The Camino begins outside the main door of the cathedral, turn right to follow the tram tracks along Avenida de la Constitución, then, at the corner of the cathedral turn left on to Calle García de Vinuesa, then first right on to Calle Jimios. This becomes Calle Zaragoza, which you follow through various twists and turns until it intersects with Puerta de Triana, with Café de Indias on your left. Now turn left and continue straight to cross Triana Bridge (AKA Puente de Isabel II). Once across the river turn right after the Mercado de Triana along Calle San Jorge and Calle de Castilla (where there's a Día supermarket which opens at 09:30). After about 600m you'll come to a modern square with steps leading up on the right which bring you to a main road. Walk anticlockwise around the roundabout, crossing two roads then turning right on to a footpath and left down to a large, run-down carpark where you veer right and then left to cross the narrow bridge across the main branch of the Guadalquivir. This route is marked with yellow arrows but they're easy to miss in the city. Once outside the city they become easier to spot.
3km / ¾ hr, just after crossing the narrow bridge over the main branch of the Guadalquivir, you have the option to continue straight to pass through the suburb of Camas, or to go right along the bank of the river (muddy after wet weather), to bypass Camas. Don't let the grimness of this first part get you down, things improve once you're out of the city.
Walk along the banks of the river for about 1km / ¼ hr then follow a lane as it veers left. In about 1km / ¼ hr you'll pass under an elevated motorway then continue straight under railway tracks and another motorway, then right to join a main road which you follow to the left to a roundabout where you rejoin the left route and turn right towards Santiponce. This route passes through some run down, deserted areas and not everyone will feel comfortable walking it on their own. You may encounter cute donkeys and unfortunately also loose dogs.
6km / 1½ hrs to Santiponce, from the point where the routes divide.
2km / ½ hr to Camas from where the routes divide, shops, cafés, bank, pharmacy. In Camas turn right on to Calle José Payán and follow this until you come to the Church of Santa Maria de Gracia where you take the street to its left, also called Santa Maria de Gracia. From here the Camino continues straight along the side of a busy main road through suburbs and industrial areas, through two roundabouts until after 4km / 1 hr you come to Santiponce.
Santiponce, shops, cafés, bank, pharmacy.
13km / 3¼ hrs to Guillena from Santiponce.
Continue north on the main road through Santiponce, right at a roundabout and under the motorway and then veer left where the Camino leaves the road and continues on a lane through fields. There's a stream you need to ford which may be difficult after rain. If the water is too deep to cross look up and downstream for easier crossing places or flag down a passing tractor or Jeep and ask them to drop you on the other side. In 2019 someone put a steel beam across the stream just downstream of the ford however it won't be safe to use if the water is flowing quickly.
Occasionally after prolonged heavy rain this stream can be badly flooded and impossible to cross. Happily there is an alternative route which branches left about 500m before the stream (sometimes there is a temporary signpost here but since it's the only possible left turn on a long straight road it would be hard to miss). Follow this road left passing a farmhouse on your right then pass under the motorway, veer left and right to join a main road after 2km / ½ hr. Here you turn right and follow the road all the way to Guillena. This detour adds about 3km to the day's walk.
Before Guillena the yellow arrows direct you to turn sharp left towards the main road, bringing you past the private hostel, Albergue Luz del Camino. It is possible to go right at this point but it will mean fording another stream which can be difficult. The description of the route through Guillena is based on the assumption that you turned left.23km Guillena
Leaving town continue past the municipal hostel on Avenida de la Vega and then first right down a road to a ford which you cross (if the water's too high there's a bridge to your left) and then up the slope to the right then veering left, then 1km / ¼ hr to a roundabout where you veer left through an industrial area and eventually into open country.18km Castilblanco de los Arroyos
Just before Castilblanco the Camino goes left at a roundabout and follows Avenida España through town. Continue straight at this roundabout for the municipal hostel.
You can either follow the Camino or the main road through Castilblanco. The Camino then continues north along the main road towards Almadén. This road isn't usually busy.
Continue on the road (SE-5405) for 16km / 4 hrs until you come to a place known as Finca el Berrocal where you will see arrows pointing through a gate on the right into the Parque Natural Sierra Norte. From here it's unpaved paths to Almadén. If the main gate is closed there's another pedestrian gate to the right which may be open (it is not visible from the road). Keep some high-energy food or drink in reserve for the last couple of kilometres where there's a steep hill which ascends abruptly about 100m. Alternatively you can follow the road all the way to Almadén, it's slightly longer but an easier climb.29km Almadén de la Plata
The Camino is abundantly (if not always clearly) signposted through the village with signs and yellow arrows. If in doubt when leaving town aim for the bull ring on the hill to the north, the Camino passes it to the left.14km El Real de la Jara
1km / ¼ hr you cross a stream which marks the border with Extremadura.
12km / 3 hrs to the A-66 motorway where there is a 24 hour motorway service station and Hotel Leo which has luxurious singles from €35, café / restaurant, a shop with a good selection of regional products, and a cash machine.
