Sigueiro To Santiago De Compostela : Stage Five Of The Camino Ingles

Created by Colleen Sims | Updated : 24 May 2024 | ,

I have come to the conclusion that the last day of any Camino is always different than the preceding days; no matter the distance you’ve walked. 

The day you arrive in Santiago de Compostela is a special day.  There is an excitement amongst pilgrims, a thoughtfulness about the journey and a melancholy mixed with joy, as things are inevitably coming to an end.

I guess what I’m saying is that reaching Santiago de Compostela is a milestone.   Today you’ll walk from Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela on a stage that has become one of my favourite walks into the iconic Plaza del Obradoiro.

early morning sun on the Camino Ingles, walking from Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela

Stage Five Of The Camino Ingles : Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela

I love this stage of the Camino Ingles.

  • There were no route variations to concern ourselves with
  • The route was well marked
  • There was one excellent coffee stop
  • There is an enchanted forest to explore
  • And of course, there is Santiago de Compostela

And this is Galicia so do expect a couple of big hills. But having already walked from Ferrol to Sigueiro these hills won’t bother you (much).

Full Stage Details of Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela

We noticed more pilgrims on the road today. Perhaps with the shorter stage, most pilgrims spent the night in Sigueiro before walking to Santiago de Compostela? Regardless, it was a joyful walk.

map showing the route from Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Ingles
map showing the route elevation from Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Ingles

Distance : 16.56 kms | Elevation gain : 286 m | Elevation loss : 259 m

I would definitely recommend having breakfast in town; it might be a while before you find an open cafe.  We stayed in Albergue Camino Real and simple breakfast provisions (toast, jams, cakes, drinks) were freely available in the kitchen.   

0.5 Kms : Crossing the River Tambre

The distance to the River Tambre might be different for you but from our Albergue we walked around 500 metres. 

It is thought that Sigueiro was settled in prehistoric times but the Iron Age brought the first permanent settlers. The Celts left their mark but it was the Romans who built infrastructure, roads and maybe the original bridge across the River Tambre.

With the discovery of the tomb of St James and the arrival of thousands of pilgrims, a new mediaeval bridge was constructed. As you leave Sigueiro this morning, you’ll cross the River Tambre on a very non-descript bridge. But do pause a-while and consider the countless travellers in who’s footsteps you follow. Hidden beneath it’s bland exterior the medieval bridge still remains.

The arrows lead you out of town to quieter roads and a glorious rural landscape.  Expect to climb steadily over the next 4 kilometres; but the rise is gentle.

sigueiro bridge on the camino ingles

4.5 Kms : Accommodation And Coffee

According to our research there was a coffee stop close to the Hotel San Vicente (which offers accommodation if you’d like to stay the night).  Neither bar or hotel are directly on the Camino.

Café Bar A Fontiña is by my rough calculations a 5 minute walk from the trail but reading the google reviews, it’s a very popular breakfast stop for hungry pilgrims.

map showing the first coffee stop on the Sigueiro to Santiago stage

6.8 kms : Excellent Restaurant and A Big Hill

At 6.8 kilometres the Camino drops you briefly back alongside the main N-550.  Thankfully only for a few hundred metres before returning you to quieter roads.

At the junction where you turn you’ll find the rather swish Restaurante Mar de Esteiro.  It was closed when we walked by.  In retrospect, looking at their website I wonder if it’s not really a pilgrim stop. Unless you’re looking for something rather special?  And it does look rather special!

Walking on from this point you should expect one of todays steep hills.  And just to warn you, when you think you’ve reached the top, you haven’t.

nearly at the top of one of the hills between Sigueiro and Santiago on the Camino Ingles

9 Kms : Piped Music and Hot Coffee

We were ready for a pause at the 9 kilometre mark. I’d just asked St James for a coffee and a warm slice of tortilla patata, when amongst the trees we heard Galician piped music.  And amongst the trees we spotted Bar Castro!

What a joyful sight. We grabbed a table in the sun, and drank coffee and greeted pilgrim friends as they arrived to quench their thirst.   This is a great little stop and I do recommend making a note to pause and take a rest.

Café Castro also offers accommodation.  If you wanted to stay just before Santiago de Compostela this hotel might be a good option.  I would suggest that you compare prices on both a booking website and on their own hotel website.  When I checked, some dates the website was cheaper and others the booking site was cheaper.

Top Tip : The hotel say they offer a pilgrim rate if you book direct so this might be worth investigating too.

Pilgrim friends meeting at Bar Castro between Sigueiro and Santiago de  Compostela

As you leave Hotel Castro you’ll walk into what has been named the Enchanted Forest.  Keep an eye our for witches and fairies hiding in the trees.  Also you should brace yourself for one more hill but take comfort that this will be the last big hill of the Camino Ingles.

10.5 Kms: Urban Outskirts

Sadly all too soon, the green rural Galicia and her shady forests are over and you arrive at the outskirts of Santiago.

