Friday, September 28, 2012

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO PORTUGUÉS: TUI

In the beautiful village of Tui we started our first long stage of El Camino de Santiago Portugués (The Portuguese Way of Saint James) which would take us to Santiago de Compostela. The previous day we made a short stage between Tui and Valença do Minho that allowed us to know the fortress of this city border between Portugal and Spain, and walk across the International Bridge. The views of Tui from the bridge are fantastic.

If you can, I advise you to spend a whole day in Tui to visit its impressive  cathedral, to walk around the quiet streets of the old town and along the riverside walk along the Minho river. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city walls of Valença do Minho, where is the old town of this beautiful Portuguese city.


Tui from Valença do Minho


International Bridge and Tui from Valença do Minho
The International Bridge and Tui from Valença do Minho

Tui from the International Bridge



Tui from the International Bridge
Tui from the International Bridge between Portugal and Spain

International Bridge between Portugal and Spain
Walking along the International Bridge from Portugal to Spain

Tui and the Minho River from the International Bridge
Tui and the Minho River from the International Bridge

Valença do Minho from Tui



Valença do Minho from Tui
From the promenade along the Minho river in Tui I enjoy a beautiful view of Valença do Minho

Valença do Minho from Tui
A closer view of the fortress of Valença do Minho from the riverwalk of Tui


Tui



Old town of Tui
Going along the riverwalk of Tui to the old city

Cathedral of Tui
The imposing and beautiful romanesque cathedral of Tui

Cathedral of Tui
Although the cathedral is romanesque, it has gothic details like this arch

Doorway of Tui cathedral
The doorway of Tui cathedral is gothic too


Quiet street in the old city of Tui
Walking along a quiet street in the old city of Tui near the cathedral

Chapel in Tui
A nice chapel in Tui near the cathedral


Minho river and Portugal from Tui
View of the Minho river and Portugal from El Camino hostel in Tui

San Telmo church in Tui
San Telmo church in Tui is the only church in Galicia built in Portuguese baroque style


If you are interested in El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James), you can see some pictures of El Camino de Santiago Francés in the regions of La Rioja and Navarra in Spain.



Finally, other beautiful places you can visit in Spain are:


- Catalonia

- Basque Country

- Cantabria

- Granada

- Sevilla, Córdoba, Cádiz and Costa de la Luz

Sunday, September 16, 2012

PORTUGAL: VALENÇA DO MINHO

Last year I spent a few days in Portugal visiting Lisboa, Sintra and the Algarve. This year I have returned to this country to begin The Portuguese Way of Saint James (El Camino de Santiago Portugués). The border city of Valença do Minho has been the starting point of this fantastic adventure which finished just a few days later in Santiago de Compostela.

You can park for free outside the fortress and walk quietly to visit it. Although the restaurants are more expensive, is more pleasant to eat at the Fortress than in Valença. The place I would recommend to visit are:

  • International Bridge
  • The Minho river
  • City walls of Valença do Minho and panoramic view of Tui
  • Praça da República
  • Bom Jesus's Military chapel
  • Narrow cobbled streets and chapels in the old city of Valença do Minho




Tui and the Minho river from Valença do Minho
Fantastic view of Tui, the Minho river and the International Bridge from the fortress of Valença do Minho

Valença do Minho in Portugal
After crossing the international bridge we were in Portugal

City walls of Valença do Minho
The Fortress of Valença do Minho. It can be seen the yellow arrow of The Way of Saint James too
  


Tui and Minho river from Valença do Minho
Tui and Miño river from the city walls of Valença do Minho

Praça da República in Valença do Minho
Praça da República in Valença do Minho

Small chapel in Valença do Minho
Small chapel behind a nice garden in Valença do Minho

Bom Jesus square in Valença do Minho
Bom Jesus's Military chapel and Saint Teotóni's Statue in Valença do Minho

Flower in Valença do Minho
Flower in Valença do Minho beside the snack bar where we had lunch near the Tourist Office

Shopping street in Valença do Minho
Shopping street in the old city of Valença do Minho, where you can buy sheets and towels 

The Way of Saint James in Valença do Minho
Yellow arrow of  The Way of Saint James in Valença do Minho


Following the yellow arrows and crossing the International Bridge we went from Valença do Minho to Tui. In Tui would begin the first long stage of our journey which woud lead us to Santiago the Compostela.

Other beautiful places I visited in Portugal the year before were:




Finally, If you like this fortress, you may be interested in other fortresses like:





Friday, September 14, 2012

SPAIN: RODAS BEACH IN CIES ISLANDS

This is a post in which my only goal is to try to show, if only minimally, the incredible beauty of the Rodas Beach in the Cíes Islands National Park in Galicia. It is a dream beach, almost heavenly, of turquoise clear water and white sand surrounded by a natural environment beautifully preserved.



Rodas Beach in Cíes Islands National Park
Overview of Rodas beach in Cíes Islands, a National Park located in Galicia, Spain


Rodas Beach in Cíes Islands National Park
Despite its beauty, Rodas beach is not crowded because access to Cíes Islands National Park is restricted


Rodas Beach in Cies Islands in Galicia
I really like the clear water of Rodas beach in Cíes Islands



Clear water of Rodas Beach in Cíes Islands
Turquoise water of Rodas beach in Cíes Islands


Rodas Beach in Cíes Islands
Taking a bath on Rodas beach in Cíes Islands National Park


Rodas Beach in Cies Islands in Spain
Clear water of Rodas beach in Cíes Islands


Rodas Beach in Cies Islands in Spain
We were lucky because the afternoon in Rodas beach was lovely after a slightly cloudy morning



In summer, boats link Cíes Islands with the ports of Vigo, Baiona and Cangas. There is a camping area but permissions have to be reserved at the Vigo port.  There are no waste bins in the islands, so visitors are required to take their litter back to the mainland.

