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1. Printing out your boarding pass
Conveniently located in Santiago’s historical centre at 15 Rua do Vilar, the Consigna Oficial del Peregrino is a pilgrim support point where you can print out your flight boarding pass from one of their two public access iPads. Internet access here is free but pilgrims are asked to limit their online time to 15 minutes only. The charge for the print is 2 Euro.
(click on any photo to enlarge)
Printing and internet options are also available at the Ciber internet cafe on 19 Rua da Senra, located less than a 5 minute’s walk from Rua do Vilar. Here you do need to pay for internet access first before printing, but the total cost of an hour’s internet access and the boarding pass print will work out at around 1 Euro.
2. Catching the airport bus to the airport
There are various stopping points within the city to catch the bus to Santiago Aeropuerto, with the most convenient stop (in relation to Santiago’s historical centre) being at Praza de Galicia.
The price of the journey to the airport is 3 Euro and you buy your ticket directly from the bus driver. There is no additional charge for luggage.
Bus departure times are regular, with a bus scheduled to leave for the airport approx every 30 minutes. Delays can occur though so my advice is to give yourself plenty of time to make the journey in case your bus hits traffic and departs Praza de Galicia later than scheduled.
The journey time for this 15km route is approx 40 minutes and as there is just the one terminal building at Santiago de Compostela international airport, it means that your destination bus stop is the final stop for the bus on this route.
You can of course also walk the journey 🙂
3. Pickpockets and bag snatchers
When I was at Finisterre I bumped into a lovely pilgrim friend of mine (Anne-Marie) whom I had first met on the Le Puy route and she relayed to me how she had met up with her husband at Santiago airport and who now stood next to her, having both completed the journey from Santiago to Cape Finisterre together. Anne-Marie asked me to warn other pilgrims who might be reading my blog that her camera was stolen at the airport. She had taken her eyes off her camera momentarily, camera sat on the top of her rucksack, and it was gone when she looked back.
Her camera stolen, but more importantly all of her Camino photos lost.
Airports and airport bus routes can provide rich pickings for pickpockets and bag snatchers, who often work in an organised group and who choose to strike when their victim is in a state of confusion and disorientation or in a false sense of security; meaning extra vigilance is required when lining up for and alighting the airport bus and again when you reach the airport public access areas.
4. The twilight zone
The formality of passport control and standard security checks at Santiago de Compostela international airport’s only terminal preceed the rolling tumbleweed on a faceless landscape experience which is this airports provincial-feel-to-it flight departures area. Apart from the one or two half-baked shops and restaurants there isn’t much in the way of entertainment while waiting for your plane, except for perhaps (like I habitually found myself doing) blankly staring out of the departure lounge glass windows with the growing expectation of spotting the seemingly rare event of either a plane landing or taking off. Free wireless internet is supposedly available, but wasn’t working when I found myself there with about an hour and a half to kill before my orange plane would arrive from a more dynamic airport from afar and save me from the sensation I fear most: intense boredom.
In hindsight I probably should have spent more of my time in the Arrivals area before I crossed over to the twilight zone which is the Santiago de Compostela airport’s Departures zone, and I recommend that you do likewise unless spotting planes at one of Europe’s least busiest international airports ticks all the right boxes for you.
5. Which airline?
I flew with the discount airline Easyjet – their planes easily recognisable by the attention-seeking cheap orange visual scream which gives partial colour to all of their multi-million dollar aircraft – and paid a basic flight rate of around 25 Euro only (including airport taxes) one-way to Geneva, Switzerland.
My rucksack and guitar were also charged around 25 Euro each for the pleasure of traveling in the hold of the plane. I was satisfied with the flight experience and can overall recommend this company, based on this flight experience and numerous flights flown in the past. Easyjet are just one of many no thrills European discount airline companies which add to the cluttering up of European airspace with what can be – if you book in advance – ridiculously low airfares. To compare, the coach from Santiago to Geneva would have cost me just under 200 Euro and the train likely more.
Here is a list of all airlines currently operating out of Santiago de Compostela airport:
If you have any questions about flying out from Santiago de Compostela or if you wish to add information, then please feel free to leave a comment or question in the Reply box below.