Camino Finisterre - Santiago to Hospital | Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino de Santiago

Santiago de Compostela

1.40km
Altitude: 
250

There is a tremendous amount of things to see and things to do in Santiago de Compostela; you are encouraged to stay for at least one full day extra for exploring the web of streets, all of which seem to bring you back to the Cathedral.

The pilgrim’s office and two tourist information offices (one for Santiago, one for Galicia) are located on the Rúa do Vilar. They can provide you will all of the information and maps you could need.

One word of caution regarding accommodation is in order. If you are arriving in the high season, you are advised to make a reservation in advance. There have been several additions to the albergue roster in recent year but the numbers of pilgrims still exceed capacity in the high season.

The Cathedral is the single largest attraction to Santiago and for good reason. Both inside and out it presents countless treasures to investigate, too many to list in fact but below are the best

The Cathedral - Plaza by plaza
1. Azabache: As you enter the city, the first part of the Cathedral that you pass is the Puerta de la Azabachería. This is the entrance that faces the Monastery of San Martin Piñario.

2: Obradoiro: From Azabache you pass under the Palace of the Bishop which is adjoined to the Cathedral and cannot possibly be the sort of palace that affords much peaceful sleeping; the sound of bagpipes welcoming you can be heard from dawn to dusk. The stairway leads directly to the Plaza de Obradoiro and kilometer zero for pilgrims. In the center of the plaza is the last scallop shell and you are likely to find pilgrims taking their shoes off for a photo with it, and the Obradoiro Facade behind them.

This facade is the most majestic and most photographed of the Cathedral and was part of the 18th century building projects that took place in Santiago. The baroque design will keep your eyes moving and the massive amounts of glass allow for the illumination of the Pórtico de la Gloria that lies behind it. That Pórtico was the original front to the church designed by Maestro Mateo 600 years before the new facade.

If you continue around the Cathedral you arrive at the Puerta de las Platerías (named for the silver craft that still exists in the shops below it). You will notice that some of the stonework stands out as a different material. These are replacement carvings, the originals were damaged and subsequently moved to the Cathedral Museum; and unfortunately for us the original composition was forgotten, leaving a somewhat nonsensical layout. In front of the doors are a set of stairs and the Platerías fountain.

Continuing around the Cathedral we arrive in the large Plaza de Quintana and the Puerta de Perdon. The actual Holy Door is behind this facade (which is not actually a structural part of the Cathedral, it is more like a highly decorated wall around the Holy Door itself). The carvings here are impressive and depict 24 Saints and prophets.

In medieval times it was common for pilgrims to spend the night in the Cathedral, sleeping on the stone floors and fighting (to the death on a few occasions) for the privilege of sleeping close to their chapel of choice.

The best time to visit is early in the morning before the crowds arrive, when paying a visit to the crypt and hugging the bust of Santiago can be done quietly and with a bit of contemplation.

The botafumeiro, quite possibly the largest thurible in the Catholic Church, is swung across the transept (from north to south) by a group of men called the tiraboleiros. It has only come loose from the ropes twice, and never in modern times. The 2017 schedule was unclear at the time this book was printed, ask at the pigrims office for more information.

The Monastery and Museum of San Martin Piñario
The enormity of this Monastery is difficult to comprehend, but if you pay close attention to this building as you walk around Santiago you will find that you are almost always standing next to it if you are on the north side of the Cathedral. There are three cloisters! The facade of the church often feels like it is somewhere else entirely and is quite curious for the fact that you must descend the staircase to get to the doors, rather than the other way around. The reason for this was a decree by the Archbishop that no building should exceed in elevation that of the Cathedral; the architects did not compromise by redesigning San Martin to be less tall, they simply dug down and started at a lower point.

San Fiz de Solovio
Compared to the two churches above, San Fiz feels like an almost minuscule affair. To find it, make your way to the Santiago Market. San Pelayo (the hermit that rediscovered the bones of Santiago) was praying here when the lights called him. Grand and majestic it is not, but the oldest building site in Santiago it certainly is. The church that exists today is not the original, but excavations have revealed the foundations and necropolis dating to the 6th century.

The Supply Market (Mercado de Abastos)
The produce market is a great place to wander for lunch. Compared to other markets in Spain (like those in Madrid and Barcelona) the Santiago market is a fairly solemn affair. In fact, the architecture appears almost strictly utilitarian and is as Galician as it gets. The vendors make the experience, and even if your Spanish is not up to par, it is worth the visit for a glimpse into the way the locals go about their most ordinary business.

