69 miles (111 Km) / 5 days on foot

The Camino de Santiago from Sarria

The Camino from Sarria is the shortest route to get the Compostela, the official certification of the Camino de Santiago.

Although the usual is to start this route in the French town of St Jean Pied de Port, many pilgrims decide to make a much shorter French route. Thus, they start from Sarria (in Galicia) and cover 69 miles (111 kilometers), the minumun distance to obtain the Compostela.


Image: Fortaleza de Sarria

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The Way of Saint James from Sarria

69 miles (111 Km) / 7 days on foot / 2 days by bike

 

If you want to experience the Camino once in your life and you don't have a lot free time, the Camino de Santiago from Sarria is the plan you are looking for. Many pilgrims who want to make the Camino for the first time or who have a limited budget decide to walk only these final miles.

If you want to get your Compostela, Sarria is the closest point that allows you to obtain this certificate. The Compostela is awarded in Santiago de Compostela to those who have traveled a distance of at least 62.13 miles (100 kilometers). To obtain the Compostela, you will have to carry the pilgrim's credential with you. This credential will be sealed in every stage, in different establishments like shelters or churches, to certify that the Way has been completed. You should bear in mind that the Compostela from Sarria can only be issued to pilgrims who arrived on foot or by horseback riding. The minimum distance for cyclists is 124.27 miles (200 km).

camino francés

The Way of Saint James from Sarria: what you should know

There are approximately 62.13 miles (100 kilometers) separating Sarria from Santiago de Compostela. This last part is shared with differen ways- the Northern Way and the French Way.

Each of the different stages of this part of the Camino has a distance of just over 12 miles (20 kilometers) that must be traveled daily, so the route can be completed in approximately 5 or 6 days.

Some pilgrims want to hurry their experience and do it in 4 days. Even though this is possible, it is advisable to take at least 5 days, to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Sarria (Lugo)

Image: V. Maza

Portomarin (Lugo)

Image: El fosilmaníaco

Palas de Rei (Lugo)

Image: J. A. Gil

Arzua (Lugo)

Image: P. Lameiro

Stages of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria

69 miles (111 kilometers) separate Sarria from Santiago. There are different stages where you will be able to see all the charm of Galicia and the magic of the Camino de Santiago. This is the final stretch and the point where different ways meet. Pilgrims come together to see their goal getting closer after several days, but it is also the starting point for many other pilgrims. It is recommendable to complete this route in 5 days. Even though it is possible to do it in less time, this is the best way to enjoy the Camino de Santiago calmly.

Stage 1
Sarria – Portomarín (14 miles / 22.75 km)

This is a very relaxed stage, with the only outstanding difficulty of a wavy surface during the firs 8 miles. The Church of Santiago is a good place to stop - it is decorated with the typical Santiago scallop shells. When you arrive in Portomarín, you will find points of interest such as the Escalinata or the Chapel of Neves.

Stage 2
Portomarín – Palas de Rei (14.9 miles / 24 km)

On your second day you will find a hill up to Sierra de Ligonde (around the 7th mile), and then a gradual descent. When arriving to Palas de Rei, it is highly recommended to visit the Pambre Castle, only a few minutes away from the route and one of the most emblematic places of this section.

Stage 3
Palas de Rei – Arzúa (18 miles / 29 km)

This is probably the most challenging stage of this way, but also the most rewarding one. It is the longest stage and it presents a hard surface, with ups and downs, making it diffitul to keep a regular pace. Actually, every year there is a half marathon in Melide (called "Os 21 do Camiño", where runners mix with pilgrims. You can enjoy both Melide and Arzúa's gastronomy - try the octopus in Melide, and cheese in Arzúa.

Stage 4
Arzúa – Pedrouzo (11.8 miles / 19.1 km)

This is a beautiful stage with areas that pass in the middle of beautiful forests. In addition to admiring the nature and the rural roads, you will find places like the Fountain of Santa Irene, known by pilgrims as the "Fountain of Eternal Youth" or the beautiful surroundings of the Noa River waterfall.

Stage 5
O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela 12.4 miles / 20 km)

Get ready for the wonderful feeling of contemplating the Cathedral of Santiago. From the 9th mile you can begin to see the Cathedral towers for the first time. You will cross part of the city after reaching the Monte do Gozo, the Fontiñas neighborhood and San Pedro street. You will notice how a spark of joy begins to be felt in your stomach with every step you take. As you walk, you can't help but smile while you feel the splendor of reaching the finish line in Plaza del Obradoiro and looking at the Cathedral.

Continue the Camino from Sarria to Finisterre

Depending on your strength and your available days, you can complete your Way by extending it to Finisterre. This is the perfect closure to a wonderful experience, in a place so magical that it was considered the end of the world.

This itinerary starts from Santiago, has a length of 74.5 miles (120 km) and is distributed in 4 stages between 12.4 miles and 15 miles each (20 and 24 km). It is advisable to consider this option before starting the Way, so you have some foresight about the days you will need for this adventure. Whatever you decide, this extra stage of the route will undoubtedly add more incredible moments to your experience. Remember: the adventure of the Way of Saint James not only ends in Santiago.


