The Camino de Santiago-Way To Santiago– has become in recent years a tourist reference at a universal level and the province of Pontevedra offers five different routes that lead to the city of the Apostle, with very different attractions for the pilgrim. Whatever your interests and preferences are, any traveler can choose from a variety of routes that will make each trip a different experience. The huge cultural, landscape and gastronomic wealth of the province will allow the walker, cyclist or rider to design a travel option to fit their taste.
The routes that run through the province of Pontevedra are the Portuguese Way, the Vía de la Plata-The Silver Way, the Portuguese Way along the coast, the Route of the Arousa Sea and the Ulla River and the Spiritual Variation of the Portuguese Way via the Salnés valley. The first two are those, which have the largest number of travelers but the other three have had lately an increasing number of visitors.
The Portuguese Way is the second most traveled route of all those that go to Santiago right after the French Way. This route enters Galicia via Tui from where it continues passing through Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis and Padrón. Among the attractions that walkers find on their way include the old area of Tui, the bay of San Simón with the landscape of the bridge of Rande and the Vigo estuary, the Chapel of the Pilgrim and the monumental area of Pontevedra and the hot springs of Caldas de Reis.
The Vía de la Plata towards Santiago joins the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula with Galicia through the province of Ourense. From this, the Camino enters Pontevedra through Dozón towards Lalín and crosses small towns such as Puxallos, Pontenoufe, Botos, Donsión, Campo, Empedrada and Prado. From the latter, the traveler can take a detour towards the sanctuary of Nosa Señora do Corpiño. Also on this route one can find the spectacular waterfall of the Toxa River and the ruins of the Carboeiro Monastery. The tour of Pontevedra ends in A Estrada, where one can visit the famous Pazo de Oca and its Versailles gardens.
The Portuguese Way by the Coast is a route that has been recently officialized and that is 150 kilometers long. It begins in A Guarda and crosses the municipalities of O Rosal, Oia, Baiona, Nigrán and Vigo up to Redondela, where it connects with the Portuguese Way. The beautiful coastal landscape is the great attraction of a route that also includes points of cultural and tourist interest such as the castro of Santa Trega in A Guarda and the medieval fortress of Baiona.
The Portuguese Way by the Coast is a route that has been recently officialized
The Maritime Route to Santiago runs along the Arousa River towards Vilagarcía and Padrón, where it connects with the Portuguese Way, following the same route that, according to legend, the disciples of the Apostle traveled and carried The Apostle´s corpse around. This route includes important tourist enclaves such as O Grove, Toxa and Cambados, capital of Albariño. In Vilagarcía you can admire various architectural works, among them we have the Casa do Cuadrante, where the famous local artist, Valle-Inclán was born and now there is a museum. In the stretch to the mouth of the Ulla, we must highlight the 17 “cruceros” -crossroads crosses-pronounced “kroo-thay-ee-roe” that are the main landmark of the Jacobean route to Pontecesures and Catoira, where you can still see the remains of the fortress of the West, built in the ninth century to defend Compostela from Viking raids.
The Spiritual Variation of the Portuguese Way via the valley of Salnés- homeland of the Albariño wine- joins this road with the route of the Sea of Arousa and the Ulla river. To follow it, it is necessary to take a detour right in Pontevedra towards the Armenteira (Meis) on a trip with a route of 20 kilometers long. Afterwards, a second trip of 24 kilometers takes place, in which one must travel to the north of the Salnés region from Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa that links the route of the Mar de Arousa and the Ulla River to reach Santiago. The possibility of touring the numerous wineries in the area is one of the great attractions of this tasty detour.