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Surprising combo spain (or maybe italy) lanzarote,galicia???

Surprising combo spain (or maybe italy) lanzarote,galicia???

Old Dec 26th, 2023, 07:00 AM
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Surprising combo spain (or maybe italy) lanzarote,galicia???

We planned to pay a May or June visit my cousin who is living in Jakarta for a few more months combining the city with one or two sort-of accessible destinations. I am about to cancel that because the family will be moving back to the US around the time.

So the question arose, f we have about 2 weeks in May, where to go???? ( have an idea which I will post here, but if anyone had other suggestions, those are also welcomed.
In general, we like scenery, easy driving or easy public or private transportation, interesting local restaurants, and ability to swim in warm water, but not wineries.

Spain and Italy and the countries we return to over and over again and this time I am leaning toward one of those counters, probably Spain. (I will be in Andalucia and Madrid again in March, solo)

So I came up with this plan, which at first may seem odd but I will explain why it just might work, after watching Jose Andres" episode on Lanzarote in the Islas Canarias. I was swept away by the unusual volcanic scenery, the possibilities of swimming, and the unique foods.

In my reading, I realized that there are daily flights from Santiago de Compostela (we have been before but only briefly, long ago, to other areas of the region) to Lanzarote; most of these are on Ryan Air which I do not want to chance, but Vueling has Wednesday flights leaving in late afternoon, taking just under 3 hours to reach Lanzarote. (They also have 6am flights one day a week but these are not what I would prefer to take)

So this is the plan I came up with; hotels are booked but refundable; nothing else is booked.

Fly from JFK, via MAD, to Santiago....1 night Santiago at HOTEL ALTAIR near the center.

4 nights PARADOR DE PONTEVEDRA (had preferred 5 nights but they are full so for what would have been our first night so I booked in Santiago for that night, as we will be tired anyway, and we can get to Pontevedra the following morning for the 4 nights there, before returning to SANTIAGO airport directly for the flight to LANZAROTE. I am looking for one restaurant in SANTIAGO and at least 4 in PONTEVEDRA, with at least one featuring Galician beef.

I think I can manage this easily with buses and maybe a taxi or two, so hopefully willl.not have to rent a car.

After 5 nights in Galicia, we would fly on Vueling to Lanzarote, where I booked LANI'S SUITES, adults only small hotel in PUERTO DEL CARMEN for 9 nights, which will allow us to relax and do some easy touring. I am conflicted about renting a car; we need an automatic and Sixt does appear to have these at the airport; they are SKODA'S. (???) The hotel offers free airport transfers.

I had never given a thought to the Canarias, imagining the the islands were inundated with budget travelers from Northern Europe and filled with fish and chip shops and bars with cheap beers. But the tv episode did not support that view at all, at least when it comes to Lanzarote. The volcanic scenery looked dreamy, as did the architecture and gardens of Spaniard César Manrique who gets most of the credit for keeping that island pristine and lacking in high-rise modern hotels. The seafood restaurant (El Risco) shown on the show looked divine, with several seafood species I'd never seen on any menu, including limpets and moray eel.

So the. more or less, is what I am thinking of for later spring this year. Since these areas are foreign to me, I'd really love to read impressions from posters who know them, or have at least visited.

Packing is sort of complicated because these two regions vary a lot in their climates, but I will manage!

Please comment!!! And if you have a different idea for two weeks in. Spain (or Italy) for May, please do chime in. Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Dec 26th, 2023 at 07:05 AM.
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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 07:24 AM
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Sounds very interesting & certainly different. I DVD'd the José Andrés episodes but have yet to watch them. I will be looking forward to your TR if you do this.
Also I hope for your trip to [size=13px]Andalusia[/size] in March, you will provide a TR or at least highlights. We are thinking of returning there at some point.
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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 08:45 AM
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Lanzarote in the Canaries
We went there after Covid. The place is basically a wasteland from volcanic action with holiday villages all over. Local buses work pretty well. Visiting the ancient vinyards (dug into dusty holes in the ground) was ok, but it can sure be windy on this island. We went for 10 days after Covid and after jogging every day, swimming every day I got bored.