The walk into Santiago, along the Camino Ingles, is one of the nicest.  I appreciate that it was a Sunday, so perhaps quieter than a normal working day. However, the route was well marked and once through the initial industrial area, we were treated to quieter residential streets. 

beautiful green Galicia, with pilgrims in the distance

15 Kms : Pilgrim on the Roundabout

At 15 kilometres we reached a roundabout (Praza da Paz) and knew that we were on the edge of the old town. Keep a look out here for the Pilgrim statue on the roundabout; he reminded me very much of the pilgrim statues at Mont de Gozo on the Camino Frances.

We arrived around midday on a Sunday.  Church bells were ringing, we passed a congregation singing at the entrance of their church and it felt like Santiago was welcoming us. 

I loved this walk.  At Rúa dos Basquiños we caught our first glimpse of the Cathedral.  By Rúa da Porta da Pena I knew where we were; I stayed in the beautiful Hotel Denike many years ago. 

Top Tip : Slow down.  This part of the city is glorious.  Stop and take photos at the Mirador at the entrance to Porta da Pena.  Look in shop windows, admire the architecture.  I adore walking into the old town of Santiago de Compostela.  I see pilgrims so intent on arriving that they forget to look up.

Before you know it you’ve arrived at the famous steps that lead you down into Plaza del Obradoiro.  If you’re lucky the piper will be there, or the tenor will sing.  Do expect crowds and do expect emotion. 

Walk to the centre of the square, find the shell which designates the end of the Camino.  And celebrate.  118 kilometres later you’ve reached the UNESCO world heritage Cathedral in the UNESCO world heritage city of Santiago de Compostela.

nuns walking in the old town close to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Where to Stay In Santiago de Compostela?

There are so many places to stay in Santiago de Compostela, it would be foolhardy to recommend too many options.  Santiago has a myriad of hotels and hostels ranging from 5 star luxury to simple pilgrim bunk beds.

I’ve spent so many nights in this beautiful city that I have forgotten some of the places I’ve slept.  But some of the more memorable include :

Top Tip : Santiago is not only the destination for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago, it is a place of pilgrimage for visitors, who come to visit the tomb of St James.  Santiago is busy.  Beds are booked months ahead.  If you’re walking the Camino Ingles and you know your arrival date, book your bed.  In peak season, there are more visitors in Santiago then there are beds. Book ahead.

a quiet december morning in Plaza del Obradoiro with the Cathedral on the right and the parador hotel ahead

How Long To Spend in Santiago de Compostela?

How long can you spare?  When I first walked the Camino de Santiago, I left town the day after I arrived.  You can arrive in the city and feel lost in a sea of visitors; it can be overwhelming. 

I’ve had that feeling where you want to leave the city quickly but my advice is stay.  Allow at least one whole day, if not two. Discover the charms of Santiago. 

Santiago is glorious but you need to spend a while getting to know each other. Stroll her charming streets away from the tourist shops, visit Parque de la Alameda and the two Marias, find a corner café on the edge of the old town, where locals meet.

Santiago de Compostela is so much more than its incredible cathedral; and the cathedral is astounding. Allow more time in Santiago than you imagine.  And explore at night; when the tourists have gone the city belongs to pilgrims.

the cathedral of Santiago de Compstela at night, empty when the day visitors go home

Final Thoughts on Stage Five Between Sigueiro And Santiago de Compostela

Congratulations, you’ve walked 118kms from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela and completed the Camino Ingles.

The last day of the Camino Ingles feels so very different than the first, walking around the estuary to the beaches of Cabanas and Pontedeume.  It’s beautiful with evergreen Galician countryside, charming little hamlets and villages and the ever-present yellow arrows.

Truth be told, the Camino Ingles surprised me.  It offers so much more than I expected.  The final stage from Sigueiro is no exception and the approach into Santiago wonderful.

I very much enjoyed this stage and my last advice would be :

  • have breakfast before you leave Sigueiro; the last stage is a little light on services
  • carry water and maybe a snack with you.
  • stop at Hotel Castro for refreshments. 
  • explore the Enchanted Forest
  • take your time walking into the old town
  • book your bed in Santiago de Compostela
  • allow time to explore the city

The Camino Ingles maybe short but it is no walk in the park and offers a few surprises; it’s by no means an easy walk.  It will reward you with incredible sea views, glorious beaches, historic gems such as Betanzos, the beauty of rural Galicia and of course an ending in Santiago de Compostela.

I can’t wait to return and I regret waiting so long to discover this forgotten Camino.

The enchanted forest on the Camino Ingles, a few kilometres from Santiago de Compostela

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel, you should have a great 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 ended 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 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.

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Colleen in Salamanca on the Via de la Plata

Hey I’m Colleen. I’m married to Gerry, we’ve three fabulous kids and been living in France for almost two decades. I fell in love with Spain in the 1980s and I’ve walked 1000s of miles along the Camino de Santiago. Now we’re exploring and walking the world and I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!

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