Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Camino Finisterre and Muxia – Trek to the end of the World

For those fortunate pilgrims who have arrived into Santiago with more energy, a desire to keep trekking, or who have more time there is the possibility to continue along for several more days to either Muxia or Finisterre or to complete a circuit including both. 

The route to Muxia from Santiago is 86 km long and takes approximately three days, similarly the route to Santiago to Finisterre from Santiago is 89 km long and takes about three days. For those interested the route from Santiago to either town and then onto the other is about 115 km and can take between four to five days to complete.

While technically a Camino in its own right, the Camino Finisterre is usually undertaken after the completion of one of the inland Camino routes – Camino Frances, Camino Norte, Camino Primativo, Camino Ingles, Via de Plata, and of course the Camino Portuguese.  The route to Muxia and Finisterre is the only Camino path which starts but does not need to conclude in Santiago.  

In general this route has three potential finishing points – either Muxia or Finisterre, both of which are small villages on the Ocean shoreline, or you can loop back to the city of Santiago.  This means that you can either trek from Santiago towards Muxia and then onto Finisterre or from Santiago to Finisterre and onto Muxia.   The route to either Muxia or Finisterre is the same until the town of Hospital where hikers then have to chose which town they will visit (or trek to first).  We choose to conclude our hike in Finisterre for practical reasons - namely the availability of a morning bus back to Santiago.  However trekking from Muxia to Finisterre also 'romantically' lets pilgrims hike to “the end of the world” – Fin du Terre or Finisterre on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.  Regardless of the route you choose, both Finisterra and Muxia offer Compostela indicating that you have walked or biked there and received stamps in your Credential.  

Relatively speaking, after having having trekked any of the other Caminos, the venture to either Finisterre or Muxia is a short one.  In our case, having just completed the central route of the Camino Portuguese we felt that the Camino Finisterre gave us the opportunity to see the coastline and its scenic beauty.  While years ago, when we completed the Camino Frances, we wanted to continue travelling with those we had spent so much time with on The Way to Santiago. 

The Camino Finisterre is beautiful and scenic.  The towns along the route are well developed with albergues, restaurants, bars and cafes along the way.  In addition, the signage and way-marking are well done and clear throughout the trail making for a relatively straightforward trek along the route.

From our experiences in both towns there were more places to visit and relax in Muxia.  In addition Muxia seemed a more picturesque town-site located between the ocean, a hill, and a port with nice local beaches - having an over all less 'touristy feel' to it.  By comparison the lighthouse in Finisterre is wonderful to arrive at (and conclude your hike at) and more easily accommodates day visitors and transportation to and from Santiago.

There is of course a number of guide books produced and in our case we utilized Mr. Brierley's edition once again.

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