A Coruna Travel Guide
A Coruña silences the sound of flamenco music with its Celtic-inspired bagpipes and sings in a language of its own. Unveiling a different side of Spain to travellers, this north western city surrounds you in natural landscapes and creates the perfect harmony between its past and present. Facing the Atlantic Ocean while sheltered by its eastern siblings, Lugo and Pontevedra, A Coruña sits on the Iberian Peninsula within the autonomous region of Galicia.
Although commonly referred to as La Coruña (Spanish), the Galician designation A Coruña stands as its official name. Having once shared its language with its Iberian neighbour during the Middle Ages, what was known as Galician - Portuguese is exclusive to Galicia and is still spoken in A Coruña today. The brief Muslim presence in the region (8th century) has left A Coruña with hardly any of its influences. Instead, this enchanting destination holds an odyssey-like mysticism filled with legends left by its Celtic ancestors and Roman settlers.
Nevertheless, A Coruña’s past is the backdrop of its contemporary character. You can find just about anything in this city, from shopping malls to designer boutiques, seafood restaurants, cafés and museums, as well as an array of hotels and resorts. Maintaining its historical recognition as an acclaimed seaport, A Coruña City’s harbour is one of its most cherished settings and receives numerous cruise ships daily. The famous ‘galerías’, a set of buildings with glaze-windowed balconies, has become one of A Coruña’s greatest cultural symbols of all time. The Maria Pita Palace (Town Hall), as well as its square stand in the Old Town near the 16th century San Antón Castle and its archaeological museum.
The Paseo Marítimo, A Coruña’s renowned promenade, is a great way to be guided throughout the city. Both the Orzán and Riazor beaches are considered the best for their surfing culture, bays and nearby nightlife. The futuristic Domus museum, the Aquarium Finisterre and the Termaria Casa del Agua are all conveniently set along the boardwalk too. The Hercules Tower is A Coruña’s most grandiose landmark, being the only Roman lighthouse that continues to work today. Visiting the nearby pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela or the sea-oriented town of Ferrol are other suggestions.
Several folk festivals are celebrated by this population and most of the time include delicious examples of Galician gastronomy. The octopus specialty, pulpo a feira, a variety of shellfish and empanadas are only some of the many flavours this culture brings together. To top it off, a fruity white wine called Albariño gives seafood dishes the perfect touch.