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Camino dos Faros: The Lighthouse Way to Camarinas

Camino dos Faros: Malpica to Camarinas in Style

Overview

Explore Spain’s wild Galician Coast, the Costa da Morte, on this off-the-beaten-track walk along the Camino dos Faros (The Lighthouse Way) from Malpica to Camarinas near Muxia. Take in magnificent beaches and numerous historic lighthouses that used to be the only help for seamen to manage out this rugged coastline.

This ‘In Style’ itinerary includes a selection of hand-picked charming guesthouses and family-run 3-star hotels. Note that we have chosen not necessarily the most expensive or fanciest places but such with unique character, style and great service.

If you have more time to spend, you can also check the full version of the Lighthouse Way to Finisterre in Style here.

  • Stunning views of Costa da Morte
  • Explore timeless fishing villages and a rich archaeological heritage
  • Discover many iconic lighthouses scattered along the way
  • Enjoy delicious Galician seafood specialities
  • Magnificent sandy beaches

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Malpica

Malpica is situated close to A Coruña. Once you arrive and check in at your lovely hotel, walking around the town and visiting the quaint port can be a good option before taking a look at the restaurants to decide where to have a tasty fish or seafood dinner today. 

Day 2: Malpica to Barizo | 13.2 km

During the first walk, you get directly into the mood of the Camiño dos Faros as you follow gravel roads and small, sometimes uneven and exposed footpaths along the coast, passing a beach, a chapel and the Sisargas islands. The route ends at the doorstep of your rural seaside hotel near Barizo. Dinner is not included because the hotel only serves ‘a la carte’ menus. And you might want to try next door’s restaurant “As Garzas” awarded with a Michelin star in 2018 (but remember to book in advance).

  • Walking for the day: 13,2 km, 5 hours, ↑400 m ↓400 m
  • Overnight at Hotel Casa da Vasca (or similar)

Day 3: Barizo Circular Walk | 13-16.2 km

Today you walk first to the Faro Nariga, one of the most famous lighthouses of the Costa del Morte. After the lighthouse, you continue to the beautiful beach of Niñons, where you can either take a taxi back to your hotel or start the return route along gravel roads that service a windmill park.

  • Walking for the day: 16,2 km, 6.5-7 hours, ↑720 m ↓720 m (shorter option: 13 km, 5 hours, ↑615 m ↓615 m)
  • Overnight at Hotel Casa da Vasca (or similar)

Day 4: Roncudo to Ponteceso | 14-18 km

To avoid a long stretch of steep coastal footpaths through a vast empty area, a taxi will take you in the morning to the tiny hamlet of Roncudo. From there, you either follow the Camiño along winding footpaths to the cape O Roncudo, after which there is no alternative for a 3-km tarmac lane until you reach the fishermen’s village of O Corme OR you take a shortcut to O Corme.

After a coffee break at O Corme you have to choose again: between the long spectacular Camiño along the coast with some exposed parts, or a shorter, higher route through shady woods before you reach the extensive sand plateau that separates the river mouth of Ponteceso from the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, you walk along a long stretch of sandy trail before you reach Ponteceso, where a taxi will take you to your modern beach hotel in Laxe.

  • Walking for the day, low route: 18 km, 6.5 hours, ↑525 m ↓650 m
  • Walking for the day, high route: 14 km, 4.5-5 hours, ↑325 m ↓450 m
  • Overnight at Hotel Vida Mar de Laxe (or similar)

Day 5: Laxe to Camelle | 15.3 km

A beautiful stretch of coastline and one steep hill separate Laxe from the large sandy beach of Traba. The dunes have been violated by the ocean on several occasions, thus creating a wetland with lagoons that attract many birds. After a swim or a meal at the only bar-restaurant along the route today, you follow an old coastal ox-trail, that has been carved into the granite rock and winds around strange wind-sculptured rock formations. In the harbour of Camelle, a taxi picks you up for a transfer back to Laxe because there is no hotel nearby.

