We propose biking along the only pilgrim’s route that does not end, but that actually starts in Compostela. And finishes in Fisterra, the true end-of-theworld for the pilgrims who long ago used to observe the magnificent spectacle of the Sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean. This is a way that is full of legends, myths, history and tradition, with green landscapes and the seaside towns of the Costa da Morte.

This is a way that is full of legends, myths, history and tradition, with green landscapes and the seaside towns of the Costa da Morte
This is a route to enjoy the landscape, the artistic heritage, the gastronomy and the sea.

We propose biking along the only pilgrim’s route that does not end, but that actually starts in Santiago de Compostela. And finishes in Fisterra, the true end-of-theworld for the pilgrims who long ago used to observe the magnificent spectacle of the Sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean. This is a way that is full of legends, myths, history and tradition, with green landscapes and the seaside towns of the Costa da Morte.

Day 1

We suggest arriving in Santiago de Compostela in the evening. The city, open and hospitable, offers all types of lodging: hostels, charming country hotels, inns or lodging houses. The jewel is the state-owned hotel Parador del Hostal dos Reis Católicos.

Visiting the cathedral is a must

Our first encounter with the cathedral from the square known as Praza do Obradoiro is very exciting. The square is given this name because it was under construction for almost 100 years and it was here where the quarrymen who chopped rocks day in day out had their workshops (obradoiros). It is thanks to them that today we can marvel at the majestic Baroque facade, built between the 17th and 18th centuries, presided by the figure of the Apostle Saint James, wearing a pilgrim’s robe and cape and holding a staff.

The Apostle is represented in each of the buildings that surround the square. You can see him portrayed as a I day 1 I Santiago as the starting point The Pórtico da Gloria, sculpted by Master Mateo, is a masterpiece of Spanish Romanesque warrior mounting his white horse, as the Apostle or as Saint James the Pilgrim. In order to find him you must look closely at the neoclassical facade of the Pazo de Raxoi, the façade of the Hostal dos Reis Católicos and the facade of the Pazo de San Xerome.

The Pórtico da Gloria,
sculpted by Master Mateo,
is a masterpiece of Spanish Romanesque

To discover the interior of the temple we will climb its magnificent staircase, which is in fact two, one inside the other. As we enter we first see the famous Pórtico da Gloria, a masterpiece of Spanish Romanesque carved by Master Mateo. It consists of three arches, whose sculptures symbolically represent the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Apostle Saint James can be found again in the central marble column, where the genealogy of Christ is represented and, halfway up, the hand prints of the pilgrims that traditionally leaned on this pillar can be seen. One of the most typical rituals is embracing the Apostle in the shrine of the Main Altar. After this ritual we will then stop before its relics, kept in a silver urn, inside the crypt.

A stroll through Santiago’s old quarter

We recommend you devote the rest of the afternoon to explore the historic centre of Santiago, declared World Heritage Site. Let the art of the stones surprise you. After observing the façades and squares around the cathedral, you will be captivated by the streets of medieval origin, such as Rúa Nova and Rúa do Vilar, Preguntoiro, Algalias (de Arriba and de Abaixo) or Casas Reais. And you will also discover the charm of squares such as Toural or Cervantes.

Tapas dining along the Rúa do Franco and A Raíña

As this is your first night in Santiago, we suggest that for dinner you choose the typical Galician helpings. This is a good way to enjoy a bit of all the essential dishes of the Galician cuisine, such as octopus cooked feira style, stewed meat ao caldeiro, Galician pie (empanada), thinly sliced seasoned meat (raxo), sausalge filling (zorza),pig’s ear; shellfish from the Galician rias, such as mussels, cockles and clams; or seasonal products such as Padrón green peppers or xoubas (small sardines). You can try all these delicacies in the many taverns and restaurants located in the old quarter. The Rúa do Franco and Raíña streets house the majority of these establishments.