Be careful crossing the various roads here. Yellow arrows are a bit scarce, at the roundabout take the road under the motorway signposted Monesterio.20km Monesterio
Some misleading waymarkings on this stretch - follow the yellow arrows in preference to any 'official' markings (ie. the metal boxes), however there are places where the yellow arrows are scarce in which case you'll have to rely on the metal boxes. If you can't find any markings remember that you need to head north towards Fuente de Cantos which is intermittently visible on the horizon way before you get there.21km Fuente de Cantos
6km / 1½ hrs to Calzadilla de los Barros, the Camino passes through the main square, Plaza España, where there is a shop and a bank. A little further on is another shop and a pharmacy. Hostal Los Rodriguez on the main road about 500m off the Camino has rooms from 10€ and a café / restaurant. Tel 924 584 808. 3km / ¾ hr after Calzadilla, shortly after reaching the main road, the Camino turns left. There is an alternative left turn about 200m before this one but it is frequently flooded after rain (not shown on the map).
20km / 4½ hrs to Puebla de Sancho Pérez. Albergue La Hermita is reported closed. Shops, cafés, banks, all on the Camino. However they take their siesta very seriously. Café Abadia, left at the church, is usually open. Hostal el Monte, has been recently recommended, it's on Calle San Antonio, signposted to the right about 500m. Doubles from about 36€. They also have a restaurant which is also reported good. Tel 924 575 581
Between here and Zafra there used to be two routes you could chose from however recently the right route (through the railway station) has been reported closed.
The Camino to Zafra goes along the side of a road for 2km / ½ hr before it forks left for a while and rejoins the main road near Albergue Van Gogh. (You can ignore the left fork and continue on the main road.)24km Zafra
From the Amigos hostel the Camino runs straight up Avenida de la Estación, diagonally across Plaza España then down pedestrianised Calle Sevilla, to the centre of town at Plaza Grande, which it crosses on to Calle Tetuán before turning right on to Calle Conde de la Corte and then veering left and, close to the municipal hostel, right on to Calle Ancha then Calle San Francisco, straight across a roundabout towards a tower, la Torre de San Francisco, and then into open country.5km Los Santos de Maimona
The Camino arrives in front of the church on Plaza España, and then passes to its left. Thanks to the local Amigos for their massive yellow arrows!8km La Almazara7km Villafranca de los Barros
Some dead-straight Roman road walking on this part.27km Torremejía
Follow the main road for about 400m north until a sign indicates to join a path on the right. From here it's a more-or-less straight run into Mérida.15km Mérida
6km / 1½ hrs to Proserpina, cafés. Pass straight through a roundabout and take a left fork signposted as a cul-de-sac. Then follow a track which skirts the reservoir until it rejoins the road and continues north.
After Proserpina, follow a small road for about 4km / 1 hr until just before it turns right over a bridge the Camino goes left on to a sandy lane, clearly marked with yellow arrows on a tree. It then continues on unpaved lanes until...14km El Carrascalejo3km Aljucén
The Camino leaves town in either direction on the main street.
16km / 4 hrs turnoff right to the Basilica de Santa Lucía del Trampal
200m past the turnoff for the Basilica: turnoff for Albergue Turistico Los Olivos. Misleading signposting at this junction! When you see a sign pointing left towards Puerto de la Herrerias, at this point the Camino (and direct route to Alcuéscar) goes RIGHT. From here it's 3km / ¾ hr to Alcuéscar.19km Alcuéscar
The Camino continues left just after the monastery.
8km / 2 hrs to Casas de Don Antonio, the Camino bypasses the village. There's a café in the Centro Social (behind the ayuntamiento) which also sells bread and basic groceries, and a pharmacy nearby.
7km / 1¾ to Aldea del Cano. The Camino bypasses the village of Aldea del Cano which is a little to the right.15km Aldea del Cano11km Valdesalor
From Valdesalor continue north on the right side of the main road. Waymarking isn't great here but basically, the Camino meanders parallel to this road for about 5km / 1¼ hrs then it heads off into open country before arriving into the suburbs of Cáceres.12km Cáceres
The Camino turns right at Plaza San Francisco and enters the walled old city from the east. It turns right at the cathedral and leaves the old city on to Plazuela de Santiago. At Iglesia de / Church of Santiago it veers left and continues north out of the city along Calle de Zapataría, passing to the left of the bullring, from where you can easily pick up the waymarkings.
Between here and Casar de Cáceres the Camino runs parallel to a busy main road, parts of which are on the hard shoulder - dangerous in poor visibility.
Continue north along the main street to leave town. 2km / ½ hr out, where there's a small round building with a pointed roof, take the right fork.
The footbridge for pilgrims over the AVE tracks was completed in 2018 so the Camino has returned to its old route down to the road beside the reservoir.
After crossing the second road bridge a footpath leads right up the hill. You can go this way if you're continuing to Cañaveral. If you want to go to the hostel at Embalse de Alcántara stay on the road.22km Embalse de Alcántara
From Embalse you can either follow the official Camino on a track up the hill away from the road or you can also continue on the road (N-630) all the way to Cañaveral (slightly shorter).10km Cañaveral
There is some confusion about the route immediately after Cañaveral. Following the main road north there are several smaller roads and lanes which you can take to the left. Waymarkings are unclear or missing. Whichever one you take it should ascend gently at first and then more steeply before descending to a road which you cross and veer right to pass through the car park of a strip joint (El Puerto, does not give pilgrim discounts and in any case is closed during daylight hours) veering left to follow the yellow arrows on a path through a wood. There are signs for other hiking routes around here "Caminos Naturales" - do not be tempted to follow them!
