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 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.
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).
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.
Head to the Mercado Municipal. Tons and tons of fish, including these creepy-looking barnacles called peduncles.
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.
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.
In Pontevdra, had one of the sickest meals ever at this place called Casa Solla. Get the tasting course and GO HUNGRY.
The other nights, we ate at two lovely restaurants, Loaira and Eirado Da Leña, both in Plaza da Leña by the Parador.
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).
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.
There are only 52 clear days a year in Galicia, so bring an umbrella!