The Variante Espiritual de Camino de Santiago from Tui is an alternative route for pilgrims embarking on the renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. It starts in the town of Tui, located in the Galicia region of Spain, near the border with Portugal. Unlike the traditional Camino Portuguese route that passes through Pontevedra, the Spiritual Variant diverges, offering a more spiritually enriching journey. Throughout the journey, pilgrims will encounter small, picturesque villages, historic churches, and peaceful rural settings. The route follows ancient trails and paths, some of which have been used for centuries by devout pilgrims seeking spiritual enlightenment. The Variante Espiritual de Camino de Santiago from Tui offers a unique and deeply fulfilling pilgrimage experience for those seeking a more profound spiritual connection while walking the path of countless pilgrims who have journeyed before them.
FREE This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
The route is characterized by its tranquility, lush landscapes, and strong spiritual atmosphere. Pilgrims who choose this path often seek a deeper connection to their inner selves, spirituality, and a more reflective experience. It is ideal for those who prefer a less crowded pilgrimage, allowing them to connect with nature and find serenity along the way.
The final destination of this variant is the city of Pontecesures, where it connects back to the traditional Camino Portuguese route. From there, pilgrims continue their journey to Santiago de Compostela to reach the Cathedral and pay homage to Saint James.
Tui to Santiago De Compostela
Portuguese Variante Espirital Inland
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You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of Tui. The rooms are en-suite. Take a walk through the town’s picturesque streets, as you approach the Plaza de San Fernando, the silhouette of the west-facing facade of the 12th Century cathedral will provide you with a lasting memory.
Day 2 17km
From the long-standing port of Tui, the Camino winds its way up to the old town, following the so-called Camino da Barca. Then, through the Tunel das Monxas, the Camino enters a very steep section and leads to the historic bridge of San Telmo. From there, travelling over a less abrupt terrain, we come to the town of O Porrino.
Day 3 24.3km
The terrain becomes easier as we cross the Louro Valley. Keeping the valley to the east, after a gentle climb you arrive at the chapel of Santiaguino de Antas – a pleasant place to take a rest. We now enter a wide expanse of woodland. Surrounded by pine trees, the Camino starts its descent through the hamlet of Setefontes and arrives in Arcade.
Day 4 11.6km
From here you will cross a Romanesque bridge which is where Napoleon was defeated by the Spanish during the War of Independence. Arriving into Pontevedra you will head through the narrow streets before reaching the 13th Century church of Santa Maria. Of interest to pilgrims is also the Capela da Peregrina which although it appears round is actually in the shape of a scallop.
Day 5 22.3km
One of the highlights along this stretch is the town of Combarro, renowned for its unique Galician architecture and the presence of "horreos" (traditional granaries). Exploring the narrow cobblestone streets and admiring the horreos against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean offers pilgrims a taste of the local culture and heritage. Approaching Armenteira, the landscape opens up to reveal breathtaking vistas of vineyards and olive groves. Armenteira itself is a tranquil village with a long history, featuring the impressive Armenteira Monastery, which dates back to the 12th century. The monastery offers a sense of spiritual refuge and has played a significant role in the region's religious and cultural heritage.
Day 6 24.6km
VILANOVA DE AROUSA
From the peaceful village of Armenteira, the path leads through vineyards and verdant landscapes, creating a picturesque setting for walkers to enjoy. Continuing on, the path eventually approaches the coastline of the Ria de Arousa, one of Galicia's stunning coastal inlets. As the journey progresses, walkers will reach the town of Vilanova de Arousa, a coastal town known for its maritime traditions and fishing heritage. Pilgrims can experience the town's coastal ambiance, explore its charming streets, and savor the local seafood delicacies.
Day 7 36.7km
VILANOVA DE AROUSA
Starting from the coastal town of Vilanova de Arousa, pilgrims embark on a boat journey that embraces the essence of the Camino. Boarding a boat, they sail the Ria de Arousa, relishing the mesmerizing views of sparkling waters and lush landscapes that provide a refreshing and scenic experience. As they navigate the waters, pilgrims continue their spiritual voyage, sailing up the Ulla River. Their boat journey concludes at Pontecesures, where they set foot on land once more. From there, pilgrims follow well-marked trails and country roads, traversing a brief but scenic distance of roughly 3kms to reach the town of Padrón. This town holds a special place in the annals of the Camino de Santiago. Notably, Padrón is believed to be the landing site of the Apostle Saint James' boat. Additionally, it is the birthplace of the renowned poet and clergyman, Rosalía de Castro. The combined weight of religious, historical, and cultural significance makes Padrón an enriching stop for every pilgrim.
Day 8 25.6km
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The Camino passes through many small villages and hamlets before arriving at the Baroque sanctuary of A Esclavitude. On a hilltop to the left stands the mysterious, abandoned ruins of the hillfort Castro Lupario.A few kilometres later, we come to the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia. As we near Agro dos Monteiros, it’s now possible to see the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. Finally, the Camino passes by the ruins of a castle known as A Rocha Vella, before entering the city of the Apostle.
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After breakfast, we bid you farewell. If you wish to stay in the area, we recommend that you: – Take your time and visit the magnificent historic centre – Continue with us along the wild “Camino Fisterra” (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the 2* hotel in the light house! – or take a bus to Fisterra. (Bus to fisterra: 9am, 10am, bus back in Santiago 16:45 & 19:00. takes 3hours) – Visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience.
How to Get There
Getting to Tui, Portugal
It is best to fly to Santiago de Compostela.
Fly into Santiago de Compostela
Ryanair and Iberia/BA fly direct to Santiago de Compostela from the UK. Ryanair flies from Stansted, Nottingham East Midlands and Liverpool and Aer Lingus operates from Dublin. Many of the flights that arrive at the airport are from internal Spanish destinations. Iberia offers the best selection of flights and you can fly to and from Santiago De Compostela from: Frankfurt, Paris and Rome and Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.
To begin at Tui you will need to get 2 buses from the airport.