The route you'll take....
The most famous of the four pilgrimage routes, this is otherwise known as the Via de la Plata, and its name derives from the pilgrimage taken by the Mozarabic Christians at the time when Spain was dominated by the Moors. It is over 1000 km from its starting point in Seville and the number of pilgrims who gain a Compostela from walking the Via de la Plata is less than 5% of the total number of travellers to Santiago. The walk will take between 6 to 8 weeks and there will be some long days walking with little signs of life between the pueblos.
The terrain up until Astorga is not very difficult with only a few difficult climbs though the distances between towns and villages are often very long. After Zamora, as you enter Galicia the walk becomes harder and at times quite strenuous, with many steep climbs and descents, over 1300m in some passes.
The route and places of interest on the way
The route starts at the cathedral at Seville and from Andalusia we move to the region of Extremadura and the cultural city of Merida. This accounts for almost 200 kilometres of your journey. During this time you will have experienced walking on an old Roman road and had the opportunity to visit the Roman ruins, including the theatre, amphitheatre and remains of the Circus Maximus.
Another 75km of walking brings you to Cacares, where you will enjoy the many splendid churches and palaces of this wonderful old city. The next major city is Salamanca a further 200km on and this marks the halfway point of your Camino. The trail is through a variety of terrain, from woodland to meadows.
From Salamanca the trail moves to Zamora, the capital of Castille-Leon.
The Camino then moves into Galicia and the pilgrim travels through low mountains with the most spectacular views of the whole Camino. From A Gudina, you can take the northern or slightly longer southern route to Ourense and visit the Old City for its cathedral, churches, convents and city hall, but also see the ponte vella, the old bridge over the River Mino for an example of 13th and 17th century civil engineering. At Ourense, both routes converge for the final 110 km to the end of the camino.
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