.It was in 1745 when Fray Martín Sarmiento returned from Madrid to Galicia to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, which he documented in the book ‘Viaje a Galicia’. He travelled along the coast between Pontevedra and Padrón, which took him to Santiago de Compostela where, on the occasion of the Holy Year, he won the Jubilee.
This Padre Sarmiento Route, which in its final stretch joins the Portuguese Way, is almost 190 fascinating kilometres where more than two thirds of the route will take us to know the Salnés Region. Through it we will travel unique landscape, we will delight with the excellent gastronomy and viticulture, where the Albariño will have a great protagonism, and we will soak up history, tradition and culture.
The route goes from the town of Poio Pontevedra through Sanxenxo, O Grove, Meaño, Cambados, Vilanova de Arousa, A Illa de Arousa, Vilagarcía de Arousa and Padrón to Santiago de Compostela. A journey through the region of Salnés, birthplace of Albariño, living history of Galicia, which we can do on foot or by bicycle.
Is the Padre Sarmiento Route difficult?
No. It’s precisely designed for you to enjoy everything from the most experienced walker or cyclist to the youngest in the family. In addition, although it is divided into nine stages, you will be able to adapt it to your needs and carry out the stages you consider necessary.
This Galician route of Padre Sarmiento is divided in nine stages with departure in Pontevedra and arrival to Santiago de Compostela. It is signposted and does not present great unevenness.
Day 1: From Pontevedra (Poio) to Sanxenxo (25 Km.)
Our steps will be directed by the bridge O Burgo de Pontevedra to the town of Poio where we will enjoy the Monastery of San Juan de Poio, an architectural wonder of the seventh century where we will begin to feel the history of this Route of the Father Sarmiento.
At this stage we will get to know the fishing village of Combarro, where we will enjoy the hórreos, the stone houses and its 18th-century old quarter, all with the sea as a witness. We will continue our route stopping at the viewpoint of A Granxa and end up in the capital par excellence of tourism in Galicia: Sanxenxo.
Day 2: from Sanxenxo to O Grove (19,5 Km.)
The sea is the protagonist of Sanxenxo and both in Punta Faxilda, from where we will see the Island of Ons and an impressive sunset, and in the viewpoint of Punta Vicaño, we will be filled with the essence of the Comarca O Salés.
Here we must visit the hermitage of A Lanzada and enjoy the beaches of Polvorín, Canteira, Ouriceira and, of course, the wonderful ecosystem of dunes that we will find in A Lanzada.
Day 3: From Grove to O Grove (29 Km. circular stage)
History, nature and gastronomy await us in the cradle of seafood. O Grove has a special charm, we will taste this fishing village from the minute one and we will enjoy the best seafood watered with an exceptional albariño.
We can climb to the top of the Siradella to enjoy an exceptional view. Visit the port of O Grove, go to the island of Toja and see its peculiar chapel covered with scallop shells or delight with any view of the estuary of Arousa.
Day 4: From O Grove to Cambados (22,2 Km.)
If O Grove was the Galician queen of seafood, Cambados is the queen of Albariño wine. Landscapes of vineyards, nobility and history come together in this beautiful fishing village. Special mention to Santo Tomé district deserves a visit for its peculiar architecture and treasures such as the Tower of San Sadurniño, in memory of the epic battles against the Vikings. The pazo of Montesacro, or the ruins of Santa María de Dozo. We will finish the day in Fefiñáns square, one of the most admired in Galicia.
Day 5: Cambados to A Illa de Arousa (18 Km.)
Before leaving Cambados we should not miss the tide mill ‘A Seca’, one of the most distinctive seawater mills in Galicia. The coast will accompany us until finding the bridge that will take us to the Illa de Arousa. The port of O Xufre, the lighthouse of Punta Cabalo, the rocks that the wind has moulded of Os Cons and Can do Forno, a spectacular viewpoint, are a must in this stage.
Day 6: From A Illa de Arousa to Vilanova de Arousa (17 Km.)
In Vilanova de Arousa our Father Sarmiento Route converges with the spiritual variant of the Portuguese Way, the origin of all roads. We will cross the Arnelas bridge, the origin of a medieval legend dating from the 16th century, and we will see the pazo Baión. We will also enjoy the Carreirón Natural Park, visit the house-museum of the writer Ramón María del Valle-Inclán and taste excellent seafood and wines.
Day 7: from Vilanova de Arousa to Vilagarcía de Arousa (12 Km.)
On the way to Vilagarcía de Arousa we will discover prehistory in the cave engravings of Los Ballotes and Meadelo. The sandy beaches of As Sinas and the fishing village of Vilaxoán await us before arriving at Vilagarcía. Here where we will admire the Pazo de Vista Alegre and the Convent, which has been declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument.
Day 8: from Vilagarcía de Arousa to Padrón (25,3 Km.)
On our way to Padrón we will pass through Catoira. Here is where the Vikings are remembered in Torres de Oeste during their Viking pilgrimage held on the first Sunday in August. There, the Arousa estuary and the Ulla river form the natural border between Pontevedra and A Coruña. Don’t go without stopping by Carril. Use your visit to taste its clams with denomination of origin and stroll through Cortegada.
Day 9: from Padrón to Santigo de Compostela (23 Km.)
From here it will be the Portuguese Way that leads us to the Cathedral of Santiago, where Fray Sarmiento won his jubilee in 1745. But before arriving at Padrón, visit the house museum of the Galician writer Rosalía de Castro, one of the protagonists of the Camellia Route and taste the famous peppers of the area.
Tips and useful information
Download here the official guide of the Route of the Father Sarmiento with the plans and details of the same one, offices of tourism, telephones of interest, lodgings, places of interest, sport activities…
Prepare the route in advance, bring water and food and follow the directions without leaving the road.
Enjoy with no hurry and organize each stage according to your needs.
Don’t damage the flora, some plants and trees have an incalculable value, respect the historical-artistic heritage and observe the animals you find without disturbing them.
It is completely forbidden to light fires.
Pick up the trash, you’ll find places set up for it.
Always charge your mobile at night so as not to go without a battery.
Wear appropriate clothing for each season of the year. Remember that in this Route the humidity will accompany you and temperatures throughout the year range between 10 and 28 degrees.
Find out how long it will take before starting the stage.
If you go with animals, keep them tied up and controlled.
More information about Padre Sarmiento Route HERE.