How to Do Stage 27 of the French Way of the Camino de Santiago
For many pilgrims, the twenty-seventh stage is actually the first day out for them, as Sarria is found very close to the last 100 kilometers—the required minimum distance to walk on foot to get the Compostela. Regardless of the expectations, the stage does not disappoint—neither pilgrims who are just starting out nor pilgrims who already have several stages under their belt. There are many villages in the municipalities of Sarria, Paradela and Portomarín, with lovely Romanesque gems, as well as paths, medieval bridges and a modern rest area that comes with snack and drink vending machines.
For all intents and purposes, the stage is not difficult at all. The distance is just right and beautiful landscapes abound.
For many pilgrims, Sarria’s Rúa Maior is km 0 on this pilgrimage to Compostela. The first 2.9-kilometer stretch between Sarria and As Paredes is where the first stage begins. After walking through Rúa Maior and passing the Preventive Prison building, you’ll get to a lookout point that gives you a great view overlooking Sarria. About 300 meters away from the lookout point, the Camino goes by Convento de la Magdalena. The Way descends along the cemetery wall until it reaches the Celeiro River, a tributary of the Sarria River. You’ll have to cross Ponte Áspera (km 1.2) in order to continue.
There is a viaduct to cross the railroad tracks. The water course gives way to a tough path amidst chestnut trees which climbs up to As Paredes.
From km 2.9 As Paredes, you proceed to Vilei where you’ll see the km 108 rest area of Vilei, with many coffee, drink and snack vending machines, where you can get a stamp for your pilgrim’s passport.
From there, you go down an asphalt road to get to the parish of Barbadelo. A few meters away, you’ll find the Romanesque Iglesia de Santiago.
There are several accommodation options in Barbelo. Continue along the asphalt road to the villages of (km 5.3) and Mercado da Serra (km 6), with a bar and located at a crossing on the LU-5709 road.
After crossing, you won’t continue along the road, but instead you’ll have to take a tree-lined path found in front of you. After five minutes, you’ll pass a fountain decorated with Pelegrín, the official mascot for Xacobeo 93 (km 6.6).
Some meters away, you’ll pass by the entrance to Molino de Marzán, which is an albergue inaugurated in March 2014 (km 7.3). Cross the LU-633 road to get to Leiman (km 8.2).
Afterwards, you’ll get to Peruscallo, with a bar and bakery. You’ll see some hórreos (km 9.2) dotting the landscape. You’ll get off the asphalt road and continue along the Way towards Cortiñas (km 10) and Lavandeira.
Eventually, you’ll get to Brea (km 11.5) and a few meters ahead, there’s Morgade (km 101.757 marker) at km 12 with an albergue-bar.
Upon leaving, you’ll see a sign welcoming you to Concello de Paradela. You’ll then get to Ferreiros (km 100.757 marker), Paradela’s first parish (km 13.1 Ferreiros), also with a couple of albergues and a bar.
Go down the asphalt road towards Mirallos (km 13.6). You’ll find Iglesia de Santa María on your left, which is also Romanesque. It was brought down stone by stone from Ferreiros in 1790. The Camino continues along the asphalt road from Mirallos until you come to a fork. There, you’ll have to take a dirt trail on your left. Right in front of the km 100 marker, you’ll find Casa Do Rego in a small, peaceful village with 13 houses and 21 inhabitants amidst nature. Starting your Camino right here would be enough for you to get the Compostela, but the pilgrimage is not just about a piece of paper. Your destination is the Camino itself. At Casa do Rego, community dinners are held so that the pilgrims get a chance to share their experiences and interact with each other.
Then, continue on to Couto (km 14.7) and Rozas (km 15). You’ll then arrive at Moimentos, after leaving a wooden cross coiled with barbed wire. Crossing the LU-4203 road (km 16.4), you’ll reach Mercadoiro in a few minutes, which also has an albergue and bar.
Continue onwards and you’ll get to Mountrás, where there’s a small store that sells food, drinks and crafts.
After a climb along an asphalt road, you’ll go down to Parrocha (km 18.7) and Vilachá, the last village on the Camino belonging to Paradela. In 2016, Los Andantes, a vegetarian bar-restaurant opened there.
As you descend, you’ll be getting nearer to the Miño River, with the Belesar Dam. The bridge, which is more than 350 meters long, will take you to Portomarín with its white facades and gray slate roofs. You’ll enter town through one of the arches of the old medieval Roman bridge (km 92.231 marker), which underwent reconstruction to add a stairway and a small chapel. You’ll be headed directly towards the center of town. Once you get there, you’ll have completed the 22.4 kilometers of this stage. At Km 22.4 Portomarín, you’ll find all kinds of services available.
Right at the km 100 marker, you’ll find the pilgrims’ hostel Casa do Rego