Spain Travel Package – "Emerald of Spain
"Green Spain" it’s called – and green it
is. In Galicia, you’ll see every shade of green as you drive through Galicia’s lush
countryside. Combine that with an incredibly wild and beautiful
coastline, one of the most historically interesting
cities in Europe, a Celtic coloring to the culture, and you have the
makings of a very special trip. As well, the Paradors of Galicia are
among the finest in Spain.
You’ll travel down the fjord (called "Rias")
cracked west coast of Galicia – as scenic a drive as you’ll find anywhere.
Stop at any typical inn or restaurant and try one of the world’s finest
white wines – Albarino – while sampling a few tapas – perhaps
including pulpo (octopus) which is served everywhere in Galicia.
Santiago de Compostela:
Santiago has been a destination
for pilgrims and travelers of all kinds for centuries. It’s one of the
most fascinating cities in the world, and also
one of the most hallowed places on earth.
The famous pilgrimage route, "Camino de Santiago" ends here.
For centuries, devout Catholics from all over Europe have been making
their way to here – in spite of the dangers of the trip (in olden times
that is –
it’s quite safe now). Legend has it that a peasant saw a shower of
stars that pointed him to the bones of St James that had been hidden near
this spot. Those very bones are interred in the great Gothic
cathedral on the main square fronting the Parador.
Santiago is the kind of place that gets under your skin – you’ll always
want to return – just one more time.
The Parador Santiago de Compostela is considered to be the oldest hotel in the
world – functioning as a shelter for travelers since 1499.
beauty is immense, its quality unmatched. You will be staying in a
lavish museum, and every turn presents new wonders. This is
authentic 5 star sumptuousness – one of the world’s great hotels.
It sits across the plaza from one of the grandest of all the Gothic
cathedrals . . . and don’t let the Parador’s austere exterior fool you, inside there is a haven of
peaceful luxury (photo immediate left).
Cambados has avoided the foreign tourist crowds – though it does
attract in-the-know Spanish vacationers. It is situated on the
Ria de Arosa (a huge
fjord) and has a pretty waterfront promenade. The town is very
low-key and maintains a peaceful, pleasant atmosphere.
A good half-day excursion is to drive out along the shores of this
Ria – or even to drive a bit further afield and visit the other rias in
the area. Also you could take the short excursion over to ancient
Monesterio de Santa Maria de Armenteira (founded in 1162),
or drive down and around to O Grove.
The Parador Cambados is a century-old "noble house" – spacious and open.
Don’t miss having a seafood meal in the fine restaurant – and be sure and order a
bottle of Albariño to accompany your meal. It is made only in Galicia, and is by far the
best wine anywhere for pairing with seafood.
It was here at Baiona that one of Columbus’
ships – the Pinta – landed with the first news of the discovery of the new
world. They, of course, still thought they had found a shortcut to
India – but the news was shattering at any rate – and quickly spread
throughout Spain and Europe.
Though there is a replica of the Pinta
for tourists to board and marvel at ("how in the world did they sail across
vast unknown oceans in this little keg?!), the town itself has long ago
faded from glory. Today it is a sedate little out-of-the-way place in
the off season and a jumping beach scene in the high season.
Staying in the Parador – across whose causeway you’ll walk directly
into the town – you might feel somewhat like the former
governor (whose mansion this was) – like a highly privileged person
overlooking their domain.
The Parador Baiona occupies the whole of its own small, fortified
peninsula – "Monte Real." Wandering out along the
fortress walls and taking in the sea and harbor views is very pleasant
after a splendid meal served in their fine restaurant. The
grounds are well lit, closed to the public, and guarded. Walking
around the lit pathways on warm nights can be especially romantic.
You’ll have a small pine forest and private beaches all to yourself!
By spending a couple of nights here,
you’ll get a chance to really sample and enjoy this very special Parador.
Tui is a pretty little town situated on the banks of the
Perhaps the main attraction though is that it is on the border of
and is a good base from which to explore down into the northern area of
Take a day trip to the fine beaches along the coast there, or visit
attractive Portuguese town of Caminha, or down to picturesque
Tui itself has a small medieval old quarter with an interesting
cathedral. It also has some of the livliest bars in Spain during the
high season when it gets flooded with Portuguese, international, and
Spanish tourists all at the same time.
If you’re not planning a day trip into Portugal, then we suggest you take
the long way around on your drive from Baiona – see the beautiful
coastline and drive along the Miño estuary.
The Parador Tui is a bit non-descript on the outside
– being constructed of granite block – but makes up for
it with very fine terraced gardens and great views out to the river.
As well – their restaurant is one of the best in the Parador chain.
They serve a creative cuisine that you will not encounter anywhere else.
