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Tower of Hercules, A Coruña

The Gastronomy of Galicia

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,180 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

Uncover the heritage wealth and gourmet riches of Spain’s northwest with this tailor-made self-drive

Highlights

  • Uncover the gourmet secrets of Spain’s northwest visiting markets and vineyard tasting sessions
  • Discover coastal villages defended by imposing castles and rolling hills capped by Celtic forts
  • Whether it’s locals-only tapas bars or great cathedrals that have inspired pilgrimages for a millennium, you’ll take in both hidden gems and historic highlights

In Brief

  • 1 Night A Coruña
  • 2 Nights Santiago de Compostela
  • 1 Night Cambados
  • 4 Nights Baiona

About

Recommended for:
City | Food & wine | History & culture | Self-drive

Having added Michelin stars and world-class wineries to its cosy taverns and atmospheric tapas bars, the cuisine of Spain’s northwest is starting to get the attention it deserves. It’s all predicated on a fertile natural world that ranges from vineyard-speckled hills that hide pretty medieval towns to a dramatic coastline that’s dotted with welcoming fishing villages. Throughout your trip, you will experience local markets, coastal seafood restaurants, backstreet tapas bars, and winery tastings, while making sure you catch all of the region’s heritage highlights, including its Celtic hill forts and grand Romanesque cathedrals. There’s also plenty of room to tailor activities to your tastes, whether it’s making a reservation at a Michelin-starred restaurant or enjoying an island hike with a beach picnic.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK/A Coruña

After enjoying complimentary airport-lounge access, you'll fly out to A Coruña, picking up your hire car and making your way to your hotel. The city is a mix of ancient and modern, visit the Hercules lighthouse, the oldest in Europe built in Roman times, also include Castillo de San Anton, for centuries the castle protecting the city. There are several Roman Churches in A Coruña and fine museums, but take time to taste the local gastronomy with Navajas (razor clams) one of the favourites.

Stay: Hotel Raizor, A Coruña (Superior)

Day 2
A Coruña/Santiago de Compostela

Leave A Coruña and head south retracing the route of the Camino Inglés which was traditionally taken by pilgrims from Britain and Ireland arriving by sea, on arrival in Santiago de Compostela make your way to your central parador. Often considered to be the world’s oldest hotel, it’s housed in a royal hospital whose beautifully carved cloisters and elegant reception rooms were first built to accommodate the city’s 15th century pilgrims. You’ll have the first day at leisure, with your dinner taken in what were your parador’s stables. Here, classic Atlantic cuisine is served under vaulted stone ceilings. The apple filloas crêpes are a real highlight.

Stay: Parador de Santiago de Compostela (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 3
Santiago de Compostela

This morning’s explore Santiago de Compostela’s famous cathedral – a World Heritage Site that has attracted pilgrims for nearly a thousand years. At 75 metres in height, its Romanesque spires tier skywards, their grandeur only matched by its great gilded interior. From here, continue through the city’s medieval old quarter, strolling along the narrow, cobbled streets to stumble on centuries-old monuments and hidden basilicas. Your foodie education begins as you walk through the city’s storied market where you can taste your way through its finest tapas offerings. Of course, no introduction would be complete without that famous Galician octopus. And, come the evening, you’ll swap rustic favourites for fine dining classics, with a table reservation at a your accommodation.

Stay: Parador de Santiago de Compostela (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 4
Cambados

After breakfast, collect your car and drive into Santiago’s surrounds, heading to the Rías Baixas coast, passing through delightfully rural fishing villages to reach the region’s most impressive Celtic ruins – the hill fort of Castro de Baroña. You’ll then delve further into Galicia’s prehistory with a visit to Dolmen de Axeitos, a megalithic tomb, before a suggested stop at Corrubedo, a charming fishing port where you can enjoy fresh seafood paired with a selection of Albariño white wines as you drink in the spectacular coastal views. Continue past Catoria’s 17th century fortifications to dip into the Rías Baixas wine region. You’ll finish in Cambados, a noble village selected, by the European Network of Wine Cities, as its Spanish destination in 2017. You’ll stay in a parador mansion, with the evening meal of local delicacies such as fish, seafood and Padron peppers and a selection of fine local wines.

