La Coruna, Spain (for Santiago de Compostela)

With La Coruña's impressive and extensive history, visitors are often surprised at how modern the city is. It was from here that, in 1588, Spain sent its "invincible" Armada sailing. A year later, Sir Francis Drake sent those ships scrambling, burning most of the city just for good measure. Drake's invasion was ultimately repelled by the peoples of La Coruña, inspired by the local heroine, María Pita.

In the process, La Coruña lost all of its Roman antiquities, including the Torre de Hercules, the present day monument as undergone several transformations over the centuries, the most important one carried out in 1788 by the engineer Eustaquio Giannini, who built the current façades around what remained of the Roman lighthouse, now declared a World Heritage Site. The city does, however, still offer incredible vistas, situated as it is on an outstretch of land blanketed on each side by the sea.

Be sure to visit the Ciudad Vieja, the small old town that watches over the Darsena de La Marina harbor. Here you will find many pleasant cafes from which you can people-watch. Notice that most of the streets are lined with glass covered balconies built for protection again the city's winds and rain.

The port of La Coruña serves as your gateway to Santiago de Compostela, one of the greatest pilgrimages of the Middle Ages. As the site of the supposed shrine of St. James the Apostle, it is the third holiest site in all Christendom, following Jerusalem and Rome. Pilgrims believed that making the journey here would reduce their sentence in purgatory by one-half.

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Points of Interest

  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Pilgrim Museum
  • Tower of Hercules
  • Plaza del Obradoiro
  • Old Town
  • Plaza Azcarraga
  • Sargadelos Ceramics
  • Betanzos

More about La Coruna, Spain (for Santiago de Compostela) Points of Interest

  • Santiago de Compostela

    Capital of Galicia, Spain, this city is dedicated to honoring St. James, or Santiago - the first martyred apostle. For 2,000 years, pilgrims trekked great distances to walk St. James Way.

  • Pilgrim Museum

    St. James Cathedral has a subterranean museum displaying a collection of tapestries and archaeological pieces. The 9th-century crypt is the final destination of pilgrims.

  • Tower of Hercules

    This epic 180-foot-tall lighthouse is a World Heritage Site and Spanish National Monument. Built by the Romans, it's the world's oldest existing lighthouse, fully operational, every day, for nearly 2,000 years.

  • Plaza del Obradoiro

    This is one of the most jaw-dropping destinations on Earth. The burial place of St. James, it is a stunning collection of statues, fountains, facades, and, of course, the epic Cathedral.

  • Old Town

    Roman protective walls standing after millennia, churches, the Military Museum, shops, Galician writers' mansion and nearby Constitution Square, Old Town is a delightful stroll through Galician history.

  • Plaza Azcarraga

    With the "desire fountain" in the centre, and the General Azcarraga Headquarters, a neoclassical palace built in 1740 to become the seat for the General Captaincy of the Galician Kingdom, to one side, Azcarraga Square is a series of snapshots into Coruña's life, from ancient to new. Shaded by centuries-old ash and plane trees, it's been a marketplace, festival centre and a shady garden repose.

  • Sargadelos Ceramics

    Some of the world's finest pottery comes from this 200-year-old Galician institution. More than a factory or store,it's a living cultural and artistic design center, offering scenic beauty and Europe's finest porcelain.

  • Betanzos

    Once a thriving port rivaling La Coruña, Betanzos has one of the best preserved old quarters in Galicia and is renowned for its welcoming taverns with regional wines and local delicacies. Two stunning churches, Santa María de Azogue and San Francisco are the main attractions of this beautiful Roman town.

8 EXCURSIONS

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A Walk through The Old Town

1.5 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 3 8 0
  • Plaza Azcarraga
  • Old Town

La Coruña boasts well-preserved medieval churches, convents and plazas. Explore the old city on a guided walking tour and then enjoy free time for independent sightseeing and shopping. You are responsible for your return to ship.

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Moderate Activity

From

$39.95

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City Drive & A Walk through Old Town

4 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 2 1 0
  • Tower of Hercules
  • Plaza Azcarraga
  • Old Town

La Coruna welcomes you with astounding landmarks from the monumental Plaza Maria Pita and the Romanesque churches of the atmospheric Old Town to the shady Plaza Azcarraga. A scenic drive takes in the medieval San Anton Castle, the Tower of Hercules and San Pedro Viewpoint on this moderate, half-day tour.

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Moderate Activity, Includes snack

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$49.95

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Discover Historic Lugo

6 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 1 8 0
  • Old Town

Overlooking the River Mino, historic Lugo is surrounded by an ancient Roman wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a panoramic drive followed by a walking tour to make the most of its wide squares, gracious gardens and standout architecture. Lunch on your own in a city with gastronomic acclaim.

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Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity

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$49.95

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Santiago de Compostela On Your Own

6 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 1 8 5
  • Plaza del Obradoiro
  • Santiago de Compostela

Visit Santiago de Compostela on a self-directed tour, with transfers to and from the city. Spend the morning sightseeing, shopping or simply soaking up the atmosphere of Santiago de Compostela on your own.

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Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity

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$59.95

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Santiago de Compostela

5 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 2 0 0
  • Santiago de Compostela

Find inspiration in Santiago de Campostela, an historic center of Catholic pilgrimage, on this intriguing half-day tour. Take your time to visit St. James Cathedral independently, the site of countless pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, and then explore the plazas of Obradoiro and Platerías together with your experienced guide and enjoy free time to shop for souvenirs on this half-day tour.

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Moderate Activity

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$69.95

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Culinary Delights of La Coruna

3.5 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 3 0 0
  • Old Town

Discover the charms of La Coruna, delving into its gastronomic heritage and Galician food culture on this guided pedestrian tour. Act like a local and sample your way through a lovely marketplace, visit two tapas bars and relax in a terrace café overlooking the main plaza for a liquor tasting.

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Shopping Opportunities, Strenuous Activity, Includes snack

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$99.95

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Best of Santiago de Compostela (Monday Calls)

7 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 1 0 1
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Plaza del Obradoiro

Discover the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the most venerated shrine in Europe during the Middle Ages. 2021 is a rare, Jubilee Year, so a visit to the Holy Door is included. After a guided visit, explore the area independently on foot and enjoy lunch.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$129.95

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Best of Santiago de Compostela

7 hours | La Coruna | L C G - 1 0 0
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Pilgrim Museum
  • Plaza del Obradoiro

Santiago de Compostela was the most venerated shrine in Europe during the Middle Ages. It remains a major destination for pilgrims, who come to worship at the tomb of St. James the Greater, one of Christ's apostles. Experience the cathedral on an interior visit after touring its museum.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From

$129.95

Average Guest Rating