Day Twenty-Five on the Camino Portugués
~ Milladoiro to Santiago de Compostela, 7.8 Km (4.85 Miles)

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Our day twenty-five on the Camino Portugués, with our Camino drawing to a close, was an emotion-packed day, walking the final eight kilometers and reuniting with friends in Santiago de Compostela. Our journey was ending, but our pilgrimage had only just begun. 

"The Way is a journey ~ As long as life itself." ~ Author Unknown

Map and Stats of Day Twenty-Five on the Camino Portugués

Here is our final map of the day, short and sweet as we walked the final eight kilometers into Santiago, without stops or breaks. The route shown in orange is the route via Santa Marta, if you prefer the shorter city route. For the longer route, via Conxo, and to see the monastery there, follow the route in blue.

I also marked the accommodations where I have stayed in my trips to Santiago. I would recommend them all. There are many, many more to suit your budget and style! It may be wise to book ahead, if you are arriving on the weekend or in high season. You may do so by clicking here.

I also marked several albergues, on the southside of Santiago, as you enter town, and others close to the Cathedral, for your reference, if you prefer albergues. 

Milladoiro is essentially on the same elevation level as Santiago, however, the drop down to the river Sar makes the climb back up to Santiago surprisingly strenuous! Especially when we thought it was a smooth sailing day.

The elevation change is only about 100 meters (300 feet), but even on the last day, or maybe because of it, I felt it.  

Elevation Profile for Day Twenty-Five, Camino Portugués, Milladoiro to Santiago de CompostelaElevation Profile for Day Twenty-Five, Camino Portugués, Milladoiro to Santiago de Compostela

Photo-Rich Travelogue of Day Twenty-Five on the Camino Portugués

After leaving the Albergue Milladoiro, we walked north on the Travesía do Porto, picking up the Camino again, for about 210 meters, passing by this lovely garden waymark.

Camino Garden Waymark in Milladoiro on day twenty-five of the Camino PortuguésCamino Garden Waymark in Milladoiro
Setting Out Northward on the Travesía do Porto in Milladoiro on day twenty-five of the Camino PortuguésSetting Out Northward on the Travesía do Porto

Immediately after crossing the street at the end of the 2nd block, and passing by the Novo Milladoiro Commercial Center, see the 7.6 kilometer waymark leading you to a path into the woods, off to the right, below. 

Elle at the 7.6 Kilometer WaymarkElle at the 7.6 Kilometer Waymark

I may be smiling in the photo, but I was feeling very emotional on our final day. It had been exactly 4 weeks since we started walking. Rich felt like it went by really fast, I felt like it didn't. I tried to identify my emotions, but it was difficult. It was relief, sadness, joy, exhaustion, all rolled up into one big ball, most likely! Whatever the case, I felt totally out of sorts. 

We took the improved path through a forested area, for about 150 meters and came out onto the Rúa das Espiñas and took a right onto it. As the street bends to the left, around the corner is a sight to behold!

Do you see what I see? 

A Bend in the Rúa das EspiñasA Bend in the Rúa das Espiñas

Does it help if I zoom in on the photo?

First View of the Cathedral SpiresFirst Glimpse of the Cathedral Spires

It was along this street that the views of Santiago first came into focus and we could actually see the Cathedral towers! 

Follow the Rúa das Espiñas until it becomes the Rúa da Rapada. In not quite 1/2 km from leaving the path, we walked into the village of O Porto de Conxo. We walked past several lovely, old hórreos (granaries). 

Walking Through O Porto de ConxoWalking Through O Porto de Conxo

You continue through town, bending to the right at the north end, onto the Rúa das Covas do Porto. 

Don’t forget to keep looking over your right shoulder to see more views of the cathedral! 

From town you continue to walk down the hill. In about 1/3 km come to a T-intersection, bend to the right and continue downhill, paralleling a highway ramp. At the bottom of the hill, turn left and walk under two highway bridges. 

As we walked along, we actually held hands for a large portion of the day twenty-five. It was touching for both of us, doing this Camino Portugués together ~ a reprieve from elder care, and not knowing what lie ahead for us. All we knew was that like the Camino, we were going to take this journey together.

We continued on, following the Vilar River valley, staying right at a Y-intersection and we could see the next interchange ramp ahead, that we would walk under! Welcome to the large city of Santiago! 

As you approach the second overpass system, stay left again, two times, and walk under the bridge, taking the left turn onto the Rúa do Beado after about another 1/2 kilometer

Following the highway, now to the north, climb back up out of the valley.

Uphill on the Rúa do Beado by the HighwayUphill on the Rúa do Beado by the Highway

Near the top of this hill, look through the trees on your right, for a final preview of the cathedral on the hill in the distance. 

