How The Camino de Faros Is Different From The Camino de Santiago:

The Camino de Faros is a 200 kilometer Way along Galicia’s Costa de Morte (Coast of Death), named after the 8 shipwrecks with 245 lost lives in the late 19th Century and early part of the 20th. After walking most of the Caminos, this one has to rival any for beauty especially if one likes walking along the sea. It also can be part of a Camino de Santiago as it goes through Muxia and ends in Finisterre. Accommodations, websites, and guidebooks with links are listed at the end of this post.

  1. More Rugged and Challenging
  2. Shorter
  3. More Nature Less Pavement
  4. Quieter with significantly less people
  5. Less Infrastructure
  6. More Costly
  7. Does Not Feel Like a Camino de Santiago
  8. How To Make Camino de Faros a Camino de Santiago
  9. Summary
  10. Accommodations Listing with links to their websites
  11. Web and Guidebook Information/Links
  12. Comparisons of various other Caminos in Spain and various global pilgrimages to the Camino de Santiago
  1. More Rugged and Challenging: This Camino with only a maximum elevation of 310 meters you might think it can’t be too difficult. Well I would suggest it is more challenging kilometer by kilometer than any of the Caminos including Primitivo. It is not uncommon to find yourself scrambling through steep ups and downs over all sizes of boulders. Perhaps the least difficult day was the longest, 32K, where walkers leave the Atlantic Ocean for the calmer, mostly flat shores of the Estuary of Camariñas.

Day 1 Malpica to Niñons blog post photos:

2. Shorter: Well this depends of course. It is relatively shorter than the full Camino Frances from St. Jean to Santiago which is 790 kilometers. Though, at 200 kilometers it is almost twice as long as the Sarria to Santiago stretch of the Camino Frances. But don’t be fooled by distances. As per point one kilometer for kilometer this is as challenging as any of the  Caminos de Santiago.

3. More Nature Less Pavement: This is very different from any of the Caminos. Incredibly scenic with more walking on narrow rugged mountain trails. One finds themselves tramping across deserted white and gold sand beaches as well as sand dunes. And occasionally walking in eucalyptus and pine forests. If you like nature this Camino will give you your fill. My guess is that less than 10% of the walk is on pavement.

Day 2 Niñons to Ponteceso blog post and more photos:

4. Quieter: This Camino is incredibly quiet where you are more likely to hear birds and the roar of the surf than other people. I walked in May and July and saw maybe 3 other hikers other than when it intersected with the Camino de Santiago (Finisterre). Even the villages you stop in at night are mostly quiet.

5. Less Infrastructure: Big difference here. There might be a bar or two on these paths but they are rare other than in the towns with accommodations which are few also. There are no albergues until the end of Day 6 in Muxia where you intersect with the Camino Finisterre.  In Muxia, Lires, and Finisterre there are albergues where you will be able to connect with pilgrims that most likely have already been to Santiago and our ending their Caminos. However the de Faros trail is between Muxia and Finisterre is a difficult 53K 2 day walk, while the Camino Finisterre trail connecting Muxia and Finisterre is an easier 25K jaunt. From Malpica to Camariñas there are only Pensions, hotels, and holiday apartments. Fortunately they are not expensive. Mine were $30 to 44 though one night I couldn’t find anything and had to take a 2 bedroom holiday home in Arou for $78. A couple of stages also required a taxi back and forth to the accommodation.

Day 3 Ponteceso to Laxe Photos:

6. More Costly: As mentioned with more than half the stops requiring hotel stays, the costs are higher than the Camino de Santiago if you are used to staying at albergues. Probably only slightly higher if you have a companion, as the costs are usually per room. Meñu del dias were not easy to find. Between Malpica and Camariñas I only found 1 in Cabana be Bergantiños at Casa Sabelo. Of course in Muxia and Finisterre Meñu’s are available and maybe one or 2 in Lires. Also there are markets in all the villages and towns if you prefer to buy your own food though no cooking facilities until Muxia.

7. Does not feel like a Camino de Santiago: This point is highly subjective. My pilgrimage was to Finisterre. No Credentials or Stamps although I probably could have used a Camino Finisterre Credentials and asked for stamps. Though they would probably have been the business ones that just have a name and address. Of course once you reach Muxia stamps are easy to come by. My understanding is that the trail overseers have applied to make it a GR Trail. The Camino de Faros is marked with green arrows and dots. Not as well as the Camino de Santiago but part of that it that so much of this Camino is in nature. Though I would say that the green was a poor choice of color as the arrows and dots often blend in with the surroundings. A gps is recommended.

