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VIA DE LA PLATA – Camino Mozárabe

Via de la Plata

The Vía de la Plata or Camino Mozárabe (#viadelaplata) is by far the longest Camino de Santiago route (1000km long) and crosses the whole of Spain from Andalucia in the South to Galicia in the North. This Camino route was traditionally taken by North African Christians on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Starting in magnificent Sevilla with its fascinating mix of architecture styles, you will soon be walking among olive trees, orange groves and bulls (behind fences, don’t worry!) in Andalucía. As you enter the land of the ‘conquistadores’, you will discover a rarely visited part of Spain; off the beaten track and full of medieval churches and wonderful palaces. The Romans left an important mark along the Vía de la Plata; you will encounter some of the best preserved Roman sites in Europe: such as the city of Mérida and Caparra. Extremadura is also home to some of the best bird watching in Europe and home of the exquisite Pata Negra ham. You will also visit the elegant UNESCO-listed cities of Salamanca and Zamora before entering the green and remote mountains of Galicia. After Ourense city, perfect to relax at the famous thermal springs, you will discover THE most beautiful of all the last 100km sections to Santiago de Compostela: across peaceful forests, charming hamlets and lush rolling hills with outstanding views. Read more Via de la Plata Camino articles on our blog.

Itinerary

This is the complete itinerary for the Via de la Plata (or Camino Mozárabe, sometime wrongly called Silver Way), with traditional stages. Please note that ‘splits’ have not been included in the table.

