New Camino walks: Via de la Plata, Portuguese Coastal Way and Portuguese Spiritual Variant
There are as many ways of experiencing the Camino as there are pilgrims. Today we are presenting our new Camino walks, that you may want to enjoy this Autumn.
Beside the popular French Way, you will be able to find many interesting routes. To give you even more Camino options, we have added to our tours some new Camino de Santiago routes: Via de la Plata, Portuguese Coastal Way and Portuguese Spiritual Variant. All of these trails have their own charm, so be careful because you may want to walk them all!
Portuguese Spiritual Variant
The Portuguese Spiritual Variant follows the steps of the Apostle’s last remains to their final resting place. As legend tells it, in 44 aC, after St James’ martyrdom, the Apostle’s followers brought his body to Galicia from Jerusalem. They sailed to Iria Flavia, modern day Padrón, following the Ulla river. There, they buried the Apostle’s body.
Do you want to get a taste of the Apostle’s legend? Then the Portuguese Spiritual Variant is the one for you! This Camino follows the same route as the Portuguese Coastal Way, but after Pontevedra, the Spiritual Variant goes through O Salnés. There, you will discover the beautiful town of Poio and its monastery, or the picturesque coastal town of Combarro, where you can taste their delicious and fresh seafood.
Monastery of Armenteira
One of the route’s most remarkable places is the Monastery of Armenteira. This monastery was built in 1162 and its long history is full of legends. As the story goes, Ero, a pious nobleman, decided to build a monastery in Armenteira and take the vows. After retiring to the place, his only wish was to see Paradise, and so he prayed and prayed to the Virgin Mary everyday. One day, he finally got his wish: he found a peaceful place in the forest, with a stream nearby. There, he started praying to the Virgin Mary, hoping to see paradise. Suddenly, a bird started singing a beautiful melody, the most beautiful Ero had ever heard.
But the story does not end there, when he went back to the monastery, he found stones, doors, windows and even the garden had changed. When the monks asked him who he was he found out the truth: the monk had traveled 300 years through time.
They say Saint Ero died from the shock of hearing this, but his legacy still stands, and maybe when you walk through the beautiful Armenteira forests you will also be able to find your own paradise.
From the monastery of Armenteira, you will follow the Ruta da Pedra da Auga (Stone and Water Route). This walk follows streams though a forest and you will be able to see the remains of old water mills.
The third leg of the Spiritual Variant is also the most remarkable one: the Traslatio. This boat ride mimics that of the Apostle’s followers. It starts in Vilanova de Arousa and ends in Padrón, after a short walk. As you sail, you will be able to see traditional mussel farming places, and the only fluvial-maritime Way of the Cross in the world.
After Padrón, you will join the Portuguese Camino to Santiago de Compostela, so you will find a lot more pilgrims along the way.
We recommend this Camino for those who have a penchant for history, legends, and want to enjoy Galicia’s beautiful sea and riversides.
Portuguese Coastal Way Easy
If you want to walk Galicia’s magnificent coast without rushing, the Portuguese Coastal Way Easy is the one for you. We have split each walking day in two so that you can take your time and relax in the amazing beaches that you will find along the way.
The Portuguese Coastal Way Easy starts in Baiona, so you will walk the last 100 km to Santiago de Compostela. In Redondela, the Camino joins the Portuguese Camino until the end of the journey.
Baiona, the start of this tour, is a coastal town that was the first in Europe to receive news of the discovery of America by Columbus. On your first day, you will be able to see the beautiful Cíes Islands.
On this Camino de Santiago variant, you will be able to visit big cities such as Vigo and Pontevedra, but also small coastal towns and rural areas as you get closer to Santiago.
So if you want to get to know the Galician coast at a slower pace, as you get to enjoy all the sights, do not hesitate to ask as about this tour!
Via de la Plata full walk
What about walking from Spain’s southern area? The Via de la Plata starts in Seville and follows an ancient Roman road.
Walking this route, you will be able to experience the contrasts between the north and the south of Spain. The Via de la Plata is not only a walk through Spain, it is also a walk through history.
You will start in Seville, the capital of Andalusia and a city of great importance because of its port, which communicated Spain with is American colonies for many years.
From Merida you will start walking the Old Roman way that was the origin of the modern Via de la Plata
If you want to experience the Via de la Plata but only have one week to spare, you can walk the last 100 km from Ourense.
Ourense is a city known for its Roman past and its thermal springs. From there, you will walk through Galicia’s rural areas, alternating between road stretches and forest walks. As you walk, you will see many small villages, peppered with churches and the typical cruceiros.