Portuguese Way: spiritual variant

3 Stages | 81 km

Recreates the route of the Traslatio, the origin of the Camino de Santiago

This variant of the Portuguese Way is also known as the route of the Sea of Arousa and the River Ulla. It starts in the city of Pontevedra and runs for two stages through the beautiful region of O Salnés. Pilgrims on this route will be able to recreate by sea the journey of the remains of the Apostle St. James sailing through the waters of the Arousa estuary.

Our journeys of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago: spiritual variant

Information on the Portuguese Way: spiritual variant

The Portuguese Way: spiritual variant

The Spiritual Variant is the ideal route to live a first experience on the Camino de Santiago away from the crowds and bustle of other routes. A trip in which you will have the opportunity to know wonderful fishing villages of the Rías Baixas, beautiful coastal landscapes and an exquisite gastronomy based on fish and seafood. You can also enjoy a pleasant sea-river crossing that seeks to recreate the arrival in Galicia of the body of the Apostle St. James, after his martyrdom in Jerusalem.

But in addition to the experience by sea, pilgrims who venture to do this variant will discover beautiful monuments and landscapes, such as the Monastery of A Armenteira or the route of A Pedra de da Auga, a beautiful route of 8 km characterized by the presence of dozens of water mills surrounded by dense vegetation.

The Portuguese Way: spiritual variant

Where to start the spiritual variant of the Portuguese route?

Spiritual variant from Pontevedra

This curious variant of the Portuguese Way from Pontevedra is the perfect route for all those people who want to do a route of the Camino de Santiago and do not have many days. You will be able to complete its 73 kilometers in only 4 stages; a trip for which you won’t need more than five days.

This route starts in the city of Pontevedra and heads towards the region of O Salnés, reaching the coast again in Vilanova de Arousa; from here it crosses the river Ulla upstream until it arrives to disembark in Pontecesures, very close to Padrón. From this point, you continue walking following the same route as the original route of the Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela.

You can also integrate the Spiritual Variant in any route of the Portuguese Way, you will only need to add a few more days to your trip.

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Stages of the spiritual variant of the Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela

History of the Spiritual Variant: The Legend of the Traslatio

Legend has it that “Finis Terrae” was the farthest place where the Apostle Santiago arrived preaching the word of God. It is for this reason that, upon his death, they decided that his remains would rest in those distant lands. Tradition has it that the disciples Theodore and Athanasius placed the remains of St. James in a stone boat and sailed the seas until they reached the coast of Galicia; the boat crossed the river Ulla upstream until it reached Iria Flavia, the place we know today as Padrón.

Legend has it that Queen Lupa, after imposing a series of tests, allowed the disciples to bury the remains of the apostle in “Campus Stellae”, nowadays Santiago de Compostela. Later, the tomb was discovered by the hermit Pelayo in the 9th century.

This variant is a recently created route that aims to emulate the route of the remains of Santiago Apostle. The pilgrims will take a boat to cross the river Ulla upstream until they disembark in Pontecesures, from where they will continue walking to Santiago de Compostela.

In addition, this route has its own certificate “La Pedronía” which is awarded to pilgrims who can prove that they have completed the Spiritual Variant or the route of Father Sarmiento. The certificate is delivered by the city council of Padrón.

Other routes of the Camino de Santiago