Santiago de Compostela
Using direct Ryanair flights from Stansted, and then a local taxi for about 20 minutes from the airport (fixed fare 21 euros), this was an easy journey to the centre of this historic city. We stayed in the 5-star Parador Hostal dos Reis Católicos for 3 nights in the absolute heart of the city overlooking the Obradoiro Square and the famous cathedral and tomb of St James. One of the oldest hotels in Europe, guests are invited to explore this fascinating building which gives an insight into the city’s past and its importance as a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The rooms are traditionally and beautifully furnished, with stylish marble bathrooms. The buffet breakfast has a huge choice and the service is friendly and efficient.
The city is very compact and pedestrianised, so it is a pleasure to walk around and explore. There are plenty of bars and restaurants and the area very much comes alive after around 9pm. The local tapas is fantastic and it is a fish and seafood lovers’ paradise.
A visit to the cathedral is of course a must and we did a walking tour of the town with a map from the tourist office, just a couple of streets from the cathedral.
To get a flavour of the Camino (Pilgrims’ Route), we took the local bus out of town towards the airport (the bus station is about 20 minutes’ walk from the centre) getting off about 10k from the city and walking back along the well-marked route – remember to take walking shoes if you are considering this. We very much enjoyed the green and undulating countryside and it gave us an insight into the camaraderie between the walkers and cyclists on the route.
This is one of the most enjoyable city breaks I have done. The city is compact, traffic free and a pleasure to explore on foot.
Sally Collicott - Travel Specialist