Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma : Stage Three Of The Camino Ingles

Created by Colleen Sims * 14 May 2024

Disclaimer : Every product we recommend is something we’d use, book or would love to own, and all the opinions are our own. This post may contain affiliate links; clicking a link costs you absolutely nothing but we may earn a small commission.

Before starting the stage from Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma we knew four things :

  • The day would be long
  • We should expect a lot of elevation
  • There would be route variants
  • Services might be limited

Most guidebooks say this route is 24 kilometres long, although we found it closer to 26 kilometres.  We set out early expecting this to be a difficult stage.  However, even though we had awful weather, the stage wasn’t as hard as we had anticipated.

The Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma stage isn’t a walk in the park but it is a lovely day offering lots of variation, plenty of history and a few excellent places to pause.  And, if you’d prefer to take your time and meander along the Camino Ingles, there are opportunities to break the stage.

Camino Ingles in rural Galicia, a forest walking trail between Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma

Stage Three Of The Camino Ingles : Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma

For many pilgrims, this stage is considered one of the more difficult on the Camino Ingles because of the distances, elevation involved and because historically there were few services en route. 

However, over recent years, the route has been diverted and redirected and some of the worst elevation has been lost and a few new services have appeared.  We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed this day; even with the awful weather.

If you’d like to walk a shorter day, it is possible to break the stage around Presedo or even at the Beche Lake; read on to discover how.

The stage ends at Hospital de Bruma, so named as a pilgrim hostel has existed here since 1175, although the original shelter and chapel are long gone.

yellow camino arrows and a stage marker on the camino ingles

Take Two Days And Break The Stage At Presedo                            

I know that I am comfortable walking a 26 kilometre day.  I also know that for Gerry, this is at the limit of where he is happy.  If there is an option to shorten a stage then he would rather do this.

The natural halfway point between Betanzos and Bruma is at Presedo and thankfully there are a few options.  And, if you prefer to meander, breaking the stage also means that you can linger over breakfast and take your time leaving Betanzos; one of my favourite towns on the Ingles. 

Options include :

  • Staying at the pilgrim albergue at Presedo
  • Spend 2 nights in Betanzos and taking a bus or a taxi back into town
  • Book one of the hotels off the camino and use a taxi to take you to and from.  You still walk every step, but opt to spend a night in a new location.
  • Walk a little further than Presedo and break your stage at the Beche Lake. 
Meson Museo entrance, a welcome site on the Camino Ingles

Full Stage Details of Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma

Guidebooks often show distances between town or village signs. Most Camino Ingles guides suggest this stage is 24 kilometres long and indeed between the exit of Betanzos and the entrance of Hospital de Bruma it probably is. However, accommodation is usually in the centre of towns and villages which is why there is often a discrepancy. Our GPS tracked almost 26 kilometres for today.

map showing the trail between betanzos and Hospital de Bruma

elevation map of the Camino ingles between Betanzos and Hospital de Bruma

Distance : 25.74 kms | Elevation gain : 727 m | Elevation loss : 337 m

Leaving Betanzos the route is fairly-well marked; there are brass plates on the floor but there are also plenty of yellow arrows.  Crossing the main square in the old town, walk by the tourist office and follow the arrows onwards and across a quaint old bridge leading you out of town.  Of course, there’s a hill but rest assured it’s not as bad as yesterdays.

Top Tip : Do have breakfast before leaving town as it will be some kilometres before you find a coffee stop.

4 kms :  The End of the First Hill

The hill out of Betanzos may not be as steep as some that you’ve already climbed but it does go on and on and will certainly get your blood pumping.  You’ll know that you’re on the hill when you look up and see the huge painting of Fatima on the wall as you leave town.

Thankfully around the 4 kilometre marks you reach the top.  The following kilometres are along country lanes and forest trails, downhill in part to boot. It’s a pleasant walk and the kilometres quickly fell away for us.

wall art featuring Fatima, on the hill as you walk out of Betanzos

7.5 kms :  Church of St Esteban de Cos

We stopped for a quick rest at St Esteban Church.  There are no formal seats but a few pilgrims sat on the wall and had a short break.  There are also bins here so make sure you leave no trace and put your trash in the appropriate place.

Just after the church you have a choice. The Camino Ingles has been re-routed over recent years and there is much debate as to why. Some folks say that not all of the changes are for the better and one such place is shortly after this church.

The yellow arrows direct you onto the DP-0105.  Shortly after there is a turning to the right.  A yellow arrow at this junction suggests that you keep going but if you wish to take the ‘old’ route to Presedo then this is where you need to turn.

