The As Artes, tucked away by the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in Spanish Galicia, is the perfect city B&B, right at the heart of one of Europe’s most beguiling destinations. The seven bedrooms are prettily decorated, breakfast is substantial but leisurely, and the whole atmosphere is charming. Crucially, the beds are comfortable, the showers impressive, while the rooms - with obligatory wooden shutters - are well lit, spacious and quiet. To quote from the website, “the zones of leisure are sufficiently remote, which guarantees a calm rest.” The cathedral, in the Plaza do Obradoiro, is the final destination on a 1000 year old pilgrim’s route which stretches from France. Afternoon tea at the nearby five star Parador is the perfect spot to observe pilgrims limping past, some with donkeys. When I was there, Stephen Hawkins came trundling across the cobbles, due to lecture at the University. There is enough to explore for days amongst the medieval squares, convents and cloisters. The Museo do Pobo Galego is well worth a visit for its unusual double-spiral staircase alone.
Then, after an evening’s tapas-grazing, it’s much nicer to wander back to this intimate B&B than an anonymous hotel cell -and far cheaper.
Trav. de Dos Puertas 2, 15707 Santiago de Compostela
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