This 7 day tour around Galicia combines adventure, friendly people, popular destinations, idyllic beaches, amazing nature and unique food and wine
Visit the magical cities and towns of Galicia by train
What – 1 week´s all-inclusive holiday, small groups. Discover the architecture, gastronomy, fiesta, culture, landscapes, spas and beaches strolling through historical, stunningly beautiful towns and cities of Galicia.
Guided or Self-Guided? You chose – Guided does not have to lead to travel burn-out as it is important to adapt to the Spanish way of doing things, to relax and enjoy every single moment. Self-Guided does not mean you will be left to figure things out for yourself, far from it everything will be arranged and clearly explained on a daily basis.
Stay at a contemporary and smart 3-Star Hotel
What to expect – Typical day will start with a delicious breakfast buffet in the Hotel before setting off to the nearby train station to visit cities and towns that offer a wide variety of truly interesting sceneries, foods, wines and lifestyle. During the day we will be stopping for a good 3 course lunch of classic Spanish and Galician dishes in one of the cities restaurants. Evening meals will have us hopping at some of the best bars in each town to taste the local tapas.
Where – The port city of A Coruña,where Sir John Moore fought with the locals against the French, a beachy hot spot, a cultural hub and a busy commercial centre with a fine food scene and buzzing life.
Getting here – Nearest airport is A Coruña with regular flights, alternatively Santiago de Compostela Airport is approximately 45 minutes by either car or train.
When – You can visit Galicia´s towns all year round as the weather is surprisingly mild and, if it rains, you have the perfect excuse to shelter in the many magical arched covered walkways, monuments, museums or tapas bars.
Galicia is a region that remains largely unexplored by visitors from outside of Spain. Galicia is unlike anywhere else in Spain, the region has Celtic heritage and when you hear the unique sound of bagpipes, you will think you have been suddenly transported to Scotland!
Galicia is synonym of amazing sceneries, culinary delights, traditions, music, fiestas… Galicia is the land of gastronomic festivals that celebrate the abundance from the region’s sea and vegetable gardens, renowned wines and yummy coffee and herb liqueurs made from the fiery Orujo.
Galicia is a place of mystery, welcoming character and immense beauty. On this holiday we expect you will live Galicia in your own way, at your own pace and that you enjoy the experience in every sense.
All the cities and towns we will be visiting have their own charm and can easily be explored on foot.
A Coruña, one of Galicia´s most attractive cities, is perfect for walking because of the long seaside promenade that encircles the city. Walking around the market stalls in Pontedeume, lovely fishing village with a stunning old town, has a unique appeal. You will be able to experience the magic of walking around the Roman walls of Lugo, enjoying tapas and a glass of wine with the locals. A walk around Santiago will certainly leave you in awe as you cast their eyes over this World Heritage medieval city that hosts one of the most spectacular cathedral in Spain. The relatively anonymous Ourense, a wonderful pedestrian friendly and fun city, will not leave you indifferent with its natural hot springs, thermal baths, bridges and of course a lovely tapas scene.
The first think that usually comes into mind when thinking about Galicia is Gastronomic paradise: this region is well known for the quality and variety of local produce, thanks to the damp, green and luscious lands, a majestic ocean and a series of estuarine inlets. Galician food is normally served plain and simple. The emphasis is on the quality of the products that are cooked in ways that are traditional and thoughtful, homemade, unhurried, plentiful and varied, giving rise to a special, highly-renowned and much appreciated cuisine.
The importance of gastronomy for locals is expressed in more than 300 food fairs that are held throughout the year all over the whole region. These celebrations of produce from the land and seas originate from local or regional celebrations that coincide with harvests, religious festivals, or they have simply sprung from friends’ meetings.
There are over 80 varieties of salt-water fish; sea bass, sole, hake, turbot, sardines etc.; over half a dozen varieties of fresh water fish; salmon, trout, lamprey, etc.; a dozen crustaceans, barnacle, lobster, crab etc.; almost twice as many shellfish oysters, mussels, clams, cockles, scallops (emblem of St. James Way) etc.; 15 meats beef, lamb, pork, rabbit, etc. or more if game is included,18 different vegetables and a vast range of delicious cheeses, fruits and desserts.
Galician wines and liqueurs are getting known for their quality, tradition and excellence. In fact, the region’s wines, like its food, have the capacity to surprise and delight even the more discerning wine lovers.
There are 5 wine denominations in Galicia together with “Wines of the Land” (Vinos de la Tierra) and geographical denominations of traditional Galician liqueurs: Monterrei and Valdeorras from Ourense has a main star in the Godello grape that has been described as a “sleeping giant waiting to be properly discovered”; Rias Baixas give an Atlantic character, with a particular aroma and freshness, to the famous Albariño; Ribeira Sacra, on the banks of the Rivers Miño and Sil is primarily a red-wine region generally made from the Mencía grape which is surprising many experts by the quality and originality of its wine; the variety of grapes in the Ribeiro produce a very aromatic and intensely fruity wine, balanced by a high degree of acidity, thus making a fresh tasting wine.
