Santiago is a historic and fascinating city, but sometimes you just have to take a trip!
Santiago de Compostela is conveniently located for travel around the rest of Galicia. You can even get to Portugal in just over an hour! So if you should feel the need to discover what lays beyond Santiago’s cobblestone streets, take a look at our picks for the top five best day trips from Santiago!
1. A Wine-Lover’s Paradise
The first entry on our list of day trips from Santiago is a mere 45-minute drive away. The seaside resort of Cambados is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Galicia. If you love wine, then this picturesque village is a must as it’s known as the capital of Albariño wine. Albariño is a delicious white grape variety grown in Galicia.
Cambados is also the starting point of the Ruta del Vino, or wine route, which covers 22 wineries that are part of the Denomination of Origin Rías Baixas. The Denomination of Origin is a seal that ensures the quality and origin of the product. Visit during the first weekend of August and participate in the Albariño festival!
2. The City of the Celts
A Coruña is a city of many faces; culture, beaches, history and sports live side by side. These elements make it one of the most interesting day trips from Santiago. One of its fascinating facets is its past as the roaming ground of the Celtic king Breogan. Take a trip to the Torre de Hércules or Hercules Tower to see the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world, which is still in service today. Built in the second century, legend has it that Breogan and his sons saw Ireland from this very same tower and decided to conquer it. They eventually did, which has led historians to believe that there might be a genetic connection between the Galicians and the people of the British Isles!
3. A Roman-Walled Foodie Haven
Lugo is a fascinating and interesting city for history buffs and gastronomes. Get a bird’s eye view of Lugo’s historic city center by walking on top of the impressive Roman walls all the way around the city! The city is famous for its tapas that come free with any drinks you order. Don’t miss the Praza do Campo square and the streets surrounding it for fantastic tapas dishes. Definitely a fun way to spend an evening in this atmospheric city!
4. The Galician Caribbean
Though the view of the Cíes Islands may convince you that you’ve somehow ended up in the Caribbean, a quick dip in the refreshing water will remind you that you’re still in northern Spain! These amazing views are just 9 miles (15 km) from Vigo’s coast, and Vigo is about an hour’s drive from Santiago. Go for a hike and bird-watch, or just swim and relax all day at Rodas beach. Only 2,200 visitors are allowed to travel to this paradise daily, so make your boat reservation in advance!
5. The Largest City in Galicia
If you’re in the neighborhood already to visit the Cíes Islands, why not make a weekend of it and stay in Vigo? Any town with a whole street dedicated to the consumption of local oysters is bound to be included on our list of day trips from Santiago! After all, it’s no secret that we’re crazy about Galicia’s typical foods. Take in the view from O Castro Mountain, stroll down Príncipe Street, experience the immense quantity of fish at the fish market—whatever you do, Vigo is sure to charm you.
In between day trips, make sure you get to know your home base, Santiago de Compostela! Join us on our Hidden Santiago Food & Market Adventure get true insight into the city’s culture, history and gastronomy!