The earlier short routes have given us enough time to stop in the small Asturian hamlets that came across our path. They were announcing a farewell.
Today, the Camino del Norte offers us another rather short stage, in which it will take us away from Asturias, to enter the lands of Santiago the Apostle.
Today’s stage is full of decisions. Early in the morning we will have to decide whether to continue the official route to Porcía or divert along the coastal path, which follows the GR E-9 to this town.
In Porcía, we find the fork in the road that divides the path that goes through Tol and the one that goes towards Tapia de Casariego. Finally, In Tol we find a junction that allows us to choose whether to go to Ribadeo, as we will in this guide, or to take the interior route, which passes through Vegadeo. Any decision you make will be valid.
At the end of the tour, following the route to Ribadeo, we will say goodbye to Asturias, the land that has accompanied our footsteps for many days. Crossing over the Puente de los Santos, we will conclude the route in the border municipality of Ribadeo, in Galician lands.
Si estás pensando en hacer el Camino de Santiago desde Ribadesella cuéntanos cuáles son tus planes para el Camino de Santiago y te contactaremos para asesorarte en todo lo que necesites.
Itinerary stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Today’s route is 21.3 kilometres long if we follow the route that goes to Ribadeo by Tol. The route does not involve any difficult climbs and is made on terrain in good condition.
La Caridad (km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: When we reach the national N-634 road, in Valdepares, we find the fork in the road to the coastal path. This variant is 2.3 kilometres longer than the official route and converges with the other one in Porcía.
This is a route that follows the GR E-9 path. Those who take this option will have the opportunity to visit the church in Valdepares and the Palacio de Fonfría.
To follow this coastal path, when you reach the detour you must cross the national one and follow the signs to Cabo Blanco. Good way!
We cross the village of La Caridad, along Avenida Asturias and Avenida Galicia. At the exit we take a grassy track, on the right, which runs downhill to a stream.
We cross it, ascend and reach the national N-634 road, which we cross at ground level. We continue along an asphalt track, passing through the village of San Pelayo and continue straight on, to Valdepares (km. 3.1).
At this point it is possible to leave the official road and continue along the coast route, which corresponds to the GR E-9. We continue along the official route, and therefore in Valdepares, we follow the N-634 road for 100 metres, to deviate to the left by a small path.
We cross the hamlet of El Viso and then turn left on a dirt road to cross the national road and exit onto a local road. We follow the road and cross the River Porcía, in the village of the same name (km. 5,1).
Porcía (km. 5,1).
Practical tips for this section: In Porcía you will find the fork in the road between the route that goes through Tol and the one that goes through Tapia de Casariego. We continue along the path of Tol, if you want to follow the other route at that crossing you must continue straight on. Buen Camino!
Leaving the bridge, we move off the road and ascend a street starting on the right. Shortly after, we find a marker that tells us that if we continue straight, we continue towards Tapia de Casariego, and that if we deviate to the left, we go towards Tol.
We opt for this route and therefore turn left, towards Tol, crossing the national road and then continue along an asphalt track.
We cross the A-8 motorway, over a bridge, and continue to the right on a dirt track. A few metres later, we cross the AS-23 road and go along a forest track, which leads to the entrance of the small hamlet of Brul.
Here, we turn left and continue along a dirt track. We continue along badly-asphalted tracks and, after a couple of turns, we move onto to the AS-31 road, at Tol (km. 12.9).
Tol (km. 12,9).
Practical tips for this section: In this section we say goodbye to the Asturian lands that have accompanied us for so many days and we now enter Galicia. The 700 metres over the Puente de los Santos offer us the opportunity to say goodbye. Buen Camino!
We cross the village following the AS-31, until reaching a stone marker that is located at a fork in the road. This indicates to us that to continue towards Ribadeo, we must continue on the AS-31 road, while if we want to head to Vegadeo, we must continue along the road to Castropol.
We continue on the AS-31 to Barres (km. 16.9) and then to Figueras (km. 18.5). In this last town, we arrive at a roundabout where we take on the left. In parallel to the highway, we arrive at the Puente de los Santos, which crosses the River Eo estuary.
We cross the bridge along the narrow pedestrian lane and leave Asturias, entering Galicia. At the exit, we continue downwards to the left, to Avenida Rosalía de Castro.
