→ 6.6km.
To end of camino
366.30
Altitude
710

From Granja de Moreruela you can follow the Camino Sanabrés (follows from below) a total of 366km to Santiago, or you can follow the Vía de la Plata to Astorga 93.8km and from there follow the Camino Francés the remaining 256.9km. A description of the route to Astorga continues on page 98 but this guide does not include the stretch from Astorga to Santiago.

The Road

The Camino Sanabrés turns left and due west from Granja. It follows farm tracks to reach the Puente Quintos (6.7km) over the Río Esla

Once over the bridge, the river splits into two distinct routes to get to Faramontanos de Tábara. The right route follows the road and is preferred when rains have been heavy. Follow the road to the first paved left turn to descend and rejoin the left route. The left route turns left at the end of the bridge to follow a more scenic trail along the river.

Photo of Granja de Moreruela on the Camino de Santiago
→ 6.7km.
To end of camino
359.60
Altitude
1170
The Road

Once over the bridge, the river splits into two distinct routes to get to Faramontanos de Tábara. The right route follows the road and is preferred when rains have been heavy. Follow the road to the first paved left turn to descend and rejoin the left route. The left route turns left at the end of the bridge to follow a more scenic trail along the river.

Photo of Puente Quintos on the Camino de Santiago
→ 11.4km.
To end of camino
348.20
Altitude
710
The Road

The camino to Tábara crosses over the AVE railway development. From this point you can see Tábara in the distance, but note that the camino does not enter Tábara. If you plan on stopping here aim for the church towers. 

Accommodation in Faramontanos de Tábara
Closed
Photo of Faramontanos de Tábara on the Camino de Santiago
→ 6.9km.
To end of camino
341.30
Altitude
745

Tábara’s municipal albergue is one of the not-to-be-missed albergues on the whole of the Vía de la Plata.

The Road

If you entered Tábara you have two options to return to the camino. You can return to the camino where you left it, or if you stayed at the Municipal albergue you can follow the alternate route from there.

The camino between here and Santa Croya offers two options, both of equal length. The original and more scenic route turns right and passes through Bercianos de Valverde, however with the shuttering of the bar there this route has fallen out of favor with pilgrims. It has been replaced with the left route, which heads directly towards Villanueva de las Peras.

Accommodation in Tábara
Photo of Tábara on the Camino de Santiago
→ 14.4km.
To end of camino
327.70
Altitude
745

Keys to the albergue are available at the bar La Mona.

The Road

Small village squabbles and arrows pointing in two directions. The easiest way to Santa Croya de Tera is via the road out of town.

Accommodation in Villanueva de las Peras
Private
Photo of Villanueva de las Peras on the Camino de Santiago
→ 14.4km.
To end of camino
327.70
Altitude
735
Photo of Bercianos de Valverde on the Camino de Santiago
→ 6.1km.
To end of camino
321.60
Altitude
725

The private albergue here has been closed without any indication of reopening.

Accommodation in Santa Croya de Tera
Closed
Photo of Santa Croya de Tera on the Camino de Santiago
→ 1.4km.
To end of camino
320.20
Altitude
735

The pride of Santa Marta is the Romanesque Iglesia de Santa Marta and it is well worth a visit. Around the back of the church, beside the doorway, is the oldest known sculpture in stone of the Apostol Santiago. If you happen to be passing by on March 21st, or on September 23rd, join the crowd to observe the illumination of a carved capital as the sun aligns with an opening in the apse.

The Road

The camino ahead turns westwards and follows closely the Río Tera as it runs between a string of villages. Shortly before Calzadilla de Tera the camino leaves the road to avoid a blind curve in the road.

Photo of Santa Marta de Tera on the Camino de Santiago
Off Camino
3.20
Altitude
735
Accommodation in Camarzana de Tera
→ 11.4km.
To end of camino
308.80
Altitude
755
The Road

The camino from Calzadilla follows along the canal, though a number of confusing arrows might lead you to the road which will also get you there.

Photo of Calzadilla de Tera on the Camino de Santiago
→ 1.8km.
To end of camino
307.00
Altitude
750
The Road

From Olleros the camino follows a path to the dam on the east side of the Embalse de Agavanzal (4.3km). Once over it turns left to follow a path which follows the contours of the reservoir until it reaches Villar de Farfón.

Accommodation in Olleros de Tera
Private
Photo of Olleros de Tera on the Camino de Santiago
→ 4.3km.
To end of camino
302.70
Altitude
235
Photo of Embalse de Agavanzal on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.6km.
To end of camino
299.10
Altitude
805

Coffee and tea and conversation at the Albergue on the far end of town (follow the signs).

The Road

The camino returns to a rural trail until it reaches the Río Negro, just short of reaching the N-525. It crosses the river on a small pedestrian bridge and then crosses under the N-525 to enter Rionegro.

Accommodation in Villar de Farfón
Private
Photo of Villar de Farfón on the Camino de Santiago
→ 6.0km.
To end of camino
293.10
Altitude
800
The Road

The camino leaves Rionegro on the north of the N-525 and soon later it crosses over the A-52 to follow a rural track until reaching the gas station and restaurant at the start of Mombuey.