It is easy to try all of these wines in local bars and restaurants and at very competitive prices. Many still serve directly from large barrels. It’s also still common to drink the wines from ceramic bowls (tazas).
What’s included in the price? –Accommodation, transport (mainly train), breakfast, lunch, outings.
What’s not included in the price? – Your flights or travel to A Coruña or Santiago, additional snacks, wines and drinks bought in bodegas, restaurants or bars and dinner.
Most importantly INSURANCE it is your responsibility to make sure you have adequate cover, cruisegalicia will not, in anyway, be held responsible for any injuries, accidents or lost and stolen goods.
Pick up Santiago airport 25€ per person each way (to cover petrol and toll road charges).
Email: Any questions, enquires etc. please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Week´s itinerary
Breakfast in the hotel, walk to nearby train station where we take the train to different cities. We believe train journeys are more fun and offer the best landscapes. We have decided to base our tour around a number of interesting, contrasting and underrated quaint cities which have plenty to do whether it’s sunny or raining. We will stop for a local lunch or 3 or 4 course set meals, with a number of different dishes to choose from for each course. We will have dinner on the go and share some tapas and “raciones” to sample the local food and wines.
DAY 1 – Thursday
Usually the most economical day to travel and the start of a buzzing night life in A Coruña.
Arrive Thursday pick up from Santiago or A Coruña airport/train check into the Hotel and drop the luggage off in the port city of A Coruña, a historical city, modern and magnificent, with gorgeous sea inlets, bays and excellent beaches and, of course, a buzzing local life.
A Coruña is a city that is easy to walk around and is full of surprises. From the medieval “Cidade Vella,” or old town, to the ultra-modern 21st century buildings along the water. A Coruña’s urban layout is stunning and singular as it offers a combination of different Romanesque streets, plazas, gardens, medieval and Baroque churches, a scenic beach promenade along the entire old city, including the oldest Roman lighthouse and inner city beaches. La Coruña is also the home of Amancio Ortega, the richest man in Europe and owner of Inditex/Zara. This makes La Coruña an exciting commercial hub, lively and friendly atmosphere and renowned gastronomy.
20.00 – We will start our holiday with an introduction to a mythical live music old place, with a vibrant family and local atmosphere that serves simple dishes bursting with flavour and an honest wine! You will have such a great time you will want to return next day…
Day 2 – Friday
To 8:40 Breakfast
09:10- 10:20 Train to Orense. The train tracks pass through numerous tunnels and cross dozens of canyons on great bridges, making for a quick but lovely journey through the prettiest landscapes in Spain.
Orense is a relaxing city, a city of water, thermal baths and springs. Once we arrive at main station we go to the thermal springs along the river. We can either take a pleasant walk, about an hour or we can take the public transport. Pools are a dream in all weathers as they are warm and hot, next to a flowing river with mountains and birds all around. In fact, we will find ourselves in the heart of the magnificent Miño valley with its woodland and gorges!
Many of the Galician products of recognized fame are produced in the province of Orense, such as bread, wine or meat so we will be taking the “menu del día” in one of the city restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine. After lunch we will wonder around this amazing little city or we can bathe some more in the hot public springs and baths located in the centre of the city. We will stop at a few bars to sample the local tapas and wines.
The latest train to go back is at 21:10, which arrives at 22:20 to A Coruña. If we feel like it, we can go back to the live music place from the day before on our way back to the hotel.
Day 3 – Saturday
To 10:20 Breakfast in the hotel
10:50 – 11:45 Train to Pontedeume, another beautiful ride along rias and estuaries.
Pontedeume is a beautiful little stereo-typical Galician town. This hillside town overlooks the Eume estuary, where fishing boats moor, typifying the image of the region. The Old Town is an appealing combination of handsome galleried houses, narrow cobbled streets and occasional open plazas, liberally sprinkled with taverns and tapas bars. The area around Pontedeume is renowned for its beautiful hills, beaches, rivers and forests. Saturday is the market day, which offers a chance to meet the locals and sample the best of fresh and local culinary delights and wines. Markets are always the best places to sample the Pulpo a Feira, the star dish of Galicia: Octopus with olive oil and sweet paprika.
This is another relaxing day where we can enjoy the spanish way of life and walk around a typical spanish village surrounded by an impressive beach and woods. Lunch today will be a variety of different local “raciones” or “big tapas”.
The latest train to go back is at 19:35, which arrives at 20:30 to A Coruña. We will go “de tapas” around Calle Barrera, A Coruña’s prime tapas territory where the bars are heaving with good-natured, raucous crowds.
