For those who have been walking for hundreds of kilometres, today's journey begins differently. With a lot more movement than usual. For those who start the Camino Frances at this point, we would say that they have chosen a good point to start since the stage does not imply any great difficulty.
Today many pilgrims begin their journey to Santiago de Compostela, specifically 1 in 4 people come with you to the tomb of the Apostle. Sarria's popularity as a starting point is related to its location. This city is located approximately 100 kilometres from the heart of Galicia, the minimum distance to get the Compostela.
Today's stage welcomes the new pilgrims and runs away from asphalt roads, advancing through rural Galicia. Today, villages, rivers, including the emblematic Miño, medieval bridges and numerous religious vestiges of the Roman period will cross our path.
Itinerary Sarria - Portomarín
Today's stage is simple and has numerous refreshment points. In addition, the route does not hide any big climbs.
Sarria (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: If you feel overwhelmed because the Rúa Maior of Sarria is full of pilgrims in the morning, don't worry, throughout the day the crowds will reduce and calm will return. Buen Camino!
This stage, the first for many, leaves from the Rúa Maior de Sarria. From there, passing by the remand prison building, we reach the Mirador de Sarria, where a cross is located.
Three hundred metres later, the pilgrim path arrives at the Convent of La Magdalena. The road descends parallel to the wall of the cemetery until reaching a tributary of the River Sarria, the small river. We cross over the Aspera Bridge, a medieval construction (km. 1.2).
We then pass under a viaduct, next to small meadows and private orchards, to cross the tracks. After them, we find a stream that we cross using a wooden walkway (km. 2.2). Then comes a hard climb, surrounded by chestnut trees, which ascends to the walls, where a Roman Castro is located. Here we find a marker that indicates 109km. Immediately afterwards, we arrive at the village of As Paredes.
As Paredes (Km. 2,9)
Practical tips for this section: Throughout this section, you will find various services. Buen Camino!
From this locality, taking a neighbourhood track we arrive in Vilei, where we are welcomed by a sculpture in homage to Don Germán Arias. Shortly thereafter, on the left-hand side, we find the rest area of Vilei, with several dispensing machines and a point where we can seal the credential.
After Vilei, we follow an asphalted trail to the parish of Barbadelo, where several metres from the Camino Frances, but well signposted, is the Church of Santiago. Leaving the pilgrim's hostel of this village on the right-hand side, we take the asphalted track to the villages of Rente (km. 5.3) and Mercado da Serra (km. 6), located at the crossroads of the LU-5709 road.
After crossing the road, we take a wooded track which continues straight ahead. Five minutes later we pass by a fountain decorated with the mascot of Xacobeo 93, Peligrín (km. 6.6).
Seven hundred metres later, we arrive at the gates of the Molino de Marzán (km. 7.3). We turn ninety degrees to the right and cross a water basin. Soon we meet again with the road, this time the LU-633, we cross it to arrive in Leiman.
Leiman (Km. 8,2)
Practical tips for this section: In this section, we reach the point where we have exactly 100 kilometres to reach Santiago de Compostela. If you started the Camino Frances on one of the initial stages it is time for you to start thinking about what this experience has brought you. Buen Camino!
After Leiman, we arrive in Peruscallo (km. 9.2). Along the way, we find some granaries and a landmark that indicates 103 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela. At this point, we leave the road to enter through a corridor to Cortiñas (km. 10) and Lavandeira (km. 10.5).
Flanked by stone and chestnut walls we arrive at Brea (km. 11.5). Here we will find two signposts that indicate that there are 100 kilometres to reach the tomb of Santiago the Apostle. The first one is false, and the real one is the second that will cross our path. We will recognize it because it is covered with stones and full of graffiti.
A few metres after the real 100km post, we reach Morgade (km. 12). At the exit of this locality, a sign indicates to us that we have entered the Concello of Paradela. We quickly reach the first parish of this municipality, Ferreiros.
Ferreiros (Km. 13,1)
Practical tips for this section: In some of the villages you will cross in this section you'll find bars and restaurants. Buen Camino!
From this village, we go down an asphalted track to reach the neighbouring Mirallos (km. 13.6). The Church of Santa María, which was built stone by stone from Ferreiros in 1790 appears before us. From here we take the asphalted track to A Pena.
A Pena, Couto (km. 14.7) and Rozas (km. 15) await us. After this last village, we leave the paved road and take a path that ascends and is sheltered by pines and oaks. When you get to the first crossroads, we continue on the left.
We pass by a wooden cross protected by barbed wire and we cross the road LU-4203 (km. 16.4) to reach Moimentos. A few minutes later, we arrive in Mercadoiro.
Mercadoiro (Km. 16,8)
Practical tips for this section: The bridge that gives us access to Portomarín transmits lots of energy, so, before entering the locality, make sure to stop to enjoy the beauty of its surroundings. Buen Camino!
From this village, the route continues to the next urban centre in Moutrás. From there we take a slope and advance along an asphalted track and then descend to Parrocha (km. 18.7) and Vilachá (km. 20).
