Travel Guide

The By way of de la Plata – an in depth information & strolling levels

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The By way of de la Plata or the Silver Route is taken into account to be the hardest Camino de Santiago route in Spain as a consequence of its distance, over 1000 km, lengthy strolling levels with little services in between, and very sizzling climate in summer time months. The By way of crosses 4 Spanish areas; Andalusia, Extremadura, Casilla y Leon, and Galicia. The route affords an incredible mixture of lovely countryside surroundings, spectacular Roman ruins, and spectacular medieval cities and cities.

Sensible information for planning the pilgrimage

The By way of de la Plata is the longest out of well-established Camino routes in Spain.

It’s the least walked route solely about 3% of all of the pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela come from the By way of de la Plata.

Like on every other Camino route you’ll want a Credential (a pilgrim’s passport) to find a way to remain in public albergues and to get the Compostela on the finish of the Camino in Santiago.

In response to the brand new guidelines, pilgrims coming from any Camino have to gather two stamps per day for the final 100 km, I’m fairly assured should you full the By way of de la Plata and don’t have two stamps for the final couple of days you’ll nonetheless get you Compostela, it’s simply one thing to remember.

Supermarkets and outlets are closed on Sundays and public holidays, eating places and bars are your solely meals choices for lately.

Having an area SIM card is kind of useful in case you wish to ebook lodging or use on-line maps.

Although the route is kind of flat the primary a part of it from Guillena to Villafranca de los Barros has many ascents and descents one thing we didn’t actually look forward to finding right here.

Our pilgrimage on the By way of de la Plata from Seville to Maride

Vía de la Plata route choices

The Vía de la Plata has a number of route choices and connections with different Camino routes.

  1. It’s potential to begin in Granada or Almería, stroll to Mérida following the Camino Mozárabe and from there proceed on the Vía de la Plata to Santiago. This route is lengthy, 1200 km.
  2. Another choice is to begin in Valencia, stroll to Zamora following the Camino de Levante, and from Zamora proceed to Santiago de Compostela on the Vía de la Plata. This route could be very lengthy as nicely, 1300 km in whole.
  3. The Vía de la Plata splits after Zamora; one route goes north to Astorga the place it merges with the Camino Frances; one route goes north-west by way of Ourense following the Camino Sanabrés. In case you resolve to stroll by way of Astorga, be able to see many pilgrims, the French Camino is the most well-liked route, particularly the final 200-100 km to Santiago de Compostela.

In case you resolve to stroll the Camino Mozárabe or the Levante it’s essential to keep in mind that these routes will not be very fashionable with only a few pilgrims strolling them. Because of this they’ve much less infrastructure than the well-established Camino routes; discovering lodging is perhaps difficult in some components. You’ll want some fundamental Spanish to have the ability to clarify easy things each routes undergo non-touristy components of Spain with only a few folks talking or understanding English.

Greatest months for strolling

Let’s begin with the worst time as a result of in contrast to with the opposite Camino routes, summer time is the worst time to stroll the By way of de la Plata; not as a result of it will get too busy just like the French Camino or the Portuguese route however as a result of it will get extremely sizzling right here. July and August are the worst months, 40°C-45°C, no shade to cover on the route, no rain, clear skies, nowhere to get water on the best way (typically you stroll 20-25 km by way of nothing), and burning solar. All deadly instances on this route had been in these months as a consequence of warmth strokes or exhaustion.

June and September are a detailed name as nicely it does get sizzling and it’s sunny more often than not however by far not as sizzling as in July and August.

Our favourite time for touring the south of Spain is spring, I’d say April and Could are the very best months for this a part of the nation; it’s heat however not sizzling, not a lot rain, fields are lined in flowers, the world could be very inexperienced, the air is recent. Weatherwise October is shut to those two months simply not flowers.

As for strolling the By way of de la Plata offseason, November – March, it is perhaps a good suggestion if you wish to ensure it’s not going to be sizzling however it would rain fairly a bit in January, February, March (the rainest one) and also you would possibly really feel a bit lonely as there shall be only a few pilgrims on the route.

From what we’ve heard from the hospitaleros (hosts) on the By way of de la Plata April is normally the busiest month with probably the most pilgrims on the route however even on this busiest time, you in all probability will get fewer folks right here than on the Camino Frances low season.

