We will enjoy the monuments in Santiago’s Old Town and, in its main market we’ll cook with the help of a chef.

We suggest a getaway to Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage Site and Galicia’s capital. We’ll enjoy the worldly pleasure of its exquisite cuisine and its famous wines, and our emotions will be awakened when we contemplate the beauty of its cathedral, where we’ll take advantage of our opportunity to embrace the Apostle.

More information...
- Cathedral of Santiago. www.catedraldesantiago.es
- Fresh Produce Market. www.mercadodeabastosdesantiago.com
- Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (Galician Centre for Contemporary Art). www.cgac.org
- Museo do Pobo Galego (Museum of the Galician People). www.museodopobo.es

Day 1

Praza do Obradoiro square and the cathedral, the jewels of the city

We recommend that you arrive in Santiago early in the afternoon. In the old town you will find pensions and boutique hotels in buildings wrapped in tradition and history, along with unique combinations with innovative building rehabilitations.

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After you get settled, let yourselves get lost on the cobblestone carpet of its streets. The cathedral and the Praza do Obradoiro square are “must-see”. If we stand in the centre of this square and turn around, we’ll get a visual summary of all that is Santiago: spirituality in the cathedral; knowledge in the Pazo de San Xerome (home of the rector of the University of Santiago); authority in the Pazo de Raxoi (City Council), and welcome, in the Hostal dos Reis Católicos (an old pilgrims’s hospital that is today a state-owned hotel). Different styles united by the granite of their buildings.

We suggest you take a leisurely tour of the cathedral. The Pórtico da Gloria, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, is overwhelming. Don’t miss embracing the Saint and visiting his relics. Our itinerary begins with climbing to the Apostle’s niche, on top of the main altar, where his effigy may be embraced. Then, we go down to the crypt, which houses relics stored in an urn made of worked silver. The cathedral’s other façades, along with their squares, are also worth of a leisurely tour.

Wine and tapas in the old town, before or after a walk along the Alameda

When you have finished, take the Rúa do Franco, named this way for being the place where French pilgrims used to stay. The refrigerated displays with fresh meat and aquariums with live fish and seafood at the doors of the restaurants will catch your eye. Here the best of Galicia’s gastronomy is on display, so we can start with some ideas for dinner.

At the end of the street, we’ll cross Porta Faxeira – where one of the seven doors in the mediaeval walls once stood – a natural passage connecting the Old Town with the Alameda, the large park in the centre of Santiago. It contains beautiful surprises such as a centuries-old eucalyptus, lovely camellia gardens and a small forest of old oaks. From Paseo da Ferradura you will have a front view of the cathedral, which stands out among the other historic buildings. It is a fascinating picture at any time of day, but as afternoon sets in, the light lends it a magical atmosphere.

At dinner time, it is a deeply rooted custom to go to a number of establishments one after another for wine and tapas in the Old Town,although the exquisite variety of restaurants in Santiago also invites you to enjoy a fullcourse meal. When night falls, these streets offer more possibilities. One is a quiet drink meeting the locals and enjoying the evening strolls through the nostalgic, yellow-lit streets that transmit romance.

 

Day 2

The fresh produce market, the second-most-visited place after the cathedral

After breakfast, we suggest a short walk to the fresh produce market, the second-most-visited place after the Cathedral of Santiago. To get the most from your visit, you can sign up for a culinary workshop, which includes the experience of purchasing the ingredients here and then cooking them.

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In the corridors of the square, our sense of smell will be flood with the aromas of fresh garden produce, seafood and fish from the markets of Ribeira and A Coruña, along with artisan breads and cheeses, wines and spirits. We’ll be amazed at the variety, sizes and colours, and our ears will fill with the calls and invitations of the salespeople to smell, touch and even taste their native, local products. There are still “country women” selling the harvest from their gardens, honey from their hives, eggs from their chickens or live, free-range chickens. The best-known are the pementeiras from Padrón.

We can cook the products purchased in the market ourselves, with the help of a chef

Later, in the kitchen, the chef will guide us, but we will cook. Depending on the ingredients purchased we can make a village chicken stew, the traditional octopus á feira-style, meat ao caldeiro-style, a scallop turnover seafood cocktail or a seafood-based rice with lobster. According to our taste or style, we can choose or combine traditional and cutting edge preparations. For dessert, we’ll learn to make the famous Santiago cake, a delicacy made of crushed almonds. While cooking, we’ll savour a glass of the well-known local wines of Galician designation of origin, while exchanging culinary tips and tricks with the professionals.

Bonaval Park leads to an old cemetery, a site of many outdoor shows

After our post-lunch chat, we recommend you visit Bonaval Park, the former estate and cemetery of a Dominican convent. We enter via the promenade between the Museum of the Galician People and the Galician Centre for Contemporary Art. The promenade runs up a slope formed by paths, earthern banks and walls of shale. We’ll be accompanied by the whisper of water fountains, canals and tanks and harmonious vegetation comprising magnolias, fruit trees and oaks. Along the way, you’ll find a frame-shaped sculpture by Chillida. Try standing behind it and facing the landscape to discover a different view of the Old Town, full of roofs and chimneys. It will not be difficult to reach a cemetery on foot. Now deconsecrated, its magical and special acoustic environment is sometimes used for holding musical shows.

We attend a wine tasting

Afterwards, we recommend returning to the culinary workshop to round off our experience with a wine tasting led by a winemaker. You will be surprised to find that you are able to perceive the subtleties and differences between them thanks to this professional guidance. With visual, olfactory and tasting games, we can look at the green hue of a young white and the golden hue of one from the barrel; in one, a fresh apple note and, in another, more reminiscent of bread; or the varying density in the mouth. And although an expert requires hours and hours of study, our senses have enjoyed the colours, smells and flavours of the wines of Galician designations of origin.

Day 3

Shopping in the Old Town

After breakfast, a morning walk will embue us with the liveliness and dynamism that pilgrims, locals, tourists and college students stamp on the streets of Santiago.

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As we walk, we can explore the active trade that exists in the Old Town arranged an open-air shopping centre. From the leather goods on display in the stalls on the Rúa Nova to the silver and jet artisans located in the vicinity of the cathedral, we can find almost anything.

Arriba