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Last places
Way of Saint James from Sarria in group with guide
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Days
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Camino Portugues
VE00

Portuguese Way by the Spiritual Variant in 6 days

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
103 km
●○○○○
4 stages
6 days
from

290 €

Bridge on the Portuguese Way
The Spiritual Variant is an alternative route to the Portuguese Way of Saint James that departs from the main route in the city of Pontevedra and crosses the peninsula of O Salnés instead of heading directly north. Finally, it joins the traditional Way again in Padrón, one day before reaching Santiago. In recent years, more and more people have decided to do this variant in 5 stages, leaving from the city of Pontevedra and thus completing the distance required to obtain the Compostela.
Follow the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way
A tour of the O Salnés peninsula: wine and sea
Enjoy seafood gastronomy
Bridge on the Portuguese Way
Camino Portugues
VE00

Portuguese Way by the Spiritual Variant in 6 days

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
103 km
●○○○○
4 stages
6 days
Follow the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way
A tour of the O Salnés peninsula: wine and sea
Enjoy seafood gastronomy
from 290 €
The Spiritual Variant is an alternative route to the Portuguese Way of Saint James that departs from the main route in the city of Pontevedra and crosses the peninsula of O Salnés instead of heading directly north. Finally, it joins the traditional Way again in Padrón, one day before reaching Santiago. In recent years, more and more people have decided to do this variant in 5 stages, leaving from the city of Pontevedra and thus completing the distance required to obtain the Compostela.

The recipe for great journeys

Natural, historical and ethnographic heritage, spectacular gastronomy, good company, slow pace and time for time. These are the ingredients with which we design trips in Viando. Are you staying at home? 

Is this trip for me?

Type of trip: Half distance
Journeys to savour slowly, with the best of each space and that indescribable sensation of overcoming your own limits.
Type of services: Configurable
You choose your category of accommodation, if you want breakfast or not, if you want us to carry your luggage, etc. You decide and we will make sure everything runs smoothly.
Travel style: On your own
Programmes designed so that you can travel the route on your own, at the pace set by your steps. Full autonomy and the peace of mind of knowing that we are with you if you need us.
Physical demands: Hiking
Routes of small or medium physical demand, of medium distance (20-30 km / day) and surfaces that facilitate walking, and that can be covered autonomously.

Services included

Accommodation
monitored

Boat trip

Full documentation

Pilgrim's badge

24h travel assistance

Advanced travel insurance

VAT and taxes

And also...

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Breakfast
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Free if you book through our website

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Reinforced breakfasts
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Itinerary

Day 1. Starting the Spiritual Variant in Pontevedra

The Spiritual Variant is a route that diverges from the traditional route of the Portuguese Way, and it does so in one of the most interesting cities it crosses from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela: Pontevedra. Often referred to as the "city of the Lérez", Pontevedra is a quiet and beautiful city that is well worth spending some time in.

You should not leave without walking through its quiet historic centre in search of lively squares such as A Ferradura, Praza da Leña or Praza da Verdura, nor without visiting the interior and learning about the history of the striking church of La Peregrina.

Hostel: Acolá Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel Madrid or similar

Day 2. Stage Pontevedra - Armenteira

Distance: 24.8 km
Difficulty: ●●○○○
Accommodation: Armenteira

The first stage of this Spiritual Variant begins in the city of Pontevedra. Specifically in front of the striking façade of the church of La Peregrina, so closely linked to the Camino de Santiago itself. Although today it stands in a central square, in the past this area was outside the gates of the walled city, so the Way will start entering through the old Porta de Trabancas, crossing the historic area and leaving by the bridge of O Burgo to cross the river towards Lérez.

From there, the Camino continues briefly along the historic route as it crosses the xunqueira de Alba. There you will find the signposted fork and take the left-hand branch towards Campañó. The route continues past the imposing monastery of San Xoán de Poio, once a mighty monastery, and through the old fishing village of Combarro. It is worth wandering through its picturesque streets before turning off up the hill towards Armenteira.

Leaving Combarro behind, the hardest part of the stage begins. The Way forces us to a steep climb of 420 m (the Loureiro viewpoint will reward us with magnificent views over the Pontevedra estuary) before arriving at the old monastery of Armenteira, in the heart of O Salnés.

Hostel: Armenteira Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Villa Laredo or similar

Day 3. Stage Armenteira - Vilanova de Arousa

Distance: 24 km
Difficulty: ●○○○○
Accommodation: Vilanova de Arousa

Having finished the previous stage at a high point, most of the route of this second stage of the Spiritual Variant will be downhill or flat. Much more physically easier than the first stage, and slightly shorter, the route here overlaps with the popular hiking route known as the Ruta da Pedra e da Auga, which runs along the course of the Armenteira River.

From its mouth in the Umia river, we will continue along the riverbank and through vineyards to Ponte Arnelas and, from there, along an almost flat route until we reach the Arousa estuary, the largest and most productive in Galicia. The route then turns into a pleasant walk along beaches such as O Terrón or A Pasaxe, in view of Arousa Island, before reaching the town of Vilanova, a well-deserved end to the stage and the perfect place to rest and regain strength.

