Camino Guides updates
Pilgrims Mass in Santiago de Compostela: Temporary change of location.
Due to restoration work taking place inside the Catedral de Santiago daily pilgrims mass as well as all other services will be temporarily moved to alternative churches this year.
The popular Pilgrims Mass will take place at 12pm each day at the Church of San Francisco. Other services will be held daily at the church of Santa Maria Salome. Mass in English will be held at the chapel in the Pilgrims Office at 9.30am each day where the Camino Companions continue to offer their welcome and reflection meetings.
All work is scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2020.
The Xunta Galicia recently re-waymarked parts of the route between Sarria and Santiago and included alternatives which have given rise to confusion. These changes are shown in the 2019 guide but anyone travelling with an older edition can download the following amended maps, which also include the latest updates to accommodation. Stage 29 Sarria - Portomarin (pages 248 - 251) and stage 30 Portomarin - Palas de Rei (pages 254 - 257).
Coastal Routes:The 2018 and 2019 editions of the Camino Portuguese now include maps and a full text of the coastal routes and the Variante Espritual from Pontevedra to Padron. This latter route has the alternative to take the final stage from Vila Nova de Arousa to Padron by boat along the only known maritime Via Crucis. There is also a fully waymarked inland route for this penultimate stage into Padron. If you want to walk these routes and are travelling with an earlier edition you will need to acquire a new copy (there are too many changes between these editions to include in an update).
Stage 6: Tomar – Alvaiázere Several new interim hostals have opened along this previously arduous stage of 33.2 km (and cumulative height gain of 1,350 m). Download the new map and accommodation details here: Stage 6: Tomar – Alvaiázere. (pages 67, 68 & 69).
Note: Padrón phone number of Pension Jardín is 981 810 950. The booking number for Hotel Rosalía is 981 812 490. These numbers are correct in the 2019 editions but if you are travelling with an earlier edition please note these new numbers.
Stage 2 – Negreira – Olveiroa The alternative route to Mallon / Ponte Olveira (shown in earlier camino guides with green dots) has now been formally adopted by the Concello de Mazaricos and waymarked via Pidre with green arrows on the traditional mojónmarked camiño verde/ camiño complentario – A Picota. Download a copy of this map here: Stage 2 – Negreira – Olveiroa. (pages 69 and 72).
Also included are details of two new albergues:
- Albergue Monte Aro, Lagos: 30 bed dormitory €12 www.alberguemontearo.com
- Albergue Casa Manolo, Olveiroa: 20 dormitory beds €12 plus private rooms from €40 www.casamanola.com
Stage 3a – Finisterre – Olveiroa (return) Earlier editions of the guide have a recurring error on this stage. If you are planning to walk this route (in reverse back towards Santiago) please download the following amended map: Stage 3a – Finisterre – Olveiroa. (page 113).
Stage 4 – Muxía Town Several new hostals have recently opened (since the publication of the 2019 guide). If you are planning to visit Muxía you can download an amended map and list of accommodation here: Stage 4 – Muxía Town. (pages 100 & 101).
Lires: Stage 4 also includes new accommodation in Lires. Casa Jesús has recently added new wooden chalets Cabañas de Riaand bar/restaurant A Braña on a terrace overlooking the estuary. Well signposted (50m off route). €75 (2 sharing) and (from summer 2019) Tipis from €25 per person. Cabañas de Lires adjoining Casa Jesús start from €60 (all prices include a 25% pilgrim discount).
Significant route changes to the Camino Ingles occurred in late 2017 after the 2018 combined edition of the Sarria, Finisterre and Inglés guide had been sent to print. The current 2019 edition titled “Camino Inglés and Camino Finisterre” includes all updates to the route. Anyone traveling with an older guide can access the up to date maps below (low resolution PDF for easy download):
The 'old' routes are shown in grey (generally more asphalt) excepting the route into Sigüeiro which is marked in green (recommended). The waymarks to the old route at the change points have been largely obliterated but generally re-start within 100m. We continue to show these routes in case you choose to go that way (waymarks will deteriorate over time) or inadvertently stray onto them and become confused.
Stage 4 into Hospital de Bruma (on the Ferrol route) has been entirely re-routed from Leiro (2.2 km from Presedo with its albergue and pilgrim café Xente no Camino). While this allows for an extensive (7.0 km) stretch of woodland paths it also involves 1.8 km of the busy and dangerous AC-542 main road to Betanzos.
Stage 5 into Sigüeiro. This stage has been redirected alongside the AP-9 motorway on the basis that it more closely follows the ‘historic’ route! This illogical and unpleasant stretch can be avoided by taking the former route shown in green.
Stage 6 from Sigüeiro to Santiago. This section has been re-directed to the west (right) of the AP-9 motorway and N-550, which it follows more or less parallel. While it includes some pleasant sections of forest tracks and pathways it is never far from the noise of traffic. Waymarking on the new routes is very comprehensive and includes a useful café break at Hotel Castro around halfway. It also enters Santiago through the traditional Porta de Pena (the original city gate is no longer visible). Buen Camino.
The tithing from royalties of the sale of these guidebooks continues to support various initiatives that seek to preserve the physical and spiritual integrity of the Caminos de Santiago. Thank you for buying these guidebooks that help support and promote the caminos.
Pilgrim Statistics for 2018:
327,378 pilgrims collected a Compostela in 2018.
The Camino Francés attracted 186,199 (57%) of whom 88,509 (27%) commenced in Sarria and 32,899 (10%) in St Jean Pied de Port.
The Camino Portugués remains the second most popular route with 67,822 pilgrims (21%). Porto remains the most popular starting point with 26,839 (8%) followed closely by Tui with 21,308 (7%).
The Camino Inglés is fast growing in popularity with 14,150 (4%).
Pilgrims from 177 different nations walked the route in 2018 with Spaniards representing 44% followed by Italy 8%, Germany 7%, USA 6%, Portugal 4%, France 3%, Ireland and UK both 2% (15,173 combined). English speaking countries made up 14% of the total at 44,934.