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September 2013
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January 2014

December 2013

Ribadeo birding

Spotless Starling

If you are looking for a self catering holiday in Galicia with the opportunity of seeing some great birds, then look no further. The area around Granero del Burro is a great place for birdwatching and if you know where to go you can usually come across some species that you would not see in the UK. During Spring and Autumn, the coastal spots usually turn up some unusual vagrants.

Honey Buzzard

This year was no exception. During the Summer months you can usually see Honey Buzzards around the barn and a pair of Red Backed Shrikes bred a couple of fields away. At the barn there were pairs of White Wagtails, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Cirl Buntings breeding. You can always see Spotless Starlings, Yellow Legged Gulls, Fan Tailed Warblers, Sardinian Warblers and Rock Buntings in the area. We have resident Buzzards and Ravens, and on still Summer days the air is filled with the sounds of the Cuckoo and Turtle Doves

White Rumped Sandpiper

This Autumn was particularly good for unusual visitors with Pectoral Sandpiper, 4 White Rumped Sandpipers, Richard’s Pipit and Yellow Browed Warbler all been seen. Snow buntings have also been seen this Winter

You can have a look at the following websites to keep an eye on what has been seen recently. 

Aves de Villadún-Penarronda

Ría de Ribadeo

Ribadeo Birding

Birdwatching in Galicia

And while you are here if you would like to be taken on a guided tour of the birdwatching hotspots then this is possible. Just e mail us and I will be happy to do this

LD Lines

Norman Voyager

A new ferry service is starting on the 5th January 2014 between Poole in Dorset and Gijón in Asturias. It will be operated by LD Lines. This makes it much easier to bring your car with you when you come to stay at Granero del Burro, the self catering barn in Galicia. Gijón is much closer than Santander, where the Brittany Ferries service docks. Gijón is less than 2 hours away and most of the route is motorway. The prices are very reasonable and almost half the price of Brittany Ferries. The crossing is 25 hours!!

San Lorenzo beach, Gijón

Gijón itself is a great place with lots of interesting things to do and see. The San Lorenzo beach is a great city beach and runs along the full length of the city. Have a look here for more information. The Abba Hotel is a great place to stay if you want to spend a night in the city. 

Norman Voyager 1

The A8 motorway is nearly finished!!

Puente de los Santos

At long last the A8 motorway along the top of Northern Spain has opened its latest section. This now means that you can get from Asturias airport to the self catering barn, Granero del Burro in just over an hour with the majority of it being on the motorway. Unlike the UK, the motorway here is only 2 lanes wide, but there is virtually no traffic on it. You do not have to factor in traffic jams!!!!

Asturian coast

The motorway itself takes a very scenic route with the sea visible for most of the journey on the one side and the Asturian hills on the other. It passes through rural Asturias and you get a good impression of how people live here, with their big houses and smallholdings with a few animals and big vegetable gardens. You also quickly see why this area is called La Costa Verde (Green Coast) as everything is very green. 

Galicia is still a wonderful place in the Autumn

Sunbathing horses

Galicia is part of the Costa verde which in English means 'Green Coast'. Unsurprisingly, it is called this because it gets its fair share of rain. However, this is far less than you would get in an average year in the UK and so the Autumn and Winter months can be just as rewarding for those of you that enjoy the great outdoors. This year has been particularly pleasant in October and November with warm sunshine in October and cold, dry, frosty days in November. This was interspersed with some terrific gales at the back end of October which produced some spectacular crashing waves on the coast.

Waves at Rinlo

Rinlo, which is 25 minutes from Granero del Burro, is a particularly good place to watch the waves crashing onto the shore. When the conditions are right, they can come right over the harbour wall. Rinlo is also a great place to eat so even if the weather isn't great you can eat very well. Click here to read about the restaurants in Rinlo.

View from Yenka restaurant

Another great restaurant to try is Yenka which is on the coast just half an hour from the barn. Its menu of the day is €12,50 and this includes a 3 course meal with coffee, bread and wine/beer. It has fantastic views out over the beach to the sea and is open all year. This year their menu has included Grilled Sea Bass and Sea Bream which is unusual to see on a menu del dia.

Galician beach

So don't be put off by the time of the year. It is a great place to come all year round, and the benefit of coming out of season is that you have the place to yourselves. If you enjoy fresh air, food and generally relaxing, then Galicia is a great Spring and Autumn destination.