Things to do in Galicia: 5 or 10 day itinerary

If you're wondering what to do in Galicia, this article is for you! Here are my suggestions for 5- or 10-day itineraries.
things to do in Galicia

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The article in brief:

Discover Galicia in 5 or 10 days with my detailed itineraries. In 5 days, explore Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, the Costa da Morte and the Rias Baixas. For 10 days, add Vigo, the Cíes Islands and Ourense. Whether it’s hiking, gastronomy, culture or relaxation, these itineraries will give you a complete immersion in this superb Spanish region.

Don’t forget to:

Do you dream of visiting Galicia? Have you heard about it but not yet dared to take the plunge? This article should convince you. I’ve put together two itineraries of 5 or 10 days to discover the best places and activities in Galicia. Whether you’re keen on hiking, gastronomy, culture or simply looking to relax, you’ll find ideas here to help you make the most of your trip to Galicia.

You can also read: Roadtrip in Galicia: between land and sea

Getting to Galicia

  • By plane: Several airlines offer direct flights from London to the Galician airport of Santiago de Compostela, including Ryanair and Vueling.
  • By train or bus: From Madrid it is very easy.
  • By car or van: Galicia (and northwest Spain) is ideal for van life or road trips by car. The scenery is so beautiful that the journey becomes part of the experience.

And to find out where to stay in Galicia, read this article: where to stay in Galicia.

Getting around Galicia

To explore the region, a number of transport options are available.

Buses are a popular means of transport for long-distance journeys between towns. Several bus companies operate in the region, offering regular routes to Galicia’s main cities (including Flixbus, Monbus and Alsa).

Trains are also an option for travelling through the region. The Spanish rail company, Renfe, operates regional and high-speed trains linking Galicia’s main towns with other regions of Spain.

Renting a car is another popular option for exploring the region. It offers great flexibility and the chance to discover places that are more remote and less accessible by public transport.

Finally, for nature lovers, hiking is an excellent way to discover the region. Galicia has many hiking trails, including the famous Camino de Compostela, which attracts walkers from all over the world.

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What to do in Galicia: 5-day itinerary

In 5 days, we’ll be concentrating on Galicia’s must-sees. For ease of reference, our starting point will be Santiago de Compostela.

what to do in galicia 5-day itinerary

Day 1: Santiago de Compostela

Galicia’s most famous and holiest town. This is where you’ll find the finish line of the Camino de …. Santiago de Compostela (no laughing matter).

What can you see in Santiago de Compostela?

  • The cathedral, which houses the tomb of the apostle James and has been an important place of pilgrimage for centuries.
  • Discover the medieval streets of the old town and admire the baroque architecture of the Plaça de Quintana
  • Galician tapas

Note: if you arrive by plane, the airport is linked to the city centre by bus line C6.

To be booked before departure

👉Visit to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral + Museum with an English-speaking guide. A 2-hour visit that’s superbly interesting and gives a great overview of the city and the Cathedral.

Price: €15/adult – free for under-12yo

👉Tapas tasting in Santiago de Compostela: a tour for food lovers! With an English-speaking guide, you’ll be touring the tapas bars for 2 hours! Watch out, it’s yummyy!

Price: €28/person – €20/child – free for under-8yo

2 tapas and 2 drinks included

Day 2: A Coruña

Then set off to discover Galicia’s other major city: A Coruña. Access from Santiago de Compostela is very quick (you can make the round trip in a day and stay overnight in Santiago). A train connects the two cities in 40 minutes.

What to do in A Coruña

  • Walking around the city centre
  • Visit the famous Tower of Hercules, an ancient Roman lighthouse listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stroll along the beach and seafront promenade
  • Eating octopus (pulpo a la galicia, yum)
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Day 3 & 4: Costa da Morte

The Costa da Morte is a spectacular coastline in Galicia with breathtaking scenery!

It’s on this coast that you’ll find the “end of the world”, Cape Finisterre (or Fisterra). It’s also the ideal place for long walks along the beaches and cliffs. If you get the chance, you can also visit the village of Muros, with its colourful houses and lively fishing port.

From Santiago de Compostela, there is a direct bus connection between Muros and Finisterre (about 1h30). However, the easiest way to explore off the beaten track is by car.

If you’d prefer to discover the Costa da Morte with an English-speaking guide for a day and forget about the logistical hassles of visiting, you can opt for this excursion. Departing from A Coruña, you’ll be taken on a bus tour of the Costa da Morte. It’s also a good option if you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive. The guide is Spanish (Ana) but you’ll have an audio guide in English that translates what she presents.

