The city of Santiago de Compostela is a small stone treasure that no one can miss at the end of all the routes of the Camino de Santiago. Strolling through its historic centre, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1985, breathing in its pilgrim atmosphere in the beautiful Plaza del Obradoiro, savouring its gastronomic delights in the Rúa del Franco and visiting its main museums and parks are all part of what to see in Santiago de Compostela in just one day.

However, there are many places near Santiago de Compostela that are well worth visiting, whether for their natural, historical or artistic value.

If you have a car and you are curious, take pencil and paper, we are going to show you places that you can reach in just half an hour and that will complete your stay in the Galician capital.

Ponte Maceira

By merits that you will know if you visit it, it is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Located between the municipalities of Ames and Negreira, about 15 minutes from Santiago, this is a small rural village on the banks of the river Tambre with a beautiful medieval bridge, bathing area, old mills, a pazo, the Chapel of San Blas and picturesque stone houses, which you can see on the same day you pass through Santiago.

What to see in Santiago in a day ponte maceira

The bridge, from the 13th century and built over an earlier Roman one, allows pilgrims to cross to Finisterre and Muxía. Here we find a legend related to Santiago Apostle: his disciples, Theodore and Athanasius, who were transporting his remains looking for a place to leave them, were fleeing from the Romans and, once they crossed this bridge, divine intervention collapsed it to prevent the persecutors from passing. The coat of arms of the Town Hall of Negreira remembers this episode.

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Also just 30 minutes away you will find this historic town on the banks of the river Sar, the municipal capital and practically on the border of the provinces of A Coruña and Pontevedra. Birthplace of the famous Galician writer Rosalía de Castro, Padrón was the birthplace of the last stage of the Portuguese Way as well as the famous Padrón or Herbón peppers, which, as they say in the place, some are hot and some are not.

If you happen to be there on a Sunday, a good option is to visit the traditional market, where you should try the octopus “á feira” in one of the stalls. The neighbouring village of Iria Flavia, where the writer Camilo José Cela was born, and the mythical place of Santiaguiño do Monte, were legendary scenes of the Jacobean history.

Sacred Peak

Also related to the Jacobean legend is the Pico Sacro, a pronounced elevation of more than 500 metres above sea level, very recognisable from Santiago de Compostela. Being part of the Concello de Boqueixón, in about 20 minutes you can reach the top, where the Chapel of San Sebastián stands. It is of great importance in the geological history of Galicia, as two tectonic plates collided and welded there. Located at the foot of the last stage of the Vía de la Plata, it offers impressive views from its summit.

Noia

You can reach Noia, capital of the municipality of the same name, in just 30 minutes by car. Noia rises at the beginning of the estuary of Muros and Noia, the northernmost of the Rias Baixas.