Spain Family Adventure - Living Spanish
We have discovered an untouched paradise in the north west of Spain. Allariz in Galicia is our beautiful home base for our stay in Spain. We are in apartments and private homes and are ‘living local’. Step back in time and enjoy produce straight from the land as we share a drink and Tapas with neighbours in the village bars. We savour a taste of Portugal exploring the beautiful coastal city of Porto. Finally we take in the vibrant cities of Madrid, Toledo and Barcelona. Live Spanish!
Our home town of Allariz has real people, local culture and cuisine and all the things that you cannot experience on a whirlwind tour. We are regulars at the local café and frequently drop into a neighbourhood bar at the end of the day for a chat with the neighbours. Join our friends for Tapas or dinner in local restaurants as we become fluent in the language of good food and wine. Time to visit some of the interesting destinations in the region is balanced well with picnics and days spent along the river and in the cobbled backstreets of town. Spending the first few days relaxing into the pace of Iberia we stay in Porto, the most beautiful city in Portugal. The story of Port Wine began here and it has not been bettered elsewhere. Completing our Spanish stay we head east for a taste of the city life of Spain. Based in historical Toledo we enjoy the bustle of Madrid and the legends of Cervantes and Quixote in and around Toledo. Capping off our stay we indulge in Gaudi and Flamenco in the vibrant city of Barcelona. What a finish! Magnífico!
|13 Day Itinerary|
|Departure:||12th June 2021||(Saturday to Thursday)|
|Price:||AUD$2890||AUD$2090 for children under 17 years of age|
Global Drift Family Adventures are designed for families travelling together (i.e. each party booking requires at least one parent or legal guardian accompanying any children). Child friendly adults may join this trip. We have a minimum age for children of 7 years old
Please see footnote at the bottom of the page re Family tour group size
Day 1 - Arrival day – Porto
Today is arrival day in Porto and there are no activities planned. We get together early evening for a group meeting then head out into the city for a fantastic local meal
Day 2 - Porto
Leaving Porto in the early morning we head up stream for a full day cruise on the Douro River taking us deep into rural Portugal and the heart of the grape growing area. The boat passes under famous high level bridges, small villages and riverside homes. To negotiate the two large dams on the river our boat is raised by a series of locks, some being the highest in Europe. The journey continues into the demarcated port wine region of steeply terraced mountains, with white painted traditional farm houses. An area of stunning scenery. After a stop for lunch we arrive at Regua and return to Porto by train
Day 3 - Porto
We head out this morning on foot to the “Café Majestic” for a classic Porto coffee. Our walking tour takes us through old Porto town via the main square and the railway station (with its characteristic murals) then down to riverside. Crossing over the bridge we visit ‘Sandemans’ for our Port Wine tour savouring the delectable tastes of classic Ports from the origin itself. We have some time this afternoon for further walks along the beautifully scenic river and also some excellent shopping in the local stores. Porto was the home of JK Rowling while she was writing the Harry Potter stories. We visit Lello & Irmão, an enchanting bookstore, classified as “one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world”, and which was used for the Hogwart library scenes in the movies
Day 4 - Porto to Allariz
We depart Porto today and drive to the Portuguese village of Caminha. We enjoy a walk around this delightful coastal settlement before enjoying lunch at the quirky Amandio restaurant. There is a wide range of tapas and wines available in this classic setting. Leaving Portugal we head across the border into Spain to our wonderful home for the next 9 nights. The town of Allariz is in the province of Ourense in Galicia. It is surrounded by hills covered with ancient forests of chestnut and oak trees. It is a wonderfully picturesque location on the banks of the Arnoia River and a popular choice for summer houses. We are ‘Living Spanish’ and day tripping throughout the region
Day 5 - Allariz
On our first morning in Allariz we enjoy an orientation walk. We learn about the history, gossip and scandalous rumours of the town and also familiarise ourselves with the cafes, shops, restaurants, supermarkets and the outlet shops. We will meet plenty of locals who are our neighbours and will become our friends throughout our stay. Today we shop for our apartment kitchens, visit the ruined castle for the views, enjoy a stroll along the river and finish up at Chao’s café. We may have time to visit the Toy Museum. Tonight we step in gently to the towns ‘tapas circuit’ a tradition of drinks and snacks with friends. We find some classic bars and are meeting locals, dissecting the day’s news whilst comparing some of the region's wines. Week nights are not too busy so we can find our feet popping into many of the town’s venues
Day 6 - Allariz – (Cooking School)
It is time to try your hand at creating some of the local dishes. A short walk along the riverside brings us to the village of Vilaboa and one of the best restaurants of the area. The head chef is our host as we immerse ourselves in a hands-on cooking school eating our delectable results for lunch. A fun way to learn the secrets of the interesting regional cuisine. In the afternoon we return to Allariz
Day 7 - Allariz – (Ribeira Sacra day trip)
