Monday, July 16, 2012


We flew direct from Mexico City to Madrid on Aeromexico and spent a few days there before renting a car (Europcar) and heading west. We drove around for 10 days, ending up in Santiago de Compostela, where we flew back on a cheap Spanair flight to Madrid, just in time for the annual Festival de San Isidro.

We stopped at the following places. (Highlights are in bold type, anything in parentheses is something you might skip.)
Ciudad Rodrigo, (Guarda), Viseu, Coimbra, (Aveiro), Porto, Villa Real (we got a map here from the tourist office of a driving route through the countryside), Braga,
(Tui), (Vigo), Santiago de Compostela….and of course, Madrid, one of our favorite cities in the world (more on that later).
Click here to see photos of the trip.
Other places you might easily add to this itinerary are Avila, Segovia, and Pontevedra (all in Spain). We’d been to these places before so did not stop, but they’re
all worthwhile. Lisbon is easily a trip unto itself, but could be the starting point of this trip, moving north to Coimbra, etc.
Hotel recommendations: Most of them were nothing special, but the Hotel Avenida in Viseu had a lot of charm.
In Coimbra, the Casa Pombal guest house run by a Dutch woman was and had great views, although it was a steep hike uphill from the centro. The staff here was particularly helpful.
In Porto (one of the highlights of the trip) stay near the Plaza de los Aliados—we were too far away from the centro at Plaza de la Republica. These are the places I’d check out next time: Paris , Aliados, and Peninsular .

Food recommendations: We had a lot of so-so food in Portugal, but these 2 stood out.
In Coimbra, don’t miss the bacalao com natas at
Petisqueira do Terreiro
chef ConceiƧao Carneiro
Terreiro da Erva, Rua do Carmo 17-19
tel. 918 928 796
Restaurant in Oporto: Adega S.Nicolau, Rua S. Nicolau 1 tel. 222 008 232,
near the waterfront where there are lots of restaurants.

No comments: