Architecture in Santiago
The north-west corner of Spain is one of the classic cruising destinations, especially for yachts from Northern Europe that are heading south towards warmer climes. These tend to separate into two groups – those who are trying to make ground to the south as quickly as possible and those with the time to become enticed by Galicia’s charming villages, fishing ports, rugged coastal scenery and legendary friendly hospitality.
It’s a stunning corner of Europe thanks to the deeply indented rias, most of them sheltered by islands at the entrance, combined with the sheer, raw power of the Atlantic Ocean. Peak season here is the summer months, which are mostly dry, but without the heat of Mediterranean destinations. Spring and autumn have a higher incidence of rain, which is the price that must be paid for the lush green scenery.
The area has stunning beaches
The most popular spots are the larger cities, where it’s possible to provision easily and there are good chandlers and boat repair facilities. A Coruna, at the northern-western corner of the Iberian peninsula is by far the most common stop. However, the marina is subject to surge in strong onshore winds or swells and the facilities further south at Vigo are, in general, better.
The 120 miles between the two cities offers a stunning mix of anchorages behind rugged headlands, including the famed Cape Finisterre, long sandy beaches backed by dunes, and the gloriously sheltered rias. These provide a myriad of remote anchorages and small towns with marina facilities nestled among spectacular scenery.
Cape Finnisterre – one of the most notorious headlands in Europe
Those who arrive in Spain by sea can claim to have completed their pilgrimage to Santigao Del Compostela, providing they complete the camino to the city, where the shrine of the apostle James is located, on foot. This is one of the world’s great pilgrimages, rivalling those to Mecca and the city of Medina for Muslims.
This city of 95,000 people was settled in the fourth century AD and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s roughly 50 miles from both A Coruna and Vigo, and 35 miles inland from the fishing harbour, marina and charming small town of Muros.