Today is our last day, at least on this route of theCamino Frances. More than 750 kilometres together, behind us, since that first day, across the Pyrenees. The Navarrese forests and the Rioja vineyards were also left behind. As well as the immense plains of the Castilian plateau.
Together we managed to overcome mythical climbs like Monte del Perdón or O Cebreiro. Today we will arrive at our final destination, Plaza del Obradoiro and the Cathedral, where the tomb of Santiago the Apostle awaits.
Some started with us from the first stage in Saint Jean Pied de Port, others joined in Roncesvalles or Zubiri. Some others chose the cities of Logroño, Pamplona, Burgos or León to join the tour. And many others, joined in the final stages, from Ponferrada or Sarria. Thank you for sharing this experience with Santiago Ways!
Let's finish the Camino Frances!
In today's stage we can see two pilgrim profiles. Those who walk at a brisk pace, anxious to arrive in Santiago de Compostela, and those who walk calmly, with a heavy heart to see the end of an adventure that will undoubtedly leave a mark on their lives.
Whatever your case, you will be overwhelmed with satisfaction when you finally put your backpack on the floor in front of the cathedral and look up at the majestic temple erected in homage to Santiago the Apostle.
Along tracks full of eucalyptus and oaks we will leave O Pinto, to delve into the last sections of the Camino Frances that run through urban environments.
Itinerary O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
The last day of the Camino Frances is short enough to allow us to be in Santiago de Compostela for the Pilgrim Mass (12.00 noon), something less than 20 kilometres. The path today runs on well-preserved tracks and has no significant slopes, except for the moderate ascent to Monte do Gozo.
O Pedrouzo (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: We leave O Pedrouzo and enjoy the fragrance of eucalyptus before they leave us in the final stages of the day. Buen Camino!
We walk the town following the national road and in Rúa do Concello we turn to the right. We continue half a kilometre straight ahead and when we arrive at the school and the sports tracks, we take a 90-degree turn to the left.
We go into a eucalyptus forest on a dirt track covered with fallen leaves to reach San Antón, a hamlet of the Parish of Arca (km. 1.3). On the way out, we have another wooded section, full of reforested eucalyptus and native oak, which leads us to the urban centre of Amenal, the Parish of San Miguel de Pereira.
Then we follow an asphalted track. After the Brandelos River, we cross the N-547 road by an underpass (km. 3.7) and begin a pronounced climb until Cimadevilla, the last urban centre of the Concello de O Pino.
Cimadevilla (Km. 4)
Practical tips for this section: From this section a tour of the urban area begins, it's good to acclimatise before reaching the busy city of Santiago de Compostela. Buen Camino!
After Cimadevilla the ascent continues for more than a kilometre and a half, although in its final stretch it becomes easier. On top, we descend to the foot of the highway A-54 and the national N-634, where we find a separation fence, full of crosses.
A monolith with a staff, pumpkin and scallop announces the entrance to the municipality of Santiago (km. 6.3). We go around the airport (km. 6.7) and after crossing the road we enter San Paio, a village of the Parish of Sabugueira (km. 7.7).
We then go around Casa Quian and start another hard climb om an asphalted road. On the right, we take another track that descends and crosses two villages of the Parish of Sabugueira: A Esquipa and Lavacolla (km. 9.5).
Lavacolla (Km. 9,5)
Practical tips for this section: Do not forget to visit the monument to Santiago erected in the Jacobean year of 1993, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama of the city of Compostela and its cathedral. Buen Camino!
After a sharp curve, we pass by the Parish Church of San Pelayo, on its façade we can see that the construction dates from 1840. Then, cross the N-634a road and take the detour to Villamaior.
After a hundred metres we cross the River Sionlla, known as the Arroyo de Lavacolla, where the pilgrims take advantage to get rid of their dirty clothes and to clean themselves before entering Santiago de Compostela (km. 10).
We ascend to Villamaior on an asphalted track (km. 11), and pass by the TVG centre (km. 12.7) and then turn 90 degrees to the left, passing by RTVE (km. 13.5).
After RTVE, we rotate again 90 degrees, this time, to the right. We continue until the San Marcos Urbanization (km. 14.8), which precedes Monte do Gozo. After the urbanization, instead of following straight ahead, we take a detour to the left to ascend to the monument built in the Jacobean year of 1993.
