After yesterday's beautiful stage, the new pilgrims will find themselves somewhat tired. It's normal! Don't be discouraged if you see other people full of energy, there are many people who have been on the road for weeks and the first few days are the hardest.
In today's stage, we can expect a lot of asphalt, most of it runs along paths parallel to the road. Throughout the day we will cross several small villages and some places of great interest such as the Cross of Os Lameiros or the archaeological sites in Castromaior.
Itinerary Portomarín - Palas de Rei
Today's terrain does not contain many difficulties. However, some climbs can be somewhat hard, depending on the physical condition of each person. Throughout the whole day, we will ascend a total of 350 metres in height.
Portomarín (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Portomarín is a perfect place to enjoy a rich breakfast before embarking on Today's route. Find a place near the Miño and enjoy a magnificent start of the day. Buen Camino!
From the Church of San Nicolás, we continue straight on the Avenida de Chantada that leads to the road. We cross through a bridge, well signposted, and left the asphalt on the right, next to some houses, to reach the base of Monte San Antonio (km. 1).
We climb for a kilometre and then advance on a flat track, surrounded by pines and meadows. The road goes back down to the shoulder of the LU-633, past the crossing to San Mamede and Velade, we take the pathway of the road. When you reach a brick factory (km. 3), we cross the road again and continue along a pathway that is located on the right.
When we arrive at the fertilizer warehouse, we must cross the LU-633 again and continue, this time, on the left. Almost half a kilometre later we arrive at Toxibo, formed by a house and an elegant stone and wood granary (km. 4.8).
Following the pathway, but protected from the road by pines in some sections, we reach a picnic area (km. 7.3). From there we head to the parish of Gonzar. The centre of the village and the Church of Santa Maria are located on the left.
Gonzar (Km. 8)
Practical advice for this section: The viewing of the Pre-Roman de San Juan is recommended since it has great historical and archaeological value. Buen Camino!
We pass by a bar and the hostel; And then turn left to ascend a track leading to Castromaior. From there we face a hard climb of seven hundred metres. On the way, we will find an optional detour that leads to the Roman Castro, from where you can return to the Camino Frances without having to retrace your steps.
On the rise, we arrive at another pathway parallel to the road LU-633 (km. 10). After several crossing along the road, we arrive at Hospital da Cruz. At the exit of the locality, we will have to cross the national N-540 and take the C-535 towards Ventas.
For the next ten kilometres we will have to move along the roadside. Following this section of the C-535, we reach Ventas de Narón.
Ventas de Narón (Km. 13,3)
Practical tips for this section: Do not let the stone cross of Os Lameiros go unnoticed, it's an emblematic point on the Camino Frances. Buen Camino!
We cross the locality and at the exit, we find the small Chapel of the Magdalena. After half a mile on a gentle climb, we find the 76.5km stone, where the entrance to the Sierra de Ligonde is located. This Sierra divides the basins of the Miño and the River Ulla (km. 13.8).
We advance on a good descending stretch. A kilometre and a half later we pass by Previsa, the first parish of the county of Monterroso (km. 15.3). Half a kilometre later, on the right-hand side, you will find the Chapel of San Marcos and the manor house. Very close, two hundred metres following the pilgrim path, we find the famous Cross of Os Lameiros (km. 16).
In the twinkling of an eye, we arrive in Ligonde. On arrival, we find a cross that marks the place where a pilgrims' cemetery and the Church of Santiago were once located. At the edge of the municipal hostel of this locality, we take a path that descends by a wall and that leads us to the bridge on the River Airexe (km. 17).
Four hundred metres later, on the rise, we arrive at Airexe (km. 17.4), where on the left, some distance away from the road, we will find the Church of Santiago. We continue along the shoulder of the road and stumble upon the LU-3301. After crossing it, we continue straight ahead to reach Portos, the first village in the council of Palas de Rei.
Portos (Km. 19,4)
Practical tips for this section: If you have followed us for a long time you may have noticed that we love the legends of the Camino de Santiago. Do not forget to discover the legends of Monte Sacro! Buen Camino!
From Portos, we quickly find the detour to Vilar de Donas. The detour leads to the Monastery of Vilar de Donas, something more than two kilometres away and off the pilgrim path.
