Portuguese Way along the Spiritual Route in 4 stages

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The Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way to Santiago

Portuguese Way along the Spiritual Route in 4 stages

from 
290 

The Spiritual Variant is an alternative route to the Portuguese Way of Saint James that departs from the main route in the city of Pontevedra and crosses the peninsula of O Salnés instead of heading directly north. Finally, it joins the traditional Way again in Padrón, one day before reaching Santiago. In recent years, more and more people have decided to do this variant in 5 stages, leaving from the city of Pontevedra and thus completing the distance required to obtain the Compostela.

Itinerary

Day 1. Starting the Spiritual Variant in Pontevedra

The Spiritual Variant is a route that diverges from the traditional route of the Portuguese Way, and it does so in one of the most interesting cities it crosses from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela: Pontevedra. Often referred to as the "city of the Lérez", Pontevedra is a quiet and beautiful city that is well worth spending some time in.

You should not leave without walking through its quiet historic centre in search of lively squares such as A Ferradura, Praza da Leña or Praza da Verdura, nor without visiting the interior and learning about the history of the striking church of La Peregrina.

Day 2. Stage Pontevedra - Armenteira

Distance: 24.8 km.
Duration: 5-6 hours.
Accommodation: Armenteira

The first stage of this Spiritual Variant begins in the city of Pontevedra. Specifically in front of the striking façade of the church of La Peregrina, so closely linked to the Camino de Santiago itself. Although today it stands in a central square, in the past this area was outside the gates of the walled city, so the Way will begin by entering through the old Porta de Trabancas, crossing the historic area and leaving by the bridge of O Burgo to cross the river towards Lérez.

From there, the Camino continues briefly along the historic route as it crosses the xunqueira de Alba. There you will find the signposted fork and take the left-hand branch towards Campañó. The route continues past the imposing monastery of San Xoán de Poio, once a mighty monastery, and through the old fishing village of Combarro. It is worth wandering through its picturesque streets before turning off up the hill towards Armenteira.

Leaving Combarro behind, the hardest part of the stage begins. The Way forces us to a steep climb of 420 m (the Loureiro viewpoint will reward us with magnificent views over the Pontevedra estuary) before arriving at the old monastery of Armenteira, in the heart of O Salnés.

Day 3. Stage Armenteira - Vilanova de Arousa

Distance: 24 km.
Duration: 4.5-5.5 hours.
Accommodation: Vilanova de Arousa

Having finished the previous stage at a high point, most of the route of this second stage of the Spiritual Variant will be downhill or flat. Much more physically easier than the first stage, and slightly shorter, the route here overlaps with the popular hiking route known as the Ruta da Pedra e da Auga, which runs along the course of the Armenteira River.

From its mouth in the Umia river, we will continue along the riverbank and through vineyards to Ponte Arnelas and, from there, along an almost flat route until we reach the Arousa estuary, the largest and most productive in Galicia. The route will then become a pleasant walk along beaches such as O Terrón or A Pasaxe, in view of Arousa Island, before reaching the town of Vilanova, a well-deserved end to the stage and the perfect place to rest and recharge your batteries.

Day 4. Stage Vilanova de Arousa - Padrón

Distance (by land): 32.7 km.
Duration: 6-7 hours.
Accommodation: Padrón

The fourth day (third stage) of this journey along the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way will present you with two options, of which you will have to choose one: to do the stage by land or to do it by sea.

If you opt for the overland stage, the Camino, well signposted, will take you along a practically flat route, skirting the Arousa estuary inch by inch until it starts at the mouth of the river Ulla - its main tributary and one of the most important waterways in Galicia.

The distance of the land stage to Padrón is almost 33 km, so many people who choose to walk the stage decide to split it in two, staying overnight in Catoira, a town famous for its links with the Viking invasions of Galicia and the epic Torres de Oeste. This leaves two stages, from Vilanova to Catoira (19.5 km) and from Catoira to Padrón (13.2 km). Although here we are exploring the option by sea, if you want to do it by land, you only have to tell us so that we can adapt to your needs.

Torres de Oeste, on the Spiritual Route of the Portuguese Route
Torres de Oeste, on the Spiritual Route of the Portuguese Route

The other option, more popular and also more comfortable, is to travel this stage by sea, directly from the quay of Vilanova de Arousa to the quay of Pontecesures. If you do it this way, fulfilling one of the main attractions of this Spiritual Variant, you will only have to walk the last kilometre that separates Pontecesures and Padrón.

The aim is to emulate the route that, according to Christian tradition, the stone boat that brought the mortal remains of the apostle St. James back to Galicia after his martyrdom in Jerusalem would have taken. The boat schedules depend on the tide, so they vary from day to day, although there is usually at least one trip in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The end of this relaxed stage (if you have opted for the sea route) is in Padrón, the place where the disciples of Santiago are supposed to have moored that boat to continue their journey on dry land.

