Santiago de Compostela
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For your information the airport at Santiago de Compostela is approximately 10 km from the centre of town.
A romantic Galician city, Santiago de Compostela is also a very rainy city. It takes more than a few flash rainfalls to scare off the incredible architecture and character of this historic city.
Situated in north western Spain, the pilgrimage city Compostela de Santiago (named after St James), offers a plentiful supply of dramatic churches and atmospheric streets. Once experienced, it soon comes as no surprise this is considered to be one of Spainís greatest cities.
A place of considerable romance and history, the third largest holy city in Christendom was once a destination that all roads in Spain led to. This was a city made famous by the pilgrims who would flock to it over the centuries from all over Europe. Every year the city welcomes approximately one hundred thousand pilgrim visitors from all over the world, something that it has in common with Jerusalem and Rome. Upon their arrival, it is usual for pilgrims to line up to kiss the shell in homage to St James.
The cathedral with its impressive Romanesque styled interiors particularly thrills all its viewers with its stunning 12th century Portico de la Gloria.
It takes strength and determination to not be taken in by the magnificent charms of the cityís cathedral. Built in the twelfth century, this is religious architecture that is second to none. Once capitulation has set in, allow an hour or two to enjoy the many facets on the inside and outside of the building.
A World Heritage City for its pilgrimage interest, Santiago de Compostela is packed with buildings of historical importance within the city limits as well as along its pilgrimage route.
To find those lively atmospheric pockets of any given city, you can do worse than to follow the students. In the case of Santiago de Compostela, the favourite haunt of the students is that of Plaza de la Quintana found in the heart of the Old Town. Settle down for the evening upon the steps and watch the world go by as you sit beneath the stars. After this, why not head across the square to the elegant fountain within the grandeur of the Renaissance themed Silversmithsí Square. The perfect way to end a perfect day.
Showcasing the creative merits of regional and national artists is the very brilliant Galician Centre of Contemporary Art. A breath of fresh air, this venue provides a rare insight into local up to the minute art trends in a city that became too used to the idea of promoting achievements from the past. Admission is free and you shouldnít leave without enjoying a delicious panoramic view of the older parts of town.
With ancient La Coruna only a mere 75 kilometres away from Santiago de Compostela, why not give it a go? Ultimately, La Coruna is a very popular holiday destination which gets especially busy during the Summer months. You donít need to travel far for the beaches for one of its best, Riazor Beach can be found in the centre of town. There is another that is even more attractive, that of Santa Cristina, a five kilometre drive out of town. Donít worry if you are not driving for there is a very frequent bus service to get you there with relative ease or you could even take a boat ride for fun.
Its claim to fame is that it is the second busiest port in Spain. A port that has been occupied by many contenders including the Phoenicians and the Romans over the years and one which during the sixteenth century observed the retaliation attack of Francis Drake.
La Coruna is a stunning town to experience even though there is a distinct lack of ancient monuments and attractions. Despite this fact however, you canít beat an evening stroll through the Old Town and about the picturesque harbour embellished with its pockets of beautiful botany in the form of the delightful Jardines de Mendez Nunez.
There are many other delightful attractions about the town including the Gothic Iglesia de Santa Maria del Campo church and the pretty nineteenth century Jardin de San Carlos on the spot of what was once a fortress.
The bay side Archaeological Museum is housed in what served as a sixteenth century fort and offers excellent views out at sea. While in the mood for museum browsing, donít forget the unique Clock Museum or the excellent Science Museum.
Santiago de Compostela Airport
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is approximately 10 kilometres from Santiago city centre.
Although the airport serves the local city and surrounding towns and villages, it also serves low cost airline passengers for La Coruna (which is about an hourís drive away).
There are a number of bus services to and from the airport. Information for them is found in the terminal. The bus service into the city centre from the airport runs ever thirty to forty minutes and a daily bus to La Coruna which leaves at 11.30am.
If driving to the airport from the city centre, you will need to take the Santiago to Lugo road (N-547).
Taxis are available and charge fifteen euros from the airport into the city centre. A taxi to La Coruna will set you back 80 euros.