Vilalba is a major traffic hub and can be a bit of a shock to walk through compared to the calm of the Galician countryside. Despite its size and the volume of traffic that passes through it, there is little to see and even less to do. The only exception being the Iglesia de Santa Maria.
The Festa dos Pepes is held on the 19th of March on the feast of San José. Market days are on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The most iconic building in Vilalba is the last remaining tower of the Castillo once owned by the Andrade family. The tower is now part of the Parador chain of hotels, the rest of the castle was destroyed during the first irmandiña uprisings.
Also known as “The Great Brotherhood War,” The Irmandiño revolts took place in 15th century Galicia against attempts by the regional nobility to maintain their rights over the peasantry and the bourgeoisie (and by a string of bad crops).
The revolts were also part of the larger phenomenon of popular revolts in late medieval Europe caused by the general economic and demographic crises in Europe during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In Galicia it meant the destruction of any type of fortified structure owned by nobility; over 130 castles were destroyed. The success of the Irmandiña revolts was mixed; the nobility fled to Castile where they rounded up reinforcements and returned to exact revenge on the leaders of the Brotherhood, but few of their former estates and strongholds were ever rebuilt.
Mind the arrows through Vilalba. The streets here are usually jam packed with cars and trucks and they can be hard to see at times. The center of town is a jumble of roads heading in every direction.
Eventually you will pick up on the natural flow of the streets and before long near the end of town. The camino winds its way around a few buildings and in the distance a Repsol gas station comes into view. Shortly before the Repsol station it leaves the road to the right. This is the end of Vilalba and it is gently rolling hills from here to San Xoan. Just before getting there you cross over the A-8 and return to the N-634.