A pronounced descent leads us to the River Miño, one of the most charismatic rivers in Spain. Specifically, to the Belesar Reservoir. There we find a bridge of 350 metres in length that will lead us to the last town of today, Portomarín.
Portomarín (Km. 20,8). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy the Miño River! It is a river laden with legends and Spain is very fond of it. See you tomorrow!
We go up the steps of the bridge and passing by the Pilgrim's Virtual Information Centre, we arrive in the centre of the village.
Portomarín is a pleasant town that invites you to relax in its parks, such as Manuel Blas, Antonio Sanz and Agustín del Rio. It also has beautiful views over the charismatic River Miño.
This river completely flooded the locality and it had to be moved to its current location. Therefore, all its historical architecture, had to be rebuilt and transferred at that time, for example, the Church of St. Nicholas or that of St. Peter.
Those pilgrims who prefer a more rural environment at the end of the stage can continue to Gonzar. In that case, it is not necessary to go up to the centre of Portomarín to continue the route. Once past the reservoir, continue along the road on the left-hand side. After two hundred metres we will find a sign indicating the way.
Comments Sarria - Portomarín
We can deal with today's stage without any major concern, it does not entail great difficulty. The only challenge is to get to Portomarín with enough energy to enjoy its gastronomy.
How to get to Sarria
If you leave from any Spanish city, you can take a train, a bus or go by road to Sarria. The main Spanish cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, etc.) have links.
If you do not want to worry about the transfers and just concentrate on the kilometres you will have to walk, once you arrive in Sarria, you can contact us here and we will take care of everything.
If you complete the Camino Frances by bike, paying a supplement you can take it on the bus. But if you prefer a more comfortable journey, we can take care of it for you.
Precautions stage Sarria - Portomarín
Today's stage does not present great difficulty. The route is not too long and the terrain is not very complicated. The only thing, the frequent slopes will make it difficult for pilgrims to maintain a constant rhythm.
People with reduced mobility will not find on this day any added difficulty, except in the rainy season, when the walkways along the streams could be slippery.
Gastronomy stage Sarria - Portomarín
Today's stage ends in a locality that gives us a multitude of gastronomic surprises. We talk to you about them now.
Eel Pie. Throughout the whole stage, we can order eels in any restaurant. However, in Portomarín they have Eel Pie, if you can, try it, because it will not be easy to find it in other places.
Portomarín Almond cake, similar to the Santiago cake.
Local liquor made in Portomarín.
What to do Sarria - Portomarín
As in the previous stages, since we entered Galicia, the journey crosses a myriad of villages, crowded with parishes. Many of them have no visiting points, but many others do. Now, we will talk about the places with the most tourist interest.
Barbadelo is a parish in the municipality of Sarria, located amid lush vegetation. The nucleus is made up of an old house and a church.
Since the end of the 10th century, there is documentation that talks about the existence of this village. In it was located a convent, which, in the year 1009, became dependent on the Monastery of Samos.
The old house, now privately owned, is located next to the church. It is known as O Mosterio. At this point, or somewhere nearby, there was a pilgrim's hospital nearby. This is known because, in the Codex Calixtinus, this place appears quoted on two occasions.
In fact, in the same guide, it is recorded that the current town of Sarria at that time was not so relevant and that Mercado da Serra, located one kilometre from Barbadelo, was an important commercial centre, where Jewish and Christian merchants took advantage by contacting pilgrims.
Church of Santiago
Iglesia de Santiago
The Church of Santiago de Barbadelo is a Romanesque temple that belonged to the monastery that was located in the village, in which, in 874, Abbots such as San Martiño, Rosene and Piñeira lived.
Of the original construction, only the façade, the tower and the north side wall are conserved. The highlight is its cover full of symbols and iconography of the Middle Ages. The capitals are ornamented with birds, quadrupeds, lions and human heads. The lintel is carved on both sides, ornamented with rosettes and a figure that prays.
The tower stands on two interior arches, with wide columns and beautiful capitals.
Mass times: Only Sundays and public holidays. From July to September (19:30) and from October to June (18:00).
Ferreiros is a parish of the county of Paradela that has almost 100 inhabitants. In this humble locality, the blacksmiths put nails on the soles of their shoes and shod their horses. In the Codex Calixtino, this is already mentioned, but under the name Ferreras. In this humble village, you can visit the church of Santa Maria.
Church of Santa María
The Church of Santa Maria de Ferreiros is an austere temple located at the foot of the Camino de Santiago. The church was rebuilt in 1790 since it was not on the route of the Camino Francesand was intended to be used as a pilgrims' hospital.
Its reconstruction has the peculiar feat of being moved stone by stone to neighbouring Mirallos. It is a temple of Romanesque cover, which rests on two square brackets ornamented with a lion's head. The church is topped with a Baroque belfry, which together with the baptismal font, was added later.
The Miño River runs completely through the autonomous region of Galicia, forming a border between Spain and Portugal at its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the longest and most abundant river in the Galician land, its main tributary being the River Sil.
