Santiago de Compostela
Jose Antonio Liñares, the owner of Altaïr Hotel looks forward to welcome you to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is synonymous with the ‘Camino’, an ancient pilgrimage route, born in the 9th century, that has linked the town with the rest of Europe ever since. Every year thousands of pilgrims set out to live this experience that combines adventure and spirituality whose final goal is the Cathedral in Santiago, one of the sacred cities of Christendom.
Santiago has a spectacular range of restaurants, bars and taverns, with prices to suit all budgets, and one common denominator: Quality.
The 33,000 students who attend the university each year give the Santiago a special atmosphere. This is a town that never sleeps: The numerous pubs, bars and clubs offer fun and enjoyment for all tastes.
However Santiago is not only arts, history and culture but also nature. In its surrounding area await mountains and forests with luxuriant vegetation. They are the perfect setting for a range of sports such as hiking, fishing and golf.
How to Get There
Leave Madrid merging onto AP-6 which later on is A-6 and take exit 540 to merge onto N-634 toward Santiago. After approx. 50 km, at the roundabout, take first exit and merge onto A-54 toward Santiago.
From the North/Santander:
Merge onto E-70/A-8 toward Gijón. Continue until Betanzos and then merge onto E-1/AP-9 toward Santiago. Take exit 67 toward SC-20/A-54 Santiago Norte.
Leave Barcelona merging onto E-90/AP-2 toward Lleida/Zaragoza. From Zaragoza continue on E-804/A-68/AP-68 toward Logroño. In Haro follow signs for N-232 Santander and then merge onto AP-1 toward Burgos. From there follow signs for León (A-231). Once in León continue on AP-71 toward Astorga to merge later onto A-6 toward Lugo/A Coruña. Take exit 540 to merge onto N-634 toward Santiago. After approx. 50 kms, t the roundabout, take first exit and merge onto A-54 toward Santiago.
Santiago de Compostela: Plan your journey by public transport
Long-distance: Two direct daily trains link up with Madrid (three on Sundays), one with San Sebastian and Hendaye and one with Barcelona. Changing train once, there is a daily service to Bilbao, Portugal and Paris, as well as nearly all of Spain’s main cities.
Long distance connections with Madrid, Gijón, Bilbao, Irún, Zamora, Salamanca, Cáceres, Seville, Algeciras, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland.
The airport is only ten kilometres from the city centre.The new teminal was inaugurated in 2011. This new building of 74000 square metres has enough capatity for 4000 passengers.
Santiago de Compostela weather forecast
|Santiago de Compostela, España||46°F clear sky|
Wind 1 mph, WNW
Pressure 771.07 mmHg
Places to go
Collegiate Church of Santa María a Real do Sar
The 13th century Collegiate Church of Santa María a Real do Sar is, along with the Cathedral, the church of Santiago de Compostela that still has the greatest proportion of its original Romanesque structure.
TO SEE: This small Romanic collegiate church dates from the XIII Century and is characterized by its leaning inner columns and by its valuable Romanesque cloister. The enormous outer buttresses were added to avoid the collapse of the set. It is located at about 25 minutes from the hotel and has a small museum.
TO DO: Visit Golegiata. Visit museum.
RECOMMEND: The cloister, one of the most beautiful of Compostela’s Romanesque style, is accessed by means of the Sacristy. Only one of the original wings remains; the rest belongs to the 17th and 18th centuries. A fine collection of archaeological pieces is on display inside.
San Domingos de Bonaval Park
The San Domingos de Bonaval Park in Santiago de Compostela provides beautiful views of the old town’s rooftops.
TO SEE: At only 5 minutes distance from the hotel, this park which has been renovated by the prestigious Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza provides singular views of the old town´s rooftops, which open out as we go uphill.
TO DO: From its high part you can see an interesting perspective of the old town. The old cemetery of the city is integrated perfectly on this green space full of charming corners as the work of the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida or the back part of San Domingos church.
RECOMMEND: In the low part of the park you can find the museums Do Pobo Galego (with its famous spiral staircase) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, CGAC. This last one is a modern building also by the architect Alvaro Siza. You may not be attracted by its outer look, but if you visit its interior you will discover that the Portuguese architect is a flawless creator of spaces (free visit).
Dusk is the best time to visit this park overlooking the city.
Vista Alegre Park
Vista Alegre, also known as Finca Simeón, in Santiago de Compostela is a park with considerable urban architectural attractions.
TO SEE: The estate of the famous family of Compostelan bankers (Simeon Bank) has recently been converted into a park with considerable urban architectural attractions. A colonial-style mansion and some classic ornaments are preserved from the old farm.
TO DO: For the architecture lovers the new buildings at present in the park will be more stimulating. Both the College of Higher Music Studies and the headquarters of the General Society of Authors (SGAE) are unbelievable buildings. The first looks like a stone Rubik cube perched on a hill, while the headquarters of the SGAE is almost indescribable.
RECOMMEND: You can go into the back and see that the wall behind the large rocks is made up by 5 million boxes of CDs. Both buildings are works of the architect Anton Garcia-April.
Small trip near Santiago: Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla and Pazo de Oca.