The buildings you see today date from the early 1940’s but replace ones that stood for 300 years. In fact, many of the vendors are second, third, or fifth generation market operators.

Alameda Park
Alameda Park was once the sort of place where the people of Santiago would turn out for elaborate displays of personal wealth and stature; the various paths that cut through and around the park were only to be used by members of a certain class. Nowadays it is far more democratic. The park is the site of a Ferris wheel and feria during the Summer months, an ice skating rink during the Winter holidays, and a massive eucalyptus tree overlooking the Cathedral year round.

Casa De La Troya
The Troya House is the inspiration for and setting of one of the most celebrated novels in Spanish literature; in which a young man from Madrid if forced by his father to finish his Law studies in Santiago... a tale of misery and eventually love. It was once a boarding house for students and the museum that exists there today is an exhibit of what the house would have looked like at the time the novel was written. The Tuna, those wonderful musicians that perform in the Plaza Obradoiro every night, would have lived and performed here as well.

The Hidden Pilgrim

Hiding in the shadows cast by the Cathedral, in the Plaza Quintana, is the hidden pilgrim. He is only visible at night and might take a while to discover.

And lastly, there are many Monasteries, and while it would be a challenge to visit all of them it is important to realize their construction shaped the city that we see today. Taking the time to walk between them will reveal countless little treasures.

Fiesta: 

The Feast day of Saint James is celebrated with a full week of music and dance, with a fireworks display in the Plaza Obradoiro on the evening of the 24th of July. The best views can be had from Obradoiro, or from Alameda park.

Photo in Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago
Name Beds Price booking.com
1 Albergue Acuario de Santiago de Compostela
Estocolmo, 2

Private
60 10/12 Photo in Albergue Acuario de Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Acuario de Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago
2 Residencia de Peregrinos San Lázaro
San Lázaro

Xunta
80 10
3 Albergue Seminario Menor en Santiago de Compostela
Quiroga Palacios

Private
199 10/12 Photo in Albergue Seminario Menor en Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Seminario Menor en Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago
4 Albergue O Fogar de Teodomiro
Algalia de Arriba, 3

Private
20 15 Photo in Albergue O Fogar de Teodomiro on the Camino de Santiago
5 Albergue de peregrinos Jaime García Rodríguez
Estocolmo

Association
150 8
6 Albergue Mundoalbergue
San Clemente, 26

Private
30 12/18 Photo in Albergue Mundoalbergue on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Mundoalbergue on the Camino de Santiago
7 Albergue Santo Santiago
Valiño, 3

Private
40 10
8 Albergue Turístico La Salle
Tras Santa Clara

Private
84 17
9 Albergue Fin del Camino
Moscova

Parochial
110 8* Photo in Albergue Fin del Camino on the Camino de Santiago
10 Albergue The Last Stamp
Preguntoiro, 10

Private
62 15/25 Photo in Albergue The Last Stamp on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue The Last Stamp on the Camino de Santiago
11 Albergue Azabache
Azabachería, 15

Private
22 14/18 Photo in Albergue Azabache on the Camino de Santiago
12 Albergue Meiga Backpackers
Basquiños, 67

Private
30 11/13*
13 Albergue Roots & Boots
Cruceiro do Gaio, 7

Private
48 12/18 Photo in Albergue Roots & Boots on the Camino de Santiago
14 Albergue La Estrella de Santiago
Concheiros, 36-38

Private
24 10
15 Albergue Porta Real
dos Concheiros, 10

Private
24 10/15 Photo in Albergue Porta Real on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Porta Real on the Camino de Santiago
16 Albergue La Estación
Xoana Nogueira, 14

Private
24 12
17 Hostal Reis Católicos (Parador de Santiago)
Obradoiro, 1

Parador
Photo in Hostal Reis Católicos (Parador de Santiago) on the Camino de Santiago
18 Hospedería San Martín Pinario
Pl. de la Inmaculada, 3

Hotel
Photo in Hospedería San Martín Pinario on the Camino de Santiago
19 Hotel Nest Style Santiago
Doutor Teixeiro, 15

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Nest Style Santiago on the Camino de Santiago
20 Hotel Avenida
Fuente de San Antonio, 5