This is the largest monument on all the Camino de Santiago. From there you can enjoy your first panoramic view of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral.
Monte do Gozo (Km. 15,2)
Practical tips for this section: You are less than 5 kilometres from Plaza del Obradoiro, look around and think that you are with the people you want to share that magical moment.
A solitary arrival is also a good way to end the adventure, especially if you started alone, there you have the opportunity to meet many of your fellow travellers. It's a moment you'll always remember. Buen Camino!
We retake the pilgrim path, leaving aside access to the restaurants and cafeteria, and descend to a flight of stairs. We cross the highway by a bridge and continue straight ahead through the long Rúa San Lázaro (km. 16.7), where the Galician Palace of Congress and Exhibition Centre is located.
Then follow the Rúa do Valiño (km. 17.7) and continue straight ahead through Rúa das Fontiñas and Rúa dos Concheiros. From this last one, we cross Avenida de Lugo, to enter Rúa de San Pedro (km. 19), which ends at a crossroads with traffic lights at Rúa Aller Ulloa.
By the Porta do Camiño we enter the historical centre, following the Rúa das Casas Reais which, rising up, arrives at the Praza da Inmaculada, where the Monastery of San Martín Pinario is located.
Finally, through a passageway by the arch of the palace, where street musicians gather, we accede to the Plaza del Obradoiro, where our long-awaited goal, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, awaits us.
Santiago de Compostela (Km. 19,4). The end of the Camino Frances
Practical tips for this section: the excitement, the arrangements needed to finish up the trip and the beauty of Santiago de Compostela require more than one day to stay in the city. Congratulations Pilgrim you have come to the end and like all ends, here's to a new beginning! See you soon!
In the Plaza del Obradoiro we shed our backpack and we are overwhelmed with the satisfaction of having reached our destination. Little by little, pilgrims who have shared kilometres of the route are rediscovered. Kisses, hugs and tears of emotion flood the square.
After the initial moments, we slowly discover the multitude of details of the western façade of the cathedral and begin to become aware of the intense experience that we have lived. Although we may have travelled a lot around the world, few trips are as enriching as this one that we have just finished.
After climbing the steps of the cathedral, you have to admire the Pórtico de la Gloria and join the long line that is formed to embrace the saint on the main Altar (from 9:30 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 19:30) and descend to our final destination, the Tomb of Santiago the Apostle (from 7:00 to 20:30).
Other classical rituals are: To go to the Pilgrims' Mass at 12.00 noon, behind the mullion, to tap the statue of Maestro Mateo with our head, they say thus increases our intelligence.
A ritual that was carried out a few years ago, but that at present it has been banned, is to put a hand in the chiselled cavity in it, at the base of the mullion of the Pórtico de la Gloria. The gesture represents the union among the pilgrims of all time.
Some choose to deal with administrative matters first and go to the Pilgrim's Office, located at Rúa das Cartas, 33, next to the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. This office is where you are awarded the Compostela. To do this, we have to wait for our turn and fill out a form.
They will check our credentials, add us a final stamp and give us the Compostela, an official document that certifies that we have completed the Camino de Santiago (a minimum of 100 kilometres must be travelled if it is done on foot, and 200 if it is by bicycle).
We have the option of obtaining exclusively the Compostela, which is free, or of acquiring the certificate of distance, where the day and starting point are indicated, as well as the kilometres travelled and the day of arrival. This certificate has a cost of 3 euros.
If you leave Santiago de Compostela the same day, you can store your backpack in the official luggage office of Campus Stellae, next to the foot of the Torre del Reloj (or Berenguela), located in the Plaza de las Platerías. For 2 euros, you can leave it in their custody for 24 hours.
From here you can also manage shipments of material to all of Spain or the European Union. Although remember that if you complete the route with us, we also take care of these last logistical details so that you can enjoy your desired destination without any worries.
Precautions stage O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
At this stage, there are no particular difficulties. Perhaps it is the excitement of getting to Santiago de Compostela or perhaps the many days of training, but on today's route the backpack weighs less and our legs feel stronger.
Gastronomy stage O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
"Tapas" are very present in Santiago de Compostela and many places, besides the famous Rúa do Franco, offer a free tapa as a courtesy.
