12 destinations you’ll want to discover in 2018

The end of 2017 is just around the corner and, as usual, at the beginning of a new year we all have a list of purposes for the months to come. One of the plans that more followers have each year is to travel. Therefore, from Five Sensations, we propose a destination for each month of 2018 within Portugal and northern Spain.

January . Chaves, in Portugal.

After the Christmas holidays, what better than a destination that unites the cultural heritage with thermal care? Chaves is known as the “city of water” for its springs of mineral-medicinal waters. An example of this is the Vidago Palace, a luxury spa that was born as the summer residence of King Charles I of Portugal and later became a resting place for the European aristocracy, especially in the Belle Époque. In addition to its waters, Chaves is famous for its Roman buildings of great historical value. One of them is the Roman bridge of Aquae Flaviae, located on the Támega River and built between the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd.

February . Ourense, in Galicia.

The province of Ourense becomes the epicenter of the Galician Carnival. And the places of Xinzo de Limia, Verín and Viana do Bolo, offer the most magical and colorful vision of this celebration, in which tradition is very present. The Entroido, Galician term to refer to this holiday, is presided by ancestral inheritances that are reflected in the costumes, which differ according to the municipality concerned. Thus, in Verín, for example, the most prominent disguise is that of the so-called “cigarróns”, a character whose existence goes back to the sixteenth century and which is linked to the tax collectors of the time. They wear a wooden mask, in which a mustache and a big smile stand out. The dress consists of a white shirt, tie and a jacket. As complements, they carry a whip in their hands and clash at the waist.

March . Braga, in Portugal.

It is not by chance that this Portuguese city is popularly known as the “Portuguese Rome”. And it is that Braga presents one of the largest concentrations of religious monuments in Europe. How could it be otherwise, your Holy Week is considered a celebration of National Tourist Interest by the state entity Tourism of Portugal. The origin of this tradition dates back to the sixteenth century.
The acts start one day before Palm Sunday, with the “Transfer of the Lord of the Steps”, a procession in which a figure of Jesus is carried carrying the cross, as a symbol of the overcoming of Christ in the face of death.

April . Ribadedeva, in Asturias.

In addition to its impressive landscape, Ribadedeva stands out for its immense cultural wealth. Two of its emblems are the prehistoric cave of Pindal, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and its route of Indian architecture. The parish of Colombres has a large number of buildings that reflect the economic bonanza achieved in South America by Spaniards who, from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, had to leave their land to seek a better quality of life.

Mayo . Sintra, in Portugal.

The cultural heritage of this Portuguese city is not limited to its spectacular architecture, but also includes the musical wealth provided by the celebration of the Sintra Festival. This event, which in 2018 will reach its 53 editions, begins in May and lasts for five weeks full of concerts in which modern and classical music come together. The most outstanding monuments of Sintra are the colorful Palacio da Pena , residence of the Portuguese royal family in the 19th century, and the Castelo dos Mouros , which offers stunning views of the city.

June . A Coruña, in Galicia.

The magic of the bonfires of San Juan de A Coruña led them to be classified as a Festival of International Tourist Interest in 2015. Although since May, the city organizes several activities as a prelude to the San Juan, the big day is on 23 June. Throughout the day there are parades with bands of bagpipes and traditional dances, solemn acts like the lighting of the San Juan fire, as well as pyrotechnic shows on the Paseo de Riazor.

San Juan en A Coruña, de Óscar Corral

Julio . Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia.

On the night of July 24, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela becomes the center of all eyes. The reason is none other than the The Apostle Fireworks, a pyrotechnic show that serves as a prelude to the day of Santiago, on July 25. Throughout this month, the streets of the Galician capital are filled with music, crafts, processions, audiovisual shows and masses in honor of the apostle, whose mortal remains, according to legend, dwell in the city.

August . Ribadesella, in Asturias.

At the beginning of August, the Asturian town of Ribadesella celebrates the test of the International Descent of the Sella, a competition organized by the Spanish Canoe Federation that began to be held in 1930. Declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest, this contest is open to Spanish and foreign paddlers. The route begins at the stretch of the river located in the town of Arriondas and extends for about 20 kilometers to the bridge of Ribadesella, from which the public receives the participants.

Descenso del Sella, de César Manso

September . San Sebastián, in Euskadi.

The beginning of autumn is marked by the celebration of the San Sebastian Film Festival, which every year brings together a large number of renowned audiovisual professionals from national and international levels. For the Kursaal Congress Center, venue of the event, actors of the stature of Meryl Streep or Dustin Hoffman have passed in recent years.

October . Álava, in Euskadi.

The months of September and October coincide with the harvest, which is why wine tourism becomes a great option for all lovers of gastronomy who want to, not only enjoy it, but also know first-hand a key activity in the preparation of the broths If we talk about quality, the region of the Rioja Alavesa becomes one of the references for all wine lovers. The municipality of Elciego has a large number of wineries, including Marqués de Riscal, designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry and includes a luxury hotel and restaurant.

November . Potes, in Cantabria.

Potes is one of the most charming mountain villages in Spain. Its location, at the foot of the impressive landscape of the Picos de Europa, makes it an unmissable destination in autumn and winter. To this is added the Orujo Feast, held on the second weekend of November and declared of National Tourist Interest. Each year, this festival names one or several characters as “major orujeros”, which means that they will participate not only in reading the proclamation but also in some of the conferences organized at the party. Some of those who already have this title are the actor Eduardo Noriega, the journalist Carlos Herrera or the athlete Ruth Beitia. In addition, the “Alquitara de Oro” is awarded to the brand that has produced the best marc of the year.

Potes, de Nella-Shutterstock

December . Bilbao, in Euskadi.

The Bailén street market is one of the main Christmas attractions in Bilbao. It is possible to find, inside small wooden huts, different products typical of Basque cuisine, as well as products of crafts and Christmas items. In addition to the great variety of products it offers and the impressive views of the city that this street offers, on December 21, visitors can experience the celebration of St. Thomas. During that day, Bilbao’s street-side street is filled with typical Basque musical shows and a greater offer of pintxos, the most famous aperitif of the Basque Country.