The Via de la Plata – a detailed guide & walking stages

The Via da Prata or the Silver Route is considered the most difficult Camino de Santiago route in Spain due to its distance, more than 1000 km, long walking steps with few facilities in the middle and extremely hot weather in the summer months. The Via crosses four Spanish regions; Andalusia, Extremadura, Casilla and Leon and Galicia. The route offers an excellent combination of beautiful countryside, impressive Roman ruins and spectacular medieval cities and towns.

Practical information for planning the pilgrimage

Via de la Plata is the longest of well-established Camino routes in Spain.

Advertisement

It is the route less traveled just about 3% of all pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela come from the Via da Prata.

As with any other route on the Way you'll need a credential (pilgrim's passport) be capable stay in public hostels and to get o Compostela at the end of the road in Santiago.

According to the new rules, pilgrims coming from any path must collect two stamps a day for the last 100 km, I am quite confident that if you complete Via de la Plata and have not had two stamps in the past few days, you will still have Compostela, it is just something to keep in mind.

Advertisement

Supermarkets and shops close on Sundays and holidays, restaurants and bars are your only options for food these days.

By having a local SIM card is very useful in case you want to book accommodation or use maps online.

Advertisement

Although the route is quite flat the first part of Guillena to Villafranca de los Barros has many ups and downs something we didn't expect to find here.

Our pilgrimage on the Via da Prata, from Seville to Maride

Route options in Via da Prata

Via da Prata has several route options and connections with other routes on the Way.

  1. You can start at Grenade or Almeria, walk to Merida Follow the Mozarab Way and from there continue on Via da Prata to Santiago. This route is long, 1200 km.
  2. Another option is to start at Valence, walk to Zamora Follow the Lift Way, and from Zamora continue to Santiago de Compostela on Via da Prata. This route is also very long, totaling 1300 km.
  3. The Via da Prata divides after Zamora; a route goes north to Astorga where does it merge the French Way; a route goes northwest through Ourense Follow the Sanabrés Way. If you decide to walk around Astorga, be ready to see many pilgrims, the French Way is the most popular route, especially the last 200 to 100 km from Santiago de Compostela.

If you decide to walk on the Mozarab Way or the Levante, it is important to remember that these routes are not very popular with the few pilgrims who walk them. As a result, they have less infrastructure than the Camino's well-established routes; finding accommodation can be challenging in some parts. You will need basic Spanish to be able to explain simple things that the two routes cover in non-tourist parts of Spain, with very few people speaking or understanding English.

Advertisement

Best months to walk

Let's start with the worst moment, because, unlike the other routes on the Way, summer is the worst time to walk along the Via da Prata; not because it gets too busy like the french way or the portuguese route but because it gets incredibly hot here. July and August are the worst months, 40 ° C-45 ° C, with no shade to hide on the way, no rain, clear skies, nowhere to get water on the way (sometimes you walk 20-25 km through nowhere) and burning sun. All lethal cases on this route occurred in these months due to heat stroke or exhaustion.

Advertisement

June and September it is briefly warm and sunny most of the time, but by far it is not as hot as in July and August.

Our favorite time to travel around southern Spain is spring, I would say April and May They are the best months for this part of the country; it is hot, but not hot, there is not much rain, the fields are covered with flowers, the area is very green, the air is fresh. Weatherwise October is close to those two months, but no flowers.

As for walking through the Via de la Plata off-season, November to March, it might be a good idea if you want to make sure it’s not hot, but it may rain a little in January, February, March (the rainiest) and you can feel a little alone, as there will be very few pilgrims on the route.

From what we hear from the hospitable (hosts) on Via de la Plata April is usually the busiest month with more pilgrims on the route, but even in this busiest period, you will probably have fewer people here than on the the French Way low season.

