705 km – 26 stages
Via de la Plata
The Via de la Plata is sometimes incorrectly known in English as the Silver Route or Way – “Plata” is a corruption of the arabic word BaLaTa, meaning paved road. The Via de La Plata (once a Roman causeway starting in Emérita Augusta (Mérida) and ending in Asturica Augusta (Astorga) starts in Seville from where it goes north to Zamora via Zafra, Cáceres and Salamanca. It is much less frequented than the French Way or even the Northern Way. After Zamora there are three options. The first route, or Camino Sanabrés heads west and reaches Santiago via Ourense. It totally deserves its own chapter, so read on about this itinerary in the next paragraph! Wiki is not complete on this one, but Eroski resource always is!
Another route (original Via de la Plata) continues north to Astorga, from where pilgrims can continue west along the Camino Francés to Santiago.
A third, seldom traveled route, crosses into Portugal and passes through Bragança, rejoining the Camino Sanabrés near Ourense. The Camino Mozárabe route from Granada or Malaga, passes through Córdoba and later joins up with the Via de La Plata at Mérida.
Most pilgrims start either in Sevilla or Mérida when their choice is less restricted by time.
Salamanca is also a very popular starting point.
"Doing the last 100 km to Santiago" is not possible on this Camino. Mainly because the last 100 km belong to a different Camino: either the Camino Francés, which you will follow from Astorga onwards, or the Camino Sanabrés (starts in Granja de Moreruela).
28 km – 2 albergues
Km 0: Cañaveral (Albergue, Hostals, Bars, Shop, ATM, Pharmacy, Info center)
Km 7,8: Grimaldo (Albergue, Rural house, Bar)
Follow the indication arrows to Riolobos, this is an alternative route created by the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago of Sevilla to solve the problem of not being able to cross a private area (the owner won in court… can you believe it…). The sign will say ‘Camino de Santiago, Riolobos – 4 km’.
Riolobos (All services, Rural house with special price for pilgrims)
Km 28: Galisteo (All services)
22,7 km – 2 albergues
Km 0: Montamarta (Albergue, Bar, Shop, Pharmacy)
Km 12,5: Fontanillas de Castro (Inn, Bar, Shop in the Gas station)
Km 16,2: Riego del Camino (Albergue, Bar, Shop)
Km 22,7: Granja de Moreruela (Albergue, Bar, Shop)
From here, you may choose to take the Camino Sanabrés, or continue on to Astorga to take the Camino Francés. Another option would be to find your way to Ponferrada and do the Camino de Invierno – also a very nice alternative to the last part of the French Way.
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