Take your time to explore this final section of the Camino Frances, walking from Sarria to Santiago in 12 days, with 10 walking days in total. This is the last 100km of the Camino de Santiago Frances route, which is the minimum required to earn your Compostela Certificate, strolling at a leisurely pace and enjoying the camaraderie and culture of Galicia. Accommodation is in a variety of traditional guesthouses and 1-3-star hotels, all welcoming pilgrims and walkers on the camino, with luggage transfers.
- Church of San Juan of Portomarín
- Santiago de Compostela
Click to view map
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 where you can to start your camino and still get your Compostela Certificate. If you arrive early, we strongly recommend taking a taxi (not included) to Samos and visiting the Monastery that was founded in the 6th century.
- Overnight in Sarria (DP Cristal, Duerming Villa de Sarria or similar)
Day 2: Sarria to Morgade | 12km
Walk to the hamlet of Morgade, passing Sarria Castle, and walking along small country roads and forest tracks without many slopes. Visit the beautiful Romanesque church in the Barbadelo.
- Walking for the day: 12km, 3h
- Overnight: rural guesthouse in Morgade (Please note that Morgade is a very small place with few accommodation options. If it is fully booked on your dates, we may arrange for you to stay in Sarria or Portomarín with additional transfers from/to the trail at no extra cost)
Day 3: Morgade to Portomarín | 9km
Another easy walking day, walk from Morgade to the town of Portomarín, with traditional Galician hórreos (granaries) a common feature along the way. Portomarín, on the Rio Miño, is famous for its previous town buildings having been being flooded on purpose to build the Belesar reservoir, with some remains still visible.
- Walking for the day: 9km, 2-3h
- Overnight in Portomarín (Pousada Portomarín, Arenas Porto or similar)
Day 4: Portomarín to Ventas de Narón | 13km
Walk down to Belesar Reservoir, then ascend to Monte de San Antonio, followed by a visit to Castro de Castromaior, home to the Church of Santa María and also a fascinating archaeological site dating back to the Iron Age.
- Walking for the day: 13km, 3h
- Overnight: guesthouse in Ventas de Narón (Please note that Ventas de Narón is a very small place with few accommodation options. If it is fully booked on your dates, we may arrange overnight for you in Portomarín or Palas de Rei with additional transfers from/to the trail at no extra cost).
Day 5: Ventas de Narón to Palas de Rei | 12km
Today you take an easy forest walk from Ventas de Narón to the market town of Palas de Rei. Stop to visit the Romanesque church in Eirexe, before continuing on to the village of Lestedo, where it’s worth visiting its unique cemetery. Finally, you arrive into the traditional Galician town of Palas de Reis.
- Walking for the day: 12km, 3h
- Overnight in Palas de Rei (Lar do Peregrino, Casa Avelina or similar)
Day 6: Palas de Rei to Melide | 14.5km
Today you leave the province of Lugo behind and head into A Coruña. Walk from Palas de Rei to Campo dos Romeiro, a traditional meeting point for pilgrims. Continue on towards Leboreiro, walking along tranquil rural landscapes to Melide, crossing the river on a medieval bridge. As you spend the night here, we recommend you try out one of the town’s pulperías, famous for the region’s octopus. Melide is where the Camino Primitivo merges with the Camino Frances.
- Walking for the day: 14.5km, 3-4h
- Overnight in Melide (San Anton, Pension Ferradura or similar)
Day 7: Melide to Arzúa | 14km
Walk through shady oak and eucalyptus forests, and across a few streams to the village of Boente, home to the very pretty Church of Santiago. Continue on to the medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally, Arzúa, famous for its local cheese, where we recommend visiting the churches of Santa María and A Magdalena.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 3-4h
- Overnight in Arzua (Hotel Arzua, Pension Domus Gallery or similar)
Day 8: Arzúa to Salceda | 11km
Today’s route takes you along easy forest tracks, country roads and through some sleepy villages, with plenty of tranquil picnic spots en route.
- Walking for the day: 11km, 3h
- Overnight in Salceda (Pension Salceda or similar)
Day 9: Salceda to O Pedrouzo/Amenal | 8km
Today you take a walk along a mix of well-marked country roads and forest tracks to O Pedrouzo on the shortest walking day of this tour.
- Walking for the day: 8km, 2h
- Overnight in Pedrouzo, Rua or the surrounding area (PR Platas, O Acivro, Hotel Amenal or similar)
Day 10: O Pedrouzo/Amenal to Lavacolla | 9.5km
Today you walk to Lavacolla. The etymology of Lavacolla is thought to come from lava-colla, meaning washing the neck, because it’s believed that this is where pilgrims used to wash just before entering Santiago de Compostela.
- Walking for the day: 9.5km, 3h
- Overnight in Lavacolla (Pazo Xan Xordo or similar)
Day 11: Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela | 10km
Today’s final section takes you through some quiet rural areas and small villages., including an ascent to Monte do Gozo at just 370m, also called the Hill of Joy, as this is where pilgrims capture their first glimpse of the three spires of the of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Then it’s all downhill to the great city, which you enter through the San Lázaro neighbourhood. As today’s walk is only 10km, you should be in Santiago in time for the pilgrim mass at midday. After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, especially its Old Town where we include a guided tour.
- Walking for the day: 10km, 2-3h
- Overnight in Santiago de Compostela (Alameda Rooms, Hotel Lux Santiago or similar)
Day 12: Departure
Departure after breakfast. We highly recommend booking additional nights in Santiago de Compostela.
What to expect
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming countryside guesthouses and comfortable 1-3-star hotels, located close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite bathroom. Please note that we aim to book you into each town listed on the itinerary. However, in the event of low availability, we may book two nights in the same town and organise transfers for you.
Click to view default hotels
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 three course lunch or dinner, including wine and water, from £12 to £15.
Difficulty and terrain
This itinerary is a relaxed version of our standard seven day itinerary and includes walks of 10-12km per day on average (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 maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available year-round, but the best months to visit are April–June and September–October, as in the 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.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
Arrival in Sarria
The best way to reach Sarria is to fly into Santiago de Compostela airport and then get a shuttle bus to the central bus station of Santiago with empresafreire.com (every 30mins). From there you can travel to Lugo with the same company (Freire) or with alsa.es and then take another local bus from Lugo to Sarria (35mins, with at least six services a day. Check up to date timetables at monbus.es.
From weekdays 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 Santiago de Compostela airport from the centre of Santiago with different stops in the city or you can book a private transfer through us.
- 11 nights in private en-suite rooms
- 11 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one piece up to 20kg per person)
- Guided tour in Santiago de Compostela’s Old Town
- Galician cheese tasting in Santiago (not on Sundays)
- Pilgrim Pass and scallop
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Additional luggage
- 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 and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- 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
- Supplements may apply if you travel over Easter, Christmas, New Year and other major holidays.
You need to get your Pilgrim’s 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.
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 the Compostela Certificate. 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.
Therefore, if obtaining a pilgrim certificate is important to you, and if you plan to undertake the Camino between 15 April and 15 October, 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 rushing and enjoy the charms of the city.