For those who are short on time, but still want to experience the beauty of the Camino, you can walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela in 5 days. You will still receive your certificate of completion, or Compostela. Take an extra day or 2 to experience Santiago at the end.
The final stage of the famous Camino Frances (or French Way) is the most popular Camino package. It traverses the beautiful hilly landscapes of Galicia. Reward your efforts in Santiago de Compostela, the heart and hub of all pilgrimages on the Way of St James.
Portomarín, is a delightful medieval village, situated on the river Mino. Portomarin is famous for its 400M romanesque staircase that leads you to the town. An interesting fact about this town is that before the dam was created in the 60’s the town use to be lower down in the valley. When they created the dam they moved the town, which was no small feat, as they had to painstakingly take down and rebuild the Church of St John which dates from the 12th century and was built by the workshop of Master Mateo who is responsible for the Portica de Gloria in the Cathedral in Santiago.
Celtic Ruins - Castro de Castromaior
A small detour off the Camino, approx 1km pass the town of Castromaior on the way to Melide, you will find the 2000 year old Celtic ruins of Castro de Castromaior. The recent excavations on this settlement has found proof of occupation from 4BC to when the Romans arrived. Watch out for this detour as it is great spot to get a photo and standing up on the embankment provides a splendid view over the Galician countryside.
Santiago de Compostela
Just before arriving to Santiago you will pass the Mount of Joy, here take time to get a stamp at the small church but also go over to your left to visit the Pilgrim Statues pointing at the city. It is here that you will get your first glimpse as the Cathedral in the distance. There are few feelings like the one of arriving to Praza do Obradoiro in front of the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela after your long pilgrimage. Once in the city, you can explore the bustling medieval streets, filled with market stalls, restaurants, bars and buskers, as well as the many interesting museums and Alameda Park for a relaxing stroll if you haven’t had enough of walking!