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Camino Highlights: From Sarria via Santiago to the Sea  The Natural Adventure

Camino Highlights: From Sarria via Santiago to the Sea

Overview

Walk the last 100 km of the classic French Way (Camino Frances) of the Camino from Saria to Santiago de Compostela (the minimum required to earn your Compostela) and then on to the sea at Finisterre. This first section of the walk takes you through the charming region of Galicia in Northern Spain to Santiago for a unique experience you’ll treasure forever. Then continue on the Camino Finisterre route, passing remote medieval villages and reaching the steep cliffs of Spain’s westernmost point, Cape Finisterre. Finisterre translates as “the end of the world”, and for many pilgrims, the journey is complete when they can walk no more, reaching Cape Finisterre.

  • Church of San Juan of Portomarín – an unusual Late Romanesque temple
  • The medieval village of Ribadiso 
  • Cathedral of Santiago – the aim of every pilgrim, a UNESCO heritage site
  • The peaceful and beautiful Camino de Santiago to Finisterre
  • Cape Finisterre and its lighthouse

Click to view maps

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sarria

Arrival by public bus or private transfer to Sarria. Sarria is a small town in Galicia and the last place where you can start your Camino and collect your Compostela. If you arrive early, we strongly recommend taking a taxi to Samos and visiting the Monastery that was founded in the 6th century and has welcomed pilgrims since then. 

  • Overnight in a hotel in Sarria (Roma or similar), breakfast included

Day 2: Sarria – Portomarin | 22 km

Setting off for Portomarin, you pass Sarria Castle and start your first walk of the Camino, mainly along small country roads and a few pathways. Most of the roads are tree-lined and will provide good shade in the sun. There are hamlets every kilometre or so. You will not have to worry about water or food, and whenever you sit down and take a short rest, you will hear interesting stories from other pilgrims.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 hours, ↑200 m ↓300 m
  • Overnight in a hotel in Portomarin (Pousada Portomarin or similar), breakfast included

Day 3: Portomarin – Palas de Rei | 24 km

Today the Camino crosses the Minho river and then steadily climbs upwards before passing through Gonzar and Castromaior, where the tiny Romanesque Church of Santa Maria is situated. Continue along country roads edged by bright yellow gorse, pine and oak trees to reach the high point of today’s walk at Sierra de Ligonde (750 m), then descend to the old hamlet of Ligonde, once a popular resting point along the Camino. For the last 3 km leading into Palas de Rei, you will walk on a dirt track alongside the main road.

  • Walking for the day: 24 km, 6 hours, ↑450 m ↓300 m
  • Overnight in Palas de Rei, breakfast included

Day 4: Palas de Rei – Arzua | 29 km

Option 1: Start one of the longest but technically very easy sections of the route. Pilgrims consider this section the start of the countdown because shortly after Coto, there are stone markers at the side of the path with the distance to Santiago marked. Much of the day is shaded, and shortly after Melide, you will walk through oak and eucalyptus forests. Melide is where the Camino Primitivo merges with the Camino Frances. You can also ask your hosts to be taken to the Pambre Castle in the morning and take a shortcut to Coto, away from the busy roads. Relax on the river bank at Ribadiso before ascending to Arzua.

  • Walking for the day: 29 km, 7 hours, ↑225 m ↓400 m
  • Overnight in hotel in Arzua (Pazo de Santa Maria or similar), breakfast included

Day 5: Arzua – A Rua | 19.3 km

Upon leaving Arzua, perhaps pick up some delicious cheese for lunch; then continue through the old quarter of the town as the walk leads past sturdy oak trees, which give way to lush meadows.  Visit the medieval shrine at Santa Irene and the Baroque fountain of healing waters. While not as spectacular as on the previous day, today’s walk will enable you to make many new friends among the pilgrims going to Santiago.

  • Walking for the day: 19.3 km, 4-5 hours, ↑200 m ↓225 m
  • Overnight in a country hotel, breakfast included

Day 6: A Rua – Santiago de Compostela | 19.4 km

Your final stage! You will walk mostly through rural settings and eucalyptus groves. At Monte del Gozo, pilgrims historically make one last stop at the spring in Lavacolla to wash face and feet before presenting themselves before the Saint. Enter the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela and relish the end of your journey at the Cathedral.

  • Walking for the day: 19.4 km, 5 hours, ↑175 m ↓175 m
  • Overnight in Lux Santiago or a similar in Santiago de Compostela, breakfast included

Day 7: Rest Day Santiago

Explore the old city of Santiago de Compostela. Do not miss the midday mass at the Cathedral if you did not manage yesterday. The winding streets of the old city throw so much history at you that it is almost overwhelming. There is a Pilgrim’s museum, a great modern art gallery. In the evening, enjoy the fantastic seafood and white wines that Galicia is so famous for.

