Every journey has a start point, and the Camino de Santiago originates in the sea.
As well as foot, bicycle or horseback, the Camino de Santiago can be done by sailboat throughout the year.
Every year, NORTHMARINAS organises a group crossing to show off this new nautical pilgrimage. This is the Sail the Way crossing, a cultural and sports event held every summer.
Credentials forseafaring pilgrims can be obtained at any of the ports, institutions and organisations belonging to the “Sail The Way” convention from the nautical association NORTHMARINAS.
The essential requirements for the Compostela are that the pilgrim must be have the credential stamp confirming a minimum of 100 nautical miles sailed, and must walk the remaining kilometres of the Camino de Santiago.
The final stages of this crossing run through the unique surroundings of Ría de Arousa, travelling the same route that the remains of the Apostle Saint James took on his journey to Compostela.
The remains were transferred by his disciples, who, “guided by an angel and a star, arrived at the coast of Galicia and followed the course of the River Ulla, until reaching Iria Flavia (the modern-day town of Padrón).
This beautiful natural environment is the only maritime-fluvial Via Crucis in the world.
Here you’ll find the 18 crosses that identify this Way of St James as the Translatio: the Origin of all Ways, and an unforgettable experience.
The Rochelle-Hondarribia stage goes along the Aquitaine coast in France, which is notable for its expansive sandy beaches.
Around the halfway point, we come upon the famous Dune of Pilat in Arcachon, then we finally reach Hondarribia, a colourful fishing port in the heart of the Bay of Biscay.
At Hondarribia, one of the first ports in Guipúzcoa, the 2nd stage begins. Hondarribia-Bermeo, a fantastic stretch of rugged coastline dotted with seaside towns such as Getaria, home of Basque explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano, Mutriku, Lekeitio, Elantxobe, Mundaka and finally Bermeo, the former capital of Biscay.
Sailing under the shelter of the Hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, we pass by the Cape of Matxitxako. We continue discerning the beautiful Biscay coastline with countless seaside towns, such as Bakio, Arminza and Plencia. Likewise, we will have the privilege of seeing the beaches of Sopelana before entering the estuary of Bilbao.
We say goodbye to the great estuary of Bilbao as we depart on this stage towards Cantabria. This will be the fourth stage: Bilbao-Laredo, via Castro Urdiales, the Bay of Oriñón, to finally arrive at the beautiful village of Laredo, one of the “Four Coastal Towns”, along with San Vicente de la Barquera, Castro Urdiales and Santander.
The fifth stage, which takes us from Laredo to Santander, begins. We leave behind Laredo, bordering Monte Buciero, at the feet of which the Faro del Caballo lighthouse is found. Then we glimpse the beaches of Berría, Noja and Isla, until we pass by the Cape of Ajo. From there, if the day is clear we will already be able to see part of the city of Santander, the lighthouse of Cabo Mayor and the Magdalena Peninsula.
Upon leaving behind the bay of Santander, as in previous stages we’ll sail west, passing by the Costa Quebrada, Suances and Oyambre. Before reaching Lastres , we can see towns and villages on the Asturian coast, such as Llanes and Ribadesella.
We say goodbye to Lastres, with its unique seafaring character, its houses nestled into the cliff face, with large galleries, its neighbourhoods and its steep slopes, as the seventh stage begins: Lastres-Gijón, a journey along a green, rugged coastline, interspersed with sandy beaches. We finish this stage in Gijón, a seafaring town known for its maritime heritage and its fishing quarter, Cimadevilla.
We leave Gijón and soon leave behind the Cape of Peñas. We travel along the western coast of Asturias until we reach Galicia. The Gijón-Viveiro stage is characterised by its green cliffs. We reach the Viveiro estuary, where we can enjoy the town’s hospitality.
In the stage between Viveiro and Ferrol, from Mariña Lucense to Rías Altas we can see the Cape of Estaca de Bares, which indicates that we are moving from the Cantabrian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. From the sea, we will glimpse some beautiful Galician coastal towns.
The coast of this part of Galicia surprises us with its beaches, turquoise waters, small coves and long sandbanks where you can enjoy nature and water sports.
In the A Coruña-Muxía stage, we travel the Costa da Morte (the Coast of Death), which received its name due to the many shipwrecks that occurred along its rugged shores. We can glimpse maritime landscapes and natural spaces inhabited by an abundance of sea birds.
Muros-A Pobra do Caramiñal is the final stage that can be done by boat. It goes along the Atlantic Ocean and passes the Faro de Corrubedo lighthouse, with Sálvora Island at the starboard side, to head towards the famous Ría de Arousa and begin the Translatio Route or the Jacobean Mar de Arousa and Rio Ulla Route.
Chosen as one of the most beautiful towns in Galicia, it is situated on the south east of the province of A Coruña. We can enjoy the magnificent estuary of Ría de Arousa through its marina, suitable for all types of vessels.
We can ascend to the top of A Curotiña and the Sierra de Barbanza, or the Valle-Inclán viewpoint to enjoy the impressive views.
Vilagarcía is Arousa and Arousa is the sea. From its very beginnings, around the 7th century, the city has looked towards the sea, and it has been connected to the rest of the world through its port. Today, Vilagarcía is one of the most dynamic cities in Galicia. It boasts long stretches of Blue Flag beaches, nature and parks, hiking routes such as Sarmiento or Cortegada, and pazos (country estates) brimming with history.
Padrón is the first place to appear in the Jacobean legend. The name of the city may come from the word ‘pedrón’ (stone), referring to the stone where the boat transferring the body of the Apostle Saint James was moored during its journey to Compostela. Don’t miss out on trying the famous Padrón peppers.