Santiago de compostela

Feb 15th, 2006, 01:03 AM
  #1  
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Santiago de compostela

We are going to Santiago de Compostela for 2 weeks at end of Sept/Oct. Enjoy everything typically Spanish (have spent most time in Andalucia) love Spanish food,and exploring. Will not have a car so will rely on public transport to travel to surrounding areas of interest (wine is a favourite with us too!) Thinking about staying at As Artes hotel. Does anyone have any ideas on what we should look to do/go/stay for this our first visit to Galicia please? Angela (I understand my limited Spanish will not be understood in this region!!)
Santapola is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 01:41 AM
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For one, I would rent a car and explore some of the coastal towns, Pontevedra, Vigo. I would also spend some days in Leon, stay either at the Parador or Hotel La Posada Regia. I would explore some of the towns on the Camino, Ponferrada, Palais de Reina, etc... Santiago is fascinating. BTW, I was in Santiago the May (1999) the Hotel Des Artes opened up. Superb location.

I am planning to do El Camino in Summer 2007, so I am already gearing up and preparing. Have fun!!
Viajero2 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 01:42 AM
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Your final statement is incorrect: you can get along fine speaking Castellano.

My last visit to Santiago (Jul'04) I stayed at a hostal (A'Nosa Casa) just inside the Historic District from the Plaza de Galicia. It was acceptable (35 Euro w/Continental breakfast and private bath): inexpensive for July!

I also stayed a few days in VilaGarcia de Arousa (on the coast): caught a bus both ways. For first-timers I recommend a daytrip to Vigo, about 1.5 hours by Renfe. You can get some beautiful views of the rias from the train.

In Vigo, try to go to la Pedra, behind the Hotel Bahia Vigo and just across from the Port of Vigo. In late Sep the Bahia Vigo might even offer a weekend 'package' deal. There's a fish market just across the street (west) from the Bahia Vigo mornings. It's very impressive! IMHO the best wine of the region is Albariño and the best of the best is Rosál.

At la Pedra there are a couple of good restaurants.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 02:10 AM
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Santiago is wonderful and you will have a marvelous time. The town itself deserves a couple of days just to explore and wander.

Is it final that you wont have a car? The area around Santiago is not to be missed. Public transportation is very decent in Spain. If you can find Cruiseluv's trip report you will find a lot of information on getting around by bus.

Northern Spain was a complete surprise to me and I found I like it even more than the south.

Viajero - are you doing the entire Camino? On your own?
marigross is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 02:22 AM
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Hey Marigross!-- the plan is sister, brother-in-law and myself. I am planning 50 days for the entire Camino, starting late May 2007 (BIL a teacher). The only way to do it is with this much advanced notice at work. I am hoping it all goes well.
Viajero2 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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Hola Viajero,

Congratulations on your plans!! I must confess I would like to do the Camino but the way Mari did it is more my speed!

Hi Santapola,

I just responded under another thread but will repost here:

I didn't stay there but remember reading good reviews about it. It is situated by the Cathedral.

I have been twice to Santiago and like Judy I never tire of just walking around the town, just being there.

This last time I went by bus to Coruña. Unfortunateley, as soon as I got there fog set in so I couldn't really see too much. Next time I'll go south to Pontevedra( which you can also do by bus or train) and also spend a night or two at the Parador in Baiona. Another thing we did during our first trip there was to go to Cabo Finisterre ( used to be considered in the Middle ages to look toward the end of the world) stopping along the way in Noia and Muros.

Seafood and fish in that area( together with their delicious albariño wine) is fantastic.

Are you staying the 14 days in Santiago?

I know that having a car is better but since last time I was by myself I didn't want to do that. Actually, even if my husband was with me he would not want to rent a car so I had to learn to navigate the bus system, which BTW is very good. There are several/ many buses a day from Santiago to different points in Galicia so it is doable.

I agree with Viajero, you should definitively stay in Leon a couple of days. Don't miss the Cathedral lit up at night with the magnificent stained glass illuminated from the inside. WOW!
From Leon you could bus or train, maybe stopping along the way as Viajero suggests.

Really, with 14 days the possibilities are endless! I envy you!

cruiseluv is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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I loved doing the Camino and am going again this year. Ending in Santiago is the best part, though.

I would not miss going to La Toja island, a curious place that has a small cathedral made of conch shells and a soap factory that smells divine (you can buy their soaps on the mainland, but the factory is much more fun).