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Avenida on the Camino de Santiago
21 Hostal Alameda
San Clemente, 32

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Alameda on the Camino de Santiago
22 Hostal Mapoula
Entremurallas, 10-3

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Mapoula on the Camino de Santiago
23 Pensión Pazo de Argra
Calderería, 37

Pension
24 Albergue Monterrey
Fontiñas, 65a

Private
36 10/12
25 Albergue La Credencial
Fonte dos Concheiros, 13

Private
36 10/14
26 Albergue Compostela
Pedro de Mezonzo, 28

Private
27 Albergue Basquinos 45
Pedro de Mezonzo, 28

Private
28 Albergue Linares
Algalia de Abaixo, 34

Private
29 Blanco Albergue
Galeras, 30

Private
20 12

Quintáns

1.70km
Altitude: 
166

When you arrive at the main road of Quintáns, the camino turns left and then immediately right again... watch out for the arrows.

At the same intersection, there is a bar on your right.

Alto do Vento

1.00km
Altitude: 
99

There is a bar where the camino emerges into town.

The albergue is about half way through town and a bit (400-500m) off the camino.

The Road: The camino crisscrosses the main road and follows safer side streets. Keep an eye out for yellow arrows near a small bus stop that takes you to the right. If you miss it and walk too far, stay on the road and keep an eye out for a yellow arrow that will take you left. If you miss that one, just stay on the road, and the camino will rejoin it very soon.

Aguapesada

3.00km
Altitude: 
54

Bar and Pharmacy on your right. Check out the vines above the bar patio; they are a combination of grapes and kiwi.

The Road: The road from Ventosa to Aguapesada is straight and along the road. Beyond Aguapesada, it follows a quiet road up and into the forest. The climb here is fairly steep. The towns between here and Ponte Maceira are of little note.

Ponte Maceira

2.10km
Altitude: 
157

The highlight of Ponte Maceira is the bridge over the Río Tambre. If not that, then the río itself. For legal reasons I cannot advise you to swim in the river, but I can tell you that if you waited until the late afternoon to do so, you would not be alone. I can also tell you it is quite refreshing after a walk of any length. If you would rather just dip your feet in there are ample places to do so.

The Road: Cross over the bridge and follow the road out of town. As is common in these parts, the camino will continue to parallel the main road, often crossing and then crossing back, it feels un-necessary, but it keeps you away from the traffic. Negreira is the next city of note and has all of the services you could need.

NOTE: If you intend to stay in the Logrosa Albergue, watch out for signs before entering Negreira. They will take you to the left.

Photo in Ponte Maceira on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Ponte Maceira on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Ponte Maceira on the Camino de Santiago

Negreira

3.10km
Altitude: 
166

The Xunta albergue is on the far end of town, be sure to pick up supplies if you are not keen on walking back. All services are available in town.

The Road: The camino leaves Negreira near the municipal albergue on the West side of town. If you stayed in that albergue, go back towards town a short distance and follow the signs to the church. If you are an early morning (in the dark) walker, do yourself a favor and scout the route the night before. It passes into the dark forest fairly quickly and does not emerge until just before Zas.

NOTE: If you intend to stay in the Logrosa Albergue, watch out for signs before entering Negreira. They will take you to the left.

Photo in Negreira on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Negreira on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Negreira on the Camino de Santiago
Name Beds Price booking.com
1 Albergue de Negreira
Patrocinio

Municipal
20 5
2 Albergue Turístico de Logrosa

Private
20 17* Photo in Albergue Turístico de Logrosa on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Turístico de Logrosa on the Camino de Santiago
3 Albergue Turístico San José
Castelao, 20

Private
50 12 Photo in Albergue Turístico San José on the Camino de Santiago
4 Albergue Lua
Santiago, 22

Private
40 12
5 Albergue El Carmen
Carmen, 2

Private
34 12
6 Albergue Alecrin
Santiago, 52

Private
40 12 Photo in Albergue Alecrin on the Camino de Santiago
7 Hostal La Mezquita
Carmen, 2

Hostal
8 Casa de Bola
Lugar de Covas, 9

Casa Rural
10 Photo in Casa de Bola on the Camino de Santiago
9 Hotel Millan
Santiago

Hotel
10 Albergue Anjana
Chantada, 39

Private
18 12

Zas

4.00km
Altitude: 
267

There may or may not be a bar open in Zas, it is also a shop for necessities but does not do much to advertise. It is on your left, and there are stacks of empty bottles to give it away.

