Variante Espiritual Camino 

The Variante Espiritual Camino is a 3-day alternative route you can adjust to your Central or Coastal Portuguese Camino.

Starting around 2km out of Pontevedra where both the Portuguese central and coastal Caminos meet. Heading on the alternative path towards the sea. (when combined with a Portuguese Camino from Porto, you change course and add one extra night and a boat ride to your package). History and Legend abound on this path.

From Pontevedra

Taking you through the beautiful O Salnes area. A tranquil walk, where eventually you arrive at the splendid Monastery of Poio founded in the Middle Ages (7th century). A must to visit!

Arriving at the stunning village of Combarro. Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Not long after you will witness the incredible Renaissance and Baroque style (16th and 17th century) Santa Maria Monastery of Armenteira. Here you stay on your first night.

The following day you take what is known as the “Stone and Water route” where you walk through a forest bordering the river onto Vilanova your next stop.

The last stage is by boat.

The last stage is spent sailing. First over the Arousa Estuary and then through a stretch of the River Ulla to Pontecesures. Witness the 17 cruceiros (crosses) pointing out the route of Apostol Santiago.

Legend

It is said the remains of Apostal Santiago arrived on a stone ship guided by angels on this route.

After disembarking you walk 2 km to arrive in Padron for the night.

Buen Camino!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 23 km.
  • Hours: 7.5h.

Today Day 1 Pontevedra to Armenteira, at around 2 km into your walk you will see signs to the left for the “Variante Espiritual” (Spiritual Variant).

The magnificent Poio Monastery is the first jewel on today’s Camino well worth a visit. The next is the village Combarro, with the old quarter declared “Property of Cultural Interest”. Home to three traditional elements of Galicia “Horreos” (raised granaries), “Casas Marineras” (sea houses), and “Cruces”(crosses). Combarro is considered one of the 10 most beautiful villages in Spain. Owing to its’ fisherman’s cottages with stone or wooden balconies unique in Galicia.

From here you’ll walk a steep incline up to Mirador de Loureiro (Loureiro viewpoint).

Following this about 6 km further you arrive at Armenteira, your resting place for today. Visit the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria, founded in the 12th century known in history as an absolute haven of Peace.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 6.5 km.
  • Hours: 23h.

Today Day 2: Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa, will have you walking “Ruta da Pedra e Agua” (Stone and Water Path) along the Armenteira river. Shortly you will see plenty of old mills (some restored) in between amazing leafy vegetation and vineyards. This is the Rias Baixas wine region, where Albariño wine is made.

Eventually, reach the coastline again with Arousa Island in front of you. Walk with the beach on your left finally crossing the iron bridge to reach Vilanova de Arousa.

Mussels grown in Ria de Arousa are especially good.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.5 km.
  • Hours: 1h.

Today Day 3 Vilanova de Arousa to Padron is known as the Translatio stage. From the port of Vilanova sailing the Ria de Arousa and Ulla river to Pontecesures.

Departure times depend on the tides.

Check with your hotel and be on time at the departure dock. Once upon a time, the water reached Iria Flavia, where legend says the remains of the Apostol Santiago originally arrived on a stone ship 2000 years ago. However today it only reaches Pontecesures.

Enjoy sailing past mussel farms and watch as shellfishermen and women gather clams and cockles. 17 cruzeiros (crosses) dot the shoreline pointing out the route of Apostol Santiago. After disembarking in Pontecesures you connect again with the Portuguese Camino. From here you walk around 2 km to Padron your place of rest for today.

While in Padron visit the Santiago church. Then, if you have the energy, to save time tomorrow head 1 km further to visit Iria Flavia an iconic town that aside from being the original resting place of Santiago also the La Real Colegiata is remarkable, the tomb of Camilo Jose Cela. Nobel prize winner of literature, and the museum-house of Rosalia de Castro, the most famous Galician poet

A must-try speciality of the region while in Padron “pimientos de Padron” (little green peppers) fried and sprinkled with sea salt, now appreciated all over Spain. Other popular foods are Octopus, cheeses, bread, chorizos, or empanadas.

Dates: Flexible, set your own agenda

Direct deposit payments in $ AUD and € EU.

Inclusions Variante Espiritual Camino 
  • 1 night’s extra accommodation preferably charming/Iconic/boutique hotels and rural Casas
  • Private Bathroom in all rooms
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer daily (1x 20 kg bag per person)
  • Maps of your accommodation locations
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Australian and Spanish emergency phone numbers
  • local support person in Spain
  • Translatio Boat Ticket
Welcome Pack:
  • Pilgrim’s passport
  • Camino shell
  • Luggage tags
  • Full Camino walking guidebook with maps
  • Camino Journal with Pen
  • Other goodies for your Camino
Not Included 
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Additional bag transfer (will incur additional costs)
  • Single Supplement
  • Any meal not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Any other item not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations.
Optional Services: 
  • Airport transfers from the start point and end destination
  • Extra night accommodation at the start point and end destination
  • Extra luggage transfer or storage
  • Fisterra experience: Tour from Santiago to Fisterra return 2 days
  • If you wish to upgrade to the Iconic Parador Hotel in Santiago de Compostela the cost is from $180 per person/per night twin share and $250 per person/per night single occupancy when booked 6 months in advance.
  • Ask us about adding an extra night in Santiago, or extra rest days en route.
  • For any part of your trip that falls between 31 October and 01 April, there is an out-of-season luggage transfer surcharge of $25 per day. and $35 per day to Fisterra and Muxia.