We follow the street for 250 metres and turn left on Calle Justo Barreiro. By Calle Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo or by its parallel, San Miguel, both on our right, we reach the centre of Ribadeo.
Ribadeo (km. 21,3). End of the stage
Practical tips for this section: Ribadeo is a beautiful town, but just 10 kilometres away is Playa de las Catedrales, a “must visit”. See you tomorrow!
Ribadeo’s old town was declared a Site of Cultural Interest, so strolling through its streets will be one of the best things you can do during the afternoon.
You can visit some of the emblematic places of the town such as the O Cargadoiro from the 20th century or Plaza de España, around which can be found Pazo Ibáñez, current seat of the Town Hall, Torre de los Morenos, Convent of Santa Clara and the Church of Santa Maria del Campo.
Another option is to discover the town following the Indian urban route, appreciating this type of architecture in places such as Cuartel Viejo, Casa de la Sela, Plaza de Abastos or the Casa del Optico, among other buildings.
A visit to the Mirador de La Atalaya is essential. To get there you can take the famous elevator that crosses the climb between the city centre and the hill. There you can enjoy magnificent views over the estuary and visit the Capilla de la Trinidad.
It is also advisable to view the Chapel of San Francisco and of San Roque, the fort of San Damián, as an example of military architecture and the four-piped fountain of Fernando O Santo, one of the most outstanding of the total of 124 fountains that can be seen in the town.
Comments stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Below you will find information about today’s stage, both touring advice and gastronomic recommendations.
Precautions stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Throughout today’s stage we will find various road forks. It is advisable to be clear before leaving which route we want to follow. In addition, at each crossing we must pay attention, so as not to end up diverting onto another route.
Food stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
In today’s stage you can have lunch in Asturias and dinner in Galicia. Here are some suggestions.
- White tuna
- Sea bass
- Sea Bream
- Razor Clams
- Scorpion Fishcake
- River squid in their ink
- Dulces de las Caricias Ribadenses (Santiago Tart and Dark Chocolate)
- Galician Liquors
Services stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Get to know the main healthcare services, cafes, ATMs and restaurants that are located on this stage of the Camino del Norte.
Map stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Check the map with the route and locations that the stage runs through.
Profile stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
Find out about the profile, altitude and degree of difficulty on each section.
What to see and what to do on the stage La Caridad – Ribadeo
During today’s tour you will find different places to visit. We provide you with information about them.
Castro de Cabo Blanco
Castro de Cabo Blanco is located in Valdepares. Only pilgrims who take the coastal route, following the GR E-9 route, at the Valdepares fork, will pass through this place. It is the most important fortification in the region, given its extension. Its origin dates back to between the 1st and 4th centuries B.C.
Palacio de la Fonfría
Palacio de la Fonfría is located in the vicinity of Valdepares and is next to the GR E-9 route. The construction is Galician in style and dates back to the 16th century.
The building is made of masonry and features a huge metal gate from the 18th century. Inside the palace, there is a chapel, with a gallery, which is accessed through the main floor and in which the main altarpiece stands out.
The building was owned by the family of Diego Castrillón Cienfuegos and features the family’s coat of arms. The palace also has a fountain of medicinal waters, located in the orchard.
Playa de Porcía
The beach of Porcía stands out for its fine sand and for the presence of meanders and the the Boy Islets. The sandy area is about 300 metres long and is shaped like a shell. The beach is easily accessible and has various services, as well as several viewpoints over the cliffs.
Iglesia de San Salvador de Tol
The Church of San Salvador is located in the parish of Tol. In the past, the temple was part of a defunct monastery, which Ramiro II donated in 926. The construction of the church that we can see today is from the 17th century. The Baroque style altarpieces stand out inside.
Torre del Reloj de Figueras
The Clock Tower of Figueras was erected in 1927 thanks to the posthumous donation made by Domingo Gayol y Martínez, who arranged in his will that part of his assets should be invested in this construction.
Parque del Pelamio de Figueras
Parque del Pelamio de Figueras is a modern space that opened in 2000, with the aim of enthusing residents of the town being able to enjoy a leisure and rest area. Within the park are located several fountains.
