Last section of the Camino de Santiago Frances
The Camino from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela runs along the last few kilometres of the Camino Frances. This stretch is very popular among pilgrims who make the Camino de Santiago on foot. Next, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of starting the Camino de Santiago from Sarria.
Starting the Camino de Santiago from Sarria: The advantages
There are many people who, either following the advice of some agency specializing in the Camino de Santiago or by choice, begin to walk from Sarria. This fact is related to some advantages that the Camino Frances presents from this locality. Some of them are:
You can arrive at Santiago Cathedral in 5 days
It is an ideal route for those people who wish to finish the Camino de Santiago at the Apostle’s tomb. If for time or health you can only walk for five days, it is a good option.
Also, some people choose this route to prepare for longer and more complicated tours. They probe the terrain first, see if they are resistant, if their feet react well, etc., and then decide to complete a Camino de Santiago that requires greater planning.
It’s possible to get the Compostela
Doing the Camino de Santiago from Sarria allows you to cover the minimum distance (100 km), which must be done to get the famous Compostela. Exactly 114.2 kilometres separate the town of Sarria from the Cathedral of Santiago.
Many pilgrims are not willing to walk the Camino de Santiago without taking a title of recognition. In Santiago Ways we understand it, it’s a nice souvenir.
You’ll enjoy nature and Galician gastronomy
The route from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela allows you to enjoy the beautiful Galician landscapes and its gastronomy. We should not forget that one of the pleasures of visiting the heart of Galicia is to enjoy its excellent cuisine and wines.
You’ll meet people from all over the world
It is the most international stretch on the Camino de Santiago. On the route, you will have the opportunity to meet many people from different parts of the world.
That one of the wonders of the road are the people who travel and their contact is well known. Even if you don’t speak languages, you’ll find a way to communicate and it will be fun.
It is the route that has most services
The stages that separate Sarria from Santiago de Compostela are those that have more comforts and better infrastructure. Many pilgrims because of their physical condition, because they walk the Camino de Santiago as a family or because they simply want to live the experience comfortably, they choose to start the Camino de Santiago from Sarria.
Starting the Camino de Santiago from Sarria: The inconveniences
Some people or guides discourage starting the Camino de Santiago from Sarria because of the overcrowding that this stretch has experienced. The high influx of pilgrims has intensified over the last few years, especially in summer.
Now, we will explain to you why this is a fact and we tell you about drawbacks on this route. We want you to have all the information so you can decide, although we would already tell you that we love this stretch.
It has a great quantity of pilgrims
The main disadvantage of this route is the number of pilgrims that travel. In particular, 25% of the people who arrive in Santiago de Compostela decide to start the Camino de Santiago from Sarria.
The above is related to two factors. One is that the Camino Frances is the most popular. The other is that both the Camino Primitivo and the Camino del Norte, converge on the third stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria, with the Camino Frances. The Camino Primitivo in Melide and the Camino del Norte in Arzúa.
It is the most popular route, but not the easiest
Although from the stretches of the Camino de Santiago that can be done in a few days, the part from Sarria is the best known, but not the easiest. The Camino Portugues from Tui, has many fewer climbs.
Stages of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria
The truth is that, despite the inconveniences mentioned before, most pilgrims end up delighted with this route. Next, we explain about each of the 5 stages that separate Sarria from Santiago de Compostela.
From Sarria to Portomarín
The first stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria runs through rural Galicia, away from the asphalt of the roads and with few levels. The stage is 22.2 kilometres long.
During this, you will cross small villages and medieval bridges. You will also have the opportunity to visit churches from the Roman era. However, the great attraction of this stage is the presence of the River Miño.
On the right bank of this emblematic river, next to the Belesar Reservoir, the first day of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria ends. on your last steps during this stage, you will cross a beautiful medieval bridge over the River Miño.
You’ll climb a few steps. Next to them, you will see the Chapel de las Nieves. Finally, you will arrive in Portomarín, the end of the first stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria.
