Galicia does not start nor end in Santiago de Compostela. Throughout its four provinces (A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra) we find the most varied options to enjoy its art, culture, traditions, landscape and gastronomy.
Since we cannot cover its full offer, we are going to pay special attention to those places which will be more accessible taking into account the distances and travel from Santiago.
Beach and Nature
If you come in summer, you would surely like to spend an afternoon or a whole day at the beach. Well... wish granted! You could go to the beach by public transport to the following destinations:
Rianxo, a fishermen's village that we love. After going to the beach, we suggest that you go for a stroll to the port and its old town, small but beautiful, filled with bar terraces where you could enjoy a beer with a tapa. You could reach Rianxo by bus, it is only 49km away from Santiago and the journey takes a little bit more than half an hour.
Vilagarcía de Arousa, tourist and maritime village only 20/40 minutes far from Santiago, depending on the train service that you use, as it is 57 km away from Santiago.
Vigo, Islas Cíes. Vigo is the biggest and most populated city in Galicia, located 90 km south of Santiago. Vigo offers us many beaches, however its biggest treasure is the Islas Cíes reachable by boat once we arrive to the city (by train or bus). The trip is a little bit more complicated and longer than the previous destinations, but if you have the time, this visit to the Islas Cíes is totally worth it.
A Coruña, a beautiful city with a couple of urban beaches (Riazor and Orzán) which offer you all the services that you may need. You could go by train or bus from Santiago (75 km away) and if you decided the train option you could be there in 30 minutes more or less.
Finisterre (Costa da Morte)(Death Coast). The name of the region that includes Finisterre (Land's End), Costa da Morte, refers to the amount of shipwrecks which have taken place there throughout history due to its dangerous cliffs and frequent storms. More than two centuries ago British sailors viewed it as the most dangerous coast for the strong currents, gales and storms, sudden fog clouds and multiple shipwrecks.
As you probably know, Romans thought Finisterre (finis terrae) to be the most western point in the known world. Nowadays Finisterre is a fishing villages which continues the tradition of spoken bidding in the fish auction and a place to eat extremely well. It is also the last spot in Camino de Santiago (located 90 km away from Santiago de Compostela).
Ribeira Sacra The Ribeira Sacra is a border land between the provinces of Lugo and Ourense (Galicia's inland) ploughed by the rivers Miño and Sil which, on its way through the mountains, mold its breathtaking scenery. The place name "Ribeira Sacra" (Sacred Riverbanks) is connected with the great number of monasteries and temples located in the monumental canyons and steep hillsides which shake the area. In this moment you could visit 18 monasteries placed in spectacular forests surrounded by silence, vineyards and quiet waters.
The Ribeira Sacra is also known for the number of wines which possess a designation of origin. The vineyards, which can be viewed following the river stream, are laid out in a system of stone steps along the riverbanks dating from Roman times.