Galicia Journals

A Great Escape to Galicia, Spain

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An April 2007 trip to Galicia by sararevell

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: We left Santiago de Compostela to drive along the Rías Baixas and Miño River. The quiet roads and exquisite scenery made for a peaceful two-day trip through South-west Galicia, a region that has to be one of Spain’s best-kept secrets and a wonderful escape from the modern world.

A Great Escape to Galicia, Spain

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I’ve read some uninspiring descriptions of Galicia: “one of the poorest regions in Spain” and “the urinal of Spain” (due to the rainfall!) What Galicia may lack in economy or sunshine, it more than compensates for with rich landscapes where vineyards stretch out to a glittering rivers and estuaries. Driving around the Rías Baixas is a highlight within itself but the sleepy fishing villages of Cambados and Combarro certainly stood out, as did the drive up the PO-405 route from Valença (Portugal) to Ourense. Once you get past some of the industrial areas close to Tui, the PO-405 follows the Río Miño, which flows below in a green valley where life feels less touched by the modern age.Quick Ti...Read More

Hotel Rúas

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Hotel | "Pontevedra: A Quiet Night at Hotel Rúas"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
We parked underneath the Mercado, which turned out to be an excellent spot as the Hotel Rúas is only a one-minute walk away. Hotel Rúas was one of our last choices as we walked around inquiring about vacancies for the night. The reason being is that the Rough Guide description mentioned that "the rooms are modern but a little small, and it can get very noisy at night." We tried Casa Alicia on Avenida de Santa Maria and it was full. We then tried Casa Maruja on Rúa Alta but looking at one room was enough to put us off. The room was small and dingy and the bed and bathroom both looked very worn. In addition, the place just seemed a bit sketchy to us!We finally decided to give Hotel Rúas a tr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Hotel Rúas
Calle Padre Sarmiento 20
Galicia, Spain 36002
+34 986-846-416

Hotel San Miguel

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Hotel | "Ourense: Hotel San Miguel"

Hotel San Miguel Photo, Ourense, Spain
Quote:
The old town (Casco Vello) seemed to be the place to be in Ourense as our guidebooks had nothing nice to say about the modern parts of this city. We had driven around for a short while desperately searching for the cathedral spire, hoping that this would guide us to our hotel but the old town is well hidden and you really have to abandon your car to explore it fully.We left our car at a 24-hour parking behind the youth hostel on Praza de Mercedes and despite not having a map, we managed to locate the San Miguel hotel in about 5 minutes. This was somewhat by dumb luck, as we didn’t realise that we had stumbled on what is probably the most central car park in town.The narrow entrance to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Hotel San Miguel
Rúa San Miguel, 14, 32005
Ourense
(988) 239-203

Bar Laya Photo, Galicia, Spain
Quote:
We stopped in at Bar Laya as it was recommended in our guidebook as a good place for a liquid lunch. Cambados is the production centre of Galicia’s white Albariño wines and as much as I wanted to sample the goods, it was 11am and I had a hangover! I opted for a cappuccino instead. We were the only customers in the bar, which is also home to a small wine shop at the front. So small in fact that the boxes of wine appeared to be spilling out onto the main square.Praza de Fefiñáns is a beautiful old square and at night, I hope that Bar Laya ignites with wine-fuelled revelry because in the morning it’s utterly dead. Inside is a long bar with small tables filling the large room. The tapas board outs...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Ribeira de Fefiñans

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Restaurant | "Cambados: Menu del Dia at Ribeira de Fefiñáns"

Ribeira de Fefiñans Photo, Cambados, Spain
Quote:
After walking down from the small plaza in the centre of Cambados, we stumbled across this corner restaurant along the waterfront. A hotel as well as a restaurant, Ribeira de Fefiñáns touts itself as being a “vinoteca”, and it certainly did have an impressive selection of wines on offer, which were also available for general purchase. In fact the restaurant and bar could have served well as a wine-tasting room, being as it was quite bright, spacious and furnished with modern wooden furniture.We were drawn in by the impressive 8.50 euros ($11.50) “menu del dia” which included a three-course meal, drink, and coffee. Inside, almost every table was occupied. We found an empty spot amongst the rath...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Ribeira de Fefiñans
Calle Ribeira De Fefiñáns, 24
Cambados
+34 986 524 997