Palacio Pardo-Doniebún de Figueras
The Pardo-Doniebún Palace in Figueras has had, since 1993, the category of Site of Cultural Interest. The building consists of a central tower, from the 16th century, and two other symmetrical, joined bodies.
One of the bodies was built in the 16th century and the other in the 19th century. In the central area you can see a bas-relief with the figure of a warrior and two cannons.
Ruta de las minas
The Mine Route begins in the town of Tol, specifically in the Fontequias area.
From there you will take a paved road that goes to the mountain, where Boudois, one of the most important Asturian livestock farms, is located, in terms of heads of livestock, production and prizes.
After this stop, we continue along a dirt road that leads to the mine and turning right at the next fork, the first vestiges of the old iron mine furnace are located.
On your ascent, on the peak of Monte Arbedosa, you will enjoy magnificent views of the landscape. From here the route descends to your starting point.
Mirador del gremio de Mareantes de Figueras
Mirador del Gremio de Mareantes de Figueras, located in the vicinity of Castropol and Ribadeo, is a space that opened in 2006 and enjoys magnificent views over the estuary of the River Eo.
Mirador de Santa Cruz
Mirador de Santa Cruz is located approximately three kilometres from Ribadeo. From this place you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the Ribadeo Estuary. At the viewpoint you can find benches, children’s areas and barbecues.
The place hosts, on the first Sunday in the month of August, the pilgrimage Xira to Santa Cruz, declared of Tourist Interest.
Fuente Rapalacois de Figueras
The Rapalacois de Figueras Fountain is named after its location, as it is located in the place where, previously, in this place, bacon and hams from the slaughterhouse were skinned. The fountain was renovated in 1944, thanks to Leopoldo Trenor Palavicino and his wife Rosario Pardo Donlebún.
Palacete de Peñalba de Figueras
The Palace of Peñalba de Figueras, also known as Chalet de Doña Socorro, was built in 1912, according to the wishes of the widow of D. Wenceslao García Bustelo. The house is declared as an Artistic Monument. The modernist-style building was designed by J. Arbex.
Playa de San Román
San Román Beach is located between Puente de los Santos and the shipyards. It is a small cove formed by coarse sand, which can only be accessed at low tide.
The town of Ribadeo is the natural border between Asturias and Galicia. Given its location it has always been a strategic place, both for its commercial activity, and for being a point of entry of new influences, coming from the pilgrims who landed in the town.
The municipality belongs to the province of Lugo and has an area of just over 100 square kilometres, in which approximately 10,000 people reside. Specifically, the town of Ribadeo has a historic centre declared of Cultural Interest in 2004.
Among the most unique places of the centre are the O Cargadoiro from the 20th century and the Plaza de España, around which rise the Pazo de Ibáñez, current seat of the Town Hall, Torre de los Morenos, the Convent of Santa Clara and the Church of Santa María del Campo.
The town is strongly marked by Indian architecture, so a fantastic way to discover its urban area is to follow the Indian route, walking around places such as the Cuartel Viejo, Casa de la Sela, Plaza de Abastos or Casa del Óptico, among other buildings.
One of the most attractive tourist attractions in the municipality is the Mirador de La Atalaya, which can be accessed by lift. From this promontory, you will have magnificent views over the estuary. In this space is also located the oldest temple of the town, the Chapel of the Trinity.
Another peculiarity of Ribadeo is that it has a huge number of fountains, a collection of 124. Among these the four-piped fountain of Fernando O Santo is one of the most outstanding.
It is also advisable to view the Chapel of San Francisco and the Chapel of San Roque; and the fort of St. Damian, as an example of military architecture.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España is located right in the centre of the village of Ribadeo. In the past, this place was located on the outskirts, next to the medieval walls, but the modifications of the town ended up placing it in the centre of the town.
This space houses some of the most emblematic buildings of the town, as the headquarters of the Town Hall, located in the Pazo de Ibáñez, next to which Torre Moreno is located.
At the other end of the square is the Convent of Santa Clara. In addition, you can see some stately houses and modernist façades.
The central square is planted with poplars, chestnut trees and maples; It features a variety of French-style gardens.
