"Spring in Santiago" Santiago de Compostela by lomi

Santiago de Compostela Travel Guide: 487 reviews and 1,152 photos


Santiago de Compestela is in Galica and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Roman site predates the place as a pilgrimage destination and was originally founded in the early 400s, as part of the collapse of the Roman Empire.

The 1000 year old pilgrimage tradition to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral, is known in English as the Way of St. James. Over 100,000 pilgrims travel to the city each year from all over Europe and other parts of the world. In February we saw a handful of pilgrims arriving at the Cathedral daily. After Easter expect up to see up to 500 a day!

Interestingly the Vatican remains uncommitted as to whether the relics are actually those of Saint James the Great, but at the same time continuing to promote the general benefits of pilgrimage to the site.


It is a perfect destination to visit in Spring. Despite that it has the highest rainfall in Europe, we were not bothered about the predicted rain & cloudy skies and came prepared.

The taxi to the town of Santiago from the airport cost 15 euros and took about 20 minutes.

It only rained on 2 occasions and then not for long. The temperature was perfect for sight seeing and we had a few sunny days and sat outside at tapas bars with the locals. However, not all the visitor sites are open in February, but there was enough available to keep us busy for a week.

If we got bored we could always hire a car and tour some more of Galicia, but we enjoyed being in the town so much. The town is busy out of season because of several universities located here and its active student life.

Galician food is strong on fish and we ate out inexpensively every night. At lunch time we ordered tapas for between 4 - 8 euros each in a variety of tapas bars.

In the market square 'desayano' or breakfast can be had for 2.50 euros each; this consisted of ground coffee and freshly made tostados (thick home-made bread, toasted with lashings of butter and marmalade).

One morning we dug deep in our pockets and ordered breakfast in the Parador de Reyes Catolico, also known as the Catholic Monarchs Hostel and paid 10 euros each for coffee, fruit, cake and toast.

The population of Santiago de Compestela is about 92,000. During term times add another for the 30,000 students.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Perfect out of season location
  • Cons:Hugely busy after Easter
  • In a nutshell:something for everyone
  • Last visit to Santiago de Compostela: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 7, 2010
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