Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. This Galician city also has a proud heritage. Vigo was where the Roman Empire met the ocean and, in the 19th century, it became the main transatlantic departure point for a nation.
Leave Vigo by road for Santiago de Compostela one of the most important places in Catholicism, because it is reputed to be the place where St James, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, is buried.
On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of Obradoiro Square. Named after the workmen who built the Cathedral, this square sits in front of the main entrance of the Cathedral on its northern façade.
Facing the Cathedral is the Palacio de Rajoy that was built in the eighteenth century to house the choirboys and a seminary for priests. It was later used as a prison and is now the Town Hall. Facing the Cathedral is the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos that was built as a hospital for pilgrims during the reign of the Catholic kings in the XV century and today is one of the most beautiful buildings combining different styles such as Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the reputed burial-place of Saint James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, and it has been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St James since the early Middle Ages. What we see today is actually the fourth church to stand on this spot. The lavish baroque façade facing Praza do Obradoiro was erected in the 18th century, replacing the weather-damaged Romanesque one. This is the cathedral's main entrance, but owing to repair work on the towers and interior, it's likely to be closed until about 2021. In the meantime, most people enter through the south door on Praza das Praterias.
Enjoy a panoramic tour by boat along the beautiful bay of Vigo. First stop is at the “Bateas” or wooden floating docks located in the estuary, used to grow mussels. Galician mussels are world known for its quality. There are around 3,400 rafts producing mussels throughout Galicia. Your guide will point out the main aspects and impacts of mussel farming in the region. Continue passing by the “Rande bridge” where the “Battle of Rande” took place during the opening years of the War of the Spanish Succession. Next stop is at the San Simon island, a place full of old stories of pirates, naval battles and also, in recent years, it was a prison during the Franco´s regime. During the cruise you will be enjoy a tasting of some mussels accompanied with Galician white wine.
On this leisurely visit to Vigo, you will enjoy some panoramic views over the Galician countryside and across the bay that is peppered with numerous mussel farms as your tour winds through the city to La Guia Hill.
Here your guide will give more information on the fountains, monuments and statues of Plaza de Espana and Plaza de America that feature some of the most outstanding examples of their kind in Spain, including the bronze Fishermen and the Statue of the Wild Horses.
Then in the 17th century Castrelos Park, you will have free time to explore the French style gardens, located within the grounds of a 17th-century palace that has recently been restored to become the Quinones de Leon Municipal Museum.
A stop will then be made at the 19th-century Galician country manor of Pazo Los Escudos. Now a 5-star exclusive hotel, the manor houses a fabulous collection of family coats of arms of Galicia, dating between the 15th and 19th-centuries. Then sit back and enjoy a selection of typical Spanish tapas, with wine and other refreshments, and marvel at the magnificent vistas.