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Via de la Plata cost

Accommodation. Public hostels on this route are more expensive than on the other routes on the Way we travel. On other Camino routes, we usually pay between € 5 € 6, sometimes € 7 per bed in a private hostel. At Via da Prata, the standard price was 10 €. From Seville to Mérida, we got only one hostel for a donation and one for 8 €, the rest was 10 €. Hostels / private hostels cost approximately the same, between 10 € and 12 €.

food. A good thing about this route is that every city we stopped in had at least one small store, but there was usually a supermarket where we could make our own food. Remember that here, as in the rest of Spain, supermarkets are closed on Sundays and public holidays, in addition to being closed for a nap in the middle of the day, usually between 2 pm and 5 pm. The prices in the supermarkets here are similar to the rest of Spain, if you buy food for two meals, it will cost between 6 and 8 € per person, depending on what you buy, of course.

Eat out. The traditional Menu del Día (a fixed menu with first, main course, drink, break and coffee / dessert) for about € 10 is quite popular here. A cup of coffee and a sandwich with Jamón or cheese and tomato (Tostada) cost around 2.5 €, we stop frequently. The coffee here is good and cheap, the Americano costs less than 1 €, the Cafe con Leche (Cappuccino) about 1.2 €. A beer or a glass of wine (cheap wine) at a bar costs about € 1, usually comes with chips, olives or peanuts.

Transport. To reach Seville, the starting point of the route, you can take a bus or train from Madrid or other cities in Spain or Portugal. A bus from Madrid to Seville costs from € 25 and the journey takes 6h30min. A high speed train – from 38 €, takes 2h50min.

Our budget is divided (9 days, 2 people)

We stayed in dorms in public and private hostels, just one night in a private room in a hotel, we bought food in supermarkets (most of the time), we usually stopped for breakfast and coffee (once or twice a day) , a couple often went out for a beer or wine.

  • Accommodation – 192 €
  • Eating out (food, beer, wine) – 111 €
  • Shopping (food) – 90 €
  • Transport (Madrid – Seville bus) – 50 €
  • Coffee – 20 €
  • Laundry – 5 €

Total: € 468 or € 26 per person, per day.

Packing List for the Way

It is important to remember not to overload your backpack. It is a very long route, you will walk for more than a month with your backpack. Depending on the time of year when you decide to take the Via da Prata, you will need different essential items. If you walk the path in autumn / winter, when it rains a lot in Andalusia and Extremadura, you will definitely need a rain poncho and a couple of good waterproof hiking boots.

For the spring / summer season, good sun protection is important, a cap or better a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, it's two water bottles that you have at least 2 liters of water per person.

We have a detailed packing guide for the Camino de Santiago where you can find a packing list for men and women for different seasons.

Books and guides to read on the Via da Prata

On such a long Camino route, it's great to have a good book. Most of the time, the route goes through quiet Spanish towns and rural towns, you will have plenty of time to read after finishing the day's hike. If you like to read a lot carrying a Kindle it might be a good idea. You can upload as many books in your language as you like. It is not always easy to find books in languages ​​other than Spanish on the route. If you read a lot, it might be worth participating the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program which offers free access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks. You don't need a Kindle device to use the program with Amazon's free reading app. You can use it on your phone or tablet.

The ruins of the Acueducto de los Milagros in Mérida
The Acueducto dos Milagros, an ancient Roman aqueduct in Mérida, our last stop on the Via da Prata

Baggage transfer service on the route

It is possible to organize luggage transfer on Via da Prata. Your backpack or suitcase will be transferred from one place to another. You can use it for the entire route (which will greatly increase the cost of walking) or just for longer steps, when you have to walk more than 30 km with nothing.

There are several companies that offer the service; Correos, Mundicamino, Pilbeo (only from Ourense to Santiago). The price is between 5 and 7 euros per backpack per stage. It is very easy to work with a company that picks up your luggage at the reception of your hostel / hostel in the morning and takes you to the next place of accommodation. When you arrive, your backpack is already there. It is important to remember that public hostels usually does not allow delivery of luggage. Hostels and private hotels usually do.

Accommodation in Caminho da Prata

As with any other route on the Camino, the main accommodation for pilgrims on Via de la Plata is Hostels. Hostels can be private and public. Public hostels are run by municipalities and are generally the cheapest places to stay on the Camino. These hostels are exclusive for pilgrims who walk or cycle along the Way. Private hostels they belong to a person or company, are a little more expensive than public ones and generally have better facilities. Private hostels are more like hostels in which anyone can stay there, but most guests are usually pilgrims. There are hotels and inns along the route, if you prefer to stay in private.

