All you need to know to walk the Camino de Santiago from Sarria: advice, secrets, where to sleep, what to see and how long it will take you to Santiago de Compostela.
Sarria is another of the most important and recognized localities of the Camino de Santiago, but why? It turns out that this town in Lugo, beginning and end of stage of the French Way, is located just one hundred kilometres from the Galician capital. Precisely 100 km traveled on the Camino de Santiago are the minimum needed to apply for the compostela in Santiago, at the end. For this reason, many pilgrims choose this town to start their Camino de Santiago and take the certificate that is issued in the Cathedral of Santiago.
Sarria and Santiago de Compostela are only a short distance apart, so it will take approximately five days and six nights to reach the goal. The Camino de Santiago from Sarria is divided into five stages, and starting from this point is perfect for pilgrims who have little time but still want to try the experience, as it allows you to do the Camino de Santiago in 5 days.
Before leaving from Sarria to Santiago, you should decide what time of the year to do it. Having Sarria as a starting point has many advantages, but some major drawbacks: on the one hand you will find a huge amount of services and accommodation where to spend the night, given the constant flow of pilgrims during much of the year.
However, from Sarria to Santiago we expect the 100 km busiest of all the pilgrim routes; if we do the Camino de Santiago in summer we will find many crowds of pilgrims and no doubt there will be problems finding a place in public hostels due to high demand.
Sarria and Santiago de Compostela are only separated by about 100 kilometres which are divided into five different stages. This route is part of the French Way and is the last stretch of the Camino de Santiago. Below you can see a breakdown of the stages Sarria - Santiago, how many kilometres you will have to travel each day to get to Santiago, as well as some of the best attractions you will find on the journey.
Starting our route from Sarria, we will cross in this first stage Sarria - Portomarín through the towns of Paradela, Barbadelo or Ferreiros before arriving at Portomarín, where on our arrival we must visit some of the essential historical points of interest on the Way of St. James, such as the Church of Santiago de Barbadelo, or the Church of San Nicolás.
The Portomarín - Palas de Rei stage is one of the most "artificial" of the Way of St. James: firstly we advance along paths next to the road and in the second half on asphalted roads specifically for pilgrims.
Despite this, we will find some magical places, such as the cross of Os Lameiros or the sites of Castromayor. It is not a complicated stage, but we will find some considerable ramps. We will pass through towns such as Gonzar, Ventas de Narón, Ligonde or Airexe.
During the Palas de Rei - Arzúa stage we will leave the province of Lugo to enter the province of A Coruña for the first time. We will pass through towns such as Sambreixo, O Coto, Melide, Boente, Castañeda and Ribadiso. Short but tough climbs await us, especially as we approach our destination in Arzúa. This is where some of the best cheeses in Galicia are made.
During the stage Arzúa - Pedrouzo we will pass through towns such as Salceda de O Pino, Santa Irene or A Rúa during a fairly comfortable route for the pilgrim and with a fairly smooth profile. The most pleasant part of this journey is alternating forest tracks with crossing small and pretty villages. Most pilgrims choose Pedrouzo to spend the night (with plenty of services), since Santiago de Compostela is just a stone's throw away.
It is time to put on your backpack and boots to walk one last time to Santiago de Compostela. On the Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela stage we will pass through towns such as Amenal, Lavacolla or San Marcos, where from Monte do Gozo we will be able to catch our first glimpse of the Cathedral of Santiago. From here the excitement will increase among the pilgrims, as the entrance to the Obradoiro square can be smelt in the air.
Although the Camino de Santiago can be done in several different ways (walking, on horseback, by boat or bicycle), from Sarria it is best to do it on foot, since it is only 100 kilometres. The stages of the Camino from Sarria are 5 days walking, which may be a challenge for some pilgrims, but it is certainly an acceptable challenge and that is overcome with great enthusiasm, especially when we reach the cathedral. In case you want to do the Camino de Santiago by bike, you should know that you will need 200 km to apply for the compostela, so starting in Sarria is not compatible.
Although the summer months in Galicia are somewhat milder than in other parts of Spain, temperatures are still high for walking, so if you choose this season, it is necessary to get up early. To walk in cooler and more pleasant temperatures and avoid the huge crowds, it is best to choose spring or the first weeks of autumn to walk it. If you can choose when to walk and are not tied down by work, don't hesitate.
If you do the Camino from Sarria, you will find a large number of services in the form of restaurants, bars, guesthouses, hostels, hostels, hotels. Supply and demand meet more than ever in these last 100 kilometres, so you won't have any problems finding a bed and a plate. To make your life a little easier, you can take a look at our sections on where to sleep in Sarria and where to eat in Sarria; you will find complete lists of services.