After taking a shower and refreshing your feet you can stroll through this small town of white façades and grey roofs. The history of this town is fascinating. The waters of the River Miño completely inundated it in 1963.
On its streets, you can visit the Churches of San Nicolás and San Pedro. Also the Manor of Conde Maza or that of Dos Pimentales. If you want to know more about this interesting locality, do not forget to read our post about the marvels of Portomarin.
De Portomarín a Palas de Rei
The second stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria runs mostly parallel to the road. The 24.8 kilometres that separate Portomarín from Palas de Rei are not complicated, but you will face some pronounced climbs.
During the tour, you will pass by places of great interest, for example, the Cross of Os Lameiros. The stage ends in Palas de Rei, a quiet village with a long pilgrim tradition.
This locality was disconnected from the Camino de Santiago for many years. Today, however, it has regained the role it once played. In it, you can visit the Church of San Tirso.
De Palas de Rei a Arzúa
The third stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria leaves Lugo and enters A Coruña. This is a much more complicated day than the previous ones.
On one hand, it is the stage of greater distance, in total 28.5 km separate Palas de Rei from Arzúa. On the other, the route faces frequent slopes, both in ascent and descent. They’re short, but intense.
This pilgrim stretch runs mostly along the N-547 road. On several occasions, you will be forced to cross it. However, it is one of the most culturally interesting days, as you will pass through places full of myths and legends.
The day concludes in Arzúa, a locality with a strong pilgrim tradition. As attested by the many legends of the town and some of its celebrations. An example is a party that takes place on June 24th. On that day, one of the pilgrims arriving at Arzúa is randomly chosen and his name is placed on the wall of the stars.
You can enjoy the cheese and honey, two products very popular in this region. In the Living Museum of Honey or in the Centro de Divulgación del Queso y la Miel you have the possibility to discover everything related to their production.
You can also visit the Fonte Santa, A Mota Chapel, the Magdalena Chapel and the Church of Santiago. If you want to find out more about the end of the stage, do not forget to read our article about what to do in Arzúa.
Stopping in Melide
One of the wonders of the third stage in its passage through Melide, famous for its “Pulpo a Feira” (Galician -style Octopus). Making a stop to take a good portion of octopus and a cloudy wine is a tradition among pilgrims. In this locality, you will begin to find pilgrims who have been following the Camino Primitivo.
From Arzúa to O Pedrouzo
The penultimate stage of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria is a simple one. It runs through long forest tracks, with few houses and few slopes.
The biggest drawback of the day will be the N-547 road that interrupts the passage of pilgrims on many occasions. They are forced to cross it several times. 19.3 km separate Arzúa from O Pedrouzo. In the village at this end of the stage you will be able to visit the Church of Santa Eulalia de Arca.
From O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela
The last stage of the Camino Frances, Before reaching the Cathedral of Santiago, you have to pass through a first section, on slopes surrounded by oaks and eucalyptus. Then it delves into the urban environment of Santiago de Compostela. The moderate ascent to Monte do Gozo is the main challenge of the route.
On the fifth stage from Sarria, you will have to walk 19.4 kilometres. A distance you can travel in about 4 or 5 hours.
This means that if you start to walk at approximately 7 am, you will be in Santiago de Compostela in time for the Pilgrim’s Mass, which takes place at 12 noon. Don’t miss the “Botafumeiro”!
There are as many Caminos as pilgrims
We’ve already told you before:
“There are as many Caminos as pilgrims”
Each person knows what he or she wants to do and in what way. We believe that starting the Camino de Santiago from Sarria can be an excellent option at any time of the year.
Now you know all about this tour and you can decide depending on what you are looking for. However, we do not want to say goodbye without reminding you that there are several routes of the Camino de Santiago short. In this article, we explain which routes on the Camino de Santiago you can do in a few days.
We hope that the information we have provided you on the route from Sarria has helped you decide. For us, it is a stretch of the Camino de Santiago that we like very much.
If you want to know how an agency specializing in travelling on the Camino de Santiago can help you, contact us. We will provide you with more information and we will help you throughout the tour.