Photo of Rionegro del Puente on the Camino de Santiago
→ 9.3km.
To end of camino
283.80
Altitude
890

The Iglesia de la Asunción, located near the private albergue, is just so-so. The bell tower, on the other hand, is something special indeed; it was built as a lookout by the Knights Templar in the last half of the 13th century.

The Road

As the camino gets deeper into the region of Zamora, and soon into Galicia, the villages get closer together and smaller. Few offer any services. The camino follows near the N-525 for a short distance before turning south to cross the motorway and the AVE line. After crossing it passes through the small rural hamlets of Valdemerilla (4.6km), Cernadilla  (3.5km), San Salvador de Palazuelo (1.8km), and Entrepeñas (3.4km). It then turns back north to cross back over the AVE, the motorway, and the N-525 into Asturianos.

Accommodation in Mombuey
Closed
Municipal
Photo of Mombuey on the Camino de Santiago
→ 4.6km.
To end of camino
279.20
Altitude
895
Photo of Valdemerilla on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.5km.
To end of camino
275.70
Altitude
905
Photo of Cernadilla on the Camino de Santiago
→ 1.8km.
To end of camino
273.90
Altitude
915
Photo of San Salvador de Palazuelo on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of San Salvador de Palazuelo on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.4km.
To end of camino
270.50
Altitude
905
→ 3.0km.
To end of camino
267.50
Altitude
965

Small shop near the church, and the memorable Bar-Meson El Carmen is on the main road.

The Road

When the camino leaves Asturianos if picks up the N-525 but leaves it soon after to follow a paved road that turns to the right. DO NOT miss this turn, or the one just after which removes you from the road entirely. It is a country path all the way to Palacios de Sanabria.

Photo of Asturianos on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.4km.
To end of camino
264.10
Altitude
980
The Road

Between Palacios de Sanabria and Puebla de Sanabria the camino follows more country paths and once again crosses the motorway and the AVE line. Along the way, it passes through the hamlets of Remesal (2.4km), Otero de Sanabria (2.8km), and Triufé (2.5km).

After Triufé it turns south again to cross the motorway and join the N-525. Follow the road to the first roundabout and turn left, descending gently into Puebla de Sanabria.

In Puebla, the albergue and some services are on the east side of the river.

→ 2.4km.
To end of camino
261.70
Altitude
1000
Photo of Remesal on the Camino de Santiago
→ 2.8km.
To end of camino
258.90
Altitude
955
Photo of Otero de Sanabria on the Camino de Santiago
→ 2.5km.
To end of camino
256.40
Altitude
950
→ 4.0km.
To end of camino
252.40
Altitude
935

The camino through Puebla follows a path which skips entirely the oldest and best parts.  It is a short climb to the top and is recommended, especially for a visit to the Castillo de los Condes de Benavente (with museum).

The Road

If you stay at any of the accommodation options on the south side of the city be sure to retrace your steps to get back to the camino, it would be easy to confuse the southern road with the northern one.

The camino follows the road north out of town but soon picks up a trail (before you get as far as the N-525). The walk is scenic, and muddy after a rain. On several occasions, it joins the N-525 but never for very long so keep an eye open for the exit points. It reaches Terroso (9.7km) and then makes a large loop to the north before descending into Requejo de Sanabria.

Photo of Puebla de Sanabria on the Camino de Santiago
→ 9.7km.
To end of camino
242.70
Altitude
975
→ 2.2km.
To end of camino
240.50
Altitude
985

These days Requejo is the defacto heavy truck stop for the nearby AVE construction, with a number of restaurants along the road.

Notice

AVE ALERT. The camino has largely avoided any serious disruption because of the AVE construction. However, the mountains of Galicia make for a much more complicated job and the camino has been rerouted in several places. There are plenty of signs indicating the detours, which frequently have you walking on the busy road. The bulk of them occur between here and Lubián. NOTE that the town of Aciberos has been cut off from the camino by these changes.

The Road

It is uphill from here to the Portela de la Canda. From Requejo the camino follows a narrow country road adjacent to the river. This road soon ends at another and straight ahead is the OLD camino. DO NOT follow it, rather heed the detour signs telling you to turn right and up the road. It leads back to the N-525 which, unfortunately, you have to follow.

On two occasions the camino leaves the N-525 in search of a safer path, be certain to follow both. At the entrance to Padornelo you can either turn left to walk through the lower part of town or you can keep on the road (the camino returns to it).

Accommodation in Requejo de Sanabria
Hotel
Private
Municipal
Photo of Requejo de Sanabria on the Camino de Santiago
→ 10.4km.
To end of camino
230.10
Altitude
1305

The bar in town is located in the Hotel along the road.

The Road

The camino leaves Padornelo along the N-525 to a junction. Here there are signs indicating a detour (the old way turned to the right and went through Aciberos). Now the camino keeps on the road to pass over the A-52 and then a short distance later right back under it. It then turns left to follow a rural track up to Lubián.

Accommodation in Padornelo (Zamora)
Photo of Padornelo (Zamora) on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude
1115
→ 7.4km.
To end of camino
222.70
Altitude
1015

The albergue is not well marked but is one of the first buildings in town. The rest of the services are along the main road. For the forseeable future this otherwise sleepy village is kept a bit lively with the business brought by the AVE construction crew.

