Everyone knows that the Road of St. James ends in Santiago de Compostela at the tomb of the Apostle. But does it really?
Other traditions tell us that travelers walked a similiar route long before the tomb was discovered, long before St. James preached in Iberia. They followed the setting sun to Finisterre, the End of the Earth, some searching out the wise teachers who lived on Galicia’s west coast many years ago, others just curious to see how far west they could go. Those early traditions were assimilated by the Road and even from the very beginning some pilgrims continued to Finisterre to see the sun set into the sea and collect a scallop shell before returning home.
With the new popularity of the Road pilgrims have recovered the way to Finisterre. It’s a good way for some to assimilate their experiences; other pilgrims are just not ready to stop walking.
BUT……. this route is not just for pilgrims, it is an interesting route on its own, with great scenery and great food. The Road traditions just make it better!
Highlights of this route: Talking with the pilgrims from all over the world. The satisfaction of completing a challenging day. Spotting traditional horreos (corn cribs) – the style changes west of Santiago. The first glimpse of the sea. Two almost deserted beaches. Seeing corn growing right next to the sea (especially fun for Midwesterners). Enjoying the seafood on the coast – especially in Muxia, the end of our journey. And if you’ve done the Road to Santiago, noticing the differences between the two routes.
Hikes, what to expect: Galicia is rolling, with lots of small to medium ups and downs. Nothing huge, and not difficult if you pace yourself right. Most of Santiago to the Sea is on good dirt road or asphalt, with some trail. Some places can be muddy if it’s rained recently, good to have dry socks with you at all times. We’ll be in and out of forest, some days are quite shady and others quite sunny.
Best time of year: mid-April to June, September-October
Group: Minimum 6, maximum 10 people
Meet / end: Santiago de Compostela
How this is different from the last 100kms / 62 mi into Santiago: Terrain is similar, a little hillier than the last 100kms. About same mix of minor asphalt roads and dirt roads or trails. For now, a little more walking on highway shoulder, though they seem to be working on that (saw walkways being built / highway shoulders widened spring 2017). Signage is not as good as on the last 100 kms, and overall less infrastructure (bars, cafés, hotels, pilgrim albergues) than on the more-travelled end of the traditional Camino.
Want to know more? Get in touch to ask about this trip!