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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:


©World Travelers Today

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(VIDEO) Two Days In San Sebastian


Wine and Cuisine 



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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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The Medieval Streets of Cáceres


History Hiker


Samuel Garza

Samuel Garza

 

 

 

 

I traveled from Madrid to Caceres, which was my first trip to the Extremadura region of Spain. My friends in Madrid told me that visiting Extremadura is the perfect place to see old Spain. Like many areas of Spain, there have been settlements in or around Caceres since prehistoric times.(1) The city was founded by the Romans in 25 B.C. and the city still has it’s ancient walls and and much younger medieval streets and churches. I arrived via train and on my journey I saw a countryside filled with grazing cattle and pigs. In 1986, Caceres was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alfonso IX of Leon conquered the city from the Moors in 1227.(2) Soon after, the town grew in prosperity due to free trade that the town’s merchants implemented. Due to family dueling and bitter rivalries, King Fernando and Isabel ordered many of the town’s watch towers to be demolished.(3)

Caceres was untouched by the Spanish Civil War and stands gloriously as it once did. I was so excited walking around the city late in the evening and also early in the morning taking photos and drinking coffee in one of the many cafes sprinkled throughout the town. Caceres is known for it’s wine, which is a full bodied red that does not disappoint. You can also taste amazing goat and sheep cheese that pairs well with your Extremadura wine. A must try is Caceres’ famous stews, pork, and lamb. The food here was amazing.

Below I have provided a gallery of photos that hopefully express the beauty of the streets of Caceres. This is a city to get lost in, to wander with pure excitement, and to get lost and to use your camera like there is no tomorrow. Caceres was a wonderful city to visit and I learned enough about it’s history in just a few short days to want to return to the Extremadura region in 2016.

Plaza Mayor

Upon my arrival, the town square was buzzing with activity. A tent was erected in the middle of the square and inside the locals were tasting food and wine. I also came across a book sale (pictured below) but I decided against buying a few books due to lack of space and I just didn’t want the added weight.

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San Francisco Javier Church

I made several attempts to enter the church and each time I was met by a locked door. I couldn’t find the hours the church was operand and the tourist office nearby had no clue. Anyways, the exterior of the church is beautiful and worth seeing.

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Plaza De Santa Maria

Walking further into the winding streets of Caceres, I wandered into Plaza De Santa Maria. The plaza has several important building and it is ideal for setting up your tripod and capturing some beautiful images.

Iglesia de Santa Maria on the left.

Iglesia de Santa Maria on the left.

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Arco de la Estrella

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In 1726, Manuel Churriguera built this beautiful low-arched gate. The gate connects Plaza Mayor with the old town. It’s a beautiful structure and worth taking a few pictures early in the morning with less people crowding your shot.

Iglesia de San Mateo

Nestled in the center of the old town, is San Mateo church. Construction began in the 14th century and was completed in the 17th century.

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How to Get There

I arrived in Caceres from Madrid via train. The travel time is 2 hours and 50 minutes one way for around €58 round trip. I highly advise that you buy your tickets at the station. You can also travel via bus. The bus trip will take 4.5 hours at a cost of around €20.

Where to Stay

I stayed at the Hotel AH Agora, which is a few blocks away from Plaza Mayor.  There are plenty of places to stay, but book your rooms in advance to get better prices.

Address and Phone Number:  AH Agora/Parras, 25/Cáceres, 10002, Spain/Phone: +34927626360

View more photographs of Caceres, Spain by Samuel J. Garza.


©2017 World Travelers Today

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Jueves Santo in Toledo, Spain


History Hiker

 

Experiencing a Jueves Santo in Toledo, Spain will shake every emotion inside of you.  This is what happened to me when I was invited to experience Toledo’s Jueves Santo by my good friends from Madrid, Kiko and Beatrice.  I met my Spanish friends while living in Madrid in 2014. Beatrice was born and raised in Toledo and she knows everything about the city.  I felt blessed to have her and her husband take me around the town during this historic night.

Churches

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During Jueves Santo, dozens of churches are open to the public that are otherwise closed.  Several of the churches belong to monasteries.  In fact, many of the monasteries were built centuries ago.  While visiting the churches, I was surprised to see several of the nuns sitting in dark rooms behind glass windows looking at all the tourist flood into their church.  They seemed to be excited to see us because they were all staring through the glass window.  Beatrice informed me that many of the nuns have been in the monasteries for decades and Jueves Santo is one of the few times they can see the outside world.

Streets

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After visiting several churches we made our way through the beautiful streets of the city.  Beatrice shared stories of her youth and pointed out the best places to eat and drink.  I interjected several times and asked her about Toledo’s culture and economy.  I have had many conversations with them about Toledo before, but I can never learn enough about this historic city and Beatrice is a treasure trove of information.  One of the many things that makes Toledo worth visiting it that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Beatrice pointed out several statues like the one above of Pope John Paul II and several historic building that deserve a post all on their own  We kept walking through the large crowds and made our way to the Jewish Quarter to visit one last church before we joined the crowds for the procession of Jueves Santo.  Monasterio de S. Juan de los Reyes was founded by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I to commemorate the birth of their son and also to their victory of The Battle of Toro.  The monastery was completed in 1504.

The Jewish part of town was illuminated with graphics on the cobble stone streets.  The streets were also empty in this area because everyone was in the center of town waiting near Toledo’s main cathedral for the processions to start.

Procesiones/Processions

Beatrice knew exactly how much time we could spend wandering around the city tasting wine and visiting more historic sites.  Eventually, we made our way towards the cathedral in search of a spot to stop and watch the procession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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View the video below to feel the powerful experience of watching the processions and feeling the passion from the people of Toledo.

 

Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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In pure Spanish style, we had dinner around 11:30 p.m. along with droves of Toledanos at a popular restaurant called La Abadía.  Having a late dinner is something that I have come to cherish over the past seven years.  I prepare for late dinners with with Zantac and Tums.  Beatrice and Kiko ordered the meat platter along with a delicious red wine from La Mancha.  The beef, sausage, and chicken were delicious.  I kept telling Beatrice and Kiko that I had my own plate to eat, but they insisted that I keep trying the meat.  How could I resist?

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I ordered a dish well known in Toledo, which is Perdiz (Partridge).  The meat melted in my mouth along with the tasty creamy sauce which did not detract from the quality of the meat.  The soil in La Manch is rugged and this region is not known for its fruits or vegetables.  No, La Mancha is all about the meat.

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I couldn’t have asked for more of an authentic experience.  In my humble opinion, this is what travel is about.  It’s not about checking boxes off a bucket list and it’s not about country counting.  Travel is about the personal experience and sharing that experience with others.  I am grateful to my friends Kiko and Beatrice for sharing this amazing evening with me.  Witnessing the passion, history, and culture of this city makes me want to come back for more.

Visit Toledo, Spain.  You will cherish the experience.


©2016 World Travelers Today