The end of a long day travelling including flight to
Madrid, then train. An interesting city, plenty to see and of
course, excellent food.
Hotel Cordon (+34 947 26 5000;
www.hotelcordon.com). Rather bland, but comfortable pre-booked hotel
in centre of old town (€48)
Another very civilised city with Gaudi
buildings, city walls, cathedral etc...and only a couple of
hours by train from Burgos. Plenty of places to stay at a range of
prices, including pilgrim hostel if you wish.
Hotel La Pousada Regia (+34 987 213 173).
Lovely old townhouse with creaky wooden staircase; full of character and
very comfortable (€55)
A surprisingly interesting and compact town; about
an hour by train from Leon. Episcopal Palace by Gaudi, plus
cathedral and beautiful Plaza(s).
Hotel La Peseta (+34 987 617 275;
www.restaurantelapeseta.com) with excellent
restaurant. Balcony overlooking Plaza San Bartolome and churches
Disappointing modern city with characterful older
part. Very touristy with permanent exhibition about the Camino.
Start of the real Camino for me (i.e. walking rather than train) and my first and last night in a pilgrim
Refugio Parroquial, about a mile out of
centre of town. Free if you are too cheap to make a donation.
Villafranca (Stage 25; 23.3km)
First day of walking and seemed a lot further than
the map showed; always a penalty if you follow the "pedestrian" signs
rather than the possibly less picturesque, but significantly easier, bicycle
Hotel San Francisco. Corner of Plaza
and balcony with view of church (€43)
El (O) Cebreiro (Stage 26;
Murderous last 8km with a climb
of 800m, but finally arriving at the ridge with a fabulous view to Leon
one way and Galicia the other. Next time I would stay at Las
Herrerias, at the end of the valley with couple of decent looking hotels
and restaurants with excellent views.
Managed to find room over bar despite
fiesta; overpriced €36 for room reflected heavy demand rather than quality!
||Triacastela (Stage 27; 21.2km)
Relatively easy day along ridges mainly and overall
descent; made up for previous day and still fabulous views. Nothing
special in Triacastela, but good place to stay.
Complexo Xacobeo (+34 982 548 037).
Brand new Albergue with private rooms right on Camino, very clean (€30 for private room,
€8 for dormitory). Restaurant further along road part of same
establishment, very popular with locals and good food, excellent value (€8
menu del dia)
||Sarría (Stage 27; 21km)
Split stage 27 into two days and took the
interesting route via the monastery at Samos. It is a lot further
than the map shows (nearer 30km according to my pedometer equipped fellow
travellers), but well worth it. Sarría was, as expected, rather
touristy as the start of the "commercial" Camino.
Hotel NH Alfonso IX (+34 982 530 005).
Modern, comfortable right on Camino (€54)
||Portomarín (Stage 28; 21.5km)
Uneventful, reasonable day's walk and a surprisingly
interesting town. Built in the last fifty years, when relocated to
avoid the reservoir, I had expected a rather characterless place so was
pleasantly surprised to find an arcaded Plaza Mayor with half-decent
Hotel Villa Jardin, just off Plaza.
Some rooms have fabulous view across valley, mine of rear street, but
still comfortable enough (€35)
Palas de Rei (Stage 29; 23.9km)
A long, but not too arduous, climb out of Portomarín
for a couple of hours, but then relatively easy going and a decent hotel
at the end of the day. Not much of a town, but usual good food and
Hotel Casa Benilde (+34 982 380 717;
www.hotelcasabenilde.com). Right in centre, but quiet and
Arzua (Stage 30; 28.6km)
A generally good day's walk although the last few km
were somewhat tedious through suburbia and workshops. The main road
runs through the noisy Plaza, but with plenty of street life to watch as
the world goes by.
Pension on entry to town. Friendly,
clean, adequate (€24)
||Lavacolla (Stage 31; 29km)
Last night on the Camino and a very pleasant walk
through eucalyptus forests, right up until the detour round the end of the
main runway at Lavacolla (Santiago airport). Nothing at all in the
town, but comfortable hotel and prospect of arriving in Santiago the next
morning more than compensate.
Hotel Ruta Jacobea (+34 981 888 211;
www.rutajacobea.net). Comfortable, modern, edge of town (€45)
Santiago de Compostela (Stage
An easy walk, all downhill
and with plenty of energy after a good night's sleep. Breathtaking
arrival in the Cathedral Square (Praça do Obradoiro), but then you realise
you have finally made it and it is almost an anticlimax to know it is all
over. Still, a beautiful city; I wish I could have stayed longer
Hotel Rua Villar, (+34 981 51 98 58;
www.hotelruavillar.com) right opposite pilgrim office. Beautiful,
comfortable, excellent breakfast included (€90)