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain, Via de la Plata
Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

By way of de la Plata price

Lodging. Public albergues on this route are costlier than on the opposite Camino routes we’ve walked. On the opposite Camino routes, we normally paid between 5€ 6€, typically 7€ per mattress in a non-public albergue. On the By way of de la Plata the usual value was 10€. From Seville to Mérida we acquired just one albergue for a donation and one for 8€, the remainder had been 10€. Personal albergues/hostels price about the identical, between 10€ and 12€.

Meals. A advantage of this route that each city we stopped had a least a small store however normally there was a grocery store we may make our personal meals. Simply keep in mind that right here like in the remainder of Spain supermarkets are closed on Sundays and public holidays, plus they’re closed for a siesta in the midst of the day, normally someplace between 2 pm and 5 pm. Costs in supermarkets listed here are just like the remainder of Spain should you purchase meals for 2 meals it’ll price you between 6€ and eight€ per particular person relying on what you purchase, after all.

Consuming out. Conventional Menu del Día (a set menu with first, principal, drink, break and low/dessert) for about 10€ is kind of standard right here. A cup of espresso and a sandwich with Jamón or cheese and tomato (Tostada) price about 2,5€ we stopped very often for these. The espresso right here is nice and low cost, Americano prices lower than 1€, Cafe con Leche (Cappuccino) about 1,2€. A beer or a glass of wine (low cost wine) in a bar is about 1€, it normally comes with chips, olives or peanuts.

Transport. To get to Seville, the start line of the route you’ll be able to take a bus or a prepare from Madrid or different cities/cities in Spain or Portugal. A bus from Madrid to Seville prices from 25€ the journey takes 6h30min. A pace prepare – from 38€, it takes 2h50min.

Our finances break down (9 days, 2 folks)

We stayed in dormitories in private and non-private albergues, just one night time in a non-public room in a resort, purchased meals in supermarkets (more often than not), normally stopped for breakfast and for espresso (one to 2 instances a day), a few instances went out for a beer or wine.

  • Lodging – 192€
  • Consuming out (meals, beer, wine) – 111€
  • Purchasing (meals) – 90€
  • Transport (bus Madrid – Seville) – 50€
  • Espresso – 20€
  • Laundry – 5€

Complete: 468€ or 26€ per particular person per day.

Packing listing for the Camino

It’s essential to recollect to not overload your pack. It’s a really lengthy route, you’re going to stroll for a couple of month together with your backpack. Relying on what time of the yr you resolve to stroll the By way of de la Plata you’ll want completely different necessities. In case you stroll the route in fall/winter when it rains rather a lot in Andalusia and Extremadura you’ll positively want a rain poncho and a pair of fine waterproof mountain climbing boots.

For spring/summer time season good solar safety is essential, ensure to pack a cap or higher a hat, sun shades, sunscreen, and two water bottles that you’ve not less than 2l of water per particular person.

We’ve got an in depth Camino de Santiago packing information the place you could find a packing listing for women and men for various seasons.

Books and guidebooks to learn on the By way of de la Plata

On such an extended Camino route like this one, it’s nice to have a pleasant ebook. More often than not the route goes by way of quiet Spanish rural villages and cities you’ll have quite a lot of time for studying after you might be carried out with strolling for the day. In case you like studying quite a bit carrying a Kindle is perhaps a good suggestion. You possibly can add as many books in your language as you need. It’s not at all times straightforward to search out books in aside from Spanish languages on the route. In case you learn quite a bit it is perhaps price becoming a member of the Amazon Kindle Limitless program that offers you free entry to hundreds of e-books and audiobooks. You don’t want a Kindle gadget to make use of this system with the Amazon free studying app you need to use it in your telephone or pill.

The ruins of the Acueducto de los Milagros in Merida
The Acueducto de los Milagros, an previous Roman Aqueduct in Mérida, our final cease on the By way of de la Plata

Baggage switch service on the route

It’s potential to rearrange baggage switch on the By way of de la Plata. Your backpack or suitcase shall be transferred from place to position. You should use it for your entire route (which is able to enhance the price of the stroll fairly a bit) or just for longer levels when you need to stroll over 30 km by way of nothing.

There are a number of corporations that supply the service; Correos, Mundicamino, Pilbeo (solely from Ourense to Santiago). The value is between 5 and seven Euro per backpack per stage. It really works very straightforward an organization picks your baggage on the reception of your albergues/hostel within the morning and drives it to your subsequent lodging place. By the point you arrive your backpack is already there. It’s essential to keep in mind that public albergues normally don’t permit baggage supply. Personal albergues and motels normally do.