Day 2

From Santiago to Dumbría

We have breakfast at the hotel and set off early on our bikes, either our own or rented, to begin as soon as possible the only pilgrim’s route that starts in Compostela. This pilgrimage dates back to the early stages of the Way of Saint James, when pilgrims felt the need to continue all the way to Fisterra, to the “Finis Terrae”, the most western point of the world known to them.

We leave the Praza do Obradoiro and head to the town of Ames

The itinerary begins at the Praza do Obradoiro square. Between Pazo de Raxoi and the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, where the ancient Pilgrim’s Gate, was located, the trail goes downhill along streets such as Rúa das Hortas and continues through Poza de Bar and San Lourenzo, finally reaching a beautiful hundred-year-old oak grove, which Rosalía de Castro immortalized in her work Follas Novas.

Behind it, the ancient convent of San Lourenzo de Trasouto, is located, of important artistic and botanical value. The cloister houses a large and lovely hundred-year-old boxwood hedge, carved with geometric patterns of religious symbolism.

We then go down toward the river Sarela, where green begins to take over the stone. We travel along the pathway by the riverbank, crossing narrow boardwalks. We then cross small rural towns, forests and hills until we reach the main road to later head down to Augapesada, in the municipality of Ames.

The unique beauty of the village of A Ponte Maceira

We soon begin climbing up to the summit of Mar de Ovellas, where we can stop to contemplate the valley of A Maía. Then down to A Ponte Maceira, one of the most interesting points along this stretch. It is a monument ensemble whose key element is the bridge over the river Tambre, dating from the 13th century. The early settlement also stands out, together with the mill, the reservoir, the chapel and the modern Galician-style manor house, or pazo.

On the other side of the bridge we follow the course of the river along a cobbled path and we come across the Pazo da Chancela. It is surrounded by an oak grove and part of it is open to visitors, so we can get a closer look. Pay attention to its coat of arms, that shows a broken bridge. It represents the bridge that, according to the legend, fell and stopped the Roman soldiers who were chasing Theodore and Athanasius, disciples of Santiago, as they returned after requesting the Roman legacy at Fisterra for authorization to bury the Apostle.

We stop for lunch in Negreira, famous for its meat

We go down to Negreira, which has a wide range of accommodation. We cross the town’s main street passing below one of the three arches that support the crenellated and balustraded gallery that connects Pazo de Cotón with the chapel of San Mauro, from the 17th and 18th centuries respectively. We can take a closer look at its twelve shields after having had a bite to eat and a rest. The area is famous for its livestock and dairy activity, so we suggest that you choose a dish of roast veal or farmhouse chicken, typical of the area.

The day ends in Dumbría

We leave Negreira crossing a small bridge over the river Barcala. The route concurs with some stretches of the Royal Road of Fisterra. Here we find interesting examples of popular architecture, such as the ensemble of raised stone granaries of As Maroñas, in the municipality of Mazaricos.

At certain times the Way runs along areas of high plateau, providing excellent views. From the foothills of Monte Aro we can see part of the river Xallas, its reservoir and valleys. We arrive at Ponte Olveira, whose medieval bridge welcomes us to the municipality of Dumbría.

We end the day in the parish of Olveiroa. Next to the hostel there are several accommodations to dine in while we chat about the stage that we have just completed and get our strength back.

Day 3

From Dumbría to Fisterra

After a nice breakfast we leave Olveiroa and soon reach the nearby village of Hospital, where the Way forks towards Muxía and Fisterra.

We take the road to Fisterra and soon get to the Sanctuary of As Neves and then to the popular shrine of San Pedro Mártir, that has a “miraculous” fountain that is said to cure a number of illnesses.
From here the road goes uphill. At the top, next to the stone cross of Cruceiro da Armada,we can, for the first time, look towards the still faraway Fisterra, bathed by the Atlantic. The road then goes down to Cee, a typically seaside town, that we enter through Campo de Sacramento and Rúa da Magdalena.