Price: €49/adult – €24.50/child – free for under-3yo

Departure in the morning and return to La Corogone at the end of the day.

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Day 5: Rias Baixas

As the last stage of our 5-day itinerary, I invite you to discover the Rias Baixas region (1 hour by bus from Santiago de Compostela). This region is famous for its wines, but also for its typical little villages (Combarro in particular). Ideal for a last day on Galician soil.

To be booked before departure

👉 Boat trip in the estuary + Mussel tasting: leaving from Combarro, you can take a one-hour boat trip. An original and very enjoyable activity, ending with a tasting of local mussels.

Price: €18/adult – €9/child – free for under-3yo

Please note that this activity only takes place during the summer season (until around mid-September).

Of course, this itinerary is only a suggestion and you can modify it according to your preferences and schedule.

What to do in Galicia: 10-day itinerary

Got a few extra days in Galicia? Great, the region still has many secrets to share with you!

Based on the 5-day itinerary above, here is a suggested extension :

what to do in galicia 10-day itinerary

Day 6, 7 & 8: Vigo and the Cíes Islands

After these first 5 days of intense sightseeing, I invite you to take a few quieter days near Vigo and the Cies Islands.

Vigo can be reached directly by train from Rias Baixas (Pontevedra) or Santiago de Compostela. On site, don’t miss :

  • Visit Casco Vello: Vigo’s historic quarter is home to ancient buildings and charming cobbled streets. It is also known for its many tapas bars and restaurants.
  • Climb to the top of Mount Castro: from the summit of this mountain, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city of Vigo and the Ría de Vigo.
  • Explore the Plaza de la Piedra market: this market is famous for its fresh produce, especially seafood.

Then straight to the Cies Islands. These islands lie off the coast of Vigo and are accessible by ferry. They are famous for their white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters… a real little paradise! I’d advise you to book your ferry in advance, which also includes a permit application (you need a free permit to get to the islands).

!!! Remember to book your boat for the Iles Cies well in advance!

When planning your trip to Galicia, remember to book your ferry ticket to the Cies Islands and the access permit in advance. You can book the ferry below, which includes the permit and a return trip to the islands in the same day.

What’s more, off-season access is not permitted to visitors on their own, so a guided tour with an official guide is included (between October 1st and May 14th).

Price: €18/adult – €10/child – free for under 5yo

Day 9 & 10: Ourense

Ourense can be reached by train from Vigo (1h30) or from Santiago de Compostela (30 minutes). What to do in Ourense ? Take advantage of the thermal baths! Yes, the region is renowned for its ‘wellness’ tourism, ideal for ending your stay on a high. It’s even said to be the spa capital of Galicia.

Just outside the town, the Mino spa route begins: 5 km along the river. This route passes through several spas with water at different temperatures. Some are free, others charge a fee.

I hope this article will inspire you to discover this beautiful region of Spain and give you some ideas of what to do in Galicia in 5 or 10 days.

Q&A : What can you do in Galicia?

  • From France: By plane from Paris (Orly and CDG) to Santiago de Compostela, by train, by bus or by car/van.
  • From Belgium: By plane from Brussels (Zaventem) to Santiago de Compostela, by train, by bus, or by car/van if you have time.
  • Bus: for long-distance journeys between towns.
  • Train: to travel around the region.
  • Car: for greater flexibility and to discover less accessible places.
  • Hiking: for nature lovers.
  • Day 1: Santiago de Compostela
  • Day 2: La Coruña
  • Day 3 & 4: Costa da Morte
  • Day 5: Rias Baixas
  • Day 6, 7 & 8: Vigo and the Cíes Islands
  • Day 9 & 10: Ourense
  • Visit the cathedral.
  • Discover the medieval streets of the old town.
  • Eating tapas.
  • Stroll around the city centre.
  • Visit the Tower of Hercules.
  • Stroll along the beach and seafront promenade.
  • Eating octopus.

This is Galicia’s spectacular coastline, with breathtaking scenery, particularly Cape Finisterre.

  • Take advantage of the thermal baths and “wellness” tourism.
  • Discover the Mino spa route.

Before you leave, don’t forget to book the ferry and the permit for the Cies Islands.

When planning your trip to Galicia, remember to book your ferry to the Cies Islands and the access permit in advance. You can book the ferry below, which includes authorisation and a return trip to the islands in the same day.

What’s more, in the low season access is not allowed to visitors alone, so a guided tour with an official guide is included (between October 1st and May 14th).

Price: €18/adult – €10/child – free for under 5yo

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