Comparing public and private hostels

ResourcesPublic hostelsPrivate hostels
Exclusively for pilgrimsYesno
Need a credentialYesno
Can be bookednoYes
Accept cardsnosometimes
Allow baggage deliverynoYes
Price10 Euro10-14 Euro
Public versus private hostels on Via da Prata

How difficult is Via de la Plata compared to the other routes on the Way?

We covered 7 routes on the Camino de Santiago and I would say that, in the first part of Via da Prata, it is definitely more challenging. The main reason is long distances between cities and towns which means you should bring a lot of water and some snacks. There are no sharp climbs or descents on this route as in the Primitive Way or Northern Path, but long distances, both daily and the total distance above 1000 km, combined with little infrastructure between and high temperatures, makes Via de la Plata a difficult route.

Any long trekking / walking route is challenging because it takes many days or even weeks to complete, but when it is over 1000 km, it is very long. Psychologically, it was quite difficult for us, after 9 days of walking, we arrived in Mérida and saw on the wall of the hostel “distance to Santiago 800 km”! and it wasn’t our first long route on the road we’ve already taken the Portuguese Way to Lisbon and the Northern Way of Irún.

About long steps and walking through nothing, we heard a lot, but it was kind of hard to imagine. We had a few days on the other routes on the Camino without seats, but on Via de la Plata from the beginning, we walked for 20-25 km through nothing. Not even a place to fill your water bottle! We stop a lot for coffee on the other Camin routes, this gives a short break, but on Via de la Plata some days you just walk with no other option to stop than sit on the grass or under a tree in the fields.

As for pilgrims, we met on the route many of them traveled more than one Camino route but there were some people for whom it was his first path. Most of them did not plan to cover the entire route and ended up in Mérida. If you really want to walk on Via de la Plata and have never walked on the Way before doing the same, start walking in Seville and see how far you get. After you no longer want to walk, you can stop there and continue the route some time later. We are going to do this without a visa (we spent a lot of time walking in Spain and Portugal last year). We stopped in Mérida and will continue the walk next year.

Travel insurance for Via da Prata

Walking like any other outdoor activity involves the risk of suffering an injury or losing some of your equipment. It is always recommended to have travel insurance. Via de la Plata is not an exclusion, it is not an extremely difficult walk, but it is a very long and challenging route, minor injuries and trauma are quite frequent. It's good to know that your insurance will cover you in the event of an unforeseen emergency, whether it's an injury, loss of gear or device failure.

Note! If you have a European health insurance card, you do not need any additional medical insurance for Spain.

Seville, the beginning of the journey

Seville is a beautiful city, with a lot to see and do, spending a few days here before starting the Camino is a great idea. My favorite time in Seville is to sit in one of the street restaurants near the cathedral with a glass of wine and two delicious tapas.

Things not to miss in the city: Plaza de España, Alcázar Real, Cathedral, La Giralda, Torre de Oro, Maria Luisa Park, Santa Cruz (neighborhood), Triana, Plaza de Toros, Casa de Pilatos.

Tours and activities in Seville

There are many great tours around the city and nearby attractions.

Places to stay in Seville

There are no public hostels in Seville, but there are several hostels and private hostels. They are not exclusively for pilgrims that someone can stay there, but most people who stay in hostels are pilgrims.

We stayed in El Viajero en Sevilla, a small hotel in the historic center. It is a great place, very elegant, comfortable and cozy. If we go to Seville, we will definitely stay here again.

Note! Make sure you arrive here, not during Holy Week (Holy Week, one week before Easter), if so, book your tickets and accommodation well in advance. The city is crazy busy; difficult to find accommodation, exhausted buses and trains, thousands of tourists etc. Seville is famous for the celebration of Holy Week, it is the main European destination for the Easter holiday.

How to get to Seville?

there is an international airport in Seville You can find direct flights from many European countries (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, etc.). In addition to flights from several Spanish cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Bilbao, etc. If you buy your tickets in advance, you can fly for just 20-40 Euros depending on its origin. Ryanair, EasyJet, Iberia Expressand Vueling are the main airlines that offer cheap flights to Seville.