The village of Grimaldo is 650m off the Camino to the right at an abundantly signposted junction 8km / 2 hrs after Cañaveral.8km Grimaldo (turnoff for)
9km / 2¼ hrs after the turnoff for Grimaldo at a place called Cuatro Términos is the turnoff for Ríolobos which is 4km off the Camino. It's clearly signposted.8km Ríolobos (turnoff for)
From Ríolobos, you can return to the Camino by continuing past Camping Las Catalinas, for about 3km / ¾ hr along the road until you rejoin the Camino where it leaves the road to the left. From there it's 6km / 1½ hrs to Galisteo.
If you do not go to Ríolobos: from Cuatro Términos continue for 4km / 1 hr to where you cross a canal and then turn right on to a road which you briefly follow until the Camino goes left on to a lane. From there it's 6km / 1½ hrs to Galisteo.
Shortly before Galisteo you can take a right turn (signposted) to San Gil. From there you can continue on an alternative route to Carcaboso. (Described after the entry to Galisteo)9km San Gil (turnoff for)
From San Gil you can follow an alternative route to Carcaboso without passing through Galisteo. This route was originally the Roman road. To find it from San Gil walk to the main road and follow the road opposite signposted Pradochan 6.2km Galisteo
That's 11km / 2¾ hrs from the turnoff for Ríolobos.
6km / 1½ hrs Aldehuala del Jerte. Cafés.
From Cafetería Las Picotas turn left and walk up the hill towards the walled town and continue walking with the town walls to your right to the other side of the old town from where you should be able to pick up the waymarkings which lead steeply downhill and across an old bridge over the Río Jerte, straight through a roundabout, under the motorway and then right at another roundabout to follow the paved road north towards Carcaboso.11km Carcaboso
Leaving the village there's a poorly waymarked fork where you need to go right. About 500m further on where, for some reason, there's a sign on a post that says Bombay, here the Camino divides for a short while. The left route is shorter.
Since the pilgrim hostel in Oliva de Placencia closed we are left with a 39km stretch with no pilgrim accommodation. However, there are several options for breaking up this stage and details are given below.
12km / 3 hrs from Carcaboso at a house beside a road known as Dehesa Ventaquemada, this is the turnoff for Oliva de Placencia. Continue straight to arrive at the ruins of the Roman city of Cáparra in 6km / 1½ hrs, or turn right and walk 6km / 1½ hrs off the Camino, along a quiet road, to Oliva de Plasencia...
12km / 3 hrs turnoff for Oliva de Plasencia, at a house beside a road known as Dehesa Ventaquemada. There is no longer a pilgrim hostel in Oliva. Alternative accommodation in Vía Cáparra Superior which has singles from about €36. Website www.albergueviacaparra.com Tel 620 007 490 They may collect from Ventaquemada or Cáparra. Oliva has cafes and a shop opposite the Ayuntamiento with limited opening hours. If you sleep in Oliva you can take a signposted route directly to Cáparra in 6km / 1½ hrs. Visiting Oliva means 6km of extra walking.
6km / 1½ hrs to Cáparra Roman City. At the visitors centre in Cáparra there are public toilets and vending machines for snacks and drinks (you will need coins and the building isn't always open). The visitors centre is about 300m to the right of the arch, turn right at the arch itself or shortly after it.
On the route after Cáparra there are several rivers which you cross using stepping-stones and which may be extremely difficult to cross during periods of wet weather. Please ask advice locally and don't attempt dangerous river crossings - especially if you're on your own. If it has been raining a lot your best bet may be to follow the minor road north from Oliva de Plasencia until it joins the N-630 near Villar de Plasencia and then follow that north as described in the next paragraph.
8km / 2 hrs after Cáparra, where the Camino runs along the side of a road, you'll see yellow writing pointing right 2km to Hostal Asturias, which is just on the other side of the motorway. They have nice single rooms from about 19€, a café and a good restaurant with charcoal grill. They may pick up from Cáparra. Tel 927 477 057. Hostal El Avión in Villar de Plasencia, has singles from 19€, doubles from 30€. It's 5km / 1¼ hrs from Cáparra along a quiet road (CC-11.2). They may also provide a pick-up service from Cáparra. Tel 652 779 448. To get back to the Camino from either of these places walk north along the N-630 until about 1km north of Hostal Asutrias where blue arrows point you on to an unpaved road to the right. This will bring you back to the Camino before Aldeanueva.
4km / 1 hr you will pass underneath the motorway then immediately see signs pointing left to ford a river. This river is often too big to ford, in which case you should cross the river on the bridge on your right and continue on the road until you rejoin the Camino about 500m further on. You will pass under the motorway three more times before Aldeaneuva.
At the sign which points right towards Via Pecuaria, if you wish you can continue straight and walk along the road to Aldeanueva. Otherwise you'll go right and follow a slightly longer route through open countryside to Aldeanueva.39km Aldeanueva del Camino
Follow the Camino north to where it joins the main road, at a roundabout (motorway service station café which opens early, to your left) take the second exit and cross over the motorway and veer left. The Camino to Baños is along the side of the road, although there are some places where you can walk a little off the road. About 2km / ½ hr out there's a bollard which urges you to veer right on to a lane, ignore it and stay on the road.
5km / 1¼ hrs café.10km Baños de Montemayor
Turn sharp left after the Ayuntamiento and follow the Camino as it winds its way through the village before joining the Roman road up the side of the valley towards the pass.
Ascent 200m in 3km to Puerto de Béjar. Entering Castilla y León. Follow the road, with some small deviations, to...
