If you’ve ever dreamed about travelling to Spain you’ve probably read up on all of the extraordinary things to do and see if you were ever to visit the popular cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Ibiza.
However, what about those gems that are off the beaten path and don’t typically make it onto a tourist’s itinerary? Journeying through Northern Spain on a Camino de Santiago walking tour is one such way of breaking away from the norm and creating a unique adventure for yourself.
Although the Way of St. James pilgrimage is famous all over the world and draws in thousands of people every year, there are still many who aren’t familiar with the 500-mile trek through Spain’s countryside with the end destination being Santiago de Compostela.
There are several Camino de Santiago walking tours offered throughout the year, but even if this idea doesn’t necessarily appeal to you, the city of Santiago is still worth making a part of your travels.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The most famous attraction in Santiago is by far its cathedral, which is rumored to be the final resting place of the Apostle James and the reason so many people from around the world venture out on Camino de Santiago walking tours.
Once you reach the cathedral, which has been deemed a World Heritage Site, you’ll know all those days of walking, the exhaustion and the tired feet were all worth it. Whether you’ve done the pilgrimage or chosen to arrive there on your own, you will get to experience the magnificent architecture of the iconic cathedral as well as the tomb of St. James, the high altar, the crypt, cloisters and several museums.
Probably one of the most fascinating things you can observe at the cathedral is the pilgrims mass held every day at noon.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Art and Culture
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is not the only building that shows off the architecture, art and culture that the city is rich in. The historical town has grand structures, squares and plazas, monuments and art museums everywhere you look.
Some of the sights you won’t want to miss while in Santiago include the Rajoy Palace, Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos (which has been a hospital, the world’s first hotel and now a state-run parador), the statue of Archbishop Ventura Figueroa, Plaza del Obradoiro, Plaza de la Azabacheria and the Galician Contemporary Art Centre. Each of these sightseeing destinations will give you a glimpse into ancient times and allow you to see some true Romanesque and Gothic influence.
Situated in the region of Galicia, Santiago isn’t far from some of Spain’s most gorgeous beaches. The coast offers the best of both worlds, whether you’re looking for a livelier spot to settle into the sand or one that presents more solitude. With this still not being a major tourist trap, it won’t be too difficult to find peace and quiet with a picturesque view if this is what you’re looking for.
Rajoy Palace, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Food and Wine
The cuisine of this region is considered to be unique from the rest of the country. The focus is less on pasta and rice and more on fish and potatoes. Local wines are highly favored, and it’s not uncommon to see many gastronomy tours offered in the area, giving visitors a first-hand Galician culinary experience.