A walk that will take you along quality trails, avoid main roads, and show you a terrific variety of scenery and beauty, points of history and culture, art, architecture, anthropology, folklore, fiestas and cuisine.
When the Celts were heading to Ireland in around 900BC, Galicia was a rest stop and evidence of their presence remains. Ancient fortresses and villages, inscriptions and bagpipes are there, and a lingering lore of witches, fairies and unearthed treasures have given the area a reputation for being magical.
Rough terrain has always hampered trade, but they are making their mark internationally with ship building, car manufacturing and fashion pushing through its rural and old fashioned appeal. Tourists are showing curiosity and interest, and Santiago de Compostela is one of the world's most popular backpacking destinations, thanks to its mountains, plunging coastlines, sea and river.
Spain generally lends itself to discovery by foot and Nancy Frey and Jose Placer, a native of Galicia, run walking tours in four areas of the country Galicia, Picos de Europa, Basque Country and Camino de Santiago.
They designed all four tours so they are offer things others don't. If you want a customised tour, e-mail them with your time, budget and how far you wish to walk each day and hey presto they will create a tour just for you.
They take walks with six to 12 people and go along quality trails, avoid main roads, and show a terrific variety of scenery and beauty, points of history and culture, art, architecture, anthropology, folklore, fiestas and cuisine. You take along a day pack and a support vehicle follows with the rest of your gear.
On Foot in Spain's philosophy is that to walk is to learn, and this certainly happens on their journeys.
Their eights days and nights Galicia tour starts in Santiago de Compostella and heads to the desolate area of Costa da Morte (Coast of Death, so named because of the many shipwrecks caused by wild seas). You will spend three-and-a-half days taking in long stretches of white sandy beaches, small fishing villages and pine forests.
At Cape Finisterre, Spain's historical land's end, your accommodation is in a renovated signal house adjacent to the lighthouse.
You then go to the region's extreme east along the Sierras Ancares and Courel. You will share your mountain walk with cattle, deer and enjoy many beautiful wildflowers. At the pre-Roman hamlet of Piornedo you will see pallozas which are circular stone based dwellings with thatched roofs. They were designed for human and animal occupation and were inhabited that way until just a few years ago.
On the last day of your walk you tread ancient paths which follow the Lor River's twists and turns. You will enjoy shady chestnut forests, mountain hamlets, homemade wooden bridges, narrow canyons and the ruins of a pre-Roman village, high on a rocky outcrop.
The day ends with a delicious dinner in Santiago de Compostella's old quarter and a well-earned sleep in the luxurious parador.
You will have seen a Romanesque cathedral, granite formations, rare seabirds, walked along Roman walls, followed the meandering Rio Lor, explored thick woodland and enjoyed spectacular coastal views.
In Spain's north-west, a one hour flight from Madrid.
On Foot in Spain walking and hiking educational adventures eight-day Galicia tour costs around $3100 per person. Accommodation, all meals, entry fees, experienced guides, support vehicle and all transportation during the walk are included. They run from June to September.
Qantas flies daily to London with connections to Madrid. Return economy airfares start at $1752 from Adelaide, $1753 from Melbourne, $1766 from Brisbane, $1771 from Sydney, $1764 from Perth and $2212 from Darwin per person. Daily connections with Iberia to Santiago de Compostela start at around $183 per person.
Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of recording but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Please note that prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowlegde are inclusive of GST.
On Foot in Spain
Rosalía de Castro, 29
15886 Teo, A Coruña Spain
Ph: (0011) 34 686 99 4062
Fax: (0011) 34 981 81 9357www.onfootinspain.com
National Tourist Office of Spain
SE Asia, Australia, NZ and India
541 Orchard Towers Singapore 238881
Ph: (0011) 65 737 3008
Fax: (0011) 65 737 firstname.lastname@example.org
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