The Road

The camino follows the secondary road out of Lubián, downhill from the main road. It turns right after a few twists in the road to follow the signs to the Santuario de La Tuiza. It descends to pass under the A-52 and pass by the Santuario. From here it climbs to the Portela de la Canda, the gateway to Galicia.

Accommodation in Lubián
Municipal
→ 6.2km.
To end of camino
216.50
Altitude
1250
The Road

The camino emerges onto a paved road at the alto and almost immediately leaves it, turning left to descend along another track. It passes through the hamlet of A Canda (1.4km) and soon begins its descent into Vilavella, passing beneath a railway line along the way.

From here the camino begins its march through Galicia and there is no shortage of ups and downs. They mellow in altitude as you travel west, but increase in frequency.

→ 1.4km.
To end of camino
215.10
Altitude
1150
Photo of A Canda on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.1km.
To end of camino
212.00
Altitude
1040

Note that both bars are off the camino, uphill from the camino. The same goes for the Hotel. This is the only option to fill up between Lubián and La Gudiña.

The Road

The camino descends to O Pereiro (3.8km) and then climbs to O Cañizo (5.3km). It then joins the N-525 as it enters La Gudiña.

Photo of Vilavella on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Vilavella on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.8km.
To end of camino
208.20
Altitude
950
Accommodation in O Pereiro
→ 5.3km.
To end of camino
202.90
Altitude
1055
→ 3.4km.
To end of camino
199.50
Altitude
975
Notice

There is a variant of the camino Sanabrés which turns south and passes via Verín and Xinzo de Limia. Mind the arrows to keep to the itinerary below.

The Road

From the albergue, pass back under the railway bridge and head back towards the N-525 but turn right onto the Rúa Mayor before you get there. A few hundred meters ahead the camino splits, the route below is the Laza option (straight). 

The way to Campobecerros begins with a climb almost entirely along a quiet paved road with excellent views all around. It passes through Venda do Espiño (4.5km), Venda da Teresa (3.2km), Venda da Capela (2.3km), and Venda do Bolaño (3.2km) before descending steeply into Campobecerros.

Photo of La Gudiña on the Camino de Santiago

The original camino begins a climb shortly outside of La Gudiña and passes through Laza and Xunqueira de Ambía on the way to Ourense.

→ 4.5km.
To end of camino
195.00
Altitude
1080
Photo of Venda do Espiño on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.2km.
To end of camino
191.80
Altitude
1045
→ 2.3km.
To end of camino
189.50
Altitude
1015
Photo of Venda da Capela on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.2km.
To end of camino
186.30
Altitude
1075
→ 6.7km.
To end of camino
179.60
Altitude
900
The Road

The camino follows the road to Porto Camba (3.3km) and then picks up a trail to the hamlet of As Eiras.

Accommodation in Campobecerros
Casa Rural
Private
Photo of Campobecerros on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.3km.
To end of camino
176.30
Altitude
945
→ 5.3km.
To end of camino
171.00
Altitude
765

No bar per se, but a small table set up by the local Friends of the Camino which is self serve.

The Road

The road begins again in As Eiras and the camino follows along it to Laza. Take your time here and enjoy the views.

Photo of As Eiras on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of As Eiras on the Camino de Santiago
→ 6.0km.
To end of camino
165.00
Altitude
470

A number of restaurants in the center, La Picota is a favorite amongst locals. The albergue is a bit out of town in a new building and is run by the local Protección Civil. Their office is adjacent to the Casa do Concello as you come into town and the key is available there.

The Road

Between Laza and Soutelo Verde the camino follows the road, a mostly flat walk along the valley. It leaves the road to the left to pass through Soutelo (bar) (3.3km). It returns to the road and then turns right onto a rural track to Tamicelas (3.2km). From Tamicelas it begins the climb to Alberguería.

Accommodation in Laza
→ 3.3km.
To end of camino
161.70
Altitude
500
→ 3.2km.
To end of camino
158.50
Altitude
550
→ 5.2km.
To end of camino
153.30
Altitude
895

If you visit only one bar on the whole of the camino, make it the one in Alberguería and leave your name on one of the thousands of shells adorning the walls and ceilings. 

The Road

Rural walking, on the road and off again in several places with a descent into Vilar do Barrio.

Accommodation in Alberguería
Closed
Photo of Alberguería on the Camino de Santiago
→ 7.3km.
To end of camino
146.00
Altitude
660
The Road

Paved walking along the road through the hamlets of Bóveda (2.2km), Vilar do Gomareite (bar) (0.9km), Bobadela a Pinta (5.3km), Padroso (bar) (1.1km), Cima de Vila (1.7km), and Quintela (1.4km). As you enter Xunqueira de Ambía on a back road the albergue is one of the first buildings on your right.