  • Overnight in Lux Santiago or a similar in Santiago de Compostela, breakfast included

Day 8: Santiago – Negreira | 21 km

Head along the route through the Lost Pilgrims’ gateway, downhill through eucalyptus and pine forests to the river Sar. Continue through the parish of Figueiras, then Villestro, Roxos and Alto do Vento. When you reach Augapesada climb up to the top of Mar de Ovellas, with magnificent views over the valley of Amaía. Go through Carballo, Trasmonte, Reino and Burgueiros, and arrive at the River Tambre over the Ponte Maceira bridge. Then take a wooded footpath next to the river, go up to Chancela and reach Negreira.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 5 hours, ↑475 m ↓545 m
  • Accommodation: country hotel (Hospedaje La Mezquita or similar), breakfast included

Day 9: Negreira – Olveiroa | 34 km/23 km

Leave Negreira by crossing the Barcala River. The native vegetation and the beauty of the landscape preside over these first kilometres: cornfields, pine trees and eucalyptus, together with a genuine popular architecture evident in granaries like As Maroñas, and Romanesque churches such as Santa Mariña. Leave Santa Mariña heading to the Mount Aro (556 m). From here part of the region of Terra de Xallas can be seen. This territory is well-known for its basketry craft and its original women’s hats made of straw. After Aro, you will pass by Campo Valado, Porteliñas, Abeleiroas and the viewpoint of Corzón. After Mallón, you will reach Ponte Olveira and then the centre of Olveiroa.

  • Walking for the day: 34 km, 8 hours, ↑535 m ↓410 m (an optional taxi transfer is possible for this day to allow you to start in Vilaseiro. By taking the transfer the first 10 km of the walk is eliminated making for a much easier day’s walking; cost is about EUR 20 – ask for it at the hotel and pay on site)
  • Accommodation: 2-star country hotel (Casa Loncho, Pension Rustica As Pias or similar), breakfast included

Day 10: Olveiroa – Cee | 19 km

From Olveiroa, the Camino follows Xallas and Hospital rivers to Logoso and takes the pilgrims past the Nosa Señora Chapel (Our Lady). After the chapel, the trail continues downhill through the pine groves of Alto do Cruceiro da Armada. Today’s walk is less hilly and quite scenic, taking you between mountains, windmills and forests for your first sighting of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Finisterre. Reach the peak of San Pedro and make your way slowly down the steep hill to the charming village of Cee with its small sandy cove and colourful fishing boats.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 4-5 hours, ↑200 m ↓480 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel (Hotel Insua or similar), breakfast included

Day 11: Cee – Finisterre (Fisterra)| 16 km

Leave Cee, and very quickly you will arrive at Corcubión with its old quarter declared a historical-artistic site. From Corcubión, tackle a steep hill that leads to Campo de San Roque and the village of Vilar. You will then follow the coastline and the long and beautiful Langosteira beach to arrive at Finisterre (Fisterra). From there then you come to the mythical lighthouse, km 0 on the Way to Santiago. The ocean opens up before us like a wide-angle lens, while all possible sensations come together on this cape at the end of the world.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 4 hours, ↑310 m ↓245 m
  • Accommodation: 2-star country hotel (Hotel Prado da Viña or similar), breakfast included

Day 12: Departure

Departure after breakfast. There are several buses that run every day back to Santiago where you can pick up your onward travel.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in simple but comfortable hotels and guesthouses, located close to the route of the Camino. All of them have private or en-suite facilities and offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

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 evening meal including wine and water for £10-12.

Difficulty & terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of 20 km per day on average (the longest one is 29 km); the terrain is flat or hilly (read more about difficulty grades) 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 waymarked, and the itinerary is very easy to follow. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background. 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 until mid-November. 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 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 (Monday 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 to town to the central bus station as described above.
  • Departure from Finisterre: There are several buses that run every day back to Santiago where you can pick up your onward travel. Check the Monbus website for up-to-date schedules. You can also use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 11 nights in private rooms with en-suite facilities
  • 11 breakfasts
  • Maps
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (1 pc up to 20 kg per person)
  • Galician cheese tasting in Santiago (not on Sundays)
  • Guided Tour of Santiago de Compostela (old town)
  • Pilgrim Kit: passport (Credencial) and shell (Vieira)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Optional transfer to shorten the walk on Day 9
  • 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

Compostela/Pilgrims Passport

You need to get your passports 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.

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 tickets 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 – this is one of the reasons we’ve included an extra day in Santiago.

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