Camino Guides updates
Reminder: The Pilgrims office in Santiago is now located on Rúa Carretas, 33. Tel: (+34) 981 568 846.
Open Mon to Sun 8.00 - 21.00 (1st April to 30th October).
Mon to Sun 10.00 - 19.00 (winter schedule).
The new 2018 edition (printed late 2017) includes a full text version of the coastal routes and the addition of 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. This spectacular boat journey avoids the arduous coastal walk which means that the ‘golden rule’ that the last 100 km must be walked in order to apply for a Compostela will not have been met. The boat journey is currently being accepted by the pilgrim office as sufficient for its purposes. However, if you want to avoid possible disappointment you should consider walking the road route into Padron or taking the main central route from Pontevedra via Caldas de Reis
The stage from Tui to Redondela now has a preferred option via Rio Loura, which avoids the industrial estate in Porrino but adds 1.7 km and pushes the combined sections to an uncomfortably long 34.5 km, which is too much for most pilgrims starting out from Tui. Accordingly this has been divided into 2 easier stages of 18.4 km to Porrino and 16.1 km to Redondela. The following files (low resolution for ease of download) can be sent to your device or printed to attach in your guidebook. They also include the latest updates to accommodation. Stage 19 Tui - Porrino (pages 248 - 251) and stage 20 Porrino - Redondela (254 - 257). Bom caminho.
The Xunta Galicia has recently re-waymarked parts of this route which may cause some confusion. Notably the route into and out of Portomarin. The following files (low resolution for ease of download) can be sent to your device or printed to attach in your guidebook. They also include the latest updates to accommodation. Stage 29 Sarria - Portomarin (pages 248 - 251) and stage 30 Portomarin - Palas de Rei (254 - 257). Buen camino.
Updates 2018 (the 2018 edition was printed in late 2017 so please update as follow: The Xunta de Galicia has recently re-routed and re-waymarked the final three stages into Santiago. Click on the amended 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. The route from A Coruña joins in As Travesas with café Casa Avelina, at which point pilgrim numbers increase and you find ‘new’ pilgrims on the path.
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 as follows: Immediately (50m) after the underpass in Baixoia (the new route now turns up right to rejoin a path alongside the motorway) for the original (green) route keep s/o along the wide forest track for 600m and take the main forest track right which continues in a straight line all the way to rejoin the main waymarked route on the outskirts of Sigüeiro just before the Telvés building.
Note that the new route alongside the AP-9 alternates between asphalt and track. It passes a covered water font (Fonte da Santiña) and just beyond we find a semi derelict taberna with the grandiose name of Clube Hipico Deixebre. This basic café is run by Xaquin (Gallego for Joaquin) where you might be able to obtain a drink and sandwich. It is supposedly part of the ‘original’ way.
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. The old and new routes diverge immediately over the bridge (río Tambre) in Sigüeiro and then cross over near Agualada to diverge again on the outskirts of Santiago just beyond café Adega Bello where yellow arrows still point in both directions. 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).
As well as these permanent changes it is always worth staying alert for any temporary detours around roadworks and developments which are generally well waymarked with official but temporary signs. 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 2017:
301,036 pilgrims collected a Compostela in 2017.
The Camino Francés continues to attract 60% of all pilgrims with 180,738 completing it in 2017. 26% of whom started in Sarria and 11% in St Jean Pied de Port.
The Camino Portugués remains the second most popular route with 20% of pilgrims 59,235. Porto remains the most popular starting point with 22,335 pilgrims beginning their journey here. This was followed closely by Tui with 20,139.
The Camino Inglés is fast growing in popularity with 11,321 pilgrims recoded as having completed it in 2017.
Pilgrims from 140 nations walked the route with Spaniards representing 44% followed by: Italy (16%), Germany 14%, USA 10%, Portugal 9%, France 6%, Ireland 4.3% and UK 3.9%.