How to get from Madrid to Seville

If you come from abroad, Madrid and probably the best city to disembark. From Madrid, you can pick up a direct flight, a train or a bus to Seville. Flying is the fastest way to get there. There are regular buses and trains as well.

Madrid to Seville – comparing transport options

Madrid to SevilleFlyTrainBus
Daily departures583+
SeasonBarajas AirportPuerta de AtochaBarajas T1
Estacion Sur
Time to arrive1h10min.2h30min.6:20 am.
Ticket pricefrom 35 eurosfrom 45 eurosfrom 26 euros
CompanyIberia, Iberia ExpressRENFESocibus
Comparing different ways to get to Seville from Madrid

Traveling from Barcelona to Seville

If you land in Barcelona, ​​I highly recommend flying to Seville, rather than taking a bus or train. A direct flight Barcelona takes 1h45min. Prices start at 25 euros. Ryanair and Vueling are two low cost airlines that offer direct flights. A fast and direct train (5h30min.) From Barcelona to Seville costs 120 euros. You will definitely be able to find cheaper flights. There is a cheaper train, 65 euros, but it's 11:30 am. has no direct buses from Barcelona to Seville, you will have to go through Albacete, the journey takes more than 15 hours.

The old neighborhood of Santa Cruz in Seville
The neighborhood of Santa Cruz da Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville

Stages of the Via de la Plata

We walked only 9 first stages on Via da Prata, from Seville to Mérida, here you will find a detailed itinerary for these days. We plan to finish the route next year and will update the post after that.

Overview of the Via da la Plata route (part of Seville to Mérida)

  • Total distance – 214 km
  • The time required – 8-10 days
  • Starting point – Seville
  • Finishing point – Mérida
  • Total climb (in 9 days) – 2976 m
  • Total descent – 2766 m
  • Walking surface – mainly gravel road – 160 km, asphalt – 54 km
  • Route marking – shells and yellow arrows
  • Average cost – 26-30 € per person
  • Accommodation – public and private hostels, hotels
Day 1
Seville – Guillena
23 km / 14 mi
Day 2
Guillena – Castilblanco
18 km / 11 mi
Day 3
Castilablanco – Almadén de la Plata
28.7 km / 18 mi
Day 4
Almadén de la Plata – Monesterio
35 km / 21.7 mi
Day 5
Monesterio – Fuente de Cantos
20.6 km / 12.8 mi
6th
Fuente de Cantos – Zafra
24.7 km / 15.3 mi
Day 7
Zafra – Villafranca
20.5 km / 12.7 mi
Day 8
Villafranca – Torremejía
27.5 km / 17 mi
Day 9
Torremejía – Mérida
15.6 km / 9.6 mi
Via de la Plata stages Seville – Mérida

Day 1. Seville – Guillena, 23 km *

  • Time – 4h45min.
  • Walking on the road – 3 km
  • Asphalt walking – 10 km
  • Climb – 158 m
  • Downhill – 124 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

* All daily distances are from hostel to hostel.

Day 1 elevation profile, Via de la Plata, Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day 1 Seville – Guillena

The walk begins of the cathedral in Seville, there are some yellow arrows and a shell on the corner of Avenida de la Conctitución and Calle García de Vinuesa. To our surprise, it was quite easy and quick to get out of the city, it took us about 30 minutes. and we don't pass through any industrial or residential area in the city. Most of the day, the route went through the fields, but there was an unpleasant walk on the road for about 3 km after Santiponce.

Santiponce is the only city on the way, it is about 9 km from Seville and it is worth stopping here and visiting the famous Roman ruins; the Roman Baths and the Roman Amphitheater. The Amphitheater, by the way, was introduced in the 7th season of Game of Thrones as the Dragonpit. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit them because it was closed on Monday. For more information about the Italica ruins and opening hours, visit the official website.

If you want to visit the two ruins, I suggest going first to the Roman Theater and, from there, to the Therms, as you can walk through the archaeological park and get out on the other side, even on the Way.