This morning we travel into the beautiful Ribeira Sacra with its majestic scenery. Our first stop is Monforte de Lemos and the Ribeira Sacra wine centre for an excellent introduction to region’s wine. We continue on and enjoy splendid views over the river Sil with its vast mountains and a deep river gorge. The almost vertical hill sides are covered in small terraces for the vines. We join Alejandro and his boat for a journey on the river Sil and a different perspective of this impressive river gorge. A visit to the Regina Viarum winery is next for a tour of the vineyard and a picnic lunch in this amazing setting. Finally we visit Gundivos where a local craftsman is revitalising a traditional form of pottery. After a demonstration it’s time for us to have a go at making a pot before heading back to Allariz. Friday night is the best night to join the locals for the wine bar and tapas trail. It can be a family night or we can occupy the young ones at our accommodation and head out into the old town. Remember we are in Spain so nothing starts before 9pm
Day 8 - Allariz – (Santiago day trip)
Today we head to Ourense and then on by train to the legendary town of Santiago de Compostela which is the final stop for all the Camino Trails. We glory in walking the last kilometre down to the Cathedral Square before exploring the cathedral itself. The old city is a maze of narrow cobble stone streets, full of shops, churches and an endless stream of pilgrims. Lunch can be taken at one of the small bars or restaurants inside the historic centre. Back in Allariz we have the opportunity to experience a meal in the world class Restaurant Vilanova, truly a regional gem with a Master Chef to tantalise our taste buds
Day 9 - Allariz
We have a day of options on hand. We are on the lookout for a sporting fixture in the region. Depending on the season we can enjoy a La Liga football match (or local), or a Basketball match in Ourense. In Allariz we can go bike riding or enjoy walks along the river. For shoppers the outlet stores are a big feature in this area, Allariz is home to many of the big labels and prices will astound you. For those with a hearty appetite you could enjoy a huge local lunch at the Alarico restaurant
Day 10 - Allariz
A stay at home day today with plenty of fun things to do. Today is ‘Market Day’ in Allariz. We visit the various stalls – cheese, dried fish, plants, farm equipment (traditional stuff not machines), vegetables, clothes and more. Lunch at the market gives us a chance to taste the local delicacy. This is Pulpo (octopus) in olive oil and paprika and there are also grilled sausages and ribs for the less brave. All washed down with red wine mixed with sweet fizzy water. Try it! In the afternoon we step back in time and visit the leather museum and the young ones can make a bracelet or key ring holder. Another option would be to rent kayaks or rowing boats on the river or visit the exhibition garden on the riverside
Day 11 - Allariz – (Santa Marina and Ourense day trip)
A free morning to relax and enjoy the village. Early afternoon we travel to nearby Santa Marina where we visit the village and walk down to the strange ‘bouncing head’ ruins. The story surrounding the local village girl who defied a Roman general will entrance you. We visit the ruins and the fresh water springs associated with the legend. We have time to visit the 'castro', an Iron Age Celtic settlement on top of a small hill with excellent views. In the village there is an option to join a local artisan as he weaves baskets and will share his secrets as you create your own masterpiece. Late afternoon we make our way to Ourense where we walk through the beautiful old city to Tapas street, eating and drinking our way through this nostalgic promenade. We finish up at the hot water pools by the river side where we relax and soak up the atmosphere before returning to Allariz
Day 12 - Allariz
A wonderful local day is planned. First we visit a traditional water powered flour mill on the river in Allariz and grind our own flour. We stop at a very local home where the speciality is salami and chorizo. We buy our meat here directly from the smoking shed. On to a cheese farm where we learn how sheep’s cheese is made. We are collecting produce along the way for our picnic lunch. Our next stop is the tiny village of Toxadino where we utilise the community oven where bread has been baked for centuries. With local help from the villagers we make our bread then acquire some very local wine in the village store. A picnic spot is selected and we taste out local produce under the sun on the hills of Galicia. Back to our base where we can enjoy a Spanish style siesta before our last night paella dinner. In true Spanish style our newly made friends in the village may drop in for a wine and to wish us farewell and come back soon, a great way to finish our Galician village stay
Day 13 - Allariz - Departure day
Today is departure day and there are connections available in nearby Ourense to the airports in La Coruña, Vigo or Porto. Alternatively trains from Ourense will take you to your onward connections. For those joining us on the Spanish City Gems add on tour we depart by train to Madrid and then on to the vibrant and classical city of Toledo
8 DAY 'SPANISH CITY GEMS’ ADD ON TOUR - Price: AUD$1890
AUD$1590 per child under 17 years of age
Day 1 - Allariz to Toledo – (day 13 of Living Spain trip)
We depart by rail to Madrid where we change trains and travel the short distance to Toledo. On arrival we will check into our hotel and depending on time perhaps enjoy a short orientation walk. Our base in the old city sets the tone for our stay in the wonderfully historic settlement of Toledo
Day 2 - Toledo
The historic city centre of Toledo sits on a craggy rock, which is almost completely encircled by a wide meander of the Tagus river. Famous since Roman times, Toledo has more than 100 monuments of interest and is an UNESCO World Heritage city in recognition of its uniqueness. This is due as much as anything to its special history, since in the past the city was host to Christian, Islamic and Hebrew culture and the architecture of the city reflects this - being almost impossible to walk its streets without coming across an ancient mosque, a Gothic or Mudejar church, a Romanesque or Visigothic structure, a synagogue, or a Renaissance palace. Today we take a gentle walking tour that includes the city walls, the Alcazar, once the site of the Roman Praetorium, later the abode of the Visigothic kings, and then the Al-Qasr fortress during the period of Muslim domination. We visit the house and museum of the painter El Greco which has several of his master pieces on display. A great day in a wonderful historic city
