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My Route du Bonheur

To Santiago de Compostela, through the north of Spain

Luisa García Gil
By Luisa García Gil, Co-owner of A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa

Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge

+1 800 735 2478 * *Local charges apply
"I was born in Madrid many years ago and moved to Santiago de Compostela in 1976. I fell in love with these lands and it was there that I spent the best years of my life. When in the summer of 1974, I was still living in Madrid and coming to the end of my architecture course, I decided with a friend to set off along the path to Santiago de Compostela, with only a backpack, very little money and a camera (one of my great hobbies). We wanted to discover this journey in that decadent era, photograph the treasures of Roman art that we had heard so much about in University, discover the castles, sample the rich, diverse regional gastronomy, meet new people and, naturally, enjoy an experience and an adventure that we couldn’t wait to have. The years have passed now and I know every inch of a number of the paths that lead to Santiago. I can say that the Northern path, leaving from Navarra, running along the Cantabrian coast and then going into the deepest parts of my beloved Galicia, is a rare gem, that turns into a genuine Road to Happiness, above all when we get the chance to stay in one of the most beautiful and charismatic hotels in Spain and Portugal and to delight in culinary delights from the different regions." 
Suggestion of itinerary
  • 4 hotels
  • from US$ 646.12 *
1
147 km
2
270 km
3
338 km
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To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.


1 Ezcaray — 1 Night
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Echaurren

Ezcaray - Spain

Hotel and restaurant in a village. The attractive town of Ezcaray, on the crossroads between the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and the Rioja wine route, is home to a culinary jewel whose fame goes back for five generations. Echaurren has been handed down from father to son for more than a century, ever since the stable block of the former staging post was converted into a dining room. The restaurant, along with traditional Rioja recipes which have been brought to perfection and embellished by this family of renowned cooks, are at the heart of the property. Echaurren is nestled in the historic centre of the town opposite a fine stone church, Santa María la Mayor, and offers cheerful, modern rooms decorated in bright, fresh colours. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
15 rooms
(from) US$ 204.11
Choose Room
1
147 km
2
270 km
3
338 km
2 Gautegiz Arteaga — 1 Night
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Castillo de Arteaga

Gautegiz Arteaga - Spain

Hotel and restaurant in a park. The marble whiteness of the Castillo de Arteaga, with its 13th century Gothic tower, rises dramatically out of the Basque Country’s Ria Urdaibai reserve with its narrow lush green valleys opening up into wide estuaries. Napoleon III and Eugenia de Montijo had it rebuilt when their son was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Biscay. Out of this castle, Garbiñe Azkuenaga has created a stunning hotel, masterfully combining period furniture with contemporary design. Spend your days exploring the surrounding area: cliffs, rivers, marshland and meadows. In the evening, enjoy a superb dinner in the castle's restaurant or a wine tasting in the well-stocked cellar. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
13 rooms
(from) US$ 154.21
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Close to the property

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum

The opening of the museum designed by Frank Gehry brightened Bilbao’s landscape. It opened up Bilbao to the outside world and vice versa. The capital of Biscay has become a place for heritage and culture. I regularly visit the museum to enjoy the exhibitions.

On the route

San Fermin Festival

San Fermin Festival

What would Pampelune be without its festivals of San Fermin, our holy patron? In July, the whole town and the region come alive to the rhythm of this unique tradition made famous by the American Writer Ernest Hemingway. Bull races in the village are exceptional events, at the same time traditional and popular.

Jorge Oteiza Museum

Jorge Oteiza Museum

I knew Jorge Oteiza, the famous Basque sculptor and writer, very well. He sometimes stayed at our hotel whenever he was in the region. The splendid museum dedicated to him at Alzuza houses some 1,650 sculptures and 2,000 pieces from his experimental laboratory. A must see.

The road between Pampelune and Bilbao

The road between Pampelune and Bilbao

We could call it the Romanesque road. Between these two cities of Navarre and the Basque Country is an enormous amount of Romanesque churches some of which date from the 13th century. It's worthwhile stopping in San Sebastian to enjoy La Concha beach and its old town.