If you want to stop for lunch, Santiponce is the only place on the way, do not forget to fill your water, there will be no place to make it to Guillena.

lights

  • Impressive gothic cathedral of Seville
  • Triana district in Seville
  • The Roman ruins of Italica, Santiponce

Challenges

  • 3 km walk on the road after Santiponce
  • There are no places to stop or replenish water between Santiponce and Guillena, for 13 km

Guillena

A small town, with good infrastructure, although we were here on Sunday and everything was closed.

Hostel Luz del Camino

The public hostel costs the same as we found first with the private one, the lady in charge was very nice and friendly, so we decided to stay here. The hostel is nice, clean and comfortable. They try to give pilgrims more privacy. We have a dormitory just for us, although beds were available in the other dormitories. Price € 10 per person, 12 € with breakfast.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes
  • In-room power outlets – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – washing lines, terrace
Typical Andalusian and Extremadura scenery, with fields and olive trees
A typical scenario on Via de la Plata; fields, olive groves and a gravel road

Day 2. Guillena – Castilblanco de los Arroyos, 18 km

  • Time – 4h12min.
  • Road walk – 0 km, but the last 3 km are on the sidewalk beside the road
  • Walking on asphalt – 2 km
  • Climb – 386 m
  • Descent – 91 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Day 2 elevation profile, Via de la Plata, Spain
Elevation profile Day 2 Guillena – Castilbalnco de los Arroyos

We do not pay for breakfast at the hostel, we stop on the way to one of the local bars S.C.A. Kibarpe, next to the Dia supermarket, they have good coffee and sandwiches, we paid 5 euros for both.

It was a relatively short and easy walking day, with a slight rise of about 386 m throughout the day. In the beginning, you walk through the city of Guillena to the bridge, then cross the bridge after that right turn, away from the road there will be a sign for Camino. The route through the city is not very well marked, here and there you see an arrow, but it is not difficult. Basically, just follow the main street of the hostel until the end.

About 3 km after crossing the road, you reach a very muddy path through the olive plantations. At about 8 km, a beautiful forest replaces the plantations. There are no villages on the way, nor are there places to stop for coffee or food. At 10 km, there is a place to replenish the water that you will not miss, there is a big sign on the right side. The last 3 km before Castilblanco are on the trail along the road.

lights

  • Walking through the forest and fields
  • Castilblanco – a cozy white city, with a beautiful church and many starks around it.
  • Communal dinner at the hostel

Challenges

  • A very muddy and slippery path between 3 km and 5 km
  • Nothing between Guillena and Castilblanco

Castilblanco de los Arroyos

A small and pleasant town, with several bars and restaurants on the main street and a beautiful church with many stork nests on the roof.

Castilblanco Pilgrim Hostel

Located at the entrance to the city, next to the gas station. The hostel is nice, but very small, there are only 18 beds and two bathrooms. People who arrived later had to stay in a private hostel. Price – Donation. The Italian couple who volunteered there made a common dinner (3.5 € per person), it was great to sit at the same table with other pilgrims and get to know us right at the beginning of the Way.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes
  • In-room power outlets – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – washing lines, terrace, common dinner – 3.5 Euro

Day 3. Castilblanco dos Arroyos – Almadén da Prata, 28.7 km

  • Time – 6h.
  • Walking on the road – 16.5 km
  • Walking on asphalt – 16.5 km
  • Climb – 649 m
  • Descent – 521 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Day 3 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day 3 Castilblanco dos Arroyos – Almadén de la Plata

I suggest that you have enough water before leaving Castilblanco, in addition to having some snacks and having breakfast in the city before leaving. There is literally nothing on the way; there is no place to fill water or where to buy food until you reach Almadén de la Plata.

It was a long day of walking. The first part was on the road after an hour or more, it was quite monotonous, but it was not as bad as we thought, the road was not very busy. The second part, after 16.5 km, is through the Sierra Norte Natural Park. The park's landscape is beautiful; green hills, trees, lots of flowers (in the spring) and some small rivers. Unfortunately, we were unable to enjoy the scenery, as it rained continuously in the park all the time.

lights

  • Sierra Norte Natural Park

Challenges

  • Walking on the road for the first 16.5 km
  • There is no place to stop for food or water for 28 km
  • Steep climb but not long before Almadén de la Plata

Almadén de la Plata

This city is smaller than Castilblanco, has a few restaurants and shops, a square with a church and a factory in Jamon.

