Camino Ingles from Ferrol | Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino de Santiago

Cabanas

2.30km

More appropriately called the Playa Magdalena. Bar on right-hand side just before arriving at the beach, and several others at the far end of the beach.

A short distance on, after leaving the beach behind and passing under the railroad, the camino crosses the bridge into Pontedeume.

Photo in Cabanas on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Cabanas on the Camino de Santiago
Name booking.com
1 Hotel Iberia
Cabanas

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Iberia on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Hotel Iberia on the Camino de Santiago

A Ponte do Porco

8.60km

A few bars located along the road before crossing the bridge. There is also a small beach.

Photo in A Ponte do Porco on the Camino de Santiago

Betanzos

12.10km

Betanzos has all services and heaps of monuments to seek out. Beware, though, for in Betanzos, it often feels that every direction is uphill.

The municipal albergue here is reported to be in very good condition.

Photo in Betanzos on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Betanzos on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Betanzos on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Betanzos on the Camino de Santiago
Name Beds Price booking.com
1 Albergue de la Xunta de Betanzos
Pescadería, 4

Xunta
32 6 Photo in Albergue de la Xunta de Betanzos on the Camino de Santiago
2 Pensión Cheiño
Venezuela, 34

Pension
3 Pensión & Pulperia Universal
Linares Rivas, 18

Pension
Photo in Pensión & Pulperia Universal on the Camino de Santiago
4 Hotel Garelos
Alfonso IX, 8

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Garelos on the Camino de Santiago
5 Hotel Palacete de Betanzos
Castilla, 38

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Palacete de Betanzos on the Camino de Santiago

Presedo

5.60km

There are no services in Presedo, and the albergue is slightly off the camino, behind the church, and on the main road.

You are advised to carry food here, or to order from one of the restaurants with menus posted in the albergue... they deliver.

The Restaurant 'MESON-MUSEO XENTE NO CAMIÑO' is 500m down the road and has WiFi if you fancy an evening stroll. Their phone is 981 673 120.

Photo in Presedo on the Camino de Santiago
Name Beds Price
1 Albergue de peregrinos de Presedo
Campo de La Saleta

Xunta
20 6 Photo in Albergue de peregrinos de Presedo on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue de peregrinos de Presedo on the Camino de Santiago

San Paio de Vilacova

10.10km

There is a roadside bar here, but you are advised to plan for it to be closed when you walk by.

Further on, when passing through another small aldea, small signs indicate a bar 100m to your left. That bar is also mostly closed, but going down that road will not add additional km to your camino IF you remember to turn right onto the road opposite the bar.

You will pass over the highway shortly after this point.

Hospital de Bruma

3.00km

No services in town for food or otherwise, but it can be ordered from nearby.

The alternative to staying here is staying at the pension in nearby (but off the camino) Meson do Vendo. To get there, leave Hospital and stay on the camino until the next very small pueblo (200m), turning right on the first road.

The pension often offers to bring you back to the camino, inquire if you need such a service.

Photo in Hospital de Bruma on the Camino de Santiago
Name Beds Price booking.com
1 Albergue de la Xunta de Bruma
Hospital de Bruma

Xunta
22 6 Photo in Albergue de la Xunta de Bruma on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue de la Xunta de Bruma on the Camino de Santiago
2 Pensión O Mesón Novo
Santiago Apóstol, 86

Pension
Photo in Pensión O Mesón Novo on 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