The Salnés Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago connects the Portuguese Way with the Translatio Route, also known as the Arousa Sea and Ulla River Route, which is the origin of all the Santiago routes.

Organised into three stages, the variant begins in Pontevedra and ends in Pontecessures, where it joins the final leg of the Portuguese Camino. From Armenteira, the Camino leads pilgrims along the Stone and Water Route, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Galicia.

One of the peculiarities of this variant is the possibility of doing part of the last section between Vila Nova de Arousa and Pontecessures by boat, sailing in the waters of the Arousa estuary and arriving via the last navigable section of the Ulla River. It is the same route that the remains of the Apostle Saint James are believed to have travelled on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The route passes through a beautiful natural area, visiting the only Holy Way river crossing in the world, where you can see seventeen ancient crosses that identify this Camino de Santiago as Translatio, the origin of all Caminos.

DURATION 7 walking days – 8 nights
DISTANCE 128 km in 7 stages
AVAILABILITY March to November
8 Nights of accommodation with breakfast
Luggage transfers between hotels (1 bag per person – Max. 15 kg/bag)
Boat trip from Vila Nova de Arousa to Pontecessures
24/7 emergency support
Pre-tour briefing
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary),optional additional tours or activities during free time, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature

Price per person:

Low season: 01st March to 30th June| 16th September to 31st October
In double room occupancy: 755 Euros
Single room supplement: 340 Euros

High season: 1st July to 15th September
In double room occupancy: 810 Euros
Single room supplement: 380 Euros

EXTRAS If you would like any additional nights, rest days, split or merge stages, please don’t hesitate to ask for a quote;
Availability to upgrade to 4 or 5-star hotels and Paradores – ask for a quote.

Why book with us?

– This alternate route can be arranged on any of our Camino de Santiago hiking programs. For more information or a quotation, please contact us.
– We are a local company, so there are no intermediaries when booking through us. Our goal is get you the best price/quality possible and give you all the necessary local support
– The hotels in our programs are regularly inspected by our team and have been carefully selected for their location and comfort. All our handpicked hotels have en suite accommodation

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    Arrival in Valença

    Accommodation: 3* Hotel

    Walk from Valença to Porriño (20 km | 12.4 miles)

    Today you’ll say goodbye to Portugal as you cross the metal bridge over the River Minho. Try to get an early start, especially in winter months, to give yourself some time to enjoy the medieval town of Tui before making your way to the small industrial town of O Porriño.Depending on which route you take, you will either spend most of your day walking through forests and fields or a significant chunk of it in industrial areas.

    Accommodation: 2* Hotel


    Walk from Porriño to Arcade (22 km | 13.6 miles)

    You get your first glimpses of the Ria de Vigo estuary today when you reach Redondela and again towards the end of the stage in Arcade. In between, you have two hills to negotiate. The first is a slow, steady climb through rural scenery to an altitude of 235m. The second, although lower, is somewhat steeper and perhaps more tiring as it’s towards the end of the day. About 15 km into the stage, you’ll pass through the town of Redondela, where the central and coastal routes merge to follow the same route all the way to Santiago. Redondela has some interesting medieval buildings, including the 16th century Casa da Torre, now the pilgrim hostel. You’ll end the day in the small town of Arcade, renowned for its seafood thanks to its proximity to the water. It has an attractive beach and riverside park area. If you can’t find the time or energy to enjoy these when you arrive, try to do so in the morning.

    Accommodation: 2* Hotel


    Walk from Arcade to Pontevedra (13 km | 8 miles)

    Today’s journey is short and should only take about 4 hours. You can delay your departure and still have plenty of time to visit the historical centre of Pontevedra in the afternoon. This short stage is also one of the most pleasant on the Way, especially if you make a detour to start from the beach in Arcade. After leaving the town behind, you’ll follow ancient stone paths through the woods and, if you take the detour via River Tomeza, spend most of the day surrounded by trees and birdsong. You do have a hill to climb, up to 145 m altitude, but it isn’t terribly steep and is mostly in shade. After that, it’s downhill then level for the rest of the journey to Pontevedra. Pontevedra itself is a particularly attractive city. The historical centre is full of pretty squares and plenty of opportunities to enjoy tapas outdoors and watch the world go by.

    Accommodation: 3* Hotel


    “O Salnés Spiritual Variant” - Walk from Pontevedra to Armenteira (23 km | 14.3 miles)

    Today’s stage marks the beginning of the Salnês Spiritual Variant, which begins about 2 km after leaving the city of Pontevedra. You will walk through the picturesque landscapes of Comarca and O Salnês, crossing the village of Poio – with its old monastery – and the beautiful coastal town of Combarro, before beginning the long and demanding climb to A Armenteira. Here, you will find a magnificent Monastery, built in the 12th century, and which is still in operation today.

    Accommodation: 3* Hotel


    “O Salnés Spiritual Variant”- Walk from Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa (23 km | 14.3 miles)

    Today’s stage is one of the most beautiful and pleasant on the entire Portuguese Camino. From Armenteira to Pontearnelas, you will travel “A Ruta da Pedra e da Auga”, which unfolds through natural landscapes of great beauty in the municipalities of Meis and Ribadumia. Walking under the shade of the trees along the banks of the Armenteira river, you will find ancient watermills that rest on the riverside, small waterfalls and bridges. Vegetable gardens and vineyards indicate that the Arousa estuary is approaching. After walking almost 23 km, you will reach the beaches and town of Vilanova de Arousa.

    Accommodation: 2* Hotel


    “O Salnés Spiritual Variant” - Boat trip (Translatio) from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecessures + Walk from Pontecessures to Teo (Rua de Francos) (13 km | 8 miles)

    On the last day of the Salnês Spiritual Variant, before resuming the traditional Portuguese Camino, you will journey between Vilanova de Arousa and Pontecessures. This journey can be done in two ways: the first is by taking the Translatio, a boat trip going up the Ulla river and honoring the journey that the remains of Saint James made, up to Pontecessures. The second option, if traveling by boat is not possible, is to walk along the coast of the Ria de Arousa, walking through a succession of fishing villages until you reach Pontecessures, where you will find the Portuguese Camino. From Pontecessures to Teo there are a couple of sections on busy main roads without pavement but most of the terrain is tarmac lanes and stone or dirt tracks.

    Accommodation: 3* Hotel


    Walk from Teo (Rua de Francos) to Santiago de Compostela (14 km | 8.7 miles)

    The final stage begins with a steady but not terribly arduous climb, mostly through woodlands, of 160 m to a peak of 260 metres. As you descend along quiet tarmac lanes, you will see the city of Santiago de Compostela ahead of you on the next hill. When you get within 4 km of the city, you will need to decide whether to stay amid greenery for as long as possible or stick with the original Way to take a short cut up a steep hill through a built up area. Either way, the last few kilometres will be along tarmac and urban roads but as the graffitied sign at Ponte Rio Sar says, “Don’t Stop Now!” The yellow arrows all but disappear once you enter the centre of Santiago de Compostela so follow these directions to arrive at the cathedral the Portuguese Way.

    Accommodation: 3* Hotel


    Santiago de Compostela

    End of our services. You can make your way to your next destination or ask us to add an extra night or two in the city centre to your walking holiday package (additional costs apply).

    – This alternate route can be arranged on any of our Camino de Santiago hiking programs. For more information or a quotation, please contact us.

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      Salnés Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago - the origin of all the Santiago routes- portuguese way to santiago - way of saint james specialists
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      easy coastal camino, calmly do your way to Santiago - portuguese way to santiago - way of saint james specialists
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