Doing the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca
Doing the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca to the Cathedral of Compostela involves completing 461 kilometres following the Via de la Plata. A distance that can be completed in 19 stages.
To reach the tomb of Santiago the Apostle from Salamanca you will find two alternatives, once you reach the town of Granja de Moreruela. One is to follow the Camino Sanabres, heading for Ourense. The other is to head to Astorga, to join the Camino Frances.
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Below we tell you how each of the stages of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca are. We will also tell you about the different places of interest that you can visit during your tour.
Stage 1 of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca
Before we start talking about the Camino de Santiago route from Salamanca, it is important to say that the city deserves to be visited for a complete day. Therefore, if you have time, we advise you to book a day to enjoy it.
Some of the must-see places in the city are the Plaza Mayor, considered one of the most beautiful in Spain, the old cathedral and the new cathedral. And of course, the University of Salamanca.
To join the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca you must go to Plaza Mayor and from there continue north on Calle Zamora. The first stage faces 36.4 kilometres, but you have the option to divide it in two, staying overnight in the intermediate village of Calzada de Valdunciel.
Given the long distance on this stage, it is considered to be of medium-high difficulty. The tour is made along a gravel path that runs near the highway.
The first stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca concludes in El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino. In the town you can visit a cross and the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
The second stage runs between El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino and Zamora. A total of 31.8 kilometres separate one locality from another.
On the second day doing the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca you will advance along dirt tracks, surrounded by fields of cereal crops. The stage is almost entirely flat.
Arrival in Zamora is made over the medieval bridge that crosses the River Douro. In the city, you will find a multitude of Romanesque art architecture, including the cathedral and the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena.
On the third day, after leaving Salamanca, the Camino de Santiago gives you a break and gives you a short stage. Only 18.5 kilometres separate you from Zamora de Montamarta, where the day ends.
This stage crosses the Tierra del Pan region, whose landscape is dominated by the extensive cereal fields. On the tour you will find few intermediate villages.
Stage 4: The road fork on La Vía de la Plata
The fourth stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca is mainly intended to decide whether to take the Camino Sanabres or continue to Astorga, to join the Camino Frances. For this, pilgrims have the 22.9 kilometres that separate Montamarta from Granja de Moreruela to decide which one to take.
During the tour, made uglier by the construction of the A-66 motorway, you will have the opportunity to visit the Ricobayo Reservoir and the ruins of the abandoned Castrotorafe. On your path will pass various villages such as Fontanillas de Castro or Riego del Camino.
On the fourth stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca, it is time for the first farewells. During these four stages you will have met other pilgrims with whom you will have shared kilometres, but who now will take a different variant from yours. The Via de la Plata is divided and with it, the steps of the pilgrims.
The Camino de Santiago from Salamanca via Astorga
From Granja de Moreruela, you have to decide whether to head north, towards Astorga, or to the northeast, on the Camino Sanabres. In this section, we will tell you about the stages that await you if you decide to set course for Astorga.
Stage 5: Heading to Astorga
The fifth stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca, taking the Astorga Variant, is quite easy. 27.2 kilometres, with few slopes, separate Granja de Moreruela from Benavente. The route is largely carried out following the route of the national N-630 road.
One of the most beautiful sections on this stage is the one that runs along abandoned train tracks. That part of the tour has a special charm.
In Benavente, the Church of Santa Maria de Azogue awaits you; A beautiful monument of the Cistercian Order.
Stage 6: From Benavente to Alija del Infantado
The sixth stage is 21.9 kilometres long. The route is listed as very easy. It is a rather lonely day on which the Camino de Santiago passes by several villages, but without actually going through them.
The River Jamuz will be your great companion today. The stage runs mostly on asphalt tracks and local roads. During the day, the province of Zamora is abandoned to enter the province of León.
In Alija del Infantado you will find various places of interest such as the Church of San Verísimo. The village is quite beautiful, but an air of melancholy surrounds it.
The seventh stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca joins Alija del Infantado and La Bañeza. In total, 22.1 kilometres separate one locality from the other.
The route is mainly flat and is largely made on dirt tracks that follow the course of the River Jamuz, which runs parallel to the LE-114 road. During the stage, you will pass through various locations, some of them, such as Quintana del Marco, with services.
It is advisable to stop in Villanueva de Jamuz, which has several attractions such as a castle and a church. In La Bañeza you can visit the Town Hall and the churches of San Salvador and Santa Maria.
The arrival of the Camino Frances
The eighth stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca is the one that joins the Via de la Plata with the Camino Frances. 24.5 kilometres separate La Bañeza from the Roman city of Astorga.
At this stage you will find moderate slopes. Following the dirt tracks that run along this stretch of the Camino de Santiago, you will cross various locations, many of them without services.
The stage has some points where the signaling is deficient. However, there is little chance of getting lost. In these intersections where you do not find any indication, you should always continue straight on.
