Castilia, Galicia and
the North of Portugal  >>

To the end of the Camino of Santiago

Our tour to the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula starts in Madrid, Spain’s capital. A first glimpse of the various cuisine waits same as a stroll through the historical centre, filled with old monuments. Plaza Espana, Puerta de Alcala and Puerta del Sol are some of the most impressive. The following days are full with cultural and countryside highlights: In Castilia we visit the old royal city of Segovia same as Avila, home of the Holy Teresa with a completely preserved wall, more than 2 kilometers long. Innumerable castles  accompany us, relics from the days of the “Reconquista“ which gave name to Castilia, the ”land of the castles”. In this period the Christians reconquered the country from the Moorish. What a contrast in Galicia, here we  note  the Celtic influence. And the green Rias, the estuaries of the numerous rivers give a very nice contrast to the blue sea. Before arriving at Santiago de Compostela, we reach the Way of Santiago, which brings for centuries pilgrims from all Europe to the third-biggest pilgrimage center of the world. In the north of Portugal we cross dark fairy forests in the back of the Minho region and enter the district Tras os Montes, the “land behind the mountains”. This not so flattering name was given because of the isolated location in the northeast of Portugal. Passing the numerous vineyards in the famous Douro valley gives certainty that Portugal belongs to the bigger wine countries. While following the river towards Porto we view a lot of “barcos“, the traditional boats which bring the wine to the wine caves in Porto. Where the Douro flows into the Atlantic Ocean we reach Porto, second biggest city of Portugal. Five bridges connect the townships, each of them a work of art. However, the iron Maria Pia has the most famous architect: Gustave Eiffel, the father of the Eiffel-Tower in Paris. And we will not miss a visit to one of the biggest  caves, where the famous Porto wine comes from. In the evening we stroll through the old centre, declared world-heritage by UNESCO. Inside and outside of many buildings Azulejos, the typical blue ceramics, tell us about times, when Portugal was the leading nation of the world with rich colonies. The Atlantic Ocean has a big influence on the cuisine, fish is number one in the restaurants, and we enjoy the delicious meals. Once more we cross Castilia and return to Madrid, where we finish our unforgettable tour with a sightseeing, some more Tapas and one or two glasses of Vino Tinto on the Plaza Mayor.

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