“We never learn what hidden gems lay along the paths we fear to take. ” ~ Zero Dean
There are so many hidden gems worldwide and to find one when you least expect it is exhilarating. During our trip to Spain, we visited the town of Sanxenxo which is a municipality of Galicia in the province of Ponte Vedra and northwest of Spain. We did not know anything about Sanxenxo. There was nothing there that called our attention except that we’d be crossing Sanxenxo while on our way to Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña from Lisbon. So, we decided to stop for a day or two and rest.
It seems everywhere in Spain is a unique town with an old Spanish charm – narrow medieval-style streets paved with cobblestone bricks, towers and castles allure. We were spending the night at Aldea Bordons Casas Rurales in Sanxenxo (rural houses). Arriving at the Aldea was an experience within itself. It had been raining all day and it was foggy. The fog made it difficult to see the roadway and enjoy the beauty surrounding us. The street was so narrow that if there was an oncoming vehicle approaching us, one of us had to reverse so the other could get through and the fog didn’t help. But it was a beautiful village – kind of medieval, mysterious, and tranquil.
We parked in a small lot and walked about 150 ft to the hotel. Even though we arrived around 6 pm, there was no one in sight. The main double doors were the beginning of the magical rural accommodations fit for a relaxing escape. Within those doors lies three buildings with two bedrooms each. They are labeled as Casa Dos Avos, Casa Do Leiro, and Casa Da Carmen. Our room was in Casa Dos Avos – a large, comfortable room and a big bathroom with a hydromassage tub as well. The room and bathroom were very clean.
The décor was appropriate for the Aldea spanning back to the early 1900s. One of its best features is the socializing area in Casa Do Leiro. It is set up as a social living space, kitchen and upstairs dining area. The social living space is enclosed behind a glass wall allowing sunlight to shine through and complement the original stone wall covered with natural moss. The upstairs is a complete dining area for guests to enjoy their typical Spanish breakfast consisting of local cheeses, chorizo, serrano ham, bread, fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice and of course, coffee.
We were so intrigued about how this Aldea came to be that we spent some time talking with Gerardo, the owner, and learned a little about the history behind it. In fact, he was born in the Aldea. It was the center of town and owned by his parents. Gerardo purchased several of the surrounding houses to complete what is now known as the Aldea Bordons. Gerardo has done an amazing job renovating this beautiful Aldea while retaining its natural splendor. The tables, chairs, and armoires were all antiques. Most from Gerardo’s childhood which he restored and has maintained in perfect conditions. The outdoor space consists of balconies, courtyards and stone walkways. Even though it was the end of October and no flowers were in bloom, it still looked spectacular.
The location could not be any better. Located on a hilltop, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Bascuas beach and rivers from any room. The beach, restaurants, shops, and city center are only a 5-minute drive away. Most of the surrounding homes and buildings still maintain their typical medieval style as well.
There’s a restaurant/bar within walking distance to the Aldea, O Muiño Occilis Restaurant & Bar. Even though the bar was open at 7 pm, the kitchen would not open until 9:30 pm. Yeah, Spaniards eat late. So, we ended up driving into town to find a restaurant that was open for dinner. We were starving. Luckily, we found one, A Taberna Do Varadoiro, which opened their kitchen at 8 pm. Great food but a bit pricey. The next night we were able to eat at O Muiño Occilis. It was still early – 9 pm – but the owner was gracious enough to open the kitchen so we could eat. Now that food was amazing – one of the best I had, and the chef was none other than the owner’s wife. Such a lovely couple. This restaurant followed the medieval theme of the village. The owners spent 16 years renovating it to its natural glory. We had a great night, delicious food, beautiful environment in an excellent restaurant.
So, if you’re up to adventuring out towards the northwestern coast of Spain, spend a night in Sanxenxo’s Aldea Bordons. It’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.