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Camino dos Faros: Carballo to Finisterre  The Natural Adventure

Camino dos Faros: Malpica to Finisterre 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 Carballo to Finisterre. 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 casas rurales (rural hotels). Note that we have chosen not necessarily the most expensive or fanciest places but such with unique character, style and great service.

This tour is the full version of the Camiño dos Faros. In case 11 days is too long for you, we also have the shorter version of Camarinas available 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 Carballo

Carballo is situated close to A Coruña. Evening transfer from the hotel to a restaurant in Carballo, where you can have dinner, and back to the hotel.

Day 2: Malpica to Barizo | 13.2 km

A short transfer from your hotel to Malpica. 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), breakfast

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 da Morte although, or maybe because, it is a modern building. 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 give access to a modern 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 (taking a shortcut)
  • Overnight at Hotel Casa da Vasca (or similar), breakfast

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 reaching 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), breakfast

Day 5: Laxe to Camelle | 15.8 km

A beautiful stretch of coastline and one steep hill separate Laxe from the large sandy beach of Traba. The ocean has violated the dunes on several occasions, thus creating a wetland with lagunes that are popular among 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 literally 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: 15,8 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), breakfast

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 truly 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), breakfast & dinner

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), breakfast & dinner

Day 8: Ponte do Cereixo to Muxia | 14.4-17 km

In the morning, transfer to Ponte do Cereixo to the start of today’s walk to Muxia. After two days of wild coastal landscapes, today you follow the river mouth, Ria do Porto, where large groups of marisqueiras can be seen (and heard) in the morning as they collect mussels and shellfish. The mini lighthouse of Lago tells you that you’re back to the Atlantic coast and close to the beach of Lago (with several bars and restaurants). This is a good place to stop for a break before the second part of the route, which starts with a steep uphill section to the village of Mereixo. Here you join in for the first time on the Camino de Santiago trail to Finisterre but soon take a beautiful path through lush riverside vegetation back to the coast before you finally enter Muxia via the beach.

  • Walking for the day: 14,4 km, 5.5-6 hours, ↑565 m ↓600 m (the walk to the Sanctuary will add about 3 km/1 hour to the total walking for the day)
  • Overnight at Hostal La Cruz (or similar), breakfast

Day 9: Moreira to Queiroso | 15 km

To avoid 3 km of tarmac road and the crossing of three small ‘fjords’ with very steep ascents/descents, you ride partway with the taxi that transports your luggage. From Moreira – a small hamlet with no services – you walk to the beach and join a section of the Camiño dos Faros along a barren coastline with similarities to Scottish or Nordic landscapes. Today’s lighthouse is again small but located at the Westernmost edge of Europe: Cabo Touriñan. From there, you turn south to the surfers’ beach of Nemiña and enjoy lunch before you walk the last 2 kilometres to a rural hotel, where you will overnight. Dinner is again included.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5.5-6 hours, ↑515 m ↓500 m
  • Overnight at Casa Fontequeiroso (or similar), breakfast & dinner

Day 10: Castrexe to Finisterre | 14.3-20 km

The last stage is again a fascinating one, especially between Praia Arnela and Finisterre, where you walk very close to the cliffs and appreciate once more the skill and bravery of fishermen that stand on exposed corners to get the best catch. The section between Castrexe and Praia Arnela can be skipped, but then you will miss the last 1.5 km of the sandy and desolate beach before Finisterra.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 8 hours, ↑820 m ↓780 m
  • Shorter option (starting at Playa Arnela): 14,3 km, 6 hours, ↑625 m ↓665 m
  • Overnight at Hotel Vida Finisterre Centro (or similar), breakfast

Day 11: Cape Finisterre/Departure

Before you depart,  you should not miss the walk the most symbolic part of the Camiño dos Faros (approx. 7,5 km, 330 m in ascent and descent) – the loop-walk to the Cabo Finisterre (if you have not done it on the previous day). Cape Finisterre commonly referred to as the “end of the world”, is the final destination for many Camino pilgrims who, on reaching Santiago, continue to walk until they can walk no further – at the Lighthouse Finisterre.

What to Expect

Accommodation

This ‘In Style’ itinerary includes a selection of hand-picked charming guesthouses and family-run 3- or 4-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 3 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 pilgrim 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 varies, at some places with steep ascents or descents, 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 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 from mid-April till the end of October. 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 Finisterre: There are regular buses from Finisterre (Fisterra) to Santiago de Compostela, which can be checked here. Then you can take a shuttle bus from Santiago centre to Santiago Airport. Or you can take a bus from Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña.
  • For more information, use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 10 nights in private en-suite rooms
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners on Days 6, 7 & 9
  • 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)
  • Private transfers as per programme
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, 7 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

Reviews

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Rating

     

Anna I.

We had a beautiful active vacation. The organization was perfect: everything was taken care of and explained in detail. There was no problem during our 11 days. The navigation provided was on point. The whole experience was practically perfect. I especially praise the selection of accommodation which was always a pleasant surprise.