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Explore Three Amazing Wineries in Galicia

Visit the Amazing Galician Wineries of Martín Códax, Pazo Baión & Granbazán

Did you know that every year there are over 4,000 fiestas in Galicia?  With this amount of celebrations, the Gallegos need a lot of wine; and boy do they have some amazing wine.  In fact, the wine was one of the reasons why I wanted to visit Galicia. Of course, Galicia is famous for the city of Santiago de Compostela which is where pilgrims complete their journey after walking through parts of Spain, Portugal, and France.  The landscapes in Galicia are stunning and the region is filled with lush green forests.  It also has hundreds of beaches that can be enjoyed during the summer months.

As I mentioned, one of the reasons I traveled to Galicia was to search for amazing bodegas (wineries) and I also wanted to create a new wine escape for WTT.  I couldn’t have been more satisfied with the wineries I visited.  I also found the Gallegos to be open and very friendly.

Old palace at the Pazo Baión Winery in Galicia, Spain.
Old palace at the Pazo Baión Winery.

There are five main wine regions in Galicia:  Ribiero, Ribiera Sacra, Valdeorras, Monterrei, and Rias Baixas.  It is in Rias Baixas that I visited and focused my efforts due to its internationally famous Albarino grape which the locals will tell you has led the resurgence of the wine region.

I made my way to my hotel Pazo O’Rial in Villagarcia de Arosa after a two-night stay in Vigo, Spain.  From my hotel, I was able to visit all three wineries in three days.  Each winery was within 15 miles of the hotel.

Pazo Baión (Cordelina Wine Company)

The first winery I visited was, Pazo Baión.  If you’re looking for a winery with stunning landscapes and centuries worth of history, Pazo Baión will not disappoint; nor will the wine.  This beautiful winery has passed through different hands since the 15th century.  I was excited to visit the winery due to its history stunning views.

Place at the Pazo Baión winery in Galicia, Spain.
Pazo Baión Winery

The 76-acre winery is single vineyard winery.  Their Albariño is made exclusively from grapes from the vineyard.

Address:  Pazo Baion | Abelleira 4,5,6 – Baion CP 36614 Vilanova de Rousa Pontevedra, Spain

Phone: +34 986 543 535

Email: info@paxobaion.com

Bodegas Martín Códax

Day two was filled with more learning and exploring the amazing city of Cambados.  However, in the early afternoon, I visited the famous winery, Bodegas Martín Códax which was founded in 1986 after a famous medieval poet.  The poet wrote about his love for Galician coast and the sea.  The winery could not have selected a better name for this winery.

I loved all three wines I tasted, but my favorite was the Lias.  However, their flagship wine along with the Organistrum was also amazing.  The most interesting thing about the winery is that it is set-up as a collaboration of over 300 families whose grapes are supplied to the winery.  They pride themselves on being a winery of the people for the people.

Address:  Bodegas Martín Códax | Burgans 91 – 36633 Pontevedra, Spain

Phone: +34 986 526 040

Email:  comercial@martincodax.com

Granbazán Winery

On day three, I headed north to Santiago de Compostela but on my way, I visited my third amazing winery, Granbazán.  The winery has been in production since 1980.  I was impressed with the three bottles I tasted.   The winery not only offers amazing wine, but also canned delicacies like sardines and clams.

Entrance to the Granbazán winery in Galicia, Spain.
Bodega Granbazán

I enjoyed all three wines, but my favorite was the Limousine.  I enjoyed it so much, I had to take a few bottles back to my hotel for further tasting.  However, you will want to also try their other tasty bottles.  Try the Etiqueta Verde and Etiqueta Ambar.

Address:  Granbazán Winery | Lugar de Tremoedo, 46 Vilanova de Arousa (Pontevedra), Spain

Phone:  +34 986 555 562

When to Go and Where to Stay

Galicia can receive up to 50 inches of rain per year, that is why its best to plan your trip from May to August.  If you’re interested in experiencing the wine harvest, you should plan your trip from late September to early October.  Contact the wineries for further details.

Hotel Pazo O’Rial

Hotel Pazo O’Rial in Galicia, Spain.
Hotel Pazo O’Rial.