If we visit the monastery, we will have to return to the crossroads to head for Lestedo (km. 20). We continue advancing and ascending, almost a kilometre later we enter Os Valos (km. 20.9).
From this village, we begin a descent to A Mamurria (km. 21.5). Then Brea (km. 22), where we finally leave the asphalted track. By the pathway that runs parallel to the N-547, we arrive, first to Avenostre (km. 22.4) and then to O Rosario, with the views of Monte Sacro (km. 23.4).
Half a kilometre later we pass by the recreation area of Os Chacotes (km. 23.9). A few metres later we enter Palas de Rei.
Palas de Rei (Km. 24,8). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Palas de Rei is a quiet town where you can rest before starting the final stretch to Santiago de Compostela, the last three stages. See you tomorrow!
The entrance to Palas de Rei is made by the Rúa do Cruceiro, where we are received by the Church of San Tirso. Going down a few steps, we arrive at the centre of the town, where we will find hostels and other types of accommodation.
Comments Portomarín - Palas de Rei
Today's stage presents some up and downs. To have the necessary energy there is nothing like a good meal. Now, we will talk about it.
Precautions stage Portomarín - Palas de Rei
The stage presents some climbs, however, all are easily overcome. The hardest part of the stage today we find halfway through the day, is the ascent of 335 metres to the top of the Sierra de Lingode. From there we will find various slides. It is advisable to become accustomed to them because they are very typical of Galicia.
People with reduced mobility can cope with the stage without problems, however, it is possible that in some of the climbs, such as the arrival at Hospital de la Cruz, they may need some help.
Gastronomy stage Portomarín - Palas de Rei
After so many slides, and with ups and downs, you must now have a fierce appetite. Here are some culinary recommendations for you to regain energy.
Galician style Octopus, you can find it all along the stage and in Palas de Rei you will find several octopus restaurants that offer good portions.
Arzúa-Ulloa cheese. We are in the middle of the land of cheese, and in many of the localities that you will be going through today and in some during the mornings, make this exquisite cow cheese. A soft, soft-tasting cheese.
Pork shoulder with turnip tops.
What to do Portomarín - Palas de Rei
Throughout today's route, you will pass through various villages and places with great historical value, as well as by Monte Sacro, a place full of legends. Now, we will talk about them.
Gonzar is a parish of Portomarín council. In the past, it was assigned to the Knights of San Juan in the capital of the municipality. This small village has a little less than 50 inhabitants. The most important monument of the town is the Parish Church of Santa Maria.
This centre, like the neighbouring village of Castromaior, is located in an area of Celtic Castros. This area gives us an image of how was the Celtic Galicia before being conquered by the Romans.
Church of Santa María
The Church of Santa María de Gonzar is a Romanesque-style temple. It is a simple construction that is in a good state of preservation. Inside, it houses an image of the Virgin, Romanesque style, and an altarpiece, Renaissance style, dating from the 16th century.
The Pre-Roman Castro in Castromaior is located at the top of a hill, next to the route of the Camino de Santiago. The place is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of the Iron Age.
The Castro is in a good state of conservation, as in this area hardly any agricultural activities were carried out. This has allowed the study of the models of construction of its community.
Ventas de Narón
Ventas de Narón is a small hamlet of about 20 people. In the past, given its proximity to the Sierra de Ligonde, it was an almost obligatory stop. In it, the pilgrims prepared to cross the mountain range. This caused it to be a place full of commercial transactions. At the exit of the village, stands the Magdalena Chapel.
The Magdalena Chapel is located at the exit of Ventas de Narón. The chapel seems to be newly created, due to the rehabilitation it experienced during the year 2004. However, the construction is the indication of the existence of an old pilgrims' hospital in the locality.
The temple is made of polychrome stone masonry and topped with a small belfry that houses a bell.
It is believed that at this point, after the discovery of the tomb of Santiago the Apostle, the Christians beat the Emir of Cordoba in his attempt to conquer the Galician lands. This place is also the beginning of the historical novel "Los Hidalgos de Monforte", by the writer Benito Viceto. In the novel, A group of Knights gather in this chapel to prepare the attack against the Earl of Lemos.