Getting ready for the Camino from Sarria

Preparing for this experience depends on personal factors, but nothing should stop you from living this adventure. Each person is different and has their own needs. Going for a walk during the weeks prior to the Camino is recommendable to get fit. The section of the Camino that runs from Sarria is one of the busiest, and you will find pilgrims of all kinds experiencing this trip. If you are used to physical exercise (going to the gym or walkin regularly), you won't have problems to finish the Camino. The most common issues pilgrims experience are leg stiffness, backache (if you carry your backpack with you) or discomfort in their feet, due to the characteristics of the terrain.

Footwear

A rule of thumb here is to get used to the footwear that you will wear during the Camino. If you decide to buy some new boots or sneakers and use them for the first time in the Camino, you will for sure suffer discomfort on your feet. This may greatly affect your experience. It is absolutely advisable to take short walks before you start the Camino, using the shoes you are going to wear.

Previous prep

If you are not used to exercising in your daily life, it is recommended to do stretching and warm-up exercises both before doing the Camino and during it. Pay special attention to the calf muscles and anterior and posterior parts of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings).

What to bring in your backpack for the Camino from Sarria

This short route has an advantage that is often forgotten: a shorter duration implies less weight to carry on your back. Weather also has a great influence on this fact, since the needs of a winter climate are not the same as the summer ones.

Depending on your preferences and the way in which you organize the trip, it is advisable to take earplugs (especially if we are going to stay in hostels with other pilgrims). A trekking stick is useful in case you are not used to walking on slopes.

Clothing

Concerning clothing, it is recommended to wear polyester garments, as they are more comfortable, lighter and easier to dry and they are more breathable. Avoid tight clothes to avoid chafing, sores or blisters in sensitive areas of our body. You should consider the number of days you will dedicate to the Camino to know how many changes you will need. If you choose the Camino from Sarria, you will only have 5 stages to walk, so you won't need to overload your backpack.

Essentials

Some other interesting elements to carry in your backpack are the following: toilet paper, tissues, sunscreen, a water bottle, sandals, a knife, vaseline to avoid blisters and a small first aid kit with the basic (bandaids, dressings, hypodermic needles, mercromine, pain killers, anti-inflammatories). Something useful to carry during the Camino is rosemary alcohol - it relieves pain of swollen feet and blisters.


Where can I get the Pilgrim's Credential in Sarria?

The Compostela is just a complement to the many reasons why you should do the Camino de Santiago. Yet, it is also a memorable souvenir from this experience. You can get the Compostela if you walk a minimum of 62.12 miles (100 km) - leaving from Sarria, you will meet this condition. In order to get the Compostela once you arrive in Santiago, you will have to carry the pilgrim's credential with you all along the Way. It has to be sealed in each stage, in different points: monuments, hostels, establishments, etc.

To get your pilgrim's credential, you have different options with different schedules:

  • Church Santa María (Rúa Maior) 11 am to 1 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm.
  • Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Gran Vía Alfonso IX) 10.30 am to 1.30 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.
  • Monastry of la Magdalena (Rúa da Mercede) 10 am to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 7 pm
  • Office of Civil Protection (Rúa Maior, 20)
  • Peregrinoteca (Rúa de Benigno Quiroga, 16 – Bajo)

Pet Friendly Accommodations on the Camino from Sarria

If you would like to do the Way of Saint James with your pet, the Camino from Sarria is undoubtedly one of the best options. Since it is an experience that doesn't last more than a week, it will be much easier for you and your pet to make such a journy. It will be an enriching experience that will unite you even more to your pet.

This route also has hostels and pensions that will allow you to stay with your pet, which will make things much easier when finishing each stage without setbacks. The average price per night ranges between 25 and 40 euros. Here you have a brief list with some of the pet friendly hostels along the Way of Saint James from Sarria:

  • Sarria

    Pilgrims Hostel Paloma y Leña (Prado Novo, 4)
    Pilgrims Hostel San Lázaro (Rúa San Lázaro, 7)
    Private Hostel Los Blasones (Rúa Maior, 31).
  • Portomarín

    Hostel El Caminante (Rúa Sánchez Carro, 2)
  • Palas de Rei

    Hostel Maite (Avda. Compostela, 90)
  • Arzúa

    Pilgrims Hostel Vía Láctea (Rúa Xosé Neira Vilas, 26)
  • O Pedrouzo

    Hostel Codesal (Rúa Codesal, 17)

Discover all the different ways

The Camino Frances is the most popular one, but there are may other ways you should know.

» Camino Frances 474 miles / 33 days
» Camino Portugues 388 miles / 25 days
» Camino del Norte 512 miles / 32 days
» Camino Primitivo 194 miles / 11 days
» Camino Ingles 73 miles / 6 days
» Via de la Plata 440 miles / 27 days
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