1
147 km
2
270 km
3
338 km
3 Luces-Colunga — 1 Night
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Palacio de Luces

Luces-Colunga - Spain

Hotel and restaurant in a park. In the heart of Asturias, amidst eight hectare grounds boasting beautiful gardens and unspoilt nature, discover this 16th century palace between the Sierra del Sueve mountains and the Cantabrian sea. Palacio de Luces has been tastefully refurbished in complete harmony with its historic setting. The piano bar and the pool invite to relaxation and the ideal location between the sea and the mountains is conducive to the many, diverse activities on offer. Everything here is designed to ensure your well-being and peace of mind – spaciousness, décor, the traditional Asturian cuisine at the restaurant Balcón del Sueve which meticulously selects the finest ingredients served to you along with some fabulous views. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
43 rooms
(from) US$ 131.66
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On the route

Covadonga and Picos des Europa

Covadonga and Picos des Europa

It is a timeless road that goes from the Covadonga sanctuary up to the highlands of the Picos de Europa. It stretches on nearly 7 miles winding its way between lakes and peaks. I like the feeling of being at the other end of the world although I’m just thirty miles away from the coast. In 1989, Pope John Paul II came here on a pilgrimage.

Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar

The pilgrims who take the Camino del Norte (the northern road) will have the chance to stop in Santillana del Mar. This medieval village was considered by the French writer Jean-Paul Sartre to be the prettiest of all Spain. Above the country houses and palaces emerges the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, a Roman building dating from the 12th century. Not far from the village you will find the splendid Altamira caves which conceal some of the most extraordinary paintings from prehistoric times.

Relais & Châteaux Casa Marcial

Relais & Châteaux Casa Marcial

Casa Marcial is his property; Nacho Manzano was born here, he grew up in this little village of the Asturias built right up against the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Cantabrica. He has turned this modest traditional inn, run by his parents, into a top gourmet restaurant. Inspired by the both rustic and sophisticated place, the menu proposes typical dishes of the Asturian cuisine that the Chef interprets in a truly modern and inventive manner: crispy cod skin topped with red mojo; pito de caleya “in my mother’s style” – free-range chicken and ravioli stuffed with giblets; or cockle feet accompanied by the indispensable fabes beans.

1
147 km
2
270 km
3
338 km
4 Santiago de Compostela — 1 Night
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa

Santiago de Compostela - Spain

Hotel and restaurant in town. A river runs round the estate and the majestic buildings dating back to the 18th century and then meanders between the trees of a magnificent wood. The grounds exude tranquillity and serenity. A Quinta da Auga is a natural, romantic escape within the World Heritage city of Santiago de Compostela, which welcomes the pilgrims at the final destination on the St James Way pilgrimage route, with an amazing historical town centre. The hotel’s restaurant offers regional delights, seafood and meat dishes. Enjoy a wide range of cultural, oenological and sailing activities in the vicinity. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
51 rooms
(from) US$ 156.14
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Close to the property

The Cathedral and the Old City

The Cathedral and the Old City

You have to climb up the rooftops of St. Jacques de Compostelle Cathedral to discover the beauty of the surroundings and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the old city; it’s a unique view that takes us away from the crowd for a while. The cathedral is a major Baroque masterpiece where you can spend hours and hours. St. Jacques de Compostelle is a city classified as a World Heritage Site, very well preserved and every time I visit I notice that it is even more beautiful and surprising than ever. This is a magical place whose architecture has fully respected history. You can walk through the streets listening to the bells ringing and discover the numerous old squares, "ir de tapas" (stroll from bar to bar) along the Franco y Raíña streets, discover the City of Culture and the Contemporary Art Museum of Alvaro Siza, visit old monasteries or wander as a resident of the premises between the old and original stalls of the Abastos market and finally for the adventurous, you can enjoy a helicopter flight over the city. July 25 is the celebration day of James the Apostle. Crowds of pilgrims arrive the day before at the start of the path. You must not miss the fireworks on the night of July 24 as well as the impressive Sound and Light show in the Plaza del Obradoiro. Explore the La Lanzada and Areas Gordas beaches, the top places for legends associated with witches and their witching hour. Discover the Galician estuaries from the sea: you will approach the sea aboard a large passenger vessel with an experienced captain at its helm and discover the secret recesses of these estuaries. Discover a Galician manor house and enjoy the famous Almariño wine coming straight from the cellar.

Cape Finisterre

Cape Finisterre

The Finisterre road passes in front of A QUINTA DA AUGA This is where the road to Saint-Jacques really ends. After this long journey and like so many other pilgrims, I burnt my boots and clothes there. Cape Finisterre is not the end of the world but rather where the road ends ... and where another one begins; that of a new life.

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Texts : © Gallimard Loisirs