/gal...rante/beiramar
https://www.elespanol.com/treintayse...isitas-o-grove

Like D'Berto, it's a classic. I tried to reserve online but couldn't for some reason, so have the hotel book for you.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:38 AM
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[QUOTE=Maribel;17529453]I would do it!
Yes, I've stayed at the Gran Hotel La Toja twice and loved it. It's very classic, Old Style (I also have that book!!), and there's that indoor pool! And as you know, La Toja black soap comes from there.
Like HappyTrvlr I've also stayed in the Baiona Parador, the one in Cambados, the one in Pontevedra and Tui (plus the ones in the countryside in mid-east Galicia).

But the Gran Hotel La Toja would be much closer to D'Berto and Culler de Pau for you.

La Toja-O'Grove restaurant open on Sunday night, starting at 8:30---BEIRAMAR
https://guide.michelin.com/es/es/gal...rante/beiramar
https://www.elespanol.com/treintayse...isitas-o-grove

Like D'Berto, it's a classic. I tried to reserve online


Maribel, thanks again, yet again!!! I went midway a sample booking at BEIRAMAR online.. But before selecting the date, they ask you which table you want, and then when you go to choose date, it says there is a 25 euro charge for the table (??). I tried with a "terrace" table. I've never encountered that before..do they mean 25euro in addition to the dinner..that sounds unlikely. What do you think/know about this:. Maybe they charge for you to book out an entire, specific, much-in-demand table..(??)

Mesa T2Hora:21:00
Reservado:enero 28, 2024
Horario:Cena
25,00 € Mesa T2 quantity 25,00 €


Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jan 26th, 2024 at 11:41 AM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:58 PM
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Unfortunately, I haven't the slightest idea.
I tried to do a dummy booking as well, but nothing popped up. Then I changed browsers and saw that to reserve a table (but I didn't select a specific table), there was a charge of 25 euros.
What I imagine and am just guessing here---- is that it is a charge that protects them against a last minute cancellation or no show, and the 25 euros will be deducted from your restaurant bill. If you cancel or are a no show, they have your 25 euros as a cancellation or no show fee.

Like what they do in Michelin -starred restaurants, like Arzak.
At Arzak if you don't cancel by email (not by phone) within 48 hours, €270 euros per guest will be charged to the credit card entered during the reservation process.

Maybe the hotel can call them to find out if my theory is correct?!
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 01:45 AM
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Not pertinent to this topic at all, eks, but something you may enjoy reading---an article this morning in El Mundo about yours and my favorite roast baby lamb restaurant in Castilla-León,
MANNIX.
https://www.elmundo.es/metropoli/gas...28a8b45b0.html
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 09:28 AM
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Ekscrunchy, No, I didn’t write a trip report but perhaps I can answer some questions for you.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 09:32 AM
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Oh, Maribel, that is wonderful to read about MANNIX. Indeed, one of the best meals of my life! It seems like a big omission that very few people on this forum don't explore that immediate area...I know Julie Vikmanis did, but she is the only one that I recall wrote about her experiences. What could be more glorious than to stay at ABADIA RETUERTA and sample the lechazo restaurants in that area?? For wine lovers, especially! And so relatively close to Madrid...Ii remember that we arrived at the airport and immediately drove to ABADIA that same morning. It's an expensive place, but quite a few forum-goers would be open to that, I think. Even Pedraza and Sepulveda get little mention here. I think that that is when I first became aware of how fantastic you are!! When you shared the information about a restaurant in Sepulveda...but as II remember it was not Tinin, but a butcher shop where you could choose your meat and have it prepared to your liking (???). The details are very fuzzy, though, so perhaps I am totally off base. The other area that gets scant mention is the area around JARANDILLA LA VERA..where we stayed at the Parador. And that was back when JL was still working so we dashed through that town, Toledo,, Se4govia, and even to Caceres! Imagine that now...NO!!

So, I got way off track here. SO: Back to Galicia. If I include La Tojo/O"Grove, it would men taking a day from Pontevedra and live 3 nights in that town. However, that plan would mean traveling from Santiago to La Tojo on a Saturday, checking into the GH LA TOJA, a little relaxing non then to D'BERTO for dinner. Fine so far. But then on the Sunday wee would have to check out of the hotel early to get to Pontevedra in time for Sunday lunch OR have lunch in O"Grove (Culler??) and then go to Pontevedra. All good BUT that leaves almost no real time to hang around the hotel's pools and enjoy the hotel itself.

So that brings me to the idea of spending 2 nights at LA TOJA...and have dinner at BEIRAMAR. (You must be correct about that 25 euro charge). Then go to Pontevedra on Monday and have just Monday night and Tuesday at the Parador. (I need to look at Pontevedra restaurants to see who is open Monday night); one that "might" be open is LOAIRA XANTAR but I've not confirmed that. So with that plan we would have just Monday afternoon and Tuesday In Pontevedra. It does seem like a fairly small place..maybe that is enough time (??)

I know its a difficult choice, but I'd love to hear your opinion!!
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 10:39 AM
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I vote for 2 nights at La Toja to relax. I think, honestly, that 4 nights in Pontevedra is a bit of an overkill, as much as I like the town, and as pretty as it is. I vote for 2 and 2.

And I so, very miss Julie Vikmanis on the forum. She was my "guru" regarding dining and lodging (hope you're reading this, Julie Vik, as you're dearly missed!)

Yeah to Mannix, which we both love and to Jarandilla, which we also love. We need to get back to Abadía Retuerta soon, my heaven on earth!
We spent both my birthday and my husband's birthday last year at Abadía Retuerta just so that we could dine at Mannix on both occasions!

