13 Days / 12 Nights
Solicite la mejor tarifa
TBA for 2010
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Places visited on this Adventure Small
Vigo and Mino River, Spain
More than the main Atlantic port for Galicia, Vigo is the largest fishing centre in Europe and hosts a number of annual sailing regattas. The Celtic hill fort of San Cibran de Las borders the city as does the fine wine district of the Mino River forming the border between Spain and Portugal. We enjoy scenic coastal views as we make our way toward the Andrea in Vigo. Our home for the next couple of weeks, the Andrea sets sail for the protected nature preserve of the Cies Islands.
VIGO - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - LA CORUNA
Santiago de Compostela, Barona
"Castro de Barona" is an old Celtic iron age fortress settlement situated on a highly exposed and rugged outcrop of land in the "Rias de Muros y Noia" a region of yellow-white beaches, mountainous slopes and a backdrop of pine and eucalyptus forests. The pilgrimage to Santiago became the most outstanding and most profoundly experienced religious phenomenon of the Middle Ages. The European Parliament, which designated "The Way" as the First European Cultural Itinerary, and by UNESCO, which named it a World Heritage route. We journey to the `end of Pilgrim`s way`, Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia with a visit to the shrine of St. James in the famous cathedral bearing the same name.
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SANTANDER - SANTILLANA DEL MAR - SANTANDER
Santillana del Mar, Altamira Caves
Santillana del Mar has been called the Spanish Florence. With narrow cobblestone streets and medieval architecture this timeless village is a living museum on the north coast of Spain with many important buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. Just 2km outside of Santillana del Mar is one of the biggest archaeological treasures of Cantabria: the Altamira Caves. They were discovered in 1879 by Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola and his daughter Maria, and have been named a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The cave, about 300m (990ft) long, has 150 engraved figures made by the Palaeolithic man approximately 14,000 years ago. Access to the caves is heavily restricted, but we will visit an exact recreation nearby.
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SANTANDER - BILBAO - SANTANDER
Our visit to Bilbao includes a visit to the Guggenheim Museum, a truly unique architectural creation housing over 19 galleries in 11,000 square meters of exhibition space. Its architect, Frank O. Gehry, is Canadian-born and duly possesses a love for the sport of hockey. Despite the many differences of opinion on his designs, the Bilbao Guggenheim´s titanium curves and limestone orthogonal blocks are no match for one of his smaller creative masterpieces: the trophy for the World Cup of Hockey. In the evening we set sail for France, saying `Hasta Luego!` to Spain!
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La Rochelle, France
Enroute to Brittany, we stop in the quaint seaport of La Ville Blanche (the white city), or La Rochelle, named such for its luminous limestone facades. Early French settlers in Canada set sail from La Rochelle, including the founders of Montreal. La Rochelle`s seafaring past is reflected in its cobblestone streets, partially fabricated from ballast of ships` coming back from across the Atlantic.
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CARNAC - PONT AVEN
Carnac and Pont Aven
An archaeological stop at Carnac is not to be missed, as it has the world`s greatest concentration of megalithic sites. Predating Stonehenge by 100 years, over 3000 upright stones (the heaviest being over 300 tonnes) can be found in this region. The exact reason behind the construction of these standing stones is not known, though the consensus is that they served a spiritual or sacred purpose. At the artist colony known as the `School of Pont-Ave` led by the painter Paul Gauguin, we visit this pretty market village of white houses and sloping riverbanks. Pont Aven was a centre for milling with the river Aven being divided above the town to provide a mill race which powers a series of picturesque water mills along the waterway.
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DOURNAREZ - LOCRONAN
Douarnarez and Locronan
Douarnarez, at the mouth of the Pouldavid Estuary, is a fishing port once known for its sardines. Today, its location with views of an emerald sea and warm climate have created an ideal stop for ocean lovers with marinas, a maritime museum, regattas and sandy beaches. We drop into medieval France with a visit to Locronan one of Brittany´s most beautiful towns. A former linen manufacturing centre, the cobbled streets and stone buildings gives the feeling of being in another time completely.
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The Cornwall coast is generally understood to be the home base of the mythic King Arthur and hosts a dramatic landscape of rocky cliffs and green meadows crisscrossed with stone walls. The castle at Tintagel and Merlin`s Cave beneath are frequently associated with the legendary Arthur.
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Cape Clear, Ireland
Cape Clear is home to Ireland`s southernmost seabird colony, tucked into the southwest coast. From the picturesque county town of Glengariff, as we cruise north to the Skellig Islands. An isolated and now abandoned monastic community once clung to the bare and dizzy heights of Skellig Michael, now populated by thousands of seabirds.
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The songs and stories of the Aran Islands and nearby Inishbofin and Inishark enshrine much of Ireland`s Gaelic folklore and culture. The impressive 6,000 year-old stone fortifications of Dun Aengus sit high on perpendicular cliffs above the sea. Nearby are the Cliffs of Moher, the highest sea cliffs in Ireland. The fort consists of three irregular semicircles, each a line of defense. The inner wall is awesome, thirteen feet thick and eighteen feet high in places, mortared with stone laid by hand upon stone. The enclosed space is 30m (90 ft) north and south and 27m (80 ft) east and west. The cliff at the western edge of the fort is as sheer as the Cliffs of Moher, but at 100m (300 ft) not as steep. The view from atop the parapet is stunning.
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On to Westport, a quaint County Mayo town, where we take in such landmarks as Matt Molloy`s Pub, flutist for the traditional Irish band, The Chieftains. Westport is located on the shores of Clew Bay, a body of water said to have `an island for every day of the year`. A planned city, Westport´s tree-lined boulevard, the Mall, is a popular stop for visitors coming to any of the many festivals held here annually.
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Giant`s Causeway and Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland
The result of an ancient volcanic eruption, The Giant`s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. In 1986 it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 12m (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28m (90 ft) thick in places. Rathlin Island is is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, including Kittiwakes, Puffins and Razorbills - about 30 bird families in total - and has been designated a Special Area of Conservation in Northern Ireland. It It is a popular place for birdwatchers, with a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds nature reserve offering spectacular views of Rathlin`s bird colony which inhabit the island?s 70m (230 ft) tall cliffs.
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We will disembark this morning at Greenock, at the mouth of the River Clyde. Dubbed the Empire`s Second City, Glasgow is a bustling metropolis and is the economic engine of Scotland. Known for its architecture, we will make our separate ways home or onto further journeys from this contemporary city.
END OF SMALL SHIP ADVENTURE CRUISE