La Coruna is an increasingly popular staging post for ships leaving the UK on the way to the Mediterranean, West Africa or the Canary Islands. Transatlantic Quay is the closest European port to New York and sits on the northwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsular. It is used by many cruise lines including P&O, Marella, Fred Olsen, Cunard, and Aida. There are often great deals to the Med at the start and end of the season, but check our links to daily changing deals.
La Coruna has an old and new town and a couple of beaches along a two-mile coastline and is an easy walk from the ship, all around the main features. They are all seen on the Doris Visits city guide in this blog, please subscribe to our Cruise YouTube channel while watching.
The colonnaded Maria Pita Square sports a statue of a 16th-century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drakeand is just behind the seafront buildings at the dock. This is very close and considered to be the centre of the old town, with many shops, bars and restaurants all around. La Coruna has many reasonable museums including the interactive House of Mankind but most walk along the sea front and find the old Romanesque lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules, the Stonehenge like rock structures and the aquarium just beyond.
LA CORUNA TIPS
- Quite daft the tickets to enter the lighthouse are NOT sold at the lighthouse, but the car park at the bottom you may have walked past before climbing the hill!
- The secret garden, which you may be urged to find, is just along the coast, a little up the hill opposite the Naval Museum.
- Nothing is very expensive here – watch the Doris Visits film by Jean Heard which is a great city guide, it will help orientation.
- Rain mac in pocket as weather is changeable. Showers can pass quickly and turn into sun.
- The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula not far – about 2.4 km
- Muso Domus Interactive museum of human physiology & perception in sail-shaped seafront building.
- Casa de las Ciencias- Small palace-turned-museum offering interactive science exhibits + planetarium
- María Pita square for bars and restaurants
- Aquarium Finisterrae is an interactive aquarium. One of the largest in Europe. It is a centre of marine biology with shows. Very popular with the children.
- Santiago de Compestela 39 miles south is a church in A Coruña, Province of A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. Founded in the 12th century, it became a historic monument on 18 August 1972. It was a venerated shrine in the Middle Ages to St James the Apostle. Pilgrims flocked there from all over Europe.
- Riazor Beach
- Playa del Orzán Beach – Long, wide sand. A few minutes walk from the town.
- Iglesia Santa María del Campo – church
- Jardín De San Carlos–garden with tomb of Sir John Moore
TRIPS OFFERED MAY INCLUDE and may be similar to these
- City Drive and Aquarium – Duration: 3½ hours
- Complete Santiago de Compostela – Small Group Tour – Duration: 5½ hours
- Discover the Way of St James – Duration: 6½ hours
- Walk part of ‘the Way of St James,’ the ancient pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Drive to the small village of Calzada then walk with a knowledgeable guide to where it is believed the remains of the apostle St James are buried.
- Hike through Atlantic Woods – Duration: 4¾ hours
- La Coruna by Segway – Duration: 1½ hours. Don’t take the Segway up the hill to the lighthouse unless you are confident you can control it coming back down!