Santiago de Compostela Tourist Info
Santiago de Compostela city is historically famous as the place where St James was buried after his remains were transferred here by sea from the Holy Land. The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago was built just in the same place where Saint James was buried. This Cathedral attracts thousands of pilgrims every year who travel across the ancient St James Way, commonly well-known as Camino de Santiago.
Folklore and Fiestas in Santiago de Compostela
-Semana Santa or Holy Week when they celebrate typical and impressive religious processions.
- Feria del Ganado (Cattle Festival) takes place in May. During ten days your can enjoy its performances with folk music and representative gastronomy where you can taste all the specialities of the regional cuisine.
- Festival del Apostos (Apostle Festival). On the 24th of July takes place an event called Fuego del Apostol” and they show you a great fire-works in front of el Obradoiro or Santiago de Compostela Cathedral´s door. The following day, an important mass in the apostle memory use to be celebrated. During this religious ceremony a huge incense font or Botafumeiro, which is fixed to the cathedral ceiling with a rope, is swung through all the nave.
- Festival de Música Clásica (Festival of Classical Music). During August and September visitors can enjoy an important music event with numerous concerts.
Discovering Santiago by car
To deep into Santiago the Compostela province we suggest you to hire a car to visit its picturesque sea villages or main cities. Probably renting a car in Santiago the Compostela city or at the airport, will be one of the best ways to start your tourist tour across Santiago the Compostela area and surroundings. Although, you can also find other interesting options like bus tours which includes guided visits and stops you in some of the most tourist destinations and monuments.
You can organize your route by vehicle from Santiago de Compostela city as starting point. If you are planning your route by car we recommend you the following options:
- Finisterre Lands End Tour: starting your day-trip from Santiago de Compostela drive along the coastline until Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) and Cape Fisterra, the final destination for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James.
- The Rías Altas : also called Upper Rias, extends from the port of Ribadeo to Santa Cruz. You will find really interesting towns: Puentedeume, a medieval fishing village with narrow streets, castle and tower, Betazos, a monumental town, where you can see Romanesque and gothic buildings or A Coruña, capital of A Coruña province.
- The Rías Baixas: enjoy a day tour across the Rías Baixas region and a first stop in Carril with island views. At lunch, you can stop in Cambados to taste its good wine and shellfish. Don´t miss to visit La Isla de A Toxa where you will find the best hotels, SPAs and resorts. To finish your tour, visit Combarro, declared medieval monumental place.
- Lugo and the Saint James Way to Santiago de Compostela: you can make this route by car or if you are an sport lover, we suggest you a walking tour to Lugo, with its cathedral, Portomarin a historical stone town or Leboreiro, a medieval small village with Romanesque chuch.
- Vigo and Portugal : if you have time enough drive to Vigo, the largest Galicia´s city, with and important port. Visit Baiona, the first place in Europe which knew that Christobal Columbus discovers America. And plan a last stop in the north of Portugal, in Valença Do Minho, a fortress city from 18th century, where you can buy some souvenirs.