Pontedeume To Betanzos : Stage Two Of The Camino Ingles

Created by Colleen Sims * 12 May 2024

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On paper this stage should be easy at just over 20kms (although in reality it’s more like 22.5 kms).  However, many pilgrims, us included, found this stage hard.  

There are a couple of route variations which can add to your day, especially if you wish to see the beach at Mino; and you should see the beach at Mino. There is also a lot of elevation and road walking, adding to the challenges.  

Whilst the stage is a little difficult, it’s nonetheless glorious and ends in Betanzos; one of the gems of the Camino Ingles. Read on to learn more about the route, the terrain, the elevation, where to sleep and eat and how to break this stage if you prefer to take your time.

Top Tip : This post is one in a series about the Camino Ingles that I’ve written to help would-be pilgrims plan their own Camino Ingles.  

street art of Ninja Turtles on route from Pontedeume to Betanzos on the Camino Ingles

Stage Two Of The Camino Ingles

This stage is beautiful but does offers some challenges.  We started our day from the heart of the old town in Pontedeume; the path is well marked but be prepared for a long steep climb.

I’d recommend that you find breakfast in town as it might be a couple of hours before you find a coffee stop. Hotel Albatros included breakfast but their Café also offered a wonderful pilgrim breakfast.

The first two kilometres are particularly challenging, take your time and pace yourself because the views from the top are wonderful and there are more hills to come. 

cafe attached to Hotel Albatross in Pontedeume offering pilgrim breakfast

Take Two Days And Break The Stage At Mino

I found this stage hard; a first time walker might be surprised at the challenge.  There are a couple of steep hills and I think the downs were just as tough.  When I walk this route again I think I’ll split this stage in half.

There a few reasons why splitting this day is a good idea :

  • Both halves of this day have lots of up and down.  Breaking the stage just takes the sting out of the hills
  • There are lots of accommodation options in Mino, making it an obvious place to stop halfway.
  • Mino has one of the regions loveliest beaches and yet the Camino doesn’t even direct you to the sand (or the town’s giant letter viewpoint). 
  • Pontedeume, Mino and Betanzos all offer a great deal.  Breaking the stage gives you time to visit the highlights of these little gems.
  • Walking to the beach in Mino is around 13kms and from Mino Beach to Betanzos old town, around 12 kms; ideal for those who wish to linger.

Full Stage Details of Pontedeume to Betanzos

The second stage of the Camino Inglés, is considered one of the more challenging stages.  On paper it shouldn’t be but I recommend that you allow plenty of time if you plan to walk the full stage. 

Map showing the Camino ingles trail from Pontedeume to Betanzos
elevation plan of the Camino Ingles between Pontedeume and Betanzos

Distance : 22.49 kms | Elevation gain : 594 m | Elevation loss : 585 m

Whilst only around 22 kilometres in length, this stage packs a punch with a steep 2 kilometre climb out of Pontedeume and another tough climb later in the day.  And a couple of steep downs, like the hill into Betanzos.

Don’t be discouraged though, the beautiful scenery and historical landmarks make it worth the effort.  If you have a day to spare, break the stage to make the very most of the beaches of Mino and the glorious little town of Betanzos.

2 kms : The End of the Big Hill

I think you’ll have guessed by now that there is a big hill out of Pontedeume.  It starts in the old town and doesn’t stop for 2 kilometres.  Leaving town you’re walking on pavements but later you’ll walk along a quiet country road.  Technically the terrain is not difficult but the climb will get you puffing.

The good news is that the views are fabulous, so remind yourself to stop and turn around and soak up the glory that is Galicia!  And more good news, you’ll come off the road and walk through wonderful forest trails for a few kilometres. 

pilgrims near the top of the hill our of Pontedeume in Galicia

5 kms : Yes Another Hill

There are no services along this section but there is another of the days short sharp hills.   However, the remaining few kilometres are downhill and after you will be rewarded with a coffee stop.

We loved this section of the trail, walking through the forests in the company of other pilgrims was perfect.