Highlights include the garden area located in the centre, where the sculptures of the illustrious sons of the town are to be found: Dionisio Gamallo Fierros and José Alonso Trelles y Jarén, known as “viejo pancho”.
Ribadeo Town Hall is headquartered in Pazo de Ibáñez, a neoclassical building, located in the central Plaza de España. Its construction was carried out in the 18th century over another old building from 1568.
The Pazo was intended to serve as the home of Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez Gastón de Isaba, better known as Marqués de Sargadelos. Hence the building is also known under the name of Palacio de Marqués de Sargadelos.
The construction has a rectangular floor plan and two floors plus an attic. Its walls are made of stonework and granite; the building is covered with slabs on all four sides.
Its main façade has four pilasters and a support, on which is located a set of four balconies, in Elizabethan style. On these are the town shields.
Torre de los Moreno
Torre de los Moreno is located in Plaza de España, on Calle Ibáñez. Its construction dates back to 1905 and was carried out by the Moreno Brothers, Argentine emigrants. In the place where the tower is now placed, the fortress was formerly located, and from where the old wall began.
The tower has an eclectic style and in its structure combines concrete and iron. In 1997 it was declared a Cultural Interest.
Convento de Santa Clara
The Convent of Santa Clara is located in the Plaza de España in Ribadeo. The site was founded in the 13th century and its original function was as a residence. In the 16th century, the convent was completely razed by a fire and had to be rebuilt. Its small chapel belongs to this period.
In the 19th century, due to the War of Independence and the occupation of Napoleon’s troops, the construction was again damaged. A few years later, the architectural complex became used as a military hospital and later as a hostel for the sick.
Today the complex is composed of a church and the central cloister. The church consists of a single nave and features a triumphal arch that connects to the presbytery.
The cloister, dating from the 18th century, forms a square with half-point arches. This highlights the square tower, topped off by its belfry.
Mass times: Working days and Holidays (9:00).
Mirador de la Atalaya
The Atalaya viewpoint is one of the main tourist attractions in the town of Ribadeo. The place is one of the best balconies on the Ribadeo Estuary, in the mouth of the River Eo in the Cantabrian Sea and the town of Figueras.
On the promontory is the Trinity Chapel, also known as the Atalaya Chapel or Chapel of the Virgen del Camino. It is the oldest temple in Ribadeo, as its construction dates back to the 12th or 13th centuries. In the old days, the chapel was the town’s parish church.
The temple has undergone various renovations throughout its history, but still retains ancient elements, such as the Gothic-style front door, dating back to the 14th century. The chapel consists of a nave, triumphal arch and presbytery. It also has a single-span belfry.
Inside it houses three altarpieces, among which stands out one of Baroque style. A water fountain is also conserved.
This space has been considerably modified after the inauguration of the famous Ribadeo lift in 2010. It allows us to avoid the climb of more than 20 metres that separate it from the town centre and can accommodate up to 16 people.
Its cabin is made of steel and glass, so during your tour it is possible to enjoy excellent panoramic views.
In the surroundings of the Atalaya, you can find several cannons that show the strategic importance that, in the past, this area had, as a defensive point of the town.
Capilla de San Francisco
The Chapel of San Francisco is located in the centre of Ribadeo, attached to Casa Bustelo, a residential building. The temple dates back to 1870 and is completely built in masonry stone.
Its façade features a set of six windows formed by small shafts topped with half-point arches and finished in a small belfry that covers a bell. From the interior, the main altarpiece stands out from the 18th century, which was built years before the chapel itself.
Capilla de San Roque
The Chapel of San Roque is located in the town of Ribadeo, and dates back to the 16th century, although throughout history it has undergone several extensions.
The most important was the one in the 18th century, in which a large altarpiece presided over by San Roque was added and accompanied by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Domingo, and St. Sebastian, among others.
Casa Acevedo in Ribadeo consists of two houses from the early 20th century. The main body consists of two blocks. The façade stands out because despite being covered with cement, it gives the feeling that it is made of stone.
Casa de la Sela y Jardín de los Indianos
The Casa de la Sela dates from the second half of the 19th century and is considered the oldest Indian construction in Ribadeo. It stands out for its large size and scant ornamentation.
The Garden of the Indians pays homage to the memory of the Ribadeo emigrants and features monkey puzzles, magnolias, as well as other species typical of Galicia and the Americas.