In Astorga, you will find new travel companions, all those pilgrims who have been doing the Camino Frances. This means that the influx of pilgrims in the next stages will increase considerably, though of course, that this depends heavily on the time of year that you choose to do the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca.
Known to the Romans as Asturica Augusta, Astorga is one of the cities that has been most important on the Camino de Santiago, since two of the most important routes converged there: The Camino Frances and La Via de la Plata.
Some of the must-see places in the city are the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Episcopal Palace, by Antonio Gaudí. We also recommend that you take advantage of your time in Astorga to try the “Cocido de Maragato”, whose peculiarity is that you eat meat and vegetables first; and it’s finished with the soup.
From Astorga to Foncebadón
The 9th stage of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca, via the Astorga Route, is carried out along the Camino Frances. The day can be divided into two sections.
The first part of the tour is made by a terrain over gentle slopes, dotted with small villages typical of Castile. Then, the slopes become tougher to cross the mountains of León and enter the region of El Bierzo.
The stage concludes in Foncebadón. A town that is kept alive thanks to the Camino de Santiago and has a few services, but with stunning views. In total, 25.8 kilometres separate Astorga from Foncebadón.
From Foncebadón to Ponferrada (Stage 10)
At this stage the highest point of the Camino Frances is reached, located at 1,500 metres. The place is marked by the Cruz de Ferro, a milestone on the Camino de Santiago where traditional is to throw a stone at it.
From that point, the descent to the city of Ponferrada begins. In this city you can visit various sights, but the most striking are the Templar Castle and the Clock Tower.
You should know that from Ponferrada you can go down the Camino de Invierno , instead of following the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela. If you are looking for tranquility, it is a highly recommended route. To learn more about it and its stages, you can consult the article we dedicate to it in our blog on the Camino de Invierno.
If you decide to continue on the Camino Frances, on stage 11 of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca you will face the 24.2 kilometres that separate Ponferrada from Villafranca del Bierzo.
The stage crosses areas of lush vegetation and numerous vineyards. The route is made along dirt tracks, dotted with stretches of asphalt, and does not face many large slopes. It could therefore be categorized as a simple stage.
On the tour you will find various places of interest, such as Compostilla, Columbrianos or Cacabelos. The main attractions of Villafranca del Bierzo are the Church of Santiago, its collegiate and Calle del Agua.
The ascent to O Cebreiro
This is one of the most emblematic stages of the tour. On the one hand, it faces one of the most feared climbs of the Camino Frances, the ascent to O Cebreiro. On the other, this stage ends at the gates of the lands of the apostle: Galicia.
The hardest part of the stage is concentrated at the end. The climb to O Cebreiro faces 500 metres of elevation, which are completed in less than 6 kilometres. However, the effort is worth it, from this enigmatic mountain location, both the sunset and the sunrise are spectacular.
O Cebreiro – Triacastela (stage 13)
Stage 13 of the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca is carried out almost completely in descent. In addition, it is a much shorter stage than the previous ones, only 20.8 kilometres separate O Cebreiro from Triacastela.
The biggest drawback on this stage is the continuous presence of the LU-633 road, which for most of the stage runs next to the Camino de Santiago. However, this fact will be highly compensated by the landscapes of oaks and chestnut trees that characterize the Galician landscape.
In Triacastela, you can visit various churches, the Chapel of Mamede and Casa As Encrucillades. In this part of the tour, we recommend you try Galician “rubia gallega” meat, the typical Galician cow.
Arrival in Sarria
17.8 kilometres separate Triacastela from Sarria. To complete this stage, you have two options, take the San Xil or the Samos variants. The first is slightly shorter, but the second offers you the possibility to visit the Monastery of Samos.
The environment of this stage also varies considerably if you choose one variant or the other. San Xil crosses one of the most beautiful valleys on the Camino Frances, while the other runs between oaks and chestnut trees.
The last stage on the Astorga route
The last stretch of the Camino de Santiago de Salamanca, following the Astorga variant, faces the most popular kilometres on the Camino de Santiago. The last 100 kilometres that links Sarria with Santiago de Compostela.
This section is so popular and in demand that on our blog of the Camino de Santiago we dedicate a post to these last 5 stages. So if you want to know more about them, you can check out the article on the Camino de Santiago from Sarria.
The Camino de Santiago from Salamanca via the Camino Sanabres
If you decide to head northwest, towards Ourense, you will complete the Camino de Santiago following the Camino Sanabres. If you want to know more about the stages on this variant you can consult the article on the Camino Sanabres.
We hope that the description of stages that we have made in this article will help you organize your Camino de Santiago from Salamanca. As always, we remind you that if you want to have an agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago, that will help you organize your trip from Salamanca, do not hesitate to contact our team.
Call us, write on our blog, or our page on Facebook and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Whether via Astorga or Ourense, come and do the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca with us!