Day 1 Arrival in Sarria
From your point of arrival, use the public transport information we provide to make the journey to Sarria.
Day 2 Sarria to Portomarín13.7 Miles / 22 Km 6-8 Hrs 510 Metres
Leaving the lively town of Sarria behind, you pass through charming countryside along quiet country tracks and paths weaving through fields and woodland. The route passes through many peaceful, rural communities, offering countless opportunities for taking relaxing breaks at cafes, restaurants and “honesty stalls”. As you descend into the valley of the river Mino and cross over the Embalse de Belezar reservoir you can often enjoy stunning views of Portomarin, a picturesque town that was rebuilt in the 1960s on a nearby hill after the original town was flooded.
Day 3 Portomarín to Palas de Rei14.9 Miles / 24 Km 6-8 Hrs 600 Metres
Today you are following in the footsteps of Spanish kings and Roman emperors. After enjoying the morning views of the Embalse de Belezar and climbing through the woodland near Portomarin, the route guides you through small villages over the hills of the Sierra Ligonde. Here you pass two former pilgrim’s hospitals that are said to once have sheltered such illustrious guests as Charlemagne, Emperor Charles V and his son Phillip II of Spain. The walk then descends to Portos, where you have the option to take a detour to the ancient seat of the Knights of Santiago at Villar de Donas.
Day 4 Palas de Rei to Arzua18.6 Miles / 30 Km 7-10 Hrs 590 Metres
A day of mostly level walking along woodland paths and tracks. You pass through tiny settlements with ancient romanesque churches and over medieval bridges. All along the route little cafes invite you to stop for a snack or a coffee. Once you are in Melide, where the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Frances, the traditional ‘pulperias’ will try to tempt you to sample one of Galicia’s specialities – pulpo (octopus). In Ribadiso you pass a medieval pilgrim hostel, one of the oldest hostels still operating along the Camino. Your day finishes near the 14th century chapel of La Magdalena in the town of Arzua, which is famous for its local cheese.
Day 5 Arzua to Santiago de Compostela24.2 Miles / 39 Km 9-13 Hrs 840 Metres
As other routes join the Camino Frances you will find more and more pilgrims sharing the walk towards Santiago with you. The walk leads you through quaint hamlets and, as the vegetation becomes more Mediterranean, the oak and chestnut woodlands of eastern Galicia slowly give way to eucalyptus and pine forests and even the occasional palm tree. Take a break in the tranquil settlement of Rua before continuing your walk to Santiago de Compostela. Not far from Santiago, you pass through the village of Lavacolla, where pilgrims traditionally washed themselves after weeks or months of travelling. The end of the walk leads you through medieval streets in the old town of Santiago de Compostela and past grand squares, fountains, palaces and churches before you arrive at the Praza do Obradoiro and the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago. (This is the longest stage of our Camino Frances tours and, though it is a long day of hiking, it is quite achievable if you are used to long distance walking. Alternatively we recommend you choose the 7-day challenging itinerary as it breaks this day into two.)
Day 6 Departure from Santiago de Compostela
There are regular flights from Santiago Airport as well as bus and train services from Santiago to other Spanish cities and airports. Full details provided upon booking.