Cruceiro de Os Lameiros
The cross is located in the uninhabited village of Os Lameiros. It is a double-sided cross dating from the 17th century. The base of the cross is divided into four sides that present carved reliefs that symbolize the martyrdom and death of Christ: nails, thorns, skulls, hammer, etc.
On the faces of the cross, you can see two symbols. On one face, motherhood and life are depicted. The other depicts the figure of Christ crucified.
Chapel of San Marcos
The Chapel of San Marcos is located in Os Lameiros. The construction dates from the 18th century and was made in ashlar. Of the temple highlights its finish, as it culminates in a cross. The family crest on the main façade also stands out.
Ligonde is a parish that encompasses 12 villages and belongs to the municipality of Monterroso. Proof of the Jacobean tradition of this locality is the well-preserved pilgrim cemetery. This was annexed to a missing hospital of the Order of Santiago.
On its streets, you can visit the Church of Santiago. A temple of neoclassical style that still preserves the Romanesque façade of the original church.
Airexe is a Ligonde parish hamlet of Monterroso. Less than 30 people live in this place.
On its streets, you can visit the Church of Santiago. A temple of neoclassical style that replaced another Romanesque style. The triumphal arch is preserved from the original construction. Inside the temple, at the altar, you can see an image of Santiago the Pilgrim.
Monastery of Vilar de Donas
To arrive at the Monastery of Vilar de Donas it is necessary to take a detour located between Portos and Leste. The round trip involves almost 5 additional kilometres on the stage. The monastery belonged to the Order of Santiago.
In the monastery, the Church of El Salvador is located, a small Romanesque church that presumes to be the most valuable in the municipality of Palas de Rei. Its cover is of great beauty and presents archivolts with enormous iconographic richness.
To visit the place, you have to ask around for the neighbour who has the keys and will gladly guide you.
O Rosario is a small town of 25 inhabitants, located at a height from which you can see Monte Sacro, a place loaded with pilgrim legends, partly because of its proximity to Santiago. The name of the locality is because the pilgrims stopped to pray the rosary looking at the sacred summit.
One of the main legends of this magical place is collected in the Codex Calixtino. In its pages it says that in the time of Queen Lupa, a mythical character who ruled the county and that was allied with the Romans, a miracle happened.
The disciples of Santiago the Apostlecame to her to ask for a cart and some oxen that allowed them to move the body of the Apostle to the graveyard. They say that Queen Lupa sent them up to the sacred peak in search of oxen. Under this request, the idea was hidden that the dragons and oxen that inhabited that mountain would kill them.
When the disciples reached the peak they were, indeed, attacked by the dragon. So, before the imminent fatal outcome, they made the sign of the cross. The gesture provoked the death of the dragon and the oxen that roamed the surroundings became calm. Such a miracle provoked the Queen's conversion to Christianity and her vassals.
In addition to this legend, there are countless other legends in the area. The majority related to mythological beings of the Galician tradition that lived in the mysterious caves around Mount Sacro.
Palas de Rei
Palas de Rei is a locality of 800 inhabitants, capital of the municipality that bears the same name. The history of this place goes back to ancient times. In these lands, numerous Celtic Castros were located and during the Middle Ages, the locality had great relevance.
In the Liber Sancti Jacobi refer to this place referring to the women who went to meet pilgrims to offer sexual services. The Codex also refers to them, condemning them and highlighting the need to excommunicate people like them.
Despite its great Jacobean past, the town has not retained much of its history with the Camino de Santiago. A few years ago it began to try to recover the role that the locality had as a point where the pilgrims used to rest. This fact involved the opening of various pilgrims' hostels on its streets.
In this quiet place, you can visit the Church of San Tirso or walk along the "cholesterol route".
Church of San Tirso
The Church of San Tirso is located in Palas de Rei, in the middle of the Camino Frances. The temple dates back to the 12th century, although it has undergone numerous renovations. Of the original construction only the access cover is retained. This is formed by archivolts flared with chequered decoration.
The rest of the temple is of neoclassic style. Of the construction stands out the tower finished in a collection of spans where the belfry is located. Inside, it houses an altarpiece dedicated to the patron San Tirso.
Hours of mass: Working days (20:00), Holidays and Sundays (13:30 and 20:00).