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Help/Comments Itinerary Northwestern Spain

HelpWe have one week for NW Spain and one week for Portugal Here is what I now have planned: Pick up rental car at Barajas (Madrid) Airport, drive to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, tour Monastery, check into hotel. Hotel Botanico? Leave SLdEE driving to Segovia, tour Segovia, drive to Avila, check into hotel. Tour Avila. Hotel suggestions? Nowhere is where I am in a quandry. We have Oviedo and Santiago de Compostela as must do's.
But do we go from Avila to Santillana del Mar (one night)then to Oviedo (one night) then Santiago de Compostela (two nights)? Or, do a little of the pilgrimage route Avila to Leon (one night) via Burgos to Oviedo (one night) to Santiago de compostela (two nights). We are arriving on a Sunday and plan to leave Santiago de Compostela on the following Saturday to do a week in Portugal. Will probably ask questions later but my husband needs to do some family research first. We were in Spain a few years ago and hit the more traditional tourist areas: Madrid, Toledo, Cordova, Sevilla, Granada, Barcelona. This is really a trip to see where my husband's mother's relatives are from (Oviedo/SdC/Portugal). Thanks for the help!

Posted by
1021 posts

Salamanca has a beautiful old part of the city and is worth considering since you'll be nearby. Can't help with the places currently on the itinerary, however. In Portugal, the University of Coimbra and the Joanine Library in particular are exceptional.

Posted by
205 posts

If you only have one night in Oviedo, stay in the historical distirct, near the Cathedral. The Cathedral has a lovely museum. We stayed at the Hotel Ovetense, which is directly above a cideria. They have a lively crowd in there most nights,
But we were high enough up where it never bothered our sleep, and in a pedestrian area so little car noise.

Posted by
105 posts

The El Rastro Hotel was lovely in Avila. One of my favorite places in Europe was this town. The hotel is built into the caslte wall and there is an enormous stone fireplace upon entering. Staff was also very helpful.
We actually enjoyed Portugal more than Spain...greener, friendlier and better food. Of course, that is just my opinion.

Posted by
9363 posts

I like your idea of the pilgrimage route, partly because it takes you through both Leon and Burgos. Both cities have stunning cathedrals. The one at Leon also has an unbelieveable museum of religious art attached.

Posted by
29 posts

Avila's El Rastro Hotel is a great ideawe stayed there several days when we did the NW pilgrimage route. We went north through Leon and followed the coast to Santiago de Compostela. Frommer has a wonderful driving tour around that area. You will see parts of Spain that are definitely "off the beaten Path." We then traveled South into Portugal and followed the coast.

Posted by
629 posts

I agree with Tex. Leaving EldEE, we visited Segovia, Avila and stayed at Salamanca for the night - very doable. We had a great evening there. Enjoy your trip!