Illustration: The active and the redeemed side of Santiago de Compostela
© Cristóbal Schmal

Santiago de Compostela – One city, two faces


Among those in search of meaning in their life, Santiago de Compostela is a well-known pilgrimage site. But in addition to inviting contemplation, the capital of the northern Spanish province of Galicia is a starting point for all kinds of outdoor activities. We show you both sides.

Tomb of St. James

All ­pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago road head for Santiago de ­Compostela Cathedral. Around 900 years old, it is said to contain the apostle’s relics.

Collecting stamps

The pilgrimage office will issue a certificate that proves you completed the walk as long as you collect enough stamps in your “pilgrim passport” along the way.

Are we there yet?

Situated sixty kilometers west of Santiago on the Atlantic coast, Cape Finisterre is considered by many to be the place where the Way of St. James actually ends.

Arts complex

Exhibitions, concerts, festivals: The Cidade de Cultura de Galicia is a pilgrimage site for culture fans – although the money ran out and it was never completed.

Gourmet market

Foodies may easily lose their way among Mercado de Abastos’ 300 stalls. Mariscomania restaurant will whip up your fresh purchases into a tasty meal.

Fruit of the Gods

The Rías-Baixas wine-growing region in Galicia is famous for its crisp white wines produced from the Albariño grape. Most wineries hereabouts welcome visitors.


Fun on the water

Eddies, rapids, waterfalls: There are several good rivers for rafting near Santiago de Compostela, and the Deza and Ulla rivers are particularly popular.

Hole some putts

Andalusia is far too hot for practicing your hole-in-one, but Galicia’s verdant golf courses boast Atlantic breezes and spectacular views.

Thirst for knowledge?

Night-time rally on medieval Rúa do Franco road: Santiago’s students like to frequent the bars and taverns between Café O París and Dakar bar.

Into the woods

A good way to explore the forests, valleys and rivers near Santiago is by quad. After a brief introduction, even first-time riders can zoom off.

Don’t hold your breath

The gaità, a variation on the bagpipes, is extremely popular in Galicia – and learning to play it isn’t even all that hard.

Natural challenge

Rock climbing, kayaking and archery: Galipark, an adventure park southwest of Santiago, near Padrón, offers outdoor activities for the whole family.

Getting there from Germany

To find out about ­affordable fares to the Lufthansa city of the month and other selected Lufthansa ­destinations, visit