Lodging on the Camino de la Plata

Like on every other Camino route the primary lodging for pilgrims on the By way of de la Plata is albergues. Albergues might be non-public and public. Public albergues are run by municipalities and normally are the most affordable locations to remain on the Camino. These albergues are solely for pilgrims who stroll or cycle the Camino. Personal albergues belong to an individual or an organization, they’re a bit costlier than public ones and normally have higher services. Personal albergues are extra like hostels anyone can keep there however many of the company are normally pilgrims. There are motels and visitor homes alongside the route as nicely in case you favor staying in non-public.

Evaluating private and non-private albergues

Options Public albergues Personal albergues
Solely for pilgrims sure no
Want a Credential sure no
Will be booked no sure
Settle for playing cards no typically
Enable baggage supply no sure
Worth 10 Euro 10-14 Euro
Public vs non-public albergues on the By way of de la Plata

How troublesome is the By way of de la Plata in comparison with the opposite Camino routes?

We’ve walked 7 Camino de Santiago routes and I’d say judging on the primary a part of the By way of de la Plata it’s positively more difficult. The principle reason is lengthy distances between cities and villages which implies you need to carry quite a lot of water and a few snacks with. There are not any steep ascents or descents on this route like on the Camino Primitivo or the Northern Manner, however lengthy distances, each each day and the entire distance over 1000 km, mixed with little infrastructure in between and excessive temperatures make the By way of de la Plata a troublesome route.

Any lengthy trekking/strolling route is difficult as a result of it takes many days and even weeks to finish, however when it’s greater than 1000 km it will get actually lengthy. Psychologically it was fairly troublesome for us when after strolling for 9 days we arrived in Mérida and noticed on the wall of our albergue “distance to Santiago 800 km”! and it wasn’t our first lengthy Camino route we’d already walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon and the Camino del Norte from Irún.

About lengthy levels and strolling by way of nothing we heard quite a bit however it was form of troublesome to think about. We had a few days on the opposite Camino routes with no locations in between however on the By way of de la Plata from the very starting, we walked for 20-25 km by way of nothing. Not even a spot to refill your water bottle! We cease quite a bit for espresso on the opposite Camin routes, it provides you just a little break however on the By way of de la Plata some days you simply stroll with no different choice to cease than to take a seat down on the grass or below a tree within the fields.

As for pilgrims, we met on the route a lot of them walked a couple of Camino route however there have been some folks for whom it was their first Camino. Most of them didn’t plan to stroll the entire route and completed in Mérida. In case you actually wish to stroll the By way of de la Plata and have by no means walked the Camino earlier than you are able to do the identical begin strolling in Seville and see how far you get. When you don’t really feel like strolling anymore, you’ll be able to cease there and proceed the route someday later. We’re going to do that we ran out of visa time (we spent quite a lot of time strolling in Spain and Portugal within the final yr). We stopped in Mérida and can proceed the stroll subsequent yr.

Journey insurance coverage for the Vía de la Plata

Strolling like every other out of doors exercise includes a danger of getting an harm or dropping a few of your gear. It’s at all times really useful to have journey insurance coverage. The By way of de la Plata shouldn’t be an exclusion, it’s not an especially troublesome trek however it’s a really lengthy and difficult route small accidents and traumas are fairly frequent. It’s good to know that your insurance coverage will cowl you in case of any unpredictable emergency be it an harm, gear loss or gadget break down. 

Observe! When you’ve got a European Well being Insurance coverage card you don’t want any further medical insurance coverage for Spain.

Seville, the start of the stroll

Seville is an attractive metropolis with quite a bit to see and to do, spending right here a few days earlier than beginning the Camino is a good concept. My favourite time-spending in Seville is sitting at one of many avenue eating places close to the Cathedral with a glass of wine and a few scrumptious tapas.

Things to not miss within the metropolis: Plaza de España, Royal Alcázar, Cathedral, La Giralda, Torre de Oro, Parque de María Luisa, Santa Cruz barrio (neighborhood), Triana neighborhood, Plaza de Toros, Casa de Pilatos.

Seville excursions & actions

There are various nice excursions across the metropolis and to the close by sights.

