Out and about

The most important fiesta in Galicia!! Vidal 2015

 

 

 

Vidal fiesta

In September each year, there is the Vidal fiesta. This takes place on the opposite side of the valley to Granero del Burro so is just a short walk or an even shorter drive away. It is usually on the 3rd Saturday in September so the 2015 fiesta should take place on the 19th September 2015.

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It follows the usual format of rural fiestas - drinks at lunchtime for the 'hora de vermuth' (Martini hour!!) and then a short burst of music from the band and a bit of dancing. In 2014, a group called Melodías were the headliners. There were very slick and created a nice blend of brass, vocal and dance.

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Everyone then heads of for a long lunch and things don't get started again until 11.00pm. Melodías kicked off the evening again and were backed up by a local disco. Both do a couple of sets so things usually wrap up between 4 and 5 in the morning. Everyone is very friendly so if you book your holiday to coincide with the fiesta, you will be made to feel very welcome

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The weather the last 2 years has been fantastic so you can use the bread oven area for your lunch and eat outside. You also get a good view of all the activity on the hillside opposite!!


Ferreira - idyllic spot in Asturias

Ferreira

This is the perfect place to spend a Summer's day relaxing. It is in a beautiful setting next to the river and there are only ever a few people there. There are a few picnic tables and in the Summer months, you can buy soft drinks and rent canoes. Click here for directions from Trabada.

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Park at the top of the hill and walk down to the river. The river is like a millpond so it is canoeing for novices. There are single and double canoes. The river leads round to a small dam so you can paddle around here just absorbing the tranquility and listening to the birds. Paradise! 

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Ferreira is about 10 minutes from Santa Eulalia de Oscos. This is also a beautiful little town and weel worth stopping off for a drink or coffee on the way there or back. Click here for more information on Santa Eulalia de Oscos

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If you prefer to have a more adventurous day, then you can use this as a starting point for a nice walk. There are paths that go either way from the bridge down by the river. You can always have your picnic here when you are finished!!


Coastal path - Las Catedrales to Ribadeo, Galicia

Coastal path

A new coastal path has been completed this year and it means that you can walk the full 16km between Las Catedrales (Cathedral's beach) and Ribadeo. It is a mainly flat walk which meanders around the coast and uses a mixture of the tiny coast road (very quiet) and a newly created footpath. It is called the 'ruta de la costa' and is great because you can just do the bit of it that you want. You don't have to do the whole distance.

Coastal path 1

Click here for a map of the route. You can start at Las Catedrales, the beach famous for its rock arches, and walk east towards Ribadeo. There is quite a bit of the route on the road but other than the beaches, it is pretty quiet. Alterntively you can park in the picnic area at Rinlo (campo do cristo) and walk east. This part of the walk is mainly on the coastal path. The only bit on the road is as you leave Rinlo. You can either take a picnic or eat in one of the 4 great restaurants in Rinlo.

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Probably the best place to park is between Rinlo and Ribadeo where there ae a couple of dilapidated buildings (an old toilet block and some sort of shelter). From here you can walk east (towards Ribadeo) or west (towards Rinlo. If you walk east, the path meanders around lots of secluded rocky bays with lots of flowers and wildlife. Look out for the Tongue Orchids in June. There are also a couple of ancient forts this way with description boards telling you all about them. 

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A final option is to park at Rinlo and walk towards las Catedrales (west). Not far from Rinlo you come to the cetaria de Rinlo. This is an old shellfish farm which is worth a look at. Look out for the nice brown donkey in the little village just after the shellfish farm.


Seimeira waterfall (cascada de Seimeira), Santa Eulalia de Oscos, Asturias

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If you are staying at Granero del Burro and want to combine a nice day out, with fantastic scenery and a pleasant walk, then this is a great suggestion. Head for Santa Eulalia de Oscos in Asturias which is about a 45 minute drive. You will climb out of Vegadeo and keep on climbing.........and climbing, right up to 877 metres (just under 3000 feet). Stop and look back to the coast at the La Garganta viewpoint. On a clear day you can see Ribadeo and the bridge crossing the estuary.

View from La Garganta

Continue on to Santa Eulalia de Oscos and have a coffee in the main bar in the village. It combines as the local store and is a great place to have a nose around. Then head back to the little roundabout and take the turning for Pumares. Park at the little hamlet of Pumares which has been beautifully restored. Click here for a map

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The walk to the waterfall is a lovely walk through old Oak woods, past old abandoned houses and a little mill. The waterfall is 5km from the hamlet so you can take a picnic or have a nice lunch in Santa Eulalia de Oscos when you get back. Have a look here for a suggestion for lunch. There is a nice wooded area just before the waterfall with picnic tables. You can have a look at more pictures from the walk here.