Last Preview of the Cathedral on the Hill in the DistanceLast Preview of the Cathedral on the Hill in the Distance

This was not-so-lovely an area to walk through, yet I was amazed at how the planners kept the pilgrimage traveler off of truly busy highways, all the way into the city on day twenty-five of the Camino Portugués.

Walk along the Rúa do Beado, a lovely rural road, about 0.7 kilometers to the roundabout in the center of the next town of A Rocha Vella.

Walk Along the Rural-looking Rúa do Beado in A Rocha Vella on day twenty-five of the Camino PortuguésWalk Along the Rural-looking Rúa do Beado

Pass the 5.5 kilometer marker in town and continue straight through at this intersection.

5.5 Kilometers to Santiago!5.5 Kilometers to Santiago!

Stay right at the roundabout and onto the Rúa Serafin Zas on day twenty-five of the Portuguese way.

Walk Through A Rocha Vella on the Rúa Serafin ZasWalk Through A Rocha Vella on the Rúa Serafin Zas

Continue on through town. 380 meters onward turn right onto the Rocha Nova, cross over the railroad track, bend around it to follow the tracks down the hill, 400 meters later. 

Bend to the right and continue on the narrow paved road to walk into another forested area. In 130 meters, bend to the right at a T-intersection, then walk an additional 300 meters following the Sar River, until you come to this historic bridge, the Ponte Vella de Arriba. You have reached the low point at the river crossing at 3.5 kilometers since the start. Get ready for the climb back up and into Santiago!

Historic Bridge Over the River SarHistoric Bridge Over the River Sar

Walk a few meters past the bridge, and turn right onto this lovely trail system by the River Sar. 

Find Trail System by the River SarFind Trail System by the River Sar

This lovely 1/2 kilometer section of trail is a welcome respite before entering Santiago proper. The trail continues to follow the Sar.

Trail Along the River Sar on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayTrail Along the River Sar

Walk under the highway (SC-20) and come out on the other side by this estate's wonderful gardens. Your downhill and flat walk on the Camino Portugués for day twenty-five has just ended here!  You are just over four kilometers at this point, halfway to Santiago.

Begin Long Climb to Santiago From this Lovely Estate on the Sar River on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayBegin Long Climb to Santiago From this Lovely Estate on the Sar River

When the path bends to the left, pick up a paved lane, the Rúa da Escurridia, that follows the highway you just crossed under.

In 140 meters, turn right, picking up a 2-lane street for a few meters, then turn left onto another narrow paved road. In a short 170 meters, come to this point, below,  where a decision needs to be made. 

Por Santa Marta or Por Conxo on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayWhich Way Will You Go?

One waymark says "Por Santa Marta," to the left and the other "Por Conxo," to the right. The choice towards Conxo, while in my opinion, is more beautiful, adds about another 0.4 kilometer or so to the day, so the difference is minimal.

"Por Santa Marta" Route Description

If you choose the Santa Marta route, follow the sign to the left, cross over the highway, the SC-20 on a bridge, shown below and immediately find yourself in the urban area. 

Cross the SC-20 on a BridgeCross the SC-20 on a Bridge

Continue straight after the bridge, and onto the Av. de Syra Alonso. After the bridge, pass the first waymark, stating you are 2.633 kilometers from the cathedral. 

After about ¼ kilometer, the Avenida de Syra Alonso takes a strong bend to the left, pictured next.

Avenida de Syra Alonso Takes a Strong BendThe Avenida de Syra Alonso Takes a Strong Bend

After the bend, the Camino takes the first right hand turn at the 2.379 kilometer waymark.  

The Right Turn Ahead, After the Strong BendThe Right Turn Ahead, After the Strong Bend

Walk onward a few meters and take the paved path that goes left and up the hill.

Paved Path Up the HillPaved Path Up the Hill

After 150 meters, when the path meets the street at a semicircle, the Camino turns left, crosses the street called the Rúa da Volta do Castro and turns to the right onto it at this large palm tree, shown below. Notice the sign for the Seminario Menor, the large albergue on the south side of Santiago.

Right Turn Onto the Rúa da Volta do CastroRight Turn Onto the Rúa da Volta do Castro

Continue straight onward for the next full kilometer, as the road changes its name several times, as is typical of Spanish streets. 

Rúa de Santa Marta de ArribaRúa de Santa Marta de Arriba

Note the double Camino de Santiago signs along the way. 

