OVERVIEW: Discover one of the great places of pilgrimage for the Catholic faith on a half-day guided tour of Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy a scenic ride through the Galician hills and countryside and experience a walking tour through the unique cathedral and plaza.
HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoy a scenic ride through the Galician countryside. Visit the Cathedral of Santiago and Obradoiro Square on a walking tour.
NOTES: Guests must be able to walk approximately 1 mile (2 hours) over cobblestone streets with inclines and steps and extended periods of waiting and standing. Travel time is approx. 1.5 hour each way.
Discover one of the great places of pilgrimage for the people of the Catholic faith on a half-day guided tour of Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy a scenic ride through the Galician hills and countryside and experience a walking tour through the unique cathedral and plaza.
- Panoramic ride from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela (approximately 1.5 hours each way)
- Cathedral of Santiago: Witness the urn containing the ashes of St. James
- Plaza del Obradoiro and Palacio Rajoy: Admire the enormous and elegant neoclassic building housing the Presidency of the Xunta of Galicia and the Compostelano City Council
Begin your half-day guided journey by bus from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela, the second Catholic pilgrimage site after Rome. According to legend, the remains of its namesake, the Apostle Saint James, were found and are buried here. Santiago de Compostela is the final destination of the legendary Way of Saint James medieval pilgrimage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Santiago has one of the largest numbers of monuments in Spain and a particular architectural style all its own. Its fantastic monuments attract visitors from around the world. Between its historical walls is a youthful ambience due to the large student population and one of Spain’s most famous universities. The region's cuisine enjoys a national reputation and it is said that nowhere can you eat better seafood than in Galicia. As one of the great cultural centers of the continent, the small town of Santiago holds big surprises for its visitors.
Along your ride into Santiago, your guide will impart some of the region's history; a perfect prelude to the sights that await you in the town. Upon arrival in Santiago, proceed with your guide past the Obradoiro façade of the cathedral’s exterior, the work of Fernando de Casa y Novoa, considered one of the greatest expressions of the Spanish Baroque period. The cathedral is a convergence of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. Proceed to the cathedral’s interior for discovery and commentary on the history of Saint James. The main entrance, Portico de la Gloria, was constructed by Maestro Mateo in 1188. It houses hundreds of figures representing the Apocalypse and a column featuring the figure of St. James the Apostle appears to welcome the pilgrims from the Mullion. Construction of the Cathedral of Santiago began in 1075 when it is believed that the body of the Apostle was discovered in the early IX century. The Baroque style main altar contains the crypt of the Apostle St. James and the silver urn containing his ashes.
At the conclusion of the visit to the cathedral, proceed to Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, a 17th century building declared a national monument. Resume your guided walking tour through the quiet streets and picturesque squares of Santiago passing the Plaza del Obradoiro and Palacio Rajoy, an enormous and elegant neoclassic building housing the Presidency of the Xunta of Galicia and the Compostelano City Council. Follow your guide to the bus, waiting to return you through the impressive Galician landscape before arriving to Vigo and the ship.
What to Bring:
-You should always take your SeaPass card (provided onboard the ship) and photo identification when in port.
-Camera and local currency (Euros)
What to Wear:
-Strongly recommend wearing light, comfortable clothing and flat-soled comfortable walking shoes
-Respectful attire that covers shoulders and knees should be worn in order to enter the church.
-Sun protection is highly recommended.
-Guests must be able to walk approximately 1 mile (2 hours) over cobblestone streets with inclines and steps and extended periods of waiting and standing.
-The walking distance between the parking area and the town center is approximately 15 minutes (600 yards) each way.
-There are no wheelchair ramps to access the cathedral. Wheelchair access to the cathedral is limited.
-As the Cathedral is closed to organized tour groups, the guides will give a full explanation and description while outside and guests will then enter the Cathedral on their own for the visit if the capacity of the temple permits. These limitations are beyond the control of the cruise line and the local operator.
-The order of the above tour may be altered.
-Guests should be aware that oversized bags and backpacks are not permitted inside the Cathedral of Santiago so please plan accordingly.
-Portico de la Gloria was under restoration during 2012.
-The drive between Vigo and Santiago de Compostela is 1.5 hours each way, depending on traffic conditions.