La Coruna Province
The beautiful province of La Coruna situated in the autonomous community of Galicia has a spectacular coast and countryside. The sweeping coastline of golden beaches, dotted with seaside towns and ports, rich Celtic history and breathtaking natural scenery of the province, all make La Coruna a first class holiday destination for those who seek a unique experience.
The province is served by the International airports of La Coruña and Santiago and well connected by train to Madrid and beyond. The motorway network allows access to the rest of Spain and the port of La Coruna is a popular stopping place for many cruise liners.
Coast & Country
The wild northern coastline with its rocky, almost barren mountains, contrasts greatly with the coast to the south of the city of La Coruna, which is much more gentle.
The region has many ports and fishing villages and is a very attractive place to explore at your leisure by car. Inland is a mix of fairly low mountains giving way to rounded hills of Pine forests and farmland.
The coast is punctuated by many beautiful beaches coves, bays, and inlets; often close to the cities and towns. In La Coruna you will find some of the best beaches in Spain. Sometimes offering golden sands and sometimes pristine white sands. The sea can be calm and inviting or angry and threatening.
Some of the best to visit are San Amaro, Orzan Bay, Playa de Riazor and Praia de Queiruga.
La Coruna leads the field in Galicia for tourist infrastructure with many guides written in a variety of languages and tourist offices in all the important locations.
History & Culture
Galicia has a culture all its own and a rich tradition of folklore. The region also has it's own language, known as Galego.
The region descends from the one of the first tribes of Celtic heritage in Europe and Galicians consider themselves as having a Celtic identity and background, rather than the predominantly ‘Latin’ or ‘Hispanic’ culture, which identifies most of the Iberian peninsula.
Having said that, Galicians have no separatist intentions, they consider themselves very much Spanish.
And if you hear the doleful strain of the bagpipes, don’t think you've suddenly been transported magically to Scotland; this is the ‘national’ instrument of Galicia too. The festivals of the region are the best way to discover the marvellous inventiveness of the Galician people, in the costumes, music, food and folklore.
Santiago de Compostela
The rich history and spiritual importance of Santiago de Compostela, the capital city of Galicia, makes this an important destination for anyone visiting the region, and indeed for anyone who wishes to experience one of the few spiritual capitals of Europe.
The city has World Heritage status and boasts a wealth of monuments and cultural attractions. Its medieval quarter is vast and is home to the magnificent cathedral, that has made Santiago de Compostela, the third most important place in Christendom.
Every year thousands make a pilgrimage to the city and the atmosphere all-year round is intense.
Other attractions to visit in Santiago de Compostela include: the Rajoy Palace, the parliament building for the Galician community; the San Martin Pinario Monastery and the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Bonaval, and the Casa de la Parra and the Chapterhouse, amongst others.
A Coruna City
Coruna City, or A Coruna City, as it is often referred to in English, is full of buildings and monuments of architectural interest; many styles can be found here from Roman, to baroque, to renaissance and neo-classical. However, the city and surrounding towns are well-known for their ‘galerias’, which are closed in glass balconies. The city has been nicknamed ‘The Glass City’ for there are streets of apartments blocks, all of which contain galeria, upon galeria. These balconies date back to the late nineteenth century and are perfect protection from Galicia’s breezy and cool winters.
The old medieval district of Coruna City is a good place to seek out if you are interested in the history of the city, and you will find Roman ruins, churches, and museums. It’s not a patch on the historical old town of neighbouring city Santiago de Compostela. So if you only have time for one historical city visit, then make sure you choose Santiago.
The main city square Maria Pita Plaza, is named after the town’s heroine, who was notorious for pitting her wits in the attach of 1589 and attempting to reduce the losses of the local soldiers.
The Tower of Hercules, situated on a headland just outside of the city, is in fact a lighthouse dating back (in parts) over 1900 years. It’s a hugely impressive structure with an interesting mythical history, both the myth and the presence of the lighthouse make it worth a visit.
Towns & Village
The historical city of Ferrol, just north of A Coruna City, is a port town, where the Spanish Armada sailed from.
Noia and Muros are two towns which share their names with the ‘ria’ (river) that passes the towns. Both have strong fishing heritages and are popular tourist destinations.
The inland town of Padron, where the famous dish ‘Pimientos del Padron (some hot, some not) originates, is also an ancient town connected with the birth of Galicia.
The seaside towns of Porto do Son and Boiro are both popular destinations for Spanish tourists and also have some interesting cultural attractions to offer.
The uniqueness of the Galician culture is demonstrated in the local gastronomy: you will not find so much rice or pasta in Galicia as you do elsewhere. Potatoes tend to be the accompaniment of choice for fish and meat dishes.
Shellfish is very popular in Galicia and seafood is considered the staple diet. Galicia harvests more fruits of the sea than anywhere else in Europe; the sand beds of the coastline, and the many fishing ports, make this possible.
The astonishing variety of fish species and crustaceans are prepared and cooked in a myriad of dishes depending on the region within Galicia. With the main cities being so close to the ports, freshness is always assured.
The Galician climate is generally quite temperate; in the winter it is not uncommon for strong winds to blow off the sea. Throughout the year there is quite a bit of rain. Spring and summers are warm. Weather here is often changeable and can have several faces in one day.