PORTO (???) combine with Galicia??

Old Jun 26th, 2017, 10:55 AM
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Hi eks! I have not read through all the responses but I wanted to add a few things. I never got to posting a TR for this part of our 2016 Portugal trip. After a few days in the Douro (we were happy with our choice to stay in Peso de Regua) we were driving through the boonies of Portugal and we were just not loving it. We decided to [email protected]#$w The Plan and head towards Galicia, a region of Spain –our one true love- we had never been to.

This is what we did, we were basically winging it:

1 night - Valença do Minho: this was our getaway town. It marks the border from Spain and you can see Tui across the river. The town was surprisingly nice and we enjoyed our evening there very much. The coastal drive the next day was very nice.

1 night – Baiona: I loved it. DH did not. The hotel was nice but really noisy so he did not get a good night sleep. It was a very lively town. We walked around the Parador and it looked really, really nice. I would not have minded staying another day but DH was not convinced.

1 night – Pontevedra: I loved it. DH did not. The hotel was even worse than the one before, he was decidedly cranky. We got there fairly early and walked around quite a bit. Never got to see everything I would have wanted but there was no way we were staying in the hotel another night and DH did not want to go through the hassle of moving hotels.

1 night – Noia: Surprisingly interesting town. It filled a day. The next day we drove to the Cascada de Ezaro and up the hill to the viewpoint. Wow. Loved this trip. We stopped at an entirely nondescript beachfront restaurant with only a set ‘menú’ for lunch because it was the only one open on a weekday so early in the season. We had the most delicious cheeks in the history of EVER. OMG. I still dream of those.

1 night – Muxía: We went to Finisterre during the day and wound up in this town. We both enjoyed it tremendously. We watch the sunset by the church with the pilgrims. Magical.
1night – Santiago: We probably should not have done this for just one night. But there was not much to do in Muxía. Still enjoyed revisiting the Cathedral. After that we headed back to Portugal and retook the plan.

1 night - Viana do Castelo: Another so so hotel but with a great meal. Of course, this is the town where I had my Britney moment and had my hair shaven off so I could let the gray grow out… we liked it very much and the view from the Parador and the church on top of the hill was awesome.

15 nights – Porto -: We really, really liked it. Atmospheric and lively, it can be grungy and elegant at the same time. I would even go back to Porto. (We did not fall in love in Lisbon but we had horrible weather and got gravely ill with food poisoning or a stomach flu so that put a damper on our enthusiasm). We cooked mostly in the apartment so I would not have a lot recommendations for restaurants. Yeah…. I could go back to Porto.

1 night – Tomar: We loved it. Loved it. LOVED the monastery and the town was great.

3 night – Nazare: As of right now, if I wanted to go on a beach vacation anywhere, Nazaré would be a good contender. Had the best ever grilled sardines there! Guy was cooking them in a tiny hibachi in the alley next to the restaurant. They were perfect.

1 night - Obidos: Very, very pretty town. Very touristic too.

3 nights – Sintra: I was surprised at how much there was to see in and around this town. We enjoyed it tremendously. The food was not bad either and offered more variety in offering and creativity than other towns. Funny story, we went for dinner and we ordered a risotto to share and then each a main dish. When the guy came and asked what we wanted for dessert we said the ‘duck magret, to share please.’ The waiter did not even bat an eye. True professionals. BTW, it was heavenly! And I make a pretty good one myself. The 3 nights were perfect and even a 4th would have been ok.

And then we spent one night in Lisbon for our flight back.
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Old Jun 26th, 2017, 11:03 AM
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eks - my first visit to Leon I stayed here: http://www.regialeon.com

Only a three star, so may not be luxe enough for you, but I liked it and it's central. Glad to hear the parador is being renovated - I thought it was overdue.
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Old Jun 26th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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And the BEST beef I have ever had is from Retinta cattle in Extremadura. My life has never been the same.

I could also go on a pilgrimage to Ourense to find the best rosé wine I have ever sipped in my life at a small restaurant close to Sarria. At the time I thought it was 'a thing' and I did not take any kind of notes about the wine except 'rosé de Ourense'... never found it again. It was probably a family vineyard.
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Old Jun 26th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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I have a tiny bit of a trip report from 2014 exploring wine regions in Galicia and Northern Portugal and then on to Oporto. Click on my name

I also think I have an finished trip report from one of my several trips across Northern Spain.