As for food, you should know that the gastronomy of the Camino de Santiago, its typical dishes, is very extensive and varied. However, if you are looking for something cheaper than a good seafood or a portion of octopus a feira, you can always choose the economic pilgrim menu, very popular throughout the Camino de Santiago and for all budgets.
On the Camino it is also very common to find all kinds of bars open from early in the morning to offer breakfast to pilgrims before starting to walk. If you plan to sleep in public hostels (the cheapest option) you should know that places are given daily to pilgrims in order of arrival, so it is essential to get up early, as reservations are not allowed.
Also, pilgrims who arrive on foot have priority over those who travel by bicycle. If, on the other hand, you opt for private hostels, hostels or guesthouses, find out beforehand, because some of them can be booked in advance by telephone.
Sarria, in the province of Lugo, has more than 800 years of history behind it and is more than accustomed to the tourism of pilgrims through its streets; the reason? it is the starting point of the Camino de Santiago most chosen among pilgrims who begin their adventure year after year. The reason is that Sarria marks the starting point with the minimum distance to get the compostela (it is required to make a stretch of at least 100 km).
You can walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela in just five days (with stages of around 20 km), an achievable goal for most pilgrims both for time and physical condition required, but in return this stretch is by far the most crowded of all the Jacobean routes, where we will find the highest concentration of walkers and bicigrinos and therefore may have problems finding a bed in the hostels in high season.
Sarria has very good communications with the rest of Spain, with direct daily trains from Madrid (except Saturdays), Lugo and Barcelona; the latter can also be taken from several provincial capitals in the north-east, such as Tarragona, Lleida, Zaragoza, Pamplona, Vitoria, Burgos, Palencia and León. To get to Sarria by train from the south of the Peninsula you have to change trains in Madrid and to do so from points in the Valencian Community, you can travel to Tarragona and then take the train from Barcelona. Although travelling by train to Sarria is not the cheapest option, it is the most recommendable for its comfort and so that we can start enjoying the landscape even before we start walking.
If you prefer to travel by road more economically, there are direct daily buses from Santiago (company Freire) and Lugo (company Monforte) to Sarria, with multiple daily frequencies. From Madrid there are no direct buses to Sarria; you would have to travel first by bus (ALSA) to Santiago de Compostela or Lugo (all departing from T4, Estación Sur and Moncloa).
There are no direct buses from Barcelona either; you have to travel first to Santiago or Lugo (two daily frequencies by ALSA). For the rest of the major Spanish cities, it is advisable to choose the train or plane to Santiago.
From Madrid, travelling by car to do the Camino de Santiago is not the most advisable (it is best to leave from home with your backpack and forget about the car for a few days). However, some pilgrims are willing to leave their car at starting points such as Sarria, parking them in private car parks, and then return to get it and return home comfortably.
If this is your case and you leave from Madrid, you can reach Sarria in less than 5 hours; you must take the A-6 towards Galicia and already in the province of Lugo take exit 479 to join the CP-1611. You have to drive several kilometres until you take the turning to the left on the LU-546 to Sarria.
If you live in Barcelona, travelling by car to Sarria is not advisable both because of the distance (about 1,000 km) and because of the tolls you have to pay for both variants (AP-2 and A-6). Between fuel and tolls both there and back, it is much more economical to travel by plane or train. If you still decide to travel from Barcelona by car to Sarria, leave Barcelona towards Zaragoza on the B-23 and take the AP-7, AP-2 or AP-1 toll roads towards Burgos.
Once you reach the province of Burgos, take the A-66 until exit 143, and then take the AP-71 towards Astorga until exit 37, where you will finally connect with the A-6. Take the motorway towards A Coruña and from this point, follow the same steps as from Madrid (exit 479, CP-1611 and LU-546 to Sarria).
It is undoubtedly the fastest option if we leave from Madrid or Barcelona, due to the short duration of the flight and the really cheap prices. From Madrid we can fly to Santiago de Compostela (Lavacolla airport) in just over an hour for around 60 euros.
From Barcelona we can fly in around two hours with tickets generally costing less than 50 euros. Once we land in Santiago de Compostela, we can take a bus to Sarria (Monbus company) which takes less than three hours or travel by train, which takes two hours. The return home when it's all over
The best news is that Santiago is one of the best communicated cities with the rest of Spain. You will find Lavacolla airport just 11 kilometres from the city (an intercity bus picks up passengers every half hour from the centre), with connections both nationally and with some important European capitals. On the other hand, in the new quarter of the city is the train station, which connects pilgrims with cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, A Coruña and Bilbao.
Finally, we will find the bus station of Santiago de Compostela in Rúa de San Caetano, near the historic centre; from here we can take the Santiago-Madrid line, although there are also direct buses to other cities, such as Gijón, Bilbao or Irún and European destinations such as France, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal or Germany.
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© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649