Locations to remain in Seville

There isn’t any public albergue in Seville however there are a number of hostels and personal albergues. They aren’t solely for pilgrims anyone can keep there however the general public staying at albergues are pilgrims.

We stayed at El Viajero en Sevilla, a small resort within the historic middle. It’s an incredible place, very neat, snug, and comfortable. If we go to Seville we’ll positively keep right here once more.

Observe! Be sure to arrive right here not in the course of the Semana Santa (the Holy Week, every week earlier than Easter) should you do, ebook your tickets and lodging nicely upfront. Town will get loopy busy; troublesome to search out lodging, bus, and prepare tickets are offered out, hundreds of vacationers, and many others. Seville is known for the Semana Santa celebration it’s the highest European vacation spot to return for the Easter vacation.

Easy methods to get to Seville?

There may be a world airport in Seville you could find direct flights from many European nations (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and many others.). In addition to flights from a number of Spanish cities similar to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and many others. In case you purchase your tickets upfront you’ll be able to fly for as little as 20-40 Euro relying in your origin. Ryanair, EasyJet, Iberia Categorical, and Vueling are the primary finances airways that supply low cost flights to Seville.

Getting from Madrid to Seville

In case you come from abroad, Madrid might be the very best metropolis to land in. From Madrid, you’ll be able to catch a direct flight, a prepare or a bus to Seville. Flying is the quickest method of getting there. There are common buses and trains as nicely.

Madrid to Seville – evaluating transport choices

Madrid to Seville Flight Practice Bus
Each day departures 5 8 3+
Station Barajas airport Puerta de Atocha Barajas T1
Estacion Sur
Time to get 1h10min. 2h30min. 6h20min.
Ticket value from 35 Euro from 45 Euro from 26 Euro
Firm Iberia, Iberia Categorical RENFE Socibus
Evaluating completely different method of attending to Seville from Madrid

Getting from Barcelona to Seville

In case you land in Barcelona I’d strongly advocate flying to Seville moderately than taking a bus or a prepare. A direct flight from Barcelona takes 1h45min. Costs begin at 25 Euro. Ryanair and Vueling are two finances airways that supply direct flights. A direct quick prepare (5h30min.) from Barcelona to Seville prices 120 Euro. You positively will be capable of discover cheaper flights. There’s a cheaper prepare, 65 Euro however it takes 11h30min. There are no direct buses from Barcelona to Seville, you’ll need to go through Albacete, the journey takes greater than 15 hours.

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

By way of de la Plata strolling levels

We’ve walked solely 9 first levels on the By way of de la Plata, from Seville to Mérida, right here you could find an in depth itinerary for lately. We’re planning to complete the route subsequent yr and can replace the submit after that.

The By way of de la Plata (Seville to Mérida half) route overview

  • Complete distance – 214 km
  • The time required – 8-10 days
  • Start line – Seville
  • Ending level – Mérida
  • Complete ascent (in 9 days) – 2976 m
  • Complete descent – 2766 m
  • Strolling floor – largely gravel highway – 160 km, asphalt – 54 km
  • Route marking – yellow shells and arrows
  • Common price – 26-30€ per particular person
  • Lodging – private and non-private albergues, motels
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,Eight mi
Day 6
Fuente de Cantos – Zafra
24,7 km/15,Three 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
Vía de la Plata levels Seville – Mérida

Day 1. Seville – Guillena, 23 km*

  • Time – 4h45min.
  • Strolling on the highway – Three km
  • Strolling on asphalt – 10 km
  • Ascent – 158 m
  • Descent – 124 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5

*All each day distances are from albergue to albergue.

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

The stroll begins from the cathedral in Seville, there are a few yellow arrows and a shell on the nook of Avenida de la Conctitución and Calle García de Vinuesa. To our shock it was fairly straightforward and fast to stroll out of the town, it took us about 30 min. and we didn’t undergo any industrial or residential areas of the town. Many of the day the route went by way of the fields however there was an disagreeable strolling on the highway for about Three km after Santiponce.

Santiponce is the one city on the best way, it’s about 9 km from Seville and it’s price stopping right here and visiting the well-known Roman ruins; the Roman Therms and the Roman Amphitheatre. The Amphitheater, by the best way, was featured in season 7 of Sport of Thrones because the Dragonpit. Sadly, we couldn’t go to them as a result of it was closed on Monday. For extra data on the ruins of Italica and opening hours go to the official web site. 

