Post-Christmas, the beach and sunshine were a welcome change of scenery. And while I think my mom, aunt and I would agree that for a future trip, we would try to avoid spreading ourselves so thin, we had a wonderful time in these coastal towns 🙂
Porto aka if you’re into colorful tiles you’ll be into this beautiful city
Upon exiting the Porto metro to street-level, the first thing we noticed was a big building covered in lovely blue tiles. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we were going to like this bright and charming city. Since there was a lot we wanted to see in Porto and not a whole lot of time, we decided to take the Yellow Bus Line tour to maximize our time. It was an effective way to cover ground more efficiently while learning about the city, but we waited over an hour for the last bus to take us back which was supposed to come every 30 minutes Next time, we would opt for the Red or Blue bus lines which both came twice in the time that we were waiting. Regardless, we enjoyed some cheap shopping, fresh seafood and Port Wine during our couple days here. We could have used more time for sight-seeing as we missed out on going up the Clerigos Tour and inside Libraria Lello, but our visit was long enough to get a taste of Portugal and know that we would like to go back.
Highlight: Lunch in the Matosinhos Seafood District which is filled with restaurants grilling and serving up a variety of fresh fish. SO FREAKING GOOD.
Recommendations: See above. Sao Francisco Cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Sight, beautiful. Shop cause it’s cheap cheap cheap. A bus tour but probably not the Yellow one.
Santiago de Compostela aka very rich with history for such a small place
Santiago was where we began our roadtrip along the Northern Coast of Spain. Known as being the end destination for the famous Camino de Santiago “pilgrimage”, we very much enjoyed checking out the famous and beautiful Cathedral and walking the cute streets. We also witnessed a big procession and celebration of some sort, but we never figured out exactly what was going on.
Recommendations: Cathedral. O Celme do Caracol for food – Yum!
Ribadesella aka prime destination for a summer home
We stumbled upon this tiny coastal town because it was halfway between Santiago and San Sebastian, there was an AirBnB available there, and its Google images looked very promising. It did not disappoint. With an adorable little city center and an enormous beach, we all agreed that if we were Spanish, we would love to have a summer home here.
Highlight & Recommendation: The spot (Ermita de la Virgen de la Guia) that overlooks the town, the port, the beach and the Atlantic…doesn’t get any better than that.
San Sebastian aka more proof that the North of Spain is pretty much the bomb
San Sebastian was the 3rd and most highly anticipated stop along our Espana roadtrip, and it lived up to the hype. Similar to Porto, this city has it all. Plenty of sight-seeing, rich culture and history, good food, and a stunning beach. From it’s charming and lively old town to its walkway along the sea, there is so much to do and sea in San Sebastian. The combination of being here only a couple of days and one of those days being New Years Day (hardly anything was open), meant that again, we probably didn’t get the full experience. However, we saw and ate what we could while we were there, and we liked it all. 10/10 would absolutely recommend San Sebastian and the North of Spain as a whole.
Highlight: Walking along the Pasealeku Berria as the huge waves rolled in and got people wet (including us).
Recommendations: Peine del Viento XV – cool sculptures along the sea front. Stroll along the beach and people watch.