Explore Two Unique Camino Routes: Portuguese and Sahagún to León

Pilgrimage

If you’re thinking about embarking on a memorable pilgrimage, look no further than the Camino de Santiago. Each route offers its unique tapestry of landscapes, history, and culture, promising an enriching journey. Among them, walking the Camino Portuguese Route and the Sahagún to León Camino Route stand out as exceptional choices. Ready to lace up your hiking boots? Let’s dive into what makes these routes worth exploring!

Walking the Camino Portuguese Route: A Coastal Pilgrimage

Starting from the vibrant city of Porto, the Camino Portuguese Route offers pilgrims a less trodden path towards Santiago de Compostela. As you step through the bustling streets of Porto, the route unfolds along the picturesque coast, weaving through quaint villages, serene beaches, and lush forests. This path is not just a physical journey but a feast for the senses.

Why Choose This Route?

For those drawn to the sea, the coastal scenery provides a tranquil backdrop for contemplation and beauty. It’s a chance to soak in panoramic views while delving deep into Portugal’s rich maritime history and its profound connection with the divine.

Highlights:

  • The ancient city of Porto, with its famous port wine cellars and the stunning Ribeira District
  • The beautiful seaside town of Vila do Conde with its historical shipbuilding yards
  • The spiritual uplift at Pontevedra, known for its sacred sites and vibrant local culture

Walking the Sahagún to León Camino Route: A Journey Through History

The stretch from Sahagún to León is a part of the Camino Francés and offers a deep dive into the medieval heart of Spain. Sahagún itself is a historical gem, rich with the legacy of the powerful Cluniac order, setting the stage for what is a journey through time.

Why Choose This Route?

It’s ideal for those who relish historical richness. The route is dotted with stunning examples of Romanesque architecture, offering insights into the religious and cultural fabric of medieval Spain. Each step brings you closer not just to León, but to walking through history itself.

Highlights:

  • The awe-inspiring architecture of Sahagún, showcasing the Mudéjar art style
  • The tranquil roads leading up to the majestic city of León, known for its gothic León Cathedral and the ancient walls
  • The picturesque villages of El Burgo Ranero and Mansilla de las Mulas, where time seems to stand still.

A Path for Every Pilgrim

Whether you’re drawn to the coastal allure of the Portuguese route or the historic depth of the Sahagún to León stretch, both paths offer unique experiences that cater to different tastes and spiritual quests. Each step on these routes not only brings you closer to Santiago de Compostela but also deeper into your personal journey of discovery and reflection.

So, whether you’re a seasoned pilgrim or a curious traveler, consider adding these routes to your walking adventures. They promise not just a journey across landscapes, but an expedition into the soul of some of Europe’s most captivating regions. Ready to walk the path less traveled?

Planning Your Trip?

Remember, walking either of these Camino routes isn’t just about reaching the destination; it’s about embracing the journey, the history, and the connections you make along the way. Safe travels and buen Camino!

13 Ways Antoni Gaudí’s Barcelona Will Enrich Your Life

Planta Noble

When Antoni Gaudí said, “The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God,” he was stating his philosophy about design rather than just dwelling on shapes. The revolutionary architect defined a design philosophy that would transform Barcelona’s cityscape and reshape the way the world perceives architecture.

With this in mind, let’s dive into Gaudí’s life, his unique style, and his awe-inspiring masterpieces, namely the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and La Pedrera.

1. Witnessing the Confluence of Art and Religion

Gaudí’s deeply held Catholic faith was the inspiration behind his architectural designs. A visit to the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, his most ambitious project, is a testament to this. The intricately carved Nativity Façade, the stunning stained glass windows, and the central nave, all carry religious symbolism that illuminates Gaudí’s spiritual vision.

2. Understanding the Principles of Organic Architecture

Gaudí’s works exemplify his belief in organic architecture, where structures harmonize with their natural environment. At Park Güell, one can admire Gaudí’s trencadís technique – a mosaic made of broken ceramic pieces, blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings.

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13 Fun Ideas of Things to Do in Madrid

Things to do in Madrid: Enjoy Madrid in spring

Twenty-first century Madrid positively surprised us. Before Tony and I met, we visited Madrid independently in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and we both left the city NOT loving it. While Tony got robbed in the Chamartín train station (and had to deal with the aftermath including a screaming match with an embassy official who refused to help a stranded 19-year old), I passed through the same railway station and found the city to look dull and grey through my dusty train window. Coming back 25 years later, however, completely restored our faith in what must be one of Spain’s most livable cities.

During our three-week stay in Madrid, we saw the city in a very different light. The rough edges seemed to have softened and the city parks and art museums were everything but dull and grey. To give you an idea how to find some color, excitement and fun, and make the most of your time, we have compiled a list of things to do in Madrid which reflects some of our most enjoyable activities in the capital.

