Saint James Sea - Way 2021 on Sailboat
A 120 miles sailing trip to Santiago de Compostela
Officially recognized by the "Cabildo Compostelano", the Saint James Sea Way is a new and original way of pilgrimage to
Santiago and to obtain "La Compostela": you are required to have sailed at least 100 nautical miles by sailboat, and the last kilometers of the "Camino"
From port to port and from estuary to estuary, pushed by the noble north wind so frequent in the summer months, we sail from the port of Ares, in the estuary
of Betanzos, to Boiro or Vilagarcía, in the Arousa estuary, from where you can go up the Ulla river to Padrón or Pontecesures, and finish the last section of the
Camino de Santiago on foot.
During this sailing trip we know the fishing ports and estuaries of Corme and Laxe, Camariñas, Muros and Noia, and
the inmense estuary of Arousa; we make memorable anchorages in fascinating beaches such as Balarés, Langosteira, San Francisco, the
Areoso or the island of Sálvora, and make stops to stamp the "Credential" in Ares, Coruña, Portosín, Ribeira
and Boiro so that you can request your "Compostela" in Santiago.
And naturally, we pay tribute to the Atlantic seafood cuisine with Roncudo barnacles, Camariñas octopus, or Arousa mussels. What else !
Orientative Itinerary of this Sailing Trip:
Saint James Sea Way 2021 on Sailboat
1st day. Coruña - Costa de Dexo and Serantes Natural Monument - Ares - Coruña
Boarding from 11:00 at the port of Coruna .
This first morning helps us to get you familiarized with our sailboat ;
cabins, safety equipment, use of bathrooms, kitchen, refrigerator, electrical and fresh water systems on board, etc.
We also study together on the chart the planned voyage taking into account the latest meteorological information and based on this we specify
the navigation plan.
In the late morning we set sail for Ares , the port in which we stamp the Credential. We sail towards the
Costa de Dexo Natural Monument and Serantes, the spectacular semi-virgin coastal stretch between the ports of Mera and Lorbé, famous for its cliffs,
its large vein of white quartz (Seixo Branco) and by the islet of "Marola". At dusk, we return to the Coruña marina, where we spend the night.
Day 2: Coruña - Sisargas Islands - Malpica
In the early afternoon we set sail for Malpica .
We leave the first of the great lighthouses on the port side, the millenary Tower of Hercules , the
oldest lighthouse in the world still in operation, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and a proud sign of identity of the people of Coruña. To the bow,
we can already distinguish the silhouette of the Sisargas Islands, in front of the Santo Hadrián cape. At dusk we reach the small port of Malpica and moored to the dock, alongside
some fishing boat. Malpica combines the flavor of authentic fishing ports with a restrained summer tourist activity. Bars and restaurants with good fresh fish abound.
If the weather is fine, we drop the anchor in the smallest cove of Sisarga Grande and climbed, among the colonies of seagulls, along the path that leads to the Sisargas lighthouse. The islands are
uninhabited and are a paradise for watching seabirds.
Day 3: Malpica - Ría de Corme and Laxe
We leave the port of Malpica and head to the narrow channel that separates Cape Santo Hadrián from the Sisargas Islands .
From Sisargas Islands we sail towards the estuary of Corme and Laxe. A few miles away, we passed the Punta Nariga lighthouse , the work of the famous architect
César Portela, and one of the most beautiful lighthouses on the Galician coast. A little further south, we turn the cape and the lighthouse of the fearsome Roncudo,
where the immense swell of winter storms breaks with force. Here is where the most famous barnacles of Galicia are extracted: the Roncudo barnacles . We will not lose the opportunity to
taste them in the ports of Corme or Laxe, or cook them ourselves with care on our boat. Perhaps anchored at Balarés beach or Laxe beach?
Day 4: Ría de Corme and Laxe - Ría de Camariñas - Muxía
We leave the Corme and Laxe estuaries behind and navigate one of the wildest stretches of the "Costa da Morte": immense and lonely sandy areas such as Soesto or Traba
are interspersed in a coast full of underwater rocks and astonishing cliffs. In the distance we can already see one of the most iconic silhouettes of the Galician coast:
Cape Vilán lighthouse, which marks the entrance to the Camariñas estuary. In front of the cape, the sanctuary of "A Virxe da Barca", where Christianity and
pagan rites merge, giving rise to a range of syncretistic myths, legends and traditions. Sailing round Cape Vilán, between the cliffs and the underwater rocks of the
"Quebrantas" is a fabulous pilot exercise that triggers adrenaline. Once tied up, we set out in search of the famous "Camariñas Octopus", the most reputed
in Galicia. Umm ...
Day 5: Muxía - Langosteira - Finisterre
Today is a day that you will not easily forget: sailing roun the mythical Cape Finisterre keeps marked by fire in our memory and in our hearts. This day
becomes an indelible milestone in the personal history of every sailor.