Top Tip : The old route is no longer marked and you’ll need to check GPS or google maps. We missed this turn and spent the next few kilometres walking along the main road.  Our friends who made the turn told us that, whilst 700 metres longer, they had country lanes and forest trail and a very pretty walk. Next time I’ll certainly take the ‘old’ route.

If you take the old variant, you do miss Bar Carabel along the main road.  We’d already had a pause at Cos and were happy to keep going to Presedo and the fabulous Meson Museo.  (Bar Julia on the old route closed in 2023).

12.5 kms : Presedo and Bar Meson Museo

Presedo is the point where you can end your stage.  If you’ve taken the ‘old’ route into the village you’ll have walked around 13 kilometres. Stop at the excellent restaurant in the village and enjoy a fabulous lunch before heading off for your accommodation; you can call a taxi from the restaurant.

Meson Museo is a glorious restaurant, popular with locals, excellent food, lots of space inside and out and it’s the perfect pilgrim pause.

Top Tip : If you plan to stay in the Pilgrim Albergue get your bed first.  Presedo Albergue is very small with only 14 beds and they do not accept reservations. Your first port of call should be the albergue.

Meson Museo restaurant quirky interior near Presedo on the Camino Ingles

Where To Stay in Presedo

If you are looking for a bunk bed, the municipal albergue has good reviews.  Do remember that there are only 14 bunk beds and limited facilities, but regardless this is a popular place to stop. Bar Meson Museo is open for dinner and breakfast and only a short walk from the albergue.

If you would prefer to secure your bed in advance, and would like a private rooms there are a few options to consider :

  • Stay 2 nights in Betanzos and use either the bus or a taxi to return to Betanzos.
  • Rectoral de Cines is off the Camino but they offer to collect pilgrims from Xente do Camino. Our pilgrims friends could not praise this hotel enough; indeed many folks rate this converted monastery as a highlight of the Camino. If I were to lead a group on the Ingles, I would seriously consider stopping here. Click here to check availability and book.
  • Costa da Egoa, a former water mill on the banks of the Abelleira River, is relaxing stay for pilgrims. At around 4 kilometres from the trail, you’d need transport (taxi) but it’s highly rated as a little haven, making perhaps the perfect place to spend the night. Click here to check availability and book.

Top Tip : Both of these hotel options will need transport but if you stop for lunch at Meson Museo, a taxi can be easily arranged for just a few euros.

Colleen taking a photo of the Camino Marker just outside Presedo near Hospital de Bruma on the Camino Ingles

17.5 kms : Embalse de Beche

The second of today’s elevation starts at Presedo.  This will be a long uphill section and whilst on paper it looks steep, it is spread over a long distance.  I’m a tortoise going uphill but I never really felt this elevation was an issue. 

What I did enjoy was walking through forest trails, off the main road.  The Ingles does have lots of road walking so it’s always a joy to move to softer ground.

We were pleasantly surprised to find all services at the Embalse and this makes an excellent place to end your stage.  There is an EcoCamp, and a restaurant on site along with a small lake. There are also picnic tables so even if you’re not staying the night you can opt to take a break here.

There are currently 4 eco-cabins as well as the restaurant and a rather fabulous swimming pool.  The lodges aren’t the cheapest option but 4 or 5 people can share one cabin.  In high summer it’s not an option as there is a 2-night minimum but it’s a wonderful little spot in the woods and worth considering. Click here to check availability and book.

Top Tip : Just as you walk away from the ‘ecocamp’ there are public toilets too if you need the loo.

pilgrim statue marks the ecocabins at Beche on the Camino Ingles

22 kms : As Travesas and Bar Avelina

Around the 22 kilometre mark there is a second route variant, taking you away from the main road.  Ignore this option.  Keep following the arrows to As Travesas because there is an amazing little bar that you seriously do not want to miss.

Casa Avelina at As Travesas is on the righthand side of the road, just after the two Ingles routes merge.  It’s right on the Camino, you walk by the door and I strongly recommend you stop. Bar Avelina is a gem. It offers excellent food and drink and it feels like everyone stops here; there was a quite a party atmosphere when we arrived.

Top Tip : If Avelina has time she’ll offer you a little tour of the nearby Capela de San Roque. 

a large group of pilgrims enjoying Bar Aveline near Hospital de Bruma

25.74 kms : Hospital de Bruma

We walked the full stage from Betanzos and apart from the really heavy downpours it was a lovely day and a great walk.  We followed the arrows from Bar Avelina, which took us off the main road, along a track and then a small country lane into Hospital de Bruma. 