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The Five Best Day Trips from Madrid

Day trips from Madrid: Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain

Madrid as a destination far exceeded our expectations. After spending three weeks in Spain’s booming capital, we were completely hooked on one of Europe’s most enjoyable cities. Not only are there millions of things to do in Madrid itself, the city offers easy access to all kinds of attractions in the surrounding countryside. If you love walled towns, medieval castles, and Roman ruins all with an accent of Castile, Madrid is the perfect hub to kick back and do some day-tripping.

While most of the more popular destinations can be reached by public transportation, renting a car in Madrid will give you a lot more flexibility and comfort. From our experience, car rentals in Spain are particularly easy and affordable. During our time in Madrid, we did five different day trips to nearby towns, all recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So without further ado, here’s our list of the five best day trips from Madrid, including our personal favorites. Continue…

Luxury Yurt Camping in Lanzarote

As we drive north from Arrecife to the small coastal village of Arrieta, we immediately notice how different Lanzarote looks from the other Canary Islands we have visited. Most obvious is the lack of high-rise buildings and huge tourist complexes. The black scorched land along the coast is dotted with small white-washed villages and traditional windmills. We marvel at the bizarre landscape of terraced cones, squat craters, and soil that shimmers with onyx hues of the volcanic spectrum. It seems like a spectacular location for our glamping experience at Lanzarote Retreats. Continue…

Mallorca Highlights for Adventurers

Palma cathedral, Mallorca

Twenty-five years after my first visit to Mallorca, I returned to the Mediterranean island in October with Tony in tow. Like many visitors, my first experience here was a rushed trip spent on the busy tourist beaches near Palma. It was only later, through a German magazine article, that I learnt just how many adventurous activities I had missed. So this time around, I wanted to do it right. During our two weeks on the island, Tony and I set out together to discover the best of what the largest Balearic island has to offer. Continue…

Ten Ways to Experience Catalonian Cuisine

Catalonian Cuisine

Wild mushroom salads, cured meats and sausages, roasted red peppers in olive oil, wines, cheeses, salted cod, crema Catalana… the cuisine of Catalonia is every bit as rich as the artistic and architectural heritage of the region. In fact, the current “best restaurant in the world” is in Catalonia.  Whether you are indulging in stewed prawns on the coast or pigs feet in the mountains, there’s something for everyone. Don’t know where to begin? No problem. Catalonians are a sophisticated bunch, but they are also exceptionally down-to-earth and ready to share their food with you. The best way to learn is to start eating and asking lots of questions. Here are ten tips to get you going Continue…

Rafting the Noguera Pallaresa

Rafting on Noguera Pallaresa

Although most people probably don’t immediately think of Spain when they contemplate adventure travel holidays, Catalonia offers some serious opportunities for the über-active traveler: sailing trips on the Costa Brava, scuba diving in the Mediterranean, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding in the Pyrenees, climbing and via ferrata routes, long-distance hiking, and… drum roll… white water rafting.

We sampled the rafting potential on an afternoon excursion on the Noguera Pallaresa River in the high Pyrenees and, as you can see in the pictures, it was totally awesome. Organized through Rubber River in Sort, the stretch we did ranged from grades 3 to 4, which means there’s a bit of potential to be thrown from the boat. The run was incredibly fun and there is a very cool surprise Continue…

Re-Learning a Valuable Lesson in the Costa Brava

Llafranc harbor, Costa Brava

I’ll admit that before I came to Catalonia, I had a rather bad impression of the Costa Brava. (We all have our prejudices, right?) Having lived in Germany for many years, I associated the area with mass tourism, package holidays and overdevelopment.

So you can imagine my shock as we sailed the beautiful, rocky coastline between Palamós and Llafranc past isolated coves, golden beaches, cliff-top villas, weatherworn castles, lush forest, and picturesque fishing villages. It was NOT the picture I had in my mind. And the water in those coves was like liquid glass. Pure fantasy.

Descending in Llafranc, I hiked a portion of the perfectly manicured coastal trail that runs the length of Catalonia connecting its coastal towns and villages. It was all just so Continue…

Hooked on the Via Ferrata in Vallcebre, Catalonia

As I mentioned earlier on our Facebook page, I’ve discovered a new sport… and I’m totally hooked (pun intended). While we were in Vallcebre, Catalonia Tourism introduced us to via ferratas on an outing with CercleAventura, a Catalonian adventure sports company.

A via ferrata, also known as a Klettersteig in German, is an established climbing route that follows a secured steel cable as well as carved footholds, iron stepping rungs, ladders and cable bridges. Climbers wear protective helmets and harnesses and secure themselves to the cable using absorbers with carabiners. You don’t have to be an experienced mountain climber to do a via ferrata, and there are often several routes targeting different grades of difficulty.

Oscar, our CercleAventura guide on the outing, was incredibly Continue…