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Another Option for La Coruna Excursion

What is your opinion of this option for a shore excursion from La Coruna Spain? I am trying to decide between two

Your tour begins with a stop at the historic Castle of Santa Cruz. The Castle was built right on the shore by orders of Captain General D. Diego das Mariñas in 1594, in order to defend the bay of La Coruña. It was to defend the entry to the Ría de A Coruña. In 1640 the defensive system was completed by pieces of artillery.

Afterwards, you will enjoy a scenic drive to Betanzos, the former Roman town that emerged from the ancient settlement of Castro de Untia. This unspoiled, traditional town contains wonderful examples of medieval architecture, with various houses still bearing coats of arms. The quaint fishing quarter also adds to the charm and ambiance of this popular location. Once a flourishing port, it now lies some distance from the sea. The town, like many in Galicia, is cut into a slope and has a number of different built up tiers as it rises above its estuarial rivers, the Mandeo and Mendo.

You will next make your way to the 18th century Pazo de Mariñán. Located on the banks of the Betanzos and Mandeo rivers, it is perhaps one of the best Pazos in Galicia and Spain. Retracing the historical events that occurred at this location have helped to identify the Pazo's most famous owner, the influential Gómez Pérez das Marinas. Living here during the 15th century, he is remembered as the invincible defender of the city of La Coruña against the attacks from the Count of Benavente. As soon as you enter the grounds, you will discover unique gardens that include giant shade-creating banana trees, walnut trees from India and huge eucalyptus trees, all of which stand in greeting as you make your way inside. The path that leads up to the Pazo is a paved road, bordered by two rows of trees. This spectacular arrangement of trees becomes visible shortly after passing a Piceas planted on the left side of the path, and on the right side, a colorful row of Camellias.

Further along the path you will discover the Pazo´s Chapel, which was originally built by Costanza das Marinas in the 15th century in honor of Saint Roque. The Italian influence in the garden is evidenced in the stairway that is connected to the terrace. The stairways also lead to the owner's once private gardens, which are decorated with fountains, busts and statues of the Count of Mos.

Posted by
25613 posts

I just traveled independently to Betanzos. It's a good-sized place and quite hilly. I wouldn't want to be rushed through it. And A Coruna itself is worth hours of wandering (for me). I wouldn't feel the need to do more in one day, or to pay for a shore excursion. I'm not saying the other stops aren't worthwhile, because I haven't been to them. However, it has often seemed to me that bus excursions make a lot of too-short stops because it makes people think they're getting more value for their money. In actuality, the most valuable thing is having an appropriate amount of time at each stop.

Monbus makes the trip between A Coruna and Betanzos at least hourly (I checked a weekday and found 31 departures). The trip seems to take 30 to 50 minutes; it costs just 2.25 euros each way. Hard to beat that.

Monbus website

I want to emphasize my reference to the hilliness of Betanzos. If you aren't comfortable walking quite a bit, it might not be a good destination for you.

Getty Images photos of Betanzos

Posted by
6404 posts

La Coruña is a great stop in itself: I do not see the need to go on an excursion further inland. Sure, Betanzos is interesting, but not more so than La Coruña.
Save your money for excursions out of Vigo, which is not very interesting in my opinion (I remember from your past thread that your cruise also stops there, right?).

Posted by
1587 posts

Thank you for your comments

Yes, I will also be stopping at Vigo and have picked my excursion. I will be going to Santiago and visiting the Church of St James.

I have some mobility issues which includes arthritis in my knees especially the right knee. I can walk quite bit but I do not know about hills.

Will keep my options open for La Coruna. Maybe I will decide to just stay in La Coruna.

Posted by
25613 posts

Buses to Betanzos are so frequent (again, I only looked at the weekday schedule) that you can spend the early part of the day in A Coruna and then decide whether to add on Betanzos. That said, if I thought I wanted to see both, I'd go to Betanzos first so there's be no concern at all about being back in A Coruna well before the ship departs.

Posted by
4141 posts

Bearing in mind your Freedom at Sea credit of $50, and your health issues, a net cost of $22.14 may be thought to be relatively reasonable. I would personally prefer the other one which goes to the lighthouse, at a net cost of $46.46- and that one includes refreshments whereas this one doesn't.
That is simply because the lighthouse would be my top priority in the port. I seem to remember (from standby port planning of mine) that is quite easy to reach under my own steam.
If it was me I would do either independently at significantly less cost.
But for your circumstances either of these are rather better value than the ones at Le Havre.

Posted by
1587 posts

Thank you for all your help.

Based on your comments on this post and my previous one, I have decided to stay in La Coruna. I also watched some youtube videos.

I signed up for a 2 1/2 hour bus tour with some stops and then some free time before walking back to ship.

With my discounts, it was free but I splurged on the Bordeaux excursion.

I was going to post the excursion that I signed up for but NCL is having a glitch so it will be coming later or another day.


NCL has corrected the glitch and here is the shore excursion that I am going on when in La Coruna. It is level o

This mostly panoramic tour provides you with the perfect opportunity to gain a glimpse of many of La Coruña's landmarks

Starting off, you will commence on a panoramic drive around La Coruña, which includes passing by the gardens of Los Cantones which were built on reclaimed land. Be sure to watch for The Galleries houses whose windows reflect sunlight, and whose façades were built by fishermen out of wood and glass. You will also pass the San Anton Castle before making a stop at the Tower of Hercules. Now declared a National Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tower was built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD by the order of the Emperor Trajan. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world that is still in operation and can be seen from 32 miles away. You will be afforded free time to walk around the monument and the Park before continuing on.

Next, you'll drive along the promenade, passing by the new refurbished Aquarium of La Coruña, the Museum of Mankind and the Millennium Obelisk made of glass. From the wonderful vantage point of Mount San Pedro, you will be treated to some marvelous views of the ocean, the tower of Hercules and the city, as well as seeing the cannons here that have a range of 20 miles.

Before returning to the ship, you will visit the delightful Maria Pita Square, named for the lady who defeated Sir Francis Drake, and have time on your own to further explore or shop for a souvenir. The choice is yours to return to the pier with your guide, or stay in town and make your own way back to the ship at your leisure.