Fueteventura is a ferry ride away to the south (?) and that is equally strange, I might stretch the time out by going there too.
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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 11:20 AM
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Eskscrunchy,
I had mentioned to you Lanzarote because we're planning to visit next October for their big gastro festival and to do wine touring (our trips are usually very food and wine focused and business related). I too was intrigued by the José Andrés episode and a friend had learned to scuba dive there and recommended it. But we plan to dedicate no more than 4 nights, as I think with more, we'd get bored. And since you won't be doing any wine touring, I don´t think I'd dedicate 9 nights to the island.

The signature hotel/ restaurant there is the César Lanzarote, which you shouldn't miss.

As to Pontevedra, we've stayed at the Parador there and can recommend for dining in the Old Quarter, the charming EIRADO DA LEÑA. Outside of Pontevedra there's also SOLLA and PEPE VIEIRA.
And nearby, we've also stayed at the spa hotel Gran Hotel La Toja to dine on seafood at D' BERTO in O Grove (which I think for you, would be unmissable---one of the finest seafood restaurants in Galicia). The Pontevedra-Rias Baixas area restaurants are mostly heavily seafood focused.

For Galicia beef rather than glorious seafood, I always think of going deep inland to a country village rather than finding it on the coast. But...you'll find it if you have a car and want to drive, I´d head to.....
TABERNA A DE LINO en Moaña. I have it on my radar but have yet to go. It seems like a kind of combo between an El Molín de Mingo experience in adventure and a La Castilería experience in beef.
https://afragadelino.com/tabernadelino/
https://www.albertogranados.com/plan...-lino-galicia/

Here´s a Repsol guide to tapas in Pontevedra.
https://www.guiarepsol.com/es/comer/...or-pontevedra/
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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 12:24 PM
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Just a note,
I would cut back your days in Lanzarote and add upon arrival a day or two more in Santiago, which has now a very exciting food scene.
I don't think you would want to miss the Mercado de Abastos at 2.0 Abastos and dining at A Tafona by Lucía Freitas and Pampín.
https://www.luciafreitas.es/en/a-tafona
[:gl]Restaurante Pampín[:][:en]Pampín Restaurant[:] |
https://abastosdouspuntocero.com


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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 02:10 PM
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Thank you, thank you! I did this so quickly and should have asked you both before I plunged in!

I've written to request 2 more nights in Santiago, and will ponder cutting the time in Lanzarote. I do think we would be ok maybe visiting one other island for a day, and lounging at the pool and walking...the partner moves a lot more slowly than he used to (as do I!) . And I thought we could take buses or hire drivers for the times we want to get out and explore the island, vs renting a car. Thoughts on that are most welcome! One thing I will NOT be do9ing is hang gliding, like the "daughters" did. Surfing is not on the agenda either, but snorkeling would be fun (once) if I can rent equipment...but that's not the important stuff right now.....

Bilbo, did you rent a car while there? ( it looked so beautiful on the tv show (boy, does that comments sound ignorant!!). And the hotels does look lovely but I certainly have time to cut short the visit..I checked the cancellation policies carefully before booking. The one non-changeable it the once-a week Vueling flight from Compostela to Lanzarote, but I am pretty sure that Vueling much have daily flights to Madrid, from where we would depart for our return to JFK.

Normally I obsess and ponder for months, and here I did this one-two-three..just shows you the results!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Dec 26th, 2023 at 02:14 PM.
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Old Dec 26th, 2023, 04:35 PM
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There is nothing wrong with Europe's largest airline AKA Ryanair. They haven't become that by accident.

The islands can be what you're worried about or they can be the opposite end of the spectrum. I'd suggest not thinking in terms of whole islands but at a more targeted approach. For example the southern end of Fuerteventura is basically a German town. Not a fish shop in sight. Problem with a short trip is it's an hour from the airport. Budget? Some of the hotels are approaching €500 per night.

Finally while the weather should be okay for seaside it's still the Atlantic. Water won't be warm. Even air temperatures can vary
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 12:41 AM
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ekscrunchy,
You certainly do know how to pick beautiful hotels!
I just read the Telegraph review of Lani´s Suites and it looks heavenly. They should be able to provide you with a driver to take you around to do a bit of sightseeing if you every want to leave your suite!
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/d...de-luxe-hotel/

They only reason we plan to stay at the Palacio Ico in Teguise is that Teguise is where this gastro event, Saborea Lanzarote, will be held (in Nov,. not Oct)

