Camino Frances – Sarria to Santiago

Embark on your pilgrimage by immersing yourself in the rich history of Sarria. This captivating town serves as the gateway for pilgrims seeking the coveted pilgrim certificate, awarded for completing the minimum 100 km distance to Santiago. As you stroll along the vibrant Rua Maior, the heart of Sarria, and explore its charming center, you’ll discover a tapestry of ancient wonders. Marvel at the enduring Fortress Tower of the Marqueses of Sarria, standing as a testament to its medieval past. Cross the graceful Aspera medieval bridge over the tranquil River Celeiro, transporting you to another time. Uncover the secrets of the 13th-century Magdalena Monastery, offering a glimpse into centuries of spiritual devotion. Delve into the sacred halls of the Church of Santa Marina, built upon the foundations of a Romanesque church dating back to the 12th century. And finally, pay homage to the divine at the Church of San Salvador. Let Sarria be your starting point, your stepping stone, on this extraordinary journey of faith and self-discovery.
Start at the Rua Maior until you reach the viewpoint over Sarria and then the Convent of the Magdalene. Descend to a tributary of the River Sarria and cross it by the Aspera Bridge. Make your way to the village of As Paredes, where a pre-Roman castro is located, and advance to Vilei, where you can seal the credential. Continue towards Barbadelo where you can visit the Church of Santiago de Barbadelo. Visit the Marzan Mill, before reaching Leiman and Peruscallo. In the middle of stone walls and chestnut trees, you reach Brea and then Morgade until entering the concello (council) of Paradela and its first parish: Ferreiros.

Peacefully walk in lovely oak tree shade and quaint villages for most of today’s journey.  The Romanesque Church of Santiago de Barbadelo is a picturesque stop.  Cross the río Miño just as you enter the final stop for the day – Pontomarín.

Embark on your pilgrimage and start the day with a tranquil climb up to Sierra Ligonde (720m) passing the tiny Romanesque Capela da Magdalena, a former Knights Templar hospital. On your gentle climb around Alto do Rosario, join countless past pilgrims in a recitation of the rosary. Then drop down finally into Palas de Rei. Let the beauty of the Galician landscape guide your journey as you explore the rich history of Sarria, visit ancient monasteries, cross medieval bridges, and discover the hidden treasures along the Camino Frances. Immerse yourself in the spiritual devotion and self-discovery that awaits you on this extraordinary path. Follow My Camino – where faith and adventure intertwine.

Take a woodland stroll today through six river valleys which make the path pleasant despite several intersections with the N-547.  Witness the beauty of the Romanesque 13th-century Santa Maria church and its carved stone “Mary with the Jesus child” in the recessed area over the entrance.  The halfway point of Melide is a great spot to try the famous octopus dish pulpo Gallega.  You will also cross several medieval bridges and the Church of San Pedro and San Roque which is said to have the oldest stone cross in Galicia – the 14th-century Crucero do Melide – Christ in Majesty.

Our path is riddled with short, but steep ascents and descents today.  Your way becomes more populated as the Camino del Norte joins the Francés today.  If you are so inclined visit the “wall of wisdom” in Taberna Velha filled with traveler’s quotes and advice for The Way.  As you skirt around the Alto de Santa Irene take a moment to enjoy the church with the same namesake and unique statues of Santiago. 

You have nearly made it!  This stage of the journey is exciting because of its end, but there is also much to see along the way.  The day begins in a dense eucalyptus forest.  As you skirt around the Lavacolla international airport, you will notice the contrast between that and the history of Lavacolla as the place where medieval pilgrims used to bathe for purification before entering Santiago.  Climb your way up the Monte del Gozo for a glimpse of your goal – the Cathedral of Santago!  Descend to the city and get ready to soak in all that comes with a goal achieved and a spiritual destination reached.   

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