Travelogue – Spain and Portugal 2019

Sao Pedro das Cabecas

Period

14 March 2019 – 8 April 2019. Distance: 7,145 Km.

Photo gallery

A photo gallery with photos of our journey is now available on Smugmug (please click).

Route

  • Zeeland (NL) – Buchy (France, above Rouen)
  • Buchy – Mirambeau (France)
  • Mirambeau – Bordeau -Villaquiran de Los Infantes (Spain)
  • Villaquiran de Los Infantes – SalamancaValle Del Jerte – Navaconcejo
  • Novaconcejo – Coria- Valle La Vera – Losar de la Vera
  • Losar de la Vera – Villanueva de la Vera – Parque Nacional de Monfraqüe – Trujillo
  • Trujillo – Garrovillas -Valencia de Alcantera
  • Valencia de Alcantara – Marvao – Portalegre – Elvas – Olivenza Rosário (Portugal)
  • Rosário – Estremoz – Elvas – Rosário
  • Rosário – Terena – Barragem do Alvito – Viano do Alentejo
  • Viano do Alentejo – Alvito – Castro Verde
  • Castro Verde-Cuba-São Pedro das Cabecas
  • São Pedro das Cabecas – Barragem de Santa Clara-Cabo de São Vicente
  • Cabo de São Vicente-Carrapate -Villa Nove de Milfontes -Porto Covo
  • Porto Covo – São Bartolomeu da Sera – Santiago do Cacém-Porto da Carrasqueira – Comporta
  • Comporta – Peniche – Consolacao
  • Consolacao – Obidos – Nazaré -Coz
  • Coz – Aqueda – Bico
  • Bico – Bunheiro – Cortegaca – Ovar – Bico
  • Bico – Aveiro – Peso de Régua
  • Peso de Régua – Braga – Soajo
  • Soajo – Lindoso – NP da Peneda-Gerès – Santuario de NS da Lapa Soutelo – Boticas
  • Boticas – Senhora da Graca – Cascate de Figas de Ermelo- Peso de Régua
  • Peso de Régua – Pinhão – Chaves
  • Chaves – Saint Jean de Luz (France)
  • Saint Jean de Luz -Bordeau – Mayet (France)
  • Mayet -Zeeland (NL)

 Highlights of this trip

A nice journey which started in the Extremadura in Spain and then we traveled through Portugal. In Portugal we started our journey in our so beloved Alentejo region. Then towards the most southwestern point of the Iberian Peninsula, Cabo The São Vicente. Then along the Atlantic coast and partly inlands northward. And finally traversing the north of Portugal, along the river Douro, direction Spanish border (Chaves), where our journey ended. Lisbon, Porto, certain parts of the Alentejo and the Algarve we have visited in earlier years and were therefore not visited this time but of course well worth a trip.

The highlights:

Valle del Jerte. A 50 km long valley northeast of Plasencia. It is known throughout Spain for the more than one and a half million cherry trees that flourish in this period.

Valle la Vera. A beautiful valley with typical villages. We have been in Villanueva de la Vera. Many old houses with overhanging floors, resting on wooden beams. The valley lies on the southern flanks of the Sierra de Gredos.

Parc Nacional de Manfragüe. This National Park is quite beautiful. It is located at the Taag river. The fauna is special because of a large number of protected animals, such as monk vultures, black storks and eagles.

In Trujillo we made a city walk. The Plaza Mayor is nice. We drove the same day to Garrovillas, and this village has one of the most beautiful village squares in Spain.

Elvas. We visited Elvas back in 2010 and we didn’t see the charm then. Probably the wrong time. Now we found Elvas a beautiful, lively and atmospheric city. Narrow streets. The aqueduct of Elvas is the tallest in Europe. It was built in the 15thcentury and still active. We have to go back again to Elvas and take the appropriate time.

Terena is a very small village, along the road from Estremoz to Elvas. We found it very worthwhile visiting. Estremoz in miniature.

Alvito. A small town in the Alentejo. A small gem. The market is very cosy. The old town is beautiful. Some years ago, we made a Alvito of the Alentejo region and on the cover of our book is a photo of the Ermida The São Sebastião, a church with Moorish influences.

