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Santiago de Compostela tours and excursions

Santiago de Compostela tours

Train tours

A little tourist train goes round the city at a leisurely pace and takes in the main sights. The tour takes about one hour and the train leaves every hour between 1100-1300 and 1600-1900 from Praza do Obradoiro or Avenida Xoán XXIII during the summer season.

Tel: +34 981 555 129.

Walking tours

There are several guided tours in English available from Turismo de Santiago's main office at Rúa do Vilar 63. Among the options are a two-hour gastronomy tour, a church tour, a nocturnal tour, an architecture tour and a tour around the Old Quarter. It is also possible to rent an MP3 guide to the city from the tourist office. Walks with local guides are available from the Association of Professional Guides (+34 981 576 698).

Tel: +34 981 555 129.
Website: http://www.santiagoturismo.com/visitas-guiadas

Santiago de Compostela excursions

Fisterra and Cabo Finisterre

The delightful traditional Galician fishing village of Fisterra is just under 50km (31 miles) from Santiago de Compostela. Just a few kilometres short of Cabo Finisterre, it was literally ‘the end of the earth' for medieval pilgrims. It looks straight out over the often-bleak Atlantic and was an ancient holy place for Druids, Romans and Christians. The Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), south of the Cape, is a dramatic landscape of cliffs and sandy beaches. On the south side of the harbour in Fisterra, there are a number of sardiñadas (open-air sardine grills) offering a fine assortment of fresh fish and mariscos (seafood). You can get to Fisterra by bus with Arriva (www.arriva.es). It's a 3km (2 mile) walk to the headland, where, at the cape, a lighthouse perches high above the waves. Beyond the lighthouse and the trinket vendors is the viewpoint, Vista Monte do Facho, which offers spectacular views.

Website: http://www.concellofisterra.com

A Coruña

The capital of Galicia province, A Coruña is a thriving port and business centre on the north coast of Spain, approximately 60km (37 miles) from Santiago de Compostela. A Coruña has some fine beaches, many striking tourist sights and a bustling and attractive harbour, with a characteristic honeycomb web of white-framed windows on its waterfront. Most notable of these is the Torre de Hércules (Tower of Hercules), an imposing restored Roman lighthouse which still functions. The Old Quarter of the city rivals that of Santiago de Compostela, with monuments such as the beautiful Romanesque church of Santa María do Campo. Trains from Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña run regularly (journey time - 45 minutes). The local tourist information office on the main square provides details of attractions.

Tel: +34 981 923 093.
Website: http://www.turismocoruna.com

Featured Hotels

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Hostal Alfonso

Close to Santiago de Compostela's city centre, this small hostal makes a big impression. Run by a husband and wife team, Alfonso has a quaint family atmosphere, with cosy rooms and friendly service. The proprietors have even written their own fantastic guide to sights and anecdotes of the Old Town that the guidebooks have missed (sadly in Spanish only). There are only six rooms here (all en suite and with TV) so book well in advance. Ask for the top floor room with the cathedral view, it's remarkable, especially at night. Breakfast is included.

Hostal Suso

This popular old-town spot sees budget travellers delighted with its hospitable management and cheap, great-value en-suite rooms with plenty of space. Downstairs is a lively café where pilgrims rest their Camino-weary legs.

San Francisco Hotel Monumento

Located in the Franciscan convent of San Francisco, this is an excellent luxury parador-style alternative to Reis Católicos, with the added bonus of being set back from the main touristic thoroughfare. This UNESCO listed building has a heated pool and Jacuzzi, while the 82 rooms are air conditioned, decked out in plush bed linens and furnishings, and offer room service in addition to the a la carte restaurant on site.

Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Set in two buildings next to Plaza de Abastos Market and close to the Cathedral, this characterful hotel has an intimate, classy feel. Rooms in the modern building overlook a private courtyard garden, and upgraded rooms set in an 18th century building feature exposed stone walls and traditional furnishings. The restaurant serves traditional Galician cuisine.

Hotel Costa Vella

Located in a quiet street above the Convento de San Francisco, close to one of the seven doors leading into the old medieval city, this small, charming hotel in Santiago boasts comfy, cosy bedrooms and a peaceful garden. A real Galician home from home, you will feel warmly welcomed here. Costa Vella represents excellent value for money and is thoroughly recommended.

Hotel Parador dos Reis Católicos

This magnificent Santiago hotel, one of the best in the country, is located in the heart of the city, right on the Praza do Obradoiro, between Santiago's splendid cathedral and the Galician president's headquarters. Beautiful rooms (each individually decorated with period furniture and fine fabrics), great facilities and exquisite service will make you feel you're being treated like royalty.