We see tourists at the top of the cape photographing us as we line up between the islet of "Centolo" and the reefs of "Carraca". We imagine them
amazed to see us sailing at the foot of the immense promontory of Cape Finisterre
Once the cape has been rounded, the wind arrives loaded with aromas of mountains, of land. The temperature rises and we go to Langosteira beach.
With a bit of good fortune some fisherman are working and we can buy them directly the seafood just extracted from the sandy bottoms. The afternoon is delicious, anchored here,
in Langosteira, on the lee of the cape. We calmly decide whether to linger and spend the night here, or enter the fishing port to go ashore for dinner.
What a dilemma !Another option it is walking the stretch that goes up from the port to the lighthouse, extension of the traditional Camino de Santiago ,
where we meet a multitude of pilgrims.
Day 6: Finisterre - Ría de Muros and Noia - Portosín
We set sail from Finisterre and sail through the Seno de Corcubión, the area that runs between the cape and Punta Louro. We love this
section: Ézaro cove, where the Xallas river flows, the only river in continental Europe that pours its waters into the sea forming a waterfall;
Mount Pindo, made of pink granite, and probably with a little excess of fantasy called the "Olympus of the Celts"; and at its feet, the beach of
Carnota, one of the most extensive in Galicia with its rugged sandy area of more than 5 kms; the beaches of Ancoradoiro and Area Maior and the
lagoon of Xarfas ... Simply spectacular!
Besides, piloting is really demanding here: there are lots of low and capriciously arranged islets and reefs. And finally, to the south, Punta Louro
that announces the entrance to the Muros and Noia estuary. We like to anchor on the lovely beach of San Francisco, in the afternoon, before entering the Muros
marina, one of the most charming villages of the coast of Galicia, or the marina of Portosín.
where we can stamp our "Credential".
Day 7: Portosín - Sálvora Island - Ribeira
We cross the Muros and Noia estuary to Cape Corrubedo. We pass at the foot of its lighthouse and sail parallel to the dunes of Vilar beach. To the
south, we can already see the silhouette of the island of Sálvora and the small archipelago of Sagres. If the sea allows it, we take the very narrow Sagres pass that gives access
to the Ría de Arousa to the north. Otherwise, we circumnavigate Sálvora and enter the southern channel.
We anchor on the island of Sálvora, one of the islands and archipelagos that make up the Atlantic Islands National Park. What a luxury
to be able to go ashore with the dinghy and take a walk on this island, the least visited of the main islands of the Atlantic Islands National Park. From Sálvora, we continue
with our navigation, already inside the Ría de Arousa, towards the ports of Ribeira, where we can stamp again our "Credential, or O Grove, where we spend the night.
Day 8: Ribeira - Ría de Arousa - Vilagarcía
We are sailing the longest of the Galician estuaries, fifteen miles still to the port of Vilagarcía, between granite islands and mussle farms,
sandy areas and pine forests, villages and ports. Due to its size, richness and variety, we should call it the Sea of Arousa. Throughout these 15 miles
there is plenty of options to marvel at the broken coastline, full of beautiful natural granite formations. Depending on the direction the wind blows, we can chose
between a number of picturesque and well protected anchorages such as the Areoso, Punta Cabalo on the island of Arousa or the Cabío peninsula.
In the evening we moored in the lively port of Vilagarcía de Arousa and we celebrated the end of the voyage with a good dinner.
Day 9: - Vilagarcía de Arousa - (optional to Padrón/Pontecesures).
9 days have already passed since our departure from Coruña and today it is time to finish removing the salt and packing your things and memories.
The rest of the Camino de Santiago will no longer continue on our boat. Due to the low draft of the Ulla river, it is not possible to go up it with a keelboat. Therefore,
optionally, we can hire a motorboat that takes us upriver, from Vilagarcía to Pontecesures or Padron. From there, you can choose to drive to Milladoiro and to do the
last kilometers of the Way on foot, or to keep on walking, following the Portuguese Way, from Padrón to Santiago (approx. 24 kilometers).
For us, in any case, it is time to say goodbye.
See you soon!
The Musts of this Sailing Trip in Galicia
1.- Sailing round Cape Finisterre:
There is a certain epic, hard to forget, in sailing around the majestic Cape Finisterre .
A "must" on the CV of every sailor!
2.- Of course, the amazing Galician Lighthouses observed from the Sea
The largest repertoire of Galician lighthouses in a single voyage: the Tower of Hercules, Sisargas, Punta Nariga, Roncudo, Vilán, Touriñán, Fisterra, Corrubedo,
3.- Salvora Island
The absence of regular public transport to the island of Sálvora has preserved the island from the sometimes excessive flow of visitors which receive
other islands of the Atlantic Islands National Park.
Sálvora is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
4.- The Gastro-Sailing experience
A sailing trip with Barnacles of Roncudo in Corme or Laxe, Octopus from Camariñas, Mussels in Arousa ... what else?
Not only of wind a man lives!
Important Notes for this Voyage