Natural park access is restricted to a number of visitors a day, hence the need to book boat tickets in advance, especially on weekends and in summer (with at least one month in advance). You can buy the tickets clicking on:

  • www.mardeons.com
  • www.piratasdenabia.com


More fantastic beaches in Galicia are:


  • Figueiras beach in Cíes Islands
  • Baiona - A Ribeira and Barbeira Beaches
  • Cesantes Beach
  • A Coruña - Riazor and As Lapas Beaches
  • Large Beach in Miño near A Coruña (Playa Grande de Miño)
  • Beach of Cathedrals in Lugo (Playa de las Catedrales)
  • Beaches of A Guarda
  • Beaches of Panxón in Rías Baixas near Baiona
  • Sanxenxo Beach
  • Vilagarcía de Arousa Beaches
  • Beaches in Carnota, Corcubión, Muxía, Camariñas, Laxe in Costa da Morte

I enjoyed Rodas Beach in Cíes Islands during a trip in Galicia, where I visited more fantastic places like:


Other fantastic beaches I have visited in Spain and Portugal are:



Finally, other beautiful places you can visit in Spain are:




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GALICIA: BAIONA

In 2012 I spent some wonderful days in Galicia where we enjoyed a very pleasant weather. We went to some of the fantastic beaches in Galicia, we visited beautiful villages and fantastic National Parks.

Without any doubt, the most beautiful experience was The Portuguese Way of Saint James because of the nice people we met, the contact with nature and the satisfaction of having walked more than 115km without any drawback.

One of the beautiful villages we visited was Baiona, with its long promenade and clear beaches. The views from the castle and from Virgen de la Roca were fantastic too.


In Baiona we visited:

  • Castle of Baiona (Monterreal Fortress)
  • Old Town
  • A Ribeira beach
  • Barbeira beach
  • Parador of Baiona
  • Views from Virgen de la Roca


Castle of Baiona (Monterreal Fortress)



Castle of Baiona
A Ribeira beach and Castle of Baiona, a beautiful village in Galicia


Monterreal fortress in Baiona
Monterreal fortress in Baiona


Monterreal fortress in Baiona
Some sailboats from Monterreal fortress in Baiona 




Cies Islands from Baiona in Galicia
Cíes Islands from the castle of Baiona in Galicia


Old Town of Baiona



Old town of Baiona
Old town of Baiona in Galicia


Old town of Baiona
A street of the old town of Baiona in Galicia


A Ribeira beach




A Ribeira beach in Baiona
A Ribeira beach in Baiona from the promenade


A Ribeira beach in Baiona
Another view of A Ribeira beach in Baiona



Barbeira beach



Barbeira beach in Baiona
Barbeira beach in Baiona


Barbeira beach in Baiona
Sailboats near Barbeira beach in Baiona


Parador of Baiona




Parador of Baiona in Galicia
Parador of Baiona in Galicia



Views from Virgen de la Roca



View from Virgen de la Roca in Baiona
View from Virgen de la Roca in Baiona



Below you have the most important places we visited in Galicia:

  1. Valença do Minho - Tui
  2. O Porriño - Cesantes 
  3. Cesantes - Pontevedra
  4. Pontevedra - Caldas do Reis
  5. Caldas do Reis - Padrón
  6. Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

  • Santiago de Compostela
  • A Coruña


Finally, other beautiful places you can visit in Spain are:



- Catalonia

- Basque Country

- Cantabria

- Granada

- Sevilla, Córdoba, Cádiz and Costa de la Luz

Monday, September 10, 2012

GALICIA: COSTA DA MORTE AND FINISTERRE

After spending our first day in Galicia visiting Santiago de Compostela, during our second day we were going to take a trip to Costa de Morte. 

On this tour we visited:

  • Ponte Maceira
  • Muros
  • Carnota
  • Fisterra
  • Muxía


Ponte Maceira



Ponte Maceira in Galicia
Ponte Maceira in Galicia




Ponte Maceira in Galicia
The Way of Saint James in Galicia runs through the village of Ponte Maceira



Ponte Maceira in Galicia
Overview of the medieval bridge of Ponte Maceira in Galicia



Ponte Maceira in Galicia
The environment in Ponte Maceira is quite beautiful




Muros




Muros in Galicia
Promenade of Muros in Galicia



Muros in Galicia
The village of Muros is at the end of this nice promenade





Muros in Galicia
The village of Muros in Galicia



Carnota



Horreo de Carnota in Galicia
Hórreo de Carnota in Galicia



Horreo de Carnota in Galicia
The Hórreo of Carnota is the largest one in Galicia


Finisterre




Lighthouse in Finisterre
Lighthouse in Finisterre, where the Way of Saint James ends


Lighthouse in Finisterre
A closer view of the Lighthouse of Finisterre


Fishing boat in Finisterre
Fishing boat in Finisterre



Muxía



Sanctuary of Muxía in Costa da Morte
Sanctuary of Muxia and, on the right, memorial to the sinking of the tanker Prestige, which caused an ecological disaster in Costa da Morte in Galicia



Costa de Morte in Muxia
Costa de Morte in Muxía


Costa de Morte in Muxia
Strong waves in Costa de Morte in Muxía


Costa de Morte in Muxia
These strong waves in Costa da Morte in Muxía are quite dangerous



Other cities and places we visited during this trip in Galicia were:



    Finally, other beautiful places you can visit in Spain are:



    - Catalonia

    - Basque Country

    - Cantabria

    - Granada

    - Sevilla, Córdoba, Cádiz and Costa de la Luz