If you wish to go to each ruins I’d counsel to go first to the Roman Theatre and from there to the Therms as you’ll be able to stroll by way of the Archaeological park and exit on the opposite facet of it proper on the Camino.

If you wish to cease for lunch Santiponce is the one place on the best way, don’t overlook to refill your water there shall be nowhere to do it until Guillena.

Highlights

  • Beautiful Gothic cathedral of Seville
  • Triana district in Seville
  • The Roman ruins of Italica, Santiponce

Challenges

  • Three km of strolling on the highway after Santiponce
  • No locations to cease or to refill water between Santiponce and Guillena, for 13 km

Guillena

A small city with good infrastructure although we had been right here on Sunday and all the pieces was closed.

Albergue Luz del Camino

The Public albergue prices the identical we got here throughout the non-public one first, the woman in cost was very good and pleasant so we determined to remain right here. The albergue is sweet, clear and comfy. They attempt to give pilgrims extra privateness we acquired a dormitory just for us although there have been beds obtainable within the different dorms. Worth 10€  per particular person, 12€ with breakfast.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure
  • Additional – washing traces, terrace
A typical scenery in Andalusia and Extremadura with fields and olive trees
A typical surroundings on the By way of de la Plata; fields, olive tree plantations, and a gravel highway

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

  • Time – 4h12min.
  • Strolling on the highway – zero km however the final Three km are on the footpath subsequent to the highway
  • Strolling on asphalt – 2 km
  • Ascent – 386 m
  • Descent – 91 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5
Day 2 elevation profile, Via de la Plata, Spain
Elevation profile Day 2 Guillena – Castilbalnco de los Arroyos

We didn’t pay for breakfast within the albergue we stopped on the best way at one of many locals bars S.C.A. Kibarpe, subsequent to the grocery store Dia, they’ve good espresso and sandwiches, we paid 5 Euro for each.

It was a comparatively brief and straightforward strolling day with a slight ascend about 386 m all through the day. At first, you stroll by way of Guillena city until the bridge, then cross the bridge after that flip proper, away from the highway, there shall be a Camino signal. The route by way of the city shouldn’t be marked very nicely, right here and there you see an arrow however it’s not troublesome you principally simply observe the primary avenue from the albergue all the best way out.

At about Three km after crossing the highway you get to a really muddy path by way of the olive tree plantations. At about Eight km an attractive forest substitutes the plantations. There are not any villages on the best way no locations to cease for espresso or meals. At 10 km there’s a place to refill water you gained’t miss it there’s a huge signal on the righthand facet. The final Three km earlier than Castilblanco are on the footpath alongside the highway.

Highlights

  • Strolling by way of the forest and the fields
  • Castilblanco – a comfy white city with a pleasant church and plenty of starks round it.
  • Communal dinner on the albergue

Challenges

  • A really muddy and slippery path between Three km and 5 km
  • Nothing between Guillena and Castilblanco

Castilblanco de los Arroyos

A pleasant small city a number of bars and eating places on the primary avenue and an attractive church with many storks’ nests on the roof.

Albergue de peregrinos de Castilblanco

Positioned on the entrance to the city, subsequent to the petrol station. The albergue is sweet however fairly small, there are solely 18 beds and two loos. Individuals who arrived later needed to keep in a non-public albergue. Worth – donation. The Italian couple that was volunteering there made a communal dinner (3,5€ per particular person), it was nice to take a seat on the identical desk with different pilgrims and get to know one another proper in the beginning of the Camino.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Additional – washing traces, terrace, communal dinner – 3,5 Euro

Day 3. Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almadén de la Plata, 28,7 km

  • Time – 6h.
  • Strolling on the highway – 16,5 km
  • Strolling on asphalt – 16,5 km
  • Ascent – 649 m
  • Descent – 521 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5
Day 3 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day Three Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almadén de la Plata

I’d counsel ensuring you’ve got sufficient water earlier than you allow Castilblanco in addition to to take some snacks with and to have breakfast within the city earlier than you allow. There may be actually nothing on the best way; no place to refill water, no place to purchase meals until you attain Almadén de la Plata.

It was fairly an extended day of strolling. The primary half was on the highway after an hour or so it acquired fairly monotonous however it wasn’t as dangerous as we thought, the highway was not very busy. The second half, after 16,5 km, is thru Pure Park Sierra Norte. The surroundings within the park is gorgeous; inexperienced hills, timber, many flowers (in spring) and a few smallish rivers. Sadly, we couldn’t actually benefit from the surroundings because it was raining non cease on a regular basis we had been within the park.

