"Camino Frances" (Part Two)" Top 5 Page for this destination Santiago de Compostela by into-thin-air

Santiago de Compostela Travel Guide: 717 reviews and 2,296 photos

Planning

" The Camino de Santiago -- This Must be Spain's best Kept Secret !!!

The first stage of this walk is on my " Spain " Page and this is the second section on this page !!

Planning this stage two of the Camino de Santiago was Easy !!! As we had already walked the first 220 miles two years earlier we knew Exactly what to take with us and what to expect with the walk !! As this section of the walk was going to be around 320 miles we decided that our best bet was to take an easyjet flight to Bilbao where there were both good rail / bus links to Fromista ( where we ended the walk last time so therefore wanted to re-start at Exactly the same point ) and there were also good rail / bus links back from Santiago de Compostela where we expected to end up !!
As we booked an evening flight, we also pre-booked a hotel in Bilbao through " expedia.com " and although this was a bit more up market than we were used to we decide what the heck -- start the trip on a high note !!
Then the next day we made our way, first by train to Palencia, then by bus to Fromista ( we could have caught a train all the way from Bilbao to Fromista but by doing the final part of the journey by bus saved us enough time to make a start with the walk the same afternoon -- so a bit of a bonus there !! )
We went back into the same refugio in Fromista where we had stayed on the last night of the Camino Frances -- stage One, and there we got our Pilgrims Passports stamped so to Prove that we hadn't cheated in any way my missing any part of the route !! and we were once more walking !!! As Easy as That !!!!

Back walking once more !!!!

As we had got a bit of a head-start by catching the bus into Fromista we were able to walk the 13k to Villacazar de Sirga, a small town with an Enormous Gothic church dedicated to Santa Marka la Blanka, Here we were Very Lucky as we took the last two beds in the Friendly little refugio, It had rained hard on the walk in so we were Really pleased to find that they had room for us !!
Next day we were on our way early, passing through Carrion de los Condes and over the plain to Ledigos to the private refugio there, a really excellent place to stay too !!
Then across more vast plains to the small town of Bercianos de Real Camino and here we stayed at one of the Best Refugios on the entire route !!! The town is half derelict with people moving off the land. the Massive church is falling down but the people are Very Friendly and the Sun Sets are Awesome !!!
The next day we put in a Long days walking, slowly leaving the plains behind us as we headed west, we stayed the night in a bit of a run down hotel at Punte de Villerente and this gave us a Very short day into Leon so we were able to have a good look at a particularly pretty city !! The cathedral is spectacular as is also the Basilica of San Isidoro !!
Then the next day, ever westwards through beautiful countryside to San Martin dal Camino where we stayed in a new and large refugio !!
Here we met a Delightful young Lass from Poland called Asia !! She walked with us the next day as far as Murias de Rechivaldo where we said our good bye's and myself and Stevie stayed in the refugio there, a nice little refugio in the old school !!
Early the next morning we were away as we had the mountains to cross today !! Luckily the weather was fine and we stopped for lunch at Rabanaldel Camino before starting up the Rea Alto through the almost deserted village of Foncebadon where the Heavens opened -- Rain and Hail !! then on passed to Famous Cruz de Ferro where Pilgrims traditionally leave a stone that they have carried with them from their home-town, then down through the hamlet of Manjarin to El Acebo, a pretty little town But we weren't overly impressed by the refugio there !!
The next day Onwards and Downwards passing through Molinaseca, a delightful little town with a spectacular bridge where we stopped for the most expencive cup of coffee of the entire walk !! and onto Cacabelos, a Very Friendly town with a modern refugio built around the church !! Here we went out for the evening and discovered the delights of the local public Bodego !! and what a night out it was too !!!!
The next day as the original Camino went through the valley bottom and has now been turned into a motorway we took a high level route and it was Brilliant, hard work in the heat but the views were Superb !! then in the evening we arrived at the village of Ruitelan and stayed in the Splendid refugio there, run by Carlos we were Well looked after, Carlos cooking an Excellent meal washed down by some cracking local wine !!
Then the following morning onwards and upwards, passing over the border into Galicia and through the village of O Cebreiro, a Beautiful little village perched high on the Mountain but now unfortunately somewhat over run by Bus Tourists !! then onwards, buying our dinner from a roadside shop and then onto to the tiny village of Hospital de la Condesa where we stayed in a delightful little refugio !!

Galicia -- Santigao -- Finasterre !!

