Overview for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to Santiago
The Camino del Norte (a.k.a. The Northern Way) offers a truly authentic pilgrim experience. Compared to the Camino Frances, the route is quieter, much more challenging but also a lot more rewarding. The Camino del Norte goes along the green northern coast of Spain from San Sebastián in the Basque Country, through Cantabria and the Asturias and reaches Ribadeo in Galicia. From Ribadeo, the Northern Camino heads inland, taking pilgrims across the forests and farmlands of rural Galicia on its way to Santiago de Compostela.
The last stage of the Camino del Norte takes pilgrims from the market town of Vilalba and across Galicia’s farmland and lush countryside all the way to Santiago de Compostela. You will be also joining the famous Camino Frances in Arzúa, so you get the best of both worlds: a less travelled path on the Camino del Norte and the most popular and social trail on the Camino Frances.
Since you will be walking over 100 km, don’t forget to stamp your pilgrim passport and claim your Compostela certificate when you reach Santiago!
Itinerary for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to SantiagoGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive in Vilalba
Today, the Camino del Norte meanders among the forests, farmland and green pastures of the Terra Chá (flat lands) leading you to the area’s capital, the market town of Vilalba. Try the local delicacies, cheeses and other farm products.
- Walking for the day: 20 km
- Overnight Vilalba
Day 2: Walk to Baamonde
From Vilalba, the Camino del Norte takes walkers through the heart of the Terra Chá region of Galicia. Forest paths, small farming villages and lush countryside make most of today’s peaceful walk. In Baamonde, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation for the night, a fantastic rural property in Miraz.
- Walking for the day: 20 km
- Overnight Miraz
Day 3: Walk to Miraz
You will get a short transfer from your accommodation back to Baamonde. Check out the medieval St James Church (Igrexa de Santiago) in Baamonde before you continue your journey across rural Galicia, following the Camino del Norte. Today is quite an easy walking day.
- Walking for the day: 15 km
- Overnight Miraz
Day 4: Walk to Sobrado Dos Monxes
From Miraz, you will continue on your Camino del Norte journey across rural Galicia. You will reach the highest point of the trail at Marcela, so take a few minutes to enjoy the views. Your destination is Sobrado dos Monxes, home to an impressive monastery. The original monastery dates back to the 10th century, although the current facade is baroque. You will be picked up at the monastery and stay the night in Miraz.
- Walking for the day: 26 km
- Overnight Miraz
Day 5: Walk to Arzúa
This morning you will be taken back to Sobrado dos Monxes to continue your Camino journey. Today you will walk the last stretch of the Camino del Norte before it joins the most popular Camino trail, Camino Francés, in Arzúa. Prepare yourself to meet many pilgrims in this busy market town. Arzúa is famous for its local cheese so make sure you give it a try!
- Walking for the day: 22 km
- Overnight Arzúa
Day 6: Walk to Pedrouzo
Today’s Camino walk will take you through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams most of the day. Make sure you visit the chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago. You will stay the night in the town of Pedrouzo.
- Walking for the day: 18 km
- Overnight Pedrouzo
Day 7: Walk to Santiago de Compostela
Your final stage! You will walk mostly through rural settings and eucalyptus groves. Your next point of interest is Lavacolla in the outskirts of Santiago, where pilgrims used to wash in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo and it is from here that will catch your first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago.
After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its old town will enchant you. In Santiago the Compostela you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.
- Walking for the day: 21 km
- Overnight Santiago de Compostela
Day 8: Departure
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading back to the airport. We highly recommend booking additional nights in Santiago de Compostela to explore this fantastic city.
Hotels for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to SantiagoGo to top of page
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming country inns and comfortable 3-star hotels, located close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite (attached) bathroom. In the larger cities, you will stay in larger 3-star hotels; the other nights will be in a mixture of rural hotels and inns, all with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
Breakfast is included (usually a simple buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty pilgrim menus – you can get a 3-course dinner including wine and water for about GBP 10-15 pp.
Travel for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to SantiagoGo to top of page
The best place to fly into is Santiago de Compostela.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Arrival to Villalba
From Santiago Airport Vilalba is easily reachable by bus. Arriva Spain offers buses (line 13) departing twice a week. See www.arriva.es
Departure from Santiago
You can take a shuttle bus from Santiago centre to Santiago Airport.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person). When arriving at hotels, usually your luggage would have been taken to your room awaiting your arrival. However don’t be surprised if at some places your luggage is waiting for you at the reception desk – just politely ask someone from the staff if you need assistance to bring it to your room.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on Spain is available here
Trip Info for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to SantiagoGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of up to 26 km (6 hours) a day and some of the walks are fairly strenuous with steeper ascents/descents. The Camino Del Norte follows a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths (read more about difficulty grades).
The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There are sections on the route where you will divert to follow the red and white stripes of the GR routes. There will always be other walkers around in-case you are looking for help. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available all year round, but the best months to visit are April – October. The weather in Northern Spain is very varied. In general you can expect pleasant temperatures for walking of between 19 degrees and up to about 26 degrees in the summer months. As you will be walking near the coast for much of this walk, you can expect some rainy days, particularly in spring and autumn. The flexibility of self-guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
You can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants or hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago de Compostela, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100 km finishing in Santiago).
Important: Due to the large influx of pilgrims during summer, and to avoid long waiting times, the Pilgrim Office in Santiago has installed a numbered ticket system for issuing pilgrim certificates (the Compostela). This new system allows pilgrims to collect their ticket and, using a QR Code, to check the status of the queue and estimated waiting time to obtain the Compostela. However, the number of tickets per day is limited so on days with high numbers of pilgrims arriving, there is a possibility that not all pilgrims will be able to collect their certificate on the day of arrival and will have to return for it on the following morning.
Therefore, if obtaining a pilgrim certificate is important to you, and if you plan to undertake the Camino between April 15th and October 15th, we recommend that you arrange the return travel in such a way that you will be in Santiago de Compostela during the morning after your arrival. Better still, we encourage you to book a second night in Santiago so that you can collect the certificate without rush and enjoy the charms of the city!
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.
- Good hiking boots or trail running shoes
- Hiking socks
- Several T-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Camino del Norte Final Stage: Vilalba to SantiagoGo to top of page
- 7 nights in private en-suite rooms (country inns and 3-star hotels)
- 7 breakfasts
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
- Transfers from the trail to the hotels and back to the trailhead as detailed in the itinerary
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price. As a solo traveller, you will be accommodated in a single room on all nights.
To see the price of the holiday for your desired dates, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights and airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- All lunches and dinners
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions and Optional Extras
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
- Airport transfers