We had prebooked our beds in Albergue San Lorenzo.

Hospital De Bruma Albergue : Where to Stay

San Lorenzo is a private albergue with a mix of private ensuite rooms and bunks.  They also have a small kitchen area, laundry facilities and vending machines.  You can reserve in advance from their website and they accept luggage transfer. 

This albergue is not open year round but I highly recommend a stay between March and October. There is also a popular Xunta albergue in the village but you cannot reserve a bed:

Top Tip : There are perhaps less than 50 beds in Bruma that fill quickly.  Some pilgrims opt to walk on for two kilometres, off the Camino, to the town of Ó Mesón do Vento. 

O Meson de Vento is a great alternative, especially if you’re walking a shorter stage; it may not be so popular if you’ve walked from Betanzos. There are four hotels or apartments in Ó Mesón do Vento :

Whist these are not highly rated hotels they do offer simple, clean comfortable accommodation at a good price. A great many pilgrims choose to stay in Meson O Vento.  It’s a good choice and it’s a simple walk from Meson Do Vento back to the Camino the following morning.

Colleen's sister at Albergue San Lorenzo in Bruma on the Camino Ingles

Services between Betanzos and Hospital de Bruma

We were told not to expect services along the stage. Indeed we left town with drinks and a picnic which we carried and didn’t eat.  Whilst there are limited services there are a few excellent stops.

  • Bar Carabel can be found 8 kilometres from Betanzos. If you take the variant from Cos, away from the main road you’ll miss this bar.
  • Bar/Restaurant Mesón-Museo at Xente no Camiño is just on the outside of Presedo. This is the perfect lunch stop and such a wonderful pilgrim pause; it’s not one to miss!
  • Brasa de Beche Bar and Restaurant, part of the Eco-Camp at around 17 kilometres. We didn’t know there was a bar here but our Spanish friends assured us that it was an excellent. 
  • Bar Casa Avelina is on the main road and the Camino, as you leave ​​As Travesas. It looks quite simple from the outside but stop here. No matter what else you do today, stop and pause awhile!
  • Casa Grana is a few steps from the municipal albergue in Bruma. We enjoyed either a very late lunch or an early dinner here at the end of our walk between Betanzos and Hospital de Bruma. It’s the only bar in Bruma but no matter as the pilgrim meal was excellent. For 12€ we enjoyed 3 courses including wine and bread.

Top Tip : Casa Grana restaurant closes at 8pm so be sure to arrive in plenty of time if you wish to eat. And whilst you’re there, take a look at the Hermitage of San Lorenzo.  This small Gothic chapel dates from the 16th century and has welcomed thousands of pilgrims over the centuries.

early supper at Casa Grana at Hospital de Bruma

Final Thoughts on Stage Three Between Betanzos And Hospital de Bruma

We had expected the stage between Betanzos and Hospital de Bruma to be difficult.  It’s not easy but equally it was not as difficult as we anticipated and it was a wonderful walk, with excellent views, some great forest trails and a couple of stand-out bars to enjoy.

There is still a fair amount of road walking but I’d strongly recommend taking the “old” route from Cos to Presedo to avoid the main road.

If you’d like to linger over this stage, book one of the hotels listed above and opt to spend a night off the Camino or chance a bunk bed in the Albergue in Presedo. Or of course spend two nights in Betanzos and use transport to retrace your steps.

I was worried that leaving the coast behind us would make this day a little underwhelming. I needn’t have worried. Galicia is beautiful and the walk from Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma is wonderful. You can see from my photos that we didn’t enjoy the best of weather but we did enjoy a glorious walk.

forest trail in early spring on the Camino Ingles.  A storm passed over but it was still wonderful

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel overseas it’s imperative to travel with a good travel and medical insurance policy.  None of us expect anything bad to happen, but in the event of an incident, you want to be sure that your insurance will be there for you.

I’ve had the mis-fortune to end up in hospital in Peru, Indonesia, Portugal, Japan and Ireland; every time my insurance took care of everything. I would never leave home without full and comprehensive insurance.

TrueTraveller : We have this policy now for an extended global trip and we are very happy with the cover, especially considering our ages and pre-existing conditions

Globelink : We have used and recommended Globelink for years and we’ve not heard of any issues. They are a great choice for European and UK Residents.

Safety Wing : Many of my travelling buddies from the USA have recommended this company to me, although we’ve not used them personally.

Scroll to Top