Hostel Casa Clara

We were planning to stay in the municipality and even went there, but we didn't like the location very much, it is far from the shops and restaurants, so we went back to the private hostel that has a restaurant and is in the main square, close to the supermarket and right on the way. Price € 12 pp. per bed or 20 euros with the Menu del Dia (full lunch). The public hostel costs 10 euros, so it's not a big difference. Casa Clara is a small hostel with just two rooms with 4 beds, each more like a shared apartment than the hostel.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes, but few cooking utensils
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes
  • In-room power outlets – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, free of charge
  • Extra washing lines
The green scenery of the Sierra Norte Park, in Andalusia, Spain
Sierra Norte Natural Park, a stretch of green forest on Via da Prata.

Day 4. Almaden de la Plata – Monesterio, 35 km

  • Time – 7h45min.
  • Walking on the road – 2 km little here and there in the last 8 km
  • Walking on the asphalt – 4 km through the cities and a little along the road
  • Climb – 850 m
  • Descent – 575 m
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5 was a long day of walking
Day 4 elevation profile, the Silver Route of the Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day 4 Almadén de la Plata – Monesterio

Option! If you think that walking 35 km in one day is too much, you can always divide that day in two; walk 13.5 km to Real de la Jara and the next day 21 km to Monasterio.

A second long day in a rough, the majority of pilgrims with whom we started to walk 13 km and stayed in Real de la Jara, many people divided this day in two. At the beginning of the day, we continued walking through the Sierra Norte Natural Park, with beautiful scenery and many small ups and downs.

Fortunately, today there are two stops on the route so you can put your backpack down and sit, have coffee, eat something and fill the water. At Real de la Jara, you leave the region of Andalusia and enter Extremadura.

The last 8 km are close to the road, mainly on the trail that crosses the road here and there.

lights

  • A beautiful walk through the countryside and the forest
  • The castle in El Real de la Jara

Challenges

  • A long day of walking, 35 km and it seemed long and tiring.

Monesterio

Don't get confused by the name, the royal monastery is 5 km from the city and you won't see it unless you walk there or take a taxi. The city itself is quite large compared to most cities on Via de la Plata.

Hostel Las Moreras

We stayed at the Las Moreras municipal hostel, located a little far from the city center, but close to the supermarket and some bars / restaurants. The rooms are small, only two beds, which is great, we had our own room. There is a bathroom for every two rooms, which is great as you don't have to share a shower / toilet with 10 other people. The fellow pilgrims stayed at the Parroquial de Monesterio hostel and liked it a lot too, it seems that the two hostels in Monesterio are great, both charge € 10 pp.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes
  • In-room power outlets – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 euros
  • Extra – dryer – 4 euros, washing lines, television, fireplace
Ruins of an old fortress in the fields
Ruins of a castle on the outskirts of El Real de la Jarra, on the border between Andalusia and Extremadura

Day 5. Monesterio – Fuente de Cantos, 20.6 km

  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Walking on the road – 0 km
  • Asphalt walking – 2 km through the cities
  • Climb – 291 m
  • Downhill – 432 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Day 5 elevation profile, Via de la Plata, Spain
Perfil de elevação Dia 5 Monesterio – Fuente de Cantos

Começamos o dia bastante tarde, demoramos cerca de 10 minutos. para sair da cidade, na saída há um restaurante que abre às 7h, eles tomam café ou chocolate quente com churros por 1,5 euro. Certifique-se de ter água suficiente, pois não haverá nada a caminho. A caminhada foi fácil e agradável, com altos e baixos, através de uma paisagem muito tranquila, com plantações de oliveiras, campos de trigo, vacas, ovelhas, etc. longe da estrada e outros ruídos perturbadores.

luzes

  • Zona muito tranquila, sem pessoas, carros, abriga apenas campos e natureza.

Challenges

  • Não há nada a caminho por 20 km para transportar água suficiente o dia inteiro.

Fuente de Cantos

Uma pequena e acolhedora cidade branca com uma pequena praça e uma igreja e ruas estreitas de paralelepípedos.

