Why is the Finisterre Camino route special for pilgrims?

Why is the Finisterre Camino route special for pilgrims?

The Finisterre Camino route is a Camino de Santiago trail that takes pilgrims further West from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Fisterra; and further along the Atlantic coast to Muxia.

It is an unusual and special Camino route for pilgrims for various reasons, the most obvious one is the fact that this is the only Camino route that has Santiago de Compostela as its starting point, instead of being its destination.

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It also has quite a mysterious origin as it is widely believed that the route existed before Christianity when pagan communities would follow the sun as far West as possible; therefore it is a much older route than the tradition of pilgrimage to Santiago, the way of Saint James, in itself.

The name Fisterra comes from Latin: ‘Finis Terrae’ or Land’s end, as the Romans thought this was the place where the Earth came to an end. Beyond the Atlantic Ocean there was only the other world, magically connected to this terrestrial dimension by phenomenal sunsets. Camino pilgrims can still connect today with those magical sunsets that transfixed people all those hundreds of years ago.

Christianity and pagan traditions often mix, sharing spaces and customs in this beautiful region.

The Virxe da Barca, Our Lady of the Boat sanctuary in Muxia is a fascinating example where pilgrims venerate Our Lady as well as the ‘healing stones’ surrounding this pretty chapel by the Atlantic Ocean. Our Lady was said to travel there on a stone boat to help the Apostle spread the gospel to the hard-to-convince locals.

Many pilgrims see the Fisterra Camino as a continuation or extension of their journey to Santiago and that been the case for centuries. The route was already mentioned in the 12th century book the Codex Calixtinus. But is is also a great route to walk in itself, to connect with its magical traditions and ancient past.

How long is the Finisterre Camino?

It takes four days to walk the 90kms that separate Santiago from Fisterra, and two more walking days if you are continuing on to Muxia.

The route is waymarked both ways so you can actually walk in both directions, towards Fisterra and Muxia or do it in reverse: from Muxia or Fisterra to Santiago de Compostela.

Can I get my Compostela certificate?

Yes, you can get a Compostela certificate from the Pilgrims Office but you will have to walk the route from Muxia to Fisterra and then to Santiago.

If you walk from Santiago heading West while you won’t be able to request a Compostela, you can obtain two other certificates: the Finisterrana in Fisterra and the Muxiana in Muxia.

What are the stages of the Camino to Fisterra?

There are four stages to Cape Fisterra and two additional ones if you’d like to continue to Muxia:

Santiago de Compostela to Negreira – 21kms

Negreira to Abeleiroas – 29kms

Abeleiroas to Cee – 25kms

Cee to Fisterra – 12kms + 7kms

12kms to the town and further 3.5kms each way to walk to the Cape and back.

Fisterra to Lires – 16kms

Lires to Muxia – 15kms

After leaving Santiago de Compostela behind, the route is mainly rural and from Cee you get to enjoy the company of the Atlantic seabreeze.

What is the weather like?

Galicia in general (apart from the inland regions around Ourense) enjoys mild Atlantic weather.

Average Summer temperatures range from the low to mid-20s on average but the capricious temperament of the Atlantic means weather can be a bit unpredictable, with rain making regular appearances, particularly in the Autumn and Spring.

It is a wonderful route to experience from late Spring until the early Autumn but we wouldn’t recommend this route for winter, as many businesses will be closed and weather is not ideal for walking.

Why walk the Finisterre Camino?

Its history, rural countryside, ocean views, rugged coastline, beautiful beaches and delicious fish and seafood. What is not to love?

Find more details about our Finisterre Camino tours here: CAMINO TO FINISTERRE AND MUXIA.

For more information or to book your Camino trip with JWT contact our experienced travel team.

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