The villa is located on a very quiet lane just outside a modest country town, where the last houses dwindle into the green Galician countryside. You can walk down the lane and cross a small river to see grapes for the famed white Albariño and Godello white wines ripening in the sun.
It’s one of the warmest regions for holidays in Northern Spain, very close to the broad River Miño which represents the border with Portugal.
It’s easy to cross back-and-forth between Spain and its neighbour over the bridge at Vila Nova de Cerveira and fascinating to experience and compare the two countries on a single holiday.
There’s lots to enjoy and discover here, so do read on.
The property is one of a few lining a lane that is interspersed with gardens and orchards. It’s a very quiet neighbourhood, with just enough people so that you don’t feel isolated. The owner’s parents live occasionally next door and are on hand if needed, but otherwise leave you discretely to enjoy your privacy.
The accommodation starts with a high, wood-ceilinged living-and-dining room, where leather sofa and armchairs sit on a floor of smooth, polished red brick. It is a simple holiday home with nice touches.
The natural illumination is what stands out here and if you look at the photos, you’ll see why. The entire length of the wall out to the garden is an unbroken series of floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, so that sunlight floods in.
It’s a non-smoking environment, clean and fresh.
While the TV is not satellite, we do know that it picks up Portuguese channels from over the border, which always show movies in the original language.
The property is all ground floor and there are no drops anywhere, so we consider it a good choice for families with toddlers, as long as an eye is kept on the pool, which is not gated.
The pool is surrounded by lawned gardens, planted with fruit trees, where there is plenty of room for children to play. There’s a swing, too.
To one side of the garden is a shaded area with garden furniture and barbecue for al fresco meals. A historical curiosity decorates the gardens: an hórreo or old stone grain store, built in traditional style on stilts to keep out inquisitive field mice.
Five minutes’ walk down the lane from the house brings you to a lawned play area for children, and further on is a tranquil, leafy riverside area where you can picnic and even take a dip. It’s shaded by oak trees and little bridges cross streams to take you further along and down to a small weir. Here you can see acres of wine grapes planted in long rows, as well as a hill (Monte de Ton) famous for its ancient petroglyphs, which you can visit.
The small river is clean and refreshing. A path runs all the way (8 km) along it to the point where it flows into the River Miño: a lovely walk.
You can also walk into town from the house for shopping. Tomiño isn’t of great interest in itself, although it has a couple of café-bars and a rustic restaurant with a pub-style garden that is popular for evening meals.
More interesting are the riverside cathedral town of Tui and Vila Nova de Cerveira just across the border in Portugal.
Tui (20 mins from the villa) is situated on the broad River Miño, which marks the frontier with Portugal. It’s a delightful, historic town of old stone buildings and squares, a lovely place to walk around and have lunch or go out for drinks in the evening.
We recommend the Portuguese border town of Vila Nova de Cerveira (15 mins from AG22) for its charm and culture. A medieval fair is held here in the summertime, there is hilly countryside with great views, and the river beach has lawned areas to spread towels and a very good outdoor bar-café-restaurant.
Also, just 25 minutes away on the coast, are Spanish ocean beaches and the port of La Guardia, whose fish restaurants that are worth the trip alone. A great chance to sample the seafood for which Galicia is famous throughout Spain. La Guardia dock has a fish auction at four in the morning – not that we expect you’ll want to miss out on sleep to be there, but this long-standing tradition is quite an event.
On the way to La Guardia, there are two detours to Galicia’s past. One takes you to the Muiños do Folón: nineteen water mills, the oldest of which dates back to the 12th century, built in a cascade down the hillside. The other takes you up Mount Tecla to hilltop ruins of Celtic settlements and extraordinary high views down the River Miño estuary and over the ocean.
The area between the villa and the coast is perhaps best known for its wines. The Rosal vineyards produce some of the top albariño white wines in Spain. For many, a cold glass of albariño with fresh fish or prawns is one of the highlights of a holiday here.
If you want to visit one the most beautiful small city in Northern Spain, Santiago de Compostela is an hour and a half by car. Santiago also has an airport with low-cost flights.