The next day we headed down and where the route split we took the slightly longer alternative via Samos, passing through Beautiful Galician Countryside to Samos where we stayed at the refugio inside the Monastery.
The next day we were walking through particularly pretty scenery and stayed at the Small hamlet of Morgade in a tiny private refuge run by a Very Friendly family !!
Then on through more delightful scenery, a little undulating to the village of Eirexe and stayed at a very nice refugio there too.
The next day turned out to be a rather Long one as we had intended staying at Ribadiso do Baixo, unfortunately I was suffering with some back pain however this could have been a lot worse as the previous evening in Eirexe a German girl had given it a bit of a seeing to !! and I was feeling much better than I might have done !! equally unfortunately when we arrived at Ribadiso do Baixo we found the refugio was full so had to keep walking to Arzua where we stayed in a small hotel !!
After a rather late start as we were locked into the hotel until 09.00 !! we headed on to A Rua, where we stayed in the large and well run refugio called Hostal O'Pino -- On this day it had been Stevie's turn to suffer -- with him it was Sore Feet though !!!
Then our Final day of the Camino de Santiago took us passed Santiago Airport and on into the City, however it wasn't the end of our walk !!!!

As I have just said -- Santiago de Compostela wasn't the end of our walk !!! It had Always been our Ultimate goal to walk to " The End of the Known World " Cape Finisterre !!
There is a 3 day extension to the Camino de Santiago that allows you to do this and I will Thoroughly recommend that IF you have the time to do this as to me it was the BEST part of the entire walk !!

You leave Santiago de Compostela and continue to head west through Beautiful undulating countryside, the first days walk takes you to the town of Negreira where there is a Great New refugio, then on through more Spectacular Unspoilt Galecian countryside to Olveiroa where there is a Fantastic little refugio run my the local school mistress -- and you will be Very well looked after here -- she even cooks a simple evening meal for all the pilgrims !!!
Then the final day you take the " Camino Real " a 9k route over the mountains to the sea and on to the town of Finisterre which is only about 3k short of the Lighthouse that is " The End of the Known World " !!!
There is an Excellent refugio at Finisterre and it gives priority to those pilgrims that have walked there !!
Then no doubt you will be ready for a Good Night out to celebrate your achievement -- so you will be glad to know that this refugio doesn't lock you out if you stay out a bit late celebrating !!!
Then the next day you can catch a bus back to Santiago de Compostela and from there Transport links to the rest of Spain are very Good !!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The further west we walked, the Better this walk got !!!
  • Cons:Some overcrowding in the refugios as we got close to Santiago de Compostela
  • In a nutshell:Easy to see why this walk is as popular as it is !! Just Do it !!!
  • Last visit to Santiago de Compostela: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2009
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Reviews (54)

Comments (14)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    times, flies, a year ago from SJPDP to SdeC then Fisterra and Muxia on the Atlantic. Like you, great memories, so maybe 201112 , the Portuguese route ;-)))

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    I have only done the Camino in a rented Mercedes and that was fabulous but how I envied all the pilgrims as we drove by them. Sadly age and bad knees have beaten me now. Well done, Rob!

  • betako3's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Wow! That must have been an experience. Camino has recently become quite popular in Poland too. I remember quite a few articles about it in various newspapers and magazines. Congratulations on completing the pilgrimage even if it was 4y.ago :) !

  • newyorkerman's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Thanks for the terrific and detailed description of the Camino. Santiago is a place which I have wanted to visit all my life. Now I know the best way to do that!!! :-D

  • smyturn's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2006 at 1:21 AM

    Rob, loved The Camino! Thank you for the recommendation. Best walk I've ever taken. Your pages are wonderful and bring back great memories.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2005 at 4:51 PM

    Rob, this was a very enjoyable read and view of Santiago de Compostela. It's obvious that you enjoyed this walking tour. The cathedral is, no doubt, quite lovely. Thanks for a great vicarious experience.

  • GillianMcLaughlin's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2005 at 4:23 PM

    Can't wait to read about your latest trip... enticing stuff here Rob :-)

  • lomi's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 4:39 AM

    Enjoyed your santiago pages as thinking of a surprise trip for the husband's birthday in June. We can get there easily from Lanzarote where we live.

  • Perugia's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2005 at 8:41 AM

    Really interesting to read! Going to Spain! Thanks

  • arlequin_g's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2004 at 10:04 AM

    Great page. I have visited Santiago but one day I have to make the "Camino".

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