Day 5. Stage Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

Distance (by land): 32.7 km.
Duration: 6-7 hours.
Accommodation: Padrón

In Padrón, the Spiritual Variant meets again with the main route of the Portuguese Way, so you will notice a clear increase in the number of pilgrims who will surely be delighted to hear about your experience through the peninsula of O Salnés. The Camino will take you through Iria Flavia, where the bishopric of Teodomiro was located at the time of the discovery of the apostle's tomb, and through O Milladoiro, today a dormitory town of Santiago whose name comes from the Latin humiliatorium - a clear reference to the pilgrimage and to the fact that from its top it was finally possible to see the towers of Santiago Cathedral.

Only five kilometres more and you will enter the city from the south, through the Porta Faxeira of the old city wall and the Rúa do Franco, a name related to the pilgrims, who were called francos indistinctly, whether they came from Portugal or from the south of Galicia. Congratulations, pilgrim! You have reached your goal. The journey continues.

Day 6. End of the Spiritual Variant in Santiago de Compostela.

You have completed your Portuguese Way along the Spiritual Route and after a well-deserved rest, you finally have time to visit the city you have cycled more than two hundred kilometres to reach. Its historic centre, its university, its market and its countless parks, its surroundings...

And, if you have time, the End of the World awaits you. We bring it to you on a full day trip to Muxía, Fisterra and the Costa da Morte to complete a fantastic week.

Tailor-made

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The basic programme includes these services. Configure the rest to your liking.

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Lodging

During the Camino, sleeping well and resting is essential. Here are some images of some of the accommodation we work with on this route.

Frequent Asked Questions

Yes, in our programmes you choose the starting date. The Camino de Santiago can be done all year round, although in January and February many accommodations are closed for rest, so if you want to do it in those dates, we recommend you that you consult us first

Most of the accommodation is located next to the Camino, at the place where you will finish each stage. When you make your booking we will generate for you the documentation with the exact address and other location data. 

If the available accommodation is more than 1.5 km from the Camino, we will provide a transfer at no extra cost to you. 

In our programmes we include the option of hiring a luggage transfer service, with a limit of 1 piece of luggage of up to 20 kg per person. There is the option to increase the number of items, but this is not usually necessary. In addition, we will give you luggage identifiers (similar to those at airports) so that you can leave your backpack with the accommodation staff, properly identified, and the shuttle will pick it up there. It is important to do this before 8:00 am, so that our team can take it to the next accommodation before your arrival. In addition, if you plan to travel with more luggage than the Camino, we can also transport the luggage you are not going to use to your last accommodation, so that you can then continue your journey.

Although the Camino is done on foot or by bicycle, you may need a vehicle from the airport to the starting point of your pilgrimage or to make a trip to a place of interest near the end of your stage. In these cases, we provide you with private transport vehicles whose price varies depending on the distance. You can see it among the options by clicking on "I want to book my Camino".

By default and compulsory, all our programmes include travel insurance with specific coverage for the Camino de Santiago. You can see the details in the section Insurance of our website. 

All our programmes include a 24-hour telephone support service, should you need help at any time during your experience. This means that you can also contact us outside office hours (when you are on pilgrimage). 

If you want to book this programme, you have the following options available a form where you can indicate the starting date, the type of accommodation and a series of optional services. The price will be updated according to the options you choose, so you have full control. Once you have configured your trip, click on "Book" to make the payment.

Once we receive your request, you will automatically receive a proof of purchase and within 48 working hours we will contact you to confirm the details of your booking and provide you with the documentation. 

In Proguías we also work with tailor-made programmes (short stages, intermediate rest days, itineraries different from those proposed, etc.). If you are looking for a Camino that meets your needs/preferences, you can ask us for a quote here.

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The pilgrim's backpack

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Request a quote for this programme

We prepare a personalised quote and send it directly to your e-mail. 

Person responsible for processing: Your data will be processed by ALBA RODRIGUEZ SILGO with registered office at Rua do Rego 6C 5°D - Milladoiro, 15895 - Ames (A Coruña). Purpose and legitimacy: Your data will be processed for the purposes specified in the reason for contact and in order to respond to your requests or queries, legally based on express consent. Transfers: they will not be transferred to third parties, unless legally obliged to do so. Term: Your data will be processed for the time strictly necessary to fulfil the specific purpose or purposes for which they were collected, until the loss of relevance of their use or, in any case, until they are cancelled in response to the exercise by the owner of the corresponding rights. Rights: We inform you that you can exercise your rights of access, rectification, cancellation and opposition to the processing of your data through this contact form or by sending an e-mail to the following address: [email protected], or in writing, attaching a copy of a document proving your identity to the address: Rua do Rego 6C 5°D - Milladoiro, , 15895 - Ames (A Coruña). Additional information: You can consult additional and detailed information on Data Protection in our privacy policy.

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