10 Most Instagrammable Destinations In La Coruna, Spain – Golfo Artabro, Atlantic Ocean

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Puerto de A Coruna, La Coruna, Spain

Lying at the entryway of the Mero River as it opens to the Gulf of Artabro by the Atlantic Ocean, Puerto de A Coruna is one of Spain’s most important ports. It is strategically located near the traditional sea route from Europe to Latin America. Puerto de A Coruna has also the biggest fishing center in Spain. Agricultural exports and imports of coal, manufactured products and salt come and go through this port everyday. It is also home to a busy oil refinery and manufacture of textiles (home of the Zara clothing brand), chemicals, aluminum and machinery. Furthermore, Puerto de A Coruna has its share of burgeoning, world class beach resorts.

La Coruna (or A Coruna), a coastal town in northern Spain is rich in Galician heritage and culture. Due to its exposure to the howling Atlantic winds and low-pressure systems that bring plenty of rainfall in most time of the year, A Coruna has the best summer season in Spain. Its winters are mild. The city is the capital of the province with the same name, (province of Coruna) under the autonomous community of Galicia. Between the 16th-19th centuries, La Coruna has been the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia before it has been moved to nearby town of Santiago de Compostela. Like most Spanish coastal towns of old, this city has been dominated by the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors. But it has its most powerful link to its Celtic background. ( Celts are ancient tribes in central Europe that include the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, etc..) Galicians consider themselves as having a “Celtic” identity rather than the predominantly “Hispanic” culture. So, like Scotland, their festivities include the “bagpipe” rather than the “flamenco.” Corunians speak a language of antiquity called Galego. It shares with Portuguese roots but not spoken anywhere else in the world. La Coruna is sometimes called the “glass city”. The buildings around the harbor are all in white with glazed balconies. But it is better known now as the “clothing empire city” for it is here in La Coruna where Amancio Ortega came from (born 1936). He is the founder of the clothing giant Zara.

Navigating from Costa del Sol, and out of the Strait of Gibraltar, we sailed northwest to the Atlantic Ocean via Costa de la Luz. On that autumn morning of September 1997, aboard the tanker Knock Muir, we berthed into Puerto de A Coruna. This city is near the Portuguese border. Our very accommodating and down-to-earth ship master, the Spanish Captain Fausto Rodriguez offered us to explore his hometown. And so we went ashore with a lot of excitement of what sights this historic yet modern city has to offer. La Coruna may be lesser known but a very intriguing and interesting town in Spain. Its treasures and laid back atmosphere make it apparent and worth exploring. Read on the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain.

Map showing La Coruna, Spain.

Tower of Hercules

Standing tall at 185 feet by the entrance of A Coruna harbor is the Tower of Hercules. It is an ancient lighthouse built by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Trajan (19-117 Common Era). In antiquity, it was to guide our predecessors navigating the Atlantic route. Today, in all its glory and splendor, the Tower of Hercules is still being used for maritime signaling. It helped us, sailors to reach the harbor of Puerto de A Coruna safely. Certainly one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain, the Tower of Hercules is the oldest lighthouse in the world (1st A.D.) that is still working in the 21st century. It has been designated by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. The area also features a sculpture park, rock carvings from the Iron Age, a Muslim cemetery and a rose compass made of mosaic ceramic tiles. An interesting landscape of Spanish history, when you come to La Coruna, make sure that you visit this ancient lighthouse. You will also come to know its mythical origins why its named after the sturdy Roman hero.

The scuplture park by the Tower of Hercules.

Rose compass near the Tower of Hercules.

Casa de los Peces (Aquarium Finisterrae)

A gigantic aquarium which showcases more than 600 marine species to visitors, this is Casa de los Peces. Its main exhibition hall, the sala maremagnum, is a ballroom where you can view the massive aquarium . Another one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain Casa de los Peces has a lower level called sala nautilus. This is an observation room where you can watch fishes swimming in the Atlantic Ocean from a floor-to-ceiling glass wall in between. Located on the shores of this mighty ocean, Casa de los Peces has everything: from fish, to octopuses and sharks. It also exhibits the local seafaring culture of the Galicians.

Sala Nautilus at the lower level of Casa de los Peces.

Plaza Maria Pita

Simply irresistible to miss, A Coruna‘s main square has been named after the town’s heroine, Maria Pita. Her role in the resistance of the 1589 attack by the British under Sir Francis Drake has reduced the casualty on the part of the Corunans. Among one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain, Plaza Maria Pita gives you the feeling that you are walking on a palace grounds. It is surrounded by the attractive facades of imposing buildings. The “real ayuntamienta” (town council) has its office in one of the historic buildings. Just a 10-minute walk from the harbor, Plaza Maria Pita is a relaxing area to spend a few hours for your selfies. Or just simply relax in one of the Michelin-star cafes enjoying your glass of A Coruna‘s Barbanza wine with a plate of “arroz carabineros y zambarina”.

