The Vía de la Plata and its variants Camino de Invierno and Sanabrés, is one of the less travelled pilgrim roads.
I have hardly met any pilgrims who have chosen this route to begin the experience of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The vast majority have already done other Ways such as the French or Portuguese road.
Because, once you start the Camino de Santiago, it catches you up and unless your circumstances do not allow you to do it again, you will inevitably return to Galicia to continue walking as a pilgrim.
Difficulties of the Vía de la Plata
Many of the complaints that the pilgrims of the Vía de la Plata transmit to me are related to the difficulty of finding enough accommodation. Nobody wants to walk too many kilometres each day. I am referring to both the planning and once they have embarked on the pilgrimage adventure.
Difficulties are also related to resources along the Silver Route, such as restaurants and bars.
It is not easy to develop businesses on a Camino with few pilgrims. The Vía de la Plata and the Camino Sanabrés run through sparsely populated inland villages. In addition to that the fact that there are hardly any pilgrims, compared to other Ways. As there are little accommodation, bars and restaurants, potential pilgrims end up deciding on different routes.
The essence of the Camino de Santiago is found in the Vía de la Plata
The Vía de la Plata or the Camino Sanabrés are the best choices for those pilgrims who are looking for the essence of the Camino. That is to say, to know oneself at the same time you keep on walking.
There is nothing better to get to know a place like Galicia than to visit it on foot. That is the best way to see how people live in the villages, to be surprised by the gentle treatment that we Galicians usually give or to enjoy the exuberant nature.
Plan pilgrimage Via la Plata
I have written this article thinking of those who want to plan their pilgrimage along the Vía de la Plata. Those who wish, at the end of the day, to rest in a comfortable room. As far as possible, looking for cosy and charming accommodations.
Guides, Apps and directories with the hostels of this and other Ways, there are many.
I hope to help all those who want to face the Silver Route by staying in other options such as hotels, hostels and rural houses.
The total of the route is 101 km, the necessary to get the Compostela at the end of the Camino.
Journey from Ourense to Cea
Leaving Ourense there are two variants. The official road goes through Tamallancos. Continuing towards Mandrás only saves a little more than a kilometre. Neither of the two options prevents us from having to pass from the 115 metres of altitude of Ourense to the more than 500 metres of Cea.
The distance from Ourense to Cea is 22 kilometres. One can stop in some of the villages we will find before Cea, especially if you want the first day to be a kind of training.
In Tamallancos the Hotel Via Stellae. http://viastellae.com/
This hotel is located right on the Camino. It is a small accommodation with only five rooms with private bathroom. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available on request.
In Pazos the Rural Accommodation Pazos. http://www.alojamientoruralpazos.es/
It is located 2 km from the Vía de la Plata, but they have a service for collecting pilgrims and transporting backpacks, as well as a clothing shop for pilgrims, in case you have forgotten anything.
They also organize guided tours to know the Monastery of Oseira.
For those who dare to do the whole tour, a good option is Casa Mañoso once you arrive in Cea. http://www.casamanoso.es/
It has six rooms and a kitchen for the use of guests.
If you want to take advantage of the road to know RESTAURANTS in the area, I recommend you O Marco Grande, in Villamarín (15 km from Ourense), located 100 meters from the Way and Lareira da Alén in Cea, next to the Camino. This last one is a gastronomic club that only serves menus, choosing them by previous reservation.
To have a drink in a bar?
In Tamallancos there are several besides pharmacy, shops and ATM.
Then in Bouzas, Viduedo and Cea.
Stage from Cea to Laxe
This stage is 20 miles long. Although the official route goes through Casarellos, there is the possibility of continuing towards Oseira. That adds 5 kilometres to the entire way. These two options come together at Castro Dozón. There we will find a bar, shop and pharmacy. The next bar in Donsión.
It is worth the effort to visit the impressive Monastery of Oseira, known as the Galician Escorial. http://mosteirodeoseira.org/web/
You can even take advantage of the opportunity to stay at their hostel for the experience. The hostel is in the old library of the monastery. Please note that according to several comments I have read, it is a humid place in winter.
There is a possibility to participate with the monks in their prayers.
Where will we find bars?
In Cea restaurant Perez; in Cotelas O Refugio (it has a bar, shop, taxi service and rooms with kitchen; in Pielas bar or Toxo, Oseira, A Gouxa, Castro Dozón (here also pharmacy) and Donsión.
