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 similar 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, perhaps curious to see how far west they could go – or perhaps searching for the wise teachers who may have lived on Galicia’s west coast many years ago. 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.
Now modern pilgrims are rediscovering the way to Finisterre. Some pilgrims just don’t want to stop walking, others need time to assimilate their Camino. And yet others return to Santiago to continue their journey, walking to the Finisterre, the End of the Earth, in the time-honored pilgrim tradition.
Dates: mixed group. Sept 28 – Oct 6, 2019 ALMOST FULL!!! Probable date in 2020: May 9 – 17, 2020
Price: 1,750,00 euros (about $2050 at early July 2018 exchange rate) 2020 price may vary
Price includes: 8 nights hotels in double rooms with bathrooms (depending on group makeup, possibly two triples one night, duplex rooms at boutique hotel), 8 dinners, 8 breakfasts, 7 days walking Santiago – Finisterre – Muxia, luggage transfer Santiago – Muxia (you only carry day pack), 2 van transfers during trip and bus transfer to Santiago after the trip for walkers, experienced guide (bi-cultural, fluent in Spanish) with the group on the trail, pilgrim shell and “passport”, taxes. Not included: lunches, personal expenses, transportation to Santiago before the trip or away from Santiago after the trip.
Group: Minimum 6, maximum 10 people
NEWSFLASH! like the idea of some coastline but more intested in walking towards Santiago?
Ask about possible trip on the Portuguese coastal route from the Spain-Portugal border to Santiago.
All in Spain, excellent food, Albariño wine, culture, beaches…. what’s not to like?
At posting time May 2019 this is a work-in-progress (second scouting trip in June) but it looks very interesting!
Itinerary Santiago to the Sea :
Day 1: Meet in Santiago in the afternoon. Welcome dinner.
Days 2-6: Santiago – Finisterre. We’ll take five days instead of the usual four, downshifting to enjoy the journey. That more relaxed pace requires an afternoon transfer and a morning transfer to eliminate a 35 km / 21 mile day (alas, no hotels where we could break with no transfer). The last day into Finisterre town is short to allow time to walk to the lighthouse, another 7kms / 4.4mi round trip. Distances: three days 20-21 kms / 13 mi aprox, two days 12 – 13 kms / 7.5 – 8 miles.
Days 7-8: After Finisterre continue two more days to Muxia, a lovely seaside town with a chapel to the Virgin on a rocky point – tradition says that this was the site of an ancient fertility cult and also one of the places that the Virgin appeared to St. James (Santiago) when he was teaching in Roman Iberia. Distances: both days 13-14kms / 8.5 – 9 miles.
Day 9: Breakfast and transfer back to Santiago on our private bus.
Compared to last 100kms of the classic “French route” into Santiago de Compostela: Santiago to the Sea is a little more rolling than the last 100 kms, but hills are not big and distances are a little shorter. Mixture of unpaved roads and minor paved roads is similar, but there is a little more walking along highway shoulder in the extension, mainly on the day into Finisterre. Signage is not quite as good and there is less infrastructure (bars, restaurants, hotels, banks), enough to be comfortable but needing a little more thinking ahead. Lunch some days might be picnics, especially after Finisterre.
Santiago Cathedral, ongoing restoration: They’re going full out getting ready for Holy Year 2021! As of June 2018, the west Cathedral façade is FINALLY clear of scaffolding, yay! The famous Pórtico de la Gloria (just inside the west façade) has also been completed and they’re doing visits for small groups, for now only in Spanish (they’re working on that), more info at https://tickets.catedraldesantiago.es/en-GB/venta-de-entradas : TIP: Reserve early, space is limited. Alas, for 2019 and maybe early 2020 no church services are being held in the main part of the Cathedral as they work on the cleanup-fixup for Holy Year. That means no Botafumeiro incense burner for the time being, and the truly fabulous Cathedral tours on the roof and under the floor of the Cathedral are on hold until they’ve finished. BUT the Cathedral is still open to “hug the saint” behind the main altar, pay your respects at the tomb under the main altar, and church services are still being held in the tiny but lovely Corticela chapel by the north door, a chapel many vistors ignore entirely when the rest of this wonderful Cathedral is open. They’re also working on the Cathedral roof and other parts of the exterior, so you’ll need to pick your photo ops with care.
Church services while the Cathedral is under rehab: http://catedraldesantiago.es/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cartel_Horarios2019.pdf NOTE: seems this is more Spanish than English, but easy to understand anyway. I will try to keep link up to date but if I miss something go to main Cathedral page and look for link – it’s right on home page.
Camino Chaplaincy (Anglican / Episcopalian) services in English, get more info https://www.facebook.com/CaminoChaplaincyCoE/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARBRy0Kgmt4Uxr2TNYimelo9MRtnkOX5nYFN1gt9yr-WZ-5RV8W1wA8ui1c6-HP5z9AB3XrWYQ_KTwvt
Want more info? Contact Anne at bridgetospain (at) yahoo.es