Day 4 Laxe to Arou Photos:

8. Make this a Camino de Santiago: There is certainly no reason why you can’t make this feel like and actually be a Camino de Santiago. By walking the Camino de Faros until Muxia or Finisterre and then continuing on the Camino Finisterre to Santiago this would be a true Camino, though unofficial but so what. You can get a Credential, get stamps or signatures along the way and you will exceed your 100k requirement. A wonderful alternative to any of the shorter Caminos to Santiago. Perfect for a walker with a 2 week holiday who is seeking some solitude and loves walking by the sea with the first week being quiet and the second week connecting with fellow pilgrims. And the way that new Caminos have been added lately such as the Camino de Mallorca suggests that Galicia may at some point make this an official Camino de Santiago. Malpica to Santiago via Finisterre would be a 317K Camino taking 11-12 days.

Day 5 Arou to Camariñas Photos:

9. Summary: This Camino is a spectacular 200K 8 day walk along the Costa de Morte. The first few days reminded me of various Irish coastal walks; The Kerry, Dingle, Beara Ways. And the last 3 days including Camariñas to Muxia and then Lires and Finisterre brings one to stops on the Camino de Santiago. A wonderful combination especially if one continues on to Santiago.

The Costa de Morte was named after the 8 shipwrecks with 245 lost lives in the late years of the 1800’s and early part of the 20th Century.  An interesting stop is the small English Cemetery near Punta do Boi, on Day 6 between A Rua and Camariñas. Off these shores, the English Battleship The Serpent on the night of November 10, 1890 crashed on the rocks. Only 3 of the 176 sailors survived. The priest of Xaviña led the locals to bury the victims. The inner enclosure is the captain and officers, and the outer enclosure the sailors. The English Cemetery is part of the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, recognized, like the Camino de Santiago as an European Cultural Route. Day 4 is the only day where hikers venture inland to visit Castro de Borneiro Celtic ruins, the Dolmen of Dombate, a 5,000 year old burial tomb, and to Monte Castelo de Lourido the high point of this Camino offering magnificent views of the Costa de Morte. Otherwise, there are plenty of lighthouses, and gorgeous usually deserted beaches as well as rocky coastal shores as well as Eucalyptus and Pine Forests. All in all a wonderful Camino.

Day 6 Camariñas to Muxia Blog Post Photos:

10. Accommodations:

Malpica: Pension Panchita €44

Niños: Pension Teyma requiring hitching or a cab 9k €35

Ponteceso: Pension Teyma

Laxe: I couldn’t find anything so cabbed to Hotel Costa Verde in Neaño €35

Arou: Didn’t want to taxi so stayed at 2 bedroom vacation rental Apartamentos Maria Y Lucia €78. Better option for 2-4 people.

Camariñas: Pension Catro Ventos €30

Muxia: I stayed at home; global pilgrim house. However there are plenty of albergues, including; Albergue Arribada €15 and Albergue Muxia €13 are nice. There is also a Municipal Albergue €8. global pilgrim house is right across the street in the green apartment building. We have hundreds of canvas print photos on the walls of most of the Camino de Santiagos, Camino Faros and other global pilgrimages, including; Japan 88 Temple and Kumano Kodo, Machu Picchu, Via Francigena Canterbury to Rome, Via Francesco Florence to Assisi to Rome, Nepal treks, Scotland’s West Highland Way, various Ireland long walks, etal. We also have a copy of a guidebook for most all of these pilgrimages so a good place to visit for anyone wondering which Camino or pilgrimage to do next. global pilgrim house

Lires: Albergue As Eiras €15

Finisterre: Again plenty of options here. I stay at Albergue Oceanus €15 or Pension Lopez where you can get a private room for €15

There is also a good option for small groups of up to 6 people seeking a turnkey hiking holiday. Sosego d’Oruxo is a cozy, quiet rural accommodation less than 3 kilometers outside of Muxia run by an English couple, Mat and Rosa. Matt will pick you up at the Santiago Airport. He will also transport you back and forth each day along the Camino de Faros in his licensed taxi.

Day 7 Muxia to Lires photos:

11. Web and guidebook Information: There is a guidebook I understand from Cicerone. However, I wasn’t aware of it at the time I walked and got all necessary information from the Association Camino de Faros. I will get the Cicerone Camino de Faros book to add to our collection at global pilgrim house. The Camino de Faros is marked with green arrows and dots. Not as well as the Camino de Santiago but part of that it that so much of this Camino is in nature. Though I would say that the green was a poor choice of color as the arrows and dots often blend in with the surroundings. A gps is recommended. I use the download from the Netherlands. There is also are Google Maps and Wikiloc downloads available from the Association Camino de Faros.

This article is one of a series of 7 writeups on How Other Pilgrimages Are Different From The Camino de Santiago: 

Day 6 Lires to Finisterre blog post and photos:

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1 thought on “How The Camino de Faros Is Different From The Camino de Santiago:”

  1. Thanks for the terrific words and pictures. I walked from Laxe to Finisterre in 2019, and this brought back a flood of good memories! I may have to do it again in the future!!

Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.

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