Vigo to Santiago in Spain
– May 3rd – May 10th 2023
We are delighted to bring this new offer to you for 2023.
This is the last section on the Coastal Camino Portuguese (Caminho da Costa) although all the walking on this final section, does, in fact, take place in Spain – that’s just geography.
We start our journey in the city of Vigo, one of the biggest fishing ports in the world and now known for its freezing and canning industry. It dates back to Roman times when there was a settlement here. The mouth of the nearby Vigo Estuary is sheltered by the Cíes Islands, which form part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. The Cíes are known for their rich birdlife and crescent-shaped Rodas Beach and you could decide to come early and go visit these.
We have our first evening in Vigo enjoying a meal together and getting to know each other. The next morning we leave the city with a bit of a climb and then find ourselves on a stunning ridge walk which lays out for us the surrounding landscape along most of its length. We remain on this ridge for most of our day’s walk and from our vantage point have great views over the estuary, the islands and the surrounding area.
These first 2 days lead us along the coast joining with the pilgrims coming from the Central Camino Portuguese route in Redondela. Then after leaving the wonderful University town of Pontevedra with it’s Pilgrimage and Basilica and it’s many squares where cafes and restaurants spill out onto the pavement, we head inland for the last 3 days.
On the night before Santiago we stay in Padron, famous for its peppers. These are offered in most restaurants and which really have to be sampled. Finally at the end of day 5 we arrive in the beautiful city of Santiago, the destination of our entire trip.
As this is a final section we will cover this last 100 km or just over and you can collect your pilgrim stamps and then claim your Compostella (Pilgrim Certificate)
For the duration of this walk, we are in the region of Galicia with its green and undulating landscape. ‘Green’ Spain is lush and vibrant in the spring, the streams tend to be full and the sound of water and birdsong abound. In autumn we see the grapes ready for harvest and in some places the leaves starting to turn. I am always bowled over by it’s beauty and on this section, having the coast for part of the time adds another dimension.
Unlike the last section on the Camino Frances, you do not get a glimpse of the cathedral from outside the city, rather it tends to creep up on you and tease as you make your way through the narrow streets of the old town. The suddenly, you see so much more and as you step into the cathedral square, the sight of the amazing building, all completely refurbished for 2021 Holy Year, takes your breath away. I get goosebumps just writing about it and no matter how many times I enter, I am still enthralled.
In Santiago, I allow an extra day so you can go to mass if you choose whether that’s for religious reasons; spiritual ones; the sense of theatre or just as a celebration. Also that you have time to collect your certificate and final stamp. Then you have time to relax, celebrate, explore and enjoy the beautiful old town before heading home the following day.
This ‘down time’ is a great opportunity to begin your transition back into life at home. It’s amazing how after a number of simple days on the path, filled with mainly solitude and peace that busy places seem so much chaotic and noisier than they were before. This helps prepare you for that re-emergence.
Our accommodation in Santiago is usually in a converted XVIth century monastery just across from the cathedral and is such an atmospheric place to stay, a perfect and fitting end to our walk.
We are walking around 62 – 75 miles over the 5 days, some days longer than others. Though on this route there is a little more equality of daily mileage. There is a mix of terrain, sometimes on promenades or concrete walkways; occasionally on the sand; at other times on gravel and earth paths and on roads walking in and out of towns or cities. We have a bit of climbing up in places but the views are worth it but on most occasions this path is described as a flatter one .
The last sections always book up first and they are busier but we do keep away from the height of the summer. We plan well in advance as accommodation gets fully booked so if you’re interested, do chat with me earlier rather than later.
I do hope you will join us…
If you are interested then we offer an EARLYBIRD price of £2395 + VAT until Jan 31st 2023. There are a couple of places still available.
After the end of January, the price rises to £2695 + VAT.
Payment plans are available, with some people choosing to pay up front, and others spreading payments out over as many months as they can. We will work with what suits you as long as final payment is made before you leave on your Experience. We want to make this as doable for you as possible.
Once you commit, we take a £300 + VAT non-refundable deposit which secures your place and your price and then we follow up with a payment discussion.
If you are interested, use the link below to book a virtual coffee and chat with me where we can talk through your questions, any concerns and see if this is right for you.