The 243,978 residents are lucky because this city has it all: beaches, excellent food, the largest port in Galicia and the oldest operating lighthouse in the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that in 2006, A Coruña received as many visitors as it has inhabitants.
Having arrived in A Coruña, we had to do the laundry once again, which we did in the cheap La Lavandería del Orzan with free WiFi. Afterwards we drove to the shopping center Marineda City, which should become our “home” for the next days.
The next day we went to A Coruña by bike. On the way we were already positively surprised by the beautiful opera house Palacio da Ópera. But also the harbor promenade with the characteristic glazed window balconies, called galerías, appealed to us very much. Just like the Praza de María Pita with the city hall of A Coruña.
Directly on the promenade around the corner of Praza de María Pita is also one of the two branches of the vegan-friendly ice cream shop The Bio Factory, whose ice creams – as the name suggests – are completely organic. But not only that: As of late, both stores are operated exclusively with renewable energy.
As vegan options there are, apart from the many fruit sorbets, also some chocolate varieties and “leche merenga” (with lemon, cinnamon and sugar whipped milk). All these are also suitable for allergy sufferers and are marked as vegan. Also the ice cream cone are vegan, as well as the strawberry variety of the popsicle “biopop”, which can be covered with dark chocolate and sprinkled with almonds or pistachios as desired.
New day, same game: Once again we cycled into town, but this time for lunch at A Factoría Verde, which in addition to the restaurant also includes a shop, both purely vegan. We had a feast through the wide selection of tapas up to the desserts. Everything was simply divine!
This address is an absolute must for anyone in A Coruña. And that said while we have not even mentioned that gluten-free options are marked on the menu, the vegetables come from organic farming, raw delicacies are also offered and the whole place is pet-friendly! You notice, we can’t stop raving about it, but see for yourself. 😉
Afterwards we went on with sightseeing: through the Xardíns de Méndez Núñez and once again past the harbor we biked along the coast once around the whole peninsula. Doing so we crossed the Castelo de Santo Antón, for example, which has hosted the Museo Arqueolóxico e Histórico since 1968. Or the Parque Escultórico de la Torre de Hércules, an open-air museum with 17 artistic works.
And then we finally arrived at the actual highlight of A Coruña: the Tower of Hercules, or Torre de Hércules, the oldest still operating lighthouse in the world. The 55-meter-high Roman lighthouse dates back to the 2nd century (around 110 AD) and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. As the landmark of the city of A Coruña, it can also be seen on the municipal coat of arms.
According to legend, it was made of a rock on which Hercules fought with the giant Geryon for three days and three nights. Hercules won the fight and out of gratitude the lighthouse was then built out of the rock. For views over the Atlantic you have to climb 242 steps and normally pay 3 € (or reduced 1.50 €) for the entrance, but on Mondays the ascent is free!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love ice cream. So we rode past the Fonte dos Surfistas and along the Praia do Orzán to the other store of The Bio Factory and enjoyed another delicious ice cream. Since it was already getting dark, we went via the Igrexa de Santa Lucía and the Palacio da Ópera back to our sleeping place.
After a few days at Ikea (which by the way has even warm soy milk!) and autonomous catering we entered A Coruña again to go to the beach Praia de Riazor. Together with Praia do Orzán it is the most important and largest city beach of A Coruña. Both beaches are equipped among other things with toilets, showers and first aid stations.
The 13-kilometer-long beach promenade is home to cafés, bars and kiosks. In case of appropriate weather conditions you will see people surfing at Praia do Orzán, various championships take place all year round.
On our last day we had a look at the scientific and cultural museum Casa das Ciencias in the Parque de Santa Margarida. It was built in 1983 after the approval of the city council to the suggestion of the mayor Francisco Vázquez Vázquez. Inside the museum there are four exhibition rooms and a planetarium.
After we had also looked at the 46-meter-high Obelisco Millennium (built to the beginning of the 21st century) and the sculpture Octopus, we went on to Muxía.
Oh yes, A Coruña, you have been able to convince us in so many ways. With your beaches, sights, the many green spaces, the delicious food, the harbor promenade with the gallery houses and much more. And yet we have still not seen all of you. We will be back, promise!