→ 2.2km.
To end of camino
143.80
Altitude
645
→ 0.9km.
To end of camino
142.90
Altitude
660
→ 5.3km.
To end of camino
137.60
Altitude
660
→ 1.1km.
To end of camino
136.50
Altitude
680
Photo of Padroso on the Camino de Santiago
→ 1.7km.
To end of camino
134.80
Altitude
670
→ 1.4km.
To end of camino
133.40
Altitude
590
→ 1.3km.
To end of camino
132.10
Altitude
555
History

It is said that the name of the town, and its prominence as a religious center, both date back to the 4th century. It was then that the Virgen appeared in the marsh (juncal) nearby. An Ermita was erected, and in subsequent centuries the Monastery was built and expanded. The monks there provided shelter for pilgrims.

The Road

After passing the church the camino turns right to follow the road towards Salguieros, but quickly leaves the road to follow a side road and track down to the Río Arnoia (0.9km). It then climbs up to A Pousa along another track which turns off from the road shortly after crossing the river.

Photo of Xunqueira de Ambía on the Camino de Santiago
→ 0.9km.
To end of camino
131.20
Altitude
455
Photo of Río Arnoia on the Camino de Santiago
→ 2.3km.
To end of camino
128.90
Altitude
555
The Road

Between A Pausa and Ourense the camino is almost entirely along paved roads (see River Walk exception below). It passes through the hamlets of Salguieros (bar) (1.6km), Veirada (1.6km), Ousende (0.9km), Panelas (bar, shop) (0.9km), Venda do Río (2.1km), Pereiras (bar, shop) (0.5km), A Castellana (the urbanization begins) (bar) (2.3km), and Reboredo (bar, shop, pharmacy) (2.2km) before reaching Ourense’s nearest suburb of Seixalbo.

Photo of A Pousa on the Camino de Santiago
→ 1.6km.
To end of camino
127.30
Altitude
530
→ 1.6km.
To end of camino
125.70
Altitude
450
→ 0.9km.
To end of camino
124.80
Altitude
405
→ 0.9km.
To end of camino
123.90
Altitude
390
→ 2.1km.
To end of camino
121.80
Altitude
345

There is a variant of the camino Sanabrés which turns south and passes via Verín and Xinzo de Limia. Mind the arrows to keep to the itinerary below.

Altitude
385

From Verín you can rejoin the other route in Laza (due North along the Támega Valley), or continue along this more southern route to Xinzo de Limia.

Altitude
640

Both routes rejoin in Pereiras

→ 0.5km.
To end of camino
121.30
Altitude
345
→ 2.3km.
To end of camino
119.00
Altitude
300
→ 2.2km.
To end of camino
116.80
Altitude
275
→ 2.7km.
To end of camino
114.10
Altitude
200
The Road

From Seixalbo and the Capela Santa Ádega, the camino descends towards Ourense, either along the main road or a side road. It eventually reaches a large PEUGEOT car dealership. STOP.

The official camino from here is along the road more or less straight into the center of Ourense. To your left is an alternate route to follow the river into the city.

Altitude
150

Though not marked with yellow arrows, this river walk is easy to follow and is used by locals out on a walk. It follows both sides of the river but since you will need to exit to the east it is best to stick to the right bank.

The route requires a road crossing (the river runs under the road) near the Ford factory but the river path resumes once on the other side. 

From the Ford factory the river walk passes under 5 bridges, and after the 5th one, it becomes a boardwalk for a short distance. At the 6th crossing (all overhead) it is time to turn right and away from the river. With the river behind you walk straight towards the main road and the center of the old town on the opposite side. 

What this route lacks in signage it makes up for in scenery (and lack of industry).

Photo of Paseo Fluvia Alternate Route on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Paseo Fluvia Alternate Route on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Paseo Fluvia Alternate Route on the Camino de Santiago
→ 4.0km.
To end of camino
110.10
Altitude
175

Ourense’s everlasting tourist attraction is its natural thermal spas. It is said that the Romans settled here because of the warm waters, though more likely is the strategic location along the Río Miño and the gold within it. 

The spas are still open to the public, some are free and others are not. Surprisingly, the free ones are the best but come prepared in a proper bathing suit or expect to be turned away. The ones closest to the city center are the Termas Chavasqueira, across the river and to the west.

If all of that sounds like too much trouble (it's not, go for it) just stick to the old town. Not too big, not too small, it is easily seen in a short afternoon. 

The Cathedral here, one of 5 in Galicia, retains a polychromatic portico.

The Road

Just beyond the río the camino again splits. Here again the arrows leave a bit to be desired, there is only one set of arrows to indicate the split. They are painted on the sidewalk and are fading.

Here is how to find the way:

Once over the Río Miño keep to the right side of the road and head uphill. You will pass   4 streets: Rúas Ribeira de Canedo, Mercado, Ramón y Cajal, and Vicente Risco).  As you near the fifth (a much larger intersection) keep an eye to the ground for the arrows. From this junction, the camino either continues straight (the LEFT route) or it turns right (the RIGHT route). Both routes merge in Casas Novas.

RIGHT ROUTE - 18.9km

From the right-hand turn at the split, this route follows the N-525 uphill for about 1km. Follow on the right side of the road to see the arrows. At the gas station, the camino veers right and begins to climb steeply up to Cudeiro.

LEFT ROUTE - 17.6km

From the split continue straight up the hill, and keep to the right-hand side. The road passes the train station (on your right, bar) and follows the road to Quinitela.

