Thinking of seeing a different part of Spain? Trying to steer clear of clubbing resorts or maybe just avoiding big cities like Barcelona or Madrid? Take a look at Galicia. This is a region of Spain that spans the whole of the North west from Vigo to Ribadeo. There are two airports to which you can fly A Coruña or Santiago de Compostela. You could, of course, fly to Porto in Portugal and drive up but the most convenient flight for us was from Heathow to A Coruña flying with Vueling. The airport is very central and with a hire car, you can get to the centre of the city in 20mins. The great thing about hiring a car from A Coruña airport is that it’s so small you literally walk across the road from the main entrance and pick up your car. No long walks or Buses.
Our hotel for the weekend was the Sercotel Pazo de Rio. It is minutes from the airport and is in a beautifully secluded part of the city. The Sercotel Pazo de Rio has 6 personalised double rooms named after classical music composers which are decorated to give an air of the XVI century. Despite the aged ambience, all rooms are equipped with a safe, heating and welcome items and also include the modern techie stuff like television, direct dial telephone and free WiFi in case you suffer from FOMO.
It’s a short drive the centre of the city and parking is not an issue as there appears to be carparks under the whole of the city. It’s like a huge basement full of car parking places. Entrances and exits are scattered around the peninsula that is the main central shopping and working part of the city.
If, as a tourist, you feel compelled to take in something cultural then head to the Plaza Major. It is the main square and the home of the Government offices. Not surprisingly, the square is surrounded by many restaurants and coffee shops.
There are many places to eat out but my favourite was La Bodeguilla Padre Feijoo. It has the best wines in the region and the waiter will match your meal to the perfect wine and they never get it wrong. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.
You can tell a lot about a city by the markets. Tokyo, San Francisco even Billingsgate in London are tourist attractions in their own right. A Coruña has a market that is definitely worth a look. It’s not very big by comparison but there is a lot of space as it is spread over three floors. One for fish another for meat and poultry with the top floor being reserved for bread, cheese and cold cuts.
While at the market, take a look at Panaderia Tahona on Plaza de Lugo. They are old school bakers and there is always a queue no matter what time of day you go. They make massive loafs of bread which they then cut into smaller loaves more suited to families. Try the empanadas or the almond tarts, both are delicious. But don’t forget to take a ticket when you enter the shop and wait for your number to be called!
I found a brilliant skate clothing store called Vazva on Rúa Real. They have cool kids clothes that imitate typical skateboarding designs and they are really good quality. On the same street, there are many boutiques and souvenir shops so take a walk down and stop for a coffee and cake in one of the many coffee shops. Try Cafe Vecchio or my favourite Pandaria Ranier.
We flew with Vueling who offer two flights a day to A Coruña.