Wednesday, March 28, 2007

 

Summer visit to Noia

Car rental plans
As April rapidly approaches our hunt for a good car rental deal will become more urgent. As yet I have not dedicated any serious time to this, but I will soon have to do so if we are to arrange and pay for all the Galicia holiday arrangements in good time. When I/we do get round to this I will add some further information on this blog.

After a spurt of new guides and other material, I am taking a break from Galicia Guide for a while. That is not to say that I will ignore it, but there will be no “all new” content for a couple of weeks as I get on with other things.

Noia

A minor disappointment this year is that we will miss the Noia fiestas for the 2nd year in succession. The nights are very noisy, but the town is busy and has a good atmosphere. There are of course plenty of other festivals in the many towns of the area, so we will have no trouble finding one if required.

In the past we have spent most of our Galican time in a very independent way and largely neglected visiting family. I suspect that this year we may “UP” the visits and we also have a number of people to see including Colin Davies (of the blog by the same name), plus some people who run a tour company in the region.

As we get nearer to the dates I will make a basic plan of where to visit and what to see. Despite the size of the guide, Galicia still has many places for us to explore and on looking at the tours featured on the Galicia Mystic Tours website, I have seen a number of places that look worth a visit. Asturias is also on the menu.

Less appealing is the prospect of the “la Parra” bar in Noia being closed. The owners told us that they were no longer intending to operate it last year and, despite being taken to their kitchen and given the recipe along with a demo and step by step instructions, we have been (not surprisingly) unable to duplicate their unique “lomo”.

On a positive note, the board walk around the north of the town’s bay will now be complete, as will all the newly paved roads in the medieval district. Hopefully not too much else will have changed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

 

Car hire in Galicia

We have now had a good look around at car rental options in Galicia and it is clear that prices have risen significantly since last year.

Aside from the bonus of one free extra driver no longer being available, daily and weekly rates have gone up and pre booking cover for the “excess” also seems to be no longer widely available. We have looked at Hertz. Avis, Holiday Autos and some other car rental companies and the theme is consistent – higher prices.

Last year we did notice a dip in car rental costs as our vacation dates drew closer, so it may be that a similar fall occurs this year, but at present that appears unlikely.

Visitors numbers to Galicia in 2007 are up!

I would make a guess that more foreigners are going to visit Galicia this year than last year based, initially at least, on my website and hotel booking statistics. It is still early in the year, but all my stats are up, as are emails asking about the area. Obviously these thoughts are confirmed by the additional flight schedules now offered (from the UK) by Ryanair and EasyJet are also flying in to Galicia on a new European route. Getting to Galicia still remains a more involved task when travelling from north America, but it can easily be done with a bit of planning.

Thinking about visiting Galicia? Take a look at the links to the left and explore flight and hotel prices for an overall idea of costs. Petrol, food and eating out are much cheaper than in the UK, but more expensive than the USA (especially Petrol/gasoline). There are plenty of hotels and even rental villas and houses, so any extra car rates will usually be compensated for through other savings in none car related areas. The region has plenty of culture, good architecture in its main cities and some quaint towns and villages.

Monday, March 19, 2007

 

Additional content

Expanding Galicia Guide

I have decided to tentatively expand Galicia Guide by adding some additional content about some of the other regions of “green Spain”. I did add a couple of pages on Asturias a week ago and I have now added an additional button to the main page entitled “Green Spain” - just for originality! This page has button links to other northern Spanish regions.

I intend to add additional information about the Basque Country, Leon, Navarre and Cantabria, although these areas are not intended to be on the scale of the “Galicia” content. At present only the Asturias and Basque areas are covered (and very minimally).

I have added several new town guides over the last three weeks and I am almost up to date with the uploading of previously written guides. I have also added some more resource pages (intended to deliver useful themed adverts) on ferry crossings and something else (I forget).

The next big Galicia Guide project will be a redesign of the site. This will not be aesthetically significant, but will involve changing the menu system of the commercial buttons where, at present some resources are difficult to find, and changing the auto sizing of the pages from relative to fixed dimensions for an optimum 17 inch monitor. The site is currently based around a 15 inch screen with page/button size set in percentages as opposed to fixed pixel measurements. The job will be a major pain, but hopefully worth it.

As previously mentioned, we will next be in Galicia in July, although this time for just two and a half weeks. We intend to visit Asturias during this vacation and also pick up experiences for some new mini guides of the area. Lugo may be our focus as last year appears to have been Ourense.

Want to find out more about Galicia. Visit any of the links to the left including (if they are relevant) those provided by google.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

 

Car hire in Galicia

It would appear that the cost of renting a car in Galicia has escalated since last year. We took a car for around 24 days in August of 2006 and, after adding a daily excess waiver, the cost was still some way short of £400. i.e. around £100/week with no additional extras of any kind remaining available (we had an extra driver free too!).

This time we are looking at two and a half weeks and the cost is on a par with that of last year and the year before, despite the comparative shortness of the trip. Those comparisons also exclude the extra driver and daily excess waiver which means that the cost will be yet higher.

Quite why this should be the case I do not know. At a guess I would surmise that the car rental companies have all decided to hike up their prices, probably to offset the very cheap car hire in southern Spain. So far we have looked at Holiday Autos, Hertz and Avis and all have significantly increased their rental costs on last year – very disappointing!

We will continue to look around in order to find the best deal and I will make a future entry on any better prices and different companies that we encounter. “Proof of the pudding” is however always in the eating and therefore it is not until a “seemingly cheap” rental agreement has been seen through that one can actually comment on the value or otherwise of the rental. More to come…….

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