Galicia Road Trip

Jun 17th, 2014, 12:32 AM
  #1  
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Galicia Road Trip

I'm planning a road trip to Galicia and hope folks can tell me if this is do-able. Here's what I am planning:

I arrive in Madrid on Saturday afternoon, pick up car and drive to Avila, spend the evening and next day
Sun - Avila in the a.m. and drive to Cambados
Mon - Cambados (spend the night)
Tues - Drive to Ferrol - spend the night
Wed - Ferrol to Asturias (Gijon)
Thurs - Gijon
Fri - Gijon to Madrid in the afternoon - spend the night at airport hotel for early flight home on Saturday.

I've gotten some conflicting driving distances, so I just wonder if this is a workable plan. I have been to Santiago and Leon and some of the other small towns before. This trip I'd like to see some wine regions and the coast.

Any and all suggestions would be welcome! thanks so much.

Vanessa
CurioiusG1 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 01:03 AM
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what time of year, Vanessa?

you say you've got some conflicting driving distances - what are they? IME one-night stands can work but to do so, the driving in between hasn't to be more than half a day if you're really to see anything when you get to your destination. And of course there may very well be things that you want to see en route.

Bearing in mind the region involved, have you thought simply about hiring a car and setting off without booking in advance? [save for the first night perhaps]. if there is only one of you or you are a couple, accommodation should be easy enough to find in that area.
annhig is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 01:28 AM
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Hi Ann,

I'm leaving in a few weeks. The longest stretch, it seems, is the drive from Avila to Cambados. Some sites said approx 5 hrs, but on Michelin it said 11 hours!

I should have mentioned that I do have accommodation in the Ferrol area and Gijon. I was just wondering if my timings were sufficient for travel from place to place. Or, if there is another wine region in the area that would be closer to the north. Thanks so much.
CurioiusG1 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 02:04 AM
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I don't know how much help I can be because I entered Spain from Northern Portugal and stayed in Galicia only for about a week. On thing I will say is that I encountered a lot more traffic in and around A Coruna than I anticipated. If you can

Ourense has a lot going for it as an historic town with good food, so you could shorten that very long drive from Avila by spending the night there if you don't absolutely need to be in Cambados. I drove all the coast between Pontevedra and Ferrol, and it took me a couple of days. Partly I wasn't in a hurry, but also the coast is, as you known, exceptionally crenellated, so while it looks compact on a map, if you stretched out the road in a line, it is probably 9 times longer than it tends to appear in terms of kilometers.

I don't know what is drawing you to personally to Avila, but if you don't mind skipping it, you can probably easily fly from Madrid to Vigo (Santiago de Compestela) and buy yourself more time to see the coast.

Another think you might consider is reversing the trip, and taking in some of the Ribero del Douro wine region, but dropping off the car in Vigo and flying from there to Madrid for your flight hone.
sandralist is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 02:08 AM
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My post wasn't clear. Vigo and Santiago de Compestela each have their own airport. Also, my last suggestion is drive from Avila first to Gijon, and visiting the Ribera del Douro wine region on the way, and then loop west, ending in Cambados, dropping off the car at an airport in the vicinity and flying back to Madrid for the flight home.
sandralist is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 04:22 AM
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Sounds like you will not have a lot of time to see the towns you are driving to.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 06:22 AM
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IMDonehere,

Have you ever been to Galicia? When I road tripped around it, I never spent more than half a day in any one town. With very few exceptions (where the OP is not going anyway), the towns are very, very small and can be walked around totally in 2 hours tops, including visiting interiors. The towns generally come to life at night, so spending the night there and staying a bit in the morning is the the best way to see them. I skipped Santiago de Compostela, and were I to go, I would probably spend more than one night there. But many towns I visited in Galicia were perfect for a one hour + lunch stop, and the off for more scenic driving, maybe stopping at a church or a castle, and then reaching one's destination to enjoy an evening stroll with tapas, admiring the town. Galicia is really an ideal road tripper's destination in many ways.
sandralist is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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I have spent considerable time in Galicia and have driven many of the roads. My FIL was born in a small town outside of Santiago. There are few multi-lane roads in Galicia. I must admit I have not been to Cambados.