Fish, octopus and shellfish are the kings of Galician cuisine. However, they also have exquisite meat-based dishes as well as broths. Here we give more details.
Many pilgrims celebrate their arrival at the Apostle's tomb with a seafood platter. Santiago de Compostela is a good place for it. Many choose the specialized restaurants that are located next to the cathedral. However, these places are more expensive than those located in other parts of the city.
Octopus a Feira or any form of fish elaboration.
Meats: Galician veal or Ham with Turnip Tops.
Wines such as Ribeira Sacra, Mencía, Godello, etc.
Santiago tart, made with eggs and almond flour
Homemade liquors made with grapes, herbs or coffee
Queimada, a hot traditional Galician alcoholic drink.
Ribeiro wine, and better still if you have it in one of the traditional slab cups that are still used in some traditional taverns.
What to do O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
The nerves due to the imminent arrival in Santiago de Compostela make this stage a walking tour. The visits are reserved for the heart of Galicia, especially if you intend to reach the tomb of the Apostle before the Pilgrim Mass.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia. In the city, there are some 95,000 inhabitants. The historic centre of Santiago is considered one of the best preserved in Europe, so in 1985, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Although there are previous Roman vestiges, the foundation of the city that we observe today goes back to the 9th century, when the remains of Santiago the Apostle were discovered. Between the 9th and 11th centuries, the city was known as Arcis Marmoricis or locus Sactus (the place of the saint) or Locus Santi lacobi (Santiago).
Santiago is characterized by its stones darkened by the passage of the years and the effect of the persistent rain. The old streets, intoxicated by the smell of Ribeiro and octopus, lead to a multitude of monuments and emblematic places.
Plaza del Obradoiro
The Plaza del Obradoiro is the heart of Santiago de Compostela. Its name refers to a workshop of quarries that was located in the square at the time when the cathedral was built. In the centre of this beautiful square is located kilometre zero of all the pilgrim routes.
The square is surrounded by buildings of different architectural styles and presided over by the Baroque-style façade of the cathedral. On your right is located in the museum and on the left, the Palacio de Gelmírez. To the west is located the Palacio de Rajoy, where the Town Hall is located.
To the north, the Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, in Plateresque style. To the south, the Colegio de San Jerónimo, which currently houses the rectory of the University of Santiago de Compostela.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The construction of the cathedral of Santa María del Mar, in Santiago de Compostela, dates back to the discovery of the remains of the Apostle Santiago in 814. The original chapel was replaced by a church in 829, a few years later, in the year 899, a Romanesque church was erected in its place.
In 997, this church was reduced to ashes. The construction of the current Romanesque cathedral was started in 1075 and was erected following the plans of the Monastic Church of Saint Sernin of Toulouse. For its construction, granite was mainly used. The crypt and the Pórtico de la Gloria, located at the entrance of the cathedral by the Plaza del Obradoiro, are later and date back to the year 1168.
The Portico of Glory is considered a masterpiece of Romanesque art in Spain. Its construction was completed by Maestro Mateo. Its building was finished in 1188, the date inscribed in the stone of the cathedral as a year of completion. However, in 1211, the lintels of the portico were finished.
The portico is divided into three half-point arches that correspond to each of the three naves of the church. The central arch is the only one that has a tympanum. The tympanum shows Christ in his majesty, in the centre, and the crucifixion.
In the mullion appears the figure of Santiago the Pilgrim, as patron of the temple. In the columns of the central door and in the two side doors, various apostles and prophets are represented.
In the arch of the side door, located on the right, is represented the Final judgement and in the arch of the Left, the Old Testament.
Later, in the eighteenth century, it was decided to rebuild the façade of the Plaza del Obradoiro, then very deteriorated by inclement weather, providing its current baroque aspect. A covered vestibule is located between the Portico of Glory and the Baroque façade.
The façade of the Plaza de las Platerias is the only Romanesque façade preserved. It is made up of two entrance doors. The North (or Azabacheria) façade faces onto the Plaza de la Inmaculada. This portal suffered a fire in 1758, which forced its reconstruction, combining Baroque and neoclassical styles. Finally, the façade that faces the Plaza Quintana, in Baroque style, dates from the year 1700.