→ 1.1km.
To end of camino
109.00
Altitude
120
The Road

Just beyond the río the camino again splits. Here again the arrows leave a bit to be desired, there is only one set of arrows to indicate the split. They are painted on the sidewalk and are fading.

Here is how to find the way:

Once over the Río Miño keep to the right side of the road and head uphill. You will pass 4 streets: Rúas Ribeira de Canedo, Mercado, Ramón y Cajal, and Vicente Risco). As you near the fifth (a much larger intersection) keep an eye to the ground for the arrows. From this junction, the camino either continues straight (the LEFT route) or it turns right (the RIGHT route). Both routes merge in Casas Novas.

RIGHT ROUTE - 18.9km

From the right-hand turn at the split, this route follows the N-525 uphill for about 1km. Follow on the right side of the road to see the arrows. At the gas station, the camino veers right and begins to climb steeply up to Cudeiro.

LEFT ROUTE - 17.6km

From the split continue straight up the hill, and keep to the right-hand side. The road passes the train station (on your right, bar) and follows the road to Quinitela.

Photo of Río Miño on the Camino de Santiago

RIGHT ROUTE - 18.9km

From the right-hand turn at the split, this route follows the N-525 uphill for about 1km. Follow on the right side of the road to see the arrows. At the gas station, the camino veers right and begins to climb steeply up to Cudeiro.

→ 2.5km.
To end of camino
106.00
Altitude
220
The Road

After crossing over the main road through Cudeiro the camino continues to climb. It passes several hamlets along the way and eventually returns to the N-525 (which wound around the mountain). It crosses the road and shortly after turns right to enter Tamallancos via a back road.

Photo of Cudeiro on the Camino de Santiago
→ 8.2km.
To end of camino
97.80
Altitude
445
The Road

From Tamallancos the camino follows loosely the N-525 to Casas Novas, but seldom directly on it. It passes through the hamlets of Bouzas (bar) (0.7km), Sobreira (bar) (3.7km), and Viduedo (bar, shop) (1.5km).

Photo of Tamallancos on the Camino de Santiago
→ 0.7km.
To end of camino
97.10
Altitude
450
→ 3.7km.
To end of camino
93.40
Altitude
420
→ 1.5km.
To end of camino
91.90
Altitude
485

LEFT ROUTE - 17.6km

From the split continue straight up the hill, and keep to the right-hand side. The road passes the train station (on your right, bar) and follows the road to Quinitela.

→ 3.0km.
To end of camino
104.50
Altitude
130
The Road

In Quintela, opposite the Bodegas Arnoya, the camino leaves the main road for a smaller one to the right following the signs towards Castro de Beiro. Keep on this road. The camino passes underneath the high-flying AVE bridge and then arrives at the original railway line. The passage is narrow and you will need to press the pedestrian button to trigger the change in right of way. DO NOT blindly enter the tunnel.

The camino passes the hamlet of Cachaxua.

→ 6.7km.
To end of camino
97.80
Altitude
400

The bar, Casa César, is run by another familiar face on the camino and is a rather informal affair.

→ 3.7km.
To end of camino
94.10
Altitude
385
→ 4.2km.

Both routes rejoin in Casas Novas

→ 2.1km.
To end of camino
89.80
Altitude
495
→ 2.2km.

Cea

To end of camino
87.60
Altitude
510

The old part of town is an ancient knot of confusion but somehow it is impossible to get too lost. Every other building seems to have a legacy as a bakery (a few remain) and there are a few hórreos still standing.

History

There are about 17 bakeries in this small village, and the locals tell of a time when there were closer to 50! They all produce the same Pan de Cea, the only bread in Galicia which is protected and monitored for quality in the same way that wines have a D.O. By definition, all of the loaves meet strict requirements for weight and production. Every aspect is strictly governed; from the stone ground flour and water source to the kneading method, and even the types of wood that can heat the oven. Every one of the over 300.000 loaves that are baked annually weighs the same, have the same shape and color, and make the same divine crunching sound when they are ‘opened’. 

The Road

The camino crosses the main road and heads uphill towards a sporting facility. Around the back side of the building, the camino once again splits into two distinct routes. Here the choice is a bit more complicated than the previous option. The two options merge in Castro-Dozón.

Accommodation in Cea
Photo of Cea on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude
540
The Road

The camino crosses the main road and heads uphill towards a sporting facility. Around the back side of the building, the camino once again splits into two distinct routes. Here the choice is a bit more complicated than the previous option. The two options merge in Castro-Dozón.

PIÑOR ROUTE - 14.8km

Shorter and more direct route to Castro Dozon, but without an albergue along the way. Take care along the latter half as the waymarks are difficult to find. It follows mostly rural tracks and country lanes and passes several names and un-named hamlets along the way. The identifiable ones are:

Porto De Souto 1km
Cotelas (bar) 1km
Piñor (bar, pharmacy) 1.6km
Fontelo 0.8km
Arenteiro(bar) 0.7km and
O Reino 1.4km
After O Reinothe camino rejoins the N-525 and passes through the village of Carballeda. At the far end of town, just before the exiting Carballedasign, the camino turns left and heads towards the motorway. It passes beneath it and soon after turns right off of the road to begin the climb up to Castro Dozón.

 

OSEIRA ROUTE - 18.4km from split

The RIGHT route is the official camino and is a bit longer than the newer Piñor variant. It passes through the village of Oseira(Monastery and Albergue) and is scenic. It is better waymarked than the variant.

Turn right at the split. The paved road comes to an end and you pick up a track through the forest. About halfway to Pielasthe camino rejoins a paved road.

Photo of Piñor Route v. Variante Oseira on the Camino de Santiago

OSEIRA ROUTE - 18.4km from split

The RIGHT route is the official camino and is a bit longer than the newer Piñor variant. It passes through the village of Oseira(Monastery and Albergue) and is scenic. It is better waymarked than the variant.

Turn right at the split. The paved road comes to an end and you pick up a track through the forest. About halfway to Pielasthe camino rejoins a paved road.

→ 5.9km.
To end of camino
81.70
Altitude
670

A sleepy hamlet with a new bar for pilgrims.

The Road

The camino follows the road out of Pielas, downhill to Oseira.

→ 2.6km.
To end of camino
79.10
Altitude
660
History

Oseira is hard to miss for the looming and massive Monasterio de Santa María de Oseira. It is well worth a visit. Built in the 12th century it was originally a Cistercian order of French monks. They stayed a surprisingly long time but like nearly every other religious order they were turned out by the Royal Order of Ecclesiastical Exclaustration of 1835. It took nearly a century to pass before the Monastery was again occupied, this time (and still) by Trappists (Cistercians of the Strict Reform).

The Road

The way out of Oseira is not along the road (though cyclists may prefer it for the more gentle grade) but rather up a steep track adjacent to the road with the restaurants.

It passes the hamlets of Vilarello (2km), O Outeiro (2.5k), Carballediña (1.5km), and A Gouxa (bar) (0.4km) before nearing the motorway and Castro-Dozón.

Accommodation in Oseira
Photo of Oseira on the Camino de Santiago
→ 2.0km.
To end of camino
77.10
Altitude
780
→ 2.5km.
To end of camino
74.60
Altitude
700
→ 1.9km.
To end of camino
72.70
Altitude
775

PIÑOR ROUTE - 14.8km

Shorter and more direct route to Castro Dozon, but without an albergue along the way. Take care along the latter half as the waymarks are difficult to find. It follows mostly rural tracks and country lanes and passes several names and un-named hamlets along the way. The identifiable ones are:

Porto De Souto 1km
Cotelas (bar) 1km
Piñor (bar, pharmacy) 1.6km
Fontelo 0.8km
Arenteiro(bar) 0.7km and
O Reino 1.4km
After O Reinothe camino rejoins the N-525 and passes through the village of Carballeda. At the far end of town, just before the exiting Carballedasign, the camino turns left and heads towards the motorway. It passes beneath it and soon after turns right off of the road to begin the climb up to Castro Dozón.

 

→ 1.0km.
To end of camino
82.70
Altitude
515
→ 1.0km.
To end of camino
81.70
Altitude
540
→ 1.6km.
To end of camino
80.10
Altitude
565
→ 0.8km.
To end of camino
79.30
Altitude
575
→ 0.7km.
To end of camino
78.60
Altitude
580
→ 1.4km.
To end of camino
77.20
Altitude
580
→ 8.3km.

Both routes rejoin in Castro-Dozón

→ 3.8km.
To end of camino
68.90
Altitude
735

The albergue is located next to the municipal pool, on the west (left) side of the main road. If you plan to stay there, ignore the arrows which take you to the right along a byway (nothing more than a way to keep you off of the N-525). Keep to the left side of the road.

The Road

From Castro-Dozón the camino resumes its on-again-off-again dance with the N-525. It does so for about 4.5km. From there it veers left off of the N-525 and descends passing the hamlets of Puxallos (1.5km) and Pontenouf (2.3km). From there it climbs back up to the motorway, passing A Xesta (1.6km) along the way to Estacíon de Lalín.

→ 6.0km.
To end of camino
62.90
Altitude
650
→ 2.3km.
To end of camino
60.60
Altitude
500
→ 1.6km.
To end of camino
59.00
Altitude
575
→ 2.7km.
To end of camino
56.30
Altitude
520
The Road

The camino continues its course through rural Galicia, through a number of ‘places’ along the way. A Eirexe (bar) (3.6km) is the only place for a stop.

→ 3.6km.
To end of camino
52.70
Altitude
525
→ 0.5km.
To end of camino
52.20
Altitude
495
→ 1.4km.
To end of camino
50.80
Altitude
470
The bar is located along the main road, on the camino out of A Laxe. They do meals and are the only place in town.
→ 1.9km.
To end of camino
48.90
Altitude
455
Photo of Prado on the Camino de Santiago
→ 4.0km.
To end of camino
45.00
→ 1.7km.
To end of camino
43.30
→ 2.0km.
To end of camino
41.30
Altitude
490

Bar Gerardo just before entering town is recommended.