I had an amazing three-night stay at Pazo O’Rial.  The staff were friendly, professional, and always helpful.

Website:  http://www.pazorial.es/es

I had a wonderful experience at each of these wineries and I know you will too.  If you’re planning to visit wineries anywhere in Europe, do not overlook Galicia.  Not only are the wines amazing, but the overall trip cost compared to other European wine regions might be a no-brainer.

Are you planning a trip to Spain?  Join one of our customized Spain Escapes.


©2018 World Travelers Today

 

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Go Off Spain’s Beaten Path and Visit Teruel

Go Off Spain’s Beaten Path and Visit Teruel – Take a Journey into the Country’s  Architectural Past

Why do we recommend that you go off Spain’s beaten path and visit Teruel?   Two main reasons are that the city is known for its Mudejar architecture and Jamon Serrano or Serrano ham.  For you Jamon lovers, this is the only reason you need.  Another reason why we recommend Teruel is because there are four UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city.  Taking all this into consideration, we knew that Teruel would be a nice place to visit while we were in Aragon.  This part of Aragon is the least populated area in all of Spain, for example, Teruel’s population is only 35,000 with most of the region’s population living in Aragon’s capital, Zaragoza.

We had just spent two nights visiting Albarracin which is only a 30-minute drive east of Teruel.  Both cities are inside Teruel Province and within the region of Aragon.

What to Do

Play the video below to learn more about our journey to Teruel.

Plaza del Torico

Night picture of Plaza del Turico in Teruel, Spain.
Plaza del Turico at night.

The Plaza del Turico is the heart of the city.  In the plaza, you can find cafes, bars, and restaurants filled with locals.  The plaza is a good place to stop and relax after a fun day of exploring.

Bull fountain in Plaza del Turico Teruel, Spain.

The fountain in the middle of the square is decorated with bulls.  Legend claims that during the reconquest of Teruel by the Christians, they set the horns of several bulls on fire and sent them running through the streets of Teruel to drive out the Moorish forces.  I know if I saw a raging bull running towards me with its horns on fire, I would leave town ASAP!

The Cathedral and Tower of Santa Maria of Mediavilla (Teruel Cathedral)

Located a few blocks away from Plaza del Torico, is the famous Church and Tower of Santa Maria of Mediavillar.  The Cathedral is a stunning prime example of Mudejar architecture.  The church was constructed in the year 1171 and the Mudejar tower was added in 1257.  The cost to visit the church is 2€ and photos and videos are prohibited.

The Tower of El Salvador

The tower is believed to have been built in the early 14th century.  This is a must-see while visiting Teruel.  Also, visitors have the ability to visit the Tower’s museum and climb the stairs to the top to take pictures of the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The Aqueduct

Roman style aqueduct in Teruel, Spain.

Originally built in 1537, the aqueduct is an outstanding example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.  The water is taken from the Pena del Macho spring four kilometers outside the city.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Teruel

The history of the cathedral dates back to 1171 and the cathedral was originally built in the Romanesque style.  You definitely will want to visit this cathedral for its famous Mudejar architecture, but its 14th-century wood ceiling is world-renowned.  In 1986, the cathedral was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Escalinata/The Staircase

Escalinata Staircase of Teruel

Originally built in 1921 to connect the center of town with the train station, the Escalinata is a beautiful example of neo-Mudejar architecture.

We recommend a two-day visit to Teruel because its a good amount of time to see all this city has to offer.

You can custom build your itinerary with us.  Vist our custom itinerary page to learn more.  You can also visit our Spain page to see more of this wonderful country.


©2018 World Travelers Today

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Escape to one of Spain’s Hidden Treasures: Albarracin

Take A Personal Journey to One of Spain’s Hidden Treasures

Escape to one of Spain’s hidden treasures, Albarracín.  Albarracín is a magical city located in east-central Spain.  The city is surrounded by high cliffs and is nestled upon the Guadalaviar River.  The town’s location provides beautiful scenery from every corner.   Albarracín’s population is a whopping 1,075 inhabitants.  This is why we suggest you visit Albarracín for a perfect getaway in Spain.