8kms : Ultreia et Suseia and Medieval Bridges

It was raining when we arrived at this Ultreia et Suseia and I cannot tell you how happy we were to see this café.  There is plenty of seating, offering cover from the rain (or the sun) and we were really surprised by how many pilgrims there were.

We were told the owner converted the café from her father’s old farm and she’s created a magical space for pilgrims.  We’re also told that it’s her face that adorns the wall as you enter Miño. They serve lots of homemade dishes and even had a gluten free choice for me.

Half a kilometre later make sure you take a moment to explore the tiny medieval bridge that you cross over the river Baxoi.

signs at the front of a fabulous pilgrim cafe between Pontedeume and Betanzos

10 kms : The outskirts of Mino

There’s a small section where the Camino navigates around busy roads but it never felt difficult and the trail was very well marked. The arrows take you into the centre of Mino. Next time I walk I plan to stay in Mino; I want to see more of the town and the beaches rather that a quick dash to take a photo.

I’d also love to have a more leisurely walk from Pontedeume and maybe make the detour to explore the ancient Iglesia de San Miguel de Breamo, an 11th century Romanesque church, a kilometre off the trail out of Pontedeume.

Where To Stay in Mino

There are a number of options for accommodation in Mino; it’s a popular holiday destination with several holiday apartments and hotels.

There is a highly rated Xunta albergue; Albergue de Peregrinos de Mino.  It’s not large and they do not accept reservations or bag transfer but it is open year round and has a fabulous view.

Top Tip : Xunta Albergues generally do not have blankets so you will need to be self-sufficient for sleeping AND the kitchens are often wonderful except they have no pots or pans or utensils. 

Pilgrim albergue at Mino; with a lovely view of Mino
  • Hotel Crisol de las Rías is an excellent choice for solo walkers, couples of groups as they offer a range of room sizes.  It would be perfect for my walking club! It’s well reviewed across a number of sites and certainly somewhere I would stay on my next walk. Click here to book your room.
  • I love apartment Salseirazo and it’s perfect if you have a small group.  The reviews are fabulous and a great location.  It’s an expensive choice for just 1 or 2 but for 3-6 people it’s an excellent choice.  Click here to book your room.  
  • Hotel La Terraza is a good hotel and ideal for two people looking for a private room but it is a little bit out of town.  However, still a great little hotel and if others are booked I would choose to stop. Click here to book your room.

Top Tip : If you’re staying overnight there are a few great places to eat in Mino but if seafood isn’t your thing, one of the best restaurants in town is Pizza Mino. And they offer gluten free but I would call ahead to confirm.

stunning beach at Mino, partway between Pontedeume and Betanzos
Photo credit to lovely Nidarosa at Somewhere Slowly

12.5 kms : Mirador and The Reserva do Biosphera

If you spend the night in Mino then have breakfast before you leave.  There are only a handful of cafes and bars open early in the morning but if you break the stage there’s no need to leave town early.

As you leave you’ll spot a brightly coloured platform over the railway line.  It’s called the Mirador de Miño. Do stop and admire the view of the estuary. After you’ll cross the railway and wander through a few scattered houses before being greeted with a sandy nature reserve, where the Lambre river meets the estuary. 

We wandered down to the boardwalks on the sand. This is a beautiful area and you can keep walking beside the water as you pop out on the Camino at Ponte de Porca.

photos of the mirador at mino, the estuary view and colleen crossing the railway

13 kms : Ponte de Porco

There is an interesting legend or love story attached to the history of the Ponte de Porco; named after a tragedy between a love-struck couple and an incident with a wild Boar

It is also said that in 1779 the then president of the United States, John Adams, stopped here for lunch and was quite taken with the area! 

The camino continues along country roads, which in spring were bursting with wild flowers and blossom. This really is a glorious area to meander through.

the estuary and river at ponte de porco was particularly pretty and worth lingering awhile

14 kms Ponte de Lambra

At the 14 kilometre mark you cross another medieval bridge, long associated with the Camino Ingles and which sadly marks the end of the flat stuff.  Expect to climb from this point; sometimes steeply.

