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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers
 
 

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Secret Spain

Mark and David's verdict:

There’s more to Spain than cities and crowded costas. The north-west region of Galicia offers character and authenticity, friendly people and delicious food. You’ll find unspoilt sandy beaches, wild mountains, beautiful medieval towns and plenty of outdoor activities. We recommend renting a villa and get there by air or overnight ferry.

Recommended tour operator: Vintage Travel

Vintage Travel says

There’s so much to offer in north-west Spain, from unspoilt beaches, glorious countryside and delightful old fishing ports to superb regional gastronomy. It’s the perfect destination for a self-catering holiday.

  • Beaches and culture
  • Low cost flights and ferries
  • Villas with private pools

We offer a range of villas from two up to eight bedrooms, all with a private pool and all located in the beautiful Rias Bajas region of Galicia, home to some of Europe’s best beaches. With your own or a hired car, you can enjoy the freedom of your home from home and explore as much or as little as you wish.

To give you a flavour, here are a few of the villas we offer.

Just 180 metres from an idyllic white sand beach, La Pintoresca is a great choice for families. There are three bedrooms, pretty gardens and characterful beachfront bars and restaurants a short stroll away. The shops, restaurants and markets of waterfront Cangas are just 3km away.

Pedrouco is a rural idyll for groups of friends and family. It’s a four-bedroom villa with vast gardens and rural views of the Miñor River – and yet it’s only 15 minutes from the beaches.

A rural stone cottage packed with charm and set in a sleepy hamlet, Eido Vello is a great choice for couples. The beaches are 13 km away but you might struggle to tear yourselves away from this pretty hideaway in the heart of the countryside.

Galicia is a vast region with a spectacular coastline of sandy beaches, pretty offshore islands and ragged, rocky coves. It’s also home to historic cities such as La Coruña and Vigo, Roman walls and lighthouses, Gothic cathedrals, Santiago de Compostela and beautiful wild landscapes, arguably more reminiscent of Scotland than Spain.

There’s a host of activities on tap such as walking, climbing, surfing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, bird-watching and cycling.

This foodie paradise boasts bustling markets, Michelin-starred restaurants and charming low-key eateries. Rick Stein’s 2011 TV series on Spain raved about the region’s cuisine, wines and passion for food.

With seven ferries a week to Santander and flights to Vigo, Porto, La Coruña and Santiago de Compostela from a range of UK airports, it’s easy to reach.

We offer villa-rental only or we can arrange your travel and car hire as well.

Find out more about our villa holidays in Northern Spain .

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