Located 3,878 feet above sea level, the town has weather changes throughout the day and can leave you scrambling to one of the few shops that provide umbrellas and beanies.  Unfortunately, I know from experience.

Snow falling during the early morning in Albarracin.

Things to Do

Albarracín provides visitors with several things to do during your stay.  The town is rich in history and has hardly changed since medieval times.  Taking early morning walks through the charming streets of the town provides amazing opportunities for photos and videos.

Play the video below to learn what to see and do in Albarracín.


Where to Stay

Albarracin, Spain

We recommend the Hotel “Al-Banu-Racin” due to its location and views of the city.

Hotel “Al-Banu-Racin”

C/.Subida a las Torres, 14, 44100 Albarracín, Spain

website:  www.albanuracin.com

email:  recepcion@albanuracin.com

T.663.765.050

Where to Eat

After an amazing dinner at Rincon del Chorro, I had to return the next night and they did not disappoint.  This is a family owned restaurant and the owner, Carlos is friendly and personable.

Rincón del Chorro

Calle Chorro, 15, 44100 Albarracín, Teruel

website:  http://rincondelchorro.es/

T.  978.71.01 12

El Bodegón

Calle Azagra, 2, 44100 Albarracín, Spain

Other Things to Do

Visit the Museum of Albarracin

Climb the high mountain and walk on the towns medieval walls

Take a walk along the Guadalaviar River

Captures images of the city at night

 

More Photos

Albarracin at dusk.
Albarracin, Spain

Are you excited to visit Spain?  Allow WTT to build your personalized itinerary with our trip builder.


 

 

©2018 World Travelers Today

 

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Visit Cureil de Duero’s Castle Hotel

Visit Curiel de Duero’s Castle Hotel | Have you ever stayed in a castle hotel?  We had the opportunity to stay at Curiel de Duero’s Castle Hotel and it was an amazing experience.  The hotel staff made us feel like we were Spanish Royalty and the food at its famous restaurant was delicious.  We were in the area building our new Ribera del Deuro Wine Tour and were looking for hotels that would match our private and exclusive tour.  We are happy to share that Curiel’s Castle Hotel is perfect for our needs.  Not only is the hotel luxurious, private, and charming but they also have a private winery built inside of a 1,000 year old church.  What more could one ask for?

The Hotel

The hotel sits upon a high hill in the famous Ribera del Duero wine region.  Although the hotel has only been in operation for 20 years, the hotel sits upon an old Roman fortification.  At the bottom of the hill is the city of Curiel de Duero.  The hotel has 24 rooms and each room is named after a King or Queen from Castilla y Leon.  There is a private conference room for meeting and movies.  There is also an amazing terrace with stunning views of the surrounding country side.

The Winery

The hotels private winery is called La Antiqua San Martin and is located in the city of Curiel.  Although the main structure has now been converted into a winery, there is still a small private chapel inside.  We were able to discuss prices and availability with the hotel owner to ensure it will be available for our Ribera del Duero Wine Tour.

Travel Video of Curiel Castle Hotel



Photos of the Castle and Bodega

How to Get There

We rented a car from Madrid and drove two and a half hours to Penafiel.  After a two night stay in Penafiel we drove 10 minutes to Curiel.

Address:  Calle Trascastillo, S/N 47316 Curiel de Duero España
Reservas:+34 983 880 401
Anulaciones:+34 983 880 401


Join World Travelers Today on our Ribera del Duero Wine Tour and experience Curiel Castle Hotel first hand.

 Ribera del Duero Wine Tour


©2018 World Travelers Today

 

 

 

 

 

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Ribera del Duero Wine Trip


Wine and Cuisine

Spanish Wine

Have you ever visited Spain’s Ribera del Duero wine region?  Did you taste some amazing Protos wine?  Have you stayed at the historic Convento Las Claras Hotel?  Join me on a journey through Spain’s famous Ribera del Duero wine region.

