“A desire to experience” is possibly the most repeated answer when asking our travelers why their passion for traveling. And this is precisely the reason why our colleague Luz decided one day to pack and start dreaming…
After my first year in Europamundo, I decided to go on my first tour. I needed to experience firsthand the Europamundo dream. So with my sister we did, we embarked on this adventure together.
We both wanted to visit Portugal, and among doubts, we finally decided on the 7-day circuit, Iberian Triangle (Portugal, Galicia and North of Spain).
We left Madrid on a very early Monday, starting our trip with Europamundo, our tour guide Cristina and our travel group, to arrive at the end of the day in Lisbon. We made the first stop in Cáceres, a charming little town with a very nice medieval historic center. Once in Portugal, our first stop in this country was in Évora, the white town, where we were astonished with its Chapel of Bones, our travel companions were astonished too. At the end of the evening we arrived in Lisbon, where we decided to get to the city center, in order to have dinner and get to know first-hand the night life in this incredible city.
The next day, we had the sightseeing tour of Lisbon, and we visited the well-known Belem district, where we could taste the famous Belem Cake. No one in the group could resist the temptation. We had the afternoon free, but another fantastic tour guide of Europamundo, Merche, encouraged us to visit the wonderful seaside towns of Sintra, Cascais and Estoril.
On our return to Lisbon, and after a little rest at the hotel, we had the transfer to the famous Restauradores Square. We took the Elevador Da Gloria, and stroll on the bohemian Bairro Alto of Lisbon, where you can enjoy the views of the city, its people, the food, and also a live Fado Show. After dining in this neighborhood, we decided to go back to the hotel, it had been a long day.
On Wednesday morning we left Lisbon to visit the famous Sanctuary of Fatima and then continue our trip to Porto. We arrive in Porto at lunchtime, to enjoy, next to the Duero River, a delicious Francesinha, which is a typical dish of this city. Ending our lunch break, we went with the rest of the group to the other side of the river, Vila Nova de Gaia, by crossing the famous Don Luis I bridge. We could enjoy a tasting of Port wine, in some wineries. For wine lovers, as we are, it was a pleasure to enjoy these moments. Finally we concluded the evening with a guided tour of the city.
On Thursday we continued our journey north, stopping in Braga to see the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, which we reached through a funicular. It is one of those sites that leaves you speechless. The views of the city are incredible. We had a little while to take some photos with these wonderful views.
On our way to Santiago de Compostela, we stopped in Cambados to enjoy with the rest of the group a glass bottom boat trip in a Galician estuary, where they explained to us how to grow the mussels. We had a tasting of mussels and a delicious Albariño wine. All of us in the group were delighted with this experience. Then we had some free time to stroll leisurely through the charming little town of Cambados. It seemed that we were in another time, due to the color of its streets and its architecture.
After leaving Cambados, we arrived in Santiago de Compostela, where a local guide was waiting for us to walk around the city centre. If we found Cambados wonderful, I have no words to describe the city of Santiago. It is a meeting point for pilgrims from all over the world. In its streets you can feel and breathe a peculiar mystical air, it was a strange and at the same time a beautiful feeling difficult to explain. In addition, the Cathedral of Santiago, is simply impressive and there were plenty of curious alleys around.
The next day we left for Lugo, where we had the opportunity to see its historic center and the Roman walls. Later we had another stop in a small stone village, on the route of the Camino de Santiago, O’Cebreiro, where we tasted the famous Galician soup in a familiar tavern, since the cool morning in those parts made us want a warm appetizer. On our way to Oviedo, we also visited Leon, its gothic cathedral, and toured its lively alleys full of taverns. Finally we arrived in Oviedo, capital of Asturias, where after the guided tour, we enjoy on our own an artisan cider tasting as well as some typical dishes of the area.
Saturday morning we continue our trip, with our group and our fantastic guide Cristina, to Covadonga, in the natural area of Picos de Europa. It is a spectacular place, where there is a sanctuary in a cave inside the mountain, and from where water flows. The place was all full of fog, which gave it a special charm. We arrived in Santillana del Mar for a short stop, and we learned the three lies of this little town in Cantabria, it is not holy, it is not flat, nor does it have sea (as the name in Spanish indicates so). Near Santillana del Mar we visited the Altamira Caves Museum, and its cave paintings, and continued towards the Cantabrian capital, Santander. We were able to contemplate the beauty of its beaches, its seafront and the incredible views from around the Magdalena Palace. We ended the day arriving in Bilbao.
On our last day, we had the guided tour, starting with the Guggenheim museum area and walking towards the old town of Bilbao, a medieval neighborhood on the banks of the estuary.
At the end of the visit, we would have liked to see the museum, but since we didn’t have much time (we were already returning to our city, Madrid), we decided to have a last walk through the alleys of this old town and taste some of Bilbao’s famous pintxos. And with this good taste in our mouths, we started our return trip.
We hope that like our colleague Luz, you have enjoyed this dream. Did you know any of these places? Tell us about your experience! And if you want to keep dreaming with the photos of the Europamundo travelers, visit the following links: Photos of Portugal CLICK HERE, Photos of Spain CLICK HERE.