1km / ¼ hr to Peñacaballera, café and a petrol station with a small shop.
Shortly after the petrol station the Camino turns left away from the road. The pilgrim hostel at Puente de Béjar is to the right at this point.2km Puente de Béjar10km Calzada de Béjar9km Valverde de Valdelacasa
4km / 1 hr to Valdecasa, café which does food in the Centro de Día, turn right at the main road, it's about 300m on the right. About 2km / ½ hr after Valdecasa there is a junction with a lot of confusing yellow arrows. Basically you have two options, either continue on the road or take the lane which goes left at a right angle, this seems to be the "official" Camino (another lane veers left, ignore this one). Both routes bring you to Fuenteroble in approximately the same distance.12km Fuenterroble de Salvatierra
There are two possible routes on this stage which divide about 12km / 3 hrs after Fuenterroble, at a gate / cattle grid with a sign which says Dueña de Abajo.
5km / 1¼ hrs to Monterrubio de la Sierra, unusual café, on the left.
7km / 1¾ hrs to Morille - see below.
From where the routes divide walk uphill along an unpaved path, passing to the right of the windmills on the top of Pico de la Dueña (1145m, highest point on the Camino so far). Then steeply downhill on another rough path before joining a road.
9km / 2¼ hrs (from the point where the routes divide) to Calzadilla de Mendigos
7km / 1¾ hrs to San Pedro de Rozados which is a little off the Camino to the left. Follow the road if you wish to continue to Morille.
4km / 1 hr to Morille.
10km / 2½ hrs to Miranda de Azán, which is about 300m to the right of the Camino. Cafés which all open about 10:00. However, no pilgrim hostel (despite the rumours!)
9km / 2¼ hrs to Salamanca.
Approaching the city you'll pass under a road on to an urban street, past a roundabout and into a park where you turn right and walk with a stream on your left. You will see a yellow arrow telling you to cross a footbridge to the right, ignore it and continue to follow other yellow arrows with the stream on your left through a tunnel under a railway line, past a petrol station and straight along a street until you see the Roman bridge over the river Duero which you'll cross to the city proper.
Once over the bridge, cross the road and continue right uphill to the point where the right turn to the municipal albergue is indicated with a metal Camino sign set into the ground with the letter 'A' for 'Albergue'.19km Salamanca
Leaving Salamanca there are almost no waymarkings of any description (October 2019). Luckily it's mostly straight all the way. From Plaza Mayor continue north along Calle de Zamora, then straight over a roundabout on to Paseo Torres Vilarroel, continuing straight to another roundabout where you veer left on to Avenida de Borgoña, then straight through another roundabout by a large Carrefour supermarket. Here the Camino crosses to the right side of the road and (just when you've abandoned all hope) Camino waymarkings appear again!
7km / 1¾ hrs to Aldeaseca de la Almuña, shops, cafés. The Camino crosses to the right side of the main road just after the village and then crosses it again to arrive to...
5km / 1½ hrs to Castellanos de Villiquera, café, shop by the church, pharmacy.16km Calzada de Valdunciel
5km / 1½ hrs, cross under the motorway. After rain it may be necessary to follow a short detour to avoid getting your feet wet. It's clearly waymarked.7km Huelmos13km El Cubo de Tierra del Vino
Continue down El Cubo's main street, veer right at the church, cross the river and then take a left.13km Villanueva de Campeán
4km / 1 hr to San Marcial, which is 1km / ¼ hr off the Camino where the Camino turns sharp right. Busy café on the main road which does food, opens 0900 or 0930 Sundays. Also a small supermarket. From there you can rejoin the Camino by following the main road north for about 2km / ½ hr.18km Zamora
The Camino turns left and crosses Plaza Mayor diagonally and then goes down Calle de las Costanillas, veering left at the bottom on to Calle de la Feria, and continues straight across a roundabout. From there it's straight ahead on to Calle Morana, veering left on to Caratera Hiniesta. Then continue straight through another roundabout and walk on the right until the Camino leaves the road and continues on a lane. NB. Another Camino goes west from here towards Portugal, new signposting marks the spot where the paths divide. Just before Roales del Pan there is a place where one sign tells you to go straight and another says right, go RIGHT!
7km / 1¾ hrs to Roales del Pan, cafés, shop follow the signs for Bar T&B. Municipal hostel closed, no plans to reopen it. After Roales you will begin to encounter the northern AVE route. A bridge has been built over the new tracks so no special detours are needed.19km Montamarta
When the reservoir is in flood you'll have to cross the road bridge and turn left after about 300m towards the church.
4km / 1 hr at this point the route of the Camino has been changed. Instead of going straight ahead it turns right and crosses the motorway and then continues north. Continue straight here if you wish to follow the N-631 which will bring you directly to Tábara in approximately 25km / 6¼ hrs, by passing Riego and Granja. It's reported to be road-side walking but with light traffic and through pretty countryside.
Also, if you wish, instead of continuing to Riego and Granja, you can follow the N-631 which will bring you directly to Tábara in approximately 25km / 6¼ hrs. It's reported to be road-side walking but with light traffic and through pretty countryside.13km Fontanillas de Castro
Café about 400m off the Camino, signposted before the village to the right. At the same point continue straight to the village or left for the Camino.2km Riego del Camino7km Granja de Moreruela
Behind the church is a sign which marks the point where the Camino Sanabrés divides left from the Vía de la Plata to follow a course through southern Galicia to Santiago. The Vía de la Plata continues north to Astorga and beyond.