Double Camino de Santiago SignsDouble Camino de Santiago Signs

Come to a roundabout after about ¾ kilometer and continue straight and along the same street, now named the Avenida de Rosalía de Castro. Come to the second roundabout after another 180 meters and continue straight on the Avenida de Rosalía de Castro.

After a total of 1.7 kilometers on the Santa Marta Route, meet the Conxo Route at the small and easy-to-miss Plaza de Vigo, on your right, with a few trees and a child’s playground, about 100 meters after the second roundabout.

"Por Conxo" Route Description

If you want to see the monastery, the Nuestra Señora De La Merced De Conxo, in the area of Conxo, shown below, choose this route.

On the Conxo route, we walked the open stretch to the next cluster of houses in the outskirts of Conxo in only 300 meters. Wind around the houses, turn left onto the Rúa da Benéfica de Conxo, and walk not quite another kilometer through increasingly urban terrain. This is now a broad highway with a nice sidewalk to walk upon.

The road bends to the north and immediately the 17th century monastery and church greets you. This is the Nuestra Señora De La Merced De Conxo, a landmark for your day twenty-five on the Portuguese Way at approximately 5.3 kilometers.

Nuestra Señora De La Merced De ConxoNuestra Señora De La Merced De Conxo

The monastery church was open, so we could take a look inside. It is a very peaceful place. 

High Altar, Nuestra Señora De La Merced De ConxoHigh Altar, Nuestra Señora De La Merced De Conxo

Walking onward a few meters, come to a large roundabout and the highway you've been following to the south, the SC-20.

Large Roundabout in Conxo on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayLarge Roundabout in Conxo on day twenty-five of the Portuguese Way

Welcome to Santiago de Compostela!

Carefully cross the highway on crosswalks and take the 2nd left onto the Rúa de Sánchez Freire, a narrow and much friendlier street. Here the sidewalk is wider than the one-way street! Just past the roundabout we spotted the 2.25 km marker!

The 2.25 Kilometer Waymark!The 2.25 Kilometer Waymark!

Walk for 400 meters to the next roundabout. Next, you walk straight on to the Rúa de García Prieto. This is the part of the city where it feels like you are never going to get there! In 400 meters, merge with the Avenida de Vilagarcía by staying left.

Join the Avenida de VilagarcíaJoin the Avenida de Vilagarcía on day twenty-five of the Portuguese Way

Walk another 100 km on this street and come to an intersection at a broad avenue. 

Cross over the avenue, and directly across it find the narrow Avenida de Vilagarcía again as it continues in the same direction. Walk down 200 meters, coming to a small plaza with a child's playground in a cluster of trees. 

Walk across the Praza de Vigo and take the 2nd right onto the Avenida de Rosalía de Castro. Here is where the Santa Marta route joins the Conxo route!

Walk up the street on a long hill.

Join the Santa Marta Route at the Avenida de Rosalía de Castro in Santiago de Compostela on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayJoin the Santa Marta Route at the Avenida de Rosalía de Castro

After the church in the photo above, walk past the expansive Parque da Alameda on your left, and in about 650 meters come to a large interchange of highways, shown below... 

Interchange at the Parque da Alameda on day twenty-five of the Portuguese WayInterchange at the Parque da Alameda on day twenty-five of the Portuguese Way

...staying left until the park ends, and you see a plaza with lots of café tables on the opposite street (in fair weather). Crossover here at the traffic light and head toward this plaza.

As you walk across the Plaza you are now entering through the traditional pilgrim gate into the city, the Porta Faxeira. Historically this was called the Porta de Falgueris. 

You will see the sign marking this gate to your right on the edge of a building at the other end of the plaza. This is where the original medieval walls once encompassed the city.

Entering the Pilgrim's Gate into Santiago at the Porta FaxeiraEntering the Pilgrim's Gate into Santiago at the Porta Faxeira

Welcome to the medieval center of Santiago de Compostela! You are mere steps from the cathedral.

Walk through the Porta Faxiera, taking your second left onto the Rúa do Franco. When you come to a small plaza in one-hundred meters, the Plaza Franco, stay left. Do you see what I see here? Yes, that is a cathedral spire ahead!

Cathedral Spire Ahead!Cathedral Spire Ahead!

Walk the final few meters until the cloister appears, and stay left, into Obradoiro Square!

You have finally arrived!

Wow, here we are! Steve, our British friend had arrived the day before and was hanging out on the Square, with Lisa, our German friend. They were there to greet us and take the traditional photo. 

Rich and Elle, Catedral de Santiago de CompostelaElle and Rich, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

It was a joy to see them both, a great reunion day. You can see they have already obtained their Compostela, in the tubes. 

