On The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Santiago de Compostela to Carballal

June 9, 2013 — 10 Comments

For many pilgrims, their journey on the Camino de Santiago does not end in Santiago de Compostela. For many centuries, we have traveled the ancient path to Finisterre (Fisterra in Galician) on the Costa da Morte, the Coast of Death. In ancient times, Finisterre was considered by many to be at the end of the world, until Columbus and others proved them wrong. Nevertheless, watching the sunset on the horizon of the Atlantic is one of the amazing sites that you can look forward to.

If you only have a few days to walk a Camino, you may want to consider the Camino Finisterre. It’s only 93 kilometers (58 miles) and you may be more interested in completing a Camino instead of a portion of the Camino Francés. If you have an extra day, you can add the pilgrimage to Muxía, about 30 kilometers north of Finisterre. You can also expect the Camino Finisterre to be less crowded than the last 100 kilometers of the Camino Francés.

Before we start our Camino Finisterre, let’s take a quick look how the route leaves the Praza do Obradoiro, the large plaza in front of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos is on your right, and the Palacio de Rajoy or Ayuntamiento de Santiago is on your left. The Camino Fisisterre leaves the plaza by following a narrow street on the right hand side of the Ayuntamiento.

Santiago de Compostela Praza do Obradoiro



First, let’s go to the middle of the plaza where I ended both my Camino Francés and Camino del Norte. This stone commemorates the Camino de Santiago being declared the first European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987. In 1993, the pilgrimage route was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Time to begin a new journey…

Europa Camino de Santiago Praza do Obradoiro



To The End Of The World!

Looking back at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in the morning skies. As I mentioned in my post, The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Views From The Praza do Obradoiro, lighting on the cathedral is best in the evening with the setting sun. As you can tell, I had a beautiful spring day.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral 14 Catedral de Santiago de Compostela



One last stop to view the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos, an important landmark for the Camino.

Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos Santiago de Compostela Galicia



 This is the Rua das Hortas which leads down the hill.

Camino Finsiterre Santiago de Compostela Galicia





  After the Parque San Lorenzo, the Camino travels through a rural area.

Camino Finsiterre 3 Santiago de Compostela Galicia



Sarela is a small community on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela with the bridge over the Río Sarela.

carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia



bridge carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia



 The peaceful river looking downstream.

sar carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia sarela



 Here’s me…

randall st germain carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia



The signs clearly point the way to Finisterre. I don’t remember any time that I had a problem finding the route.

sign carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia



After a short climb, we have one last look at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Even through the morning haze, it’s still a magical sight.

Santiago de Compostela cathedral Camino Finisterre Galicia



 The Galician track through a eucalyptus forest.

track carballal Camino Finisterre Galicia



These are the bollards for the Camino Finisterre. In Galicia, always walk in the direction of the rays.

bollard carballal puente Camino Finisterre Galicia



 A walk through scrubland and…

track carballal puente Camino Finisterre Galicia



 a beautiful walk through a eucalyptus forest.

Eucalyptus carballal puente Camino Finisterre Galicia



I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop as we near the village of Carballal. It was sad to leave Santiago de Compostela, but I wouldn’t be gone for long. On my next post, On The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Carballal to Ponte Maceira, we’ll continue through villages and eucalyptus forests, and view one of the most amazing settings along the Camino de Santiago. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


10 responses to On The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Santiago de Compostela to Carballal

  1. Peter Pfliegel June 10, 2013 at 2:53 am

    This was the first of your posts, I was especially waiting for. 🙂 Only few blogs have photos taken on Camino Finisterre. You mentioned that in Galicia, the direction of the rays on the bollards is different. Do you mean that it is reverted just after Santiago or is it the case even before? I think that only after Santiago because scallop heads have to point always to Santiago.

    • Peter, you’re very welcome. I actually have a couple more posts from Santiago but I really wanted to start the Camino Finisterre on my blog. As for the newer bollards in Galicia, you don’t have them on the French Way. You saw the older style from my earlier posts. You will see the newer ones such as on this post on the Camino Finisterre and the Camino del Norte before Arzua. Many have exact distances. As for for the scallop shells, you always follow in the direction of the rays in Galicia. However, in Castilla y León on the Francés and Asturias on the del Norte, it is opposite. I know it’s a little confusing but you’ll figure it out. Usually, there are arrows nearby if you’re unsure 🙂

      • Randall, maybe the bollards are a bit different on various Caminos but the scalop symbol is the same, (e.g. loking at http://trekkingtheelcamino.blogspot.hu/). Thus I still think that the ´head´ part of the scalop symbol has always to point towards Santiago and therefore it looks like the symbols are reversed on the way to Finisterre. The idea behind that is likely the same as ´Every road leads to Rome´:-)

        • Peter, I’ll have to disagree with you. I have many photos of the new bollards on the Camino del Norte in Galicia before Arzua and the rays always point in the direction you are headed. One of the guidebooks, I believe it’s the CSJ one, warns you not to be confused as you enter Galicia after spending so much time in Asturias, as the direction of the scallop shell is reversed.

  2. Annie Carroll – Writer June 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I have loved taking this journey with you. It is one I have thought about doing for years. Thank you!

    • Hi Anne. Thanks for coming along. I really appreciate your visits and hope you can get my book too. Thanks for your support. Buen Camino 🙂

  3. Peter, trust me, you’ll be fine. Buen Camino 🙂

  4. Great to see this section talked about.
    Husband and I plan on Finisterre to Santiago but slowly.
    Can you suggest where I find info on the many small villages along the way so I can plan on small days of walking?

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