Academia Iria Flavia activity program chases two main goals:
- Help you practice your Spanish in contexts and situations other than the classroom.
- Help you gain a wider and more down-to-earth knowledge of Galicia’s culture and society, which is rather different from the image of Spain typically held out of our borders.
To this end, the city of Santiago itself provides a valuable help. Here, especially in certain periods of the year, there are plenty of things to do or to see: concerts in all the historic district squares during the summer festivities, many of which are free; museums, also free, as the Etnográfico del Pueblo Gallego (Galician People Ethnographic Museum); film and theater seasons; street shows; all kind of exhibitions… We will keep you up to date about what is going on in Santiago while you are here.
Furthermore, Academia Iria Flavia organizes at least 2 free activities weekly. In the summer the average is of 4 activities a week.
Some examples of the activities we offer for free:
On the first day of your course (on official starting dates), we invite you to an orientation tour around the city followed by a drink and a tapa in the Old Town. This will be your first taste of Spain!
- Attending to concerts, cinema or theatre: Academia Iria Flavia's teachers will go with you to the most important concerts and cultural events taking place during your stay in Santiago.
- Gathering and coffee: an Academia Iria Flavia's teacher will take you for a coffee (or a chocolate con churros!) to one of the superb cafes in the Old Town. The point that you can have a pleasant chat with your teacher and have a nice time. But you have to take part in it!!
- Film showings: in the facilities of the school you can enjoy showings of Spanish or Latin-american films on a regular basis. All students can attend these projections for free. Afterwards, and provided there is some time left, an IF teacher leads an open discussion about the film.
- Spanish music samplings: we select some songs, bands and singers that adequately represent the current music scene in Spain or Latin America. We also listen to some “classics” of modern music. This activity is complemented with comments from the teacher, texts and explanations about the lyrics.
- Visits to the open-air marketplace: very close to the school, this marketplace offers a great variety of fresh products: dairy products, fish, meat, vegetables... The building where it is located surprises the visitor not only for its beauty, but also for its neverending life and colourful atmosphere.
- Tour around the handcraft shops: a tour around the most interesting traditional handcraft shops in the town: pottery, goldsmithing, artisan food and drink, lacery... We can also find books on Galician topics or CDs of Celtic music, which is the Galician folk music.
- Spanish folk games: in a pub of Santiago's Old Town you will know several cards games and other typical games of Spanish culture. You will have a nice time as well.
- Table and vocabulary games: to spend an amusing afternoon and learn by playing. We gather at the school and play Trivial, Tabu, hangman…
- Talks about Spanish ulture and customs: we will talk about how Spaniards really are 🙂 . Customs, traditions, humour and interesting facts which will help you understand our way of life.
Some examples of activities offered at an extra cost:
We also organise, mainly in summer months, other activities and excursions to places of great historic or natural interest. The cost of these activities will depend on the places we visit and on the number of students registered to participate. Some examples are:
In one of the best cellars in Galicia, we organise tastings of Galician wines and other typical Galician products, like cheeses and cold meats. The owner of the cellar will give us some explanations and tips on the most important Galician wines, its characteristics and the differences from other Spanish wines.
Led by an IF teacher, we wonder about the most typical bars and taverns in the Old Town. In Santiago, ir de vinos is a traditional activity for people of all ages. It means we go to different bars or taverns; in each bar, we order a drink (wine, beer, even water or soft drinks!) and taste the tapa we are offered. Every bar offers free tapas with your drink, and each of them has its own speciality: empanada, mussels, potatoes, different kinds of meat... The cost of this activity wil depend on how many bars we visit...
Natural Park of Corrubedo / Barbanza Peninsula
We go to the coast, where we can find some of the most beautiful beaches in Galicia (and in Spain!). We visit two places of great interest: Castro Baroña (the remains of a pre-roman village, located in a small peninsula over the Atlantic Ocean) and Dunas de Corrubedo (a protected Natural Park with some breathtaking sand dunes right in the sea-shore and surrounded by unspoiled beaches). Then we climb to A Curota Mount, where we will enjoy a view over the Galician coast line, from the Portugal border to Cape Finisterre.
Excursion to A Coruña
The 2nd biggest city in Galicia. We visit the most interesting parts: the Old Town, the sea promenade and Riazor Beach, the harbour and marina, the Torre de Hércules (a Roman lighthouse which is still in use)… Afterwards we can visit the aquarium, looking over the sea, and the interactive museum Domus-House of men.
Excursion to Pontevedra
The capital of the Province, this city houses one of the best preserved (though less known) historical quarters in Galicia. We shall also visit the Provincial Museum and its impressive collection of Celtic remains: jewellery, masks, tools…
Rias Bajas and Fishing Villages
An excursion through the Rías Baixas (Lower Bays), in the South Coast of Galicia. We visit the fishing village of Cambados, where the famous Albariño wine is produced. We will have the chance to visit a bodega and enjoy a wine tasting. Afterwards, we visit the picturesque fishing village of Combarro; the National Trust maintains and preserves this site because of its medieval streets and typical buildings like horreos (grain stores; this is the only place in Galicia where you can see them right in the sea shore) and cruceiros (stone crosses).
Excursion to Finisterre
We visit Cape Finisterre (the legendary Roman Finis Terrae or Land’s End), the most westerly point in Continental Europe, in the open Atlantic Ocean. We will also visit some villages on the so called Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), an area framed by steep cliffs, rough seas and impressive lighthouses and landscape, as well as beautiful semi-virgin beaches. This area is an unavoidable route in international commercial shipping and it is famous for the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred and still occur in its waters. In Fisiterre we will also visit the Museum of the Sea.
National Park of Atlantic Islands - Cies Islands
One of our teachers will lead you to the Cíes Islands, recently declared National Park. It is placed in the mouth of Vigo Bay, in the South of Galicia, in the Atlantic Ocean. The visit is especially worth paying because of the wonderful landscape, made up of unspoiled beaches and high cliffs. There is also an excellent seabird observatory. If you want to enjoy a nice day on the best beach in the world (The Guardian), away from the noise and crowds, this is the place to go.
Excursion to the Ribeira Sacra
One of the most beautiful natural spots in inland Galicia. Along the iver Sil canyons, we visit several monasteries from different periods, which give name to this area (Sacred Bank). The excursion includes a visit to Ribadavia (with its perfectly preserved jewish quarter), a trekking route among monasteries and an optional boat trip along the river Sil canyons.
Hiking around Santiago
A relaxing walk through the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela. We will get to know the beautiful Galician countryside, the little villages with their traditional stone houses, old traditional buildings like muíños (old-fashioned water-mills, some of them carefully restored and back in use) and hórreos (grain stores), We will learn about the traditional way of life in rural Galicia and enjoy some beautiful sceneries through the forests and by the riverside. It is not a hard route, but comfortable shoes and a water supply is strongly advised.