On the main street of Silleda, the Bar Toxa offers an occasional pulpo (only on Tuesday) and Ribeira Sacra wine special when you see the pulpo-boiler set up outside the front door. Inexpensive rooms are available upstairs. 15€ in 2018. Mixed reviews.
The farmacia here is known to double its prices for foreign pilgrims.

 

The Road

The last 40km to Santiago is through pleasant Galician farmland. It is close enough now that the proximity to the roads and major highway interchanges means lots of crossings. The way from here is well marked and easy to follow.

Photo of Silleda on the Camino de Santiago
→ 5.1km.
To end of camino
29.10
Altitude
300

In that place, a young Italian couple, Cristina and Andrea, has renovated a house and opened an albergue, called Casa Leiras 1866. It is directly on the Camino.

A 300 m detour down to the N-525 highway will take you to a bar/restaurant El Emigrante.

The Road

From Dornelas the camino descends to the Río Ulla, passing through San Miguel de Castro (5km) along the way.

Accommodation in Dornelas
Private
Photo of Dornelas on the Camino de Santiago
→ 5.0km.
To end of camino
24.10
Altitude
255
Photo of San Miguel de Castro on the Camino de Santiago
→ 2.7km.
To end of camino
21.40
Altitude
65

Día grocery store on the way out of town; stock up if you are going to the albergue in Outeiro. Excellent panadería and bakery in town right on the Camino, in the block or two after you cross the river.

Bar Ríos. Immediately across the bridge on your right. Tel. 981 512 305. Restaurant and rooms available. Room prices seem to vary by season, from 10-15-20 €, based on what pilgrims have reported. Food reported to be quite good. Menú del día 12€, with additional charge for wine after the first glass.

Pensión O Cruceiro da Ulla; tel. 981 512 665; info@ocruceiro.es. Located across the street from the Día grocery store. Newly constructed, functional, good service and good prices. They also have an albergue.
Hostal Churrasco de Juanito; tel. 981 512 619. Located on the Camino, soon after crossing the river. 30€ room, 14€ menú reported as overpriced and not great. A pilgrim walking in October 2014 said he got a room for 15€ and a meal for 8€, so walking off-season appears to have its financial benefits. More negative than positive reports on this establishment, however.

For any foodies out there, the Restaurante Villa Verde is the place to go. Walk straight from the bridge into Ponte Ulla. When you get to the intersection with the AC-240 road, to the left is the Camino. Turn right, go up the hill and in a few minutes you’ll see the Restaurante on the right side of the road, located in an old stone house, very pretty. No menú del día, all a la carte. One 2016 pilgrim describes a yummy meal for 42€, which is probably beyond the typical pilgrim budget. It may be worth a splurge, though, because the pilgrim enjoyed a feast of home-smoked salmon over fresh tomatoes, roballo (my favorite Galician/Portuguese fish, maybe something like sea bass in English ??), and a walnut and banana torte. Coffee and a few glasses of albariño.

 

The Road

The camino follows briefly a section of the N-525 as it leaves Ponte Ulla; this section can be a bit dangerous so keep an eye open for the two times it leaves the road. The first is to your left, so you’ll need to cross the road. The second is to your right which means you will have to cross back. 500m separate the two crossings. If these crossings sound unnecessarily dangerous to you, you are not alone.

After the second crossing, the camino returns to safer side roads as it climbs to Outeiro.

Accommodation in Ponte Ulla
Photo of Ponte Ulla on the Camino de Santiago
→ 3.7km.
To end of camino
13.40
Altitude
210

Good lunch specials at Restaurante Via de la Plata along the carretera.

The Road

The rest of the way is through the suburbs of Santiago, which display a mixture of modern construction and old stone houses, many of which are beautiful. The Camino crosses the railroad tracks very close to the spot where the RENFE train derailed in July 2013, killing 79 people and injuring many more. The fence has become a make-shift memorial, with many touching remembrances, photos and prayers.

→ 3.4km.
To end of camino
10.00
Altitude
210
Accommodation in A Susana
Private
→ 3.1km.
To end of camino
6.90
Altitude
210
→ 2.3km.
To end of camino
4.60
Altitude
210
→ 4.6km.
To end of camino
0.00
Altitude
250

Welcome to Santiago! There are a tremendous amount of things to see and things to do in Santiago de Compostela; you are encouraged to stay for at least one full day extra for exploring the web of streets, all of which seem to bring you back to the Cathedral.

Your pilgrim related business is likely to start in front of the cathedral, kilometer zero. A shell and plaque mark the spot in the center of Plaza Obradoiro (see below).

If you are interested in receiving your Compostela, the certificate of completion, you will need to visit the Pilgrim’s Office, which was relocated in 2016 to a bright new building. To get there from the Plaza Obradoiro, face the Parador (the hotel on your left if you are facing the Cathedral) and look for the road that goes downhill to the left. Halfway down you pass the public restroom, and at the next street turn right. The office is at the end of that road and is easy enough to find. Note that there are few arrows indicating the way.

The Cathedral is the single largest attraction to Santiago and for good reason. Both inside and out it presents countless treasures to investigate, too many to list in fact but below are the best.

