10 Days Madrid to Madrid.
Highlights Include: A Coruña, Santiago, Ribera Sacra, Ourense, O Ribeiro, Terra de Avia, Cíes Islands, Cambados.
Galicia & St. James’s Way
DAY 1 ARRIVE MADRID, SPAIN / A CORUÑA: Arrival in Madrid, the Spanish capital. Meet the Director of the trip and travel to A Coruña, capital of the Galician Autonomous Community. Check in at the Melia Maria Pita, located right on the Paseo Marítimo seafront, across from the fantastic Orzán and Riazor beaches. Recover from your jet lag at a spa that offers all the benefits of seawater, thanks to a 600-metre pipe installation running straight from the Atlantic Ocean. Yoga, Thai Chi, Pilates and Thalassotherapy are also available. Finish off the day in a fine restaurant, listening to the sea. A Coruña won first prize at the ‘Best Sound of the Sea’ international festival, beating over 600 cities from around the world to the award.
Hotel Name: Melia Maria Pita. (D)
DAY 2 A CORUÑA / SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: After breakfast, the experience of El Camino de Santiago (the way of St. James) really begins. El Camino’s end of Santiago de Compostela. For over 1,000 years, pilgrims have followed a whole variety of routes to the city. This route is focused on El Camino Inglés (the English Way), which heads to Santiago from the North. It starts at La Torre de Hércules (the Tower of Hercules). Nature and history are alive through a green, Gothic and aromatic Galician landscape. Once in Santiago, the pilgrim ritual starts by contemplating the city from a hill, before touring across symbolic points of the Gothic city until arrival at the Cathedral of St. James. After a cultural visit of the Cathedral and a tour of the Santiago’s roof tops, experience the pilgrim ambience that has taken over the city over last 1,000 years. Check in at the Hotel A Quinta da Auga, before having a meal in its restaurant. You might also consider recovering your energy at the spa after such an intense day.
Hotel Name: Hotel A Quinta da Auga. (B/D)
DAY 3 SANTIAGO: Santiago Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This morning we tour the city’s outstanding monuments, cross the Obradoiro Square and visit its museums. For lunch: A gourmet route take us beyond the tourist traps and typical tapas. This route is proposed by locals, experts in the authenticity of their local food and products. In the afternoon, a private visit to El Pazo de Faramello is planned. This is a traditional eighteenth-century Galician manor that served as a residence of the aristocracy. It holds; the industrial mills of the first paper manufacturer in Galicia, ponds, swimming pools, fountains, canals, natural pools and nineteenth-century French gardens spread across more than two hectares, leaning out in terraces over the natural waterfalls of the crystalline river, which borders El Camino. Returning to Santiago, the evening will be getting into full swing in the historical center. A flow of students, locals, visitors and pilgrims follow the style of music and ambience of a northern Spanish city.
Hotel Name: Hotel A Quinta da Auga. (B/L)
DAY 4 SANTIAGO / RIBEIRA SACRA: In La Ribeira Sacra, the flow of the River Minho creates hidden canyons in the midst of nature, it is hidden from civilization and constitutes a magical part of Galicia. From the river docks, in a private boat, you’ll arrive at the rolling hills of a scenic vineyard in La Ribeira Sacra. Savor a special lunch on the hill of a boutique vineyard and enjoy the sight of the vines on the twin hills on the other side of river. The lunch can be organized as a traditional picnic, an octopus cooking lesson, or with a private chef preparing the star product of the area: Galician lamb. In the afternoon, we’ll explore other D.O. Ribeira Sacra wineries and its countryside. This region boasts a long history as a wine producing area. The tradition was first started by the Romans, and was continued by the monks in the Middle Ages.
Hotel Name: Hotel Parador de Santo Estevo. (B/L)
DAY 5 OURENSE / O RIBEIRO: In Ourense, a local guide explains the architecture and the history of its old center, taking a closer look at the city, with its hot water springs (a Roman tradition boasting 2,000 years of history in the area) and its cathedral. The lunch experience takes place in a traditional casona (big house) from the XIX century, and comprise a tasting menu with the most refined Galician products. The casona is located in the old lands of Celanova, on our way to the O Ribeiro region.
The next activity takes place at a special resort where you will enjoy a session in the hot water springs, against the backdrop of the natural surroundings and the River Minho. Stay overnight in the Monastery of San Clodio, a genuine XII century monument, fully refurbished as a hotel and includes all modern comforts and amenities.
Hotel Name: Hotel Monumento Monasteiro de San Clodio. (B/L)
DAY 6 TERRA DE AVIA: Ribadavia was the capital of the old Kingdom of Galicia. A guided tour shows the main monuments and the old Jewish Quarter. An artisan invites us to try delicious Jewish sweets while discovering the richness of the neighborhood. In the afternoon, explore the icons of the territory Terra de Avia: Termas (hot spring waters), Hórreos (old granaries) and an old village in the process of excavation. Finish in a village, which boasts the best Pulpo ‘a feira’ (Galician style octopus) in the whole of Galicia. On the way to our hotel, we will get the opportunity to explore D.O. O Ribeiro wines in a family cellar, visiting the vineyards and taking part in a tasting session.
Hotel Name: Hotel Monumento Monasteiro de San Clodio. (B)
DAY 7 CÍES ISLANDS / RIAS BAIXAS: Transfer to the Port of Vigo. There, a boat take us to Islas Cíes (Cíes Islands). During the trip, enjoy a special catering service with local delicacies including the Atlantic treasures. On arrival, take a break on the Playa de Rodas (Rodas Beach). Islas Cíes, which have a special micro-climate on the wild and Gothic Atlantic coast, form an unusual archipelago, bearing the appearance of a Mediterranean paradise. Once we are back at the port, the next destination is Isla de La Toja (La Toja Island), which is famous for its medicinal waters. Its thermal baths are very authentic, and are located beside the sea surrounding the little island. A boat tour across the sea farms, which deliver daily fresh food to your hotel. They are traditionally prepared and are part of the wellness treatment that the island offers.
Hotel Name: Gran Hotel La Toja. (B/L)
DAY 8 CAMBADOS: Galicia’s wild Atlantic air brings purity and quality to this place. Watch the sea and the beautiful, mountainous landscapes around La Toja while you take a dip or enjoy or a treatment at the health resort. Next, take a tour of beautiful little villages, where fishing is the main livelihood of their inhabitants. An experienced seafarer take us on a boat to explore the wild coast, rich in creatures and seafood treasures. After an exciting trip experiencing the fisherman’s way of life, the day finishes in Cambados, the capital of the Albariño – one of the finest wines on the planet. On your last night, enjoy a fun evening at Gran Casino La Toja.
Hotel Name: Gran Hotel La Toja. (B/D)
DAY 9 CAMBADOS / MADRID: After breakfast, depart Cambados and make your way to Madrid. You will have some free time.
Hotel Name: TBA. (B)
DAY 10 MADRID / USA: After breakfast in your hotel, transfer to Madrid airport for your return flight home. (B)
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