Vía de la Plata

This is the longer Saint James Route

It passes by the lands of Ourense, Pontevedra and A Coruña, meeting beautiful natural spaces, having a cultural and ecological heritage. It offers noumerous and varied access to the Galicia from the north east of Portugal, through the Sil´s valley, traditional entry in Galicia since centuties. The south east Route is a prolongation of the roman pavement called Via de Plata, which joins Merida to Astorga, crossing from south to north the peninsular west, and the rivers Tajo and Duero.

The term Via de Plata comes exactly from the etymologic arabic word “ Banatta “, used by the muslims to design the large public way formed by stones and which took the north cristian direction. The appelation Via de Plata doesn´t make in any way reference to the exploitation or the trade of this precious metal.

ITINERARY

This pilgrimage Route , prolongation of Via de Plata, enters in the Ourense´s province by the port of Portela da Canda, belonging A Mezquita, and continues until A Canda and A Gudiña. After the urban center of A Gudiña, the pilgrimage Route, could take the short cut of Verea Sur, until Laza, and arrive in Verin. The Route continues in direction of Monterrei, offering the shadow of the condal fortress, dominating all the valley.

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A) Monterrei-Xinzo de Limia

Leaving behind us Monterrei, we continu until Albarellos, dedicated to the apostol, to follow until Infesta and enter in Cualedro, after having crossed the Rebordondo and Pena Verde´s nucleus. The Routeproceeds to as Estivadas , passes by Viladerrei, Trasmiras, Limia´s valley, through Zos and Boado, before reaches Xinzo de Limia.

B) Xinzo de Limia- Sandiás-Allariz

The Route taks Vilarillo das poldras, Couso de Limia et Vilar de Sandias, continues until Piñeira de Arcos, before crossing Allaríz. The pilgrim passes first by Coedo, Outeiro de Torneiros, Paradilias and Torneiros, before reaching the Penedos and Allaríz´s villages.

C) Allaríz-Ourense

From Allaríz the pilgrim continues until A Frieira, crosses Santiago de Folgoso, then Roiriz de Abaixo, Roiriz de Arriba, Rubias, Espilieiros, A Vila and Augasantas. The itinerary between Taboa de la Cruz and Santiago de Rabeda, proceeds to Pereiras and enters in San Cibraodas Viñas, passing by A Castellana and Ponte Noalla. In Ourense the Route takes San Breixo de Seixalbo´s direction. Leaving behind it the urban nucleus of A Gudma, the Route meets Verea Vella or Verea South, through the impressive landscapes of A Serra Seca and finishes in Santiago de Campo Becerros. In Verea Vella the pilgrims could count with the Ordre de Santiago´s knights help.

The Route enters in Porto Comba, in the middle of mountain´s valley of the sierra de San Mamede, which belongs the Montederramo´s monastery and the regulars canons of Xunqueira de Ambia. This pilgrimage Route proceeds from Chaves (Portugal), crossing the border and passing by Fecesde Abaixo, situated on the banks of Tamega, and the place of Mandín. Arriving in Verín, it follows the direction of Tamaguelos, which church is dedicated to Santiago, and continues to Mourazos, Tamagos and Cabreiroá, famous for it litinic water spa, before arriving to Verín. After the Monterrei´s castle, the Route leaves behind it A Pousa and Mixos.

After Esteviños, Vences and Arcucelos, we arrive to A retorta, still in the Monterrevieiras´s valley. Laza is like a crossroads, where this itinerary join the one of Verea on the road of the old and traditional Castille Road.

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D) Laza-Vilar de Barrio-Xunqueira de Ambia

After Laza, the Route continues to Soutelo Verde and Santa Maria de Albergueria, summit of the Route, thanks to the existence of a traveller stage ,and a charity hospital for pilgrims. In Vilar de Barrio, the pilgrim follows until Santa Maria de Boveda where he can find the Marques de Boveda de Limia´s house, knight of Santiago, and the chapel founded by him; and continues to Vilar de Gumareites. From here, the Route takes the way of Verea de Santiago, large and confortable, flooded in part during the winter , and presenting a strongly damaged pavement . A little bit after Xunqueira de Ambia, it passes by Sobradelo and crosses the roman route XVIII on Antonino´s itinerary. The Route follows until Bovadelay de Cila, before joining Xunqueira de Ambia.