Vigo is a nice little walking city and I recommend that you order "una parrillada de mariscos" which is basically a huge, heaping tray of seafood, including crabs, scallops, shrimp, and all manner of delicious. Drink the sidra then roll yourselves around the town enjoying the stout little Gallegos in their black beret-like hats and wool sweaters (don't ask me why, but they fascinated me).

If you like wine then you should seriously consider a day trip to Porto, Portugal where you can tour a bunch of bodegas, do tastings, eat a fine lunch and be back in Santiago by evening. I did that back in 1999 and still remember it clearly. Really, though I normally discourage day trips out of the country, going to Porto has a purpose: drink wine, and that is supreme.

Claire
laclaire is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:48 AM
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Hi Claire,

Did you drive from Santiago to Porto or did you use public transport?

Thanks!
cruiseluv is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Santapola-- if in fact you are going along with Claire's recs to head south to Porto, then let me expand that and recommend that you consider an overnight in Viana Do Castelo. Gorgeous area, undiscovered gem, great value (food/lodging), amazing history. That said, the Galicia region will keep you busy, but something to consider in the event Portugal comes into the picture. Have fun!!
Viajero2 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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14 days? Well, do visit Corunha, Pontevedra, Cambados and even Lugo (it has a wonderful Roman wall all around the old town). Pontevedra and Corunha are easily accesible both by train and bus. Bus and train stations are in the same square in Pontevedra. If you happen to arrive/leave Pontevedra at lunch time, the bus station has a very good value restaurant.
Cambados and Lugo are accesible by bus.
Sidra is not typical from Galicia, but from Asturias, although you can order sidra in almost any place in Spain, of course.
I wouldn't call Vigo a walking city... in fact it is the steeper city in Galicia and it has 300.000 hab. (the biggest city in Galicia).
If considering to spend a time in Portugal (or daytrip) I would choose Guimaraes, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in northern Portugal.
Piesdeplomo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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We actually joined a day tour for retired Spaniards (they had unsold seats and were really cheap), so we drove down from Santiago in the morning, changed money at the border (back when there were pesetas and escudos), hit Porto, visited a ton of bodegas, getting tipsy with our group, then had 4 hours of free time. We were back in time for dinner at 10.

Public transport might be tricky, but as I have not been there since the EU was established, I am not sure if it is a problem.
laclaire is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:18 AM
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Thanks to everybody for all of your help. We have booked flights and accomodation...picked the hotel Costa Vella after reading good reports. We have secured a double room with balcony and views of the town and garden. As we are staying 14 nights they offered us a deal too...they seem very nice and friendly and have some grasp on English, and have offered to help us with any planning we may need for trips during our stay. Just have to wait for Sept to come around now. I must say from what I have read and seen it is a trip I am really looking forward to! Thank you
Santapola is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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You'll really like the Costa Vella - breakfast in the garden is a true treat!

As September nears, check out: http://www.santiagoturismo.com/
This lists all the events, exhibits, concerts, etc in Santiago.

For group day trips, you may want to have a peak at: http://www.compostelavision.info/

buen camino / viaje!
FrescoTours is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Good luck! You will love it! Please come back and tell us how it went.
cruiseluv is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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Hi,

We spent two days in Santiago last month and loved it:

Here’s a suggestion for a mid day/dinner activity:

Go to the Museo del Pobo and the Contemporary Art Museum. They are together and both free. The Museo del Pobo is a wonderful exhibition which will give you much information on Gallegan culture, history and life. Lots of info in English also. Next door is the Contemporary Art Museum, where we saw an interesting exhibit. They are both free. About a 3 hour visit for both.

Then a short walk down the hill, and turn left on Calle Pedro, I believe and go to Diezaseis which is at 16 Calle Pedro, I believe. Wonderful restaurant which I got from Marigross’ trip report and which had great food, great atmosphere and a wonderful outdoor patio. Have a big mid day meal there.

We had a great deal at the Parador in Santiago. Using the 5 night discount card, we stayed two nights for 145 Euro and had a top floor room with a view of the Cathedral. Wonderful building, go there for lunch or to the bar for a drink, in order to see the building.

We also loved La Coruna. If you like to walk and can catch good weather, start near the Museum of Man, park your car and do about a 6-8 k walk around the bay. You will be joined by many, many Gallegans “en paseo” and will see a stunningly beautiful bay and nicely developed urban landscape as it meets the bay. Then go to Adega o Bebeideiro for your mid day meal. This restaurant is at Angel Rebollo 34 and is about 6 blocks down from the Museum of Man. The owner Alberto treated us like a King when we showed him the info in Fodors. He hadn’t seen it. Great food and unbelievable atmosphere. A local tradition and was one of the highlights of our trip.

Enjoy your trip.

Ken
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