The Cathedral - Plaza by plaza
1. Plaza de Inmaculada, a.k.a. Azabache: As you enter the city, the first part of the Cathedral that you pass is the Puerta de la Azabachería. This is the entrance that faces the Monastery of San Martín Piñario.

2: Obradoiro: From Azabache you pass under the Palace of the Bishop which is adjoined to the Cathedral and cannot possibly be the sort of palace that affords much peaceful sleeping; the sound of bagpipes welcoming you can be heard from dawn to dusk. The stairway leads directly to the Plaza de Obradoiro and kilometer zero for pilgrims. In the center of the plaza is the last scallop shell and you are likely to find pilgrims taking their shoes off for a photo with it, and the Obradoiro Facade behind them.
This facade is the most majestic and most photographed of the Cathedral and was part of the 18th century building projects that took place in Santiago. The baroque design will keep your eyes moving and the massive amounts of glass allow for the illumination of the Pórtico de la Gloria that lies behind it. That Pórtico was the original front to the church designed by Maestro Mateo 600 years before the new facade.

3. Plaza Platerias: If you continue around the Cathedral you arrive at the Puerta de las Platerías (named for the silver craft that still exists in the shops below it). You will notice that some of the stonework stands out as a different material. These are replacement carvings, the originals were damaged and subsequently moved to the Cathedral Museum; and unfortunately the original composition was forgotten, leaving a somewhat nonsensical layout. In front of the doors are a set of stairs and the Platerías fountain, the usual meeting point for pilgrims commonly referred to as “the horse fountain”.

4: Plaza de Quintana: Continuing up the stairs and around the Cathedral we arrive in the large Plaza de Quintana and the Puerta de Perdón. The actual Holy Door is behind this facade (which is not actually a structural part of the Cathedral, it is more like a highly decorated wall around the Holy Door itself). The carvings here are impressive and depict 24 Saints and prophets.

In medieval times it was common for pilgrims to spend the night in the Cathedral, sleeping on the stone floors and fighting (to the death on a few occasions) for the privilege of sleeping close to their chapel of choice.

The best time to visit is early in the morning before the crowds arrive, when paying a visit to the crypt and hugging the bust of Santiago can be done quietly and with a bit of contemplation.

The botafumeiro, quite possibly the largest thurible in the Catholic Church, is swung across the transept (from north to south) by a group of men called the tiraboleiros. It has only come loose from the ropes twice, and never in modern times. At the time that this book was printed, the tradition of swinging it during the Friday evening mass had been canceled. Inquire at the pilgrim’s office for more information.

The Monastery and Museum of San Martín Piñario
The enormity of this Monastery is difficult to comprehend, but if you pay close attention to this building as you walk around Santiago you will find that you are almost always standing next to it if you are on the north side of the Cathedral. There are three cloisters! The facade of the church often feels like it is somewhere else entirely and is quite curious for the fact that you must descend the staircase to get to the doors, rather than the other way around. The reason for this was a decree by the Archbishop that no building should exceed in elevation that of the Cathedral; the architects did not compromise by redesigning San Martín to be less tall, they simply dug down and started at a lower point.

San Fiz de Solovio
Compared to the two churches above, San Fiz feels like an almost minuscule affair. To find it, make your way to the Mercado de Abastos (Supply Market). San Pelayo (the hermit that rediscovered the bones of Santiago) was praying here when the lights called him. Grand and majestic it is not, but the oldest building site in Santiago it certainly is. The church that exists today is not the original, but excavations have revealed the foundations and necropolis dating to the 6th century.

The Supply Market (Mercado de Abastos)
The produce market is a great place to wander for lunch. Compared to other markets in Spain (like those in Madrid and Barcelona) the Santiago market is a fairly solemn affair. In fact, the architecture appears almost strictly utilitarian and is as Galician as it gets. The vendors make the experience, and even if your Spanish is not up to par, it is worth the visit for a glimpse into the way the locals go about their most ordinary business.

The buildings you see today date from the early 1940’s but replace ones that stood for 300 years. In fact, many of the vendors are second, third, or fifth generation market operators.

Alameda Park
Alameda Park was once the sort of place where the people of Santiago would turn out for elaborate displays of personal wealth and stature; the various paths that cut through and around the park were only to be used by members of a certain class. Nowadays it is far more democratic. The park is the site of a Ferris wheel and feria during the Summer months, an ice skating rink during the Winter holidays, and a massive eucalyptus tree overlooking the Cathedral year round.

The Hidden Pilgrim
Hiding in the shadows cast by the Cathedral, in the Plaza Quintana, is the hidden pilgrim. He is only visible at night and might take a while to discover.

And lastly, there are the many other Monasteries, and while it would be a challenge to visit all of them it is important to realize their construction shaped the city that we see today. Taking the time to walk between them will reveal countless little treasures.

Notice

One word of caution regarding accommodation is in order. If you are arriving in the high season, you are advised to make a reservation in advance. There have been several additions to the albergue roster in recent year but the numbers of pilgrims still exceed capacity in the high season.

Fiesta

The Feast day of Saint James is celebrated with a full week of music and dance, with a fireworks display in the Plaza Obradoiro on the evening of the 24th of July. The best views can be had from Obradoiro, or from Alameda park.