Hostel: A Corticela Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel Bradomín or similar

Day 4. Stage Vilanova de Arousa - Padrón

Distance (by land): 32.7 km
Difficulty: ●○○○○
AccommodationPadrón : Padrón

The fourth day (third stage) of this journey along the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way will present you with two options, of which you will have to choose one: to do the stage by land or to do it by sea.

If you opt for the overland stage, the Way, well signposted, will take you along a practically flat route, skirting the Arousa estuary inch by inch until it begins at the mouth of the river Ulla - its main tributary and one of the most important waterways in Galicia.

The distance of the land stage to Padrón is almost 33 km, so many people who choose to walk the stage decide to split it in two, spending the night in Catoira, a town famous for its links with the Viking invasions of Galicia and the epic Torres de Oeste. This leaves two stages, from Vilanova to Catoira (19.5 km) and from Catoira to Padrón (13.2 km). Although here we are exploring the option by sea, if you want to do it by land, you only have to tell us so that we can adapt to your needs.

The other option, more popular and also more comfortable, is to travel this stage by sea, directly from the quay of Vilanova de Arousa to the quay of Pontecesures. If you do it this way, fulfilling one of the main attractions of this Spiritual Variant, you will only have to walk the last kilometre that separates Pontecesures and Padrón.

The aim is to emulate the route that, according to Christian tradition, the stone boat that brought the mortal remains of the apostle St. James back to Galicia after his martyrdom in Jerusalem would have taken. The boat schedules depend on the tide, so they vary from day to day, although there is usually at least one trip in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The end of this relaxed stage (if you have opted for the sea route) is in Padrón, the place where the disciples of Santiago are supposed to have moored that boat to continue their journey on dry land.

Hostel: Murgadan Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel Rosalia or similar

Day 5. Stage Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

Distance: 24.3 km
Difficulty: ●●○○○
AccommodationPadrón : Padrón

In Padrón, the Spiritual Variant meets again with the main route of the Portuguese Way, so you will notice a clear increase in the number of pilgrims who will surely be delighted to hear about your experience through the peninsula of O Salnés. The Way will take you through Iria Flavia, where the bishopric of Teodomiro was located at the time of the discovery of the tomb of the apostle, and through O Milladoiro, today a dormitory town of Santiago whose name comes from the Latin humiliatorium - a clear reference to the pilgrimage and to the fact that from its top it was finally possible to see the towers of Santiago Cathedral.

Only five kilometres more and you will enter the city from the south, through the Porta Faxeira of the old city wall and the Rúa do Franco, a name related to the pilgrims, who were indistinctly called Francos, whether they came from Portugal or from the south of Galicia. Congratulations, pilgrim! You have reached your goal. The journey continues.

Hostel: The Last Stamp or similar
Standard accommodation: Hospedería San Martín Pinario or similar

Day 6. End of the Spiritual Variant in Santiago de Compostela.

You have completed your Portuguese Way along the Spiritual Route and after a well-deserved rest, you finally have time to visit the city you have cycled more than two hundred kilometres to reach. Its historic centre, its university, its market and its countless parks, its surroundings...

And, if you have time, the End of the World awaits you. We bring it to you on a full day trip to Muxía, Fisterra and the Costa da Morte to complete a fantastic week.

Gain free cancellation
when booking on the website

Frequently asked questions

What to expect from this tour?
The Spiritual Variant is a technically simple route, with no major slopes except for the ascent from Combarro to Armenteira. For this reason, it is suitable for people in different states of fitness. This route is for you if you are looking for a first encounter with the Camino de Santiago and you do not have many days, or if you are looking for a less travelled and quieter variant of the Portuguese Way.
The Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way is open all year round. Although it can be done in the middle of winter, taking into account a number of technical conditions (more information here), the most advisable time is usually the first half of autumn, when the weather is milder. It can also be done in summer, because temperatures are usually mild, but in this case you should expect more people on the Camino and there may be a certain saturation in the last stages.
All stages of this route can be completed on foot, so there is no need for additional transfers. The boat transfer for the stage between Vilanova de Arousa and Padrón is included. If you need transport to get to Pontevedra from Santiago airport or Vigo airport, or if you want to hire a transfer from Santiago to the airport for your return home, we can include them as an optional service.
Accommodation in the following categories is available on this route: hostels and standard accommodation. You can see more information about the categories of accommodation we use in Viando. in this link.

By default and compulsory, all our programmes include travel insurance with specific coverage for the Camino de Santiago. You can see the details in the section Insurance of our website. 

All our programmes include a 24-hour telephone support service, should you need help at any time during your experience. This means that you can also contact us outside office hours (when you are on pilgrimage). 

If you want to book this programme, you have the following options available a form where you can indicate the starting date, the type of accommodation and a series of optional services. The price will be updated according to the options you choose, so you have full control. Once you have configured your trip, click on "Book" to make the payment.

Once we receive your request, you will automatically receive a proof of purchase and within 48 working hours we will contact you to confirm the details of your booking and provide you with the documentation. 

In Viando we also work with tailor-made programmes (short stages, intermediate rest days, itineraries different from those proposed, etc.). If you are looking for a Camino that meets your needs/preferences, you can ask us for a quote. here.