Highlights

  • Pure Park Sierra Norte

Challenges

  • Strolling on the highway for the primary 16,5 km
  • No place to cease for meals or water for 28 km
  • Steep however not lengthy ascent simply earlier than Almadén de la Plata

Almadén de la Plata

This city is smaller than Castilblanco, it has a few eating places and outlets, a sq. with a church and a Jamon manufacturing unit.

Albergue Casa Clara

We had been planning to remain within the municipal one and even went there however didn’t like the situation an excessive amount of it’s removed from the outlets and eating places so we went again to the non-public albergue that has a restaurant and situated on the primary sq., close to the grocery store, and proper on the Camino. Worth 12€ pp. per mattress or 20 Euro with Menu del Dia (full lunch). The general public albergue prices 10 Euro so not a giant distinction. Casa Clara is a small albergue with solely two rooms with Four beds every extra like a shared residence than the albergue.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure however only a few utensils for cooking
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure, freed from cost
  • Additional – washing traces
The green scenery of the Sierra Norte Park in Andalusia, Spain
Sierra Norte Pure Park, a patch of a inexperienced forest on the By way of de la Plata.

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

  • Time – 7h45min.
  • Strolling on the highway – 2 km brief bit right here and there on the final Eight km
  • Strolling on the asphalt – Four km by way of the cities and just a little bit alongside the highway
  • Ascent – 850 m
  • Descent – 575 m
  • Issue degree – Four out of 5 it was an extended strolling day
Day 4 elevation profile, the Silver Route of the Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day Four Almadén de la Plata – Monesterio

Possibility! In case you assume strolling 35 km in sooner or later is an excessive amount of you’ll be able to at all times break up at the present time into two; stroll 13,5 km to Actual de la Jara and the subsequent day 21 km to Monasterio.

A second lengthy day in a uncooked, most pilgrims we began with walked 13 km and stayed in Actual de la Jara, many individuals break up at the present time into two. At first of the day, we continued strolling by way of Pure Park Sierra Norte with stunning surroundings and plenty of smallish ups and downs.

Fortunately, at the moment there are two stops on the route so you’ll be able to put down your backpack and sit down, drink espresso, eat one thing and refill your water. At Actual de la Jara you allow the area of Andalusia and enter Extremadura.

The final Eight km are subsequent to the highway totally on the footpath crossing the highway right here and there.

Highlights

  • A stupendous stroll by way of the countryside and forest
  • The citadel in El Actual de la Jara

Challenges

  • A protracted strolling day, 35 km and it did really feel lengthy and tiring.

Monesterio

Don’t be confused by the title, the precise monastery is 5 km exterior the city you gained’t see it except you stroll there or take a taxi. The city itself is kind of huge in comparison with most cities on the By way of de la Plata.

Albergue Las Moreras

We stayed within the municipal albergue Las Moreras, it’s situated a bit away from the city middle however near the grocery store and a few bars/eating places. The rooms are small, solely two beds which is nice we had our personal room. There’s a rest room for each two rooms which is one other great point as you don’t need to share one bathe/rest room with 10 different folks. Fellow pilgrims stayed in albergue Parroquial de Monesterio and actually favored it as nicely, it appears to be like like each albergues in Monesterio are nice, each cost 10€ pp.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure, Three Euro
  • Additional – dryer – Four Euro, washing traces, TV, hearth
Ruins of an old fortress in the fields
Ruins of a citadel simply exterior El Actual de la Jarra on the border between Andalusia and Extremadura

Day 5. Monesterio – Fuente de Cantos, 20,6 km

  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Strolling on the highway – zero km
  • Strolling on the asphalt – 2 km by way of the cities
  • Ascent – 291 m
  • Descent – 432 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5
Day 5 elevation profile, Via de la Plata, Spain
Elevation profile Day 5 Monesterio – Fuente de Cantos

We began the day fairly late, it took us about 10 min. to stroll out of the city, on the exit there’s a restaurant that opens at 7 am, they’ve espresso or sizzling chocolate with churros for 1,5 Euro. Be certain that to have sufficient water with there shall be nothing on the best way. The stroll was straightforward and good with gentle ups and downs, by way of a really quiet countryside with olive tree plantations, wheat fields, cows, sheep, and many others. removed from the highway and every other disturbing noises.