  • Walking for the day: 15,3 km, 5,5 hours, ↑485 m ↓485 m (alternative walk less exposed for rainy and windy days: 12 km, 4 hours, ↑275 m ↓275 m)
  • Overnight at Hotel Vida Mar de Laxe (or similar)

Day 6: Arou to Mourin/Camariñas | 13.6 km

Our recommended route for today starts at the village of Arou and takes you first along two tiny harbours before you climb up Europe’s highest dune. Then a genuinely wild scenery awaits as you descend and cross a chain of small beaches called Praias de Trece. You finally reach the Cemetry of the English, a symbolic burial place to honour the lives of sailors and passengers that died in three shipwrecks that happened on this coast between 1883 and 1893. The last kilometres are easy as you hike along a gravel road for a while (taking some shortcuts close to the coast at times) before you head into the woods and walk to the doorstep of your cosy hotel, where you will also have dinner tonight.

NOTE: For those who prefer less exposed and easier routes, or on days with strong winds, there is an alternative high route starting near Sta Mariña, that offers the view across the Praia do Trece before you reach the cemetery.

  • Walking for the day: 13,6 km, 5 hours, ↑415 m ↓375 m (alternative route: 12 km, 4-4.5 hours, ↑270 m ↓385 m); If your accommodation tonight is in Camariñas, the walk will be 2 km longer: 15.6 km, 5.5 hours, ↑415 m ↓420 m
  • Overnight at Hotel Puerto Arnela (or similar)

Day 7: Mourin to Camariñas | 13 km

As you walk back to the coast from Mourin, you will be surprised by the dramatic location of the most imposing lighthouse on the route: the Cabo Vilán, also the first electrified lighthouse of Spain. You can visit the house (now it holds a visitors’ centre and café) before you continue along the coast, past a modern fish factory and a chapel located on a hilltop above Camariñas. Today’s route is relatively short, which allows you to have a longer lunch at the Arnelo restaurant in Camariñas. We recommend visiting the small museum dedicated to the typical handcrafted lace of Camariñas. After lunch, you walk back to your hotel or order a taxi when it’s time to return for dinner.

  • Walking for the day: 12-13.9 km, 4-4,5 hours, ↑270 m ↓385 m
  • Overnight at Hotel Puerto Arnela (or similar)

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, a taxi will take you to Vimianzo, where you can get on the bus to either Coruña or to Santiago.

What to Expect

Accommodation

This ‘In Style’ itinerary includes a selection of hand-picked charming guesthouses and family-run 3-star hotels. Note that we have chosen not necessarily the most expensive or fanciest places but such with unique character, style and great service.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included (usually buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days, as well as two dinners. 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 menus – you can get a 3-course dinner, including wine and water, for about £10-15.

Difficulty & terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of 15 km per day on average (the longest one is 18 km), 4-6 hours a day; the terrain is varying, at some places with steep ascents or descents, but usually alternative routes are possible. You will follow a mixture of dirt roads, stony paths and minor roads (read more about difficulty grades). The routes are waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through 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 from mid-April until the end of October. The best months to visit are May – June and September – October as in the summer months it may become too hot (and crowded). The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are A Coruña (LCG) or Santiago de Compostela (SCQ).

By train or bus
  • Arrival to Malpica: The best way to reach Malpica de Bergantiños is to fly into A Coruña airport and first get a shuttle bus to the central bus station of A Coruña. From there, you can travel by Arriva bus to Malpica, the schedule can be checked here. You can also book private transfers with us. If you fly to Santiago, you can take a bus to A Coruña and then change to the other bus to Malpica.
  • Departure from Mourin/Vimianzo: The same bus company Arriva has regular buses from Vimianzo to A Coruña, or you can book a private transfer with us.
  • For more information, use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in private en-suite rooms
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on site
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
  • Transfers as per programme on Days 4, 5, 6 & 8
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Airport transfers are bookable upon request

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