Day 3 - Toledo – (Madrid day trip)
Madrid is hectic at the best of times but absolutely worth a visit with a huge range of interesting sights. We have chosen to enjoy an extensive and thorough tour of the city for a full day from our base in much more relaxed and atmospheric Toledo. We head to the city by train and utilise the Metro service which gets us conveniently and quickly to our destinations throughout the day. Our visit begins with the Neptune Square and time to enjoy Spain’s most famous museum, the Prado. We visit the fabled ‘Lhardy’ for gourmet Spanish delights – a Madrid institution. San Miguel food market is on the agenda and an excellent place for lunch. We see Plaza Mayor which is the grandest square in Madrid. Time to take in the Royal Palace if you desire. We know some excellent cafes, gardens and plaza and these are in our sights for regular coffee breaks and people watching. We will have time to stroll along the Gran Via (main shopping street). For those inclined you can see the Madrid bull ring and museum. For football fans a tour of the Real Madrid Bernabeu stadium is an exciting option. Returning by train we bask in our Madrid experience and look forward to an easy morning tomorrow
Day 4 - Toledo
We call this our “Don Quixote” day. We start out by visiting Almonacid del Toledo an old ruined castle on a nearby hill top. We move on to Mora which is an olive growing centre. There is an olive press museum, farm visits and tastings for us to enjoy. It is also a centre for artisans making carpets, cowbells and local cheese. A stop at the castle of Peñas Negras then on to Consuegra. Here is the classic Quixote village resplendent with castle and the windmills of Cervantes. Our final stop is Mascaraque, the saffron capital of Spain. We visit the museum and exhibition centre before returning to Toledo
Day 5 - Toledo to Barcelona
A travel day by train to the coastal city of Barcelona. Whipping through the Spanish countryside we prepare ourselves for our final Spanish destination. Barcelona never disappoints. On arrival we take a walk down “La Ramblas” and visit an excellent market close to this classic promenade. We finish with dinner at one of the beach side restaurants
Day 6 - Barcelona
We have a busy day planned. Our first stop is the amazing and quirky Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s most famous work. We learn its secrets and the story of how it is still unfished due to his untimely death and lack of building plans. We then visit his other grand work the La Pedrera Provenca. There is an excellent exhibition with fascinating models while the crazy rooftop is not to be missed. More Gaudi eccentricities await as we head for the very strange Parc Güell. Gaudi worked on the park for his patron Eusebio Güell. The park features pavilions, decorated lizards, a Hall of Columns and a ceramic bench. Inside the park is also Gaudi’s Güell Palace. We can enjoy lunch in the city or the parks and have a free afternoon in this vibrant city. This evening there is an option of dinner at our favourite Barcelona eatery. ‘7 Portes’ is an institution in the area. Dining in this legendary 170 year old restaurant is not to be forgotten
Day 7 - Barcelona
Our final day is free for you to visit one of the many options on hand. Museums, galleries, parks and beach. Perhaps a visit to the La Plaza Monumental museum, one of Spain’s most famous bull rings which oozes character and history. You will have time to finish up your shopping before our final dinner together. There is no better end to our Spanish Adventure than dinner and Flamenco, enjoying a taste of this vibrant music and dance experience. Salud!
Day 8 - Barcelona - Departure day
You may depart at your convenience today with easy metro and train connections to the airport
|Extra Accommodation:||Single Inquire||Details|
Family tour group size can be higher than 16 depending on adult/child ratios. For this tour we may take as many as 20 travellers as there is limited travel between destinations as well as independent living arrangements for the majority of the tour
Your Local Payment is collected by your group leader in cash at your group meeting on Day 1 of the trip and is part of your tour price. The money is spent locally on your tour.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Pre and post trip accommodation is offered on most journeys pending availability. Please indicate in your enquiry if you require any rooms before or after your tour and the amount of nights requested.
Global Drift encourages interactive experiences for our all of our travellers. As such we presume that you will be happy to share accommodation with a same sex person should you be travelling alone.
However, for those that would prefer a single room for the tour we do offer a single supplement.
It must be stated however that on many of our tours we stay in small family owned guesthouse accommodation. In certain instances with full groups the passenger combinations may not always allow you to enjoy a single room. Please keep this in mind when booking your single supplement. We will however, always do our best to accommodate you.
Please make your request for this service a minimum of 3 months prior to your journey.
The quoted extra payment is for the entire trip.
Due to the exploratory nature of this journey no single supplement is offered.
Airport Arrival Transfer
Global Drift offers an optional arrival transfer to your hotel at the quoted fee.
In your trip dossier you will receive directions on how to make your way to your starting point hotel. It is quite easy and possibly cheaper than we are able to offer it.
Should you require this service please advise us at the time of your booking.