You’ll still be walking along quiet country roads with some great estuary views but the Camino between Lambra and Betanzos is pretty much all up and down.

We found no services open, we paused in a bus stop for a short rest before continuing ever upwards. However, we did come across a glorious little pilgrim donative just before Font de Gas.

This friend of pilgrims has created a rest area, with seating, tables and shade and a few picnic boxes offering cold drinks and snacks.  It’s a little oasis.  Do stop. Do pay generously for the kindness and don’t forget your Sello.

colourful little shed beside donativo snack stop before betanzos on the Camino Ingles

18.5 kms Font de Gas

There’s a drinking fountain at Font de Gas and more importantly this is almost at the point where the uphill stops.

A little further you’ll find your way to the 12th century Romanesque church of Igrexa de San Martiño de Tiobre (sadly locked when we walked by). 

And at around the 21 kms mark, on the final stretch into Betanzos, the downhill really starts. Passing the rather beautiful Santuario de Nosa Señora do Camiño, with just a kilometre to go, down a cobbled street, across the river and into the medieval heart of the town.

old church at the start of the hill down to the river in Betanzos

22.5 kms : The Old Town Of Betanzos

I did very little research before starting my Camino Ingles, partly due to the conflicting reports suggesting that the route was less interesting than others.  If I’d done my research I would have allowed more time to explore Betanzos; a little gem of a town.

Betanzos is well known as one of the prettiest and oldest towns of Galicia.  It has a rich history and a well-preserved medieval centre.  If you need a good reason to break stage two at Mino, having more time to exploring this town has to be it!

Do spend some time in the cafe-lined square in the heart of the old town and maybe try a slice of the town’s own version of the Tortila Patata (ps I think I prefer the traditional recipe with onions)

walking into Betanzos old town was a real surprise; the main square is lined with cafes

Where to Stay in Betanzos

There’s a pilgrim hostel in the heart of the old town; Albergue de Peregrinos Casa Da Pescaderia.  It does fill quickly and you can’t reserve a bed.  There are 36 bunks, a laundry and communal area and kitchen with microwave but limited equipment.  This albergue is highly rated by all who stay and certainly the perfect location for pilgrims.

  • If you’d like to be sure of your bed then you can reserve a bunk at the equally fabulous Albergue Rio Mandeo. This is a great alternative, offering bunks and rooms for 3 or 4 sharing.
  • If you would like to stay in an apartment look no further than Traviesa Betanzos. There are lots of apartments in town but most only allow a two or three night stays; this apartment is the exception.  This is an excellent location and the apartment is very well equipped and perfect place for two or three people sharing. Click to check availability and book.
  • We stayed in Hotel Portico and I’d happily stay again.  The rooms are very comfortable and the shower piping hot and I loved the huge fluffy towels. There is an excellent on site restaurant but you need to arrive before 2:30pm if you’d like lunch.  Click here to check availability and book.

Top Tip : We arrived in town around 3:30pm but struggled to find somewhere for lunch. If you’re wanting to eat I recommend making this your priority when you arrive.

What to See in Betanzos

Betanzos was named Brigantium by the Romans. The medieval centre is well preserved and we really enjoyed wandering the square, people watching with a glass of vino tinto and chatting with our fellow pilgrims. However, there are a few churches in town that are worthy of a visit and Betanzos Town website offers much more information.  

Final Thoughts on Stage Two Between Pontedeume to Betanzos

The stage from Pontedeume to Betanzos is considered moderately difficult. It’s not long but there is a great deal of up and down; sometimes steep.   The terrain consists of both paved roads and some wonderful natural trails and there are a peppering of ancient churches to explore.

I enjoyed this stage but it is a challenge and with hindsight I really wish I’d stayed at Mino. Mino has one of the region’s best beaches and warrants a longer stop. The town of Betanzos is a charming historical town and deserves a little time to explore.

Overall, the second stage of the Camino Ingles is a rewarding walk, with beautiful scenery, historical landmarks and charming towns; my only regret was not breaking the stage..  

beautiful trail with spring  flowers en route to Betanzos

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.

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.

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

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

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