For further details on the Camino Sanabrés to Santiago skip forward a couple of pages...
9km / 2¼ hrs to Santovenia where there are cafés, a butchers shop which also sells groceries, and a bakery.18km Barcial del Barco
The Green Route / Vía Verde between Barcial and Benavente is now completed. It follows the route of the old railway line.
Shortly after Barcial the Vía Verde goes off to the left. It it will bring you directly to the municipal hostel in Benavente in 8km / 2 hrs.8km Benavente
Leaving the town you need to follow Avenida Donantes de Sangre north to a roundabout where straight ahead you'll see a big Vía de la Plata map. You should see the yellow arrows pointing along the road to the left of the map. This bit is quite poorly waymarked but it's hard to get lost because you just follow the road for about 5km (past a petrol station and café called Camino de Santiago which opens at 0800) until you see a concrete pillar and a sign pointing to the right on to an unpaved road. From there it's straight ahead to...8km Villabrázaro
8km / 2 hrs Maire de Castroponce, shop on Calle Beneventa, left just before the park. Café de Angel, beside the park, in the same building as the Casa Consistorial (the one with the flags).14km Alija del Infantado
Leaving Alija you have the option of following the road or walking on a path a short distance to the left. Both routes rejoin just before...
3km / ¾ hr to La Nora del Río to the right off the Camino, official waymarkings will urge you to walk through the village while an outrageously big yellow arrow will direct you on to a path beside a river. Your choice. Either way you will end up walking beside this river for the next ten or so kilometres.
6km / 1½ hrs to Quintana del Marco, café left over the bridge, pharmacy.23km La Bañeza
6km / 1½ hrs to Palacios de la Valduerna. Pharmacy.
15km / 3¾ hrs to Celada. Café / restaurant Quiñones, 100m to the right on Calle Cuesta just where you arrive in the village.
In Astorga the Vía de la Plata joins the Camino Francés.25km Astorga
7km / 1¾ hrs from Granja you will cross a bridge called Puente Quintos over the river Esla. Immediately after the bridge the Camino divides. The right route follows the road part of the way to Faramontanos de Tábara and the left route follows the river for about 1km before turning right just before the brow of a hill where there is a good view of the river to the south, passing to the left of a ruined farmhouse and then continuing on unpaved roads to Tábara (care required).18km Faramontanos de Tábara
Approaching and leaving Tábara you will encounter the AVE (high-speed train) tracks however this does not interfere with the Camino route.
When you arrive in Tábara you'll see arrows pointing right and the church up to your left. The arrows pointing right are the Camino leaving town. If you want to go to the village, head for the church.7km Tábara
To rejoin the Camino walk back the way you came into town, passing to the left of the tower. There's an alternative route back to the Camino from the municipal hostel which is slightly shorter, ask the hospitalero.
10km / 2½ hrs after Tábara you have the choice of two routes. The right one bypasses Villanueva de las Peras and goes instead through the tiny village of Bercianos de Valverde. The left route goes through Villanueva de las Peras. Both routes are almost exactly the same length.14km Villanueva de las Peras
9km / 2¼ hrs to Santa Croya de Tera, shops and a café. Sadly Casa Anita has closed.Santa Marta de Tera
The Camino goes immediately left after crossing the bridge (although in October 2019 the yellow arrows had been repainted to send pilgrims through the village).
6km / 1½ hrs after Santa Marta the Camino comes to a main road at a gravel quarry. Turn left here and cross the bridge over the Río Tera. The Camino to Calzadilla continues to the right after the bridge. Shortly before Calzadilla there is a set of confusing arrows pointing to the right. Ignore them and continue straight over the canal until you reach a paved road.11km Calzadilla de Tera
Be careful because there is a lot of confusing waymarking in this area. You should follow a canal to Olleros. Whichever arrows you find in Calzadilla should being you to this canal.2km Olleros de Tera
Continue through the village, cross a main road on to a road, pass to the left of a concrete structure and walk towards a church in the distance. From this church you'll walk through open country for about 2km / ½ hr before arriving at a dam, Embalse de Agavanzal. On this section there is a sign on the road indicating bicycles to go left (BICIS), this is a slightly easier but longer alternative to the walking route which involves a bit of scrambling around in the mud after wet weather.
Cross the dam and turn immediately left.8km Villar de Farfón6km Rionegro del Puente
4km / 1 hr, roadside café, El Empalme, to the left of the Camino 100m, open from 0900, closed Mondays.9km Mombuey
After Mombuey the Camino follows close to the main road on the left for 2km / ½ hr before crossing the motorway. Watch out for rabbits and deer.
5km / 1¼ hrs to Valdemerilla.
3km / ¾ hr to Cernadilla. This municipal hostel is reported to be closed.
2km / ½ hr to San Salvador de Palazuelo. This municipal hostel is reported to be closed.
4km / 1 hr to Entrepeñas. Guest House El Cuco recommended, singles from 30€. Tel 664 245 298. Careful not to miss the left turn leaving Entrepeñas. Then 3km to...17km Asturianos
Off-road sections between Asturianos and Puebla de Sanabria may be muddy and flooded after rain.
