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The Via de la Plata is the route that brings pilgrims from southern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The trail starts in Seville and ends in Astorga, but we will take a detour in Zamora, following the Camino Sanabrés or Mozárabe to Santiago de Compostela.
The original Via de la Plata was a Roman road that stretched from modern-day Mérida to Astorga. This is why along this Camino, you will be able to find outstanding Roman sites, such as Merida’s Roman theatre or the Aqueduct of Segovia.
But that’s not all: this route is also a testament to the Islamic past of the Peninsula. You will be able to experience the contrasts between the culture and architecture of southern and northern Spain. As you walk, you will pass many cities with a long history and unique charm. Some, such as Merida, Cáceres or Salamanca are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
983 km separate Seville and Santiago, so the Via de la Plata is the longest camino route, and during the summer months the weather will be hotter than in other trails. If you are worried about the length of each walking day, we can split them or add extra nights for you to rest. Each pilgrim needs to follow their own way!
At Galiwonders.com we want to help you to get the most of this lifetime experience. So forget about your luggage and all the logistics. We will take care of all these details, so you can concentrate on enjoying the Camino de Santiago walk.
Seville, the capital of Andalusia, has been a place of importance since Roman times. There, you will find a city product of its Islamic past, but also a high Christian influence, as the city was a key port for the Spanish Empire.
You can visit the Cathedral with the famous Giralda, the Torre del Oro (named because of its golden color) or the Alcázar, a Islamic palace. And of course, don’t leave without watching a flamenco show in its birthplace!
The pilgrimage starts at the Catedral de Sevilla and goes through the iconic barrio de Triana, before leaving Seville.
On your way, you will find the Itálica Roman ruins, which inspired a Spanish Golden Age famous poem. This stretch combines historical monuments with long walks by cotton fields.
The stretch from Guillena to Castilblanco will give you a taste of nature. You will walk amongst olive groves and fruit trees. Later on, you will find the characteristic mediterranean forest, as you pass the Sierra Norte de Sevilla (Northern Range).
If the walk from Guillena was the perfect opportunity to see the area’s flora, this stretch is perfect to see its fauna. As you walk, you will pass the typical dehesas with cows and bulls. And you may even get to see a deer! By the end of the journey, this stretch will reach the top of Cerro del Calvario, with outstanding views of the area.
We have divided this stretch in two days because of its difficulty. Once again, you will walk by domestic animals. This will be the last part of the route in Andalusian soil.
El Real de la Jara is presided by a 14th century castle. You will leave Andalusia and enter Extremadura. On your way, you will be able to see the ruins of another medieval castle. Don’t forget to visit the ermita de San Isidro, its temple is only 60 years old, but its architecture is worth a stop!
On this stretch, you will pass through rural áreas where olive and fig tres, farmlands and streams will set the background for your walk.
You will walk through areas filled with vineyards and olive groves, as you walk you may get a glimpse of hares, rabbits or partridges. We recommend a detour to see the iglesia del Salvador with its gothic-mudéjar style altarpiece
Before leaving Zafra, stop to see San Francisco tower, part of a 15th century convent.
You will walk through the Sierra de San Cristobal and pass woodland areas before arriving in Villafranca, where you can visit the Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels) church and its beautiful plateresque facade.
This is a rural area where you will find olive groves, vineyards and the clay that gives name to the región, “Los Barros”. And don’t forget to visit the Our Lady of the Coronada hermitage!
The stretch from Almendralejo to Mérida follows a Roman road, surrounded by vineyards. In Torremejía, stop to see the renacentist Palace of Mexía or Palacio de los Lastra.
As you approach Mérida through its Roman bridge, the longest of antiquity, you will find a statue of the she-wolf that fed Romulus and Remo. Don’t forget to visit the city’s Roman sights, such as its theatre!
Here is the real start of the original Via de la Plata, the Roman road that connected Merida and Astorga. You will walk by a reservoir and a natural lake.
In this stretch you will have the chance to walk through a natural park and see the charming mediterranean forest. If you like birds bring your binoculars, because this area is home to rare species such as black storks.
On the walk from Alcuescar you will be surrounded by olive groves. Later on, you will often find herds of domestic animals.
Before reaching Aldea del Cano you will walk by a Roman bridge and several Roman miliarium, testament to the road’s Roman past.
This stretch combines rural areas and walks alongside the road. Part of the walk has many ups and downs, so it will be more tiring than other sections of the Via de la Plata. But it will all be worth it once you get to Cáceres, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As this stretch is shorter than others, you can take the opportunity to see all the beauty Cáceres has to offer before leaving. After leaving the city you will have to walk through roads with little shade.
This is a rural area, in which road stretches will alternate with forest paths.
A walk through nature that will start with a tough climb towards Puerto de los Castaños. Don’t miss Galisteo’s 13th century almohade wall and Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion church with its 12th century mudéjar apse.