The Parador in Pontevedra is housed in a typical Galician manor home, the former Pazo del Barón de Goda. It was the first Parador to be opened in Galicia in 1955 and is right in the center of the casco antiguo, where the tapas culture is quite lively at night. We had a rather pokey room, 107, that needed updating, so I suggest that you book a double superior or even better, a jr. suite (knowing, of course, that you already have done so!!! )

More thoughts on Galician beef--
The ASADOR GONZABA at Nova de Abaixo 2 in Santiago has just opened a branch here in Madrid that's on my list to try, as Maribona has recommended it. Because it's Madrid, the prices here are far higher than at the mothership. You may want to give it a look, as it specializes in Galician beef, chuletón de ternera, de vaca o de buey.
https://asadorgonzaba.com/carta/
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 06:33 AM
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Maribel, I am now attempting to add two more days to Santiago, bringing the total to three nights. I could not get the extra night hat the Hotel Altair so that is out. But there are a few options that looks good. Do you have any thoughts about these?

R&C A QUINTA DE AGUA. Looks lovely but not in town center. which means I cannot wander around alone, but have to taxi to town, unless distance is walkable..willl check.

SN FRANCISCO HOTEL MONUMENTAL. Looks very nice and IS win or near center.

Both appear to have 3 nights for us.

Or do you have anyplace else you think I would like a lot?

Have I left out anything? I did not consider the parador because it seems that there are many negative reviews. I am embarrassed to say that I cannot remember if we stayed there when we went the first time, but I don't think so....I was a fan of your back then but not sure if I was posting..it was a looong time ago and we only stayed a night or two and it turned out to be a weekend when things were really quiet. I have very few memories of the stay. the trip when we began there and rented a car and drove all the way along the northern coast (in one week!) to Santander, the site of the famous ekscrunchy Ortiz glass tuna jar breakage and subsequent oil trail through the airport! So we know this was prior to 2001!
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 08:04 AM
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R&C has your name all over it!!! You love the.Madrid R&C and you'll love this one. It's an ekscrunchy place, with lovely, copious breakfasts, although you do have to taxi into town. It's unique.

I've stayed at the San Francisco Monumental with indoor pool. On my last visit I got severe food poisoning from a lobster eaten at a now-closed restaurant. I judge the quality of a hotel now on how I feel when very sick in my room, and the staff couldn't have been lovelier. It sits right behind the Parador Hospital Reis Católicos, so dead center.
The furnishings at the San Francisco are a bit "monastery brown" but in keeping with the building, a former monastery.

I've stayed at the Parador as well but chose the San Francisco on my last visit because the rooms are more uniform in size and I wasn't up to splurging for the habitación única, the "special room", Cardenal Suite 329 at the Parador. The Parador staff can be a bit aloof, as they see so very much traffic from both guests and folks who just drop in to take a look and want to photograph that they don't always have the time to go the extra mile. (Ditto to the front desk staff at the Parador Hostal San Marcos in León, as it's always sold out, although a stay there in their best rooms is always memorable due to the sheer grandiosity of the building.)


Last edited by Maribel; Dec 27th, 2023 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 09:37 AM
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Maribel, hola otra vez!!

Ok, three nights now in Santiago. I've made note of the restaurants you recommend. I had saved a few more during my readings, and wonder if you have any comments on these:. (listed at the bottom of post)


You mentioned ASADOR GONZABA ad this sounds perfect for both of us!

I'm also wondering about, in addition to ABASTOS 2.0 and A TAFONA by LUCIA FREITAS ( this is testing menus only)

Google says Pampin is closed (??).

Getting all over the place now, have not even stepped outside yet today!

Last night I tried like mad to find online the food shop that Jose Andres visited for the potatoes and onions....example of how I fritter away my time! (Had no luck but found a lot of supermarkets!!!). And Indian restaurants!!!!

HORTA DO OBRADOIRO

MAR DE ESTEIRO. https://www.mardeesteiro.com/carta/. shellfish looks out-of-this world on the Carta!!!

There are 5 right there for only 3 nights!!! could it be that we are destined for both lunch AND dinner!?!?! Shocking thought!!
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 09:49 AM
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Pampín Bar
[:gl]Restaurante Pampín[:][:en]Pampín Restaurant[:] |

Google says it´s closed because it always closes on Wednesdays. It´s a Bib Gourmand.

