Cruises to A Coruna are only a day’s sail from Southampton, so visited en route to or from the Med or during shorter cruises. Cruise ships dock only a few minutes walk from the centre of the old town. This makes it a very easy port to visit on your own, without having to book an excursion.
The first thing you will notice is the tall 19th century houses with glazed balconies or miradors around the port. These reflect sunlight giving A Coruna it’s nickname of the Crystal City.
The Old Town with its churches, old buildings, architecture and main shopping street, along with numerous bars and restaurants is only a few minutes flat walk, ideal for just a short stroll if that is all you are up to.
For those feeling fit, the Hercules Tower can be reached in a 45 mins walk via the coastal road, there used to be a tram that ran along this route but only the pylons are left now.
Built by the Romans in the 1st Century and is still a working lighthouse today. There is a small interpretive centre, which is free to enter and has information in English.
Visitors can climb the 234 steps of the tower to the viewpoint for the price of an entry ticket, just a few euros. There are excellent toilets at the base of the tower.
This is a lovely green and spacious area, very scenic and well worth the walk. The Aquarium is also located nearby.
There are several beaches around the coast, the main one being directly opposite the port.
A nice walk is to cut straight through to the beach, turn right and follow the coast road round to the Hercules Tower (about 40 mins plus stopping time), then to carry on back to the port via the Club Nautico and Castelo de San Anton (a further 45 mins). You are then ideally place to visit the Old Town, restaurants and shops.
In many of the bars free Wifi can be found, some great tapas and a small beer can be readily enjoyed for a few euros. Wifi is also available in the Plaza de Maria Pita, where there are a few benches ideally placed for soaking up the sun.
On the day we visited there were local 2 hour coach tours on offer, leaving at 11am. These were 15 euros per person and drove past the main sights of the city, stopping at 4, including the Hercules Tower. We were keen to stretch our legs and walk, but would definitely consider taking one of these tours next time. They also drove out to parts of the city that it would have been impossible to reach on foot.