Small trip to two amazing plazes near Santiago de Compostela: Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla and Pazo de Oca.
In the valley of the river Ulla there are two of the finest stately homes in Galicia very close to each other: Pazo de Santa Cruz de Rivadulla and Pazo de Oca. These stately homes (pazos) are noble homes that had their moment of glory between the 17th and 19th centuries.
The closest to Santiago, is Pazo de Santa Cruz de Rivadulla You will find it at 19 km., on the N-525 which connects Santiago with Ourense. The main building is not allowed to be visited but the gardens are unforgettable. Huge tree ferns, olive trees 500 years old, magnolias embraced by centenarian creepers, waterfalls, ponds, moss of thousands of different shades. It might seem that it is inhabited by pixies, witches and other creatures of the forest. Its magic is irresistible; we do not know of anyone disappointed with this visit.
If we continue 5 km more in the direction of Ourense we will find a curve and the indicator that shows the way to the Pazo de Oca-the Galician Versailles. The contrast with the former is of great interest. The gardens of Pazo de Oca have a more geometric style, more of a French style. There are boxwood, hidden trails, dark corners, small chapels, one mill and some fabulous granite ponds with huge boats that float prodigiously with its floral burden. As the old cathedrals, these are the kind of things that are no longer made.
A small amount of money has to be paid in both visits for maintenance expenses. The visit can be free or guided.
The preferences for either pazo are divided more or less to a 50%. It may be somewhat exhausting to visit the two stately homes, so you may visit only one and leave the other for your next trip to Galicia.
To eat in this area, there is a very good restaurant in the village of Puente-Ulla:Villaverde Restaurant (tel. 981 512 652). It is located in an old restored mansion.
If you want to prolong the excursion a little longer, 10 km later, near the village of Bandeira, you can visit the Monastery of Carboeiro, located in a beautiful spot beside the river. This monastery is undergoing rehabilitation works and might have lost some of its charm as the ancient ruins conveyed the impression of being in a magical place. At 5 kilometres from here is the cascade of the Toxa River, surrounded by native forests of great beauty.
If you still have time, you can climb the Pico Sacro mount. At the top there is a small chapel and a geodesic vertex. In the village of Lestedo you will find the indicator that leads to the diversion from the main road to the top (about 5 kms.). From the top can see the valley of the river Ulla, the city of Santiago and in a clear day one can even see the mountains of the Ría de Arousa.
Distance/Time: 48 km round-trip
Ortigueira – Pazo de Oca
The Route of the Camellia
On this route you will visit manor houses and landscapes of elegant decadence, authentic botanical gardens created with painstaking care and wisdom.
Beautiful and enigmatic, camellias were brought from the East by Portuguese sailors and Galicia was one of the first places in Europe to welcome them, so that they’ve been brightening the loveliest of gardens from the early 19th century. In fact, they’re so at home here that camellias are now Galician…and reserved.
If you want to discover their secrets, you have to delve into their environment, the Camellia Route. An evocative journey from northern to southern Galicia through 12 manor houses and gardens – public and private – where the camellia reigns in all its glory. There are some 8,000 varieties in gardens linked to the historical heritage of Galicia, such as the Quiñones de León Manor House, with a camellia whose crown measures more than 15 metres in diameter, or specimens of the “camellia reticulata” of the Oca and Santa Cruz de Ribadulla Manor Houses, perhaps the oldest in Europe.
Distance/Time: 237 km starting in the village of Mariñan
Mariñán – Santiago de Compostela – Padrón – Vedra – A Estrada – Vilagarcía de Arousa – Ribadumia – Pontevedra – Soutomaior- Vigo
Tour to the village of Cambados
The village of Cambados, in Galicia, Spain, is one of the most atractive ones in As Rías Baixas, apart from being the cradle of the Albariño wine.
Cambados has one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, in which it is possible to taste a good Albariño wine, made in this region.
The village of Cambados is a very interesting place. For a complete visit to the village, we recommend visiting three different locations: in the first place, the surroundings of Fefiñáns: the mannor house, the church, the arch, and the small houses, form a very beautiful set. From this place we can continue walking to the old centre of the village, following the street “Rúa Hospital”. We can stroll around the different streets, and even get lost for a little while, we will surely find a very charming place with a nice little bar where to have another glass of Albariño; Cambados is the capital of this wine.
Apart from Yayo Daporta restaurant, we can recommend: Restaurant Pandemonium, located in Rúa Albariño, 16. The dinning room is preceded by a small wine bar. They offer creative cuisine; an example: red mullet with cockle stew, delicious.
For the lovers of a more traditional cuisine we recommend the restaurant “Posta do Sol”, or the restaurant Parador Nacional del Albariño.
In second place, if you have some spare time, we recommend visiting the picturesque seaside suburb of Santo Tomé. A small bridge joins one end of the suburb with a small island, in which we can find the remains of a tower; it also has a small beach. The view from the island is very pleasant: O Grove, La Toja, Arousa…
In the third place, we also recommend visiting the ruins of the church of Santa Mariña; an amazing place.
Optional visit: we reach the mirador of Monte Lobeira following the indications at the exit of the village. From the top, we can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.
Distance/Time: 65 km.from Santiago
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