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Mar 21st, 2005, 06:28 AM
  #1
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Question for Maribel

Dear Maribel, I have been reading many of your posts about Spain. I am impressed with your good advice. I am planning an itinerary to Galicia in May and would be interested in what you have to say about Portonovo. Hotel Martin Esperanza (found in the Michelin Guide) sounds charming with nice terraces overlooking the water. What is that area like? Would we be happier in Pontevedra? I like the idea of being on the water, but not if the area isn't charming also. Thanks!
I appreciated your tip on the Hotel Asartes. I didn't find it on any of my other sources. The website shows that it is lovely. We are booking there.
Any tips you can give me on Pontevedra, Santiago, La Coruna and Salamanca would be appreciated.
Thanks again.
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Mar 21st, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Hi jhebz,

I am not Maribel, but I may be able to help you a little bit. If you are looking for a charming, old-fashioned little village, Portonovo is not.

It is located between Sanxenxo and O Grove, and it has become a vacational centre.

http://www.agalicia.com/sanxenxo/portonovo/index.htm
http://www.sanxenxo.com/castellano/g...po01/gpo04.htm

It should still be quiet enough in May (the big months are July, August and the beginning of September).

Regarding the hotel, if you are still interested, you should check with them, because by the info in the turgalicia website they seem to be open only from June to September.
http://www.turgalicia.es/sit/ficha_d...cidi=E&nonav=1

Have a look to http://www.turgalicia.es I think that you could find places more charming than Portonovo, maybe small agritourism places.

Pontevedra is completely. Lovely, and you should visit it, but be aware that it is a city.

Rgds, Cova
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Mar 21st, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Hi jhebz (and cova),
Cova is our resident expert on Northern Spain as she is a native of the area, but I'll just add a few of my thoughts.

My impression of Portonovo is exactly
the same as cova's. I haven't been there in a while, but what I saw was a town that seemed to consist entirely of bars and apartment blocks. People vacationing in Sangenjo and O' Grove go there at night for the lively tapas bar scene. Very tourist developed-void of charm, not quaint at all. I wouldn't stay there, nor in Sangenjo.
As cova says, the old quarter of Pontevedra has lots of charm, as does Cambados (much smaller, the "albarino" wine town, with a great plaza, lots of granite manor homes and a lovely Parador, where we have stayed. It seems you're looking for a Galician village of charm. I would go inland, and as cova suggests, and look for a rural "pazo" (Galician manor house). Don't know your price range, but look at
www.pazosdegalicia.com
I've read wonderful reports about the "Casa Grande de Cornide". Also a friend of mine loved the "Pazo da Trave" up on the Cantabrian coast in Viveiro. If some particular "Pazo" appeals, do a search for it on www.toprural.com to read the guest reviews. Also look at the www.toprural.com offerings in the Pontevedra and A Coruna provinces by clicking on those provinces on the Spain map. Many listings have their own web pages.

As for the "pazos", I've stayed at the "Pazo El Revel" (gets a red for charm in the Michelin guide) in Vilalonga (Pontevedra province), which is only a few kms. from the coast BUT it's only open June-Sept. (May is definitely low season on the coast.)
Also look at the suggestions at
http://www.specialplacestostay.com/m...oom/map1a.html
the Spain guidebook by Alistair Sawaday. They're all small and charming, character-filled places.

Also try www.riasbaixas.org

If you want something spectacular on the water, you would love the Parador de Baiona, but a double costs 135 in May. We went for 3 days, fell in love with it, and added 2 more days in early June. But make sure to book a room that has a water view-not all do. They are very large (our standard rm had a sitting area), extremely comfortable and the setting is magnificent. The Pardor feels more like a resort-2 restaurants, tennis courts, pool, lots of garden, you can walk the ramparts. It sits high on a promontory overlooking Baiona and the sea.

If you'd like some info I've compiled on Santiago and Salamanca, just send an email to [email protected],
and I'll send it your way.

Hope this helps.
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Mar 21st, 2005, 01:19 PM
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jhebz,
Another source for Galician "pazos" is
www.innsofspain.com Do a map search for them.
Besides the lovely and tranquil Parador at Cambados, a converted 17th century pazo, (115 euros in May) there's also the less expensive Pazo Carrasqueira in Sisán, just 2 km. away, a member of the "Pazos de Galicia" group. (I forgot that turgalicia has a link to the pazosdegalicia site). I love Cambados (and its albariño, especially the Palacio de Fefiñanes!), and it's well located to explore other areas of the Rias Baixas.
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Mar 21st, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Wow -- Maribel is definitely back! How lucky for all of us.

Oddball question about Pontevedra that maybe Cova or someone else can answer for me. I'm geeky enough to track the daily temps of a couple cities on my Yahoo home page. I'm interested in Galicia and I selected Santiago and Pontevedra (among other cities in Europe) and I consistantly see that Pontevedra is 10 or so degrees (F) warmer than Santiago, Madrid, Barcelona and other cities throughout the winter/cooler months.

Is that because it's at the end (beginning?) of a ria? More importantly, does that make Pontevedra an ideal retirement location in the north?? ;-) Needless to say I am very intrigued -- and wondering what to do when I win the lottery.
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 12:13 AM
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Hi Molloy,

Pontevedra is located in the Rias Baixas area. My friends in Santiago have holiday apartments in places like Vilanova de Arousa or Sanxenxo, and they are able to enjoy during many months of the year. Rias Baixas seems to have a bit of microclimate. It is not the south of Spain, but it can be warm and sunny (and the food and wine is a big plus). So, you are not thinking about a bad place

Maribel, I think Jeannie mentioned in her other thread that they are from Montana and they want to enjoy the sea. In that case, I would certainly try place like Cambados or even maybe O Grove with the old seaside resort of La Toja and the huge beach of La Lanzada. What do you think? They are driving back to Salamanca after La Coruña, and I think maybe Viveiro is a bit far away for them.

Rgds, Cova
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 04:42 AM
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Julieīs previous thread (sorry, Julie. I donīt know why I thought your name was Jeannie )

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34588055

Rgds, Cova
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Mar 22nd, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Hi cova and Julie,
Sorry, I hadn't read your previous thread, so didn't know where you lived in the US or at what point of your trip you were headed to Salamanca. Now, with that in mind, yes, Viveiro in the north would be way too far a drive from Salamanca!

I think the Cambados area would be perfect. In fact, on our next visit, after Baiona, we'll make Cambados our next base before Santiago. As cova says, you have the expansive and uncrowded beach of La Lanzada to walk on, you can explore A Toxa, (I've also stayed there at the beautiful "Grand Dame" spa hotel-can probably take treatments there or at the new Hesperia without being a guest), take an excursion to Muros/Noia (if you don't want to venture ther from Santiago), visit the gardens of the Pazo de Oca, see the collection of hórreos (unique granite granaries) of Combarro, even take a longer drive down to Ribadeo (interesting ancient Jewish quarter) and Baiona/A Guarda for a lobster (bogavante) feast, see the 3rd century Celtic settlement of Santa Tegra, whatever appeals in the time you have. So many options.

The only lodging in the area that we didn't enjoy as much was the 4 star Pazo O'Rial in Vilagarcia de Arousa, which we thought was less charming than other mansion-pazos, just a pleasant hotel.
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