Jaqueyvi

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Restaurant | "Pontevedra: Tapas in Style at Jaqueyvi"

Quote:
Wednesday night in Pontevedra and most bars were fairly subdued, including Jaqueyvi, the name a mixture of "jamón, queso y vino." Jaqueyvi somehow seemed a bit more upmarket compared to other smaller bars around town, which looked as they catered more to the student population. We stopped in at one of them for a beer and to catch part of a football match playing on their TV.At Jaqueyvi the mood was quiet and the presentation was very clean and professional and tapas were presented to us only after a more careful and lengthy preparation than we had been used to in other bars. After studying their extensive menu, we ordered a plate of Serrano, another of cured Manchego and two slice...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Jaqueyvi
Vapergil, Calle Doña Teresa, 1
Pontevedra
+34 986 861 820

Ribadavia: Lunch at Rebus

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Restaurant

Rebus Cafe Photo, Galicia, Spain
Quote:
We stopped at Ribadavia for lunch and in true Spanish fashion, found the town to be devoid of life, save for a couple of bars open for lunch. We took a quick walk around the Praza Maior where most of the bars seemed to be located and decide on Rebus, a cavern-like bar behind a pretty stone gallery.There were some freshly made wraps and sandwiches in a tapas case on the bar but when we asked if they had a lunch menu, we were tempted by the waitresses description of what was essentially a pizza (she made it sound more exotic though). There was a limited choice of toppings and they kindly accommodated our ham pizza with the request of one half with mushroom and the other half without.The ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
It was our last night in Galicia and we were fortunate enough to have Casa de Maria on our doorstep. Literally across the road from our hotel, the decision was made easier by the long and varied menu. We arrived too early to be seated in the restaurant upstairs but we were happy to settle for the bar, despite the fact that the seats on the bar stools were as small as buttons and we had to stand from time to time to revive the blood circulation in our backsides.They were showing a Spanish football match on the television on the far side of the room although most of the customers were there to socialise and tended to stay for a gossip and a drink or two before moving on. We order...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Before stopping for the night in Pontevedra, we visited Combarro, a tiny village along the Ría de Pontevedra. We were inspired not only by our guidebook, but also by the view you have over Combarro as you drive down the coast along the PO-308 road. It would certainly be an idyllic landscape if it weren’t for the unsubtle industrial smoke stacks puffing away across the Ría in Marín.Combarro’s claim to fame is having the largest collection of hórreos (stone granaries) and in this small, sleepy village, it was an impressive sight to behold. We parked on the waterfront and walked in front of a boat slip, opposite which are three, large hórreos that seem strategically placed, as if they’re part of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Valença Do Minho Photo, Galicia, Spain
Quote:
I’ve never been to Portugal and I have to admit that a part of me wanted to cross the Miño (Minho in Portuguese) River to Valença just so I can now say I’ve been there. There were other draws though!There’s no border crossing to make between the two countries and it’s a quick five-minute drive from Tui in Spain to Valença do Minho in Portugal. The towns are linked by two bridges, one of which was designed by Gustav Eiffel. Driving through it, it’s not hard to see the relationship to the Paris icon.There was a makeshift car park outside the castle walls of Valença, which was “managed” by a dubious-looking group of men. I would advise anyone to park at the bottom of the hill and walk up ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

Ourense Bridges Photo, Ourense, Spain
Quote:
Staying at the San Miguel hotel meant that we could easily walk to many of the main attractions, bars, and restaurants in Ourense. We left our hotel and turned down Rúa do Paseo, a wide pedestrian shopping street that was much busier than the old town area. We resisted the clothes and shoe shops (shoe shops always seem so much better in Spain) and continued on towards the river, and in particular the “Ponte Vella” or “Ponte Romano”, the oldest in Ourense and rebuilt in the thirteenth century on the site of a Roman bridge. It’s a beautifully preserved bridge, with wide arches spanning the river and moss growing between the bricks and is the largest stone bridge in Spain.From here you get your f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2007

About the Writer

sararevell

sararevell
London, United Kingdom