The Southeast Way – The Silver Route (Verín)

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The southeast Camino-Via de la Plata This Jacobean Camino involves the most kilometres on Galician soil and offers walkers the largest number of variant routes. Through the province of Ourense there are two possible routes, one that goes through Laza and another via Verín. This last route, of natural beauty and heritage value, is not widely known among pilgrims despite it passing on ancient Roman roads.  

These Roman roads that pass through the Iberian peninsular were the origin and base of this long route that begins at the door of the cathedral of Seville. The itinerary heads northwards, via Extremadura and connects to Castile in Salamanca and Zamora to later turn in the direction of Galicia and, ultimately, to Santiago of Compostela. The roots of the itinerary can be traced back to before the discovery of the body of the apostle in the IX century.  

At the beginning of the Christian era the Roman Empire took advantage of the old Caminos to construct great roads, like that, which connects Emerita (Merida) to Asturica (Astorga), the origins of the current route, In the early middle ages the route remained active, providing passage to Arabs on their journey north. It is here that the name of the Camino de Santiago derives, not because of its relationship with the trade of silver but rather because the name comes from the Arab term Bal’latta, the name given to the wide cobbled roads by Muslims.

At the end of the Middle Ages the Camino reached its peak of Jacobean splendour, following a return to Christianity of this area by the Mozarabics – alternative names for this Jacobean route are; the Southern Camino and the Mozarabic Camino- and with the recovery of these armies, during the reign of Fernando III, also to the regaining of power of emblematic locations such as Seville and Cordoba.   The event of returning the bells to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela- the same bells that were stolen by Almanzor in the X century and carried, by force, on the shoulders of Christian prisoners- would have occurred on this Silver route.

This symbolic act served as justification for the massive pilgrimage from Andalucía and Extremadura that took place from the year 1250. The Christian walkers began their route either, through Astorga, on the French Camino or they would deviate beforehand, in Puebla de Sanabria, towards Galicia and shorten the route. From this shorter alternative Camino another name for the route derives, that of Camino Sanabrés.        

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The Southeast Camino  

In Galicia the length of the Roman road that connects Merida to Astorga and which later heads towards Compostela is known as the southeast Camino. It has many alternative routes and two means of accessing Galicia. The most frequently used is that which comes from Castile and passes through A Gudiña.

However, for those pilgrims coming from the north east of Portugal the best option is to head to Verín. From A Gudiña two very different routes depart. One goes to the north towards Laza, via Verea Vella (the route taken by Gallegos working the fields of Castile) and arrives in Xunqueira de Ambia. The other goes south, towards Verin, Xinzo and Allariz. The main differences between the two are the kilometres covered (214 km via Laza and 233 via Verin) and, the number of pilgrims, with more choosing to pass through Laza.

In both cases there are rocky climbs, too much asphalt but also locations of great heritage value. Both routes unite before reaching Ourense and, together travel to Cea, from where new alternative routes depart. The most frequently used is that which goes via the monastery of Oseira, Deza and Ponte Ulla. Entering Santiago via the south on the old medieval road.  


Currently there are many reasons why pilgrims would want to choose this route, for its beauty, tranquillity and, because it is unlikely to become overcrowded. The worst aspects of this Camino are the high temperatures reached in summer in Ourense- the frying pan of Galicia-and the solitude. For this reason the most appropriate times to go are during the months of May, June, September and October. Other disadvantages include the lack of albergues on route, resulting in pilgrims having to cover too many kilometres in one day and, in some stretches, a lack of signposts.

Buen Camino.


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Recent activity
Sin avatar
Karen Wilcox 27/08/17 12:03:34
Puedo sugerir un espléndido desvío - bajar del sacro pico después de ver el amanecer y caminar hacia Santiago desde las alturas!
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Sin avatar
Jack Gloor 20/11/2017 20:01:48
¡Gracias por el consejo! ¿Tienes algún otro consejo para el viaje?
Aventurero 03/08/16 08:17:02
Ayer hice el tramo de Ponteulla a Santiago de esta ruta (para prepararme el camino francés) y cabe decir que lo de la deficiente señalización es totalmente cierto, en muchos tramos no hay flechas y tienes que "adivinar" un poco por donde continúa el camino.. El tramo es bonito pero si que estaría de lujo que pusieran un par de flechas tongue
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Ramón Fernández Fernández
Ramón Fernández Fernández 27/11/2016 17:52:48
Quiero poner de manifiesto que lo que comentáis de que faltan flechas no es realmente cierto en este momento. Yo os puedo asegurar que el Camino Sanabrés está completamente pintado desde que entra en Galicia incluyendo las variantes, por miembros de AGACS, Asociación Galega de Amigos do Camiño de Santiago, en este año. En Octubre terminamos de pintar y repintar, así como de limpiar el Camino Sanabres desde A Laxe, Lalín a Santiago. Este tipo de palabras que se dicen alegremente hacen daño al Camino Sanabrés y no se puede ser tan voluble. Es cierto que en las etapas que transcurren desde Lubián - A Gudiña en los dos variantes antes de llegar a Ourense hay pocos albergues, pero por favor, no digáis que el Camino Sanabrés está mal señalizado. Yo además de recoger mucha basura de los peregrinos pinté muchas flechas voluntariamente.
Aventurero 03/08/2016 11:31:54
A mi no me importaría comprar un Spray amarillo e ir señalizando correctamente este tramo (yo mismo me perdí, menos mal que conozco lestedo/boqueixon) y pronto reenganché..

Peeeeeero la duda me entra, al ser patrimonio mundial e histórico si permiten tocar algo, porque puede ser un delito gordo
correjaco 02/07/16 18:13:04
Muy interesante ALLARIZ por ejemplo vale la pena en conjunto por sus rincones, monumentos y "gente". Albergue precioso y acogedor, de los mejores que conozco y he dormido ya en unos cuantos smileysmiley... la valoración es por ASllariz en conjunto el camino ***
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