Ribadeo Indiano

Ribadeo Indiano

Last weekend saw the first Ribadeo Indiano fiesta. It is to celebrate all the Galician people who left for Central and South America around the turn of the century and then came back to Galicia with their fortune. In Ribadeo there are many classic houses built by these people. They are usually very big and ornate. Ribadeo has just launched a numbered route of all these houses. Click here to see some of them

Casa de Indianos

The fiesta itself was blessed with some good warm Galician weather. An amazing number of people got dressed up in the traditional costume of the period and Ribadeo looked a bit like Havana in the 1920's. All the bars and shops got into the spirit of things, decorating their properties and serving a variety of food and drink from the Americas. There was a very nice street market and in the evening there was a wonderful concert with traditional music. The bandstand in the main square was decorated with lanterns and felt very South American

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The children were all dressed up as well and there were percussion bands in the streets during the afternoon. There were dancing classes, presentations in the theatre and there were competitions for best fancy dress. All in all there was something for everyone. You can have a look at all the picures from the weekend here

Percussion band

This was the inaugural fiesta so it is planned to hold it again next year when it should be bigger and even better. It will be held sometime in early to mid July. It would be a good time to come to Galicia for a self catering holiday

Ribadeo Indiano


51st feria de muestras - Vegadeo 2014

Feria de muestras

The 51st feria de muestras took place in Vegadeo last weekend and was blessed with some nice weather. There were good crowds and it is great family entertainment during the day. It costs 3€ to get in and for this you can gain access to hundreds of stalls selling local produce, all the restaurants and bars, the agricultural machinery show and the animals. This year there were horses with their foals and huge bulls!

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After wandering around all the stalls you will be ready for something to eat and drink. The usual selection of eateries were available with the best one being from Lugo. There was churrasco (pork ribs), criollo (sausage), chorizo, Padron peppers, grilled chicken and Octopus. It is the same menu in each tent (restaurant) so it is very much down to what they cook it over (charcoal or Oak) and who serves it. A nice waitress who spoke very good English looked after our table!

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Click here for a youtube video clip of the feria.

After 10.00pm the focus changes to music and this year the music on Friday night was provided by local bands from Vegadeo. Saturday and Sunday nights had the usual mix of 'orquestas' which are a bit like our showbands with a Spanish flavour. This year the feria closed with a set from Assia

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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. 

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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.


Las Catedrales beach, Galicia

Las Catedrales beach
Las Catedrales beach is the second most visited tourist attraction in Galicia after Santiago de Compostela. It is a few kilometres to the west of Ribadeo and is famous for the cathedral like arches that have been formed by centuries of being pounded by the sea. It is best visited at low tide when you can walk along the sand and see all the wonderful arches.
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During late July and August it can be unbearably busy. This year the Police had to manage the queues down on to the beach. However, any other month of the year it is much quieter and is well worth a visit. When it is busy, a great option is to park at Esteiro beach. Click here for a map. Take the path on the left hand side of the beach and this takes you up on to the cliffs above Las Catedrales. From here you can get some great views of the arches and watch all the people below.
Esteiro beach
Sitting on top of the cliffs is a great place to take in the panoramic views along the coast. You can hear the waves crashing below and it can be a magical place at all times of the year. On a nice day you can take a picnic or alternatively have a drink and lunch in the restaurant above the beach. The food is good albeit a little expensive.
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If you park in the main car park there is a nice boardwalk which takes you down a couple of the small peninsulas to the west of the beach. These are easy walking and are best at high tide when the waves are crashing on the rocks.
Lone cyclist
Las Catedrales beach is half an hour from Granero del Burro. If you go about 2.30pm when all the Spanish people go for lunch, you might catch the beach deserted. All the pictures above were taken on the same day!!
Laas Catedrales arch


Exploring the Ribadeo estuary

Nuevo barco agamar
The Summer months are a fantastic time to explore the Ribadeo (or Eo) estuary. There are a number of ways to do this, but probably the easiest is by the tourist boat that operates from the port in Ribadeo. The Nuevo Agamar costs 5€ per person and leaves Ribadeo every half hour. It travels across the estuary to Castropol and then on to Figueras, before returning to Ribadeo via the puente de los Santos (bridge across the estuary).
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In Figueras there is a shipbuilding yard called Astilleros Gondán. It is well known in Spain for building support vessels for the oil industry. From the Nuevo Agamar, you travel right under the boat that is under construction. There is also a nice restaurant in Figueras called Peñalba so you can get the boat from Ribadeo or Castropol, travel to Figueras, have lunch and then get the boat back to where you started from, after lunch. Alternatively you can get the boat to Castropol and have lunch in el Rison
Ribadeo
For those of you that prefer more of a challenge, you can hire a self drive boat and explore the estuary yourselves. These can be hired from La Flote in the port of Ribadeo. They are small boats with outboard motors and prices start at 30€ per hour for the smallest engined ones. A whole day costs 130€. They are great if you want to get to the huge sandbank that appears at low tide. This is great for a picnic, playing football or just relaxing. You can anchor the boat and do what you want. 
Boat trip from Ribadeo
You can also explore the estuary on foot and it is a birdwatching mecca all year round. Probably the best walk is between Figueras and Castropol. There is a footpath that winds its way around the edge of the estuary and you get great views out over the water towards Ribadeo and Castropol. In the Winter it is a great place for wildfowl and during the migration there are lots of waders, Spoonbills and Egrets. There is normally a wintering Osprey. Have a look at Castropol, Asturias
Castropol