Regards .. Ger
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Old Jun 26th, 2017, 02:20 PM
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We really enjoyed Baiona, the town and restaurants were a short walk from the waterfront Parador there. This was our first srop after Porto. We had picked up our Spanish rental car in Vigo. The waves crashed rightn in front of our room in Baiona..
Also, we stopped in Cambados for lunch and wished we had stayed there.
Stay in León, even if the Parador is closed.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 02:52 AM
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Not sure I can add much to what has already been written, but for what it's worth, we were in Lisbon and Porto for a week each back at the end of March. Although I probably slightly preferred Lisbon (and then partly because we had excellent weather, while it rained the whole time we were in Porto), I really enjoyed both cities.

Possibly Porto felt more "real" - I think the comparison with Naples does have some validity.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 11:59 PM
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Point of note to OReilly.You actually only visited one of the 5 DO wine regions in Galicia.
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 07:44 AM
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In Leon, I stayed at the NH Plaza Mayor. Very nice with underground parking. Room 206 is large and overlooking the plaza.

Here's a link to my pictorial TR from that trip:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-pictures.cfm

Hope you find it somewhat helpful.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 09:21 AM
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Joannyc and everyone who has responded so far: Thank you many times over.
I am trying now to concentrate on choosing a few destinations to lessen the time spent behind the wheel by the designated driver.

The routing seems to demand a choice between Leon and the Oviedo area, if we drive from Galicia to San Sebastian. We lovbed that city and its environs so much that I would love to include it in this trip, but again, I have a lot of reading (both books and maps) to come upon a good plan. I am going to attempt to foromulate a general idea and check back as I get this together.

Again I am conflicted about where to stay in Galicia given that we do not want to change hotels many times and would also not want to do a lot of day trips. So I'd like to find 2-3 hotels in smaller or larger cities and see what I can from there, hoping that this will not be my last visit to the area. We are not the types who will base in onen city and leave there after breakfast, driving to several places of interest in one day before heading back to the base hotel. Just too much driving. I'd rather just spend most of the time in the place where we have chosen for lodging.

Then from there, move onto either Leon area or Ovideo area. And then, maybe find a way to ditch the car and go by public transport to San Sebastian.
And fly home via Madrid/Porto, from there.

Apoligies if I am repeating myself. Does this make sense at all??
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 09:34 AM
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"Point of note to OReilly.You actually only visited one of the 5 DO wine regions in Galicia.:

I KNOW! Life is SO short and there are SO many wine regions to explore
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 10:58 AM
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To the above.
Sorry I thought I would bring that to your attention as you wrote
"I have a tiny bit of a trip report from 2014 exploring wine regions in Galicia and Northern Portugal and then on to Oporto. Click on my name"
When I read it I could only read that you went to Rias Baixas. I had to clear that point up to other members who may be thinking about a ·wine· visit to Galicia.
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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Eks

Our favorite hotel in Santiago is Tafona do Peregrino


Although we have been to Galicia many times, I am sorry to say we do have restaurant recommendations as we usually eat with friends and family and when we do eat out, they are for large groups.
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 11:44 AM
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ekscrunchy Sorry this thread is getting so long, I can't read through the whole thing, however interesting it is

But to add my 2 cents, we stayed in Santiago and did day trips, which I know you don't want to do. But we did a day trip including Cambados and liked it very much. You might want to consider it to stay, and I believe there is a Parador there, not fancy, but nice.

We just loved being near the water where you can taste the freshest shell fish. Also a very cute but small historic center there. The area really lends itself to leisurely drives around the rias, and from what we saw, the towns are small, so not a lot to do if you hang around too long.

We drove from Santiago through Ourense to Leon, then through the Picos back up to the north coast at Llanes, Comillas, Ribadesella, all lovely little towns, but involves lots of driving unfortunately.
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 11:47 AM
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I might add though, that the driving was not difficult, except through the Picos, which take a bit more concentration, but it is beautiful. The little town of Potes was one of my favorites.
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 06:52 AM
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topping this for the great info, for possible visit next year..
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