St James Way in the Iberian Peninsula

Discover some of the lesser-known routes of the Camino in Spain and Portugal.

By Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Caminos de Santiago in the Iberian Peninsula (2019) by National Geographic Institute (IGN) / National Geographic Information Center (CNIG) -Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Since the Camino was declared the First Cultural Route of Europe in 1987, the routes have not stopped expanding. In Spain, there are 49 routes, with almost 9,940 miles (16,000 km), and in Portugal, there are nine routes, with over 1,800 miles (2,900 km).

Towards Horcadas (2009)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The yellow arrow has been omnipresent across the entire Iberian Peninsula since the Navarre Association of Friends of the St. James Way (Las Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago) started using it in 1982. It was later popularized by Elías Valiña, the priest of O Cebreiro.

Painting the way (2011)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Associations of Friends of the St. James Way are responsible for the permanent signposting and maintenance of the Way across Europe. The yellow arrow is the most commonly used sign in Spain and Portugal and must be refreshed every year.

When we look at the mobile (2017)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

New technologies and major developments in telecommunications mean cell phones have become a very important tool. They help the pilgrims with geolocation, maps, voice-guided navigation, and security alerts.

Caminos de Santiago in the Iberian Peninsula (2019) by National Geographic Institute (IGN) / National Geographic Information Center (CNIG) -Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Routes in Spain

The routes of the Camino that cross Spain start from various geographical locations in the national territory to come together at Santiago de Compostela. The furthest of these is the Ruta Jacobea Insular (Canary Islands Camino) from the island of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Learn about some of these.

Dawn in Fonsagrada (2014)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Original Way

This is the oldest historical route and has been used by pilgrims since the 9th century. It starts in Oviedo and passes through Lugo to join the French Way in Melide.

To Escatrón (2011)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Ebro Way (Camino del Ebro)

The Ebro Way straddles Catalonia and Aragon. It starts at the mouth of the Ebro, a river with a long-established role in the Camino, and follows its course to Logroño, where it joins the Camino Francés.

Departure from Herrera de Pisuerga (2007)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Los Blendios Roman Road

This route joins the Camino del Norte and the Camino Francés. It crosses Reinosa, near the source of the Ebro river, and Herrera de Pisuerga to reach Carrión de los Condes. It is the quintessential Roman way.

Church of San Pedro in Caracena (2014)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Wool Way (Camino de la Lana)

The Camino de la Lana begins in Alicante then crosses through the Community of Valencia, Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Soria to join the Camino Francés in Burgos. It is a journey through territories that were frontiers for centuries, and was forged by the Roman columns of groups of free men.

Descent from Torcal towards Antequera (2010)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Mozárabe Way (Camino Mozárabe) from Málaga

This is one of the Mozarabic routes to Santiago de Compostela. It travels from the capital to Córdoba, then heads towards Mérida on the Via de la Plata. This is a rugged and welcoming region, where the pilgrim will experience the hospitality of the locals in every town and village.

Caminos de Santiago in Portugal (2019) by National Geographic Institute (IGN) / National Geographic Information Center (CNIG) -Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Routes in Portugal

There are two major routes that cross Portugal from the south to the north: Central and Eastern. There are other smaller routes grouped around these, which are also signposted and have a growing network of hospitality. Explore one of these.

Way to Esposende (2012)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Caminho da Orla Litoral

It starts in Porto, then follows the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the river Minho. The route passes the mouths of numerous wide-flowing rivers and immense beaches.

Rest after the climb (2014)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Camino Portugués de Braga (Braga Portuguese Way)

This is a variant of the central route that takes the pilgrims through this beautiful city. It begins in Porto, passes through Braga, and joins the central route in Ponte de Lima.

Peregrino delante de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela (1075)Original Source: Axencia Turismo de Galicia

All the routes meet in Santiago de Compostela. The arrival at the Cathedral is a moment of indescribable happiness. From then on, a new journey begins. The Way continues in every pilgrim.

The end of the Camino (2014)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The End of the Camino

Many pilgrims continue to the Roman Finisterrae (the end of the world). There the sun disappears behind the horizon to an unknown destination, to return every day at dawn, renewed and powerful, to energize the walkers.

Credits: Story

Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
www.caminosantiago.org
Pilar de Luis Domínguez
http://www.demadridalcamino.org
Jorge Martínez-Cava

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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