The Road: You enter Zas along the road, but leave it at the bar mentioned above. The town is small, and you will very quickly find that the camino follows a nice country trail all the way to O Rapote.

Portocamiño

3.90km
Altitude: 
378

The Road: Much of the camino between here and Vilaserío is along the road. Only at the very end do you turn left into the forest. A short distance on and you will have arrived in Vilaserío. Turn right to the bar, the albergues, and the camino.

Vilaserío

2.10km
Altitude: 
348

Be sure to turn right if you got here along the camino through the woods. If you missed that part and stayed on the road, turn left and head into town a very short distance to the bar.

The bar here is open every day and provides excellent service to pilgrims. There is WiFi there and nice, clean, bathrooms. Recommended.

The municipal albergue is outside of town on the main road.

The Road:The camino leaves town along the road. If you stopped at the bar, take the steps down and behind it and turn right then left on the road. You will follow that road all the way to Cornado.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue O Rueiro
Vilaserío

Private
30 12 Photo in Albergue O Rueiro on the Camino de Santiago
2 Municipal Albergue
Vilaserío

Municipal
?? Photo in Municipal Albergue on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Municipal Albergue on the Camino de Santiago
3 Albergue Casa Vella
Vilaserío, 23

Private
12 12

Cornado

4.90km
Altitude: 
336

There is a fountain in Cornado.

The Road:The camino leaves the road in Cornado and stays off of it nearly the whole way to Maroñas.

Santa Mariña

1.70km
Altitude: 
333

The bar and albergue are one and the same. To get there turn left at the 'rollo'. Otherwise, continue to the right past a small picnic area.

The Road: You will walk along the road here for a short but potentially dangerous stretch. Pay close attention to traffic when crossing.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue Casa Pepa

Private
18 12 Photo in Albergue Casa Pepa on the Camino de Santiago

Lamelas

1.90km
Altitude: 
331

Just a few buildings along the roadside, but with a pair of bars.

The Road: The camino leaves the road quickly and follows along smaller country lanes all the way to Ponte Olveiroa. It is a particularly scenic stretch of this route.

NOTE: There will come a junction near Porteliñas, which is confusing and poorly marked. Some arrows keep you on the road, another set indicates a left turn along a gravel road. Both will get you where you want to go, but the road is half the distance.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue Santa Mariña

Private
10 10 Photo in Albergue Santa Mariña on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Santa Mariña on the Camino de Santiago

Ponte Olveira

1.70km
Altitude: 
270

The bar, restaurant, and albergue are all part of the same operation. On your right after crossing the bridge. It is worth mentioning that it is under new ownership since 2014.

The Road:Again along the road all the way to Olveiroa.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue O Refuxio da Ponte
Ponte Olveira

Private
10 Donativo Photo in Albergue O Refuxio da Ponte on the Camino de Santiago
2 Albergue Ponte OIveira
Ponte Olveira, 3

Private
10 12

Olveiroa

3.60km
Altitude: 
271

Hundreds of Hórreos and two bar/restaurants. Of the two, As Pias is the recommended choice.

The Road: The camino cuts through town and into the a forested area high along the river valley. It is steadily uphill from here all the way to Hospital and beyond, leveling out only a bit when you get to The Great Divide.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue de Santiago de Olveiroa

Municipal
34 5 Photo in Albergue de Santiago de Olveiroa on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue de Santiago de Olveiroa on the Camino de Santiago
2 Albergue Hórreo

Private
30 12
3 Pensión Casa Loncho
Olveiroa

Pension
4 Pensión As Pías
Olveiroa

Pension

Logoso

1.40km
Altitude: 
295

Recently revived by a bar and albergue, Logoso is now a popular spot for those wishing to add or reduce a day of walking to Finisterre.

Name Beds Price booking.com
1 O Logoso

Private
22 12 Photo in O Logoso on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in O Logoso on the Camino de Santiago

Hospital

5.40km
3.70kms.
Altitude: 
331

NOTE: If you are continuing to Finisterre then the bar here is the last place to stock up on food and water for some distance.

New albergue in 2015.

There is a fountain between here and Cee but very little else.

Name Beds Price
1 Albergue O Casteliño
Hospital

Private
18 12