Hotel El Zaguán de la Plata

Uma casa antiga incrível com vários quartos, um jardim encantador, uma piscina e um chuveiro incrível – um dos nossos lugares favoritos no Caminho. Preço 15 € por pessoa para privado, 12 € por cama em um dormitório.

installations

  • Cozinha – sim
  • Chuveiro quente – sim
  • Wi-fi – sim
  • Tomadas de energia no quarto – sim
  • Blankets – yes
  • Máquina de lavar roupa – sim, 2 euros
  • Extra – secador – 3 euros, linhas de lavar roupa, piscina, jardim

Dia 6. Fuente de Cantos – Zafra, 24,7 km

  • Tempo – 5h15min.
  • Caminhando na estrada – 0 km
  • Caminhando no asfalto – últimos 4 km até Zafra
  • Subida – 212 m
  • Descida – 288 m
  • Nível de dificuldade – 2 de 5
Dia 6 perfil de elevação, Caminho de Santiago
Perfil de elevação Dia 6 Fuente de Cantos – Zafra

It was an easy walking day through the countryside most of the time make sure to have enough water with from 6 km to 20 km there is nothing on the way except a shelter at 15 km where you can stop and rest, drink water or eat something.

Highlights

Peaceful scenery; olive tree plantations, vineyards, pasture fields, etc.

The historical center of Zafra; Plaza Grande, Plaza Chica, Convento de Santa Clara. If you’ve happened to be here on weekend definitely go to one of the squares and drink a glass of wine or beer, there are many restaurants and bars here, on weekends they are full of locals, it has a great holiday vibe.

Challenges

  • 14 km in the middle of the day with nothing on the way

Zafra

It’s more of a city place, much bigger than other stops on the way. The historical part of Zafra is really nice; cobblestone streets, two beautiful squares, a cathedral, a fortress, and several smallish parks.

Albergue Vicente Van Gogh

It’s the only albergue in the city (there was another one Albergue Convento de San Francisco but it was closed in 2018), the place is nice and spacious, it´s located close to the historical center, shops, restaurants and right on the Camino. Price 12€ pp. including breakfast. The owner was a bit obsessed with everything being the way he wants or used to but it´s manageable. Breakfast wasn´t amazing we stopped on the way for a proper coffee with a Tostada.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 2 Euro
  • Extra – dryer – 3 Euro, washing lines, terrace
Alya surrounded by endless golden fields of wheat
Alya in the wheat fields, the dominating scenery on the Via de la Plata in Extremadura

Day 7. Zafra – Villafranca de los Barros, 20,5 km

  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Walking on the road – 400 m
  • Walking on asphalt – 8 km; first 7 km from Zafra and last 1 km to
  • Ascent – 246 m
  • Descent – 339 m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5 a short and easy walking day
Day7 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day 7 Zafra – Villafranca de los Barros

It was an easy walking day except the very beginning, the route through Zafra is not marked very well, everybody got a bit lost (we left first and stopped at a bar for breakfast and could see other fellow pilgrims wandering around in search of yellow arrows), in the end, we had to ask locals. We followed the arrows till the Plaza Grande and then lost them, the same happened to everybody. I’d suggest once you’re on the Square ask around will point you the right way. You walk out of the town following Calle San Francisco you can find it on the map.

The rest of the day was very similar to the previous two walking days. After 4,5 km there is a small town where you can stop for coffee, it’s the only stop on the route.

Highlights

  • Cathedral and cobblestone streets of Los Santos de Maimona
  • Olive tree plantations and vineyards

Challenges

Nothing on the way for 15 km between Los Santos de Maimona and Villafranca de los Barros, make sure to carry enough water with the route goes through the fields with no shadow.

Villafranca de los Barros

A typical town with the main square a couple of churches and many restaurants and bars. We were here on Sunday everything was closed even restaurants didn’t serve food between 4 pm and 8.30 pm because kitchens are closed at this time of the day.

