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5 Best Day Trips from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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Looking for day trips from Santiago de Compostela, Spain? The capital city of the Galicia region — or perhaps its cathedral — is most known for being the ending point of the Camino de Santiago, the famous 500 mile hike across Spain. While its an inspiring destination itself, there are many unique places to visit near Santiago de Compostela.

No matter if you’re looking for a Santiago de Compostela day trip to the coast, want to learn about the history and geography of the region, or visit towns and villages in one of the most scenic regions of the country, you won’t be disappointed!

In this article, we’ll review the five best day trips from Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

5 Best Day Trips Near Santiago de Compostela, Spain

While you’re visiting, be sure to check out these amazing trips and tours from Santiago de Compostela.

1. Travel to the end of the world: Finisterre, Muxia & Costa da Morte

Bus Tour to Muxia from Santiago de Compostela (Photo Credit: Stanislava)

In the Middle Ages, this area was thought to be the end of the world. Thus, it’s still referred to as such today! A bus tour to the end of the world is one of Santiago’s most popular day trips, especially for pilgrims who have just finished the Camino de Santiago. Finisterre and Muxia are two gorgeous villages along the glistening coastline. The Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) is the most dangerous coastline of Spain. But, that’s not meant to scare you! Rather, the name refers to ships. In total, hidden rocks, cliffs, and powerful tides have caused more than 600 shipwrecks here since the 14th Century!

For the best option for seeing the end of the world as a day trip, consider this awesome excursion. From the comfort of a bus (good for resting your weary feet!) you’ll be treated to coastal lighthouses, traditional villages and those from the Middle Ages, and even a waterfall! This is a full-day tour from Santiago de Compostela with time for lunch and some wandering on your own.

2. Take a boat ride at Rías Baixas

Lesser known day trip to Rias Baixas beach from Santiago de Compostela (Photo Credit: Mario MR)

Rías Baixas is off the familiar path of the typical tourist trail but is really an ideal option for a day trip near Santiago de Compostela. Let’s just say this — if you’re a fan of good wine, seafood, and history while taking in some scenery, this could be the day tour for you! With long sandy beaches, this area of the Pontevedra region has become a popular vacation destination in Spain. With vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, some of the world’s most elegant white wines are produced here.

Some say that Rías Baixas is best viewed from the sea. Thus, consider a tour that includes a boat ride. Venture through Galician estuaries while gaining a new perspective on the landscape. We think the views, the stops at the little old villages, fresh mussels, and local Albariño wine make this the perfect Santiago de Compostela day trip.

3. Tour the Cies Islands

Best Day Trip from Santiago de Compostela Cies Islands Pontevedra Spain (Photo Credit: Josfor)

Part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, the Cies Islands are a wonderful day trip near Santiago de Compostela. Getting out of the city, enjoying some unspoiled beaches, or extending your hike after the Camino de Santiago are things to do on the Cies Islands. The unique archipelago is also home to diverse creatures, including a huge variety of bird species. In all likelihood, you’ll catch a glimpse of a yellow-legged gull seeing as the area houses the largest colony in the world.

As the region is technically an island national park, the only way to get there is by ferry. Additionally, a permit must be purchased ahead of time to secure entry. We recommend taking a guided tour so you don’t have to worry about getting to the park and can enjoy your day.

This tour, available in Spanish and English, includes time for a swim, a trip up the Monte Poro Lighourse, and a sail on a catamaran. You’ll also have some free time to relax, get some lunch, or go for a hike before returning to Santiago.

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to insure your trip! Travel insurance can cover trip interruptions, injury, and other mishaps. Don’t leave home without out it; we certainly don’t!

4. Visit nearby La Coruña and Betanzos

Day Trip from Santiago de Compostela Habour in La Coruña (Photo Credit: mauinow1)

For an opportunity to discover the northwestern coast of Spain, visit the nearby towns of La Coruña and Betanzos. La Coruña is known as “crystal city” for its many galerias, which are balconies that are enclosed with glass (making them usable year-round). Just look up, and you’re sure to see them! The coastal city, which has somehow maintained its ties to both Roman and Celtic heritage, is also home to fashion icon Zara. But what you really need to see is the Tower of Hercules — the only working Roman lighthouse in the world!

Although you may have never heard of Betanzos, it’s had quite the life. To illustrate, it was once a capital of one of the seven provinces of the Old Kingdom of Galicia! Wow! With this deep-rooted history and culture, you’ll want to see its three medieval doors, palaces, and the tombs of noble warriors. Really, it’s a magnificent day trip from Santiago for any history lover.

Head out on this day tour to visit La Coruña and Medieval Betanzos with a guide. Plus, get a taste of the best Spanish omelet you’ll ever have!

5. Lugo and Cathedrals Beach

Best Day Trips from Santiago de Compostela Cathedrals Beach in Galicia (Photo Credit: Manuel-F-O)

Lugo and Cathedrals Beach is a fantastic Santiago de Compostela day tour. First, visit Lugo, capital of Galicia’s Lugo province. There, we recommend you walk the Roman wall that surrounds the town, visit the cathedral, and relax amongst the magnolias and camellias in Rosalia de Castro Park. Before you head out, be sure to taste some Tarta de Santiago, Galicia’s flourless cake, at one of the cafes in the Old Town.

Cathedrals Beach, also known as Holy Waters Beach, is a national monument that evokes the feeling of standing before a great cathedral. As waves have eroded the rocks, various caves, chambers, and arches have been formed. Now a protected natural area of Galicia, you can only explore the caves and arches when the tide is low (and with a permit, purchased ahead of time).

Visit Lugo before seeing the amazing rock formations at Cathedrals Beach on this tour.

My Top 5 Camino de Santiago Essentials

Click here to see my full Camino de Santiago packing list.

Adeus (“Goodbye” in Galician)

Whether you are looking for an afternoon full of scenic landscapes, a chance to dive deep into Galicia’s history, or explore coastal beaches and towns, there are many excellent day trips to enjoy from Santiago de Compostela.

Be sure to bookmark this guide to help inspire your itinerary when planning your next adventure near Galicia’s capital city.

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