Santiago de Compostela is situated in the north of Spain, in the region of Galicia. There are basically two ways to reach the city: by tourist means or through penance.
The pilgrimage to Santiago follows the old pathway, and can be made on foot or by bike. The most typical route follows the French Way. You get by train until St. Jean Pied de Port (departure is usually from Ventimiglia, Italy) then you proceed on foot or by bike, covering about 20/30 km per day for one month, until you reach the sanctuary.
By horse: the choice to reach Santiago by horse is a habit for skilled riders only. You will have to ride the final path (about 200 km in one week) covering various lengths and times according to your needs.
The organizer of this experience is the Equestrian Centre of the Way of St. James. Tel. +34982530626
Santiago is served by its own airport, about 15 km far from the city centre. The airport is small and mainly hosts domestic flights. Only two companies, Ryanair and Iberia, offer straight connections from England (Stanstead, Heathrow and Liverpool), Germany (Frankfurt) and Italy (Rome)
From/to the airport:
There is a shuttle service connecting the airport to the city centre, with bus rides leaving every 30 minutes. In proximity of the airport there is also a car rental (the office is located in Hall A, in the arrivals area).
Long/short term parkings are also available.
The Spanish railway is structured in rays, with the city of Madrid being in the centre. Thanks to this system, Santiago is easily reachable from Madrid. There are also some railway lines, although less frequent, which connect the Galician city with Bilbao, San Sebastian and Santander. These three cities are situated along the Way. A railway line connects Santiago to Oporto (Portugal). For those who wish to get to Santiago by train from Italy, we recommend to enter Spain from the French border, where there are railway connections from San Sebastian.
From the train station you can reach the city centre on foot or by public transports.
For info on railways: www.renfe.es
If you want to reach Santiago by car, the straightest way from Italy is following the ancient Route.
Once you have passed the Pyrenees, you can follow the Route along the coast (Donostia- San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, Coruna), or inland (Burgos, Leon).
The Spanish road system is very efficient; roads and highways are good, new and under constant enlargement.
Signs are precise and clear, but it must be highlighted that there are very few service stations on the highways, so the indication of restaurants and oil stations that can be found most of the times on the rapid transit routes actually refer to villages located in proximity of the exits.