Spain is a very popular country among tourists thanks to its spectacular beauty. It is an extremely diverse country that manages to please any type of tourist, regardless of his or her interests and preferences, so visiting it can be very rewarding. It has high mountains and green valleys, shallow, crystal clear waters, a rich architectural and historic heritage, old customs and traditions and picturesque landscapes that will win your hearts.
If you are planning on flying to Spain from the US, it is a long flight to Spain. Also travelling from west to east is the worst way to travel around the planet. Your body clock has difficulty adjusting to an earlier time, whereas adjusting to a later time seems to be much easier. At least you know that your flight home will feel much more relaxed! To prepare yourself, you might like to read this excellent post about avoiding jet lag on WhatsTheBestBed.org.
It is actually not easy to imagine the beauty that will be waiting for you in Spain, because it almost seems to be unreal; you have to see it to believe!
Santiago de Compostela
One of the favorite tourist destinations in Spain is the spectacular Santiago de Compostela, a city declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Santiago De Compostela is the third sacred place after Jerusalem and Rome in the Christendom. It lies in a remote corner in the province of Galician at a distance of more than 615 Kilometers from Madrid. Many thousands of pilgrims are visiting this holy place throughout the year, and they are using different routes to reach this Place either by walk or by cycling.
The Santiago De Compostela is the resting place of St. James and is believed that two of his disciples brought his body from the holy land in a stone boat and it was buried here in the year 44AD. But the grave was discovered only in the year 813 when a chapel was built, which has grown to the present day Santiago De Compostela.
Due to its sacredness, the town has become a principal place of worship for the Christians all these centuries and still draws tens of thousands of pilgrims reaching the town crossing over 770 Kilometers by walking. Today the town of Santiago De Compostela is not only a place of pilgrimage but also a popular tourist center, and you can find many interesting things to do and see in and around this town.
Reasons to Visit Santiago de Compostela, Spain
There are numerous reasons why you may want to visit this historic city of Spain. Apart from being a religious center for Christians, the city is a labyrinth of medieval streets and beautiful squares that will take you back in time, while the rest of the city hides monuments and buildings that tell the story of its past. Now, let’s get into some of the biggest attractions found in this historic city.
1. Praza do Obradoiro
The biggest attraction of the old Santiago de Compostela is the famous Praza do Obradoiro, a square that stands on the list of the largest and most impressive squares in the country. The square is a stone-paved one that is dominated by a set of monuments that impress with their architectural styles. The entire Obradoiro square resembles an open air museum, and represents most of the history of the city and entire Spain.
2. Hostal dos Reis Católicos
The next attraction in the city is the Hostal dos Reis Católicos and it is the most famous place of stay when you are in the Santiago De Compostela. This hotel is a five star hotel that was formerly a hospice that was rebuilt by Fernando and Isabella. Now it is the city’s Parador and you can see the ancient chapel (and fountains) which can be visited. You will need to have an official guide to show you around the place though.
3. University of Santiago
The third attraction in the city is the University of Santiago, and it contains many impressive buildings. Among them is the building that houses the History and Geography departments of the university. The building belongs to the 18th Century, and you can see the libraries and Central hall and the Rectory all housed in uniquely constructed buildings.
4. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The Cathedral is situated in the center of Obradoiro square, was built in 1075 during a flourishing period of the city and this grandeur is still visible today. Right in front of the Cathedral stands the Gelmirez Palace, which is an exquisite example of Romanesque architecture. For those who are attracted by the neoclassical style dating back to the 18th century, the Rajoy Palace is the right place for them.
While in the cathedral, you can have a view of quite a few pilgrims (numbering in the hundreds sometimes) can be seen at any point of the day. Additional rushes of pilgrims take place during mass times during midday. The luckiest of the pilgrims can see the use of botafumeiro in the Mass. Still, we can see the centuries old incense burner at the entrance of the cathedral
5. Hotels and Restaurants
Santiago has plenty of high class restaurants, taverns and bars that are scattered all over the city. A part from Hostal dos Reis Católicos mentioned above, others include Restaurante Filigrana, Auga e Sal, and Pedro Roca. These food and accommodation centers serve food from different cuisines aside from the local food. There are restaurants that serve very affordable but delicious food while there are others that cater to the more expensive palate. The traditional dishes of Santiago are often made with beef, fish and other seafood freshly caught from the sea.
6. The attractive surroundings
Not only has the city managed to attract tourists, but also its surroundings. Santiago is located in the heart of a very scenic region, so visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque countryside. You can even choose day trips, such as the Pazo de Oca, ferienwohnungen spanien. Pazo de Roca is a private palace with spectacular gardens of such an impressive beauty that it was called the ”Galician Versailles”. You should also make time to visit the olive groves, as they offer fantastic views that will take your breath away. If you are afraid of getting lost, choose a guided tour, as there are several at your disposal. Enjoy Santiago de Compostela; it really is a city that deserves your attention!
The Bottom Line
Santiago de Compostela is a great vacation spot, having a lot of historical buildings and places to tour and a lot of activities to have loads of fun. So the next time you are considering having a vacation, Santiago de Compostela can be the perfect spot for a family vacation, a great couple’s getaway or just a vacation for you to get away from the rest of the world. And when you reach Santiago de Compostela, you will surely have an awesome time to remember for the rest of your life.