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Santiago Cathedral at night

Sailing boat or train-hotel, two unusual ways to experience The Way of Saint James

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Options to make the Way an unforgettable experience


The Way of Saint James or Camino de Santiago is a unique route where the journey can be more important than the destination. Although the most traditional way to complete it is on foot, and a few kilometres always need to be walked, there are much more comfortable options that make the experience even more unforgettable.

The Way by sea

There is also the option of completing The Way of Saint James in a sailing boat while stopping in ports such as Santander, Gijón and A Coruña, for example. The North Marinas association hold the “Sail the Way” crossing every year (typically in summer). You can take part individually or as a group, whether or not you have a boat or a captain’s license. Registration usually opens in January on its website.

If you prefer, you can complete the Way by boat at another time, as you wish. You always have the option of renting a boat, hiring a captain or sailing yourself. If you want to receive the “Compostela” (accreditation that you have completed The Way of Saint James), you will have to sail 100 nautical miles and walk the final kilometres on foot to receive the final stamp at the Monte do Gozo. You will find interesting fishing villages such as Cudillero, San Vicente de la Barquera and Bermeo among the ports where you will stop. Another way to sail part of The Way of Saint James is the sea route of Arousa and the Ulla river. This route by catamaran commemorates the voyage bringing the body of Saint James the Apostle to Galicia. The boat leaves from O Grove, a town known for its seafood, and arrives at Padrón.

Port in San Vicente de la Barquera

The Way by train

If you want to do part of the English Camino between Ferrol and Santiago de Compostela, you can do it on board the train El Expreso de la Robla on its Pilgrim's Route. This is a classic train with rooms and lounge-cars where buffet breakfasts are served; it also features a TV, library and video library. The journey lasts six days: it begins and ends in the Asturian city of Oviedo and has stations in Ortigueira, Viveiro and Ferrol, if you wish to to complete part of the English Camino on foot. If you prefer not to walk, you can make the entire journey by train and sign up for scheduled excursions and visits every day. What places of interest will you visit? The cape of Estaca de Bares or the Shrine of San Andrés de Teixido and Cedeira. This journey includes two dinners with catering on board, a dinner in a typical Galician "pulpería" restaurant, a guided tour of the city of Oviedo, and "La Compostela" certificate if you complete the Camino.

El Expreso de la Robla train

Another alternative is to take a trip on the Costa Verde Express train. Here there is no option to make the journey on foot, but there are full 6-day train itineraries through the north of Spain, between Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela. Accommodation is on board in grand class suites and includes dinners at selected restaurants, guided tours, tickets to monuments and shows...

Inside of the Costa Verde Express train
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