The Camino Ingles to Santiago: a rural route
The Camino Ingles is one of the best routes on the Camino de Santiago for people who only have a few days because it has only five stages. This itinerary, totalling 122.3 kilometres, runs through the heart of Galicia, from the coast of La Coruña, starting in Ferrol.
If what you are looking for in your pilgrimage is a green landscape, a lot of peace and wild nature, this is one of your routes. Here we present the different stages of the Camino Ingles.
The stages of the Camino Ingles in detail
The Camino Ingles to Santiago, despite being an interior section and running entirely through the Galician community, is not a difficult route. The English route is not as flat as the Portuguese Camino routes, but its climbs are fairly moderate.
First stage on the Camino Ingles
The first stage of the Camino Ingles to Santiago is the one that runs between Ferrol and Pontedeume. A total of 29.7 kilometres of travel. If the distance seems too much to be one of your first stages on the Camino de Santiago, you have two options:
- Divide the stage in two, staying overnight in Neda, and continue the next day to Pontedeume.
- Take the shortcut you will find on the first section of the route. Using the bridge leading to Fene you can reduce the route by 11.2 kilometres.
Sections on the first stage
This first stage of the Camino Ingles crosses, for much of the day, urban and industrial environments. The worst section is the one that crosses the A Gandara Industrial Estate. However, along the entire voyage you can enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and the smell of the sea.
The first section of the English route is carried out largely following secondary roads, close to the Galician estuaries. The only drawback of this stage is that the highway, the railway tracks and some roads cut the pilgrims’ passage on several occasions, being forced to cross the road several times.
With regard to the difficulty on this stage, it cannot be said that it will be a difficult journey. The route has undulations on the ground, but these are moderate. The biggest challenge posed is the ascent to Vilar do Colo, which faces an altitude of 150 metres.
Places of interest
It is one of the stages on the Camino Ingles with the greatest number of historic town centres of interest. On it, you’ll pass through: Ferrol, Neda and Pontedeume. In Ferrol you can discover its strong seafaring tradition and be impressed by the strong presence of the Spanish Navy in that locality.
Your walk through Neda will allow you to enjoy its beautiful Calle Real, characterized by its cobblestones. In it, you can visit the Church of St. Nicholas and the Clock Tower. Distributed throughout the locality, you will find various fountains made in stonework and sets of heraldic shields.
Finally, in the beautiful town of Pontedeume, you will be able to visit various churches, as well as discovering the legacy of the Andrade family: a tower and a castle. Over the castle looms a tragic love story, find out about it!
Stage 2: from Pontedeume to Betanzos
Green, I love green! This is one of the stages with the largest number of kilometres in the countryside. The second stage of the Camino Frances will take you into all the wonders provided by this route. The 21 kilometres of travel of this stage allows you to admire the essence of Galicia: green, rural and full of country life.
On this stage, the Camino Ingles faces many ups and downs. In some sections of the route, the ground underfoot can be somewhat unstable, so it is recommended to be cautious, especially if it has rained.
During the day you can discover the town of Miño and its Playa Grande, where the Atlantic seems to be warmer than the rest of the coast. Before the end of the stage, you will also have the opportunity to visit a whole work of art of religious architecture: The Church of San Martiño located at the top of Tiobre.
The stage concludes in Betanzos. A medieval town declared a historical and artistic site. Its streets are an example of the classical architecture in the Galician community.
The Camino Ingles from Betanzos to Bruma
The third day on the Camino Ingles faces one of the most feared stages. On one hand, the distance between Betanzos from Bruma is 30.3 km, so it could be considered a long distance stage. The locality is of Presedo is an excellent option if you prefer to divide the stage into 2 parts.
On the other, on this stage, the pilgrim faces the highest climb on the Camino Ingles, the ascent of 300 metres to A Malata. Soon after, you will reach the highest point on the Camino, located at an altitude of 454 metres.
To this, we must add that the route is made in a solitary environment. Although there will be several rural villages on your path, most of them do not have any services.
As a reward for the effort made, you will find it in the landscape and in the wonderful opportunity that you will have to discover Galician rural life. Cattle breeders, farmers, workers and the peace that rural Galicia breathes, await you on this stage.
From Bruma to Sigüeiro on the Camino Ingles (stage 4)
The fourth stage on the Camino Ingles provides a break and presents itself as a gentle walk with respect to the other two previous stages. 24.8 km separate Bruma from Sigüeiro, a route that is carried out along paved road or ground, both comfortable and smooth.
