Camino Vía de la Plata: Itinerary, Accommodations, History, and more.

Camino Vía de la Plata: Itinerary, Accommodations, History, and More

By Claire WhittersDestinations

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Vía de la Plata is a wonderfully challenging pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Stretching from southern to northern Spain, it is not surprising that this pilgrimage has earned the title of the toughest and longest Camino de Santiago route. Reserved for intrepid adventurers, this trek provides ample time for self-reflection and spiritual enlightenment. No matter the motive behind venturing Vía de la Plata, the breathtaking countryside, ancient roman ruins, charming medieval towns, and friendly faces along the way prove well worth the effort.

Otherwise known as the Silver Route, the Vía de la Plata is walked by only a mere 3% of pilgrims. Historically a bustling Roman Road, the pathway now yields a sequestered experience travelling from Seville all the way to Santiago de Compostela. Discover the charm of the Camino as you immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures, indulge in local delicacies, and explore the buzzing cities and expansive countryside. This demanding but rewarding excursion demands preparation and organization, so let us help!

Vía de la Plata Itinerary

Andalusia, Extremadura, Casilla y Leon, and Galicia. From ancient Roman ruins, mountain ranges, magical hamlets and vineyards, the Silver Way has it all. Though taxing, this pilgrimage presents the ideal opportunity to experience the diversity and beauty of Spain. The Vía de la Plata is well-signposted with the scalloped shells, making the path easy to navigate. Note the final section of the pilgrimage follows the French Way, from Astorga to Santiago de Compostela.

Earning the title as the longest route to Santiago means that this pilgrimage demands extensive research and planning. Use the route itinerary below for easy-to-navigate instructions, accommodations, distances and more. If organizing the adventure overwhelms you, then book our Vía de la Plata tour, that way you don’t need to worry about the burden and stress of planning. If you are still undecided about which route to venture, refer to our extensive Camino de Santiago directory for more information. Travelling over 960.0 km over 38 days—this arduous trek requires proper gear, so check out our Camino de Santiago packing list -making sure to check all the necessary boxes! If you can’t take the time out of your busy schedule to complete this pilgrimage in one go, then consider conquering half then returning at a later day!

Stage 1: Seville to Fuente de Cantos

Arrive in Seville by plane, train, or automobile. Wander through the busy city of Seville and explore the La Giralda, the UNESCO-listed Cathedral. This 6-night stage will guide you through the luxuriant countryside, meandering through cattle ranches, dense forestlands, olive groves, and up to Mirador del Cerro del Calvario. There is also plenty of architecture to admire as you near the end of phase 1.

  1. Seville: Albergue Triana
  2. Guillena: Albergue Municipal de Guillena
  3. Castilblanco de los Arroyos: Albergue de Peregrinos de Castilblanco de los Arroyos
  4. Almadén de la Plata: Albergue Municipal de Almadén de la Plata
  5. Monesterio: Albergue Parroquial de Monesterio
  6. Fuente de Cantos: Pensión Casa Vicenta

Distance: 125.0 km

Stage 1 - Wander through the busy city of Seville

Stage 1 - Wander through the busy city of Seville

Stage 2: Fuente de Cantos to Alcuéscar

Stage 2 is an epic adventure through the territory of Extremadura. Wander through fig forests, vineyards, and luxuriant meadowlands. Take the time to visit the Gothic-Renaissance church in Villafranca de los Barros before continuing your journey to the historic city of Mérida. Your second stage comes to a close in Alcuéscar.

  1. Zafra: Albergue de Peregrinos de Zafra (Vincent Van Gogh)
  2. Villafranca de los Barros: Albergue Extrenatura
  3. Torreejía: Albergue Rojo Plata
  4. Mérida: Albergue de Peregrinos Molino de Pancaliente
  5. Alcuéscar: Casa de Acogida de los Esclavos de María y de los Pobres

Distance: 123.0 km

Stage 3: Alcuéscar to Aldeanueva del Camino

Departing from Alcuéscar, you will have a hilly trek to Cáceres, but do take the time to explore its UNESCO-listed Old Town. This section of your pilgrimage towards Santiago de Compostela demands some stamina as the undulating terrain and the vertiginous climb to Puerto de los Castaños will prove exhausting. Explore the ruins of Caparra and enchanting roman-derived villages as you near Aldeanueva del Camino.

  1. Cáceres: Albergue Turístico Las Veletas
  2. Embalse de Alcántara: Albergue del Embalse de Alcántara
  3. Grimaldo: Albergue de Peregrinos de Grimaldo
  4. Carcaboso: Albergue juvenil y de peregrinos Majalavara
  5. Aldeanueva del Camino: Albergue La Casa de Mi Abuela

Distance: 162.0 km

Stage 3 - Cáceres

Stage 3 - Cáceres

Stage 4: Aldeanueva del Camino to El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino

Stage 4 is another stunning segment of this transformative pilgrimage. Departing Extremadura, you will enter the region of Castilla y León. Passing ancient Roman landmarks and enchanting medical churches, there are plenty of religious and architectural sites to admire. Cross over the Tormes River before entering the vibrant city of Salamanca. Indulge in the local cuisine, and in El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino, make sure to treat yourself to a glass of wine!

