I’m booked on a flight to Santiago de Compostela next Saturday for a long weekend. So far, all I know is that I’d like to check out some of the pilgrim highlights, eat pimientos de padrón as often as possible and head to the coast. Anyone have any tips for good places to stay, eat or drink? Especially excited about the food and wine, mmm. For the coast, considering A Coruña as a base but what’s it like? Gracias!
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The best atmosphere is in La Zona Vieja (the old stone city). The Santiago’s cathedral is the defining symbol of the city. You will find many pilgrim symbols inside, but also you can find other interesting buildings and monuments which represent the pilgrim path around the city.
Santiago is a small city but busy of restaurants and pubs. In the Rúa do Franco(Franco’s Road) there is a huge offer of Traditional Galician Cooking. I suggest the bar-restaurant “Orella” en Rua Raiña nº25 (25 Raiña Road).
If you are looking for a drink in an original place. You can’t miss “Casa das Grechas”, a celtic stone bar located in Vía Sacra nº3 (behind the Cathedral). I suggest to ask for a Licor Café (Caffe Licor) a tipical drink from Galicia. Bands use to play in this pub.
However, the best way to feel the pilgrim soul It’s to make the pilgrim path. You can make a short version of the Portuguese path from Caldas de Reis ( a town 50km far away). It will take you about two days to get Santiago by walking. You will be in contact with nature, monuments, real pilgrims and local people… also you will find Padron on your way, the original place where the “pimientos” are coming from.
If you have the chance to visit the coast. You can get to Fisterra, Muxía, A Coruña or San Andres de Teixido (where the highest cliffs of Europe are located) This part of the coast is named Costa da Morte (The Dead Coast) as lots of ships were wrecked over the years. A Coruña is one of the biggest cities of Galicia. You will find “La Torre de Hércules” (the Hercules Tower), the oldest lighthouse in Europe, built by Romans. An amazing panoramic view point over the sea.
Another option to visit the Galician coast, it’s to go to the south. You can easily get Pontevedra or Vigo by train. These cities are surrounded of small local seaports and white sand beaches. Also you can go to Ons and Cies Islands, in the Atlantic National Park.
I hope It helps!!
Don’t worry, Marta, I definitely won’t forget to eat pulpo! I hear “Los Sobriños del Padre la Casa del Buen Pulpo” on Fonte de San Miguel is a good spot for it. Ever been there?
And Antelo, wow, the original padron… that definitely sounds like a trip worth making! Thanks for all your suggestions – looking forward to some good food on Rua do Franco, trying out the local licor and I’ve read you can do a rooftop tour of the cathedral too. Very excited!