Spiritual variant triptych
Take the variant in your pocket, with this triptych
Follow the same route as the remains of St. James on his journey to Compostela and cross a place of great natural beauty. Discover water-mills, fountains, chapelsand monasteries. Walk through forests, vineyardsand beaches. Travel the only maritime Via Crucis in the world, where you can admire the 17 centennial cruceros (calvary) identifying this part of the Camino de Santiago as the "Translatio" THE ORIGIN OF ALL ROADS.
This "Variante Espiritual" (Spiritual Route)" joins two “Via Jacobi”: The Portuguese Trail and the "Sea Trail", the Source of all paths. In 44 AD the estuary of Arousa was crossed by the ship carrying the body of the apostle St. James. His remains were taken by his followers, who ”led by an angel and guided by a star\” arrived at the coast of Galicia and climbed the bed of the river Ulla until reaching Iria Flavia (now the village of Padrón).
After crossing the city of Pontevedra, following the Portuguese Trail 2 km, a detour can be found to the left. At this point the "Variante Espiritual" starts, running through Poio and Combarro until the Armenteira Monastery, located in a quiet rural location in the mountains. Here it's possible to spend the night and rest in the hostel after traveling 21 km.
From Armenteira to Pontearnelas the pilgrim walks the "Route of Stone and Water" which runs through a natural landscape of great beauty. On this trail, walking in the shadow of the trees, old water mills are resting on the banks of the river. Gardens and vineyards indicate we approach the Arousa estuary. After traveling 24 Km the pilgrim reaches the beaches and the town of Vilanova.
Between Vilanova de Arousa and Pontecesures a boat will carry the pilgrim (can also be done on foot traveling 28 km of low difficulty). The boat crosses the Arousa estuary and the river Ulla up-streams, remembering the journey made by the remains of St. James, the Translatio. (approx. 1 hour). During the ride the pilgrim will enjoy the mussel farming in the waters of the estuary and travel the only maritime Via Crucis in the world where 17 centennial cruceros can be admired, identifying this path of Santiago as the ORIGIN OF ALL ROADS. In Pontecesures this trail once again mergers with the Portuguese Trail.
Click on each of the points of interest to see a full 360º panorama