I arrived in Penafiel via Madrid which is a nice two hour ride from the Spanish capital.  I was excited to visit the region again after a seven year absence.  The purpose of my journey was to research the area for World Travelers Today’s new Madrid & Ribera del Duero Wine Tour.  The month of October is a busy time of year in the area due to the harvest and wineries were crowded with visitors and locals alike.  Luckily, I was able to visit several local wineries and taste some delicious red wine.

Historical sites will always be apart of my journeys and this area is rich in history; from Penafiel Castle to the ancient Roman amphitheater in Clunia the area is an historians playground.  I was able to visit a few churches and century old bodegas that have a history all their own.

Check out my video to partake in wine tasting at several wineries along the golden mile, eat delicious meats at an Asador restaurant, and discover history all around you.

Don’t to forget to follow our blog to stay updated on WTT’s adventures and tours.

Places Sam visited:


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(VIDEO) SER Part One: Interview with Javier Candon


Wine and Cuisine



This week I had a chance to sit down with Javier Candon, one of SER’s owners, to talk about the restaurant’s vision and menu.  Javier shared with me how SER came to fruition and what the restaurant offers visitors.  He also shared some of his future plans and SER’s goals.  Below is the full transcript.

Interview with Javier Candon

Samuel Garza: Javier, thanks for having us here at your restaurant SER, tell us a little bit about SER and how this came about.

Javier Candon:   My pleasure and thank you for having me and cheers/salud.  SER came from an idea after working in many restaurants in the DC area and seeing what is going on in the market.  We thought that there was some potential, a market for traditional Spanish food, but not in a tapas format.

Samuel Garza:  Great, because that brings me to another question.  Because D.C. is full of tapas restaurants, as you well know, I was a you know, a regular at La Tasca; what makes SER so unique away from the tapas menu from Spain.

Javier Candon:  We are simply not a tapas restaurant.  We are a restaurant that serves traditional Spanish food, and as a matter of fact, most of the traditional Spanish dishes cannot be served in the tapas format because they are simply too big to be in that type of format.  For example, one of our more popular dishes is the Cochinillo; which is the roasted suckling pig and it is big,  so we serve a quarter of the pig, but if you wanted to do it in a tapas concept it will need to be small.  And the texture of the meat is completely different if it comes from the ribs or if it comes from the leg.  So we serve a main dish that can serve two to three people.  The size is a quarter of the pig.  This includes ribs and the leg of the pig.

Samuel Garza:  That’s fantastic, because, as you know, I’ve been to Spain many times and when I’d come back to DC or a lot of cities in the US, you get tapas, but tapas is usually something that you get, you know at the bar, with a nice little drink, when they welcome you in.  That’s why I see SER so refreshing. Talk about your success, this has been the talk of the town for about a year.   There have been a lot of rave reviews from many, you know, well established magazines inside DC.  What makes SER so successful?

Javier Candon:  I think it’s because we stand for what we are.  SER means “to be.”  But SER also stands for Simple. Easy. Real.  That is what we want to be.  We are not a fancy restaurant.  We are a simple, easy-going, and real.   You will eat here what your mother or your grandmother would cook for you at home.

Samuel Garza:   I think this is unique and I think that’s an edge or a part of your success because you know, like I said, there are many tapas restaurants, but this sticks out.  So talk to me about your chef, I mean he’s well-known.  Talk a little bit about him and what he brings to SER.

Javier Candon:  Well, Josu is not my chef, we actually own this restaurant together.  Josu, came to this country almost 30 years ago to open one of the most well-known restaurants in the city and one of the best Spanish restaurants outside of Spain.  Josu, is just the best traditional chef that I have ever known.  Together, we want to be a simple, easy, and real restaurant.  We are not reinventing  the wheel.  We are just taking a very good product and cook it with a lot of love and there is nobody like that,  like Josu, to do that kind of work.

Samuel Garza:  That is kind of hard to find, but you have him and that is fantastic.  What makes SER so unique as far as the menu, you know, you talked about the bigger plates but you do have some smaller plates?  Can we talk about those plates, because people need to realize that they can come and have those at Happy Hour?

Javier Candon:   Absolutely, yeah we are a full service restaurant.  We have small plates.  Some people call them tapas and some people call them appetizers.  At the end of the day, we have some of the most traditional items from Spain.  So you can come and have a couple of appetizers and share a pitcher of sangria, or you can have a full meal.