Albergue Las Caballeras

It’s right at the entrance to the town, most of the other pilgrims walked on to Albergue Carmen (10€ pp.), we paid 12€ per person per bed. Tip! If you’re a couple ask for a double bed there is one on the upper floor you get more privacy.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 2 Euro
  • Extra – washing lines, breakfast – 3 Euro, coffee 1 Euro

Day 8. Villafranca de los Barros – Torremejía, 27,5 km

  • Time – 5h24min.
  • Walking on the road – 0 m
  • Walking on the asphalt – 3 km in the towns
  • Ascent – 105 m
  • Descent – 221 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5, a long walking day with no places to stop for food or water
Day 8 elevation profile, the Silver route, Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day 8 Villafranca de los Barros – Torremejía

Note! There is a town Almendralejo about half way with a couple of hotels but it’s 4 km off the route in order to get there and then back on the Camino you’ll have to walk 8 km extra.

The walk wasn’t difficult but it’s quite long we’d strongly recommend starting walking early in order to skip the midday heat. We walked the Via de la Plata at the end of April and it was already quite hot after 10 am. Make sure you have enough water to last you the whole day there will be no place to refill it. The scenery was very similar to the previous days; vineyards, olive trees, fields and not much else.

Highlights

  • Beautiful sunrise on the way out of the town (if start early enough).
  • Vineyards and olive tree plantations, to be honest after a couple of days this scenery started to get quite monotonous.

Challenges

  • Quite long distance with no places to stop or to refill water on the way.

Torremejía

Another small white town with a couple of hotels, one albergue, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Albergue Rojo Plata

The only budget place to stay in the town, nice place with several rooms with bunk beds but only one shower/toilet for men and one for women so if it’s full you’ll have to wait in the queue. Price 12€ per bed or 22€ including lunch or dinner and breakfast. The location is quite good, on the route, close to the supermarket and restaurants.

installations

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – AC, breakfast – 3 Euro, washing lines

Day 9. Torremejía – Merida, 15,6 km

  • Time – 3h10min.
  • Walking on the road – 2 km
  • Walking on the asphalt – 5 km
  • Ascend – 79 m
  • Descend – 175 m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5, short and easy walking day
Day 9 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day 9 Torremejía – Mérida

To walk out of the town you can go left from the albergue and follow the gravel road for a little bit or go right towards the restaurant and follow the road, both routes join after about 500 m. It wasn’t the most beautiful walking day, the first half was along the road, sometimes on the road, the second half past some sort of industrial area or factories. And again nowhere to stop on the way we’d recommend to have breakfast in Torremejía and carry enough water.

Highlights

  • The Roman bridge at the entrance to Merida
  • Several Roman ruins in Merida; aqueduct Los Milagros, Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre, Circo Romano, Alcazaba.

Challenges

  • at the beginning of the day 2 km of walking on the road out of 7 km of walking next to the road.

Merida

It’s a World Heritage city with several impressive Roman sights. If you have time I’d suggest stopping here for 2 days if not try to start walking early in the morning in order to have more time to explore the city. We stayed for 2 nights here; first night at the municipal albergue Molino de Pancaliente and second in a guest house. Merida seems to be quite a popular place to start the Camino there are more pilgrims here than in the previous towns on the way. It’s another reason to start earlier to get a spot in the albergue, there are only 16 beds and it’s the only budget accommodation in the city. Like in any other public albergue you can stay here only for one night.

Albergue de peregrinos Molino de Pancaliente

It’s the cheapest albergue we got on the whole way (except the donation one) and it was quite basic, the only albergue we stayed on this route that didn’t have wi-fi, blankets, and anything in the kitchen. Price 8€.

installations

  • Kitchen – no, only microwave & fridge
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Blankets – no
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Extra – washing lines, dryer – 2 Euro, breakfast – 3 Euro

We finished the Via de la Plata in Mérida where we stayed for 2 days in order to have time to explore the Roman ruins. From here we went to Portugal where we spent two weeks walking the Rota Vicentina. We’re planning to finish this Camino route next year and walk from Mérida all the way to Santiago de Compostela and from there continue walking to Finisterre.

A big old Roman bridge at the entrance to Merida, a Spanish city on the Via de la Plata
Campbell on the Puente Romano, an old Roman bridge at the entrance to Mérida

Vía de la Plata route planning resources

Liked this post? Pin it!

Camino Via de la Plata pin

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *