The Camino Sanabrés is the ancient pilgrimage and communication route to link the South of the peninsula with Galicia and the North. Many pilgrims took this variant of the Vía de la Plata, walking along ancient paths, trading routes and Roman trails, the so-called "Caminos Reales", entering Galician territory through Orense. Since this way was frequently used, not only by pilgrims walking the St. James Way to Santiago, but also by traders and by farmers who went south during the mowing season, many hospices, temples and monasteries were built on the way which speak about the importance of this route.
Arrival in Ourense independently. If you arrive early you can visit the cathedral or just wonder around the cobbed streets of the old town. Ourense is known as the "City of burgas" - the burgas are thermal springs-. Ourense cannot be understood without water: its rivers, its fountains and - most specially- its thermal mineral and therapeutic waters. Discover the tradition of the thermal baths that has been in the city from its very origin.
As you leave town today, you immediately start with a steep ascent of 375m. Then you get an introduction to typical Galician countryside as you follow quiet lanes and gravel roads through woods and rural hamlets; going up and down continuously but without any major ascent until the end, as you approach your cosy rural hotel in Cea.
NOTE: option of travelling with luggage to Sartédigo avoiding the first 5km of ascent as you leave town
Long but very rewarding stage through vast woods and hilly and scarcely populated countryside that literally culminates with the visit of the Cistercian monastery in Oseira. Santa María la Real de Oseira is a monastery from the 12th century surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The splendor years of this monastery lasted until the 14th century, when its importance started declining. But during the 20th century there was a renewal in the monastery that brought it back to life. Currently there are more than a dozen monks who live here and elaborate a well-known herbal liquor; the "Eucaliptine". At the end of the day, you will be picked up at the bar in A Gouxa by the owners of the comfortable rural accommodation in Casarelos, with garden and swimming pool.
After 2 demanding days, with several steep climbs, today you mainly walk downhill along quiet tarmac lanes and dirt roads south of the highway AP-53 that you will have to cross once. There are no shops along the way but a very conveniently located bar/restaurant located halfway, near the train station at Lalín. At the end of the day, you will enjoy this stage to the bridge A Ponte Taboda, built in 912 and still surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. Your host will pick you up and drive you to their classic Galician manor house from the early 18th century. They have a pool and their own garden where you can easily relax.
Your host will bring you in the morning to the village of Silleda, where you can do some shopping before starting another long day. Today is quite varied, including numerous small ascents and descents; and a particularly steep one, shortly before you reach your modern but welcoming hostal in Vedra. You can order a taxi in Ponte Ulla to skip the last 2.5 km. Unfortunately, today there will be some tarmac walking, but with hardly any traffic.
Your last stage will lead you to Santiago and it starts again with a steep ascent to a charming chapel, but then you follow soft and undulating dirt roads and tarmac lanes through a landscape that stays significantly rural until you cross the ring road just 3km south from the centre of town. But even then, one gem is awaiting before you reach the old town centre in Santiago: the Romanesque Collegiate of Santa Maria La Mayor y Real de Sar, in Piñeiro.
Today your programme ends after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights in Santiago
Ourense does not have an airport, so the closet arrival airports are: Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), La Coruña(LCG), or Vigo airport(VGO).
From these airports either train or bus will be the best option to get to Ourense.
On departure, you have the airport at Santiago de Compostela: Santiago de Compostela (SCQ).