Padre Sarmiento Way

The Route of Father Sarmiento

Tour Description

The Route of Father Sarmiento

The Route of Father Sarmiento (Ruta del Padre Sarmiento in Spanish) will take you into the heart of the region of O Salnés. This trail will allow you to emulate the journey made by Fray Martín Sarmiento in the Holy Year 1745, in his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In that year, he decided to return from Madrid to his native Galicia, and make a very personal pilgrimage from Pontevedra to Santiago de Compostela, following the coast line.

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Experience details

Included Services

Lodging in private room with private bathroom
Luggage transfer between stages
Half board: breakfast and dinner
Travel insurance
Walking notes
Pilgrim passport
24/7 telephone assistance

Check in

Arrival in Pontevedra, starting point of the Route of Father Sarmiento. It is a city characterized by its squares, its historic cobbled streets, and the strong connexion with the Way of Saint James.

Pontevedra –Sanxenxo (25 km)

Once we leave Pontevedra behind, we will move on to the next town, Poio. We will be able to contemplate its magnificent 7th century monastery, the Monastery of San Juan de Poio. In addition, the path will take us to one of the most picturesque villages of the Rías Baixas: Combarro. This stands out for its hórreos (raised granaries) and its small houses by the sea. We will finish the stage in Sanxenxo, a very popular tourist spot in the Galician summers. during his first trip to Santiago, in 1745, Father Sarmiento started to walk from Pontevedra. This is a little pedestrian city, so you should forget the car and any other kind of motor vehicle. Sounds good? You can have a walk in the old town, enjoy some tapas in some of the many bars and restaurants you can find in the city centre. Moreover, you could see how river Lerez joins to the Atlantic Ocean through Pontevedra Estuary. Pontevedra is ideal for those people who want to feel peace and get everywhere in less than 5 minutes on foot. Spring, summer and autumn are the best time to visit it. Anyway, winter is not very cold, but it’s really rainy. Thus, if you want to enjoy this experience, we highly recommend to do during the driest seasons. Pilgrims’ church – Route of Father Sarmiento Besides the Regional Museum (an important exhibition of Father Sarmiento is collected here), you will find several churches, a Basilica, a convent, a monastery and a National Parador (hotel). Furthermore, you can find many of the villages that Father Sarmiento visited before, during his trip in Galicia. After crossing Ponte do Burgo (Burgo bridge), you will find Poio town. Don’t miss the Monastery of San Juan de Poio. Did you know that a 200 meters’ mosaic is inside there representing the Camino de Santiago? “Would you like to get your tailor-made itinerary? ⇐ Click Walking along the coastline, you will soon reach Combarro. Have you ever heard about this seafaring village where stonecrosses and granaries seem to be touching the sea? Ahead, you will pass Samieira, Raxó and just before arriving in Sanxenxo, you can enjoy a beach, known as Areas. Are you ready to soak your feet? Finally, you will arrive at the end of the first stage of the Father Sarmiento Route. Sanxenxo is the most popular village for tourism in Rías Baixas. There are a great variety of hotels and spas there. Sanxenxo is a bustling place during the summer. Furthermore, beaches here are mostly urban, so as soon as you leave the hotel, you may step on white and fine sand.

Sanxenxo – O Grove (20 km)

Father Sarmiento route continues towards Portonovo. You will get into a more natural and uncrowded area. In fact, you can enjoy an incredible sunset from Punta Faxilda. Look at the distance… Ons and Onza isles are dominating the panoramic. Moreover, you will find amazing beaches in O Grove, but A Lanzada beach is one of the most spectacular. It’s a 2500 meters’ sandy area, where you can also find a chapel. Father Sarmiento also wrote about this hermitage and the remains of an old lighthouse next to it. Did you know that this lighthouse was built to protect Compostela against invaders? Apart from this, seafood in O Grove is excellent. Do you fancy to enjoy the best quality of shellfish and Albariño wine? To conclude, Father Sarmiento route ends today in O Grove. You may opt by walking a circular 3rd stage from O Grove to A Toxa isle. Otherwise, if you don’t have time enough to spend on this sealing land, we recommend you to enjoy the rest of the day discovering this valuable isle. Optional stage – circular A Toxa Island Firstly, you need to know that a 146 meters’ bridge connects A Toxa Island to O Grove. La Toja soap rings the bell? La Toja is mostly famous for its spa, its scallops’ covered chapel (12th century), and cosmetics and soaps factories. Father Sarmiento wrote that the island seemed to be inland in the past, as you could cross when there was low tide. Nowadays, you find a 5-star hotel, a casino, a golf club, as well as several nautical activities. So, if you want to spend a good time, this is a great place for it.

Circular Stage in O Grove (29 km)

For those who wish, it is possible to stop one more day in the O Grove peninsula, and take the circular route. This is an area with a lot to see, and it is worth adding an extra day to visit all its attractions. From La Toja Island, San Vicente and its beaches, the Adro Vello, the port of Meloxo, Mount Siradella… A must for those who want to enjoy the charms of the region.

O Grove - Cambados (22 km)

After leaving O Grove, you will continue to the Albariño land: Cambados. The Father Sarmiento route crosses a big and living estuary. Hundreds of birds coexist within that ecosystem characterized by a saline’s area. In fact, the name of Salnés was given by this particular zone. Not only there is nature here but also some interesting buildings: As Telleiras (18th century). They are like a big kiln where people fire the clay, plentiful in this area, in order to make tiles and bricks. The tower of San Sadurniño, the Pazo de Montesacro (18th century) or the Museum Casa do Pescador at Santo Tomé quarter, are great examples of the heritage and architectonic wealth on this stage. Eventually, reaching the end of this journey… how about a walk through the old town? You can see Pazo de Fefiñanes (16th century). Did you know that this was the first wine cellar to bottle an Albariño harvest, in 1928?

Cambados – A Illa de Arousa (18 km) 

We will walk a shorter stage than the previous ones, and it will take us to the Island of Arosa (or Illa de Arousa). Among the points of interest of this paradisiacal island, we can find the port of “O Xufre” (from where boats leave for tourist routes in the area), the Lighthouse “Punta Cabalo”, or the Mirador de Con do Forno.

Illa de Arousa - Vilanova de Arousa (16 km)

A new journey is coming! Enjoy the walk back to the peninsula. You won’t miss the peculiar smell of the Atlantic coast on your way to Carreirón Natural Reserve. More and more fine sand beaches and clean waters are waiting for you. Look at the sky or the trees, you could find a migratory bird at any place. Then, you will reach Vilanova de Arousa. After discovering Santiago Apostle sepulcher in Iria Flavia, Vilanova de Arousa was a barrier to protect Compostela from invaders. In short, several churches, palaces, and also towers characterize this village. Moreover, vineyards define the landscape, where sea and mountain merge. Ruta Padre Sarmiento viñedos

Vilanova de Arousa - Vilagarcía de Arousa (12 km)

Father Sarmiento visited many villages in his route, and Vilagarcía de Arousa is one of them. Villa García, as he wrote, is in the middle way between Carril and Villajoan (Vilaxoán). Furthermore, Father Sarmiento mentioned that Vilaxoán was an important port in the past. That’s because it was perfect for big boats as there was enough depth of water. Currently, it’s also famous, for its charm. Moreover, mussels, clams and other mollusk are abundant here. Although this village was independent in the past, it was join to Vilagarcía de Arousa council since 20th century. Salted fish factories were the main activity here in the past, but, did you know that it was the first fisher’s village to put a trough in the Galician Coast? Moreover, between every places Father Sarmiento visited in this area, you will see San Martin de Sobrán church. You will find here a Saint Benedict Altar, religious order of Father Sarmiento. Finally, you should not forget to visit Pazo O Rial. It’s a hotel nowadays, but it was the residence of a famous marquis in the past. Father Sarmiento told that it was one of the most amazing palaces in the area.