You will leave Galisteo crossing Jerte river through a medieval bridge. This stretch will be a road one, but the river and oak forests will make the journey pleasant.
On this walk you will pass the ruins of Caparra. Caparra existed long before the Romans arrived, and during their conquest it became an important point on the Via de la Plata. Its Roman arch still stands and is not to be missed!
This stretch will be quite similar to the past one. We recommend a detour in Hervás to visit one of Spain’s best conserved Jewish quarters.
Back on the Via de la plata and the Cañada Real, an old drover’s road that belonged to Spain’s monarchs. You will finally enter Castille, as you walk alongside the road and through rural paths. Pay attention to the miliarius along the way, specially number CXXXIV, one of the best kept ones!
You will walk through a valley and a forest, but there will also be a short road stretch. Once again, don’t miss out on the miliarius that you will see on your walk.
This is a rural stretch, with farmlands and oak forests. Halfway through you will climb Pico de la Dueña at 1,169 meters high.
26 km separate San Pedro from Salamanca. After a long walking day through rural areas, you will cross the Roman bridge across the Tormes river to finally arrive in Salamanca, a city known for its history, monuments and its renowned university.
There are 444 km left to Santiago! You will leave Salamanca following the road, and soon pass Aldeaseca de Armuña with its 16th century church. This is a short walking day, so take the opportunity to visit Salamanca before leaving.
During this stretch you will have to keep following the national highway. On this walking day you will leave Salamanca and reach the province of Zamora.
Today you will be back on rural roads, as you walk through a land named after wine. Halfway through the journey you will start seeing vineyards along the way. Zamora is an ancient town alongside the river Douro (Duero in Spanish), known for its exceptionally well conserved Romanesque-style old quarter.
This day’s walk will be shorter, so take the opportunity to get to know Zamora before leaving. You will continue walking on rural roads, as the scenery changes to endless grain fields.
Rural roads and paths will be your companions on this next leg of the journey. We recommend that you stop to visit the medieval ruins of Castrotorafe. Once you reach Granja de Moreruela you will leave the Via de la Plata and keep following the Camino Sanabrés to Santiago de Compostela.
This is the first leg of the Camino Sanabrés, that will take you to Santiago de Compostela through Ourense. As you walk, the landscape will alternate between more green areas and long rural paths.
The walk will be quite similar to the one from the day before. As you approach the Tera river, the landscape will change to vineyards and underground bodegas.
You will keep alternating between road and path walking stretches. On your way, you will pass the Nuestra Señora del Agavanzal reservoir.
As you get closer Galicia, you will find many small villages along the way. Stop to see their churches and crucifixes.
Today will be a short walking day, so take the morning to visit Sanabria. This village, declared a Historic-Artistic site of interest, has an strategic position between Castille, Galicia and Portugal. Don’t miss its 16th century castle and the 12th century Nuestra Señora del Azogue church.
This is a mountainous stretch, as you enter Alta Sanabria lands.
You will leave Castille behind after passing the A Canda mountainous area. This is the last stretch in Zamora, and you will finally enter Galicia through Ourense.
This is a mountainous area, and sparsely populated because of its harsh conditions and isolation during most of the year. Your destination for the day, Campobecerros, is the most populated village in the area.
You will descend from the mountain and head towards Laza, famous for its Entroido (Mardi-gras).
You will head upwards once again, as we climb Requeixada mountain. The highest point of the day will be mount Talariño cross. At the end of the walking day, you will descend towards Vilar de Barrio.
From this point on, you will find more populated, agricultural areas. As you walk, take a look at the traditional horreos and all the vegetable fields.
You will have to follow the highway towards Ourense, as you leave small, sparse villages behind. Before reaching the city we recommend that you stop at Seixalbo, a place that will bring you back to the Middle Ages with its peculiar architecture. Finally, you have reached the city of Ourense. From Roman times to our days, Ourense has mantained an important role in the area. You will approach the city walking on its Roman bridge. On your free time, visit San Martiño Cathedral and As Burgas, natural thermal fountains in the city center.
As you leave Ourense, the cobbled streets will give way to rural roads. Cea is famous for its artisanal bread, and a great number of its population have been bakers since at least the 18th century! So don’t leave without trying Cea’s renowned brown bread!
A rural stretch. As you walk, you will leave behind several small villages, churches and cruceiros.
This is another rural stretch where you will walk by oak forests. Lalín is know for its gastronomy, so try is renowned cocido!
This stretch is quite similar to the last one. Again, you will follow rural roads and get to see churches, cruceiros and small villages along the way.
This stretch will finally bring you to A Coruña province. The walk will be a breeze, except for the last descent towards Ponte Ulla, but the walk will be worth it because of the incredible views. We recommend that you stop at Dornelas and see its romanesque style church.
The last 20 km to Santiago! This is an easy walk that will finally take you to your destination, as you walk through small roads and walk pass tradicional cruceiros and hermitages.
Our last day with us. We hope you enjoy your trip and make incredible memories along the way!