Every year, thousands of pilgrims wind their way through Spain following in the footsteps of St James. The route finishes at the city Santiago de Compostela, where it’s thought St James is buried. With this tour, though, you get to see all the major sights without the week-long walk beforehand. Most of the action centres around Plaza del Obradoiro. It’s here you’ll find Hostal de Los Reyes Catolicos. The façade of the hotel features intricately-carved stone figures and coats of arms. It’s thought to be one of the first hotels ever opened, as it was transformed from a hospital so that visiting pilgrims had somewhere to stay. Taking centre stage, though, is the cathedral. It’s an imposing mish-mash of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic architecture. Inside is impressive, too - from the towering nave to the marble-lined crypt, while the walls are detailed with Biblical stories, carvings and statues.
On this tour, you can kick back in the comfort of a coach, and drink in the views as your driver winds through the Galician countryside. The route takes you up A Guía, a sea-facing hill that offers up some spectacular, panorama-ready views. Continuing on the journey, you’ll spy fountains, monuments and statues in the old-fashioned plazas that are mosaicked throughout the centre of the city. And, at Castrelos Park, you’ll hop off the coach to enjoy some free time. Wander through the stunning, French-style gardens, or admire the castle-like palace in the centre of the grounds. Our final stop is at a 19th-century country manor, which has been converted into a five-star hotel. Here, you’ll be treated to a selection of Spanish tapas and locally-bottled wine, before returning to the ship.
This tour is a great chance to see where Spain and Portugal meet. It starts with a visit to the ancient city of Tui. Here, you’ll be taken around the Medieval old town, and the imposing Tui Cathedral. Construction on this magnificent, hilltop structure started as far back as the 11th century, and it has stunning Romanesque and Gothic design features. Later, we’ll cross the river into Valença Do Minho. Technically, this place straddles the border between the two countries, but the vibe is most definitely Portuguese. The old town is huddled inside ancient fortress walls, and is connected to the rest of the town by a causeway. The streets are lined with shops whose handicrafts and pottery spill onto the cobbles. There’ll be plenty of time to explore the place under your own steam. Make sure you bring your camera, as the views over the river to the new part of town are definitely worth a few snaps.
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