Unlike the previous stage, on this day you will find many villages with services. Something that is not surprising given the imminent proximity of Santiago de Compostela.
The day ends in Sigüeiro, a municipality that is already within the metropolitan radius of the city of Santiago. In this locality, you can visit the medieval bridge that crosses the River Tambre.
Last stage on the Camino Ingles to Santiago
From Sigüeiro there are 16.5 kilometres to the tomb of Santiago the Apostle. The route faces some moderate ascents and descents but does not pose any challenge on the fifth day of pilgrimage.
The day can be divided into two well-differentiated sections. The first is made along with a rural environment, crossing lush forests. The final part is the entrance to the city of Santiago de Compostela, and therefore, is much more urban, and is done through the northern neighbourhoods of the capital of Compostela.
Both sections are dominated by the presence of the Cathedral of Santiago as the backdrop. The energy provided by this postcard will give you the necessary impetus to complete these final kilometres of the stages on the Camino de Santiago.
Curiosities on the Camino Inglés and its stages
The Camino Ingles to Santiago will allow you to enjoy all the culture of Galician wine and its exquisite gastronomy. As well as its tapas culture. But on top of all that, the English route stands out for various peculiarities. Here are some of them.
It is one of the least popular routes
The Camino Ingles to Santiago is a route where you will find few pilgrims on their stages. According to the Camino de Santiago’s Pilgrims’ Office, last year only 4.3% of the pilgrims chose this route.
It is the alternative to the Camino Frances
The Camino Ingles, unlike the Camino del Norte or the Camino Primitivo, does not join the Camino Frances on its last stages. This fact makes the Camino Ingles an ideal route if you want to avoid the mass of pilgrims that occurs at the end of the Camino de Santiago in high season.
It is a warm interior route
Unlike other routes on the interior of the Camino de Santiago, which run at higher altitudes, crossing mountain passes, the Camino Ingles to Santiago does not exceed 500 metres in altitude. That makes it an ideal route to do in both winter and summer.
It shares stages with the route of Santuario de San Andrés
The route to the Santuario de San Andrés de Teixido is marked with symbols with a red fish. Pilgrims who make the Camino Ingles will share their route with those who are heading to the Sanctuary of San Andrés from the beginning of the route until reaching O Ponto.
There are pilgrims who do the Camino Ingles from La Coruña
On Stage 3 of the Camino Ingles, you will find pilgrims walking in both directions. Those who started in Ferrol will walk in one direction and those who left from La Coruña (The Camino del Faro) on the opposite. That means you’ll find signalling on both sides.
The Camino Ingles: Pilgrim’s opinions and experiences
Pilgrim’s opinions and ratings on the Camino Ingles are very similar.
The vast majority think it is an ideal choice for those people who do not have many days to complete the route to Santiago de Compostela. The path from Ferrol to Santiago runs along a 120-kilometre route where travellers can delight in a unique wealth of history and heritage.
The English route on the Camino de Santiago crosses 18 locations, and all the pilgrims we have consulted believe that the stages are not so crowded.
In addition, many walkers indicate that there is good signage and numerous hostels to accommodate pilgrims throughout the whole route.
On the other hand, they do recommend bringing fruit and water since along the route they did not find many water fountains.
Each year, the Camino Ingles continues to increase its number of visitors, passing other routes such as the Camino Primitivo, becoming a must-travel pilgrimage route.
The history of the northern travellers
Visiting the tomb of Santiago the Apostle has been a fixation for travellers since the 11th century. However, it was not until the 12th century that the route becomes popular among the pilgrims from Nordic countries and Great Britain.
Embarking on a route by sea, as is natural, reduced the journey time from the usual five months by land, to about three weeks. In addition, the boat trip saved the walkers the hard stages over the Pyrenees, which also at that time were areas of great danger, full of bandits and thieves.
For these reasons, the new visitors from the North decided to leave their lands aboard a boat, to reach Ferrol and from there begin their pilgrimage on foot to Santiago de Compostela. This is the origin of what we know today as the Camino Ingles.
We hope that our guide has inspired you to explore the stages of the Camino Ingles, discovering the most rural and authentic Galicia. Remember that if you don’t have time to organize your pilgrimage or want to avoid unforeseen events, in Santiago Ways we will be happy to help you organize your Camino de Santiago Ingles.