Getting to the Camino Inglés

Planning how to get to your Camino starting point can be easy and fun with the variety of apps and websites available. My favorites are the Rome 2 Rio App for transportation, for accommodations, and Google Maps for research and city navigation.

A Coruña is one of the two Camino Inglés starting points, but it is only 75 km (47 miles) from Santiago. In order to get a Compostela certificate, you must walk at least 100 km, so the more popular starting point is Ferrol, 118 km (73 miles) from Santiago. I didn’t want to skip A Coruña because I had heard that it is an amazing place, so I worked it into my pre-Camino itinerary.

Also, I felt the need for a few transition days after the active Secrets of France tour with my mom, so I decided to spend one night in A Coruña and one night in Ferrol before starting my Camino Inglés.  This gave me a chance to both mentally prepare and physically train for my Camino.

Saying au revoir to my mom in Paris. She flew home to Las Vegas the same day I flew to Santiago, Spain.

The hotel (Le Jardins du Marais) stored my rolling suitcase for free while I was in Spain because I booked a few nights there upon my return to Paris. I used this strategy last year in Lisbon for my Camino Portugués too! In the photo above, you can see my black rolling suitcase in the mirror. It’s a 32″ Samsonite, but I call it my “Beastie Bag” as it carried my Camino backpack, gear and regular clothes for my pre-Camino tour and post Camino vacay in France with my husband. I took three trips for the price of one airfare!

My Camino backpack fits within my Beastie Bag along with my trekking poles, mylar umbrella, hiking boots and clothes for playing in France.

Overall, the Camino has taught me to pack lighter for all sorts of travel.

I used the Rome 2 Rio App to figure out how to get from Paris to A Coruña.

There were a few flight options, but the best for me was a nonstop round-trip flight to Santiago on Vueling, Spain’s cheap and cheerful airline.  The double rainbow at the airport was a good sign, and all the logistics worked out well!

Double rainbow at the airport

My backpack fully loaded

I used this Ikea bag to check my backpack in cargo. I didn’t want to risk getting my trekking poles taken by security.

The weight of my backpack 8.7 kilos (19 lbs) I brought snacks, so the weight decreased a little every day.

Terminal 3 at CDG is so tiny that we boarded on the tarmac

Leaving France

Heavenly view

I had the pleasure of sitting next to a watercolor artist on the two-hour flight.

A Spanish girl was painting these flowers for her grandmother’s birthday, inspired by the flowers she saw at Tuileries Garden in Paris. How sweet!

The paints are dry and chalky. The water brushes are like felt-tip pens filled with water that you squeeze onto the paint pods. She was able to blend colors and make different shades. So cool!

From the Santiago airport, I caught a bus to the train station, then a train to A Coruña.

My route from Santiago airport to A Coruña

Santiago train station

Waiting for the Renfe train at the Santiago train station

Once in Coruña, I walked for about 30 minutes to the Hotel Coruña Mar.

Rome2Rio gives you taxi, public transit and walking options. Naturally, I walked!

Rome2Rio gives you taxi, public transit and walking options. Naturally, I walked!

Satellite image of A Coruña from the Rome2Rio website, which works as good as the app, as long as you have wifi.

I switch over to Google Maps for walking navigation within a city.

I switch over to Google Maps for navigation within a city.

I decided to walk through a park on my way to the hotel. I was mesmerized by the Poplar seeds falling like snow!

A huge waterfall next to the opera palace

2017 opera season in A Coruña

Nice fountain

Freshly combed beach

I reserved a sea view room at Hotel Coruña Mar, which was right across from the beach, for just €25 through

Front entrance of hotel

my room

my view

We ❤ You.  I’m feeling the love from España!

This is a swanky nightclub across the street from the hotel. It has clean bathrooms, pricey cocktails and a disco ball!

View of Tower of Hercules in the distance

The hotel staff were super friendly and gave me a map with some ideas on what to see and do.

Words to live by!

The hotel has a deal with the cafe-bar next door for guests to have breakfast for just € 3.75. The huge croissant was drizzled with honey so they give you knife and fork. The cafe con leche was superb, and zumo de naranja (fresh squeezed orange juice) is a favorite of mine.

Breakfast at cafe next door

I checked in early enough that I had the opportunity to walk on the beach, climb the Tower of Hercules, visit the old town, drink a few cañas (beers), eat tapas, and stroll along the pedestrianized streets with the locals. That day, I ended up walking 13 miles; so I got in some good Camino training. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night!

The next morning, I hiked up to Monte de San Pedro in A Coruña, which had spectacular views. There is so much to see and do in A Coruña that I could have easily spent another day there. I highly recommend visiting A Coruña either before your Camino, or after.  I will write a post about this magical seaside town later. For now, back to the logistics. Below is a breakdown of transportation and accommodation costs.

Costs for Paris to A Coruña for Pre-Camino Day :
€ 20 Shared taxi from hotel in Paris to Charles de Gaulle airport
€ 136 Flight Paris CDG to Santiago SCQ (Roundtrip)
€ 3 Bus from airport
€ 7 Train from Santiago to A Coruña
€25 Hotel Coruña Mar
€ 191 Total including RT air from Paris ($218 USD)

Up next, A Coruña Beaches:

View my Camino Ingles Stages.

Digame, por favor.

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