Lots of famous Spanish cities are relatively flat and easy to walk around, from Barcelona to Sevilla to Córdoba. Santiago de Compostela, in the country’s northwest corner, however, was built on a series of hills and bluffs on the high ground between the Sarela and Sar rivers, so you tend to get a good workout going to work and getting the groceries here.
The surrounding area is rather hilly as well, with the distinctive, pointy Pico Sacro rising up to the southeast and Monte Pedroso looming right outside of town to the west. You can enjoy the best views of the city from the summit of this mountain just an hour-long hike from the Praza do Obradoiro in front of the cathedral.
While Santiago is by no means a huge city, it’s always nice to go up to the summit and relax away from all the hustle and bustle. Plus, it’s fun to try and figure out where your favorite haunts in the city are from hundreds of feet up. Too bad my house is hidden by the bluff that contains the historic core of Santiago, but I can at least see my second home, the farmers market!