Here are some of my favorite places in Galicia:

Castro de Barona-Celtic ruins
Lugo-An intact Roman walled city
Costa de Muerte-rugged beauty
Finisterre-the end of the Camino
Ile De Cies-a ferry boat boat ride from Vigo

(For others visit Santiago de Compostela but the OP has been there and that is why I did not include it for her.)
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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I live and work in Galicia.
I don't really understand what you are trying to achieve with this trip.
Here are my honest thoughts.
I assume you are flying from the States, so driving from Madrid to Avila whilst under the influence of let lag will be no fun at all.
One nighters do not work.
Visiting the Ribera del Duero on the way through is even worse. What do you hope to see?
What other wine regions are you hoping to visit? Galicia has 5 D.O. regions, in total, and I do not see any of them written about in your plans.
Is this your first visit to Spain? if not then I should warn you that Spain operates on a different time schedule. Things open up around 10ish, close around 2ish then opens up again around 5ish until 8ish. There is a big gap for lunch time closures and one should allow for that when planning sight seeing trips. Do your research as this is not hard and fast rule so a few things could be open all day.
Eat late and get up later.
Bodegas in Galicia are family run so sometimes one cannot just stroll in and have a tour. (Unlike what I have read in the States)
If you are not European do not forget your I.D.P. either.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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The OP said in his or her first post:

"I have been to Santiago and Leon and some of the other small towns before."

I agree with this statement: "There is a big gap for lunch time closures and one should allow for that when planning sight seeing trips." It's one of the reasons so much of Spain is idea for road trips.
sandralist is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 09:23 AM
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Ribe really know Galica.

Snadralist, may I ask you how much time you have spent in Galicia?
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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sandralist on Jun 17, 14 at 6:58pm "It's one of the reasons so much of Spain is idea for road trips."
I have totally the opposite view::: stay and absorb the country. Sit in a restaurant eat a hearty meal, sit and have a picnic beside a river, take an ice cream on a terrace what ever just relax you are on vacation. You never see anything through the windows of a bus, train or car that is worthy.
You have 50 odd weeks a year of rushing around, why spend 2 weeks vacation time doing the same thing?
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jun 17th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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Galicia is one area fewer Americans tend to visit and the topography stands in contrast to Andalucia and Castile. There is deep Celtic influence that should be noted.

I agree completely with Ribe.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 12:36 AM
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While Snadralist is posting excessively elsewhere, she has seems to have disappeared from Galicia, when the question she posed is asked of her.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 03:15 AM
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Thank you all for the good suggestions and interesting comments. I have been to Spain many times and this is my second visit to Galicia. I have some good ideas now and will be able to plan accordingly. Thanks again and hope everyone has a good day.
CurioiusG1 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 03:48 AM
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Boy, people on Fodor's really like to jump to conclusions don't they -- without even reading what they are reacting to!

I wrote that Spain is ideal for road trips based on my now 20 separate trips to Spain (not all of them road trips, by the way). As I said in my very first post in this thread, I spent a week road tripping in Galicia. So why am I supposed to rush back to answer a question you could find out on your simply by reading more carefully?

It is fine that ribierasacra has decided to stay and absorb Spain by living there. But I did every single think he or she mentioned as essential and important during the week I spent in Galicia, road tripping. I ate a hearty lunch every single day, and I ate by the riverside (and the seaside), and I sat on a terrace in the evening snacking (I hope it is OK I ate pastry or drank wine instead of eating ice cream, which I don-t care for, even though I prefer helados to gelato).

I think it is too bad that ribierasacra has never had the thrill of coming round the bend in Galicia -- there are so many -- and been struck by the extraordinary beauty of the landscape or seascape one sees at first glimpse. Most people who road trip know where and when to pull to the side of the road and enjoy the moment. Everywhere I went in Galicia, there were many, many turnouts for just such a purpose (as is the case in Catalonia, the Basque country, and other scenic parts of Spain that I have been to).

I don't know what CuriousG1 does when he or she isn't in Spain, but I don't rush around for 50 weeks out of the year.

Just so many ridiculous and unfounded assumptions. No wonder people just thank people and go do what they want to do. They absolutely should!
sandralist is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 04:39 AM
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CurioiusG1, thank you for posting back I was beginning to think we had lost you.
Hope you enjoy your trip. Any more questions do not hesitate to ask.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 05:45 AM
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When in Galicia be sure to try the seafood.

http://www.itrainsinspain.com/2013/s...ginners-guide/

Also you can visit the Rias Baixos and Pontevedra.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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We stopped in Cambados and wished that we had stayed there longer. Enjoy your time on the northern coast of Spain!
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jun 18th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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I posted a pictural TR of my time in northwestern Spain last year. Here's a link to the pics. If you play it in slideshow mode, you can see the text I've added to a majority of the pics.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10755...87825290891645
joannyc is offline  

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