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Santiago De Compostela Airport Mini Guide
Who Goes to Santiago?
Well, if you’re a Catholic, one of your dreams will be to take the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral dedicated to the saint which gives the city its name Saint Iago, which, translated from the Latin means St James. Many people who might struggle to do the whole of the 450 mile pilgrimage fly into the airport there and join the route immediately outside the terminal which takes them the four miles into the centre and to the cathedral. Even if you’re not interested in the religious aspect of the city, the buildings associated with it are incredible from the monumental cathedral to the Monasterio de San Martiño Pinario, one of the emblems of the city.
How do I Travel There?
Lavacolla Airport is found just on the outskirts of the city and many no frills carriers fly there. Most of the routes are from cities in predominantly Catholic countries and Ryanair do a flight from London’s Stansted Airport
. Many choose to walk from the airport but if even that is too much then there’s the bus or taxi or one of the many shuttles provided by religious groups.
It’s small and a little dated. Inside it’s a little claustrophobic with lowered ceilings and dim lighting. There are plans for a new terminal which will be very futuristic and designed with the religious nature of the city in mind.
What can I Expect When I Arrive?
Airside, the building isn’t attractive but at least it has air bridges to get you into the terminal. Once there you can walk the short distance through passport control and baggage reclaim to the main arrivals hall. For any airport information or directions there’s a central island information point with screens of arrival and departure information and tourist information plus it’s manned by a member of staff if you haven’t found the answer to your question.
If you need cash at the airport, there are two bank branches just after customs which can exchange money and which have ATMs. For the collection of a pre-booked hire car, the desks are immediately to your left as you exit customs. You could almost miss them if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. From outside the terminal you can catch a local bus or taxi into the centre or start walking. Many religious groups offer a ride into the city or accompanied walks from the airport.
And What About on the day of my Departure?
Once you’re checked in, the choice of things to do is good. There are numerous shops including gifts, toys and travel goods, household good shops, a jewellery shop specialising in the local Celtic style and a clothing outlet. Beyond security there is a duty free and gift shop combined where you can make your spirit, tobacco and perfumery purchases. If you get hungry before your flight you can choose from two cafeterias and an a la carte restaurant specialising in Galician cuisine.
- Ten new routes are being introduced to Santiago de Compostela this summer and as you'd expect, mainly from Catholic countries. The majority are domestic flights although there is a new route from Basel.
- Despite the new routes, passenger numbers were down over 10% last year. That should be addressed a little this year as easyJet make their first foray into Santiago with a flight from Gatwick beginning on the 18th June.