The Indian houses of Ribadeo make up a collection of 27 buildings, however, the town has other Indian constructions such as schools and the cemetery, among others.
In the town you can follow the Indian House Route that helps visitors discover this legacy.
These types of constructions were made by emigrants from Ribadeo who made money in America and then returned to the town.
These people, known as Indians, on their return and with the aim of proving to their neighbours that they had been successful in business, used to buy gold watches, luxury cars and build great houses.
In addition, many of them also expressed their generosity, helping to equip the village with equipment and infrastructure for public use, which notably helped to improve the lives of its inhabitants.
The old barracks in Ribadeo is an old Indian construction that, after being used as a dwelling, was enabled as a barracks, hence its current name. The construction stands out because of its size.
The main body of the building has eight sides and consists of three floors. On the outside stands the balustrade that crowns the main façade and the right side, on which you can see carpentry used in relief. Currently, an aesthetic renovation of its exterior is being carried out.
Puente de los Santos
The Bridge of Saints links Galicia and Asturias. Its original construction was carried out in 1987, but in 2008, it had to be rebuilt to allow for the passage of the Cantabrian motorway. The bridge has four lanes and two pavements.
Fuerte de San Damián
The Fort of San Damian is the best example of military architecture in Ribadeo. The fort was built in the first half of the 17th century, by the Marquis of Cerralbo, in order to protect the entrance of the estuary from possible invasions.
In the early 18th century the fort was destroyed by an English attack and was rebuilt in the second half of the same century, but in 1809 it ended up in ruins again.
After the subsequent restoration, carried out by the City Council, the construction maintained some original elements, such as the exterior wall. Today the space houses an exhibition hall.
Fuente de los cuatro caños de Fernando o Santo
The four-piped Fountain of Fernando o Santo is located in the centre of Ribadeo, in the Plaza de la Travesía de Fernando El Santo. The fountain was built in the second half of the 20th century and is made of stone.
Its structure has a circular floor plant and in the centre stands a column from which its four pipes extend.
Parque etnográfico de O Cargadoiro
The Ethnographic Park of O Cargadoiro is located on Carretera Faro de Ribadeo. It is an old walkway that was used as a loading platform in an industrial iron extraction complex.
At this point, the goods from the train were transferred to the large ships, thus preventing them from having to enter the estuary.
The complex was inaugurated in 1903 and from 1927 began to be used as a passenger transport train. In 1966 it was finally closed, when the rails were lifted away.
Plaza de Abastos
The Plaza de Abastos in Ribadeo is a huge building opened in 1925, which was donated to the town by Ramón González Fernández, a Ribadeo emigrant who helped to provide the town with other infrastructures such as the library and the athenaeum.
The architecture of the building stands out for having iron and concrete slabs, materials that were widely used in the early decades of the 20th century and that endowed the most relevant buildings with elegance.
The Ribadeo Market, which dates back to medieval times, takes place every Wednesday in the surrounding area of the square.
Casa del óptico
The local building known as the House of the Optician is the home of Pedro García. It is an Indian building constructed in the early 20th century. In its garden, an acacia more than a century old still grows, in addition to the typical palm of the Indian gardens.
Iglesia parroquial de Santa María del Campo
The Parish Church of Santa María del Campo is located in the urban centre of Ribadeo. The church was constituted as such in 1835, as it had previously been a Franciscan convent.
Throughout history the temple has undergone various renovations. In 1905, the belfry that stood on the wall of the Gospel was demolished and the current bell tower was erected. The portico and chancel were also added later.
The temple is built in masonry and granite stonework. It features a main nave, covered by a ribbed vault, which replaced an old wooden door, and five chapels, the largest, two in the apse and two by the cross.
The church features a Gothic 14th-century gate with four columns and capitals with plant ornamentation, a large window from the same era and a neo-Gothic style tower. Inside, the Romanesque arches and two 18th-century altarpieces, in Baroque style, stand out.
Mass times: From 1 July to 31 August, working hours (20:00), eve (20:00) and public holidays (2:00, 13:00 and 20.00). From 1 September to 30 June, working hours (20:00), eve (20:00) and public holidays (2:00, 13:00 and 19:30).