Highlights

  • Very peaceable space with no folks, automobiles, homes solely fields and nature.

Challenges

  • Nothing on the best way for 20 km you need to carry sufficient water with for the entire day.

Fuente de Cantos

A comfortable little white city with a small sq. and a church on it and slender cobblestone streets.

Lodge El Zaguán de la Plata

An incredible previous home with a number of rooms, a stunning backyard, a swimming pool, and an superior bathe – certainly one of our favourite locations on the Camino. Worth 15€ per particular person for personal, 12€ per mattress in a dormitory.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure, 2 Euro
  • Additional – dryer – Three Euro, washing traces, swimming pool, backyard

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

  • Time – 5h15min.
  • Strolling on the highway – zero km
  • Strolling on the asphalt – final Four km to Zafra
  • Ascent – 212 m
  • Descent – 288 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5
Day 6 elevation profile, Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day 6 Fuente de Cantos – Zafra

It was a simple strolling day by way of the countryside more often than not ensure to have sufficient water with from 6 km to 20 km there’s nothing on the best way besides a shelter at 15 km the place you’ll be able to cease and relaxation, drink water or eat one thing.

Highlights

Peaceable surroundings; olive tree plantations, vineyards, pasture fields, and many others.

The historic middle of Zafra; Plaza Grande, Plaza Chica, Convento de Santa Clara. In case you’ve occurred to be right here on weekend positively go to one of many squares and drink a glass of wine or beer, there are various eating places and bars right here, on weekends they’re filled with locals, it has an incredible vacation vibe.

Challenges

  • 14 km in the midst of the day with nothing on the best way

Zafra

It’s extra of a metropolis place, a lot larger than different stops on the best way. The historic a part of Zafra is very nice; cobblestone streets, two stunning squares, a cathedral, a fortress, and several other smallish parks.

Albergue Vicente Van Gogh

It’s the one albergue within the metropolis (there was one other one Albergue Convento de San Francisco however it was closed in 2018), the place is sweet and spacious, it´s situated near the historic middle, outlets, eating places and proper on the Camino. Worth 12€ pp. together with breakfast. The proprietor was a bit obsessive about all the pieces being the best way he desires or used to however it´s manageable. Breakfast wasn´t superb we stopped on the best way for a correct espresso with a Tostada.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure, 2 Euro
  • Additional – dryer – Three Euro, washing traces, terrace
Alya surrounded by endless golden fields of wheat
Alya within the wheat fields, the dominating surroundings on the By way of de la Plata in Extremadura

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

  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Strolling on the highway – 400 m
  • Strolling on asphalt – Eight km; first 7 km from Zafra and final 1 km to
  • Ascent – 246 m
  • Descent – 339 m
  • Issue degree – 1 out of 5 a brief and straightforward strolling day
Day7 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day 7 Zafra – Villafranca de los Barros

It was a simple strolling day besides the very starting, the route by way of Zafra shouldn’t be marked very nicely, all people acquired a bit misplaced (we left first and stopped at a bar for breakfast and will see different fellow pilgrims wandering round looking for yellow arrows), ultimately, we needed to ask locals. We adopted the arrows until the Plaza Grande after which misplaced them, the identical occurred to all people. I’d counsel when you’re on the Sq. ask round will level you the appropriate method. You stroll out of the city following Calle San Francisco you could find it on the map.

The remainder of the day was similar to the earlier two strolling days. After 4,5 km there’s a small city the place you’ll be able to cease for espresso, it’s the one cease on the route.

Highlights

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

Challenges

Nothing on the best way for 15 km between Los Santos de Maimona and Villafranca de los Barros, ensure to hold sufficient water with the route goes by way of the fields with no shadow.

Villafranca de los Barros

A typical city with the primary sq. a few church buildings and plenty of eating places and bars. We had been right here on Sunday all the pieces was closed even eating places didn’t serve meals between Four pm and eight.30 pm as a result of kitchens are closed at the moment of the day.