Vilagarcía de Arousa - Padrón (21 km)

The route of Father Sarmiento runs along the river Ulla on this stage. Today you will head to the north, crossing some of the villages that Father Sarmiento visited back then. From Vilagarcía de Arousa you will arrive to Carril quickly. You will only need to cross the beach Compostela and arrive in the land of the best clams in Galicia. Now, if you didn’t do yet, don’t forget to stop and contemplate the sea and the isle of Cortegada (also known as Isla de Los Laureles (Laurel isle)). This little island keeps the biggest ancient laurel forest that exists in Europe. Then, you will see Torres del Oeste (West Towers) upriver. They protected Santiago de Compostela from the attacks coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Traslatio Variante Espiritual A boat departs to run the Traslatio from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures. Click ⇒ If you want to get more information about Traslatio & Spiritual Variant Route Along the route of Father Sarmiento, you will also see the only maritime and fluvial Via Crucis all over the world. In addition, river Ulla was the origin of all the Caminos. That’s because along this river, the remains of St. James sailed in a “stone” boat. In conclusion, the Ulla river is the forefather of the Camino de Santiago, as well as the cruceiros “stonecrosses” are the protectors of unequalled landscape. Traslatio – Variante Espiritual We are reaching the end of the Route of Father Sarmiento, and Pontecesure, which is just next to Padrón. You will now cross the bridge over the Ulla river and after 1 kilometre, you will get to the town centre. Moreover, Santiago de Padrón church keep the stone that gave origin to Padrón: el Pedrón. Did you know that this stone was the same one where the Santiago’s disciple tied the boat that carried the apostle remains from Jerusalem? Pedrón – Padrón

Padrón - Santiago de Compostela (24 km).

The last stage of Father Sarmiento Route runs along the Portuguese Camino & Portuguese Coastal Way. So, you will join many other people from here to Santiago de Compostela. Then, you will pass Iria Flavia from Padrón, and ahead, A Escravitude. Father Sarmiento wrote about a big and nice hermitage in this town. He said that it had a high and good tower. This is the Santuario da Virxe da Escravitude. Although it has two towers nowadays. They modified it during the following decades, in fact it was built on 18th century with a sole tower. Later, the second tower was built in the 19th century. Additionally, in Teo you will see Castro Lupario. It’s an iron age settlement, but it’s also related to the traslatio. According to the legend, after arriving in Padrón, Santiago disciples were to find a place to bury the remains of Santiago. So they found this place. At that moment, it was the residence of the Queen Lupa. So, she told them to go to Sacral Mountain. They would find there some oxes to carry the remains towards Monte Libredón.

Standard Category Accommodations on Padre Sarmiento Way

1* and 2* hotels

These hotels offer private rooms with private bathrooms as well as other additional services that may vary depending on the type of category: restaurant service, television, room service, dry cleaning, ironing service, etc. It is common to stay in this type of hotels in the cities along the Camino.

Hostels and pensions

These accommodations have the necessary services to cover the basic needs of cleanliness and rest at a more moderate price than the hotels . Officially, hostels and guesthouses are 1-star accommodations. However, this rating should not be taken into account when evaluating the level of comfort and quality of their services.

Trip cancellation insurance
Upgrade to superior room
Extra night at the beginning of the tour
Extra night at the end of the tour
Private transfer airport-starting location
Private transfer Santiago-Airport
Other private transfers
Organized visits and excursions
Pilgrim massage

Route map

Frequent questions

From Santiago de Compostela Airport

  • Car: It is 75km with a duration of approximately 50 minutes.
  • Bus/train: Take the bus (LINE 6A) from Santiago de Compostela airport to the bus station. Frequency every 15′ and with an approximate duration of 20′. Another option is to take a cab to the station, with an estimated duration of 15′. Then, we must take a bus (monbus) or train (renfe) to Pontevedra (journey time between 40 minutes to 1 hour). For timetables and more information visit:,  and

From Vigo Airport

  • Car or cab: It is 30km with a duration of approximately 25 minutes.
  • bus/train: Take the bus (LINE A) from Vigo Airport to the Urzaiz stop (Estación / Cotomondongo wall). Frequency every 30′. Another option is to take a cab to the station, with an estimated duration of 10′. Once there, we can take a bus or train to Pontevedra (journey time between 13 to 30 minutes). For schedules and more information visit:, and 

From Porto Airport

  • Car or cab: It is 170km with a duration of approximately 1h 45 minutes.
  • Bus: Take a bus from Porto to Pontevedra (Alsa or Flixbus) (2h 40 minutes). For timetables and more information visit: and

Our costumers reviews


STAGES: 9 Stages
DURATION: 10 Nights
START: Pontevedra
PRICE: desde 695€

Why book with Galiwonders?

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