I met my clients in the morning at their hotel in Santiago de Compostela. I set them up overnight in a charming little hotel with an excellent restaurant called Pazo de Altamira in the historic quarter right across from the Abastos Market.
We started the day driving down to coast of Galicia. It was a nice sunny day in the Rias Baixas, Galicia perfect for guiding a visit to the wine town of Cambados with it’s noble palaces, churches, squares, etc… Then we followed down along the coast to the Island of La Toja to visit the famous Gran Hotel La Toja and it’s Gardens. As well a stop to the La Toja Store & Museum to see the history of this important company. The shop sells the line of ‘The Springs of La Toja’, a dedicated line that can only be found on the island of La Toja. The line is composed of different products for both men and women including shower and bath gel, shampoo, body lotion, cologne for men and women, bath salts, gift boxes, soaps, etc…
Then we had some time to stop for a walk and lunch on the quaint fishing port of Combarro. The small streets are lined with restaurants and small souvenir stores on one side then the other with terraces and traditional Horreos (Stone Granaries) a cultural symbol of Galicia. In the summertime they grill sardines on the port with view of the Ria de Pontevedra in the background. What a great lunch enjoying Galician seafood tapas (scallops, clams, mussels, prawns, squid, octopus, sardines, etc…) with the fine white Albariño wines of the Rias Baixas.
A BIT MORE ABOUT THE PLACES VISITED:
Cambados village, the heart of Albariño wine country. This town offers a lot of possibilities of knowing and contacting with its past and its tradition. Following the scheme of the three primitive nuclei and beginning by Fefiñáns we find the group of the square, open to the sea until two centuries ago, framed by the noble stately home of Figueroa, with several shields and original balconies in the tower, and the neo-classical church of San Bieito. In Cambados we can see a wide variety of manors and stately homes, spread on streets and narrow squares: the house of the Fajardo’s or Salgado’s, the big house of the Couto’s or the Royal Hospital, without forgetting the Tourism National Parador of the Albariño, rebuilt on the remains of the old stately home of Bazán, from the 17th century. In this Plaza every July the Festa del vino Albarino (Albarino wine festival) is held. One of the most heavily attended gastronomic dates in Galicia, sometimes reaching 40,000 people. The festival consists of wine tasting and sales of the prestigious Albariño wines from the different sub-zones of the Rias Baixas.
La Toja/A Toxa Island, together with the Island of Arousa, one of the great island spaces in the province. Joined to O Grove peninsula through a bridge built at the beginning of the present century, A Toxa started to develop as a result of the construction of its spa. Hotels and sports and leisure centres sprouted up round it. Its natural locations and the peculiar hermitage of San Caralampio (12th cent.), covered with scallop shells, are of particular beauty.
Combarro village, considered as a National Monument, in Combarro the visitor has the feeling of walking along a sort of natural museum, where all the components that shape Galician landscape are exhibited. Within a reduced space, sailor and peasant houses, small boats and carts are harmoniously combined. Houses are erected on rock and copious hórreos (Stone granaries on still to store corn) -from which some artists have derived their inspiration- can be seen mingled amidst its narrow streets, as suspended above the sea.
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