The Route of Father Sarmiento follows the pilgrimage undertaken in 1745 by the Spanish Benedictine monk and scholar Father Martin Sarmiento. One of Spain’s most fascinating historical figures of the Enlightenment era, Father Sarmiento fought superstition and ignorance throughout his life and wrote on a wide range of disciplines including linguistics, theology and medicine. This walking route named in his honour follows a 190-kilometre path from Pontevedra to Santiago de Compostela, via the valleys and seaside villages of the gorgeous coastal area of O Salnés. Full of history, tradition and nature, this is a journey to inspire beautiful photographs and wonderful memories.
Pontevedra – Sanxenxo (25 km)
Sanxenxo – O Grove (19 km)
O Grove (29 km, looped)
O Grove – Cambados (22 km)
Cambados – A Illa de Arousa (18 km)
A Illa de Arousa – Vilanova de Arousa (17 km)
Vilanova de Arousa – Vilagarcia de Arousa (12 km)
Vilagarcia de Arousa – Padron (25 km)
Padron – Santiago de Compostela (23 km)
En suite hotel accommodation
Daily luggage transferPilgrim’s kit (passport and shell)
Detailed information prior to start
24/7 support telephone number
Flights not included
Walking along the quiet shores of the Ría de Pontevedra and Ría de Arousa estuaries
Relaxing or taking a dip in one of the many secluded beaches along the way
Sampling delicious traditional seafood dishes washed down with local white wines
Wandering the bustling, pilgrim-filled streets of Santiago de Compostela
The city of Pontevedra has a wealth of charm, a great atmosphere and one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval centres in Galicia. Stroll through its pedestrianised cobbled streets, relax in its charming plazas or enjoy a tapa at one of its lively terraces before beginning your adventure the following day.
Day 2. Pontevedra – Sanxenxo (25km)
Depart Pontevedra by crossing the O Burgo bridge and head towards Poio with its lovely monastery and the town of Combarra. Follow a coastline characterised by secluded coves, inlets and majestic corners that open to the world from the lookout point of A Granxa. From there, you enter the O Salnés region, enjoying marvellous views of the Ría de Pontevedra estuary on our way to Sanxenxo, where you can relax on the beach or take a dip after your first day of walking.
Day 3. Sanxenxo – O Grove (19km)
Leave Sanxenxo and walk towards Portonovo, entering a more natural environment with impressive views of Ons Island. At the hermitage of A Lanzada, the legends and rituals that shroud the historic fortress enhances the spectacular presence of the sea. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean batter the remains of the tower that the Meiriños constructed for the defence of Compostela. And it is here, between Sanxenxo and O Grove, where you can find one of the most beautiful beaches of Galicia, the Lanzada beach, surrounded by a dune ecosystem.
Overnight: O Grove
Day 4. O Grove Looped Walk (29km)
A 29-kilometer circular stage through the town and hinterland of O Grove, widely considered to be a seafood paradise. Follow a path through the town, enjoying views of the Sálvora Island, then continue towards La Toja Island, famous for its thermal waters. Three kilometres before the end of this stage, at the lookout point of Siradella Mountain, you can enjoy more views of the Ría de Arousa, the largest of Galicia’s famous estuaries.
Overnight: O Grove
Day 5. O Grove - Cambados (22km)
In this stage we advance towards the heart of the O Salnés region. Cross a landscape of marshes and vineyards before arriving at Cambados, home of the world famous Albariño white wine. Houses covered with shells and monuments such as the Pazo de Montesacro or the Torre de San Sadurniño preserve the grandeur of a town that fought against Normans and Vikings. Relax with a casual walk through its stone streets, manor houses and squares.
Day 6. Cambados – A Illa de Arousa (18km)
Leave Cambados and continue your route past seawater mills and along the coast until you come to a two-kilometre bridge that leads you to A Illa de Arousa, an idyllic fishing town surrounded by the most beautiful beaches. The fishing port of O Xufre, the lighthouse of Punta Cabalo and the lookout point of Con do Forno are some of the highlights of this stage.
Overnight: A Illa de Arousa
Day 7. A Illa de Arousa – Vilanova de Arousa (17km)
Commence this stage with a walk to the Carreirón Natural Park, a place of crystal clear waters and white sandbanks. Cross the bridge once again and walk toward the beaches of O Terrón and onwards to the centre of Vilanova de Arousa. The hometown of the famous Spanish writer Ramón del Valle-Inclán, considered to be one of the most exceptional dramatists of his time, Vilanova de Arousa is a picturesque seaside town with a nice promenade and views of the Ria de Arousa.
Overnight: Vilanova de Arousa
Day 8. Vilanova de Arousa – Vilagarcia de Arousa (12km)
From the sandbanks of As Sinas, continue along the seashore towards the town of Vilaxoán. Your destination today is Vilagacía de Arousa, known as the “Port of Compostela,” where you can discover the impressive architectural complex known as the Pazo de Vista Alegre, a National Historical and Artistic Monument.
Overnight: Vilagarcia de Arousa
Day 9. Vilagarcia de Arousa – Padrón (25km)
Today you walk through a landscape of forests and marshlands towards the historic fortress settlement of Catoira. Here, the estuary becomes the Ulla River, creating a natural boundary that separates the provinces of Pontevedra and A Coruña. The two towers built to repel Viking raids, the Torres del Oeste, are reminders of the area’s glorious past and help one to imagine the final voyages of the disciples of Saint James as they transported the Apostle’s body along the Ulla River to their landing spot in Padrón.
Day 10. Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (23km)
Leave Padrón and walk through a number of small villages on your way to the historical sanctuary of A Esclavitude. Today you will also see some of the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia. Soon you will be able to see the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Descend through the outskirts of the city, then weave through the narrow streets of the old town until you reach Plaza do Obradoiro and the beautiful cathedral where, as we have now done, Father Sarmiento completed his journey in 1745 to earn the plenary jubilee year indulgence.
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Day 11. Free day in Santiago de Compostela
Time to relax and enjoy all the things this wonderful city has to offer. Some like to reflect on their journey in the magnificent Cathedral, where they can also visit the shrine containing the relics of the Apostle Saint James. Others may choose to wander the narrow cobbled streets of the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or kick back in a terraza with fellow pilgrims. The vibrancy and beauty of Santiago is a fitting reward for all that walking.
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Day 12. Santiago de Compostela
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the end of your Camino adventure. See you next time!
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