The Via de la Plata is one of the longest alternatives to the Camino Francés. The route begins in Seville and is a 1000km long journey to Santiago de Compostela. It offers the pilgrim a long and rather secluded walk from Andalucía to the very north of Spain in Galicia. Once at Astorga in Galicia the route joins the Camino Francés where it is another 100km to Santiago de Compostela.
The Via de Plata dates back to Roman times and even today a significant part of the Camino follows the old Roman road. Not only does the route follow parts of the exposed roman road and passes by many historic Roman monuments, which are excellent for historic detours.
Although this route features some of the most solitary countryside in Spain, it equally takes the pilgrim through some great historic Spanish towns notably Caceres, Merida, Salamanca and Zamorra. However, there are not as many traditional pilgrim hostels along the way and meticulous planning is required.
• Not only does this offer a great opportunity for seeing the wonderful cities mentioned above; it also gives a great choice of accommodation.
• The longer stages make it more suited to cyclists.
• The beginning of the route should not be attempted in height of summer due to extremely high temperatures.
• Stages are longer and need to be planned meticulously.
• Some knowledge of Spanish is needed to get the most out of this route as it is mainly travelled by Spanish pilgrims.
The final 100km of the Via de la Plata from Ourense is available from Macs Adventure over 6 nights.
Download the full Camino Guide for more information on routes to Santiago, the culture of the Camino, and recommended kit lists: