Jose and I have long wanted to share the wealth and quality of Galicia’s prime resources with our clients. Galicia is well-known within Spain for its food culture (see Nancy's article about Galicia for Roads & Kingdoms) as well as its rich cultural heritage and inspiring interior and stunning coastal landscapes.. We have designed a tour to bring you into close contact with the production and enjoyment of its foods and wines focusing on what they do the best: take fresh local products and transform them into straightforward and simple delicacies. Each day we will take walks in the countryside to enhance the food experience and allow you to enjoy Galicia’s breathtaking scenery. This unique tour brings you into close contact with Galician food culture, especially along part of its rich 1200km coastline famed for its stunningly beautiful tidal estuaries known locally as rías.
The tour starts in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia’s political and spiritual capital, where we will explore the famed public market and have a cooking class with a local chef and ends in Galicia’s vibrant port city of Vigo about and 1hr and 15 min south of Santiago.
From Santiago we head west to the coast to spend two nights in the small rural yet maritime Sierra de Barbanza area. We will visit a cannery to hear about one of Galicia’s main seafood industries: the production of first-class canned seafood including mussels, clams, cockles, octopus, tuna, mackerel, squid, hake roe and scallops. We will also take a small boat out into the fertile estuary to visit the aquaculture platforms that produce Galicia’s famed mussels.
We then move south along the coast to spend three nights in the small town of Cambados which hosts the annual Albariño Wine Festival in August. Our accommodation is a restored manor house that also produces its own albariño wine. Over those three days we will dine in two of Galicia’s 13 Michelin-starred restaurants – Yayo DaPorta and Culler de Pau. In Cambados we will join the local mariscadoras (shellfisherwomen) to learn about their trade of clamming firsthand as well as have a cooking class for one of our evening meals. We will also have a wine tasting at a local winery to learn about albariño production.
Our last day, we visit an apiary to learn about Galicia’s bees and honey production. We then head to Vigo, (pop. 280,000) and say farewell as we enjoy a show-cooking experience in another Michelin-starred restaurant Maruja Limón.
Tour duration: 7 days & 7 nights
Walking Level: Easy. We will be walking between 1.8 and 5.5 miles / 3km and 9km on a daily basis on well-marked trails. Walking surfaces vary considerably from asphalt to sandy beach, to forest track and stone and dirt country lanes to pebbled tractor track. Some of the trails have loose cobblestones on the tracks that can be difficult to navigate and require concentration while walking. The countryside is mostly rural, coastal and forested. Expect rolling hills with some brief ascents/descents of five to ten minutes in length. Walking poles are recommended for the uneven sections.
Walking Days: 7 total
Group Size: The tour will be limited to a total of 10 people to ensure a very personal, hands-on experience.
Dietary Restrictions/Limitations/Allergies: The Galician diet places a heavy emphasis on meat and fish. While vegetables are, of course, incorporated into the menus, all of the Michelin meals and cooking classes utilize both fish and meat into the dishes we will be preparing. Please let us know of any food intolerances/limitations/allergies when booking and we will advise you accordingly.
Departure Dates 2017
1-7 Sept 2017
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Departure Dates 2018
3-9 Sept 2018
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Tour Price: 2625E per person in double accommodation
Single Supplement: The single supplement fee is €215 for this tour.
What is and isn’t included: Two cooking classes where will prepare three-course meals (starter, main and dessert and wine): Santiago de Compostela, Cambados (Days 1, 5). Two mid-day meals in Michelin-starred restaurants (Days 4 and 6) with gastronomic tasting menu and wine sampler. One evening show cooking gastronomic menu at another Michelin-starred restaurant (Day 7). Wine tours and tastings in three venues (Days 1, 4 and 5).Visits: Market, cannery, grocery store, boat excursion into the estuary, fisherwomen’s on site clamming activities and apiary. Meals included: Breakfasts from Days 2-8, Picnic lunches – Days 2, 3, and 5 (with lunch on your own in Pontevedra on Day 7), Michelin lunches – Days 4 and 6 , Dinners- Days 1, 2, 5 and 7 (nights 3, 4 and 6 are not included and you can explore on your own). Jose and Nancy will accompany the group at all times. All transport is included from start to finish as outlined in the itinerary, as well as all entrance fees to museums and activities.
