We say goodbye to Palas de Rei and head towards Arzúa along the road, which we leave on the right towards Curuxas. We return momentarily to the asphalt to turn off towards Carballal by an ascending path to Aldea de Riba, to go down again to the road. A beautiful path leads us through the mountain to San Xulián do Camiño, where its cross and its church, founded in the 12th century and a former pilgrims’ hospital, stand out.
We continue our route until we reach a crossroads where we must continue straight on. Along a dirt track we join a road, cross the river Pambre and arrive at Pontecampaña. From here begins the most spectacular stretch of the stage, a beautiful path along corredoiras that takes us to Casanova, without services.
The path continues parallel to the road, which we leave to the left along a path that takes us to Leboreiro. We are in one of the most beautiful villages of the day, where we can see the old Roman road, followed by medieval pilgrims, as well as enjoy a stop at the 12th century Romanesque church and the emblazoned mansion of the Ulloa family.
We cross the villages of Disicabo and Madalena. We cross the industrial estate and walk parallel to the road with Melide in the background. We turn off along a path to Furelos, a village which we reach by crossing a beautiful 12th century bridge.
Without further ado we arrive at Melide, capital of the octopus á feira par excellence and end of stage for many pilgrims. We highly recommend stopping for lunch at one of its famous pulperías, such as Pulpería a Garnacha or Pulpería Ezequiel. In the centre of the village we will also find one of the oldest crosses in Galicia, the church of Sancti Spíritus, the hermitage of San Roque and the church of Santa María.
ATTENTION: In Melide the Primitive Way links up with the French Way, so pilgrims coming on this route should now be guided by these indications. From Melide to Arzúa a beautiful 15 km walk awaits us.
We leave Melide from the roundabout, where we turn right into San Pedro Street. We leave the village crossing the national road and advance through thick forests of oaks, pines and eucalyptus, with a succession of ups and downs until we reach Boente, where we see a cross, a fountain of Saleta and the beautiful church of Santiago.
We continue our stage interspersed with ups and downs until we cross A Brea. We continue climbing until we find a café-bar where we can make a stop. After that, a steep section of steep slope follows the national road. After a huge bend we arrive at Castañeda. The Codex Calixtinus tells us that in this place were located the lime kilns used to build the Cathedral of Santiago, to whose work the pilgrims contributed by carrying stones from the mountains of Triacastela, thus increasing their penance.
We follow the course of the road to the stream of Ribeiral. From here we climb again and pass a couple of bars. We continue climbing until we reach a small cobbled stretch and descend towards Ribadiso, which appears before us like an oasis. Ribadiso, which has been welcoming walkers for centuries, has a refurbished hostel where we can spend the night. If we make our way in the summer months, it will be convenient to take the bathing suit and take a refreshing dip in the river.
We leave Ribadiso on a steep slope that leads to the road. After passing some houses, we continue along the national road until we finally reach Arzúa.
Many pilgrims decide to shorten the stage between Palas de Rei and Arzúa staying overnight in Melide, making only 15 km, a very good option as the stage can be a bit long.
Places of interest
- Church of Santa María de Leboreiro
- Medieval Bridge over the River Furelos
- San Roque Chapel – Melide
- Museum of the Earth – Melide
- Ribadiso Bridge
- Galician octopus
- Melindres de Melide
- Arzúa-Ulloa D.O. Cheese