This week we look at moving to Santiago de Compostela, in the latest of Matthew’s “Go Expat In…” series.
Not only pilgrims make their way to Santiago
The beautiful old town of Santiago de Compostela’s the perfect setting to practise a noble Spanish tradition. For this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s ideal for a paseo. Yes, it’s one of life’s simple pleasures strolling around the casco antiguo. And one that seems to be enjoyed by locals as much as tourists.
There’s a new town as well. Which isn’t so easy on the eye. Also, Galicia’s one of the wettest areas in Spain. The rain here will fall mainly on your head rather than on the plain. All 1,545 millimetres of it.
In and out
Santiago de Compostela aiport (SCQ) is actually in the town of Lavacolla, around 15km to the east of the city. For the fastest and shortest way to and from Aeroporto to cidade, note the Galician spelling, take the N-634.
Chester College International School have been offering a bilingual English and Spanish education for children from 3-18 since 1985. Located on the outskirts of the city, in green and pleasant Tao, boarding facilities are available for older pupils. The school’s methodology wants to help promote creative and independent thinking, as “students are encouraged to apply previous and new knowledge to problem solving, and taught to analyze, synthesize and critically evaluate information given.”
Shop until you drop…
You’ll find the Mercado de Abastos de Santiago within walking distance of the city’s famous cathedral, on the Praza de Abastos de Santiago. This square’s the second most-visited city landmark after the cathedral. Buy fresh, local produce including the legendary pimenteiras de Padrón. These peppers are fried in olive oil and almost dusted in sea salt. They’re generally fairly mild, but watch out for the odd one which will pack quite the punch.
Located in Green Spain, it’s not that much of a surprise to see Santiago de Compostela house its fair share of ecological properties. Head outside the city for pazos, Galician manor houses. Although you might find it easier to find a bargain property in the new town, where flats are refreshingly roomy.
One-three bedroom apartments, €130.000-€350.000. Detached Villas, €150.000-€400.000.
In Praise Of
“Santiago de Compostela’s full of life and history. Students, tourists, and locals mingle to create a bustling, lively atmosphere close by the 800-year-old Cathedral. The Old Town’s big enough that you always find something new, but nothing beats hanging out in front of the Cathedral, watching the pilgrims walk into the square after walking miles and miles to get to Santiago on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. They cry, hug, laugh, and celebrate the end of their long journey. It gives me goosebumps every time.” Faith Walter (Blogger)
• Are you an expat in Santiago de Compostela? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.