Tour does not include: Airfare to Spain is not included nor is insurance or transportation to and from the starting point (Santiago de Compostela) and ending point (Vigo, Spain). Personal amenities such as drinks and snacks at end of walks or in free time are not included.
Weather: In September plan on mostly sunny weather with some cloudy skies and a chance of rain showers sometime during the week. Morning coastal fog is possible. Summer temperatures oscillate between 13-28ºC / 55-80º
Day 1 –Santiago de Compostela
Meet in Santiago at 2pm for our orientation. Walk through Santiago de Compostela’s historical quarter focusing on the food culture and its importance in Spanish and Galicia daily life. En route we’ll stop at a wine bar to have a tasting of three Galician wines with a local wine specialist. Afterwards we’ll walk to the cooking school and prepare our dinner with a well-known local chef. (Walking distance: 2.5km/1.5mi)
Day 2 – Sierra de Barbanza Area
Morning visit to the Santiago de Compostela public market to see the vendors selling everything from fresh fish, meat, vegetables, cheese, cold cuts, flowers and nuts. Transfer to Pobra do Caramiñal to visit the Luís Escurís Batalla cannery where we’ll see how one of the area’s top producers create their very high quality, artisanal seafood products. Afterwards we’ll have a sampling of these delicious products. Transfer to our coastal walk. We’ll have our picnic en route and then finish our walk. Shuttle to the hotel and free time. We’ll have dinner in town enjoying local specialties. (Walking distance: 7km/4.3mi)
Day 3 – Sierra de Barbanza Area
After enjoying spectacular views from the area’s highest hill, A Curota, we will head to Pobra to visit a grocery store and learn what it’s like to shop like a Spaniard/Gallego. After a short hike we’ll have our picnic and then take a boat out to visit the aquaculture mussel platforms. Galicia produces 98% of Spain’s mussels and Spain is the world’s 3rd producer. Return to the hotel and free time. Dinner in town to explore on your own tonight (return on own by taxi). (Walking distance: 6.5km/4mi)
Day 4 - Cambados
Shuttle south to Cambados, Albariño capital of the Rías Baixas D.O., and walk a beautiful section along the coast. Perhaps we’ll see the kelp that may form part of one of our Michelin meals. Lunch at the Michelin starred restaurant Culler de Pau. Chef Javier Olleros pours his love of the ocean and his dedication to acquiring fresh, locally produced foods into these memorable dishes. Check-in to the hotel and visit the hotel’s wine cellar and vineyard that produces albariño (white) and espadeiro (red) wines. You can wander down to Cambados on your own tonight. (Walking distance: 3.5km/2.1mi)
Day 5 –Cambados
We hike along the ‘watermill route’ to the Armenteira monastery. In Galicia the watercourses were lined with watermills to grind corn, wheat, rye, barley and other grains for breads. Picnic along the river. Return to the hotel. Shuttle to a Rías Baixas winery to learn about local winemaking practices and to taste three different wines they produce. We then drive to the delightful Quinta de San Amaro to have a cooking class and dinner with a local chef. (Walking distance: 9km/5.6mi)
Day 6 –Cambados
Free morning. When the tide is right, we will visit the shellfisherwomen of Cambados who created a cultural association to transmit their knowledge of the sea and their profession to the public. These women are working professionals who clam. We will visit them while they are working and learn about clamming in Galicia. Afterwards we will have a leisurely lunch at Chef Yayo Daporta’s Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name. His creativity and innovation with traditional materials is inspiring and delicious. You will have the evening on your own tonight in Cambados. We have a Galician surprise for you tonight waiting when you get back!(Walking distance: 3km/1.7mi)
Day 7 – Vigo
Shuttle to the apiary Apípolis where we will learn about Galician bee keeping and honey production. You’ll have the opportunity to don a beekeeper’s outfit and enter in the apiary to see the bees working up close on the panels. After sampling honey products, we’ll talk a beautiful walk down the Río Lérez into the medieval town of Pontevedra. Enjoy lunch on your own in the popular eating district. Shuttle to Vigo where we stay in a beautifully restored building in the historical quarter. We’ll end our Galician food journey with a show-cooking experience at the Michelin-starred Maruja Limón restaurant in Vigo. (Walking distance: 5.5km/3.4mi)