Last edited by Maribel; Jan 27th, 2024 at 11:07 AM.
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Old Jan 30th, 2024, 10:38 AM
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Oh, Maribel, that must have been divine! I "need" to get back to ABADIA!! It's one of the loveliest hotels I've ever stayed at.

For anyone reading this, here is the hotel we are discussing...within an easy drive from Madrid and you do need/should have a car if you stay there,. The hotel is closed now and reopens in late February:


https://www.abadia-retuerta.com/home








I plan to switch the plan to include 2 nights at GH LA TOJA and 2 at the Parador in Pontevedra. I'm sos glad that you like that idea,, I now have full confidence that this will be the best plan.
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 05:04 AM
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I am adding this restaurant, in Santiago, to the thread, because it looks as ifs it might be a possibility; open daily for lunch and dinner.



https://www.cafedealtamira.com/en/menu
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 10:23 AM
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With a nod from both Repsol and Michelin, you can't go wrong.
But don't forget the two places of Lucía Freitas, A Tafona and Lumbre, if one of them fits into your schedule.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 08:10 AM
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Will try too fit at least one of those in, Maribel.

To update: I've requested by e-mail (hotel website did not work with Amex although hotel does take it) a double room with sea view, breakfast, and thermal spa included, for two nights, a Saturday and Sunday.

So we will have:

3 nights Santiago de Compostela--San Francisco Hotel Monumento
2 nights GH La Toja
2 nights Parador de Pontevedra



After Galicia, fly from Santiago to Lanzarote direct.

Besides some restaurants, biggest decision is whether or not to rent a car in Galicia (or use taxis); we will do so in Lanzarote.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 08:30 AM
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Well, the driving on the Galicia coast around the Rias Baixas is easy or has been for us...not so much around the Costa da Morte and Rias Altas, as it's so slow going, but you won't be headed there anyway.
You can zoom down to La Toja-O Grove on the AP-9 from Santiago in about an hour, or you could go the slower coastal route and stop for a look around at lovely Cambados, the "capital" of the Rias Baixas D.O., subzone, Salnés. Along the beach you can see the mariscadoras doing their harvesting work. We've stayed there at the Parador.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 09:56 AM
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Gracias, Maribel!

Renting a car sounds much more appealing, as long as it will not be stressful for the driver. But then, perhaps after my upcoming "practice run" in and around Vejer, I will be eager to take the wheel. For me it is less stressful to drive oneself than to be the passenger of a stressed-out driver!


I'll go back and forth about this with the companion traveller. It's funny, but some how once you we rent/pay for the car, we don't think about cost much. While if we have NO car,, it would mean taxis from Santiago-La Toja, La Toja-Pontevedra and, finally, from Pontevedra to Santiago airport. Plus any shorter taxis rides for example, from GH La Toja to D'Berto and back. The cost definitely figures into those transactions.

<<I know readers might advise taking buses but for this particular trip, especially given the luggage and the back issues, I'm almost certain we will decide between either rental car, or taxis>>

Update even before posting: Just took a quick look and I see that a taxi ride of less than an hour from Pontevedra to Santiago airport will be in the range of 300euro----pretty high....once I take a deeper look into this, I'm guessing we will decide to rent the car upon leaving Santiago. So we can make stops to drink in all the goings-on en route!!

Do you think that it would be easy enough to rent a car in Santiago center (instead of having to taxi out to the airport to pick up the car for the drive onward?). I will look at the rental locations but I'm guessing it would not be too stressful, especially on a weekend......

Thanks so much for the help, yet again!!!

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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 10:03 AM
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Talk it over well with the companion, as I know you will. If I were you, but of course, I'm not, I would rent the car. And you can make as many stops as your heart desires between Santiago and O Grove/La Toja.
I've never rented a car in Santiago center, only at the A Coruña airport, where we've landed. I would check to see which rental agencies (in town or at the airport) offer automatics, probably the airport location, but I don´t know from experience.

And now, since we have our own car, we drive!

Another Guía Repsol article about the mariscadoras de Cambados and environs.

Last edited by Maribel; Mar 1st, 2024 at 10:15 AM.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 10:21 AM
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Oh, Maribel, this is wonderful!

Of course, I ought to be finishing up my packing for my departure TOMORROW but yet again, procrastination wins again!!!
I'm just about finished with an attempt to take FEWER clothes this trip....that attempt seems to be partially successful. And this trip may be the fist one I've ever taken without a printed guidebook, although said book is nestled next to my backpack, just in case I change my mind!!
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 07:11 PM
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Eckscrunchy, you can win the battle of taking too many clothes! I use packing cubes and categorize them. So one for short sleeved tees, another for long sleeves etc. Once the cube is full, you’re done. And then you’ll have more room for your food purchases!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 12:37 AM
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Eks,
The Rías Baixas is now producing a sparkling albariño you may want to try. Mar de Frades produces one, a Brut Nature.

The very pretty granite town of Cambados, the "capital' of the Rías Baixas DO, subzone Salnés, filled with attractive seignorial pazos (Galician manor homes), is all about albariño and mussels (and other molluscs). Along the Paseo Marítimo you´ll see the many bateas, the wooden structures where the mussels are cultivated. In the Rías Gallegas there are more than 3,330 of these bateas that annually produce more than 285,000 tons of mussels.

You might want to pick up some conservas (clams, mussels, cockles, baby scallops) from Conservas de Cambados while in the area.

I once dragged my friends all the way over via the Calle Hospital to the fishermen's quarter of San Tomé de Mar for dinner to the simple bar/restaurant, Casa Pintos (a casa de comidas), because Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali filmed a sequence there of their "Spain on the Road Again" there.
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