Sections Town Km Section Summary
Section 1 Sevilla
Guilerna 22 On this Camino walking holiday you will walk the first section of the Vía de la Plata, the longest Camino de Santiago route. Starting in the hot plains of Seville, this Camino route crosses Andalucía’s countryside, Sierra Norte National Park and finishes in the gateway of Extremadura that is Monesterio.
Castilblanco de los Arroyos (2 nights) 19
Almadén de la Plata 30
El Real de la Jara (Sleeping in Santo Ollala de la calla) 17
Section 2 Monesterio 21
Fuente de Cantos 22 Starting in Monesterio this section of the Camino de Santiago along the Via de la Plata crosses the South of Extremadura. This walking trail takes you through a relatively undiscovered region of Spain. Wild flowers, olive tree orchards and vineyards add bursts of colour to the predominantly red earthy landscape of this sparsely populated region. This may sound like a challenging Camino but the flat ground and our split sections (we have organised the itinerary in shorter walking days) it actually presents no difficulty and only requires an average level of fitness.
Zafra 26
Villafranca de los Barros 21
Almendralejo 17
Section 3 Mérida 26
Aljucén 17 This section of the Camino de Santiago on the Via de la Plata starts in the city of Mérida, with its rich Roman heritage and sites. You will travel North through slightly hilly and red earthy landscape that sometimes seems to have more ‘cerdos ibéricos’ (dark brown pigs native to the region) than residents. Long stretches with little shade can make this section a challenge in the hot months so we have split most stages into shorter walking days. In Cáceres, make sure you take time to explore the old town.
Alcuéscar 21
Aldea del Cano 17
Section 4 Caceres 23
Casar de Caceres 11 This section of the Camino de Santiago along the Vía de la Plata begins in the city of Cáceres where you should explore its UNESCO-listed medieval old town. The walk begins with very little shade but the landscape eventually becomes a bit more wooded. Along the way, you will pass interesting towns and sites for you to stop and visit.
Cañaveral 34
Galisteo 28
Section 5 Carcaboso 11
Zara de Granadilla 29 This section of the Camino de Santiago, along the Vía de la Plata, starts in the small town of Carcaboso in the North of Extremedura and takes walkers to Salamanca city, renowned for its Renaissance architecture and its UNESCO-listed Old Town. This is one of the most beautiful sections of the Vía de la Plata, passing lakes and mountains, and offering pilgrims the chance to taste great food (Pata Negra ham amongst many other delicious things) and enjoy the best bird-watching in Spain! On this Camino section you will discover many different landscapes: forests, farmland and vast plains as well as crossing the stimulating (but not challenging) Dueña mountain range, one of the Vía de la Plata highest points (at 1140m).
Baños de Montemayor 18
Calzada de Béjar 13
Fuenterroble de Salvatierra (Sleeping in Guijuelo) 21
San Pedro de Rozados 30
Section 6 Salamanca 26
Valdeunciel 16 This section of the Camino de Santiago along the Vía de la Plata starts in the stunning city of Salamanca, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1988. The walk is dominated by flat crop fields, farmland and red earth tracks stretching as far as the eye can see. The first few walking days are relatively short but the last walking day to Zamora is a bit longer and therefore a bit more challenging. However, anybody with a reasonable fitness level can do it! This Camino section finishes in Zamora, known locally as ‘little Salamanca’ for its architecture and rich heritage. Zamora has 24 Romanesque churches! the highest number in Europe.
El Cubo de Vino 20
Section 7 Zamora 33
Montamarta 19 This section of the Vía de la Plata starts in gorgeous Zamora, with its 24 Romanesque churches, and finishes in Puebla de Sanabria in the heart of the Sanabria Valley. Along the way, you will walk on peaceful country tracks and stop in charming little hamlets. The landscape begins to alternate between red earth farmland and greener hills and woodlands. This section requires a reasonable level of fitness, mainly because of its length.
Granja de Moreruela 22
Tábara 28
Camarzana 25
Mombuey 30
Section 8 Puebla de Sanabria 33
Requejo 12 This section of the Vía de la Plata enters Galicia and crosses beautiful low mountains, making it challenging but also offering some of the most rewarding views of the whole Camino de Santiago. We have balanced the terrain difficulties by dividing the section into short walks so it is available to anybody with an average level of fitness.
Lubián 18
Section 9 A Gudiña 23
Campobecerros 20 This section of the Camino de Santiago starts in the tiny town of A Gudiña, passing isolated villages and curious roaming cattle through the green Galician countryside. This section offers some of the most eye-catching views of the whole Vía de la Plata route. The terrain can be quite challenging so we have organised your walking days to cover just up to 22 kilometres per day.
Laza 15
Villar de Barrio 21
Xunqueira de Ambía 15
Section 10 Ourense 22
Cea 22 This section of the Camino de Santiago along the final stretch of the Vía de la Plata is probably the most beautiful of all the “last 100km” to Santiago de Compostela. It starts in the city of Ourense, famous for its thermal springs, and finishes in gorgeous Santiago de Compostela. Through the green and hilly lands of Galicia, you will have the chance to meet the locals in their day to day life, while passing sleepy villages, hamlets with Romanesque churches and other places of interest. As you reach some altitude (never really challenging) the views of the surrounding countryside are splendid. Don’t forget to claim your ‘Compostela’ certificate when you reach Santiago!
Dozón 21
Lalín 17
Silleda 15
Ponte Ulla 20
Santiago de C. 20

