Santiago de Compostela lies in the north west corner of Spain. The city is capital of Galicia, a beautiful, green land with strong Celtic ties. The region is well known for its fine seafood and its excellent wines. Historically the city is famous as the place where St James was buried after his remains were transferred here by sea from the Holy Land. On the site where he was buried stands the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago which attracts thousands of pilgrims who walk the ancient Camino de Santiago every year.
Getting to Santiago
Places to Stay
Find a bed at the luxurious Parador or one of many family run pilgrim hostels.
Things to See & Do
The city offers a lively nightlife thanks to a large student population and there are some excellent restaurants in Santiago serving delicacies of Galicia. Wine enthusiasts can enjoy a Rias Baixas Wine Tour which shows you around the region’s vineyards whilst there are some stunning day excursions from Santiago up to Finisterre along the rugged ‘Coast of Death’.
Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostela. Whilst there are a number of recognised routes, the most popular is known as the ‘French Way’ which runs from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Roncesvalles in Spain on to Santiago. This route involves crossing the Pyrenees then walking (or cycling) about 780km across northern Spain. If the exertion of such a journey is too much for you then you can book on to one of the specialised Camino de Santiago Tours which covers part of the route with a driver carrying your luggage ahead for you. Some English speakers refer to the ancient pilgrim route as the Way of St James.
Parador de Santiago
The Santiago de Compostela Parador, or the Hotel de Los Reyes Católicos as it is better known, is one of Santiago’s main monuments on the north side of Plaza do Obradoiro directly opposite the cathedral. It was originally founded as a Royal Hospital by the Catholic Monarchs to give shelter and lodgings to the pilgrims and is thought to be the world’s oldest hotel. It has been restored using the most modern techniques and is now a museum as well as an extremely luxurious hotel. It has four cloisters of immense beauty and very elegant and impressive bedrooms. There are two restaurants where you you can sample the best of Galicia’s cuisine in a wonderful setting. Highly recommended if you’re spending some time in Santiago.