Variante Espiritual (Spiritual Variant)

The Variante Espiritual starting point is around 2km out of Pontevedra where both central and coastal Caminos pass. Starting Espiritual Variante by foot walking to Vilanova de Arousa then onto Pontecesures by boat.

From Pontevedra

Head out through the beautiful O Salnes area. Pass the splendid Monastery of Poio founded in the Middle Ages (7th century).

Next, wander through the stunning village of Combarro, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Soon after you experience Ruta da Pedra e Agua (Stone and Water Path). Followed by passing the Renaissance and Baroque style (16th and 17th century) Santa Maria Monastery of Armenteira.

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. There you witness the 17 cruceiros (crosses) pointing out the route of Apostol Santiago.


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. Then the following day you will continue on foot to Santiago de Compostela.

Once in Santiago de Compostela, some continue to complete their Camino in Fisterra.

Buen Camino!

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

Day 1: Pontevedra to Armenteira

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

Walking through the beautiful O Salnes area.

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: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 2: Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa.

Today 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 also vineyards. This is the Rias Baixas wine region, where Albariño wine is made.

Eventually reaching 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.

Day 3 Vilanova de Arousa to Padron

From Vilanova de Arousa to Padron you experience 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 specialty 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


  • 2 nights’ Superior accommodation, preferably rural and boutique hotels.
  • Private Bathroom in all rooms
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer daily from accommodation to accommodation (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • Boat trip from Vila Nova de Arousa to Pontecesures
  • Maps of your accommodation locations
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Australian and Spanish emergency phone numbers
  • Local support person in Spain



  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Additional bags transfer (will incur additional costs)
  • Any meal not specified in Inclusions list
  • Any other item not specified in Inclusions list
  • Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations.



  • Airport transfers from start point and end destination
  • Extra night accommodation in start point and end destination
  • Extra luggage transfer or storage
  • Fisterra experience: Tour from Santiago to Fisterra return 2 days



With Crossroads Travel Portuguese Camino experience you will enjoy the cultural experience of Portuguese and Spanish hospitality; resting in Premium Accommodation. 

The gallery is provided to give you a glimpse of the standard of accommodation we have chosen for you.

  • From - To: Pontevedra to Padron
  • Length: 48.5
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $347
  • Dates:

    Dates: Flexible, set your own agenda