After visiting beautiful rural landscapes, the Way to Santiago becomes urban when arriving at Melide. This is a beautiful city of approximately 7 thousand inhabitants, which is considered the geographical center of Galicia and the crossroads of the Camino de Caminos, since the French Way and the Primitive Way meet here.
Melide is located in the province of A Coruña, region of Tierra de Melide, autonomous community of Galicia, and owes its successful impulse to the great activity originated by the visit of numerous pilgrims every year. However, Melide is also known for its agricultural and forestry success.
The origins of the history of this place go back to the medieval era, when its walls and castle were built, now non-existent. Like these, many of Melide’s historical monuments can no longer be admired, yet this city is full of treasures worth enjoying.
This town is a must for all pilgrims, since here you can taste succulent dishes of Galician cuisine, admire beautiful works of art and share with the nice people of the place. In this article you will obtain some details that will help you to take advantage of your visit to Melide. Continue reading and enjoy the last stage of the Way of Saint James.
What to see and do in Melide?
Melide has become a beautiful and prosperous city, yet it has respected its important historical center, where pilgrims must go when they arrive in the city.
The first thing you should visit is the Chapel of San Roque, which was built in 1949 using materials obtained after the demolition of the medieval churches of San Pedro and San Roque. This is a Romanesque work and is considered one of the most beautiful representations of art in the place. The 14th century Gothic transept is one of the highlights of this attraction.
Then, you can take a tour of the Walk of Fame created by the Order of the Camino de Santiago as an initiative to promote the culture and gastronomy of Santiago.
In the historical centre of the town you will find the parish church of Sancti Spiritus, recognised as a 14th century convent, which will dazzle you with its Baroque altar, Gothic sarcophagi, 16th century wall paintings and its ivory baby Jesus, here you will also see remains of the Romanesque style.
On the other hand, you must stop in front of the Obra Pía de San Antón, a baroque work from the 17th century, which is located in the Town Hall.
Right at the crossroads of the French Way and the Primitive Way to Santiago you will find the Terra de Melide Museum, which was built in the old pilgrims’ hospital founded in 1375. Here you can learn about the heritage of the region, review the history of the French route, admire old pieces and photographs.
Before continuing your tour you must pass by the Castelo area, where the old Melide Castle was located. Here you will find the chapel of Carmen with one of the best views of the place.
If you have a little time left and want to relax for a while, we recommend the Furelos recreational center, which offers beautiful forest areas with a swimming pool, picnic area and a playground for children.
A good season to visit Melide is during the big week, where San Roque is celebrated, between August 15th and 21st. During that week the town is full of people, cultural and musical activities.
Where to eat?
One of the attractions of Melide is its exquisite cuisine, so you can save your desire to delight in the Galician specialties for this stop. Below we mention some of the most renowned places in the place.
Located in the monumental area, here you will be able to taste typical home cooking. It offers you a menu from Monday to Friday and its specialties, of which it is worth highlighting the rice with seafood and the baked shank. The menu is quite cheap and the special dishes can cost you from 20 to 40 euros.
Pulpería A Garnacha
If you want to try the famous Melide’s octopus this can be a good place, as well as Ezequiel’s Pulperia. You will find it at the entrance of the city and you will be able to enjoy good rations at a very good price with a first class service.
Parrillada A Rúa
If you like grilled meat and fish this is a great place to visit. Its visitors claim the good treatment of the employees and how well they were able to eat here.
To drink a good wine and accompany them with tapas or sausage boards, you can visit the Adego Mandil, open every day of the weekends until 2:00.
Where can I sleep?
Finding a good place to stay in Melide, will not be a problem. Here is a brief list of some of the most visited places in the region.
Hotel Carlos 96
A place of quality and with an exceptional treatment. Located in the beautiful town of Melide, in the center of Galicia and in the middle of the Camino de Santiago, it is the ideal place to rest because of the tranquility of the area, with parks, wooded areas, sports facilities and spa.
Hostal O Tobo do Lobo
A quiet place located in the center of Melide. Wide rooms with own bath, an exquisite treatment and a worthy presentation. One of the best places to rest after the stage.
It has a total of 45 seats distributed in bunk beds, where you can spend the night comfortably enjoying all the basic services. In winter, heating is provided, you will find clean and comfortable bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, restaurant, computers, water and soft drinks machine, coffee machine, first aid kit, supermarket, laundry and clothesline. Staying here will only cost you 10 euros.
Hostel San Antón
You will be able to spend the night in the comfortable seats of this place, paying 10 euros. Here you will find all the basic services and amenities you need to continue your journey.
How to get to Melide?
To get to Melide you can take the road N-547 from Lugo to Santiago or N-540 from Betanzos to Ourense. The nearest airport is Lavacolla in Santiago which is located 30 minutes away. From Melide to Santiago de Compostela there are 55 km.