This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
The final stage of the Camino Primitivo, completing the 308.5 km. An easy walk to finish and still be in time for the Pilgrim's Mass at 12 o'clock midday. The route goes past the Monte do Gozo (Hill of Joy) which gives us a fine view of the three spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. From there, it's about an hour to the main door and entrance to the Cathedral and the end of this journey. However, the recommendation is to continue a few days more to Finisterre, on the Atlantic coast.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From the Albergue Lavacolla, cross the N-634 and take the local road towards Vilamaior. Almost immediately the route crosses the Sionlla river over a footbridge (indicated by a wooden footpath sign just after an horreo) and then continues up the tarmacked road towards the trees. Once into the woods keep on the tarmac, bearing left at a bend and continuing up the gentle slope to cross another stream. This local road will then take you into Vilamaior, a cluster of farm buildings, where we chalk up 300 km since we left Oviedo.
(1) The way through the village is clearly marked and it's worth stopping for a coffee at Casa de Amancio before heading on. Bear left at the bus-stop and continue straight on past a number of houses before entering another wood. There's a good dirt path on the left-hand side of the road and the trees give good shade (or protection from the rain). There are no detours along the route, go past a garden centre (Galicia Garden) on the left and TVG (Television Galicia) on the right. Go past the timber merchants (Maderas Ramos Moreira) on the left, then turn left at the entrance to the campsite San Marcos.
(2) Go down by the side of the campsite, with a TVE (Television Española) building on the right. Turn right at a pylon to keep going around the TVE building. There's nowhere else to go, so keep plodding along this straight road into San Marcos. Just after a kink in the road (bend left then right) we come up to a T-junction. Turn right along Rúa do Coto dos Olmos, then left along Calle de San Marcos. Go through the village, until the house end and the Monte do Gozo opens out to the left. Continue along the cobbled path a little further, past a tap for filling your water bottle and up to a chapel surrounded by trees. From here, a visit to the Pilgrim's Monument is almost obligatory, and a little further on (heading south) is the famous Monumento al peregrino with the two figures pointing the way (not shown on the map as both monuments are off the route).
(3) Go back to the chapel and continue along the Rúa do Gozo. This will take you down, alongside a housing estate (Ciudad de Monte de Gozo) and a bright blue house. When the Rúa does Gozo bends sharply to the right, the route continues straight ahead down some concrete steps to the main N-634 road. Stay on the path as this Rúa da Ponte de San Lázaro road crosses the busy AP-9 motorway and the (A Coruña - Vigo) railway. Go past the Xardin do Pallote on the left, with its statue, and straight on across the roundabout that crosses the SC-20 dual carriageway and into Santiago de Compostela.
(4) Take time for the photo in front of the bush and sign with all the stickers, then carry on along Av. de San Lázaro leaving the park on the left to head into town. Count the blocks of flats to the left as you go past (eight in total) to go straight across another roundabout. Continue along Av. de San Lázaro, past the church of the same name, until you reach a road peeling off to the left, Rúa do Valiño. Head down this road, keeping the park Xardin de Fontiñas on your left. The road bends gently left and continues heading down into town. At the end of the park, the road bears right along Calle Fontiñas then bears right again at the Bar Londres and becomes Rúa da Fonte dos Concheiros. This bends left to meet a number of crossing roads. Head diagonally across to the cobbled Rúa dos Concheiros and continue further into the city centre. Follow this street as it bends gently upwards to the right and becomes Rúa de San Pedro. Cross over the Rúa das Rodas (N-550). Go straight up Rúa das Casas Reais. Turn left along Rúa da Algalia de Arriba to enter the Praza de Cervantes. Turn right along Rúa da Acibechería and into the Praza da Inmaculada. Head straight on to an archway and tunnel under a white coloured building. This opens out onto the Praza do Obradoiro and the Cathedral is on the left. Mission accomplished!(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 301m - A Lavacolla
1 : km 1.24 - alt. 353m - Vilamaior
2 : km 3.43 - alt. 379m - San Marcos
3 : km 5.17 - alt. 371m - Monte do Gozo
4 : km 6.69 - alt. 277m - Santiago de Compostela
A : km 9.91 - alt. 255m - Cathedral Santiago de Compostela
There is an abundance of places to eat, drink and rest along the route but you will probably want to get to the Cathedral as early as possible, so fill your water bottle before you leave A Lavacolla and hit the trail. There is a tap at the park Monte de Gozo and any of the bars you pass will happily give you a glass of water and fill your bottle. The Pilgrim Reception Office (Rúa Carretas, 33), located near the cathedral, is the place where the Compostela is issued, a document that certifies that we have made - at least - the last hundred kilometres on foot, or the last two hundred cyclings; To verify this, they use the stamps that we have been stamping on our credential throughout the route.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
As described above, it is highly recommended that a detour is made to visit the monuments in the Monte de Gozo park. Hopefully, the sun will be shining and the number of walkers on the route will make this a celebration walk. Reaching the square in front of the Cathedral (Praza do Obradoiro) might seem like the end of the journey but you still have to go into the Cathedral and embrace the image of the Apostle on the Main Altar (from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) and go down to the crypt where the tomb of the Apostle is located (from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ). The oldest and largest hostel is the hostel of the Seminario Menor, under private management. It is about a 15-minute walk from the cathedral. In recent years the offer of hostels in the Galician capital has grown exponentially. Take time to enjoy the route and remember, this is not a race and plans should be flexible. Don't leave any rubbish and don't damage the environment. Say hello to fellow walkers and help anyone who needs it. Take care of yourself and make the most of the moment!
This walk can be done as an extention to any Camino de Santiago. It's the older reason people, like the Romans, walked across the top of the Iberian Peninsula, following the Milky Way to the ends of the earth (as it was known). Our recomendation is to go through Muxía rather than head straight to Fisterra (the name of the town). Also, we recommend going the extra 3 km to reach Cape Finisterre. Great scenery and an amazing climax to see the sunset on the Atlantic Ocean from the cape.
Time to leave Santiago behind and follow the sun going west. It's more or less downhill as far as Aguapesada, then there's a bit of a climb over Alto do Mar de Ovellas, where we have to go up 210 metros in about 2 km, up to Carballo. Then it's a stroll, crossing the Tambre river and into Negreira.
A comfortable stage with very few slopes; along tracks, crossing forests and meadows. As in the previous stage, the route runs parallel to the main N-547 road and the soon to be completed A-54 motorway. Our route passes O Pedrouzo and the airport to give us a short distance to walk in the next stage to allow us to get to the Pilgrim's Mass, which is celebrated daily at 12 noon in the Cathedral of Santiago.
This is an easier stage than the classic 33.6 km from Negreira to Olveiroa, through a really rural environment but with a few uphill climbs. In the first ten kilometers we cross lush forests of pine, chestnut and oak trees, then we go through a clearer patch of land. At the end, there's a small village that is friendly and worth exploring.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.