3km / ¾ hr to Palacios de Sanabria, cafés, small shop and pharmacy. Bar Mirador, on the main road, is usually open for breakfast. To rejoin the Camino cross the main road from Bar Mirador and veer left uphill.
3km / ¾ hr to Remesal.
3km / ¾ hr to Otero de Sanabria.
2km / ½ hr to Triufé.
4km / 1 hr to...14km Puebla de Sanabria
The Camino through Puebla follows the main road and turns right immediately after crossing the bridge. Follow this road around the old town until it crosses another bridge, now continue straight for 1km / ¼ hr until the Camino turns abruptly left and continues on a track beside a river. NOTE: following the road (N-525) is a good alternative, the official Camino is poorly waymarked and may be flooded after rain.
10km / 2½ hrs to Terroso. This village lies on a long (but scenic) meander which can be avoided by following the road.12km Requejo de Sanabria
AVE works are still causing disruptions on this stretch and the traditional route of the Camino is only passable with great difficulty because many of the waymarkings have been obliterated by the construction works. A detour is signposted shortly after Requejo and following it is advisable. This detour directs pilgrims to follow the old main road (N-525) until a point 7km / 1¾ hrs after Requejo where a sign indicates to follow a path to the left of the road. This path is part of the traditional route. It goes underneath the old road and the motorway and then back again, then zigzags several times before reaching the pass at A Canda after about 2km / ½ hr, where there is a monument. The altitude here is 1,365m and it is the highest point of the Camino Sanabrés and the Vía de la Plata. From here continue downhill to cross the motorway again over a bridge. Then follow the road into Padornelo...
2km / ½ hr to Padornelo from the pass, where there is a café, Bar Silva. A short distance after the village Hotel Padornelo has a café and a good restaurant and single rooms from 25€. Tel 980 567 939 Website www.hotelpadornelo.com
After Padornelo there's another detour, Desvio Provisional, which directs you left to cross the motorway and walk along a road for a short while before, just beyond three concrete silos, you veer left and cross under the motorway on to a path which runs parallel to it until it descends into the valley and finally climbs to Lubián.
6km / 1½ hrs to Lubián17km Lubián
About 2km after Lubián you will begin a 5km / 1¼ hrs (although probably longer), 300m climb to Portela de la Canda. From the turnoff to the Santuario de La Tuiza (signposted), follow the paved road down to the bridge, past the recreation / sports area, and pass under the motorway. The Camino continues past the Sanctuary and then the climb begins! Parts of this stretch can be flooded after rain. It is possible to walk on the road: leaving Lubián follow the ZA-106 west for about 9km / 2¼ hrs until it intersects with the Camino a few hundred metres after where the motorway enters a tunnel.
7km / 1¾ hrs to the pass at altitude 1,260m.
Welcome to Galicia!
2km / ½ hr to A Canda.
3km / ¾ hr to Vilavella which has two cafés, both a little off the Camino, the food in Bar ON has been recommended. Hostal Porta Galega is about 500m off the Camino to the right, beside the main road. They have singles full pension from 40€. Website www.hostalportagalega.es Tel 988 425 593
3km / ¾ hr to O Pereiro.
5km / 1¼ hrs to O Cañizo.
4km / 1 hr to...24km A Gudiña
The Camino veers right on to Rúa Maior where you turn off for the Xunta albergue. After about 200m is the divide for the Laza and Verín routes. Only the Laza route is described here. This route is entirely road with nice scenery.
In October 2019 the route through Campobecerros was open with no problems due to AVE works. However, the AVE works near Campobecerros are extensive and this situation may change at short notice. Please heed any advice from reliable sources.
8km / 2 hrs to A Venda Da Teresa.
2km / ½ hr to A Venda Da Capela.
3km / ¾ hr to A Venda do Bolaño.
A steep descent to...20km Campobecerros
3km / ¾ hr to Portocamba.
5km / 1¼ hrs to As Eiras, where the local Amigos del Camino run a small help-yourself outdoor café.
6km / 1½ hrs and spectacular scenery, to...14km Laza
Follow the main road north west.
3km / ¾ hr to Soutelo Verde
3km / ¾ hr to Tamicelas. Then a steep 400m ascent to...
2km / ½ hr to Bóveda.
1km / ¼ hr to Vilar de Gomareite, café.
6km / 1½ hrs to Padroso, Café Bo Camiño, run by the Amigos de Camino, friendly with good food.
Caution is advised on the final descent to Xunqueira which can be slippery when wet.14km Xunqueira de Ambía
The Camino follows the road through the village, past the church and then turns right following the signpost for A Pousa. Then after about 40m it veers left down a side road.
3km / ¾ hr to A Pousa, café, supermarket.
5km / 1¼ hrs to Ousende.
1km / ¼ hr to Penelas, café, shop.
2km / ½ hrs to Venda do Rio.
1km / ¼ hr to Pereiras, shop.
2km / ½ hr to A Castellana, where the suburbs of Ourense begin, café. At the beginning of the industrial zone are some information boards for pilgrims with maps. From here it's unpleasant suburban walking to the city centre.
2km / ½ hr to Reboredo, at the right turn on to Estrada ao Polígono, arrows urge you to go right up a hill on a narrow lane, you can either follow them or continue straight on Estrada ao Polígono. Soon afterwards, at a roundabout, you need to go left on to a minor road, Rúa do Cruceiro, rather than following the dangerous main road.
3km / ¾ hr to Seixalbo, café.