We passed Cuba. The country Cuba is high on my wish list to visit. This small town with the same name Cuba is worth a visit too. It has Cuban influences and this small town claims that  Christovão Colon (Columbus) was born here, in contradiction to the history books which say that Columbus was born in Genua.

Stunning views can be found at the São Pedro das Cabecas with a 360 degree’s view of the surrounding area. We stayed there for the night. The land owner told us the next day that this was not allowed, but he understood that we did not do it intentionally. You have enjoyed it in any case, he said.

Cabo de São Vicente. The lighthouse, the rocky coast and a beautiful sunset. We had a nice camper place for the night. Fortunately, not too many tourists, yet. A month later it is Sunset Circus.

Along the Atlantic coast we took at Carrapate a dirt road along the cliffs. This place is a paradise for the Surf Tribes. In Porto Covo, a blue-white town,with a beautiful coastline we stayed overnight.

We have visited two unique train stations in São Bartelomeu de Serra and Santiago do Cacém. We hope that the Portuguese will discover how unique these stations with tile tableaux really are and treat these stations as a national heritage.

The Cais Palafitico do Porto da Carrasqueira is a characteristic very small tidal port in the delta of the Sado River. A big storm and everything will be vanished. It is ramshackle, but a great location for photo shoots.

Obidos. This is a must of course. In 1989 we were here for the first time. Although many tourists visit Obidos throughout the year, the town is rather unspoiled and still worth a visit.

Nazaré. Beautiful beach and a beautiful old town. If you are lucky, we were not, you can see spectacular high waves close to the lighthouse. A fantastic spectacle. Nazaré is a place you must visit. Unfortunately, but rightly of course, pretty camper unfriendly.

Coz. The Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Coz is the only landmark of the village. But definitely worth a visit.

At the Aveiro Lagoon is Bico. An excellent camper spot. In the port are the typical pointed lagoon fishing boats. Aveiro, we found not that interesting, too much pimped up for tourists. Well worth the effort is the Igreja Matriz de Cortegaca in Cortegaca. The walls of the church are covered by azulejas. Also the town Ovar is worth a visit.

In Braga we visited Bom Jesus do Monte. A pilgrimage’s place. Great, but too bombastic I find.

In the National Park da Peneda-Gerês, in the villages Soajo  and Lindoso, are really wonderful groups of espiqueiros. Espiqueiros are typical maize storage sites, but also stock shed for onions, garlic, pumpkins. The National Park located on the border of Spain and Portugal is breathtakingly beautiful.

We had seen a picture of a church in a rock. After a long search we found it: Santuário The NS da Lapa Soutela. It is about 10 km west of Vieira Do Minho. It was worth a detour, not only because of the church, but also the spectacular rocks behind the church. The gigantic boulders seem to only need a small push to thunder down.

From Boticas we drove through the Serra do Alvão. A beautiful old landscape. The Rio Olo collapses through the Figas waterfall. At Cascate de Figas de Ermelo you have a nice view of the waterfall. It is a very beautiful nature area.

From Peso de Régua we drove along the Douro river to Pinhão. A beautiful town along the Douro. Also, Pinhão has a unique train station with tableaux of azuleas. In the surrounding mountains of Pinhão are beautiful viewpoints over the Douro. However, with a camper it is a challenge to get there.

Travelogue – North Spain 2018

Camper travelogue – North of Spain 2018

Period: 8 September 2018 – 29 September 2018. Distance: 5.925 km.

