A Coruna, Spain
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 3½ Hours
Meals not included
Tower of Hercules
"The Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbor in northwestern Spain since the late 1st century AD when the Romans built the Farum Brigantium. The Tower, built on a 57-meter-tall rock, rises a further 55 meters, of which 34 meters correspond to the Roman masonry and 21 meters to the restoration directed by architect Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century, who augmented the Roman core with two octagonal forms. Immediately adjacent to the base of the Tower is a small rectangular Roman building. The site also features a sculpture park, the Monte dos Bicos rock carvings from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery. The Roman foundations of the building were revealed in excavations conducted in the 1990s. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the 19th century surround the Tower of Hercules, which is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity."
Departing A Coruña, enjoy the view of the Peninsula das Marinas during the 40-minute drive to the city of Betanzos. En route you'll pass the Pazo de Meiras Galician manor house that once belonged to the Spanish dictator General Franco.
In Betanzos, begin a walking tour of this City of Knights, setting out from Hermanos Naveira Square. This is indeed the anteroom of the medieval historic center. A guide introduces you to the cruceiros (fountains), palaces, and the three churches of the city center. One church houses the 14th-century sarcophagus of the knight Fernan Perez de Andrade.
You'll have free time to relax in a pub under the arches in the main square, or browse in the high street at your leisure.
Returning by coach to A Coruña, enjoy an orientation drive through the city. Admire the Riazor and Orzan Beaches, the House of Mankind by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, and the Aquarium Finisterrae.
Snap a few photos at the Tower of Hercules -- the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world that is still in use today.
Continue along the coastline past the glass-window houses that gave A Coruña its Crystal City nickname. Your guide will point out San Anton Castle and the Mendez Nuñez Gardens before you return to the ship.