Pontevedra to Parador de Santo Estevo

Our first stop today was to do laundry.

Doing Laundry

While the laundry was processing we had coffee and read in the cafe next door.

Waiting for laundry to finish.

The Camino de Santiago is actually multiple medieval pilgrimage routes that all end in Santiago de Compostela. This morning we were only about an hours drive from Santiago de Compostela. so we decided to visited the Cathedral that is at the end of the Camino de Santiago before driving to the Parador where we are tonight. We parked fairly close to the Cathedral square and walked up to it. You can see the Cathedral from a long way away. It really is awe inspiring and it is fun to see walkers/pilgrims arriving at the end of their walk.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Next we drove about an hour and a half southeast to the Parador of Santo Estevo. Duke and I have been here once before. I think it may be my favorite of all the Paradors we have visited. It is in a beautiful, big , old Monastery on the side of a mountain overlooking a gorge.

Parador de Santo Estevo
Central cloister of the Parador de Santo Estevo

Because we’re have visited so many Paradors we get treats in our room when we arrive. the brownies we got today were devine.

Our room in the Parador de Santo Estevo

Tui to Pontevedra

Today we went on a search for Roman bridges. the Romans were in western Iberian peninsula during the first and second centuries. In fact the name of the town where we are tonight, Pontvedra comes from the Latin words for old bridge ( according to Wikipedia).

This morning when we woke up it was very foggy. after breakfast Duke and I went for a walk along the river as the fog was lifting.

Walking along the Minho River near the Parador of Tui.

After checking out we went looking for the Roman bridge in Tui. The Romans really knew how to build bridges. and they are beautiful too.

Ponte Romana Tui

We left Tui and drove southwest into Portugal to see another Roman Bridge.

Ponte românica de Vilar de Mouros

From Vilar de Mouros we drove north back into Spain to the Parador of Pontevedra where we are tonight.

Parador of Pontevedra

We had a picnic in Linda and Ray’s room then had our welcome drinks and played some cards.


For dinner we went to a nearby Tapas place, Meigas Fora. We has calamari, fish and chips, guacamole and salmon with chips, and bread and cheese. It was tasty and fun.

One of our tapas.

We got a chuckle out of the “Old Cow Kebabs” on the menu! Maybe it’s a translation of aged beef?

Old Cow Kebabs

There was even a Roman Bridge picture in our room at the Parador.

Ponte Romano

Amares, Portugal to Tui, Spain

Before leaving the Pausada de Amares this morning we took a short walk around the grounds of the Pausada which is built in a former monastery.

The Pausada de Amares
The trees are loaded with oranges but Duke wants just the right one.

After our walk we finished packing, checked out and headed north to the town of Tui which is in Spain on the Portuguese Spanish border. The border is formed by the Minho River. We are staying in a Parador overlooking the river.

As you know if you follow this blog, Paradors are Spanish hotels in historic buildings or scenic locations. They are owned by the Spanish government. Over the last 6 years Duke and I have stayed in 67 of the 98 Spanish paradors. This Parador in Tui is number 68 for us.

Entrance to the Tui Parador
View from our room overlooking the Minho River

We enjoyed our welcome drinks and played cards

Linda with her cards, sandwich and welcome drink.

For dinner we went to a nearby restaurant called A Muralla Duke and I shared a meat and fish grill. The staff was very friendly. It was a great meal.

Our dinner.

Porto to Amares

Our hotel in Porto was right on the river. It consisted of two buildings, a palace and a factory built by one of the former owners of the palace. Of course they are completely renovated now.

The palace
The view from our room

Since we were staying in Porto it seemed appropriate to visit one of the many Port wine cellars near where we were staying. The hotel made us a reservation at Graham’s Port Wine Cellar. It was only a few miles from the hotel but finding it turned out to be a bit of an adventure. Eventually we made it and enjoyed a tour and tasting.

Vats for port wine
Aging port wine
Port pairings

Duke is not really a fan of port. It is not my favorite either but I thought these ports were wonderful.

From Porto we drove north to the Pausada Mosteiro de Amores. It is a hotel in a wonderful old Monestary.

Pausada Mosteiro de Amares

We played bridge.

Bridge by the fire.

Then we had dinner in the Pausada restaurant.

Sea Bass
Pork, potatoes, and chestnuts

Viseu to Porto

After breakfast Thursday morning Duke talked to the helpful front desk staff at the Pausada in Viseu about what we should see in the area. They suggested the old village of Santar which is in the middle of a transformation to become “The Garden Village”. The owners of one of the local grand houses have worked with other garden owners in the village and with a famous landscape architect to connect their gardens and create marvelous spaces. We took a tour and saw one of the wonderful old houses and all 5 public gardens. Even though they are undoubtedly more beautiful at other times of the year when there would be more color, the gardens were still really beautiful.

On the garden tour
The pond that is used as a source of irrigation water.

The owners are also growing grapes and have created a small winery in the former stables

In the winery
The former stables

Next we got on the road to Porto. We stopped at a grocery store and bought picnic supplies. We found a lovely spot to picnic. It is interesting that a lot of people are burning wood, probably for heat. The smoke in the air was pretty thick.

At the grocery store
Picnic lunch

The short route to Porto would have been just over an hour but of course we took the ‘scenic route’. it turned about to be a bit longer than we might have liked but the drive through the mountains was certainly scenic!

The Portuguese mountains
Our mountain road

I navigated our way to what I thought was the location of our hotel in central Porto. There was lots of traffic but no hotel! After much consulting from the whole team we figured out that in Google maps Hotél Pestana Palácio do Freixo is a 30 minute drive from Pestana Palácio do Freixo. Argh!! We finally got to the hotel in Portu on the Duoro River about six.

The view from our room.

Dinner in the hotel restaurant was fabulous. Our waiter was concerned that Linda might not like the tripe but she said it was very good.