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Introducing A Coruña

A Coruña (Castilian: La Coruña) is a port city, beachy hot spot and cruise-ship stop; a busy commercial centre and a cultural enclave; a historic city and a modern metropolis with a buzzing nightlife – all in all, an intriguing place to discover.

Britain looms large on A Coruña's horizon. In 1588 the ill-fated Spanish Armada weighed anchor here. The following year Sir Francis Drake tried to occupy the city but was seen off by María Pita, a heroine whose name lives on in the city's main square. In 1809 a British army helping Spain resist the invading French was forced into a Dunkirk-style evacuation here, losing its leader Sir John Moore in the process. In the 19th and 20th centuries, A Coruña's port was the gateway through which hundreds of thousands of Galicians emigrated to new lives in the Americas.

The city occupies a particularly contorted corner of the Galician coast. The centre sits on an isthmus straddled by the port on its southeast side and the main ocean beaches on the northwest. An irregularly shaped peninsula extends 2km north out to the city's World Heritage-listed Roman lighthouse, the Torre de Hércules. The Paseo Marítimo, a wonderful 13km walkway and bike path, runs all the way from port, around the peninsula, along the ocean beaches and on out to the west.