Read More

Also called Camino Mozárabe, the Via de la Plata is the longest of all the Camino routes to Santiago. In Galicia, the route travels through the provinces of Ourense, Pontevedra and A Coruña, crossing nature reserves of great cultural and ecological importance. Due to its length, this itinerary offers alternatives and a number of accesses into Galicia from Northeast Portugal through the basin of the Sil River, which has been the traditional entry to Galicia since ancient times. The Southeast Way is actually an extension of the Roman road known as the Vía de la Plata, which connected Emerita Augusta (Mérida) with Asturica Augusta (Astorga), and crosses the western part of the Iberian Peninsula from South to North, travelling over the basins of the Tajo and Duero Rivers. The Way was laid out in early Christian times, taking advantage of older roads, in keeping with the practical nature of the Romans. During the early Middle Ages, the route was still in use, first with the Visigoths and later under Islamic rule. The term Vía de la Plata (Silver Way) has its roots in the original etymological meaning from the Arabic ‘Bal’latta’, a term used by Moslems to designate this wide, stoned-paved public-way, with its solid design, leading north to the land of the Christians. It was used, in part, by the infantry of Córdoba during the military expedition conducted by Almanzor against Santiago in August 997. The term Vía de la Plata therefore makes no reference to this precious metal. via-de-la-plata-s9d6-ourense-caminowaysIn the late Middle Ages, the route was once again Christianised by the Andalusian Mozarabs, who found the pilgrimage to Santiago to be less perilous following the conquest of Seville and Cordoba by Ferdinand III. The story recounting the return of the bells to the Cathedral of Santiago is related to the Vía de la Plata. With this symbolic act, the route between Córdoba and Santiago entered a new era, and as of 1250 it was used by pilgrims from Andalucía and Extremadura. Some would continue on to Astorga, linking up with the French Way, while others would take the cut-off leading to Puebla de Sanabria- A Gudiña-Laza/Verín-Ourense-Santiago, which made the route shorter and more direct. The way that passes through Laza is 214km in length, whereas the route through Verín is 233 km. A third possibility takes pilgrims through Northeast Portugal, towards Braganca or Chaves, entering Galicia in the southern part of the province in the direction of Verín, continuing along towards Laza or Xinzo de Limia. These itineraries all converge in the city of Ourense. From there, the route continues to San Cristovo de Cea. Many pilgrims sought the hospitality offered by the monastery of Oseira. Others preferred to hurry on to Dozón. From this location, they would set out for Lalín, Silleda, Ponte Ulla and Santiago de Compostela. As for the military orders in charge of safeguarding the Way, one of the most important is the Order of Saint James, on the Laza-Xunqueira-Ourense route. The Santiago commandery of Barra protected the stretch going from Codesedo, at the foot of Monte Talariho, where there is a roadside shrine, to Vilar de Gumareites. The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (later the Order of Malta) set up a priory in 1170 and was responsible for protecting the Vilanova Bridge and the way at the far end of this royal town. The late 12th century Romanesque church is still standing, and, with the medieval bridge, constitutes a historical group of monuments. The Knights Templar were based in Santa Marina de Augas Santas and shortly before they were repressed, they had begun to build a church on the site of the ‘Forno da Santa’.
  • Walking
  • Cycling
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Via de la Plata - Ourense to Santiago 10/10 FINAL SECTION

7 Nights-€694- Walking Section 10 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Seville to Monesterio 1/10

6 Nights-€656- Walking Section 1 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Monesterio to Mérida 2/10

6 Nights-€656- Walking Section 2 o 10

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Via de la Plata - Mérida to Cáceres 3/10

5 Nights-€538- Walking Section 3 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Cáceres to Carcaboso 4/10

5 Nights-€538- Walking Section 4 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Carcaboso to Salamanca 5/10

7 Nights-€774- Walking Section 5 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Salamanca to Zamora 6/10

4 Nights-€420- Walking Section 6 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Zamora to Puebla de Sanabria 7/10

7 Nights-€774- Walking Section 7 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Puebla de Sanabria to A Gudina 8/10

4 Nights-€420- Walking Section 8 of 10

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Via de la Plata - A Gudiña to Ourense 9/10

6 Nights-€712- Walking Section 9 of 10

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Via de la Plata - Seville to Santiago FULL WALK

48 Nights-€5597- Full Walk

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Via de la Plata Cycling - Sevilla to Caceres 1/4

6 Nights-€706- Cycling Section 1 of 4

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Via de la Plata Cycling - Cáceres to Salamanca 2/4

6 Nights-€706- Cycling Section 2 of 4

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Via de la Plata Cycling - Salamanca to Puebla de Sanabria 3/4

5 Nights-€599- Cycling Section 3 of 4

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Via de la Plata Cycling - Puebla de Sanabria to Santiago 4/4 FINAL SECTION

6 Nights-€706- Cycling Section 4 of 4

Via de la Plata-merida-caminoways.com

Via de la Plata Cycling - Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela FULL CYCLE

20 nights-€2522- Full Way Cycling