  1. La Calzada de Béjar: Albergue Alba – Soraya
  2. Fuenterroble de Salvatierra: Albergue Parroquial Santa María
  3. San Pedro de Rozados: Albergue Mari Carmen
  4. Salamanca: Albergue de Peregrinos Casa la Calera
  5. El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino: Albergue F&M

Distance: 130.0 km

Stage 4 - Salamanca

Stage 4 - Salamanca

Stage 5: El Cubo de la Tierra Del Vino to Alija del Infantado

After sipping on some vino in El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino, begin your trek through the lush Spanish countryside to Zamora, a town laden with Romanesque architecture. As you advance along the Camino route you will be immersed in a sea of cereal fields before reaching Montearmarta. The final phases of this segment are abundant with ancient monasteries and monuments. In Granja de Moreruela you will lose some of your fellow pilgrims who chose to branch off and venture the Sanabrés Way to Santiago de Compostela.

  1. Zamora: Albergue de Peregrinos de Zamora
  2. Montamarta: Albergue de Peregrinos de Montamarta
  3. Granja de Moreruela: Albergue de Peregrinos de Granja de Moreruela
  4. Benavente: Albergue de Peregrinos de Benavente
  5. Alija del Infantado: Albergue de Peregrinos de Alija del Infantado

Distance: 122.0 km

Stage 5 - Zamora

Stage 5 - Zamora

Stage 6: Alija del Infantado to Villafranca

You are nearing the end of your pilgrimage! Stage 6 warrants some breathtaking scenery. Wander through lush vineyards, olive groves, expansive cereal fields, and meadows abundant with vibrant poppies. Once you reach Astorga you will be in the company of many new fresh faces as the route converges with the Camino Francés, the most popular Camino de Santiago route. Now hiking through Galicia, up mountains, and over rivers, you will eventually reach Cruz de Ferro—a symbolic site where Camino adventurers leave rocks, shells, and letters.

  1. La Beñeza: Albergue de Peregrinos Monte Urba
  2. Astorga: Albergue de Peregrinos Siervas de María
  3. Fonceadón: Albergue Parroquial Domus Dei
  4. Ponferrada: Albergue Oarroquial San Nicolás de Flüe
  5. Villafranca: Albergue de Peregrinos de Villafranca del Bierzo

Distance: 123.0 km

Stage 6 - Astorga

Stage 6 - Astorga

Stage 7: Villafranca to Palais del Rei

This stage of your adventure to Santiago de Compostela is mountainous but extremely picturesque. Demanding endurance, pilgrims will have to ascend the O Cebreiro Mountain pass, so hopefully you did some training prior to your adventure! Be sure to check out our Camino de Santiago preparation guide for information on how best to train and prepare for the more strenuous treks along the way. You will likely be joined by several more pilgrims in Sarria who hop on to satisfy the last 100.0 km benchmark.

  1. O Cebreiro: Albergue de peregrinos de O Cebreiro
  2. Triacastela: Albergue de Peregrinos de Triacastela
  3. Sarria: Albergue de Peregrinos de Sarria
  4. Portomarín: Albergue de Peregrinos de Portomarín
  5. Palais del Rei: Albergue de Peregrinos de Portomarín

Distance: 114.0 km

Stage 8: Palais del Rei to Santiago de Compostela

You are almost there! Wander through the lush countryside before dipping below the tree shade of oaks, chestnut, and holly trees. Boasting stunning panoramas, the closer you get to the pilgrimage’s culmination the more industrial the terrain. Once you arrive in Santiago de Compostela be sure to explore the impressive architecture of the UNESCO-listed Old Town. Don’t forget to get your Compostela and treat yourself to some tapas and vino to celebrate your feat!

  1. Arzúa: Albergue de Peregrinos de Arzúa
  2. Pedrouzo: Albergue de Peregrinos de Arca - O Pino
  3. Santiago de Compostela: Albergue Parroquial Fin del Camino

Distance: 67.0 km

Vía de la Plata Map

Check out the impressive route you are about to tackle! Wandering from Seville to Santiago de Compostela is no walk in the park, we applaud you!

About Vía de la Plata

Ironically enough, the Silver Way or Vía de la Plata did not get its name from silver. Never a silver trading route nor was it mined in the area. Instead, the route supposedly got its name from the Arabic word al-balat, which means cobbled paving—a road engineered by Romans.

Historically ventured by Roman and utilized as a trading route connecting Mérida to Astorga, the ancient Roman road was a tactful communicating route in the western peninsula. Later on, the Silver Way became the Jacobean Route, guiding pilgrims from southern Spain all the way up to Santiago de Compostela. Want to learn more about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and its rich history then you’ll probably our article depicting 15 interesting facts about the Camino de Santiago.

We suggest tackling this pilgrimage in the spring or autumn

We suggest tackling this pilgrimage in the spring or autumn

When to venture the Vía de la Plata

The Silver Way is famously characterized by its unbearably hot summer treks. As you explore the peninsula from south to north, the passage stretches through unshaded flat topographies, mountain ranges, and technical terrain. Due to the route’s unpopularity, there is limited pilgrim infrastructure along the way; thus, off-season treks prove unnecessarily difficult. Though possible to venture in the summer, determination, hydration, and sun protection is needed. We suggest tackling this pilgrimage in the spring or autumn for more favorable and manageable conditions. If you are seeking more information about the Camino de Santiago’s seasonality, then refer to our guide on the best time to walk the Camino.

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