Our destinations today were the towns of Vilagarcia and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, was bustling with pilgrims celebrating their journey. Many of us joined the Camino for the final three miles, wandering through an aromatic eucalyptus forest, enhanced by the morning rain.

The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece that blends medieval Romanesque interiors, Gothic cloisters, and an eighteenth-century Baroque façade. The main entrance, adorned with scallop shell carvings symbolizing the Camino’s many paths, left us in awe. Guests could attend morning Mass or explore the town before lunch.

Lunch was at the Parador de Santiago de Compostela, a former hospital founded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1486, now a luxury hotel promoting local cuisine. Before our meal, we enjoyed cocktails, tapas, and a surprise concert from a local traditional music troupe.

Some guests visited Pazo de Rubianes, an eighteenth-century mansion known for gardens that feature 800 flower species, a vineyard, and a 4,000-tree camellia orchard. Guests took a catamaran to see how mussels are farmed at the bateas, the floating wooden platforms specific to Galicia…and they enjoyed a tasting of mussels and wine, of course!