The River Miño Cultural Tour

2nd - 8th May 2018

Image : Monterrey Castle

One of the miracles of modern Spain is that the country which has led the world in mass tourism (and whose population doubles every summer with the influx of millions seeking sun, sea and sand) has managed to retain so much of its identity and authenticity. This is particularly true of the rural regions.

In recent years we have explored a number of these totally unspoilt regions, including Teruel, Soria and the Pyrenees. This year, we turn our attention to the south of Galicia where we find spectacular landscapes created by the Rivers Duero and Miño and several of the most attractive villages in Spain.

The tour begins in the Natural Park of Sanabria – a region of outstanding beauty centred around Spain’s biggest glacial lake. Our home is the delightful Parador set in the historic Puebla de Sanabria.

We then move on to Allariz (one of the ‘official 20 prettiest villages in Spain’). From here we explore the land of the River Miño, the border country between Spain and Portugal; its villages, its Winelands, its landscapes.

DAYS 1, 2 & 3 : Flying into Santiago, we make our way to our base for the first three nights, the excellent Parador in Puebla de Sanabria. This is a perfect base for discovering the Natural Park of Sanabria and the stunning gorges of the River Duero, as this great river flows into Portugal.

Sanabria itself is a little town of great antiquity (records go back 1500 years). It has a picturesque historic centre with fine churches and a castle. On Day 3 we travel down to Miranda de Duoro, where we shall lunch in the Pousada and explore the spectacular landscapes of the deepest river gorges in the Iberian Peninsula.

DAY 4 : We travel through the south of the province of Ourense, which has one of the lowest densities of population in Spain. It also has no fewer than three Denominated Wine Regions, a range of exquisite towns and villages and a stretch of the Road to Santiago. Our home is the lovely village of Allariz; one of the most important historic/artistic sites in Galicia whose medieval character in perfectly preserved in a range of superb religious and civil buildings and in its cobblestone streets. Our hotel for the second half of the tour is O Portelo Rural which is located in an old house in the medieval centre.

DAYS 5 & 6 : Exploring the southern end of the Province, we travel to Monterrey, centre of the eponymous wine region whose magnificent castle is one of the symbols of the border country between Spain and Portugal. Needless to say, we spend part of a morning in a winery. Our itinerary also takes us to the spectacular monastery of Celanova.

We spend part of one day in the provincial capital of Ourense whose old quarter, including a fine Gothic cathedral, is one of the most atmospheric in Galicia. On DAY 7 we return to Santiago to take our return flight.

Tour details

Tour dates : 2nd – 8th May 2018

Number of days :7

Price : £1925 (Prices are per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room).

Single supplement : £190

Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.

Number in party : 12 – 18

Tour leader : Chris Pollard and Moses Laachiri

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