The interior of the cathedral has a chancel made of wood and another of stone, a larger chapel, of Romanesque origin but reformed during the Baroque, the sepulchral crypt and multitude of chapels: that of La Pilar, Mondragón, Azucena,San Pedro, El Salvador, Nuestra Señora Blanca, San Juan, San Bartolomé, La Concepción, El Espíritu Santo, La Corticela, La Comunión, Cristo de Burgos and Las Reliquias.
In addition to the famous tomb of the Apostle and the figure of the saint to whom the pilgrims are accustomed to embracing, one of the main attractions of the interior of the temple is the Botafumeiro. It is a mobile incense burner located in front of the Main Altar that is part of the mass filling the Cathedral with smoke and producing a real spectacle.
The Botafumeiro only works every day in Holy Year and in solemn masses. However, when a group or individual pays for its use it is also possible to see it. Fortunately, almost every day a group or person requests it.
Over the centuries, the interior of the cathedral has been adding altarpieces and paintings. The cathedral also has a cloister and a file.
Most pilgrims limit their visit to the cathedral to the Pilgrim Mass (12.00 noon), however, the evening mass (19.00 h) is much less crowded and the temple has a beautiful light that seeps through the Obradoiro's windows. The countless details of the cathedral certainly justify a whole day of visiting or indeed, various visits.
Mercado de Abastos
The Mercado de Abastos is, after the cathedral, the second most visited place in Santiago de Compostela. It is located in the old town, in the Palace of the Condes de Altamira, constructed in the 40s'. The building is made of granite and has four naves.
The market offers fresh and handcrafted products. It is ideal to buy some gourmet souvenirs or to enjoy a snack.
Parador of the Reyes Católicos
The Parador of the Reyes Católicos is located in the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela. In the past, it housed the Hospital Real de Santiago, but later, in the year 1954, it was converted into a Parador Hotel.
Its construction was carried out by order of the Catholic monarchs, after their visit to the city, in the year 1486, and to see the terrible conditions in which the pilgrims who arrived from all over Europe were housed. At that time, the cathedral fulfilled the function of a hostel, since the old hospital had suffered fire years before and had not been rebuilt.
The architect Enrique Egas was charged with the work, completing it in 1509. Many say it is the oldest hostel in the world.
The building revolves around a central chapel and four patios distributed in a Greek-cross floor. The ornamentation of the portico is of plateresque style although the building has a gothic air.
Opening hours: Closes Saturdays. From Monday to Friday and Sundays (from 12:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00).
Admission: General (€6), under 12 years (free).
Convento de Santo Domingo
The Convent of Santo Domingo is located next to the Puerta del Camino, outside the walls of Santiago de Compostela. Tradition says that it was founded by Santo Domingo de Guzmán on his pilgrimage to Santiago in the 13th century, although there is no physical evidence of this.
The first document that gives evidence of the existence of the convent dates back to 1228 and refers to its commitment to Santa Maria. In the 15th century, it was already known as the Convent of Santo Domingo.
In the 19th century, due to its confiscation, the convent passed into the hands of the city council. Since then, the site has had several uses, today, and after the costly restoration of 1977, the place is the seat of the Museo do Pobo Galego.
The museum shows regional ethnography, with exhibits of traditional Galician life objects. It also includes a collection of Galician painting. On the third floor, there is an extensive library.
Museum timetable: closes on Mondays. From Tuesday to Saturday (from 10:30 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:30) and Sundays (from 11:00 to 14:00).
The Alameda de Santiago is a nice and interesting historical garden. It is made up of three well-differentiated parts: The Paseo de la Alameda, the Paseo da Ferradura and the Carballeira (Oak Grove) de Santa Susana.
The Paseo da Ferradura surrounds the Carballeira of Santa Susana. From this, your attention is drawn to the survival of an oak grove with these characteristics in a city centre. From this place, you have a magnificent view of the city centre of Santiago. The walk arrives at the monument of Rosalía de Castro.
In the Paseo de la Alameda is located the monument to Las Marias, the most photographed of the city and has a long history.
Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago
The Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago is located in As Praterias, in Santiago de Compostela. The place includes an excellent Jacobean iconography, as well as temporary exhibitions from other pilgrimage centres. From this place, you have an unusual view of La Torre del Reloj.
Services O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
Services stage from O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela
Map O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
Map stage from O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela
Profile O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
Profile stage from O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela