Shell motif Camino de Santiago

Via de la Plata
from Sevilla via Salamanca
to Santiago de Compostela

Shell motif
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The stages of the Via de la Plata from Seville to Santiago de Compostela

The development of these pages on the Via de la Plata
in 2005 has been assisted by the Xunta de Galicia

This page is designed to give you a quick overall impression of what it is like to walk the Via de La Plata from Seville. To see more details of any of these stages, please click on the numbered button above.

The Via de la Plata is the longest of pilgrim routes in Spain, starting from Seville in Andalucia, and running northwards through the proviinces of Extremadura and Castilla y Leon to Salamanca and Zamora.

After Zamora, the pilgirm has to make a choice - whether to continue on the Via de la Plata in the same northerly direction to Astorga, and then to join up with the Camino Francés to continue to Santiago, or to go directly to Santiago along a route known as the Galician variant or the Camino Sanbrés which turns to the north-west and goes through Ourense to Santiago. Both routes are around 1,000 km. in length, and can be walked in around 6 weeks. Compared with the Camino Francés, the Via de la Plata has very few pilgrims, yet it still has a good network of refugios, though some of the stages between them are quite long (over 30 km.)

There are a number of good guides, including the indispensible Pilgrim Guide #2 of the Confraternity of St. James which can be obtained from their bookshop


Day 1 - Seville to Guilleria

Seville Cathedral

the first camino de tierra
Day 2 - Guilleria to Castleblanco

entering the nature reserve Cortijo de Chaparral

view from the refugio in Castilblanco
Day 3 - Castelblanco to Almaden de la Plata

Finca entry

view over Almaden de la Plata
Day 4 - Almaden de la Plata to Monasterio

a typical Andalucian black pig

walking into El Real de la Jara

Chapel and waymark
Day 5 - Monasterio to Fuente De Cantos

waymark for the albergue turistico in Fuente

courtyard in the albergue
Day 6 - Fuente de Cantos to Almazara

church in Los Santos
Day 7 - Almazara to Torremeija

main church, Villafranca de los Barros

There are a few trees!
Day 8 - Torremeija to Aljucen

door of the albergue turistico in Torremejia

Distant view of Merida

Roman bridge, Merida

Roman aqueduct
Day 9 - Aljucen to Alcuescar

early morning, leaving Aljucen

prickly pear

entrance to the refugio, a monastery in Alcuescar
Day 10 - Alcuescar to Caceres

Roman bridge, Casas de Don Antonio

approaching Caceres

main square, Caceres

altar in St Juan
Day 11 - Caceres to Casar de Caceres

Day 12 - Casar de Caceres to Canaveral

pedestrian alley way into Casar de Caceres

Roman milestone

Passing lake Tajo
Day 13 -Canaveral to Galisteo


A dodgy bit of path

coming in to Galisteo, which has its ancient wall round the old town
Day 14 - Galisteo to Carcasboso

Tower in the town wall

Day 15 - Carcaboso to Aldanueva del Camino

irrigation is doing a good job in this area

Roman arch at the archaeological site at Caparra

Stepping stones

tiles illustrating the Via de la Plata

Day 16 - Aldanueva del Camino to Calzada de Bejar

Commemorating the original Roman road

and a part of the Camino on a modern one

restored section of Roman road in Bano de Montemayor

View from the refugio in Calzadade Bejar
Day 17 - Calzada de Bejar to Fuenterroble

Dawn - and al long road ahead

refugio in Fuenterroble
Day 18 - Fuenterroble to Morille

1st cross of 5 erected by the local St James association

windmills on the approach to the Pico de Duena

Magnificent views

Pico de la Duena with Santiago-cross

Happy black pigs

Approaching San Pedro
Day 19 - Morille to Salamanca

First glimpse of Salamanca

Salamanca still far away
Day 20 - Rest day in Salamanca

Plaza Mayor

Casa de las Conchas, covered from top to bottom with scallop shells

The old library

Fine carving on a stone balustrade
Day 21 - Salamanca to El Cubo de Tierra del Vino

Leaving the road at the left fork onto a camino de tierra

Castellanos de Villiquera

An unusual waymark

Comfortable beds in the refugio attached to the church
Day 22 - El Cubo de Tierra del Vino to Zamora

New Roman-style milestone and distant view of Villanueva de Campeán

Church at San Marcial with storks

Puente de Piedra crossing the Rio Douro into Zamora

Church of Santiago del Burgo (with two murals of Santiago inside)
Day 23 - Zamora to Riego de Camino

Acres of sky and no shade for miles

View across the dry embalse towards the Ermita de la virgen del Castillo

Historicalmarker in Fontanillas de Castro

iwith a new refugio in this building, which has a private yard with clothes drying and safe bike storage.
Day 24 - Riego de Camino to Tábara

First view of Granja de Moreuruela

The dividing of the ways - Ourense to the left or Astorga to join the Camino Francés to the right

An unusual waymark

A steep climb to a good viewpoint
Day 25 - Tábara to Santa Marta de Tera

Bercianos de Valverde

Rio Tera between Santa Marta and Santa Croya

11th century statue of Santiago in the porch of the church at Santa Marta de Tera
Day 26 - Santa Marta de Tera to Mombuey

 Back to the canal

 Swimming area in Rio Tera on the edge of rionegro del Puente

  Amazing layered altar with death apparently triumphant (It was not possible to photograph this in one piece!)

 Entering Mombuey

 The municpal refugio in Mombuey
Day 27 - Mombuey to Pueblo de Sanabria

San Salvador de Palazuelos: ermita with unusual crossaes and (dry) fountain

Approaching Asturianos

Remesal - the plaque explains that here a meeting between kings (Fernando V el Catolico andFelipe 1 el hermoso) changed history!

View showing the commanding situation of the town of Pueblo de Sanabria
Day 28 - Pueblo de Sanabria to Lubián

The castle at dawn

A new waymark

Steep descents crxossing Ifrrigation channels

 Machinery of the old watermill in Aceiberos
Day 29- Lubián to A Gudina

Many abandoned houses in Vilavella

The first of the special waymarks of the province of Ourense

Tougher going with the higher passes of Galicia

The first of the Galician waymarks with the blue tiles and the brass plate showing the distance (in metres!) to Santiago wih one of the Ourense waymakrs
Day 30 - A Gudina to Laza (northern route)
The way divides at this double waymark in A Gudina
The enormous wooden cross at the top of the pass near Portocambo
Day 31 - Laza to Ourense (northern route)

500 metres of ascent to Albergueria

The bar at Albergueria

Cross on Monte Talariño
Southern route - Day 1 - A Gudina to Verín

but fortunately the road winds down into the forest 

Bridge for the N525 making interesting pattens in the early morning sun 

Verín; the Casa de Escudo, named after the huge coat of arms: the Tourist Office and the munipal refugio are on the ground floor 

Castilio de Monterrei, 2 km. outside Verín (and a fairly steep climb - there is another refugio here too) 
Southern route - Day 2 - Verín to Xinzo de Lamia

This area was formerly the largest lake in Spain until it was drained by a canal 

Gigantic statue of a warrior - one of the typical carnival figures of the town -in the public park (right)  

Southern route - Day 3 - Xinzo de Limia to Ourense

Narrow winding streets in Alleriz

Main square of Allariz

Puente de Vilanova (12th century

First view of Ourense
Day 32 - Ourense to Cea

Cathedral of San Martín

Detail of portico 

Rio Miño from the Ponte Vella, with the new bridge 

Another dividing point - straight on for the Quintela route illustrated here, or right for the Viduedo route

The old paved road

A 5-star hotel for ducks 
Day 33 - Cea to Castro Dozón

Part of the restored group of buildings which includes the refugio 

The monastery at Oseira (where it is possible to stay if you book in advance)

Castro Dozón 
Day 34 - Castro Dozón to Ponte Ulla

The New Refugio at Laxe

Early morning mist

The 10th Century Ponte Taboada
Day 35- Ponte Ulla to Santiago de Compostela

Views from the New refugio at Cappilade Santaguino

The magnificent new refugio at Cappilade Santaguino

Santiago de Compostela in a thunderstorm

Journey's end after 1,000km; the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela