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Planning your trip to Spain

July 12, 2013

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If you go

THE BEST WAY TO VIGO, SPAIN

From LAX, Iberia offers nonstop service to Madrid, and American, Air France, United, KLM, Delta, British, Lufthansa, US Airways and Air Canada offer connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares range from $825 to $1,333, including taxes and fees. Iberia, Air France, American and British offer connecting service to Vigo's Peinador Airport. Restricted round-trip fares range from $825 to $1,308, including taxes and fees.

Car rentals from U.S. and European agencies are available at Vigo airport. Hertz is a short distance away. Most cars are stick shift; if you prefer an automatic, request one; an automatic is easier for negotiating the traffic circles and driving on left side of road. A GPS is a valuable add-on but some navigation systems are not 100% reliable; check routes with a hotel or rental agency.

TELEPHONES

To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 34 (the country code for Spain) and the number.

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Pousada del Castillo Soutomaior, 986-705-105. Adjacent to Sotomayor Castle. No street address; see online map or call for directions. Doubles from $80, including continental breakfast. Restaurant entrees $13-$20.

Parador de Pontevedra, 19 Calle de Baron, Pontevedra; 986-855-800, http://www.parador.es/en/parador-de-pontevedra. Elegant former palace. Doubles in summer start at $130 and include breakfast. Reduced rates may be available for students and adults over 55.

Hotel Galicia Palace, 3 Avenida de Vigo, Pontevedra; 986-864-411. Remodeled hotel walking distance from Pontevedra's historic center. Doubles from about $100, including breakfast; parking $17.

Madrid Hotel, 5 Rúa Andrés Mellado, Pontevedra; 986-865-180. Rooms are Spartan but easy on the budget, with doubles about $75 a night. Parking $13.

WHERE TO EAT

El Pitillo Bar, 3 Rua Alta, Pontevedra; 665-311-332. Serves tapas and one of city's best pulpo. Entrees $9-$14. Closed Sundays,

Parador de Pontevedra (see above) offers a wide range of seafood and regional dishes. Entrees $16 to $26.

La Casa de las 5 Puertas, 8 Avenida Santa Maria, Pontevedra; 986-851-948. Fine cuisine in an attractive stone structure. Entrees $15-$22.

WHAT TO SEE

Castillo de Soutomaior. Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and in summer 4-9 p.m. $2.65 for adults; children free.

Pontevedra historic district: Six museums and half-a-dozen churches within a mile of each other. At Leña Plaza, you can stop at three of the city's museums. The Garcia Flórez building houses an important nautical collection, including a model of Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria. Free. Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays and public holidays. 2-12 Rúa Pasantería, 986-804-100.

Baiona, 986-355-000. The elegant parador (government-run hotel), perched on a peninsula, is worth a visit for a meal or to take in its panoramic views of the Atlantic and Vigo estuary. In Baiona harbor sits a reproduction of Columbus' ship, the Pinta, the first to return to Europe in 1493 with news of his discovery.

TO LEARN MORE

Tourist Office of Spain, 8383 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 960, Beverly Hills; (323) 658-7188.

Turgalicia, offers travel advice for all of Galicia.