E) Xunqueira de Ambia-Ourense

From Xunqueira the Route takes San Xillau, then A Pausay leaving behind it the Virgin´s way chapel . Follow Vila Nava, with houses coated with arms by military order crosses , then Salgueiros and Os Casares, where many pilgrims decided to deviate in direction of Santa Maria de Augasantas. Arriving at Bafios de Molgas, we enter in the Paderne Allariz´s lands, leaving behind Cantoña and Ousende La Verea, arrive in Taboa, and cross the Santiago de Rabeda´s parish and continu until Venda do Rio and Pereiras.In Pereiras this itinerary joins Xinzo and Allariz. After A Castellana, Ponte Noalla, San Breixo de Seixalbo, the Route enters in Ourense´s province. The pilgrim can visit in the urban nucleus the cathedral and the Saint Christ´s chapel, the Burgas´s fontain, streets, places and bridges over the Miño.

F) Ourense-Cea

Outside Ourense the Route passes by Cudeiro and Sartedigos. After Amoeiro, it crosses by San Paio de Boveda, before arriving to Tamallancos. In Sobreira a deviation permits to access the Vilamarin´s castle, old fortress residence of the Rivadavia´s counts. In Ponte Sobreiro crossing the Barbantiño´s river by an historic bridge,the pilgrim enters in Cea, passing the picturesques sites of Faramontaos, Viduedo and As Casas Novas. The Route arrives a few after in San Cristovo de Cea. On the Ourense-Casas Navas´s way (Cea), we can take a moderner alternative which initialy , followed the Millo´s direction by its right bank until Quintela, continued to Linares and Cimes (Amoeiro), and entered in Casas Navas after been at Mandrás and Pulledo.

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G) Cea-Castro de Dozon-Prado (Lalin)-Silleda

After Cea many pilgrims deviate to the Oseira´s monastery. From this monastery we can take back the Route to Castro de Dozon, passing by Carballeidiña and Coiras. There is an another possibility for the pilgrim : from Cea a shorter itinerary drives to Dozon passing by Porto do Souto, Cotelas, Piñor, Arenteiro, O Reino and Cargalleda (Pulor). Both possibilities drive to the Castro de Mozon´s nucleus. The Route arrives on the summit of Santo Domingo, where a chapel is dedicated to this saint, enters in Santiago de Catasos, passing by Puxallos, and continues until Pontenoufe, A Xesta and Medelo. The Route continues after by Meson de Cugüarro, Donsion, Empedrada and Prado; passing by Santiago de Tabeada (Silleda), and crossing via a medieval bridge the Deza´s river.

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H) Silleda-Santiago

The last part of this pilgrimage Route goes along lands of Silleda, A Estrada, Vedra, Boqueixón and Santiago. From Silleda, the Route passes by Foxo, Margaride and Chapa. After the Chapa´s crossroads it continues in direction of Bandeira, Codeseira, Piñeiro and Castrovite ( A Estrada ); until Santa Maria de Loimil. The Route passes by Casares and Carballas crosses Santo Esteva de Oca, continues until Valboa, Arnois, A Calzada and Veiga. It enters in Vedra via Ponte Ulla, crosses Ulla´s river via a historic bridge and enters in the A Coruña´s province. The Route proceeds to Eiravedra, Francès, Cumbraos and Sobredo entering at last in Boqueixón via Ruibal. From Ruibal and Dexeiro de Arriba, the Route arrives to Santiago leaving behind it A Susana. Returning to Vedra , passing by Paradela, the Route enters definitively in Santiago via Corexo, Angrois and Cruceiro de Sar , near the historic city. From Colegiata de Sar and its interesting Sacred Art Museum, the pilgrim must give a last push before enter in the city, cross rua Vires da Cerca, passing via the barroque convent of Madres Mercedarias Prado. He passes by Porta de Mazarelos, the only door of the city high wall conserved and arrive to Praza da Universidade. The pilgrim continues then via the animated rua da Caldeirera, descending the Xelmirez coast and arrives to the famous Praza das Praterias. Through this meridional portal the pilgrim joins the Santiago de Compostela cathedrale, final point of the occidental pilgrimage.