Travel to Santiago de Compostela
Flying to Santiago de Compostela
Ryanair operates direct flights to Santiago de Compostela from the UK. If you're travelling from the USA, the quickest route is via Madrid with Iberia. Prices tend to rise at busy periods such as Christmas, Easter and school summer holidays.
From London - 2 hours 10 minutes; New York - 10 hours 15 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles- 17 hours (including stopovers); Toronto - 14 hours (including stopovers); Sydney - 31 hours (including stopovers).
Travel by road
Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits are 120kph (75mph) on motorways, 100kph (62mph) on dual carriageways, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) within towns.
Foreign visitors require a valid driving licence to drive in Spain. National licences from EU countries are accepted, while nationals of other countries are advised to obtain an International Driving Permit. Third-party insurance is required and documents should be carried at all times. A Green Card is strongly recommended for all visitors and is compulsory for those from outside the EU.
Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE) (tel: +34 900 100 992; www.race.es) has reciprocal agreements with the AA and RAC in the UK and the AAA in the USA.
Emergency breakdown services
Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE) (tel: +34 902 112 222).
You can reach Santiago de Compostela by road from major cities in Spain and Portugal but a common alternative route is along the Pilgrim's Way via Santander, running parallel to Spain's north coast.
The AP-9 is the major north-south route running through the city. The national roads, N547 and N525, have route connections to the A6/NVI, which branches off southeasterly toward León (connected by the N120 and N630), Valladolid (connected by the E80/N620) and finally to the capital, Madrid.
From the UK, a ferry to Bilbao or Santander cuts down on road mileage and driver fatigue but is usually more expensive and a little longer than driving through France.
Santiago’s Estación Central de Autobuses, San Caetano, to the northeast of the city centre, is the terminus for national and international coach services.
Monbus (tel: +34 902 292 900; www.monbus.es) operates coach services from Madrid and other major Spanish cities, as well as from Portugal and other foreign destinations. The other major coach operator is Alsa (tel: +34 902 422 242; www.alsa.es).
Eurolines (tel: +44 871 781 8177, in the UK; www.eurolines.com) runs international coach services from London to Santiago with one change at the Area Suco interchange. The journey takes around 34 hours.
Time to city
From León - 4 hours; Valladolid - 4 hours; Madrid - 6 hours.
Travel by Rail
Spanish trains are relatively punctual, reasonably priced and usually clean. Seat reservations are required on all inter-city trains.
The main railway station in Santiago de Compostela is centrally located on Rúa de Hórreo, off Avenida de Lugo, just to the south of the Old Quarter. There are day trains and a night train to Santiago from Madrid. There’s also a daily train to/from the French border at Irún/Hendaye via Bilbao and San Sebastián.
You can get to Santiago from London by train via Paris in about 22 hours. There are also connections to Oporto in Portugal via Vigo and regular local services to A Coruña.
RENFE (+34 902 320 320; www.renfe.com) operates the Spanish rail network, which radiates from Madrid to all the major cities.
From Madrid - 6 hours; Irún - 11 hours.