Via de la Plata
From Seville to Astorga. 38 stages. 963 km.
The Vía de la Plata offers two options to get to Santiago de Compostela:
- In Astorga, link the last 11 stages with the French Way.
- From Granja de Moreruela, the pilgrim can deviate along the Camino Sanabrés (13 stages)
The Vía de la Plata, also known as the Ruta de la Plata or Camino Vía de la Plata, is the Jacobean itinerary that crosses the Iberian Peninsula from south to north.
Andalusia is the starting point of this Jacobean Route that, following the old Roman roads, crosses Extremadura and Castilla y León before reaching Galicia. It is in Astorga where the Vía de la Plata traditionally joins the French Way to get to Santiago de Compostela.
The Vía de la Plata offers another route option: go to Puebla de Sanabria and follow the Camino Sanabrés . The pilgrim will also start in Seville, the most popular starting point among walkers, to continue through Andalusian lands, crossing towns such as Castilblanco de los Arroyos or Almadén de la Plata, and Extremadura, with Zafra, Mérida and Cáceres as the maximum exponents.
In Castilla y León, specifically when arriving at Granja de Moreruela (Zamora), is where the pilgrim must decide whether to continue the original Roman route to Astorga or take the Sanabrés detour. The latter continues from Granja de Moreruela to Tábara, Santa Marta de Tera, Mombuey and Puebla de Sanabria, thus taking the route that enters Galicia through the province of Ourense.
The other great Jacobean Route of the southern peninsula reaches this Camino de Santiago: the Mozarabic Way. With starting points in Almería, Córdoba, Jaén, Granada or Málaga, the Mozárabe joins the Vía de la Plata when it reaches Mérida.
One of the longest roads on the Peninsula
The Vía de la Plata is one of the longest Caminos de Santiago that cross the Iberian Peninsula. With about 1,000 kilometers, this Jacobean Route is usually divided into about 49 stages in its original layout and about 36 in the event that the pilgrim continues the Vía de la Plata along the Sanabrés Way.
Less popular and endowed with fewer services than other Jacobean paths such as the French Way or the Northern Way, the Vía de la Plata is a well-signposted route with an acceptable number of accommodations. The entire route is well signposted, with numerous yellow arrows that will help us not to lose the route in the infinite Andalusian and Extremaduran meadows.
In addition to the typical yellow arrows on the Camino de Santiago, the Vía de la Plata has complementary signs. It is about granite blocks with colored tiles. Of course, we must always follow the one that contains the yellow color.
Avoid the hot months
The greatest enemy of the Vía de la Plata is heat. Temperatures are usually high in the territories it crosses, leading in recent years some pilgrims to suffer from heat stroke and have hydration problems. For this reason, we recommend avoiding doing the Vía de la Plata in the hottest months of the year such as July, August and always.
March, April, May and October are the most recommended months to travel the Vía de la Plata. They will also be those that register a greater number of pilgrims, especially foreigners.
Rich historical and cultural heritage
Full of nature, peaceful landscapes and small towns, the Vía de la Plata stretches marked by Roman milestones, historic cities and lively life. In addition to Seville, this Jacobean route passes through places declared World Heritage Sites, such as Mérida, Cáceres or Salamanca. It is a great opportunity for the pilgrim to discover such spectacular spaces as the ruins of Augusta Emérita or the Roman theater of Mérida and enjoy the renowned Iberian ham.
Throughout history, this Camino was used to trade the silver that came from America by boat to the port of Seville, an activity that gave it the name that we know today. In fact, this is also the name of the road of Roman origin that passes through Mérida, Salamanca and Astorga and even the complete route by highway between Seville and León.
How to get to the starting point
Seville is the main departure point for the Vía de la Plata, a city well connected with the rest of the peninsula:
- How to get to Seville by train: The Santa Justa train station concentrates the rail traffic of the Andalusian capital. It is located on Kansas City Avenue (+34 954 540 202). You can get there from Madrid on the high-speed train, AVE, or on the medium and long-distance network from other parts of the peninsula. All schedules can be consulted at Renfe .
- How to get to Seville by bus: In Seville there are two bus stations: one in the Plaza de Armas (Av. Del Cristo de la Expiración s / n. Phone: +34 954 908 040) and another in the Prado (C / Manuel Vázquez Segastizábal s / n. Phone: +34 954 417 111). Coach companies such as Damas , Alsa , Casal , Socibus or Comes reach the city from different parts of the peninsula.
- How to get to Seville by car: Depending on the points of origin, it is possible to get to Seville through different routes:
Asturias, Castilla y León, Mérida and Portugal: N-630.
Madrid and Córdoba: N-IV (E5)
Huelva and Portugal: Highway A-49
Malaga, Granada, Almería and Murcia: A-92
- How to get to Seville by plane: Seville airport is San Pablo and is located on the A-4 Highway. It operates to 36 national and international destinations, with daily flights and various companies, which can be consulted on the website of Aena . To go from the airport to the city center you can take a taxi, in a journey of about 15 minutes with a price that ranges between 15 euros and 22 euros. There is also a continuous line of urban buses from the airport to Seville, with tickets starting at 4 euros and a journey of half an hour (+34 902 459 954).
Credits: The Camino de Santiago with Correos