2km / ½ hr to the roundabout at the beginning of Ourense from hereGrelo Hostel is straight on and the Xunta hostel is to the left.23km Ourense
After crossing the bridge, 300m up the hill the Camino divides, the right route turns right on to Avenida de Santiago, while the left route continues straight towards the (northern) railway station, visible up the hill. Both routes involve a steep climb to get out of the valley of the River Miño.
This route can get muddy and flooded after rain.
Turn right on to Avenida de Santiago which you follow for about 1km, walking on the RIGHT otherwise you'll miss the waymarkings, until the Camino veers on to a minor road to the right. After a short while you'll cross the main road again and continue steeply uphill. You'll cross another road and then there's a long, steep climb to...
4km / 1 hr to Cudeiro. After this the Camino follows a path through a forest.
ATTENTION! Fake yellow arrows will try to lead you towards the village of Cambeo. They're a slightly lighter colour than normal arrows, play close attention, they appear in the woods about 5km after Cudeiro. If you end up in Cambeo you'll have to follow the main road left to rejoin the Camino (ignore arrows urging you to continue north!)
8Km / 2 hrs to Tamallancos, cafés.
1km / 1 hr to Bouzas, café.
2km / ½ hr to Sobreira.
3km / ¾ hr to Viduedo, café, shop.
2km / ½ hr to Casas Novas...
Continue straight up the hill, walking on the right, when you see the railway station (station café opens 05:00) in front of you veer left and pass in front of it on to Rúa Eulogio Gómez Franqueira, from where you basically follow the yellow arrows on the right side of the street, along the side of a busy main road to...
4km / 1 hr to Quintela, where, opposite Bodegas Arnoya, you take the smaller road which branches right. You follow this for about 700m until, outside the showrooms of Gómez y Crespo (farm machinery manufacturing), where the road goes right, you continue straight. You pass under the new train viaduct to the tunnel under the old train tracks, push the button to get pedestrian priority and (with your torch lit, just in case some driver ignores the traffic lights) pass through the tunnel to begin a 200m climb.
7km / 1¾ hrs to Casa César, an informal café run by César, a retired lorry driver, who serves up delicious home-made cakes and other goodies, including his own wine.
4km / 1 hr to Ponte Mandras, café and shop.
4km / 1 hr to Casas Novas...
Casas Novas, café (food reported to be worth avoiding). From where it's 2km / ½ hr to Cea.Cea
There are two routes between Cea and Castro Dozón. The right route is the 'official' one and passes through Oseira. The left route is slightly shorter.
From Praza Maior go north on to Rúa da Praza Maior and cross the main road on to Rúa de Lodairo (past the Bread Monument) and follow the signs.
7km / 1¾ hrs through open country to Pielas. New café, O Toxo, reported good.9km Oseira
11km / 2¾ hrs to Castro Dozón, beginning with a 2km / ½ hr steep climb over rocky ground.
7Km / 1¾ hrs to A Gouxa, café - not open mornings.
From the Xunta hostel go right to Calle de España and then, following the signs that say Oseira 9, pass alongside the Community Centre / Edificio Multiusos and follow the yellow arrows.
1km / ¼ hr to Porto do Souto.
1km / ¼ hr to Cotelas, cafés. Guest house called O Refugio with private en suite rooms from 12€, evening meals and breakfast from 07:00. All in a quiet rural location. Tel 988 282 593 or 606 709 167
2km / ½ hr to Piñor, café, pharmacy.
1km / ¼ hr to Fontelo.
1km / ¼ hr to Arenteiro, café.
1km / ¼ hr to O Reino. Then 8km / 2 hrs to Castro Dozón. Care is necessary on this part because of faded and missing waymarkings. Be careful not to miss one yellow arrow at a left turn which is on a bollard positioned above most people's normal line of sight.
4km / 1 hr north of Castro Dozón the Camino veers left away from the main road on to a minor one.
2km / ½ hr to Puxallos.
7km / 1¾ hrs to Estación de Lalín, cafés. Helpful information board on the Camino. A Taberna da Vento, just past the roundabout, first exit, does good food. Also cafe A Estación, just off the second exit.
4km / 1 hr to A Eirexe, café. Then a little over 1km to...
2km / ½ hr to Prado, shop, pharmacy, café on the main road just to the right of the Camino.
5km / 1¼ hrs at the beginning of an industrial zone where the Camino goes left, there is a sign pointing to a restaurant 200m off the Camino. It's actually quite a lot further than that and on the main road.10km Silleda
Follow the Camino along the main road north through the town to where it veers left on to a path.7km Bandeira
Use one of the pedestrian crossings in town to cross to the right side of the street, otherwise you'll be crossing at a dangerous bend.5km Leiras
4km / 1 hr to A Carballeira, café.
300m descent to...8km Ponte Ulla
The Camino goes right up some steps just before the underpass.
4km / 1 hr to O Pineiro da Igrexe, cafés.
2 km / ½ hr Just before the suburb of Angrois you'll pass the bridge over the railway track which was the scene of a train crash on 24 July 2013 in which 80 people died.
3km / ¾ hr to Santiago.9km Santiago de Compostela2km Santiago de Compostela
It's not over yet, not if you regard Santiago to be the last major obstacle on the way to Fisterra!
So when you've had enough of city prices your escape is down the slope to the left of Hostal dos Reis Católicos, on Praza do Obradoiro, past where pilgrims queue for meals, and straight ahead down Rúa das Hortas and Rúa da Poza de Bar. It's signposted with yellow arrows from there on.
