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Camino dos Faros: Malpica to Finisterre  The Natural Adventure

Camino dos Faros: Malpica to Finisterre

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 Finisterre. Take in magnificent beaches and numerous historic lighthouses that used to be the only help for seamen to manage out this rugged coastline. You will be staying in a mix of simple but comfortable hotels in the small fishing villages of Galicia while we take care of your luggage, so you can fully enjoy the tour.

Note: This trip is available from the beginning of March till the end of June and from the beginning of September till mid-November. If you wish to do the tour in July or August, we offer both our ‘in style’ 11-day version to Finisterre and the ‘in-style’ 8-day version to Camarinas during the whole summer.

  • 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

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Malpica

Malpica is located 52 kilometres from the provincial capital of A Coruña. In front of Malpica are the Islas Sisargas, a small archipelago used as shelter by numerous marine birds. Main sights include the Church of Santiago de Mens, in Romanesque style (12th century) and the dolmen of Pedra da Arca.

  • Overnight in a family-run hotel in Malpica

Day 2: Malpica – Niñons | 22 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. Continue hiking towards Seiruga. After a few ascents and descents, you reach the lighthouse of Punta Nariga. End of the stage and short car transfer back to Malpica. 

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 hours
  • Overnight in a family-run hotel in Malpica

Day 3: Niñons – Ponteceso | 26 km

Short car transfer from Malpica to Niñons. The second stage takes you through an infinitely diverse landscape from Niñóns to Ponteceso. In the beginning, secluded bays lead us to the cliffs of Cabo Roncudo and Corme with their prehistoric cave paintings. After the ascent, you can relax for a while on the Valarés beach and then continue towards Ponteceso. 

  • Walking for the day: 26 km, 6-7 hours
  • Overnight in a family-run hotel in Pontecesco

Day 4: Ponteceso – Laxe | 25 km

This stage begins at the mouth of the Anllóns River. Today you will see the fascinating Borneiro Castle, the ancient village of Castro a Cibda and the impressive megalithic tomb, Dolmen Dombate, which dates to the 3rd Century BC, before you reach Monte Castelo. Via the mouth of the Anllón, you reach Laxe via Punta Cabalo, where you cross the beach and end today’s stage. 

Day 5: Laxe – Arou | 18 km

This is the shortest and easiest stage. After visiting Monte da Insua and the Laxe lighthouse, you go to Soesto, where we can admire the magnificent beach. You continue walking towards Praia de Traba with its beautiful lagoon. The last part of this stage takes you over a spectacular route from Felsen to Camelle, home to the fascinating open-air sculpture museum, Museo de Man, which tells the story of the intriguing German sculptor who once lived here as a hermit, and then to Arou. Short car transfer from Arou to Camariñas. 

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 4-5 hours
  • Overnight at Hotel Puerto Arnela (or similar) in Camariñas

Day 6: Arou – Camariñas | 23 km

Short car transfer from Camariñas back to Arou. Our 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 English Cemetry, 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. Passing Cape Vilán lighthouse, you reach the port of Camariñas. We recommend visiting the small museum dedicated to the typical handcrafted lace of Camariñas.

  • Walking for the day: 23 km, 5-6 hours
  • Overnight at Hotel Puerto Arnela (or similar) in Camariñas

Day 7: Camariñas – Muxia | 32 km

This is the longest stage of the Camiño dos Faros. However, it is a relatively flat stretch. You will cross the Camarinas estuary, again enjoying beautiful landscapes. Then you will follow the river mouth of 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 Camino Finisterre trail for a while, but soon take a beautiful path through lush riverside vegetation back to the coast before you finally enter Muxia via the beach. A must-see in Muxia is the magical sanctuary of ’A Virxen da Barca’, which enjoys spectacular sunsets.

Day 8: Muxia – Nemiña | 24 km

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. Short car transfer to Lires.

Day 9: Nemiña – Finisterre (Fisterra)| 26 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. You can shorten the walk by skipping the loop to Cabo Finisterre and doing it on next day.

Day 10: 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

Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming country inns and comfortable 2-star hotels. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.

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. 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. 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; the terrain varies, at some places with steep ascents or descents. 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 the beginning of March till the end of June and from the beginning of September till mid-November. If you wish to do the tour in July or August, we offer both our ‘in style’ 11-day version to Finisterre and the ‘in-style’ 8-day version to Camarinas during the whole summer. The best months to visit are May – June and September – October anyway, as in the summer months it may become too hot. 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

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By plane

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

By train or bus
  • Arrival in 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

  • 9 nights in private en-suite rooms
  • 9 breakfasts
  • Detailed road notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
  • Private transfers as per the programme
  • 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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