Day 4 – Sunday
To 08:50 Breakfast
09:20 – 11:00 train to Lugo. The Roman City Wall of Lugo is a beauty that has been declared a World Heritage Site, as it is the most complete Roman defence structure left in Europe, and you can walk on history as the wall has been preserved since Roman times.
Lugo is an impressive and unique walled city and it is possible to walk the full length with fascinating views out across the land from some areas. The 2 km wall, with many exit points to explore the surrounding areas, is very popular with the locals of all ages whether a morning jog, chatting along with friends or family, a lunchtime leg stretch or romantic evening stroll. Lugo itself has lots of ‘finds’, like its stunning cathedral, the city secret gem, and great tapas bars and restaurants.
We will have “menú del día” at one of the most well-known local restaurants.
Lugo is renowned for its cuisine. It is a privileged province, where the land will grow practically anything. The coasts of Lugo are also very generous. The fields provide fruits and vegetables of optimum quality; the livestock raised in its meadows is excellent. In Lugo they make wonderful cheeses, protected by the four Galician Designations of Origin. Excellent wines are also produced and a long list of gastronomic festivals are celebrated. If you order a drink in Lugo, you will receive a free tapa, so you can carry on sampling the wide varieties of food that the fertile lands and seas of Galicia offer its people.
The last train back to A Coruña leaves at 21:34 and arrives at 23:15.
Day 5 – Monday
To 08:30 Breakfast
09:00 – 09:30 Train to Santiago de Compostela.
The arcaded, stone streets of Santiago de Compostela – the final stop on the epic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail – are said to be at their most beautiful in the rain, when the Old Town glistens, however Santiago always impresses the viewer. Whether you’re wandering the streets of the Old Town, nibbling on tapas in the taverns, or gazing down at the rooftops from atop the cathedral, Santiago seduces.
Santiago de Compostela is a walkable majestic city, a fantastic place to explore. You can get lost in its maze of stone paved narrow streets which make up its Old Town soaking up its special atmosphere with a mix of students, pilgrims and local, friendly people. This city has World Heritage Status and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
We will visit the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and its famous square Praza do Obradoiro, which lies at the heart of this medieval city. The Cathedral dominates the skyline. According to the legend, the Cathedral hosts the remains of St James, one of Jesus´apostles. The Cathedral is not the only outstanding architectural icon as the old town is full of dazzling examples of Gothic, Neo-classical, Romanesque and Baroque design and nearly all are on a grand or monumental scale.
We will take a visit to the local modern market building with lovely traditional and local produce, meat both fresh and preserved, seafood and shellfish!!! The place to buy the best Iberico ham, local cheeses, or Serrano to be smuggled back home in your suitcase!
We will have the “menú del día” at one of the local restaurants.
In the afternoon we can stroll around peaceful gardens to find some peace and then take a walk to the old town’s streets and squares, with their many bars and taverns that not only offer a variety of tapas, but are great places to take a break and watch the world, and all the other tourists, go by.
The last train to return to A Coruña is at 22:55, arriving at 23:31
Day 6 – Tuesday
Stay in A Coruña, the urban beach that is one long sea front. There is plenty to visit in A Coruña, we recommend taking take the bus to the Torre de Hercules, the last Roman lighthouse which is still working today and has World Heritage status.
After visiting Hércules lighthouse we can go to the Aquarium to view the Atlantic life in action and relax watching ropes hanging down encrusted with mussels and the fish swimming between while quietly listening to soft music and watching the jellyfish swim around and around with the different colour lights. Then we can walk through the Medieval city towards the local restaurant where we will have lunch, near the romantic Gardens of San Carlos where British General John Moore was buried, we will go past squares with ancient trees where time stands still, antique shops and taverns side by side with mansions and ecclesiastical architecture, such as the Romano-Gothic churches and convents…
We will have lunch at a locally appreciated restaurant.
Afterwards, we can take a walk to the harbour promenade and get an ice cream or sit down and enjoy the atmosphere in one of the many terraced cafés and see how the sun is reflected a thousand fold in the traditional glazed balconies that gives A Coruña its name: The Glass City. We can also wander to the shops in Juan Flórez, Juana de Vega and Real streets. Around the market on Plaza de Lugo, there are several high-street boutiques as well as some extraordinary art nouveau houses with ornate façades.
We will have the time to walk around the north side of the headland along the promenade that serves as an outdoor gym for the residents of the city and is the longest in Europe. We can have a drink right on the beach on the terrace of a nice lounge bar. In the evening we can join the locals on a tapas crawl around the bars in and around city main square: Plaza Maria Pita.
On our way back to the hotel we can stop at Estrella Galicia, the tavern that serves the Coruña´s signature beer straight from the barrel.
Day 7 – Wednesday
Hope you will be disappointed to be leaving us! Breakfast and lunch at the hotel before taking your plane back. The hotel is very close to the department store that has become a Spanish institution, therefore you have the time for last minute shopping.