Lucía Freitas, the premiere female chef of Galicia (and one of the foremost in Spain), in addition to her eponymous restaurant, also has another place, LUME, a gastronomic bar.
https://www.luciafreitas.es/es/lume

A visit to the Mercado de Abastos is a must! And watch the ladies dressed in black, seated around the market separating the pimientos de Padrón, actually pimentos de Herbón. And noshing in the market's Nave 5. This stone market for me is a fascinating place.

Yes to both the Horta do Obradoiro and Mar de Esteiro, as they're both Michelin Bib Gourmands.

Eks, like in Córdoba, you have too many restaurants and too few days. There´s also Caté Altamira, A Maceta.....ok, I'll stop now.

Last edited by Maribel; Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:30 AM.
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Old Dec 27th, 2023, 11:44 PM
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The market looks much updated from 10 years ago when we watched Pulpo being boiled and cut onto a wooden plate with olive oil and pimiento. With white wine it was Euro 5. That was a fun experience. And the women in black dresses were weaving baskets at that time. Hope it hasn’t changed too much!
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 12:05 AM
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Now there is the Nave (aisle) 5 inside the market that is a kind of gastro-aisle, and Abastos 2.0 has become very popular, now Michelin and Repsol guide recommended, so it's gotten a little fancier.
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 09:08 AM
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If you are looking for car hire on Lanzarote we have had excellent experiences with Cicar. It is a Canarian based firm and we have had two great experiences with them. However it is a small island and, unless you are looking to explore the southern coast with the beautiful Papagayo beaches, a car is not necessary.
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 10:38 AM
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spiral,
Where did you pick up your Cicar rental? At the airport? I see they have offices in several different locations. Was it a round-trip rental? Thanks!
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 11:23 AM
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Spiral, Thank you for that info. I've been debating about renting a car; prices seem to be a lot lower than the mainland and from what I've read, the bus services are designed more for locals than tourists, in the timetables, I suppose. If we do not rent a car, we would likely have to taxi to restaurants and for sightseeing, or hire a private driver a few times. Unfortunately we need an automatic car; I checked and they are available through Autoeurope at Avis. for about US350 a week, plus extra fees. But to go from Puerto del Carmen to a restaurant can cost 20euro or more each way. So financially, I think the car rental is best for us; I am only a bit nervous about driving on unpaved roads.

I can ponder this for a while but would welcome any comments.

BTW, Vueling has flights from SDC to Lanzarote for 20euro or less! Of course, one is limited with the amount of luggage so that does not work for us, but I did book one-way flights that allow checked luggage and other extras for 117 euro for both of us!!! For a flight of almost 3 hours!
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 01:12 PM
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We hired from the airport and returned there on both occasions. I seem to recall that the car we had back in 2019 from them was an automatic although we had not requested one as we generally drive manuals.
The roads are generally good although the ones to the Papagayo beaches are very rough unmade tracks. We didn’t venture off the metalled roads on our visit earlier this year other than to go down to Playa Mujeres - our favourite on the Papagayo. We have driven over most of the roads on the island and the traffic we encountered was light other than around Arrecife.
The main tourist attractions are very well organised and parking at them has never been a problem for us. Parking in the towns and villages is more of a challenge.
We have noticed the difference in car hire prices compared with Malaga! We wonder if it is because the cars have less wear and tear as the mileages are so small.
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 03:04 PM
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Thanks so much! It's great to have someone on this forum who knows the islands well; it's silly that they are listed under the AFRICA forums on this site.

Ii just read about a Sunday Farmer's market in the small inland village off Tinajo..have you been there by any chance? I know there is a big Saturday market in another village but from what I've read so far, that one has a lot of tourist-oriented things...not so interested in that...one thing I do not need is more knick nacks to cram onto my shelves back home!!
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Old Dec 29th, 2023, 10:50 AM
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In May 2023, I visited Galicia by public transportation, my third trip to Spain. From Pontevedra, I day tripped to Combarro and stayed at Cambados. Quaint attractive villages.

But the highlight was the Sil Canyon. I took a private tour from Ourense to Parada de Sil, which included visiting a couple of monasteries and a boat ride through the Canyon. I stayed at Parada de Sil and hiked to a few jaw dropping viewpoints of the Canyon. A nature photographer's dream! I only wish that I had rented a car to touring the area more extensively.

https://turismo.ribeirasacra.org/en/the-sil-canyon
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