Spain Itinerary up for comments

Old Sep 17th, 2001, 07:07 PM
Jeff B
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Spain Itinerary up for comments

First - THANK YOU for your help. I've had 10 days to plan a quick trip and with your help have the following to submit:
day 1:Arrive Madrid and hop via Spanair
to Bilbao, arriving late night. Here
I have arranged a hotel in advance for
obvious reasons.
day 2:Guggenheim and Bilbao, perhaps leave
for San Sebastian, the Pyrenees, etc.
Eat well. Drink wine, did I mention
eat? Drive Northern coast-east...
days 3 & 4: More of the Basque region and
wine country of Rioja. Drink wine. Eat.
day 5:Wending toward Bilbao, afternoon flight
from Bilbao to Vigo, arriving mid-eve.
Determine whether to stay Vigo area for
the night or begin drive along coast
toward Oporto.
days 6: Work along short coast to Oporto.
7 & 8 Visit anything related to port
production. Sample port. Look in port
caves. Ponder port up close and
day 9: Late AM flight from Vigo to Malaga
Meet friends in Malaga staying in
10/11: Montefrio(?) and spend days 10 & 11
with them. Day trip(s)???
day 12ate AM flight from Malaga to Madrid,
day 13:Madrid
day 14ate AM flight from Madrid to Paris
day 15aris
day 16aris
day 17aris
day 18: Late AM dpart for home...

I am very open to suggestions as I have made only my 1st night and Paris hotel reservations and am confirming the intra-Spain flights now.

Last time- Thank you so much for your help in the past week+.

Old Sep 17th, 2001, 08:07 PM
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I guess you will fly Bilbao-Santiago/Labacolla airport instead of Vigo. Santiago is a wonderful city, and seeing your interest in eating and drinking well, you may want to try galician cuisine as well ( octopus, seafood, albariño white wine,etc ). I obviously suggest you to stay overnight in Santiago, eating out in the old city at night.
From Montefrio, I would mention Granada as number one day trip with Priego as the second one.
Old Sep 18th, 2001, 06:34 AM
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Jeff, Try to stay in Viano do Castello as you drive from Santiago to Oporto. The Pousada there is special and the town was my fav in northern Portugal.
Old Sep 18th, 2001, 08:39 AM
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I’d like to echo Pedro’s suggestion of a night in Santiago. Soak up the atmosphere, hear Celtic music and street performance of a university "tuna" (student singing groups patterned after the medieval trouvadors), drink rustic red Ribeiro and delicate white Albariño and feast on great seafood in the Old Quarter around the magnificent Cathedral (Rúa Franco, Rúa Villar, Rúa Nova) Don’t miss #42 on Rúa Franco for terrific tapas of scallops (vieras) and clams (coquillas) in garlic sauce . Then end your feast with a queimada, a flaming little cup of "orujo", the local white lightening. #42 is informal, inexp, and where the locals go.
And a second vote for Viana do Castelo on your way to Porto. We stayed in June at the Pousada do Monte de Santa Luzia (thanks to Bob's rec.), and it and its beautiful hilltop setting were perfect! Since you're a "foodie", you'll love the exquisite food (plus huge portions!) in the elegant d. room. Cheeses, breads and desserts that are a gastronome's delight. (Bob, the funicular down to town no longer runs-they don't know when it will be repaired, if ever!). If the Pousada is full, you could treat yourself to equal splendor (at a real steal of a price) before you cross the Port. border at the Parador Conde de Gondomar within the fortress ramparts in Baiona. We’re "foodies" too, and we ate extremely well for 4 nights before Viana in the d. rm and the Enxebre Tavern at this stunning Parador (the lobster, "bogavante", is king here). On your way to Oporto, try to visit the Santiago Ruiz winery in O Rosal, near Tui. The border fortress towns of Tui and Valença do Minho we don’t find that appealing, but they have castle Parador/Pousadas too if you need a rest stop.
On your tour of the Rioja, the unique place to stop on your way down from Bilbao, is the medieval fortified village of Laguardia (Biasteri in Basque), the capital of the Rioja Alavesa, with pretty views of the Ebro valley . We really enjoyed the slow, scenic drive from Vitoria on the A2124 past the Balcón de la Rioja to Laguardia. It’s a pedestrians only village with ramparts and thick gateways and inside has just three long, narrow main streets. There’s a really atmospheric wine bar with a huge ancient wine press in the cellar of the "Miguel de Migueloa" hotel, terrifc tortilla tapas next door at Bar Batxoki (owned by former Florida jai-alai player & American wife) on Calle Mayor #21 and great country Basque cuisine at Marixa (the chefs and wine merchants eat here), right outside the walls. Every house within the walls has a two-story deep wine cellar (used to have connecting doors from one to another so that rebellions could be plotted underground) with some wine vats the size of small swimming pools. Visit the Bodegas Palacio and Campillo here (also a new wine museum) and then go on to the huge Marqués de Riscal installations in Elciego (where Frank Gehry has designed a Guggenheim-esque new pavilion, yet to be completed). The Remelluri estate winery in Labastida, right outside Haro, is very pretty, and you also have several in Haro around the Barrio de la Estación, Avenida Vizcaya and Av. Costa del Vino to visit, like Muga (try their Prado de Enea), López de Heredia (Viña Tondonia) and CVNE (Imperial). Beethoven II in Haro serves yummy tapas, and. Casa Terete with its long wooden tables upstairs is a great place to try roast lamb. We’ve bought wine at the Catedral de los Vinos-has great selection. A couple of books that we used in planning our wine tours of Galica/Rioja are "The Wine Roads of Spain" (Harper Collins) and "A Traveller’s Wine Guide to Spain" (Interlink Books), and check the Spanish Wine Page at
Have a great time! Wish we were going too!

Old Sep 18th, 2001, 01:19 PM
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Hi Jeff,
a small correction to Maribel´s post : Ribeiro is not red, but white wine. And yes, it is kind of rustic. If you are stuck into a flight to Vigo, you might think of visiting some of the wineries in the river Miño. They also produce Albariño, and the region is called O Rosal.
Try the Albariño from last year (Fillaboa, Terras Gaudas and Santiago Ruiz are much better options than Martin Codax).
Also, about your Bilbao itinerary. Depending on your arrival time, you could get a bus to the centre of the city, leaving at ..:15 and ..:45 until 10:45 pm. You say that on the first day you plan to visit the Guggenheim, Bilbao, San Sebastian and maybe the Pyrenees. A bit too optimistic for a day, even with a red Ferrari. Stay in Bilbao, visit the museum and eat at some place in the old town... If you want a bit of fresh air, get the tube to Las Arenas - Areeta, and get up on the "Puente Colgante" (hanging bridge). A structure similar to the Eiffel Tower, and now you can walk over its top and get a wonderful view of the bay.
Rgds, Cova
Old Sep 18th, 2001, 02:18 PM
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Hi Jeff B,
One big spelling correction to my post: the small clams are "coquinas"-sloppy proofreading!
Also, for dessert in Santiago try the tarta de Santiago-the confitería Mora on Villar sells good ones.
We've had red Ribeiro in the gallego bars in Madrid forever (but really harsh) and throughout Galicia too, served in those customary white ceramic cups-in fact, the Cooperativa Vitivinicola del Ribeiro bottles one made from the garnacha grape, I believe-not my favorite Galician wine, though. But the Ribeiro we had at #42 was white, now that I think about it.
Old Nov 13th, 2001, 04:43 PM
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