Car Hire from Santiago de Compostela Airport
Galicia is an oft forgotten corner of Spain that manages to avoid the tourist scrums typical of other Spanish coastal areas. With 700 unspoilt beaches, lush green countryside and the historic regional capital, Santiago de Compostela, tourists can get a taste of the real Spain. Hiring a car is a great way to get from Santiago de Compostela airport to some of the more far-flung gems of Galicia.
Where to hire a car at Santiago de Compostela Airport
Santiago de Compostela is a small airport with just one terminal so finding the car hire desks is easy.
Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Enterprise and Europcar all have car hire offices on the ground floor of the terminal building.
Goldcar and Sixt also have car hire offices a few minutes’ drive from Santiago de Compostela Airport and offer free shuttle transfers. The meeting point for the shuttle buses is on the -3 floor, down from the arrivals hall, inside the parking area. On the left, you will see a sign indicating the location of the meeting point.
Petrol Stations near Santiago de Compostela Airport
If you hire a car from Santiago de Compostela Airport on a “full to full” fuel policy you will need to refuel your hire car prior to dropping it off to avoid any excess charges.
The closest petrol station to Santiago de Compostela Airport is a Shell garage, just seconds from the terminal building. It’s located off the last roundabout before you reach the airport.
Driving around Santiago de Compostela Airport
Roads around Santiago de Compostela Airport and throughout Galicia are good and relatively well sign-posted. As Santiago is a small city, with a population of just 10,000, traffic is rarely a big problem.
From the airport, the N-547 takes you towards the town of Lugo, the AC-250 goes north to A Coruña and both the A-54 and N-634 go into Santiago de Compostela.
Getting to your destination
Here are some of the top destinations in Galicia, easily accessed by car from Santiago de Compostela airport.
Santiago de Compostela
The capital of Galicia has a beautiful old town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The city is perhaps most famous for its cathedral and shrine to St. James whose remains are purportedly buried under the cathedral itself. The popular Camino de Santiago (or St. James’ Way) is a popular pilgrimage that ends in the city. Santiago de Compostela is also home to lively nightlife and excellent Galician cuisine.
The city is just 20 minutes’ drive from Santiago de Compostela Airport, taking either the N-634 or the A-54. Parking in the winding alleys of the Old Town can be difficult, especially as much of this area is pedestrianised. It is best to park in the new town where there is plenty of on-street metered parking and a number of big car parks.
Originally believed to be the end of the world before the Americas were discovered, Fisterra is a town sitting on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to an atmospheric Old Town, some wonderful seafood (including the Galician speciality pulpo, or octopus) and an impressive lighthouse.
Fisterra can be reached from Santiago de Compostela Airport in 80 minutes by car. The A-54 from the airport takes you into Santiago de Compostela, where picking up the AC-543 sends you in the right direction for the western coast. Again, parking in the narrow streets of the Old Town can prove tricky. Easier parking is available at the top of the town, near the castle, or down by the port where there is a large car park.
A Coruña is a port city on the northern coast of Galicia. It is home to the oldest working lighthouse in the world, The Tower of Hercules, and some beautiful beaches where surfing is a popular pastime. Central plazas come alive at night with bustling tapas bars and crowds of locals and tourists.
A Coruña is just 45 minutes from Santiago de Compostela Airport via the AP-9. There is a good selection of pay and display street parking and carparks throughout the city, with plenty of all day spaces available.