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grape passport: rias baixas

I travel to explore wine, so by no means are my travel posts exhaustive in terms of sightseeing. Just good tips to help your grapey travel experiences.

rias baixas spain

Rias Baixas is in the northwest of Spain, north of Portugal, and a fun way to drink a lot of Albariño while seeing a part of Spain that’s much less traveled than the rest of the country.

see

In Santiago de Compostela:

The Church in Santiago de Compostela: people have been making pilgrimages to this church from all over Europe since the 16th century. They walk for months on what’s called El Camino de Santiago, ending the journey to renew their soul at the statue of St. James. (There’s a fictional movie called The Way starring Martin Sheen that came out a few years ago about it).

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the indents are from people’s fingers as they pressed their hand against the base of the St. James statue when they arrive at the cathedral

The square is impressive, but other than that just wander around the small charming streets. Lots of fun jewelry to buy, including bracelets with scallop shell charms which is the symbol of the pilgrims traveling the Camino.

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In Pontevedra:

Head to the Mercado Municipal. Tons and tons of fish, including these creepy-looking barnacles called peduncles.

galicia perduncles

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sleep

We stayed at the Parador in both Santiago de Compostela and in Pontevedra. Absolutely stunning old buildings – the one in Santiago is said to be the oldest hotel in the world, having been built in 1499. Keeping in line with the pilgrim theme, the rooms are pretty spartan. But it’s worth it just to stay in these incredible buildings.

parador santiago

the Parador in Santiago

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courtyard – stunning

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my room – not as awesome as the building itself but totally fine

eat

In Santiago, we were going to eat at Abastos Dous Punto Cero which is supposed to be awesome but it’s closed on Mondays. We wound up at a tiny bar, and you can’t go too wrong with tapas. Look for pan con tomate and tons of plates of jamon. Wash it down with Albarino or Godello.

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In Pontevdra, had one of the sickest meals ever at this place called Casa Solla. Get the tasting course and GO HUNGRY.

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cheese souffle in eggshells

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pulled pork in radish “tacos”

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we had no idea what this was, but it looked like an egg (it wasn’t) and was delicious!

The other nights, we ate at two lovely restaurants, Loaira and Eirado Da Leña, both in Plaza da Leña by the Parador.

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Loaira

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right across the square is Eirado Da Leña

drink

Get your Albariño on at these wineries: Martin Codax, Albariño de Fefiñanes or Pazo Baion in the Salnés Valley, or Santiago Ruiz in Rosal (call ahead for an appointment).

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Also, head to Hama bar in Pontevedra after 10pm to get a gin and tonic. This guy Luis has over 150 gins and 40 tonics in his bar, and will make you the BEST gin and tonic you’ve ever had. Guaranteed.

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tip

There are only 52 clear days a year in Galicia, so bring an umbrella!

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9 thoughts on “grape passport: rias baixas

  1. Your photos make me want to go there, maybe stay at one of those paradors, have some wine. Thank you.

  2. I don’t think there is a way to express how much I love your blog. I’m not going to Rias Baixas in a few months, but I’m a.) really, really happy I’m following you as learning that Martin Codax is a vineyard run by women was really exciting and b.) I know what whites to order when I gorge myself on seafood on the Costa Maresme. You’re making so excited to go, but at the same time I can enjoy some really delicious white wines all summer long while I get ready.

  3. Loved your whistlestop taste of Alberiña-land. Recommend less hurried travellers to take the preceding Camino de Santiago, a historical well-trodden walking or cycling trail across Navarre, Rioja, El Bierzo wine growing regions. By foot – 1 month, cycle – 2 weeks – if you can steer a steady course between bars, bodegas and refugios. Plenty of time to taste 4 prime wine regions.

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