Many cruises that sail from the Med to the north will stop at the Port of Vigo. Located on the Atlantic coast the Spanish port ranks first in passenger traffic across the north of Spain.
That claim has been held for the last five years and the port has an annual average of more than 215,000 passengers.
Since 2009, the government invested in the port with improvements in functionality and efficiency and a major refurbishment and renovation of the docks. Every year since then, the Port of Vigo receives visits from nearly every major cruise line.
Getting Around in Vigo
The cruise port of Vigo is within walking distance of the historic city centre. The main Tourist Office is located opposite the cruise port where you can pick up maps and be steered towards the major points of interest.
If you wish to tour outside of the city, a train from the main station will suffice. It is faster to reach the station by taxi. However, those who enjoy a brisk walk can be there in about 20 minutes.
What to See in Vigo
Vigo is a historic city that has gained popularity in the cruise world due to its close vicinity with Santiago De Compostela as well as several other historical sites. As soon as you you step out of the cruise port, you will see an enormous shopping centre, a perfect place to look at the latest fashion or possibly purchase a memento of your time in Vigo.
A quick walk through the Avenia de Castillo promenade will drop you right at the historic centre with a plethora of activities for sightseeing.
Spain is a prime location to view ancient churches and there are two of note in Vigo. The Santa Maria de Castrelos dates back to the 13th century and La Colegiata de la Santa Maria la Mayor, which is from the 16th century.
Housed in a former courthouse, complete with a jail, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo’s collection offers the most modern and daring art.
Witness one of the oldest and most famous fish markets in the Galician region of Spain at the Mercado de Berbes. Watch the auction and sale of such specialities as spider crabs, octopi and fresh turbot.
The Castro fortress was constructed to protect the city and dates back to 1665 and is another popular photo spot.
Visit Santiago de Compostela
There’s no better opportunity than to do an excursion to Santiago de Compostela. At one time, this was one of the most important religious sites in the world where travellers from around the world would make pilgrimages. Many today still follow those footsteps of the past.
The city offers a unique experience in its UNESCO World Heritage old town with the cathedral being a standout. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is said to contain the remains of St. James, who is one of Christ’s 12 Apostles. Just looking at all the carvings and religious icons on the wall can take up the entire excursion.
A prominent landmark in Santiago de Compostela is Palacio de Raxoi located directly across from the cathedral. The Neo-classical design structure dates from the 18th Century.
The Palacio de Xelmírez is 12th Century Romanesque architecture. Inside its vaulted ceilings is unique and decorated with scenes of a medieval feast.
Be adventurous with the palate and sample ‘pulpo’. This is cooked octopus and is one of the local delicacies that are famous in Santiago.
Other sightseeing options include the Cies Islands, a series of islands that will take you to some great beaches. There’s also an extensive nature reserve, perfect for taking photos of the exotic wildlife.
Written by Veronica Shine