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The route is well signposted in both directions, between Muxía and Fisterra. Despite the proximity to the sea, don't expect a walk on the beach. Today's journey runs through a rural and lonely territory, with dirt roads, forests and demanding slopes. There might be walkers coming from Fisterra, so say "Hola" and maybe chat a while. Get started early and look for a lunch stop in Lires, a town located right in the middle of the day.
You can almost smell the sea (and almost see it) but there's still over 20 km to Muxia, although the sea comes into view long before. The route alternates sections of tarmac, without much interest, with several stretches of dirt road through forests. Looking at the profile of the stage, you can see that the descent towards the coast is not exactly easygoing, rather a continuous up-and-down, with moderate unevenness.
The first 3 km of this stage are fairly simple but then there is a bit of a climb up to Monte Aro. Our route goes up to a viewpoint to enjoy the panoramic view, but there's no need to go all the way to the top, because 500 meters before the top there is a right turn and the begining of a steep descent along a dirt track. On the descent of Mount Aro, good views over the Xallas valley can be enjoyed, including the great Fervenza reservoir.
This is an easier stage than the classic 33.6 km from Negreira to Olveiroa, through a really rural environment but with a few uphill climbs. In the first ten kilometers we cross lush forests of pine, chestnut and oak trees, then we go through a clearer patch of land. At the end, there's a small village that is friendly and worth exploring.
This walk can be done as an extention to any Camino de Santiago. It's the older reason people, like the Romans, walked across the top of the Iberian Peninsula, following the Milky Way to the ends of the earth (as it was known). Our recomendation is to go through Muxía rather than head straight to Fisterra (the name of the town). Also, we recommend going the extra 3 km to reach Cape Finisterre. Great scenery and an amazing climax to see the sunset on the Atlantic Ocean from the cape.
Time to leave Santiago behind and follow the sun going west. It's more or less downhill as far as Aguapesada, then there's a bit of a climb over Alto do Mar de Ovellas, where we have to go up 210 metros in about 2 km, up to Carballo. Then it's a stroll, crossing the Tambre river and into Negreira.
The final stage of the Camino Primitivo, completing the 308.5 km. An easy walk to finish and still be in time for the Pilgrim's Mass at 12 o'clock midday. The route goes past the Monte do Gozo (Hill of Joy) which gives us a fine view of the three spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. From there, it's about an hour to the main door and entrance to the Cathedral and the end of this journey. However, the recommendation is to continue a few days more to Finisterre, on the Atlantic coast.
A comfortable stage with very few slopes; along tracks, crossing forests and meadows. As in the previous stage, the route runs parallel to the main N-547 road and the soon to be completed A-54 motorway. Our route passes O Pedrouzo and the airport to give us a short distance to walk in the next stage to allow us to get to the Pilgrim's Mass, which is celebrated daily at 12 noon in the Cathedral of Santiago.
The route follows the N-547 but using local paths and tracks, sometimes crossing the main road but only walking short stretches of tarmac. The route is a bit up and down, crossing the River Boente and the beautiful valley of the River Iso to reach Arzúa. Then it's a pretty comfortable 5 km as we go along forest tracks, through woods and meadows to reach the albergue at As Quintas.
This stage goes through more rural landscapes, along small dirt tracks and quite a lot of tarmac with frequent slopes. In general, it's pretty moderate with the opportunity to visit small villages, a few of which have restaurant services. The route finishes in Melide, where we join the Camino Frances.
This stage is the official route and avoids the detour to Friol and Sobrado dos Monxes. There is a fair amount of road walking but if the weather is unkind (i.e. wet and cold) that is probably a blessing. There are a number of villages to go through so plenty of opportunities to chat with local folk along the way. Santiago is getting closer and that will also probably mean more people on the trail but that can also be pleasant and conversation on the road will make the journey more entertaining.
This stage runs through rural Galicia, with at least seven villages en route and plenty of places to stop for a rest (or even to stay the night if you want to split this stage into two or three mini-stages). Likewise, there are plenty of chapels, churches and fountains to visit. Our route follows the original way to Vilabade, which includes a visit to the church of Santa María, known as the "catedral de Castroverde".
The route is a delight with a succession of descents and ascents surrounded by domesticated rural scenery. If the weather is kind, this stage is as enjoyable as any other and much easier on the feet that the previous stage. This is authentic Galician hinterland with a warm welcome from folk all the way along the trail.