The Variante Espiritual de Camino de Santiago from Oia is a lesser-known yet profoundly rewarding pilgrimage route that diverges from the traditional Camino Portuguese trail. Starting in the charming coastal town of Oia, situated in the Galicia region of Spain, this variant offers pilgrims a unique and spiritually enriching experience. The journey begins amidst the quaint beauty of Oia, where the sound of crashing waves and the salty breeze of the Atlantic Ocean create a serene and contemplative atmosphere. As pilgrims set forth on this path less traveled, they leave behind the bustling crowds and embark on a more secluded and introspective adventure. The route meanders through picturesque landscapes, lush forests, and rolling hills, providing pilgrims with ample opportunities to connect with nature and find solace in its beauty.
FREE This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
One of the most significant highlights along this variant is the Monastery of Oia, a centuries-old spiritual sanctuary. Nestled on the rugged coastline, this historic monastery exudes an aura of timelessness and offers a place of quiet retreat for pilgrims seeking a deeper connection to their spirituality. Many pilgrims find solace in the monastery’s peaceful ambiance, spending time in meditation and contemplation before continuing their journey.
As the Variante Espiritual progresses, it eventually rejoins the traditional Camino Portuguese in the city of Pontevedra. Here, the pilgrims are once again met with the vibrant energy of a well-trodden path, but the transformation they have undergone on the spiritual variant has left an indelible mark on their pilgrimage. From Pontevedra, the journey continues along the familiar Camino Portuguese, leading to the ultimate destination – the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Oia to Santiago De Compostela
Portuguese Variante Espirital
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Bed & Breakfast
Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
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Day Tours Available
Relax on your first night in this beautiful coastal village which is also home to the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Oya.
Day 2 19.3km
From Oia, you will walk along a coastal footpath away from the main road. After 10km you will then continue along gorgeous coast line on boardwalk with stunning views on the Atlantic Ocean and the Cies islands.
Day 3 25.9km
The way out of the gorgeous town of Baiona will have you alongside a sandy beach for most of the day. You will have regular opportunity to stop in a local cafe along the beach. You will then enter a typical galician entrance of Vigo and maze of streets before entering Vigo via its wide sandy beach. Vigo is a very active city that you will reach after 3km walk through the harbour.
Day 4 35.9km
On this trip, we will transfer you from Vigo to the start of your walk today in Redondela (10km from Vigo). Once dropped in Redondela, you will join the traditional Portuguese Way. You will start seeing more pilgrims along the Camino. You will pass through typical Galician landscape with rural areas and lush green Eucaliptus forests. Before the halfway mark, you will cross Ponte Sanpaio where Napoleon troupes were defeated.
The arrival into Pontevedra offer a slightly shorter but along the road option or a slightly longer shaded option. Your final stop of the day has a lovely center with pedestrian streets and lovely cider bar/restaurant behind the church.
Day 5 21.4km
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 Oia, Spain
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 Oia you will need to get 2 buses from the airport or we can organise a private airport transfer. – Bus from Santiago airport to Vigo (1hr). – Vigo to Oia (30mins), several buses a day.
Getting home from Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Fly from Santiago de Compostela
Shuttle buses from Santiago city centre to the airport (20mins), or you can request an airport transfer that will pick you up from your hotel.