Casa Casarellos. Piñor. http://www.casarellos.es/
It is necessary to deviate about 500 meters from the Camino, but it is worth it. It has eight rooms with breakfast and dinner service. There is also a swimming pool for the summer.
Pazo Bendoiro. http://www.pazodebendoiro.com/
This manor, located only 25 metres from the Camino, is a good option if you want to pay homage to yourself and sleep in a charming hotel. They have a spa and a restaurant. You have to take into account that they organize weddings.
Hostal A Taberna do Vento Restaurant. https://www.tripadvisor.es/Restaurant_Review-g1028718-d10459394-Reviews-A_Taberna_De_Vento-Lalin_Province_of_Pontevedra_Galicia.html
Located in Lalín Station in the middle of the Camino. An excellent place to eat well at a reasonable price (restaurant closed on Sunday)
and to sleep in a clean hostel with a good breakfast.
Many pilgrims choose to travel to Lalín, where there is a wide range of accommodation, restaurants and bars. To highlight some hotels, I would recommend the Hotel Spa Norat Torre do Deza. A hotel with a spa at a very very good price.
Laxe la Vedra stage
In total there are about 33 kilometres fairly flat until you reach Puente Ulla. The descent to this village deserves a special mention. It is about one kilometre of a steep slope that, after the route you take uphill, makes a dent in your legs. Fortunately, in Puente Ulla there are bars and restaurants where you can get your strength back.
The best option is to sleep closer to Silleda so as not to have to walk so many kilometres.
Other bars on this route are in A Laxe (like the restaurant María José), Prado (2 km from A Laxe), there is also a pharmacy here, Silleda, Bandeira, Dornelas and Puente Ulla. Even the bar O Seixo (closed on Mondays), before facing the descent to Puente Ulla.
Here are the accommodation options
Remanso de Trasfontao, Casa das Árbores & Bubble. https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/remanso-de-trasfontao-casa-das-arbores.es.html
The Silver Route passes in front of this accommodation. Its name comes from a large number of trees on the property. Also, because they have the possibility of staying in a bubble with panoramic views of the sky. They also have rooms with hydromassage. They offer a breakfast service and kitchen for the use of the guests.
Casa Grande de FuenteMayor. http://casagrandefuentemayor.com/
This beautiful manor is located just outside Silleda. They have several rooms with hydro massage. For those staying there is a service of breakfast, lunch and dinner (both previous reservation). In their five-hectare property, you can rest surrounded by nature and take a dip in their swimming pool.
EcoHotel Nos in Riocalvo. https://www.ecohotelnos.com/
It is a charming little hotel that also has a restaurant service. The rooms are very well decorated, as well as the whole hotel. Without a doubt, a place to stay and enjoy the experience of being a pilgrim. Not everything has to be a sacrifice. I forgot; they have a swimming pool.
In Bandeira the Hotel Victorino. https://www.hotelvictorino.com/ Simple but spotless hotel at a reasonable price. They also have a restaurant.
Vedra stage to Santiago
It is a short stage of only 10 miles. For me, the most beautiful route is from Puente Ulla to Lestedo. Most of the Way follows a lovely path through the forest.
From Puente Ulla to Lestedo there is no bar or restaurant since in the area of the hostel in Outeiro there are only houses of neighbours. As it is a hostel of the Xunta, there is nothing to eat.
Once in Lestedo you have to turn off the Camino about 600 metres to get to the area of bars and restaurants such as Tapería O Tapeo, bar O Vikingo and restaurant Fachal (closed on Thursdays)
Just across the National at A Susana, there’s a bar that opened recently.
Before arriving in Santiago, there are no more bars in Angrois. This village is sadly known for the train accident that happened on Santiago’s big day, July 24, 2013.
As a lodging option we have Casa de Casal in Lestedo
The Camino passes along the edge of the property, but as it is 4 hectares, you have to turn off about 200 meters to this beautiful rural hotel.
Casa de Casal is the ideal place to stay if you want to get to Santiago early, as there are only 13 km to the cathedral. You can order breakfast before 8 o’clock or leave a small self-service restaurant if you plan to go before 7 o’clock.
It has a total of 9 rooms, spacious lounges and a swimming pool.
In addition to breakfast, there is a dinner service by reservation, from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, there is free transport to the Fachal restaurant.
I could talk about the many qualities of my accommodation, but I would not be objective.
However, I think that the many comments on the Internet about my house show the quality we Santiago de Compostela is the last stop.
I hope I have been helpful to all of you who are thinking of doing this beautiful route.