Start: Sarriá Finish: Santiago de Compostela
Start your Camino adventure with a public bus ride or pre-arranged private transfer to Sarria, ‘gateway’ to Compostela and start of the requisite final 100 km for the official pilgrimage certificate. If you have not obtained your Pilgrims Passport in advance, you can collect one here. Arrive early to visit nearby Samos, a 6th-century monastery which has welcomed pilgrims since the Camino’s very inception. Or book an extra night pre-tour and enjoy the beautiful 14-km walk from Samos Monastery back to Sarria.
Challenge: (optional walk) 15,2 km, 4,5-5 hrs, 150m ascent, 350m descent.
Your first Camino walk is easier than it looks on the route profile and you'll immediately get into a rhythm on the peaceful country roads and quiet paths. Tree-lined sections provide welcome shade on sunny days and tiny hamlets are strung close together, it seems you have just left one as you enter the next. You'll find plenty of places to pause for snacks and swap stories with other pilgrims.
Challenge: 23 km, 7 hrs, 375m ascent, 400m descent.
Saunter down the steep high street out of Portomarín then ‘switch gears’ on a gentle uphill track alongside the main road. Crossing the N-540 at Hospital de la Cruz, you can take a breather at today's highest point, Monte San Antonio. The rest of the day offers nothing but easy walking through gently rolling countryside with a pleasant 10-kilometre section on tarmac. The final 3 km veer off onto a dirt track again, as you approach the humming pilgrims’ town of Palas de Rei.
Challenge: 25.3 km, 7,5-8 hrs, 500m ascent, 290m descent.
From Palas de Rei you embark on a long but technically easy route, free of steep prolonged ascents or descents. Join the traditional pilgrim countdown as stone markers sprout up showing the distance left to Santiago Cathedral. Encountering cool shady stretches, you amble along to Melide, historic crossroads where the Original Way or ‘Camino Primitivo’ meets the popular French Route or ‘Camino Francés’. Just past this point, you’re treated to an aromatic section through eucalyptus trees and oak groves, trekking toward Arzúa and a well-earned coffee . . . or glass of local wine!
This longer stage can be shortened by arranging a morning transfer to O Coto, saving 8 km on a busy road.
Challenge: 28.8 km, 7,5-8 hrs, 250m ascent, 400m descent.
At first glance, this stage seems to provide little interest with its monotonous movement alongside the main road. Yet today ends up being one of the most exciting of the whole week as you feel the collective energy grow, joining hordes of fellow pilgrims all excited to be nearly there! It’s a relatively short day, leaving time to relax at your hotel and meld with the peaceful surroundings.
Challenge: 18km, 6 hrs, 360m ascent, 460m descent.
Burst back into modern life as you rush along past the regional airport and cross the highway, railway and ring-road drawn by an immense, irresistible magnet: Plaza Obradoiro. The urban hustle and bustle will not deter you and it’s still easy to imagine ancient pilgrims weeping with joy as they glimpsed the distant spires. Historically, pilgrims pause at Monte do Gozo to set their sights then make one last stop at the spring in Lavacolla, to cleanse their face and feet before meeting their beloved saint.
Challenge: 22.4 km, 7 hrs, 440m ascent, 475m descent.
Your self-guided pilgrimage comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Extra nights can be booked to allow time to explore the city of Santiago.
Challenge: Departure from Santiago de Compostela.
Hotels on this 'Standard' version of the trip are fairly basic, although we always books rooms with en-suite bathrooms. They are perfect if you want to live the real "Camino experience" as you probably will meet pilgrims from all over the world at the accommodation.
If any of the standard hotels mentioned below is fully booked, we will book a similar one for you and inform you if there are any changes in room type and/or price.
You can book additional night(s) at any accommodation along the Way, from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
An accommodation built in stone and wood in pure Galician style, completely restored and renovated for the most traditional ‘Camino experience’.
A simple, functional pension in the newer sector of Portomarín, built to replace the area lost when the river was dammed to create a reservoir.
Modern rooms in new construction with ensuite bathrooms. Conveniently situated near the town entrance close to the main bars and restaurants.
A modern pension with an old-fashioned name, where all rooms have private bathrooms and some offer a terrace with views of the valley. The decoration has been done in collaboration with local artists, whose works are on display here.
Another functional pension, which occupies the upper floors of a modern building. This is the last stop on the Camino de Santiago, the village of Arca-O Pino.
An unbeatable location for a hostel in Santiago de Compostela, housed in a 16th-century monastery and seminary situated right next door to the cathedral. Former cells for monks have become rooms for pilgrims, each with its own bathroom.
All hotels of the "select" version of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
If any of the standard hotels is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can book additional night(s) in any of the hotels mentioned. If you want to plan a day of rest in the middle of the tour, we highly recommend A Parada das Bestas (day 3 Palas de Rei) or the Pazo Santa maría (ay 4 Arzúa). Both are beautifully restored manor houses with garden, swimming pool and good restaurants. A Parada das Bestas is located in the small hamlet of Pidre, away from the busy camino and close to the Castle of Pambre, an impressive historic monument from the 15th century
This hotel founded in 1930 is located in a quiet area in the town of Sarria, close to the railway station, offering relax to the pilgrim in its comfortable rooms and a nice restaurant.
Pousada de Portomarin, a former Parador belonging to the Tourism board and built in 1962. It was renovated and transformed into a 3* hotel in 1992. An excellent choice to stay in one of the best cities in the Camino. Relax and rest are guaranteed in this nice and comfortable hotel.
A charming rural hotel that offers its guests a good rest and comfort as well as the best local gastronomy in a beautiful natural environment. Tradition and new cuisine blend in the kitchens of “A Parada das Bestas” to show the visitor the best Galician dishes using local seasonal products.
A historical hotel created in the mid-18th century (founded in 1742). An oasis of tranquility and a welcoming place, ideal to enjoy some relax with family or friends. From here, charged with energy, we can step out to walk the last stages of the Camino de Santiago.
This ancient farmer´s house is today a rural guest house, with several rooms and some apartments . They feature a lareira to sit by and get warm on the cool days and an outdoor swimming pool and garden for the sunny summer days. Their restaurant offers good quality and typical dishes from the area.
A hotel in which every detail has been thought of. Located only about 25m from the traditional Food Market of Santiago, the Belvís park and the "Puerta del Camino": one of the entries to the old quarters of Santiago and the entry of the French Way. The restaurant A Tafona, where Lucía Freitas cooks the most fabulous and creative dishes, has been rewarded with a Michelin star.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.
Arrival in Sarriá
By public transport from Santiago de Compostela airport
The best way to reach Sarria is to fly into Santiago de Compostela airport and first get a suttle 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 mins; min 6 services a day) . Check timetables at www.monbus.es
On workdays (Mon to Friday) there is also a direct bus from Santiago de Compostela bus station to Sarria with company Monbus (Check www.monbus.es). But remember that you first have to travel into town to the central bus station (with www.empresafreire.com; every 30 min. aprox)
You can book with S-cape optional transfers from Santiago (SCQ) or A Coruña (LCG) airports to your first accommodation in Sarria or from last accommodation in Santiago to the airport (prices on request).
Departure from Santiago de Compostela
There is ashuttle bus to the airport of Santiago from the center of Santiago with different stops in the city (Check www.empresafreire.com)