In Corcubión we can go to the beach for a swim

From Cee we can get a glimpse of our next destination, Corcubión, declared a Historic-Artistic site because of its manor houses and its popular fishing town architecture. As we enter the town we find church of San Marcos, a good example of “maritime-gothic” and neo-gothic architecture, declared Cultural Interest.

We encourage you to stop pedalling and thoroughly enjoy a tour along the seafront promenade, with its beautiful houses with spacious galleries and balconies overlooking the estuary. Along the promenade there are bars where you can taste delicious tapas.

And weather permitting you can even go for a dip in the beach of Quenxe, across the villa.

We arrive in Fisterra, our journey’s destination

After dessert and a rest we set off again towards Fisterra, which is now quite close. After passing through the villages of Vilar, Amarela, Estorde and Sardiñeiro we say goodbye to Corcubión from a lookout point that gives us a view of Fisterra and its cape. We get there after skirting the dune formations of the long and beautiful beach of Langosteira for approximately two kilometres. Although the road runs parallel to the dunes, we recommend that you walk this stretch of beach, as pilgrims usually do.

At the public hostel
we will receive the “Fisterrana”,
the credential that certifies
our pilgrimage to Fisterra

We enter the seaside village of Fisterra through the quarter of San Roque. We pass by Cruz de Baixar,the centuryold stone cross that bears a carving of Christ on one side and a carving of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus on the other. Next to it we have a beautiful view of the Dunes of Langosteira. We then go down Catalina street and A Real, where the public hostel is located and where we can request the “Fisterrana”, the credential that certifies our pilgrimage to this villa.

The church of Santa María das Areas, focus of Fisterra’s Way of Saint James

The route ends at the lighthouse. On the road that leads to it, we find the church of iglesia de Santa María das Areas, epicentre of the Way of Saint James tradition of Fisterra. A beautiful archway, which is believed to have been part of the medieval pilgrims hospital, no longer standing, welcomes us into the temple.
Here the venerable Santo Cristo de Fisterrashines with a light of its own. This gothic carving is surrounded by legends, for it is said that it washed upon the coast after falling from a boat into the sea during a storm. At Easter the Festivity of the Holy Christ (Festa do Santo Cristo), is held and it has been declared Galician Festival of Tourist Interest.

Camino del Cabo, The Cape Trail (Camiño do Cabo), from where the Romans watched the Sun set into the sea

After the visit we continue uphill along the same road. Halfway up we come across the medieval sculpture of a pilgrim. Farther on, the zero kilometre marker welcomes us to the lighthouse’s surroundings. At the entrance we are received by The Siren, a building from the end of 19th century and used for tourism purposes, where credentials are sealed, statistics are gathered and where we can get all the information we need.
We are in the place where ancient Greek-Roman geographers located the Promontorium Nerium or Ara Solis, an altar to worship the Sun, built by the Phoenicians and which according to the legend, the Apostle Saint James destroyed shortly after his arrival. Here the Romans and the earlier inhabitants approached the “end of the world” to attend the amazing spectacle of watching the sun sink into the ocean.

Dinner in the port area

We recommend dining in the area of the port of Fisterra, the town’s busiest point. Its restaurants prepare fresh season seafood from the boats that dock here.
Then we can visit the fish market, a modern blue aluminium and glass building that is easy to find. We can enter it, for it is prepared to receive tourists. And as for accommodation, Fisterra has a wide offer that includes inns, hotels − both charming and rustic −, hostels and lodging houses.

Day 4

We say farewell to Fisterra with a visit to its castle

The castle of San Carlos can be reached by following the port road, along the Paseo Corveiro. It is a castle-fortress built in the 18th century, although it was rebuilt after it was burnt and partially destroyed when the French attacked Fisterra during the War of Independence. It houses the Fishing Museum.

After the visit we suggest heading to Santiago de Compostela as its excellent services and communications network makes the way back much simpler.

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