In the summer of 2014 we made a trip to Galicia for 7 days that we will not forget, as it was the first long trip we did as parents. Our 8 month old so far has only done weekend trips and this trip was a great litmus test for a future traveler.
In total there were 7 days, based in Santiago de Compostela, from where we visited the best areas of the provinces of La Coruña and Pontevedra. On the way back, we also visit Tordesillas, one of the most important cities in the history of Spain and the world.
This trip complements the one we made in 2010, also based in Santiago de Compostela. You can read our travel diary.
The preparation of the trip
For this second visit to Santiago de Compostela we decided to stay at the same hotel as on the previous trip, at Hotel Los Abetos. We were delighted the first time and we have also recommended it to other people who have gone later.
We also decided to go in our car because of the freedom it provides and also the ease it gives you when going with a baby, whether you want it or not, it always makes you carry more things.
This time, we did not make the trip from Madrid, but from Plasencia, where we were spending a few days before. On the way back we stayed one night in Tordesillas, specifically in the Parador, about which we can only speak wonders.
Day 1. Arrival in Santiago de Compostela
We leave Plasencia early following the Ruta de la Plata, leaving aside such beautiful cities as Salamanca or Zamora before reaching Puebla de Sanabria, on a very beautiful route that takes place on the banks of the Esla River.
We have already talked about Puebla de Sanabria in other articles and we never tire of repeating that it is a place that must be visited for the beauty of its streets, its castle, its gastronomy and its surroundings, with Lake Sanabria as the star.
In the mid-afternoon we arrived in Santiago de Compostela without much more time to enjoy this city, other than doing some shopping in a supermarket and having dinner.
Day 2. A walk through Santiago de Compostela
Nor can we add much more to Santiago de Compostela than has been said in other articles.
But whenever we go to this city we cannot stop visiting it as if it were the first time. We love it and you always find something new.
On this walk we leave the car in a parking lot north of the Old Town. By the way, without an elevator, something that we did not value before, but with a baby stroller it is important.
From there, we begin to walk towards the Plaza del Obradoiro, but not before admiring the Convent of San Francisco, from the 12th century, and the Rúa de San Francisco, where the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of this university city is located.
After surrounding the squares that surround the Cathedral (Obradoiro, Quintana, Azabachería and Praterías) we visited its interior with all the emotion as if it were the first time. And it is that this cathedral impresses.
The day continued through the main streets of the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela admiring its buildings and palaces and enjoying a city that we love.
Day 3. Touring the Rías Baixas from Tui to Vigo
The day started in Tui, which we went to directly from our hotel in Santiago. There we parked and took a walk through its Old Town until we reached its most famous monument, the Cathedral of Tui. After enjoying this beautiful city, we took the car again to go to A Guarda and climb the Monte de Santa Tecla, a place from which there are very nice views of the Galician and Portuguese coasts that extend along the mouth of the River My no.
Our next destination was Baiona, traveling along a very beautiful road along the coast and visiting the Monastery of Santa María de Oia, until we reached Vigo.
In Vigo we took a pleasant walk through the area of Alameda and Casco Vello. The truth is that we did not expect that we would like Vigo so much, but we were surprised.
At the end of the day, we return to Santiago, first making a brief stop in Padrón and Iria Flavia, two very beautiful places.
Day 4. Another walk through Santiago de Compostela
Carrying a baby involves changing many travel habits. And one of them is to take it more calmly than if you don’t go with a child. That is why we alternate intense days of visits with calmer days. And this was going to be one of them.
We dedicate it to once again touring the streets of the center of Santiago de Compostela, such as Rúa do Franco, Rúa do Vilar or Plaza de Fonseca, as well as Plaza do Toural, Mercado de Abastos or Plaza de Cervantes.
And we also dedicate it to enjoying Galician gastronomy in one of the innumerable restaurants that are in the center of the city.
Day 5. The Rías Baixas. From Cambados to Pontevedra
Two days before we had made a tour of the southern part of the Rías Baixas, ending in Vigo. Today we were going to dedicate it to the northern part, possibly the most beautiful part of this area of the coast. The area that includes the Rías de Arosa and Pontevedra.
Our first destination was Cambados, which we reached after crossing fields of vineyards from which Albariño is obtained.
Hence, Cambados is known as the Capital of Albariño. It was difficult to park in Cambados but we were able to take a short walk through its places of interest.
From there we go to Combarro, leaving aside the areas of El Grove or Isla de la Toja and the beach area of Portonovo, Sanxenxo or Raxó. Combarro was saturated with tourists but still does not lose its charm. Many people say that it is the most beautiful town in Galicia.
Our next destination was Pontevedra, a historic and monumental city that you have to walk through to get to know it.
We loved this city a lot and the pity is that it was raining for a long time so we couldn’t enjoy it to the fullest.
The day ended in Santiago, where we returned, strolling through the most modern area of the city where the Parliament of Galicia or the Alameda Park are located.
Day 6. La Coruña and the northern part of the Costa da Morte
We had been to La Coruña before, but this city also has a special charm that makes us have to go there if we find ourselves nearby. Is irresistible.
And we cannot resist visiting La Marina, Plaza de María Pita, Torre de Hércules or Riazor Beach. La Coruña is a city that must be known.
After eating there we went to explore the northern part of the Costa da Morte, which we had not visited on our previous trip. The first town you come across is Malpica, with a very pretty port, surrounded by interesting little streets.
From there we went to Laxe, where there is a famous beach, before ending the day in Camariñas, where we suffered a small mishap with an umbrella that blew off after a strong wind. It was nothing that could have happened, but from here we want to give a slap on the wrist to the staff of the Ave del Mar Hotel in Camariñas, who did not have the umbrellas attached to their terrace in a place where it is usually quite windy.
Before arriving back in Santiago we made a brief stop at the Brandomil Bridge, a 16th century bridge that crosses the Xallas River. Yes, the river that flows into Ézaro and is one of the biggest attractions on the Costa da Morte.
Day 7. A rainy day in Galicia
Our last full day in this wonderful city was going to be washed out. During the rest of the days there was always the threat of rain but this did not seem like it was going to give up.
In order not to stay all day in the hotel, we decided to make a panoramic visit by car to the north shore of the Ría de Arousa. There are the Corrubedo Dunes, a place we want to return to one day when it doesn’t rain, Ribeira, Pobla do Caramiñal or Boiro.
Fortunately, as the afternoon progressed, the rainy day gave way to some rays of light and we were able to take our last walk through Santiago de Compostela before saying goodbye until the next one.
Day 8. Walk through Tordesillas
After leaving Santiago de Compostela we set out on our way back home. But this time we did not want to make such a long trip in one day because we were carrying a baby, so we decided to do two stages and spend a night in Tordesillas.
Tordesillas is a very important place in history, not only because of the famous Treaty of Tordesillas that divided the New World between the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and Portugal, but also because it was the place where Juana la Loca was imprisoned.
The walk that we took through Tordesillas visiting its main points of interest was something that we liked a lot before doing the last kilometers back home the next day.