Samuel Garza:   Is Happy Hour seven days a week?

Javier Candon:  Yes, seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Most of  our appetizer items on the main menu are in the happy hour menu.

Samuel Garza:  That is fantastic.  Now talk to me a little bit about Pajama Sunday.   That sounds like a novel idea.  Share a little bit about that.

Javier Candon:   That is working very well.  You know, on Sunday people wake up after having a big Saturday and they are tired.  Maybe they don’t feel like dressing up.  They just want to jump out of bed and come in their pajamas.  They will get a free mimosa or a bloody Mary when they come in.  However, the most important thing about the pajama menu is that it is made in a way that people don’t need to think too much about what to choose  You have four appetizers,  four main courses, and four desserts.   They are brunch oriented items and they don’t need to go through the entire menu.  They can may make it a quick decision.

Samuel Garza:  That is something I will definitely need to try soon.  That leads me to ask, what’s next for SER.  You have been so successful at La Tasca and now you’ve been successful here.  What will we see next from Javier Candon?

Javier Candon:  You never know.   You may get a surprise, but at the moment, it has only been one year with SER and there are a lot of things that we need to improve.  There are a lot of areas that we need to focus on.  At the moment, it is to continue to work on SER and make it even better.  I’m obviously focusing on creating new ideas at SER that will bring us to the next stage.

Samuel Garza:  Well, we are looking forward to ordering some food, and thank you for your time.  Salud!

Javier Candon:  Salud!


Stay tuned for SER Part Two:  The Food

Coming on June 29, 2016.  


 

©2016 World Travelers Today

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(VIDEO) Two Days In San Sebastian


Wine and Cuisine 



IMG_7961

Of course I couldn’t cover everything I did in San Sebastian in the video, but here are some other things to see and do during  your visit.

Ondarreta

Ondarreta is the western part of San Sebastian.  Here are some recommenations:

  1. Playa de Ondarreta (the beach).
  2. Palacio Miramar.
  3. The Ondarreta Gardens (near the beach).

Parte Vieja/Old Town

The old town was where I spent most of my time due to the fact that this are is filled with restaurants, bars, historical sites, and museums.  Here are some recommendations:

  1. Castillo de La Mota.
  2. Plaza de la Constitucion. (Constitutional Palace).
  3. San Vincente Church.
  4. Santa Maria Church.
  5. The Naval Museum.
  6. The Aquarium

Centro/Center

  1. The Victoria Eugenia Theatre.
  2. Bar San Marcial.
  3. La Espiga.
  4. Bar Antonio.

Gros

  1. Kursaal Congressional Palace.
  2. Pintxos Pote (Thursday Nights).
  3. Plaza Biteri.

 

More recommended Places to Eat Pinxtos 

The Center

Bar Iturrioz, Bar Antonio

Parte Vieja – Old Part

Sport, Goiz-Argi, Borda Berri, Txepetxa, La Vina

Gros

Bergara, Bodeguilla Donostiarra


©2016 World Travelers Today

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(VIDEO) SER Part Two: The Food


Wine and Cuisine



 SER:  “to be” simple. easy. real.

This post is the second part of SER.  If you missed part one, you can see it here at SER Part One:  Interview with Javier Candon.


Join me as I explore SER in search of Fab Food.  I will show you SER’s trendy look and then dive straight into a three course meal that will make your mouth water.

Starter:  Brochette de Pollo

Main Course:  Grilled Grouper and Cordero a la Plancha (Lamb leg fillet).

Dessert:  Goxua (cold layered dessert, strawberries, cream, sponge cake, custard)  & Arroz con leche Asturiano (Caramelized rice pudding Asturian style).

Drinks:  Pingao 2014/Tempranillo/Rioja/Spain

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 5.59.49 AM

1110 North Glebe Road/ Arlington, VA/USA
www.ser-restaurant.com

Special thanks to Ryan Leon, Javier Candon, and SER’s staff for an amazing experience.


 

©2016 World Travelers Today