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Located 2 hours away from Oporto, by car, Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the Galicia, in Spain. A World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1985, the city has attracted visitors and pilgrims from all over the world for centuries. It is at Praça do Obradoiro, in front of the cathedral that all the pilgrimage routes, the Saint James Ways, culminate.
The historic centre of the city is an authentic “encyclopedia” in historical, architectural and religious characteristics: dozens of churches, convents and palaces from Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles.
Pick-up and drop-off points will be your hotel/accommodation, or any other previously agreed location within the city area. In general, pick-up time is between 8am and 9am. The exact time to be concerted.
8am to 9am
Maximum duration will be 9 hours. The Driver/Guide will advise about how much time to spend in each location, but he will not be responsible for queues to enter the attractions or traffic jams that may happen along the course.
Pay only for what you enjoy!
Our guided tours aim to be a unique and personal experience, supported on our expertise: we suggest an itinerary, one or two restaurants to lunch, and the most iconic monuments and attractions to visit. But, we want you to feel free to choose your favourite restaurant, your preferred monuments! We will adapt the itinerary, whenever possible, to meet your wishes.
That is why our price does not include lunch, or the tickets to visit monuments and attractions.
The Cathedral of Santiago: All started in the 9th century, when a small Roman temple, with thetomb of the Apostle St. James, was found. Around this pagan temple the construction modest church was ordered. In 1075, with the increase in pilgrimages during the reign of Alfonso 6th, the construction of the Romanesque cathedral started. Continued for centuries, dressed up in exceptional Gothic, Renaissance and especially Baroque layers, that we may admire today. Going up to the roof of St James´ Sanctuary, (guided visit), the entire complex of the Basilica can be viewed and, at the same time, to contemplate the city: its origins, evolution and growth. A superb mirador, which impregnates the senses with beauty, allowing the visitor to reflect on the historical and artistic facts from the Tomb of the Apostle St James the Elder.
Pórtico da Gloria: Built by Mestre Mateo in 1188. The crowning glory of Romanesque sculpture, designed as a porchway with three arches. The central section represents the ‘Glory’, the final destiny of the just, presided over by a large sculpture of the resuscitated Christ. The left section represents the Jewish people waiting in the Limbo of the Patriarchs for the arrival of Christ, and to the right the Final Judgement that will be the destiny of all mankind.
Botafumeiro: a gigantic silver-plated censer, 1.50 m high. The botafumeiro is put into action during some Solemnities. As the hymn of the Apostle Santiago is played by Baroque organs of the cathedral it begins its spectacular journey describing an arc of 65 m of amplitude over the ship and a maximum height of 21 m. The tradition in the use of this purification instrument dates back to the 11th century, perfuming the cathedral’s internal environment, eliminating the bad smell caused by the hundreds of tired and sweaty pilgrims.
Praza de la Quintana: At the beginning of the 17th century this area was designed for holding major Baroque celebrations. It includes the Puerta Santa, which only opens on holy years, where pilgrims pass through to achieve the Jubilee. It is surrounded by the cathedral sanctuary, Casa de la Parra, the Monastery of San Paio de Antealtares and Casa da Conga.
Casco Historico – Old Quarter: With its churches and closed order convents, its jet and silver craft shops, its legendary cafés and eating houses, its squares, such as the Obradoiro, Praterias, Cervantes, Toural…Its “rúas” (streets), such as Franco or “do Vilar”; streets that are full of life where students coexist with pilgrims from all over the world.
Praza de Abastos de Santiago: Where the Traditional City’s Marketplace is located, vibrant and full of the best of the local delicacies, well worth a visit, particularly on Thursdays and Saturdays. A traditional food market where tradition and modernity combine on unique and charming ambience. Built in 1941 in an eclectic style, preserved the granite paving and the big wall from the 1873 market
Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos: After the pilgrimage of the Catholic Monarchs in 1488 and, being themselves witnesses that the pilgrims’ hospital was old and insufficient, they ordered the construction of a new one “capable of giving a decent service to all the devout, sick and healthy who visit the city. Today it is believed to be the oldest operating hotel in the world. Here you may admire the largest painting collection of the so-called Madrid School. More than 140 works by these artists who starred in the Spanish artistic life of the fifties and who are considered the introducers of the latest artistic trends in Spain.
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea: a contemporary art centre The CGAC is a striking building by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza which, alongside the Monastery of San Domingo de Bonaval and the park of the same name, constitutes a harmonious collection in which the city’s tradition and modernity are combined. From the terraces of this unique construction you get one of the best views of the old quarter of Santiago de Compostela. Inside you can contemplate temporary exhibitions of the most significant artists of recent decades.
Notes: This attractions list is not mandatory nor exhaustive and it may be adjusted to your expectations. Besides, the itinerary may differ due to weather conditions, the time spent in each location and the guide’s criterion.
This tour is classified as Easy. May comprise some short walking routes, yet accessible for those with limited mobility;
Most of the places are accessible on a wheelchair. This ride is possible with collapsible wheelchairs, however the passenger may need someone’s assistance.