ViadelaPlataGuide.net

Vía de la Plata

Welcome to ViadelaPlataGuide.net! We provide free guides to the Vía de la Plata which can be downloaded in PDF format and printed out or viewed on a device such as a mobile phone or an ebook reader. The original Vía de la Plata runs from the Mediterranean coast to the north coast of Spain in Asturias. It was originally a Roman Road which linked the port of Cadiz with the silver mines of Asturias. Whence its name, the Silver Route.

 

Today the Vía de la Plata is a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and a popular alternative to the better known Camino de Santiago (Camino Francés) which crosses northern Spain.

The most popular starting point is Seville, a little over 1,000km, or about 40 days walking, from Santiago. This route has become increasingly popular with pilgrims in recent years and the number of pilgrim hostels on it has increased. It's now possible to walk this route staying in pilgrim hostels most nights although there are some stages over 30km.

The present day Camino follows the route of the Roman Road from Seville to Granja de Moreruela in the province of Zamora where it splits, the left route goes through the mountains of southern Galicia (the Camino Sanabrés) to reach Santiago from the south, while the right route continues northwards to join the Camino Francés in Astorga.

Although the Vía de la Plata can be walked year round, the most popular times are Spring and Autumn. In winter wind, rain and cold are likely, especially in the north and in summer temperatures in the south can get up to 40 degrees Centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Much of the route is flat and the only mountains are in Galicia (if you follow the Camino Sanabrés) or on the Camino Francés in El Bierzo (if you go via Astorga).

This guide covers the Vía de la Plata from Seville to Astorga where it meets the Camino Francés, and the Camino Sanabrés to Santiago. It also includes information for people who wish to walk to Finisterre and Muxía.

The guide lists pilgrim accommodation and essential services along the route. It's updated frequently based on feedback from pilgrims like you.

The guide is free to download, just enter your email address below. You will receive an email with a link from which you can download the guide. You only need to complete the email field, the others are optional. We like to know where people heard about us so it would be nice if you could tell us that.

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We promise not to sell your email to anyone else and not to send you any further communications if you have chosen not to receive any. Communications will be limited to very occasional updates about the guide.

If you found this guide useful please consider making a donation. The money you donate will go towards paying the costs of providing free and reliable information to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.

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Amazon buying options

The guide is also available to buy from Amazon in printed or ebook format.

The only difference between the free guide and the paid guide is that the paid version includes route and city maps.

You can download some sample pages from the paid guide by clicking here, NOTE: this sample will appear in colour on your computer, the printed book is in black and white (printing it in colour would make it more expensive), and the ebook will be limited by the display of your ebook reader.

If you're in the UK or Ireland and you want the printed book click on the left, if you want the Amazon ebook (Kindle) click on the right.

If you live in the US click on the left for the printed book and on the right for the Amazon ebook (Kindle).

If you have any comments or updates or corrections for any one of the guides you can contact us by emailing info@caminoguide.net. If you'd like to like to make a donation click here.

If you have an ebook reader which is not compatible with Amazon formats you can buy both books from the SmashWords ebook publishing website.

Walking Guide to the Vía de la Plata and the Camino Sanabrés

Visit the CaminoGuide.net Facebook Group.

Latest News

June 2015 The latest edition contains updates from all along the Vía with new pilgrim hostels opening all over the place during 2014 and early 2015.

A big Thank You to everybody who sent in information! It's thanks to you that this guide exists at all.

The new format of the free guide used bigger print to make it easier to use for people (like myself) who sometimes need bigger print. If you need big print print it on A4 (or Letter paper) and if you're happy with smaller print you can print it on A5 or A4 with two pages to a sheet.

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Our Philosophy

Philosophy behind our free minimalist guide.

 

The idea for this guide came to me one day on Chemin du Puy. I was talking to a rather grumpy French gentleman who was somewhat obsessed with the weight of his kit and was complaining bitterly about having to carry a guidebook that weighed nearly 200g, most of which was made up of unnecessary things like colour photos and waffle. That got me thinking about creating a guide that would contain just the essential information. Nothing more.

It took about a year to compile and verify the data and write the guide. I experimented with various formats such as selling printed copies myself (too time-consuming and troublesome), selling it through book printing websites like lulu.com (too expensive), before I settled on the download and print it yourself option.

The guide grew out of my desire to give something back to the Camino community for all the happiness the Camino has given me. It was written following these principles:

  • The guide is not divided into stages or days. Everybody walks at their own pace and selects what stages they walk. Besides, because most people walk the stages as described in their guidebooks, by stopping in between you'll avoid the crowds.

  • The guide only provides important information. No descriptions of landscape, no spiritual stuff, no historical context, description of the route to follow only where it's necessary. Partly because loads of information isn't necessary but also because a guidebook shouldn't define your experience in any way. Your experience should be defined by the Camino itself, by the people you meet and by your conscience. The Camino is there for everybody and everybody walks it in their own way.

  • The guide is available to download for free. It will be updated frequently, with help and input from pilgrims. Input from pilgrims is welcomed and encouraged. The guide should grow organically and become part of the global Camino community.

  • It is financed through donations from users, sales of the full guide and Google ads on the website. No payments, favours, etc. will be accepted from entities mentioned in the guide.

Useful Links

Links to useful resources on the internet.

 

There's a multitude of information available on the internet. This is just a small sample.

In English

There's are lively forums for all your questions here and here.

The Canadian Company of Pilgrims have an excellent website with downloadable guides dealing with subjects like camping, luxury hotels, etc. They even have a recipes page! The American Pilgrims site is good too. Also the Confraternity of St James from the UK now has some guides you can download and the Irish society has a good website. There's also an excellent blog with tonnes of additional information here

Check out CaminoGuide's new packing blog at packing.

In Spanish

One of the best from the Eroski group with information on everything and a lively forum. Mundi Camino is another site with loads of information. This is the website of the Amigos del Camino. The Jacobeo website has lots of information if you can find it.

Videos

Here's a video of the Botafumeiro in Santiago cathedral.

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Donate!

 

If you found this guide useful please consider making a donation. The money you donate will go towards paying the costs of providing free and reliable information to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.

 

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