Reunion at Obradoiro ~ Elle, Steve and LisaReunion at Obradoiro ~ Elle, Steve and Lisa

More familiar faces arrived in the square a bit later, and we are hanging out in the square, having some fun!

Hanging Out in Obradoiro Square, Santiago de CompostelaHanging Out in Obradoiro

And then later, we ran into Hiro, from Japan! What a nice surprise. We hadn't seen him since the Coastal Route. 

Rich and Hiro in Obradoiro Square, Santiago de CompostelaRich and Hiro in Obradoiro Square

And the icing on the cake was when we saw the arrival our long lost Aussie friends, last seen in Porto! We look so happy, reconnecting over lunch at the Casa Manolo. 

Christine, Elle, Rich and Chris at the Casa Manolo, Santiago de CompostelaChristine, Elle, Rich and Chris at the Casa Manolo

Later, the day after our arrival, when we had obtained our Compostelas in the pilgrim's office, both Rich and I got very teary watching the slide show in the chapel there, reminiscing over what the Camino had meant to us.

I continued feeling strange and out of sorts. I didn't even want to be in Santiago. I wished we hadn't even stayed overnight there. I felt done with it. I wished we had just kept on walking to Fisterra or Muxia, or somewhere. Yet I didn't really want to walk! What a mixed bag of garbage I was feeling!

We didn't have enough time to walk anyway. So we ended up hanging out a lot at Quintana square. I was trying hard to be present to the weird, weird feelings I was experiencing. 

We ended up staying only one night in Santiago at the Casa Celsa-Barbantes, mere steps from the Cathedral on the Rúa de Franco. It was a bit more pricey than some, but the town was pretty full when I booked this one. 

We ended up busing to Muxía for one night, spending one day in this most special place, then returning to Santiago for another night before flying out. This time we stayed in the much more economical Pension Paz de Agra, still in a decent location close to the cathedral, and very adequate in its amenities. 

I have also stayed in the Hospedería San Martín Pinario right on the Praza da Inmaculada, twice and it is also a marvelous  place to stay. You MUST call for the pilgrim's rate if you plan to book ahead. It is in an old seminary building and they have individual, converted monastic cells that are private, and also regular-sized rooms. 

There are many albergues and hostals in Santiago. There is the private The Last Stamp, very close to the cathedral, popular and comes highly recommended. 

Convenient to the Portuguese Camino on the south side of town, about one kilometer from the cathedral is the Albergue Seminario Menor, a giant edifice housed within a seminary. This albergue is extremely economical for Santiago.

Several more albergues for you to explore is the Blanco Albergue, steps from the cathedral to the west, the Albergue Santiago KMO, adjacent to the Pilgrim’s Office, and the Albergue Azabache, (+34 981 07 12 54), directly by the cathedral to the east!

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. For many more accommodation choices and to see the current deals, click here.

Reflections on Day Twenty-Five, Camino Portugués

And so the journey ends. And so the pilgrimage begins. 

"Blessed are you pilgrim, because you have discovered that the authentic "camino" begins when it is completed." ~ From the Slide Show at the Chapel at the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago

To return to the real-life world was a scary proposition for me, and most likely for Rich as well. Our lives had changed in order to be available for his mother and her new life full of needs. How long would a 90-year-old require our services? Who knew!

Once again in my life, there were more questions than answers. Leaving the Camino Portugués meant that the next phase of the journey had only begun. I hoped I was up for the challenge. 


May your last day, and all your twenty-five days or so, on the Camino Portugués be only a precursor to your life's pilgrimage. May your own Camino begin, when the walking ends.

Who would true valour see, 
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather.
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

~ Paul Bunyan, A Pilgrim's Progress

Downloadable Camino Portugués eBooks in PDF Format ~ Get Your Copy Today!  Don't carry a hard copy guide book to increase your pack weight. Use our digital guides on your next Camino instead. 

The Variante Espiritual is Brand-New, Hot off my writing desk!

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And the Journey Continues:

~ Lisbon to Porto

~ Porto to Santiago Via the Coastal Route and/or the Sendal Litoral

~ Porto to Santiago Via the Central Route

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Need suggestions on what to pack for your next pilgrimage? Click Here or on the photo below!

Carbon Trekking Poles

Carbon fiber construction ( not aluminum) in a trekking pole makes them ultra lightweight. We like the Z-Pole style from Black Diamond so we can hide  our poles in our pack from potential thievesbefore getting to our albergue! There are many to choose from!  ( See more of our gear recommendations! )

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An ultralight backpack should serve you well for years, like my Gregory has - six Caminos in all! My 28L Women's pack gets a 5-star on Amazon (Ones for Guys too)!

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Do not forget your quick-dry microfiber towel!

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