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Camino Frances Final Stage: Sarria to Santiago (Relaxed)

Camino Frances Final Stage: Sarria to Santiago (Relaxed)

Overview

Walk the last 100 km (the minimum required to earn your Compostela) of the French Way from Saria to Santiago de Compostela in nine walking days at a leisurely pace and take your time to explore the beautiful villages along the route, the local culture and the Galician cuisine.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sarria

Arrival by public bus or private transfer in Sarria. Sarria is a small town in Galicia and the last place to start your Camino and collect your Compostela. If you arrive early, we strongly recommend taking a taxi (not included) to Samos and visit the Monastery that was founded in the 6th century and has welcomed pilgrims since then. The optional walk from Samos to Sarria is 13.8 km. You can also book an extra night at Sarria in order to do this beautiful section of the Camino between Samos and Sarria.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 3-4 hours – optional walk in case of early arrival
  • Accommodation: Hotel Oca Villa de Sarria or similar in Sarria

Day 2: Sarria to Morgade | 12 km

Setting off to the small hamlet of Morgade, you pass Sarria Castle, walking mainly along small country roads and forest tracks. Visit the beautiful Romanesque church in the village of Barbadelo.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 3 hours
  • Accommodation: rural guesthouse in Morgade

Day 3: Morgade to Portomarín | 10 km

Another easy walking day, taking you from Morgade to the town of Portomarín. Along the way, you will spot many Galician traditional hórreos (granaries).

Day 4: Portomarín to Ventas de Narón | 13 km

Today you will walk from Portomarín to the hamlet of Ventas de Narón. The Camino crosses the river Miño (Galicia’s longest river) and steadily rises towards the beautiful Serra de Ligonde.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 3-4 hours
  • Accommodation: guesthouse in Ventas de Narón

Day 5: Ventas de Narón to Palas de Rei | 11 km

Today you will take an easy walk from Ventas de Narón to the market town of Palas de Rei. Stop to visit the Romanesque Church of Santa María in Castromaior and the Romanesque church in Eirexe, with its portal featuring a sculpture of Daniel with animals, as well as Pilgrim Santiago.

Day 6: Palas de Rei to Melide | 14 km

The Camino trail continues downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the delightful village of Leboreiro. Once you arrive in Melide, you should try octopus, Galicia’s most classic dish, in one of the town’s pulperías. Melide is where the Camino Primitivo merges with the Camino Frances.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 3-4 hours
  • Accommodation: guesthouse in Melide

Day 7: Melide to Arzúa | 14 km

Much of the day is shaded, and shortly after Melide, you will walk through oak and eucalyptus forests. The Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track bringing you to the village of Boente and the church of Santiago. Next is the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa, famous for its local cheese, where you should visit the churches of Santa María and A Magdalena.

Day 8: Arzúa to Rúa-Pedrouzo | 19 km

Today you will take a bit longer walk from Arzúa to the hamlet of Rúa-Pedrouzo along easy forest tracks and country roads. The path will take you along streams through rustic sleepy villages. This section includes a good number of peaceful picnic spots and turns into a festival of colours in spring with its variety of flowers along the trail. It is possible to split the day with an overnight in Salceda, thus walking 10 km/9 km.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 4-5 hours
  • Accommodation: O Acivro or similar in Rúa-Pedrouzo

Day 9: Rúa-Pedrouzo to Lavacolla | 10 km

Today you will take a walk along a mix of well-marked country roads and forest tracks from the quiet hamlet of Rúa-Pedrouzo to Lavacolla – the traditional last stop before Santiago, where pilgrims in older days would wash their feet in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela.

  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 2 hours
  • Accommodation: guesthouse in Lavacolla

Day 10: Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela | 10 km

Your final stage! Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo, and it is from here that you will catch your first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. When you arrive in the city, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural city.

With only 10 km to walk today, you should be in Santiago in time for the pilgrim mass (12 pm). 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.

Day 11: 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.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming countryside guesthouses 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. The hotel in Santiago de Compostela is 1-star but located in Santiago de Compostela’s historic centre and in front of the Cathedral, and it has been welcoming pilgrims since the late 16th c. The accommodation places have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Below you can see some samples, but please note that the Camino is a very popular destination and the hotels in your final booking confirmation may be different from the ones pictured below. 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. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty pilgrim menus – you can get a 3-course dinner including wine and water for ~GBP 10.

Difficulty & terrain

This itinerary is a relaxed version of our standard 7-day programme and includes walks of 10-12 km per day on average (the longest one is 19 km, but can be split) (read more about difficulty grades). The terrain is flat or hilly without steep ascents or descents. You will follow a mixture of dirt roads, woodland paths, minor roads and some busier roads close to the bigger towns and cities. The routes are well-marked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background, and the itinerary is very easy to follow. 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 year-round, but the best months to visit are April – June and September – October, as in summer months, it may become too hot (and crowded). 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.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Santiago de Compostela (SCQ). The alternative airport is A Coruña (LCG).

By train or bus

Arrival in Sarria
The best way to reach Sarria is to fly into Santiago de Compostela airport and first get a shuttle bus to the central bus station of Santiago (with www.empresafreire.com; every 30 min). From there you can travel to Lugo with the same company (Freire) or with ALSA www.alsa.es and then take another local bus from Lugo to Sarria (35 min; at least 6 services a day). Check up to date timetables at www.monbus.es.

On workdays (Mon to Friday) there is also a direct bus from the Santiago de Compostela central bus station to Sarria with the company Monbus. But remember that you first have to travel into town to the central bus station as described above. You can also book private transfers with us.

Departure from Santiago de Compostela
There is a shuttle bus to the airport of Santiago from the centre of Santiago with different stops in the city (check www.empresafreire.com) or you can book a private transfer with us.

Inclusions

Included

  • 10 nights in private en-suite rooms
  • 10 breakfasts
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information, all provided in digital formats prior to the departure date
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (1 pc up to 20 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

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

Options, extras & supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double 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
  • Airport transfers

Compostela/Pilgrims Passport

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!

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