american pilgrims  
Camino Sanabrés

General Description: The Camino sanabrés, also known as the Vía de la Plata Ourense option or the Camino Meridional, is one of the two routes that branch from the Vía de la Plata at or near Zamora and that lead directly to Santiago thereby completely bypassing the Camino francés. ~400 km from Zamora 43 km northward to the village of Granja de Moreruela (on the Vía de la Plata) then northwestward through Puebla de Sanabria to Santiago. The Camino sanabrés parallels the first two-thirds of the Vía portugués de la Vía de la Plata, the two rejoining at Ourense.

Waymarking: indicates that waymarking is complete.

Terrain: Some stretches are strenuous with steep climbs and descents, particularly over the passes of Padornelo (1329 m) and A Canda (1262m) on consecutive days. A route planner and height profile can be found on the website.

When to go: July and August will be hot and should be avoided. April into May and September into October are recommended. Climate tables for Zamora, Ourense and Santiago de Compostela.

Accommodation: MundiCamino lists numerous pilgrim albergues along most of the Camino sanabrés. There are however also several stretches of 20 to 35 km with neither albergues nor commercial lodging available. In the MundiCamino site, after selecting English (the small British flag icon), click on Routes in the menu bar and slide down to The Sanabrés Way.

Guidebooks: The Confraternity of Saint James: The Camino Mozárabe or Vía de la Plata, Part A, Seville to Santiago. This guidebook encompasses the Via de la Plata route from Seville to Astorga as well as the sanabrés variant from Zamora through Ourense to Santiago. (2011).

Internet links: The Xunta de Galicia has a stunning 44-page book titled "The Southeast Way—Vía de la Plata " (PDF, 12.0MB, English) which has extensive information on those portions of the two variants of the Vía portugués de la Vía de la Plata within Galicia including history, tourism, albergues, other services and Santiago itself.

Other remarks: A reasonable fluency in Spanish will be almost a necessity on this route.

Rev 12/29/14

American Pilgrims on the Camino
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