West of Santiago waymarkings are far less ubiquitous than on the Camino Francés and are mostly the (official) concrete post type with a scallop-shell symbol on them, positioned at an angle which indicates the direction to follow. You may find this disconcerting at first. The general rule to keep in mind is that at each point where there is a choice of directions there will be a waymarking of some sort.
10km / 2½ hrs to Ventosa, café.
3km / ¾ hr to Aguapesada, café.
3km / ¾ hr to Trasmonte, café.
2km / ½ hr to Pontemaceiro, café.
2km / ½ hr to Chancela de Abaixo, café.22km Negreira8km A Pena (Finisterre)4km Vilaserío
7km / 1¾ hrs to Maroñas, café.8km Santa Mariña6km Lago5km Ponte Olveiroa2km Olveiroa3km O Logoso3km Hospital
Shortly after Hospital is the turn to the right which bring you directly to Muxía in 25km / 6¼ hrs. Direction MUXIA: 4km / 1 hr Dumbría, pilgrim hostel, cafés, shops and a bank. This route is described in detail after the entry for Muxía.12km Cee2km Corcubión14km Finisterre
Fisterra to Muxía is 31km / 7¾ hrs. There are no shops and the only place to eat is in Lires. Waymarking, in the form of concrete bollards, has been greatly improved on this route and can be followed easily in both directions.
Leave Fisterra walking back towards Santiago up Rúa Santa Catalina. After about 400m you come to a point where there's a stone cross and a path leads to the right down towards the beach, here you should continue walking along the main road for about 300m until you veer left before Asador San Ronque. You'll see the first Muxía bollard here. There are also yellow arrows with M and F. The Xunta hostel in Muxía may want to see a stamp from Lires as proof that you walked from Fisterra (and vice a versa).
4km / 1 hr to Hormedesuxo from Fisterra. The Camino veers right at a crossroads.
1km / ¼ hr to San Salvador, café on the right at the start of the village.
2km / ½ hr to Buxán, small donativo café. Pass through Buxán veering right and continue on a road through a wood for 900m, then turn left.
2km / ½ hr to Castrexe. Just before the village there is an option to veer left and walk a path which follows a coastal route into Lires, it's about 1km longer. On this route, beside a lonely beach watch out for the Fonte Soleiros / the Fountain of the Lonely. With its motto: Se tés mal d'amores bebe da Fonte Soleiros, que a falta dun bo mozo sáenche sete zalameiros.
3km / ¾ hr to A Canosa. Now it's 3km / ¾ hr to Lires.16km Lires
From Lires it's 15km / 3¾ hrs to Muxía. Shortly after Lires the Camino crosses the río Castro where a footbridge has replaced the stepping-stones where pilgrims used to get their feet wet - left of the bridge.
5km / 1¼ hrs to Guisamonde.
4km / 1 hr to Morquintián.
4km / 1 hr to Xurarantes, where you join the road walking past the beautiful beach at Playa Lourido. Now follow the road straight into Muxía.Muxía
Muxía to Dumbria 22km / 5½hrs
The following description of the route between Muxía and Dumbría is written from the point-of-view of a pilgrim starting in Muxía. The waymarkings are much easier to follow in the other direction (Dumbría - Muxía).
In Muxía, follow the waymarkings south from the quays. After about 500m turn left on to the wooden boardwalk and follow this to the end and then continue straight along a grassy lane.
2km / ½ hr to Chorente, continue straight until at the end of the village opposite a large house on the right the Camino forks to the left and then at the end of this road turns right towards Os Muiños. The right fork will take you through the village of Moraime.
2km / ½ hr to Os Muiños, café on the main road a little off the Camino to the right. After Os Muiños continue to the left along a coastal road through a forest until just before the village of Merexo the road turns left and the Camino continues straight on a smaller road for about 100m before turning right past a house and continuing on a lane through a forest straight all the way to Vilarde. Now turn left and zigzag down the hill.
4km / 1 hr to San Martiño, from here continue straight parallel to the main road.
2km / ½ hr to Quintán, cafés. Alternatively, between Os Muiños and Quintáns it's slightly shorter to follow the main road.
In Quintáns cross the main road and continue straight up the hill. This brings you on to a lane through farmland and forest for about 5km until you rejoin a paved road where you turn left and follow the road.
7km / 1¾ hrs to Senande, cafés and a shop (in the first café). In Senande turn right at the village square on to the main road, continue past two cafés (left and right) and, just at the edge of the village, take the small road which veers left. After about 1km this road turns a sharp left then a right then a left again. Now walk straight for about 1km until you rejoin a paved road where you turn left.
3km / ¾ hr to Trasufe. Take the right turn up through the village, at the top veer right on the road and almost immediately, where there's a small white house, take a left on to a lane which leads uphill. After about 3km you'll come to a disused road, take the lane to the left here and in about 300m you'll cross the new main road and continue on a smaller road into Dumbría. From here it's still about 2km to the hostel.Dumbría
Dumbría is 10km / 2½ hrs from Olveiroa and 22km / 5½ hrs from Muxía. From the Xunta hostel, to walk towards Olveiroa, turn right on to the main road and follow it (sometimes veering left and right) for about for about 4km until you join the Santiago-Fisterra Camino at a roundabout.
Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2020. All text and photos.