Those of us who have made more than one Camino have often heard the expression: “We all walk our own Camino”. And of course, there is nothing truer. We all have our own reasons for walking (or cycling) our Caminos, be they emotional, or spiritual/religious or physical, or plain ordinary recreational. Some of us, as we get older, want to walk shorter stages each day, and some of us, for reasons of health, do not wish to stay in the shared dormitory accommodation of the many excellent albergues along each Camino.
My own favourite Camino has to be the Via de la Plata. Twice have I cycled from Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela and once, in the spring of 2018, I walked with my good friend Úna Connaughton, from Puebla de Sanabria to Santiago de Compostela, a distance of 250 kilometres. On every one of my Caminos, I stayed in small economic hotels along the way. I found those hotels in Spanish and French guidebooks. There seems to be a scarcity of accommodation information to hand in English.
To begin our Camino in Puebla de Sanabria, I travelled by train from Madrid (the Madrid to Vigo and the Madrid to Santiago de Compostela trains stop in Puebla). Úna flew into Santiago de Compostela and took a bus to Puebla de Sanabria.
Many people now complain about overcrowding on the Camino Francés and of the difficulties that that phenomenon entails. While the Via de la Plata is becoming more and more popular, it is still relatively underused. Nevertheless, one can meet other fellow ‘caminantes’ and the local people one encounters along the way are curious about the pilgrims and want to stop you and ask you where you are from etc. – all of which adds to one’s ‘Camino experience’. (There are, of course, many albergues along this Camino.)
Below, you will find a list of the stage distances we walked and a list of the hotels where we stayed. If this article inspires any one of our readers to undertake this Camino, I would recommend that one does a web search of the name of the hotel and its location and make a booking in that way. It has been my experience that it’s more efficient to make a booking directly rather than use booking websites.
Details of Walk from Puebla de Sanabria to Santiago de Compostela (254 kms approximately)
- Etapa 1: Puebla de Sanabria – Requejo – 11.9 kms
- Etapa 2: Requejo – Lubían -16 kms
- Etapa 3: Lubían – Vilavella – 12 kms
- Etapa 4: Vilavella – A Gudiña – 13 kms
- Etapa 5: A Gudiña – Campobecerros – 20 kms
- Etapa 6: Campobecerros – Laza – 14.5 kms
- Etapa 7: Laza – Vilar de Barrio – 19.3 kms
- Etapa 8: Vilar de Barrio – Xunqueira de Ambias – 12.7 kms
- Etapa 9: Xunqueira de Ambias – Ourense – 22.2 kms
- Etapa 10: Ourense – Cea /Cotelas – 22.1 kms
- Etapa 11: Cea /Cotelas – Castro Dozon – 19.3 kms
- Etapa 12: Castro Dozon – Estación de Lalín – 18.3 kms
- Etapa 13: Estación de Lalín – Bandeira – 16.2 kms
- Etapa 14: Bandeira – Ponte Ulla – 12 kms
- Etapa 15: Ponte Ulla – Santiago de Compostella – 21 kms
Details of Accommodation from Puebla de Sanabria to Santiago de Compostela
- Puebla de Sanabria – Hostal Carlos Quinto
- Requejo – There are Hostales in Requejo but we returned to Hostal Carlos Quinto in Puebla de S. We were ferried by the proprietor of Carlos Quinto.
- Lubían – Bar Javi
- Vilavella – Hostal Porta Galega
- A Gudiña – Hostal Madrileña (there are many hostales in this town)
- Campobecerros – I would recommend that one go back to A Gudiña. It’s possible that your Hostal proprietor would ferry you as distances are short.
- Laza – Pensión Blanco Conde
- Vilar de Barrio – A Casa de Adelino
- Xunqueira de Ambias – Casa do Souto
- Ourense – Hotel Zarampallo
- Cea – Casa Mañoso
- Castro Dozon – We returned to Cea
- Estación de Lalín – A Taberna de Vento
- Bandeira – Hostal Rey Conde
- Ponte Ulla – Pensión Juanito
- Santiago de Compostela – Hotel Rey Fernando
By Nóirín Uí Mhaolaoí