Santa Cruz de Oleiros

If you admire castles, Santa Cruz de Oleiros is worth a visit. About 15 minutes drive from the city center, Santa Cruz Castle is perched on an island (with the same name). It served as a fort during the 1589 siege at La Coruna by the British. An unforgettable place to explore while you are at the city, this castle is simply one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain. It is where history blends so well with the present. Access to the castle is via a footbridge where you will also enjoy an impressive view of the ocean with the beautiful landscape of Santa Cruz Island.

Santiago de Compostela

Not far from La Coruna is the town of Santiago de Compostela (old town). It’s not only a well preserved area but deeply saturated with Catholic fervor. Santiago de Compostela is a favorite pilgrimage site since the 9th century as it is a symbol of the Spanish Christians‘ struggle against the Moors. The Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Way) is a network of ancient pilgrimage hike across Europe to pay homage to the tomb of St. James, The Greater. He was buried at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela after the first Christians found his beheaded body (by the order of Herod) in a Roman tomb in 44 A.D. The group of stately buildings at Santiago de Compostela is a feast to the eyes and one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain. Indeed a staggering and cultural wealth to discover, it is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides its attraction, you can also enjoy the best of Galician seafood at Santiago de Compostela.

The tomb of St. James, The Greater which is found inside Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
Intricate details of the Cathedral’s interior in Santiago de Compostela.

Casa del Hombre (Domus Museum)

Facade of Casa del Hombre.

Casa del Hombre, Domus Museum, whatever you call it, this one’s solely devoted as a museum for the human body. Designed by Japanese architect Arota Isozaki, Casa del Hombre showcases everything from identity to demography and from the senses, to the vital organs and languages. If you’ve been to Oslo and had explored Vigelandsparken, in which the sculptures in the said park depict the cycle of human life, here at Casa del Hombre, it’s a “house of man” as they say. It features 200 exhibits for visitors to explore, and truly one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations in La Coruna, Spain. And one attractive feature of it is the building which appear to be like a ship’s sail (or mast). Of course, once inside the Domus, you can’t help but admire at the exhibits about how far man has come from cave dwellings to an advance technology in a period of 3 million years.

One of the exhibition areas of Casa del Hombre in La Coruna, Spain.

Arroz con Carabineros y Zamburinas

The paella-of-sort Arroz con Carabineros y zamburinas.

La Coruna is not only a city of legends and traditions but a a seafood gastronomical mecca as well. How could a small town be a sleeping giant on Spanish food? Indeed, one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain is the full display of its gastronomic bounty. The arroz con carabineros y zamburinas is the most prominent La Coruna cuisine rice dish which is similar to the paella. It comes with a generous amount of scallops, carabineros shrimps and shredded cheese.

Paseo Maritimo

Probably the longest seafront walkway in Europe, Paseo Maritimo encircles the city of La Coruna. Absolutely one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain it provides a nice area for strolling along the city’s major landmarks.

Avenida de la Marina

It’s the most iconic street in La Coruna. Avenida de la Marina is a street along the harbor whose buildings have glass balconies or “galerias” at an unbroken row. That is why it earned the city’s nickname as “La Ciudad de Cristal.” It was first meant as a naval solution for the unsettling weather in A Coruna, especially during the rainy days. Said buildings along this avenue look fabulous glistening in the sun and of course one of the 10 most instagrammable destinations of La Coruna, Spain. Don’t miss Avenida de la Marina when you visit La Coruna. It is worth taking a stroll along on this iconic street.

Inditex Headquarters (The Zara Story)

Spain‘s fashion powerhouse and biggest fashion group in the world. Inditex stands for Industria de Disenio Textil and maybe this is your first time you’ve heard about it. At a corner along Calle Juan Florez, Amancio Ortega, La Coruna‘s most famous son and the man behind Zara opened his first store in 1975. He started out selling aprons to housewives. The humble clothing mogul worked his way up from being a delivery boy at shirt makers. His little store at Calle Juan Fores spread out into Inditex. It has its headquarters now at Arteixo, just outside La Coruna. Inditex has other brands besides Zara such as Massimo Dutti, Bushka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Pull and Bear and Uterque. Zara may have grown up all over the world but it always stayed home in Coruna. And its first outlet still exists in the city today. Inditex, one of the 10 most instagrammable destination of La Coruna, Spain where you have the chance to get a behind-the-scene look at Zara‘s magic and secrets in the fashion world. And understand why the people of La Coruna started their way of dressing – trendy, transformed by Zara and its billionaire founder, Amancio Ortega.

Amancio Ortega and his relative silence about Zara.

Even Duchess Kate wears Zara.

And it all started in this area at Calle Juan Florez in La Coruna.

You know, it is not easy to be seduced to La Coruna. Maybe because the ambience is more relaxed in comparison to other Spanish coastal cities. It is a world away from the hustle and bustle you will expect from an Iberian holiday. Either you are a history buff, sports enthusiast, a shopaholic or just a beach bum…La Coruna has just everything for everyone. When the time is right, find a chance to discover her soon.

Reference: Wikipedia