The river Way of the Cross on the Portuguese Spiritual Way


River Way of Cross on the Way of Santiago From Armenteira to O Faramello

Hello, Monkey’s friend! Today, we’ll embark on a boat to traverse the world’s only river Way of the Cross.

Not sure what a river Way of the Cross is?

A river Way of the Cross refers to the maritime-fluvial route along the Ría de Arousa and the Ulla River, retracing the same steps taken by the body of the Apostle James the Greater after his martyrdom in Jerusalem around the year 44.

If I’ve piqued your interest, let’s row our boat and embark on the final stages before reaching the coveted destination of Santiago de Compostela.

Twenty-sixth Stage: from Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa (26km)

In our last article, we left off at Armenteira. Today, the sun will accompany us throughout the journey, which at times seems endless.

Arriving in Vilanova de Arousa is a poetic sunset reflecting on the ocean, reminding me that the journey is ending but the beauty of the places seen will always remain within me.

Vilanova de Arousa is a charming port town, perfect for pausing to reflect on the greatness of the ocean.

River Way of the cross-Portuguese way of Santiago spiritual-port-Vilanova de arousa
Port of Vilanova de Arousa

Here, we opted for an Airbnb solution again, as the pilgrim accommodation was closed.

We chose the “Apartamento boutique con terraza y vistas al mar.” Its pros include:

  • Price: 50 euros for the entire apartment, meaning (since there were 5 of us) 10 euros per person, excellent value for money.
  • Location: The apartment is steps away from the port, where our river Way of the Cross would depart the next day. Also, a 10-minute walk from the apartment, there’s a reasonably priced supermarket.
  • Beauty of the structure: Beautifully designed and well-maintained, with warm and comfortable rooms. The view of the harbor from the terrace has a romantic charm.
  • Kindness of the owner: The owner was very kind; there was an issue with the heating, and he promptly fixed it to ensure we had a cozy night.

In summary, if you’re a group of pilgrims or vacationers seeking comfort, this apartment is for you.

Twenty-seventh Stage: the River Way of the Cross Vilanova de Arousa-O Faramello (28 km by boat + 14 km on foot)

The next day, early rise and ready to embark on the true highlight of this Portuguese Spiritual Way: the river Way of the Cross.

I’ve already explained what the river Way of the Cross is. What I can add is that this experience is truly unique, and after so much walking, embarking on a boat journey, just as Apostle James did at the end of his life, reconnects you deeply with yourself and the meaning of the Way.

If you have the chance to take the Spiritual variant, I highly recommend it.

Now, onto the practical part:

  • The company: We traveled with “La Barca del Peregrino” and had a great experience. Interestingly, the captain’s name was Santiago. Coincidence? I think not. Jokes aside, the captain is well-organized, and I would do the tour again with this company.
  • Price: It was 30 euros per person for the boat, including breakfast onboard and explanations in English (also available in Spanish).
  • Booking: During winter months, it’s essential to book the boat in advance as very few departures are available.
  • Departure: Due to low tide, boats don’t depart every day; it depends on weather conditions. Call ahead to get all the information.

After a 28 km boat ride, taking roughly 45 minutes, enjoying the ocean breeze, we arrived in Padrón.

Famous for its peppers and the beautiful Iglesia de Santiago, where legend has it that the stone base where Apostle James’ boat was moored is kept.

River way of the cross-Portuguese way of Santiago-Iglesia de Santiago-Padron
Iglesia de Santiago in Padrçn

Padrón was a brief stop for us to replenish our energies (during winter months, peppers are not in season).

Gathering our strength for the final 14 km that would take us to O Faramello (Teo), an intermediate stop before reaching Santiago.

The Albergue de Peregrino de Teo (O Faramello) will always hold a special place in my heart for the peace it conveyed.

Pros of Albergue 

  • Price: 8 euros for a comfortable bed, warm dormitory, and shower.
  • Location: Surrounded by greenery, you can sit outside and listen to the river flowing.
  • Kindness of the staff: The host was incredibly kind and gave us excellent advice on where to eat and resume the journey the next day.
  • Services: The hostel has a well-equipped kitchen and even a hairdryer.

The only downside is that the nearest supermarket is a 5 km walk away, so if you plan to cook, stock up in Padrón, or dine at a nearby restaurant, which is very good and reasonably priced.

Dear La Scimmia’s friend, we’re almost at the end. After a good night’s sleep, the next step will be arriving in Santiago, which I’ll naturally tell you about in the next article.

Happy journey, pilgrim!

Seguici sui Social

Article Name
The river Way of the Cross on the Portuguese Spiritual Way
Experience the unique River Way of the Cross along the Portuguese Spiritual Way. Plan and live this extraordinary journey to the fullest
Publisher Name
LA Scimmia Viaggiatrice

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