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, booking.com 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.
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!
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!
I had the pleasure of sitting next to a watercolor artist on the two-hour flight.
From the Santiago airport, I caught a bus to the train station, then a train to A Coruña.
Once in Coruña, I walked for about 30 minutes to the Hotel Coruña Mar.
I decided to walk through a park on my way to the hotel. I was mesmerized by the Poplar seeds falling like snow!
I reserved a sea view room at Hotel Coruña Mar, which was right across from the beach, for just €25 through Booking.com.
The hotel staff were super friendly and gave me a map with some ideas on what to see and do.
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.
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)