The waters of this river run along 350 kilometres, from El Pedregal de Irima de la Sierra de Meira to La Guardia in Pontevedra. Along the whole route, species such as trout, eel, Iberian desman and otters swim along its waters. In the lower part of the river, during the winter, many species of birds inhabit, such as the tufted duck, the common plover and the lapwing.
Legend has it that in the River Miño there were mythological personages of Galicia, such as Sorceresses, who lived in the same river, the Wilma, who inhabited wells located in the basin, or the man-fish, amphibians that had the ability to live both in water and on the Earth.
According to tradition, when sailing along the River Miño, in the surroundings of Arbo, one had to carry a stone in the mouth, to prevent the Sorceresses playing with the navigator.
Miño River Bridge
The construction of the River Miño Bridge, which gives access to the town of Portomarín and located on the Belesar Reservoir, dates back to the 2nd century. Its construction responds to the pressing need to cross the mighty Miño. The bridge has a length of 350 metres.
When the layout of the Camino de Santiago was designed, it deviated from it, since it was the only way to cross the Miño, without having to use boats. Later, in 1962, the Belesar Reservoir was built and with it a new bridge.
On the bridge is located the granite staircase that gives access to the city and next to it, the Capilla de las Nieves. The chapel is a simple masonry temple formed by a single nave and topped with a belfry on its façade.
From the opposite end to Portomarín, you can see the remains of the ancient city of Portomarín, which disappeared under the waters of the Miño and had to be moved to the current site.
Portomarín is the capital of the municipality that bears the same name. Its architecture is characterized by the presence of white façades and grey roofs.
It is located on the right bank of the River Miño, on the Belesar Reservoir. The town is accessed through a stairway located between the arches of an old medieval bridge. Its old town consists of two districts, San Nicolás and San Pedro.
In 1963, Portomarín disappeared under the waters of the River Miño. That caused the city to be completely rebuilt on a secure hillside. At present, from the bridge at its entrance, you can see some of the remains of the old settlement.
During the reconstruction, the buildings of greater historical value were moved, such as the Church of San Nicolás, that of San Pedro, the stairway or the Capilla de las Nieves, located next to the stairway that gives access to the locality. As well as the manor house of Conde Maza, from the 16th century, and the Pazo dos Pimentales.
Church of San Nicolás
The Church of San Nicolás de Portomarín is of a late Romanesque style. The temple was founded by the monks-knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, hence formerly known as the Church of St. John.
Its construction dates from the end of the 12th century, and the beginning of the 13th. However, when the Belesar Reservoir covered Portomarín, the church was restored stone by stone and rebuilt in its current location.
In the past, the church controlled the bridge that crossed the Miño and managed the pilgrims ' Hospital. That explains the strong aspect it presents. This is one of the most impressive Romanesque constructions in the Galician community, for this reason, in 1931 it was declared an artistic historical monument.
Its structure consists of a single nave and has a large rosette design. The temple is endowed with three enormous façades ornamented with Romanesque symbolism.
The main cover reflects the apocalypse, depicted in the Portico da Gloria. On the north door, you can see the Annunciation, bordered by archivolts with geometric motifs. The south door is decorated on its tympanum with figures of saints and humans, as well as vegetable and animal decorations.
Its interior decoration is much more low-key, although it retains some traces of gothic paintings, a canopy, from the 16th century, and a huge sculpture of polychromatic wood, dating from the 14th century, on which the crucified Christ is depicted.
Mass times: From 1 July to 31 August, working days (20:00), Eves (20:30) and Public Holidays (12:30). From September 1 to June 30, working days and eves of Holidays (19:30) and Holidays (12:30).
Church of San Pedro
The Church of San Pedro de Portomarín was founded by the Bishop of Lugo, Rodrigo II, in 1182, as can be seen in the inscription at the door. However, its construction dates back to the 10th century, but like other historical constructions in the locality, in 1960 it was completely rebuilt after the flood.
It is a temple of Romanesque origin, declared an artistic historical monument. The temple is made of granite ashlars. Its door is of Romanesque style and is formed by semicircular arches with archivolts ornamented with geometric motifs. The tympanum is held by swings that present the shape of a bull's head.
Inside, the tomb of the Marqués de Bóveda is housed, made of stone and endowed with a beautiful altarpiece of the 16th century.
Manuel Blas Park
Manuel Blas Park is a green space with a great diversity of trees. The place has magnificent views over the Belesar Reservoir. The fountain that is located in the middle of the park stands out.
Antonio Sanz Park
Antonio Sanz Park is a natural area in which there is an extensive forest and has varied vegetation. It is a resting area where locals walk, read or relax. The park has granite benches and a decorated fountain.
Agustín del Río Park
Agustín del Rio Park is a recreation area located in the city centre. In it, we can find swimming pools, several crosses, a fountain, a playground and a great view over the River Miño. It also has a picnic-conditioned area, from where you can swim in the river.