Albergue Las Caballeras

It’s proper on the entrance to the city, many of the different pilgrims walked on to Albergue Carmen (10€ pp.), we paid 12€ per particular person per mattress. Tip! In case you’re a pair ask for a double mattress there’s one on the higher ground you get extra privateness.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – sure, 2 Euro
  • Additional – washing traces, breakfast – Three Euro, espresso 1 Euro

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

  • Time – 5h24min.
  • Strolling on the highway – zero m
  • Strolling on the asphalt – Three km within the cities
  • Ascent – 105 m
  • Descent – 221 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5, an extended strolling day with no locations to cease for meals or water
Day 8 elevation profile, the Silver route, Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day Eight Villafranca de los Barros – Torremejía

Observe! There’s a city Almendralejo about half method with a few motels however it’s Four km off the route with a view to get there after which again on the Camino you’ll need to stroll Eight km further.

The stroll wasn’t troublesome however it’s fairly lengthy we’d strongly advocate beginning strolling early with a view to skip the noon warmth. We walked the By way of de la Plata on the finish of April and it was already fairly sizzling after 10 am. Be sure to have sufficient water to final you the entire day there shall be no place to refill it. The surroundings was similar to the earlier days; vineyards, olive timber, fields and never a lot else.

Highlights

  • Lovely dawn on the best way out of the city (if begin early sufficient).
  • Vineyards and olive tree plantations, to be trustworthy after a few days this surroundings began to get fairly monotonous.

Challenges

  • Fairly lengthy distance with no locations to cease or to refill water on the best way.

Torremejía

One other small white city with a few motels, one albergue, eating places, and supermarkets.

Albergue Rojo Plata

The one finances place to remain within the city, good place with a number of rooms with bunk beds however just one bathe/rest room for males and one for ladies so if it’s full you’ll have to attend within the queue. Worth 12€ per mattress or 22€ together with lunch or dinner and breakfast. The placement is kind of good, on the route, near the grocery store and eating places.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Additional – AC, breakfast – Three Euro, washing traces

Day 9. Torremejía – Merida, 15,6 km

  • Time – 3h10min.
  • Strolling on the highway – 2 km
  • Strolling on the asphalt – 5 km
  • Ascend – 79 m
  • Descend – 175 m
  • Issue degree – 1 out of 5, brief and straightforward strolling day
Day 9 elevation profile, Via de la Plata
Elevation profile Day 9 Torremejía – Mérida

To stroll out of the city you’ll be able to go left from the albergue and observe the gravel highway for just a little bit or go proper in the direction of the restaurant and observe the highway, each routes be a part of after about 500 m. It wasn’t probably the most stunning strolling day, the primary half was alongside the highway, typically on the highway, the second half previous some form of industrial space or factories. And once more nowhere to cease on the best way we’d advocate to have breakfast in Torremejía and carry sufficient water.

Highlights

  • The Roman bridge on the entrance to Merida
  • A number of Roman ruins in Merida; aqueduct Los Milagros, Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre, Circo Romano, Alcazaba.

Challenges

  • in the beginning of the day 2 km of strolling on the highway out of seven km of strolling subsequent to the highway.

Merida

It’s a World Heritage metropolis with a number of spectacular Roman sights. When you’ve got time I’d counsel stopping right here for two days if not attempt to begin strolling early within the morning with a view to have extra time to discover the town. We stayed for two nights right here; first night time on the municipal albergue Molino de Pancaliente and second in a visitor home. Merida appears to be fairly a well-liked place to begin the Camino there are extra pilgrims right here than within the earlier cities on the best way. It’s one more reason to begin earlier to get a spot within the albergue, there are solely 16 beds and it’s the one finances lodging within the metropolis. Like in every other public albergue you’ll be able to keep right here just for one night time.

Albergue de peregrinos Molino de Pancaliente

It’s the most affordable albergue we acquired on the entire method (besides the donation one) and it was fairly fundamental, the one albergue we stayed on this route that didn’t have wi-fi, blankets, and something within the kitchen. Worth 8€.

Services

  • Kitchen – no, solely microwave & fridge
  • Scorching bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Blankets – no
  • Washer – sure, Three Euro
  • Additional – washing traces, dryer – 2 Euro, breakfast – Three Euro

We completed the By way of de la Plata in Mérida the place we stayed for two days with a view to have time to discover the Roman ruins. From right here we went to Portugal the place we spent two weeks strolling the Rota Vicentina. We’re planning to complete this Camino route subsequent yr and stroll from Mérida all the best way to Santiago de Compostela and from there proceed strolling 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 previous Roman bridge on the entrance to Mérida

Vía de la Plata route planning assets

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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