Photo gallery

We invite you to see the photo’s of our trip on: SmugMug

Route

  • Zealand – Buchy France (above Rouen)
  • Buchy – Mirambeau (France)
  • Mirambeau – Bordeau -Vielha Spain
  • Vielha- CollEspina – CastEjón, Campo – Capella – Graus – Huesca
  • Huesca – Monasterio De Monte Aragon –  Castillo de Loarre – Riglos
  • Riglos – Embalse De la Peña – Foz The Biniés – Yesa – Sos Del Rey Católico
  • Sos Del Rey Católico, via the Rioja Region to Fuenmayor
  • Fuenmayor – Reservoir of the Ebro – Borleña
  • Borleña – Santillana – S. Vicente – Covadonga
  • Covadonga, direction Costa Verde – Playa de Verdicio
  • Playa de Verdicio – Cudillero – Luarca
  • Cudillero – Tapia de Casariego – Castropol – Praies Das Catadralis – Foz
  • Foz – Mondeñedo – Teixido – Cedeira
  • Cedeira – Bétanzos – Corme
  • Corme – Camariñas – Camelle – Playa de Muiñas
  • Playa de Muiñas – Slate – Cabo Finisterre – Waterfall Rio Ezaro – Playa de Testal
  • Playa de Testal – Santiago de Compostela – Ourense – along the Rio Sil direction Ponferrado
  • Ponferrado – Las Médulas – Ampudia
  • Ampudia – St. Jean-de-Luz ) France)
  • St. Jean-de-Luz – Sainte-Maure de Touraine
  • Sainte-Maure de Touraine -Zealand

Highlights of this trip

A very alternating journey that began in the mountains, the Pyrenees, then to the rough Atlantic coast ending in a rural desolate part of Spain.

The highlights:

–  The two gorges we drove through on the road from Vielha to Huesca (See above). One between Campo and Castiljon de Sos, the other one between Barbastro and Graus.

– Natural park Sierra y Cañones. Beautiful rock formations. Just like in Brittany in France, the Côte Granite Rose, some villages have gigantic boulders in the village center. Such as Azlor and Azara.

Castillo de Loarre. The castle, built in the 11eCentury, is situated majestically in the mountains and seems like from afar whether it is a part of the rocks. It is one of the oldest castles in Spain.

-The rock formations of Mallos de Riglos. We arrived in the evening and the light was magic. We didn’t know how quickly we had to get out of the camper in order not to miss this golden hour in photography.

-The truly breathtaking Mountain Gorge Foz de Biniés, which we drove through from Riglos to Sos Del Rey Católico.

-The castle of Javier. We were early in the morning and therefore there were not many visitors yet, and we were able to view and experience the beautiful castle peacefully.

-The landscapes in the Rioja region are very beautiful, we also visited the Balcony of Rioja, with a beautiful view over the area. Unfortunately, that day it was not clear.

Covadonga is an important place in Spanish history. Here the Moorish troops were defeated by Pelayo. The Santa Cueva is special. The Basilica is great, but moderate inside.

-We were with our camper at the edge of a cliff at Playa de Verdicio, overlooking the Cabo de Peñas. This was the most beautiful camper site of our holiday. Spectacular.

Cudillero. A picturesque fishing village on the Asturian Coast. It has some characteristics of Hydra, the small island opposite Athens in Greece.

Praies las Catedralis, the beach of the cathedrals. The cliffs have been shaped by the waves to support arches of Gothic cathedrals.

San Martino de Mondoñedo. A beautiful sober church in a small village. There was a nice atmosphere in the church.

Sanctuario De San Andrés de Teixido. The road thereto is quite beautiful. Certainly, also the wind farms with stray cows. The granite Church is charming and is situated in a picturesque village.

-The Costa de la Muerte. A somewhat morbid name for this beautiful coastline in Galicia. From Corme we made a walk to the lighthouse. Beautiful vieuws and a special vegetation. From Camariñas we drove along the coast over a dirt road to Camelle. At the Tomb of the English people have stacked with stones thousands of small sculptures. Very special. The coastal road is really stunning.

-The Hórreos in Galicia. A hórreo is a storage for grain, built on pillars of wood or stone.

-The narrow road along the Rio Sil and the storage lake of Santo Estevo.

Las Médulas. A surrealistic landscape of isolated rocks of red earth. The Romans have changed the landscape when digging for cold.

Ampudia. The streets are unique, with the typical early Castilian Arcaden construction. Some of the wooden poles that support the houses still stem from the 13Century. The village has not yet been affected by tourism. The castle is characteristically located on the edge of the village. A very authentic village. The area is deserted and desolate, which we very much like since this is also the real Spain.

-In both Ampudia, but also in Valoria Del Alcor and Dueñas there are many bodegas to see. Bodegas are, underground, agricultural storage sites. You feel that you are a century back in time.