This walk is part of the trek Camino Santiago de Compostela to Cabo Finisterre.
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.
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) At the main crossroads in Negreira head down the cobbled street Carreira San Mauro (bar Galaecia on the corner) in a southwesterly direction. Go past the auditorio on the left and a chemist on the right. Go under the archway (Pazo do Coton) and on over the Barcala river. There's a well indicated alternative route off to the right that runs next to the river (through a beautiful setting, avoiding the road, and returns to the official route after 3.2 km). Our recommendation is, without a doubt, to take this alternative route along the river, with abundant shade and without danger. Both routes, after some climbs, converge shortly before entering the village of Zas.
(1) Head northwest through the village and once you've gone past the last couple of houses take the path leading off to the left, across country past Os Pousos and O Camiño Real. The route goes up the valley of the river Barcala, in the shade of thick forests of oak, chestnut and eucalyptus. After 3.3 km our route passes through O Rapote (where there is a fountain), and 1.1 km further on we pass by the access to the Alto da Pena cafeteria-hostel, which is 50 meters away. Keeping on the path we arrive, after 700 meters, at the hamlet of A Pena (Piaxé). Here is the church of Saint Mamede. From here the route heads down to the main DP-5603 road at Portocamiño.
(2) Turn right along the road, past a bus-stop on the right and round a long bend to the left. Take the turn off to the right, where there is an option at a fork inmediately at the turn off. The official route continues to the left, first along a dirt road but soon returning to the asphalt of the road, during a dangerous section with hardly any hard shoulder; on the contrary, the alternative route (which is the one recommended) goes further to the right (past a water tank) and continues to Vilaserío always along dirt roads, without increasing the distance. In Vilaserío, where there is a bar-restaurant and two private hostels, both routes converge. Cross the main road to walk down a narrow track past houses to go through the hamlet, then right on the tarmacked road to go back up to the main DP-5603 road, turning left to walk along this road for a couple of km to reach O Cornado.
(3) Turn right off the main road and up to the crossroads in the hamlet. Turn left, to go out onto a pleasant dirt track; after 1 km it ends at a local road. Follow this to the right for 350 meters, then turn left onto a forest track, flanked at first by eucalyptus. We continue along this straight track with some sharp bends and forks, typical of small-holder farming, first uphill and later downhill, over a small bridge and into the village of As Maroñas. Weave through the farmhouses to a crossroads (sign for Casa Pepa) and turn left past an Hórreo. Bear right to leave the village and follow a country track southwest for 1 km to a T-junction. Turn left (sign for Casa Pepa) and walk into the hamlet of Santa Mariña. Check out the local church and the recreational area.
D : km 0 - alt. 166m - Negreira
1 : km 3.67 - alt. 256m - Zas
2 : km 9.61 - alt. 368m - Portocamiño
3 : km 15.3 - alt. 331m - O Cornado
A : km 21.51 - alt. 332m - Santa Mariña
As indicated in the text above, there are a number of bus-shelters and bars where a weary walker can take shelter. Don't forget, Galicia is renounded for it's lush green countryside and that only happens because it rains a lot. Make sure you have the best gear to keep you and your backpack dry. There are plenty of places to fill up your water bottle and local folk are normally only too happy to help, chat and give you water. There are some shady parts to the walk and plenty of places to rest. If you book your accomodation in Santa Mariña there shouldn't be any need to rush, so take your time. The first bar of this stage is at km 8.4, before reaching the village of A Pena and 50 meters from the road. Bars can also be found in Vilaseríoand Santa Mariña. In O Cornado there is a fountain.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
As you leave Negreira, check out the Pazo do Cotón, of medieval origin, with battlements and a stone gallery with three arches, under which both the Camiño Real and the cars pass. In O Coronado the remains of what is probably the largest Roman military camp in all of Galicia have been discovered, whose extension is equivalent to 17 football fields, and from which the bloody conquest of the region was consummated in the 1st century BC. 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!
The first 3 km of this stage are fairly simple but then there is a bit of a climb up to Monte Aro. Our route goes up to a viewpoint to enjoy the panoramic view, but there's no need to go all the way to the top, because 500 meters before the top there is a right turn and the begining of a steep descent along a dirt track. On the descent of Mount Aro, good views over the Xallas valley can be enjoyed, including the great Fervenza reservoir.
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.
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.
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.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.