We should consider doing the Way of Saint James, something that will surely pass through our minds at some point in our lives. The problem is that we always put the excuse of time, that there are many kilometers, or the erroneous thought that it is necessary a good physical formation to be able to realize it.
Well, neither time is a problem, neither kilometres nor physical preparation. There are countless alternatives and routes to reach the Cathedral, one of them, the shortest, is this. The Way of St. James from Sarria, consists of about 114km, and it is possible to do it in a week or less depending on the time we have and the ability to endure more or less kilometers per stage.
This route, part of the French Way of Saint James, is also the most chosen route by pilgrims who want a first contact or want to enjoy this wonderful experience both alone and accompanied.
WHY CHOOSE THIS PATH?
There are many reasons for choosing this route, after years of experience offering the different paths we can explain why this one before the others.
Make contact. This way offers the possibility of a first contact with the way if it is planned to make other routes. A first approach and a score of the terrain without too much difficulty.
Time. It is a problem that can arise and believe that we cannot make the way. Well, this is the shortest route, only 114km separate Sarria from Santiago. In addition it is the last point of the French Way from which we can obtain the longed for Compostela. This route is usually done in a week or less.
It’s a popular tour. The most crowded one, probably because several roads cross at this point or at one of the stages and because it is the most chosen one. In this way you will not have to worry about being only in certain stretches, you will continually find pilgrims who go in the same way to Santiago. Besides, it’s perfectly signposted, you won’t get lost.
A tour suitable for children. If you decide to opt for a different holiday with your family, this route is the most suitable for doing the Way of Saint James. A route that even dividing it in more stages so that it is not hard for the children, we can realize it in a week.
Accessibility. This section of the Camino has an important infrastructure, and its layouts are quite suitable for the passage of pilgrims regardless of physical fitness and age. We will take into account that it is possible for people with reduced mobility to take the tour, provided they are accompanied by a person they trust.
Services This route is the one in which more services can be offered to us, either during each stage or at the end of it. You can find souvenir shops, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, etc.
HOW TO GET TO SARRIA?
Whether we decide to go to this locality to visit it or what is more frequent, you decide to leave Sarria to head for the great adventure of the Camino de Santiago the question will be: How to get there? Obviously this question will only arise if we do not make the trip by car.
Well, to this problem we give you the solution from anywhere in Spain.
We found the possibility to go by bus but not directly to Sarria. Since there is no direct connection, we must travel from the Spanish capital to Galicia. Once in Santiago we will have to make transborddo to go to Lugo and to take another bus that will take us to Sarria. Don’t worry if it’s a bit messy, the company Freire, S.L (http://www.empresafreire.com/) makes the journey between Santiago and Lugo, where we take another bus to Sarria. You can take the bus from both the bus station and Santiago airport. There are a large number of daily frequencies that can be consulted from the Routes and Schedules section of its website. From Lugo, the company Monforte, S.A (http://www.monbus.es/es) makes the direct route between Lugo and Sarria. There are several daily frequencies every day of the week.
There is the option of being able to take the train to go to Sarria, but we must know that it has to be taken from Madrid or Barcelona if we want it to be direct. From the south of Spain you must transfer in Madrid and from the Levante we can choose to take it in Tarragona, Zaragoza and Madrid. It’s a pretty comfortable option if we don’t want to get behind the wheel or take the bus.
IN HOW MANY STAGES CAN WE DIVIDE THE PATH?
We are only 114 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela, but how many days are needed to reach the finish line from Sarria? Well, as we have already commented, it is a path that can be done in a week, is the shortest from which we can obtain the famous Compostela and we can divide it according to the time we can invest or by the physical capacity. After our experience organizing the Way of Saint James from Sarria and according to the opinions and requests of our clients it is possible to carry out it in 4, 5 or 6 stages. The most common thing is to do it in 5 stages that we will detail next, either alone or in our organized trips. But for the more daring it can be divided into 4 or for families with children or older people it is possible to do it in 6 stages so that it is not so hard.
If we decide to do it in 5 stages, our agency has an itinerary marked both for groups with fixed dates and for all those who want to do it individually at the time they want.
The first stage consists of the rural roads between Sarria and Portomarín. This stage is very characteristic because you will cross the most important river in Galicia, the river Miño. Due to the distance that separates these two points, a total of 22 kilometers, is usually done in 4 or 5 hours. The entrance to Portomarín is usually one of those experiences that, as a pilgrim, one remembers all one’s life, it means having successfully completed the first stage.
The second stage is from Portomarín to Palas de Rei, crossing Castromaior, Eirexe and Ligonde until you reach your final destination, Palas de Rei. This stage is a little longer than the previous one (about 24 kilometers) and due to the difficulty of the terrain you will take between 5 and 6 hours.
The third stage includes the path that separates Palas de Rei and Arzúa, is a stage in which you can enjoy the aesthetics of the landscape. We will find ourselves before the hardest of all the route, for that reason normally if it is carried out in 6 stages normally it is divided in two. It consists of a total of 30 kilometers. If we decide to do it in two, the first part would go from Palas de Rei to Melide, and the second part from Melide to Arzúa.
The fourth stage goes from Arzúa to Pedrouzo, a stage that consists of 19’3 kilometres. The shortest of all the stages if we do it in 5, but we will enjoy beautiful landscapes, inhospitable places. A path in which we can take advantage to stop and enjoy its monumental and scenic offer.
The fifth stage, and last on the way to Santiago from Sarria, takes us from Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela. With a total of 19 kilometers, we will walk through this stretch that does not turn out to be the most beautiful, but it will be the most exciting, the goal is near. Monte Do Gozo will be a strategic enclave and an obligatory stopping point located just 4 kilometres from the Cathedral. Once there we will observe in the distance the towers of the longed for Cathedral of Santiago and we will feel a great personal satisfaction (hence the name of this mountain), the end is near. Let us take you downhill to end this trip in the Plaza do Obradoiro.
Map of the way to Santiago from Sarria
Once we arrive at the Cathedral, the sensation will be indescribable, you will look back through all the stages, you will remember each moment with much affection, it will have been an unforgettable experience.
This and other Paths are possible in order to obtain our Compostela, but if you still don’t know which one to choose, maybe I can help you. Which Way of Saint James to choose?