Today Day 1 Pontevedra to Armenteira, at around 2 km into your walk you will see signs to the left for the “Variante Espiritual” (Spiritual Variant).

The magnificent Poio Monastery is the first jewel on today’s Camino well worth a visit. The next is the village Combarro, with the old quarter declared “Property of Cultural Interest”. Home to three traditional elements of Galicia “Horreos” (raised granaries), “Casas Marineras” (sea houses), and “Cruces”(crosses). Combarro is considered one of the 10 most beautiful villages in Spain. Owing to its’ fisherman’s cottages with stone or wooden balconies unique in Galicia.

From here you’ll walk a steep incline up to Mirador de Loureiro (Loureiro viewpoint).

Following this about 6 km further you arrive at Armenteira, your resting place for today. Visit the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria, founded in the 12th century known in history as an absolute haven of Peace.

Today Day 2: Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa, will have you walking “Ruta da Pedra e Agua” (Stone and Water Path) along the Armenteira river. Shortly you will see plenty of old mills (some restored) in between amazing leafy vegetation and vineyards. This is the Rias Baixas wine region, where Albariño wine is made.

Eventually, reach the coastline again with Arousa Island in front of you. Walk with the beach on your left finally crossing the iron bridge to reach Vilanova de Arousa.

Mussels grown in Ria de Arousa are especially good.

Today Day 3 Vilanova de Arousa to Padron is known as the Translatio stage. From the port of Vilanova sailing the Ria de Arousa and Ulla river to Pontecesures.

Departure times depend on the tides.

Check with your hotel and be on time at the departure dock. Once upon a time, the water reached Iria Flavia, where legend says the remains of the Apostol Santiago originally arrived on a stone ship 2000 years ago. However today it only reaches Pontecesures.

Enjoy sailing past mussel farms and watch as shellfishermen and women gather clams and cockles. 17 cruzeiros (crosses) dot the shoreline pointing out the route of Apostol Santiago. After disembarking in Pontecesures you connect again with the Portuguese Camino. From here you walk around 2 km to Padron your place of rest for today.

While in Padron visit the Santiago church. Then, if you have the energy, to save time tomorrow head 1 km further to visit Iria Flavia an iconic town that aside from being the original resting place of Santiago also the La Real Colegiata is remarkable, the tomb of Camilo Jose Cela. Nobel prize winner of literature, and the museum-house of Rosalia de Castro, the most famous Galician poet

A must-try speciality of the region while in Padron “pimientos de Padron” (little green peppers) fried and sprinkled with sea salt, now appreciated all over Spain. Other popular foods are Octopus, cheeses, bread, chorizos, or empanadas.

At Crossroads Travel your comfort after a long day of walking is our focus. Hence extensively researched accommodation options on Camino de Santiago are a part of our packages.

Our choice is based on location.

We personally book your rooms, and for this reason, we know exactly where they are located. Our primary aim is for you to be in the vibe of Camino amongst the other pilgrims, restaurants, bars, and cafes.

We want you to be welcomed and taken care of.

Meeting regularly with the owners/management to discuss our client needs ensures your hosts have direct personal contact with us. If any needs arise we can manage them immediately.

Finally, we choose accommodation in charming, iconic hotels and rural Casas.

The number of stars is not our criterion. A comfortable room and a private bathroom come first. In some of the more humble areas of Camino de Santiago, we offer you the best of what is possible. So the longer your Camino the more varied your accommodation will be. This is part of the charm of being on Camino de Santiago, remember you are not on a holiday with multiple options in one spot. Fortunately, with options in the bigger cities, we can throw in a few nights with lots of stars for indulgence. After all, you deserve to have a soak in a spa. Likewise, an indoor pool doesn’t hurt.  Note: There are a few extraordinary options off the Camino if “humble” is not your thing. Also If we locate you outside of the Camino you will have contact with the owners who will pick you up from the Camino and deliver you back to the same spot the next morning. We will discuss this with you when booking.

Book 60 days in advance

Camino de Santiago is a unique destination with limited quality accommodation ON Camino hence we advise booking at least 60 days in advance.

Examples of our chosen accommodation.

Images below are examples of what you can expect from your booking. Tailor-made Packages are available if you wish to stay 5-star all the way.  Please note: we adhere to the same standard when you book accommodation with us pre and post-Camino in Spain and Portugal.  

 

Turn left at the alternative route around 3 km after Pontevedra

AUD: Australian dollar ($) ^
 Info
  • From - To: Pontevedra to Padron
  • Length: 48
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $270
  • Dates:

    Dates: Flexible, set your own agenda

    Direct deposit payments in $ AUD and € EU.

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