Stay: Parador de Cambados (Superior)


Meals: B D

Day 5
Cambados to Baiona

Today head back through those Galician’s fishing villages to Combarro – a real port jewel where traditional houses and stone granaries jut right over the bay. You will then take in Pontevedra and its old town maze of plazas and laneways where you can – time permitting – look round its Archaeology & Art Museum. Continuing down the coast, you’ll arrive at the O Morrazo Peninsula where you’ll enjoy a opportunity of a seafood lunch in one of its villages, taking in yet more beach views. In the afternoon, move on to the peninsula’s westernmost coast, pausing at Romanesque churches and historic lighthouses, including one that dates back to the Celts. The latter are best appreciated on an optional coastal walk, enjoying views over golden beaches and the Cíes Islands as you go. End the day in your elegant parador overlooking the seas on the Monterreal peninsula. For dinner, you’ll be treated to more locally sourced ingredients highlighting Galicia’s tapas cuisine.

Stay: Parador de Baiona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 6
Vigo & the Cies Islands

Today take a early morning drive into Vigo, to view its fabled fish market, before taking  a ferry trip out to the Cíes Islands for a day of hiking and white-sands relaxation. A self-guided walk will take you through the islands’ dramatic natural beauty, pausing at Roda Beach, rated the best beach in the world by The Guardian. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch. If time permits on your return, you may have a chance to explore Vigo’s museums and shops or simply while away the remainder of your day in comfort of your accommodation. 

Stay: Parador de Baiona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 7
Baiona

After breakfast, you’ll brush up against Portugal with a trip to the village of Tui. Located on the banks of the Miño River, its Gothic cathedral looks out to the Portuguese town of Valencia. You’ll then continue to the O Rosal Valley to sample its vineyard offerings before continuing to A Guarda – a fishing village famed for its lobster. You’ll then make your way up to the summit of St. Tecla, a hill with panoramic views over the mountains of northern Portugal and the picturesque meeting of the Miño and the Atlantic. It’s even host to an ancient Celtic hill fort, complete with reconstructed huts and exhibited artefacts. Continuing along the coast, you’ll arrive back at Baiona. It’s here that news of America’s discovery first reached European shores. And what shores they are, with a pretty promenade arranged around the 12th century Castle of Monterreal. 

Stay: Parador de Baiona (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 8
Rias Baixas

Your last full day in Spain will see you head inland into the Rías Baixas wine region, arrive at the riverside Bodegas Marques de Vizhoja, here, between tours of its cellars, vineyards and 18th century manor house, perhaps enjoy an indulgent lunch of the region’s famous lamprey eel. You’ll then dip into Portugal to sample the wines of the Vinho Verde region, tasting your way through its vineyard-ringed stately homes. To get the best view, you’ll also summit the historic Tower of Melgaco for sweeping vistas over both sides of the Miño River before you head back to Baiona.

Stay: Parador de Baiona (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 9
Depart for UK

Drive back to Santiago de Compostela Airport and drop off your car prior to your flight home.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,180 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £1,180 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £1,595 pp. incl. flights

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK departure lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Santiago de Compostela
  • 6 days car hire (from day 3 onwards) in an Economy vehicle
  • 1 night accommodation in A Coruna on a bed & breakfast basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in Santiago de Compostela on a bed, breakfast and dinner basis
  • 1 night accommodation in Cambados on a bed, breakfast and dinner basis
  • 4 nights accommodation in Baiona on a bed and breakfast basis (dinner included for two nights)

Accommodation is in traditional and historic Parador's, dinner has been included where stated, the ferry journey to the Cies Islands can be pre-booked or booked locally for flexibility, the two included dinners at Baiona can be allocated at time of booking


Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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