Pontevedra maintains a striking, intact medieval old quarter
which is nicely contrasted by an elegant new town.
This city is the favorite of many travelers to Galicia. There
are few cities anywhere better made for leisurely strolling: Little
discoveries are around every corner, it is relatively uncrowded, and the
weather is always temperate.
Take your time getting here from Cambados (it’s a very short drive),
get situated in your Parador, then go out exploring in the town.
Walk yourself into a good appetite and return to the Parador for some of
the finest seafood to be found anywhere!
The Parador Pontevedra is the courtly old ancestral home
of the Count of Maceda. It has recently been completely redone and
it really has an understated grandeur to it. The building maintains
a completely harmonious feel throughout.
The nine nights tour will have you drive back to
Santiago then fly back to Madrid for your last night. The
"Extended Tour" (offered March through October) will continue on by car to the Paradors below as you
slowly drive back to Madrid and will be a total of 12 nights (call us
for special pricing on the extended package).
Monforte de Lemos:
The town doesn’t have a lot to recommend to the average traveler.
Surely worth a quick jaunt around though, and for the adventurous and
curious – who knows what you could discover.
You might prefer to stop and see Ourense
on the drive in which – in
spite of its obvious urban sprawl – has a wonderful old quarter well worth
seeing. Alternatively, you might want to unload your bags at the
Parador Monforte de Lemos, then drive south into the country and down to the
river Sil. There are waterfalls and beautiful river canyons you can
explore by car or by foot – or you could go fishing (reportedly fantastic around
here) if you’ve planned for such in advance.
The Parador Monforte de Lemos is a recent addition to the Parador chain.
It’s a completely refurbished 17th century Benedictine Monastery. The rooms
are situated around a marvelous central cloister, and many have fine views
out over the city below.
This Parador is located near the very small town of Nogueira de
Ramuín. The attraction here is the surrounding countryside.
Drive out and explore.
You could ask at the Parador for map guides for the
Route of the
Vantage Points: Take in the landscapes around the banks of the Sil and
Miño Rivers on this route.
Another choice is the Romanesque Route: Visit churches and
monasteries from the late 12th and 13th centuries on this route.
Then head back to one of the most recent additions to the Parador
chain and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
This Parador Santo Estevo is a former monastery and one of Galicia’s oldest – having been founded in the
6th century! The accommodations are completely captivating.
There is a large and grand colonnaded cloister that surrounds tranquil
Today you’ll travel out of Galicia and into Castilla y Leon. It will be a a drive of several leisurely
hours that will bring you to a little-touristed city of this province,
Zamora has a very interesting medieval old town situated along the
banks of the Duero river. This is a
rather sedate quarter with many interesting churches, a grand cathedral
and museum or two you’ll want to visit. The Parador is located in
the very center of this "casco antiguo."
The Parador Zamora is a 15th century Renaissance Palace –
and a real treat. It has a dramatic courtyard that is surrounded by
wonderfully carved columns, and all public spaces are filled with ancient
tapestries, coats of arms or suits of armor. The whole place has a
delicious, classic medieval feel to it.
Madrid is hands-down winner of the title, "Europe’s Liveliest City."
Madrileños don’t really get their day into high gear until after
dinnertime – and dinner usually starts around 10:00 p.m.! Then
they flood their beloved city’s streets and "pasear" (stroll around) or
"tapear" (hop from tapa bar to tapa bar) until dawn.
Some speak of Madrid as being drab, but how far from the truth that
is! Granted it suffers, as do many of the world’s major cities,
from urban sprawl – but once you get past the concrete jungle outskirts,
you’ll discover a city that provides
endless surprises and discoveries.
There are many pockets of very old buildings that contain odd
assortments of shops, tiendas and bars. You’ll happen upon
eighteenth-century Bourbon squares, pleasant plazas and quaint
restaurants at every other turn.
Must Sees: The Prado
museum – the Reina Sofía and
the Plaza Mayor, the Retiro Park,
Gran Via – and
the list could go on and on.
But really – the thing that makes Madrid so special are the street
scenes, the people and the energy that makes this the night-time,
high-energy capital of Europe.
Package Price (per person based on double occupancy) includes:
– All Paradors and hotels
– Car rental for all days except last two
Contact us for current price for your dates.
Adios Travel Services will take care of arranging every aspect of this special
journey for you. The "Emerald of Spain" package will
take you through one of Spain’s prettiest and most unique regions – and –
you’ll stay in some of Spain’s very finest Paradors.
Contact us today
and begin planning your
vacation to the "Finest of Spain."
* Visit our hotel pages * Parador Hotels
(Spain Parador information provided courtesy of SpainParador.com)