PLANNING A VISIT TO A TOP-RATED BEACH ON SPAIN’S NORTH COAST?
Playa del Orzán is a very well-loved beach on the Galician north coast, with tourists and locals flocking at all times of the year, particularly from Santiago de Compostela to soak up some sun.
The lovely sandy beach has crystal blue water and is the perfect spot to relax away from the city of A Coruña.
This blog post will give you all the details on what it’s like to visit Playa del Orzán, give you reasons as to why you should visit and give my final rating!
Where is Playa del Orzán?
Playa del Orzán is a picturesque urban beach located in the city of A Coruña, which is situated in the region of Galicia in northwestern Spain.
The city of A Coruña is beautiful to walk around with lovely parks, shopping streets and attractions.
There are a number of historical sites around the city including the Tower of Hercules which draws in many visitors.
The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage site, adding historical and cultural significance to the region.
Playa del Orzán is known for its golden sand, gentle blue waves, and relaxing atmosphere. Even in the peak of summer the beach, while busier than usual is a comfortable place to relax in the sun.
The beach is a favoured spot for both locals and tourists, offering a relaxing seaside experience along with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
When the sun shines at just the right angle, the sea glistens and looks crystal blue. The Atlantic for sure has a reputation for being extremely cold but in the summer months, the sea temperature is pretty warm. It takes only a few seconds to get comfortable in the water and start swimming.
How to Get to Playa del Orzán
Playa del Orzán is very accessible from the city centre of A Coruña. From the train station, it is around a 30-minute walk to the beach, taking the most direct route.
There are bus services running from the city centre out to the coastline. They appear to be pretty regular and well serviced but if you can, then I’d recommend walking to save some money.
There are also many taxis around A Coruña. They queue up the streets waiting for passengers, but again, this isn’t a very cost-effective option as the ride would only be 5-10 minutes.
From Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is one of the most visited nearby cities of Playa del Orzán. The historic city is the end point of the Camino de Santiago and draws in thousands of visitors every year along with pilgrims.
A Coruña is around one hour away on the train from Santiago and it is very easy to travel between the two.
From Santiago de Compostela train station, the journey up to the seaside city is a scenic one and the trains are very comfortable.
You can buy tickets for the train at the train station directly, either via machine or at the ticket desk. If you’d prefer the ticket desk then make sure that you pick up a numbered ticket to be called forward.
The tickets give you your seat and carriage number so make sure to check it before getting on. They do have train conductors on board checking and locals all seem to obey the rules quite strictly – not moving to accommodate families etc.
If you’d like to be seated with a family member or a friend then make sure to buy your tickets in the same transaction otherwise seat assignments appear to be quite random.
The train will take you to A Coruña station which is a 30-minute walk from Playa del Orzán.
If you’d rather travel in style to A Coruña and are happy to just look at Playa del Orzán from a far then I’d recommend booking this private day tour of the city from Santiago de Compostela.
The tour starts from Plaza de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela and departs towards A Coruña by private bus. There are many top stops along the way and the tour seems highly interesting. You’ll get a real insight into the entire region of Galicia on this tour and there are great insights into the culture and history of the area.
Why Visit Playa del Orzán?
Playa del Orzán is very naturally beautiful and is on a coastline filled with attractions and areas of cultural significance. The beach itself has fine sand, golden in colour and the sea is crystal clear.
It’s a large enough beach that even with many people on it, you don’t feel like your space is being invaded.
Lifeguards man the beach, displaying safe swim zones, giving less confident swimmers and parents that extra piece of mind.
The waves can be quite variable in nature. While paddling, there was often rogue, larger wave that would come between smaller ones but that just comes with being an ocean.
There are showers available on the edge of the beach, perfect for washing sand off of yourself and there are toilets within a 10-minute walk. However, they do close in the afternoon for a few hours (the busiest time for the beach) which I found slightly disappointing.
There are many restaurants close by though that would have toilet facilities if you were desperate.
When the sun is shining over Playa del Orzán, it is amazing for relaxing. Top up on the SPF and stretch yourself out for a tan if you don’t fancy tackling the sea!
With it rarely snowing on the coast of Spain, you can enjoy Playa del Orzán all year round – even if you have to wear an extra layer or 2 in winter!
Attractions Close to Playa del Orzán
If a trip to the beach isn’t enough to fill your day then there are plenty of things to do and explore in A Coruña.
Tower of Hercules
One of the most prominent landmarks nearby is the Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hércules), a Roman lighthouse and the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. Its historical significance and breathtaking panoramic views from the top make it a must-visit site.
The entrance fee is very small and well worth it to see such an incredible view of the coastline.
Plaza de María Pita
Plaza de María Pita is a vibrant and historic square located in the heart of A Coruña, Spain. Named after the legendary local heroine María Pita, who played a significant role in defending the city against an English attack in the 16th century, the square is a bustling hub of activity.
Now used as a base for cultural activities, the square is a great space to unwind and take the weight off your feet after a day of exploring.
The Domus is a fabulous museum dedicated to the exploration of human biology and the human body. It offers engaging, interactive exhibits to its visitors and is very educational.
The city is committed to science exploration and education, reflected in how grand a building The Domus has been housed in.
The Marina and Port of A Coruña
The Marina and Port of A Coruña are perfect for visitors who enjoy maritime activities and wish to see a mix of traditional fishing boats and modern yachts. The marina area is dotted with seafood restaurants offering fresh catches of the day, perfect for an evening meal after relaxing on Playa del Orzán.
Castle of San Antón
For those interested in history and culture, the Castle of San Antón is another good attraction close to Playa del Orzán. The fortress has been turned into a museum offering an insight into the heritage of A Coruña. There are fabulous exhibits on archaeological discoveries, with some artefacts dating back thousands of years.
Aquarium Finisterrae on the coast of A Coruña is a the perfect place to spend a few hours out of the sun. The aquarium offers an up-close encounter with the diverse aquatic life of the Galician coast and the Atlantic Ocean.
There are exhibits on all sorts of marine life from colourful fish and jellyfish to seals and other local marine species. Aquarium Finisterrae is the ideal place for families or nature lovers and is guaranteed to be a fun and educational experience.
A Coruña Walking Tour
If you’d prefer to explore the city of A Coruña under the care of an experienced tour guide then that is possible too!
This great tour option is a good way to spend 4 hours in the city and take in all the facts and figures about the region. You’ll also get an opportunity to try some of the wonderful local cuisine.
You’ll visit some of the famous monuments around the city and learn the history of their use. Tickets for the Tower of Hercules are also included in the price, alllowing you to explore the lighthouse under the guidance of an expert.
Visiting Playa del Orzán: Conclusion
Playa del Orzán is well worth the visit if you’re spending a few days in A Coruña or even in Santiago de Compostela.The great transport links mean that it is easy to spend a day at the beach and have some fun in the sun.
If you’d prefer to visit the areas around the beach then there are plenty of things to explore in the city of A Coruña. It is a city of history and culture and deserves tourist attention.
Should you want to explore the city under the care of an expert guide then the option is there to do so and the tours look extremely enjoyable.
Galicia as a whole is a wonderful part of Spain to explore and the locals are all so friendly and willing to help educate you on the culture of northern Spain.
If you have a free day on your itinerary when visiting northern Spain then I highly recommend making the trip to Playa del Orzán. The atmosphehre on the beach is lovely and it is a great space to relax and unwind in the sun.