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Going to Santiago through Ourense (VDP) or Sarria (Frances)?

2020 Camino Guides


New Member
Hello fellow pilgrims, next week I'm going to start my Camino for the first time and I still have some doubts, so I hope you can help me.

I have only 5 days to do the Camino so there isn't many possibilities for me. Due to this fact, I was going to start in Sarria and walk to Santiago.

The problem is the more I read about this route the more I get discouraged. People say it's the more crowded part of the Camino, possibly the less interesting and I'll definitely need to fight for a bed at the albergues.

Because of that, I started to look for an alternative way and I found another route through Via de la Plata. I would start in Ourense (105km more or less) instead of Sarria. They said it is less crowded, more beautiful and interesting than Sarria.

The plan would be:
Ourense - Cea = 22.5km
Cea - Castro Dozón = 19.3km
Castro Dozón - Silleda = 27.4km
Silleda - Ouestero = 23.8km
Ouesteiro - Santiago = 16km

The distance is pretty much the same comparing to Sarria to Santiago. I don't really now. I still need to decide what to do and my time is running out.

What do you think guys? Have you done this way instead of from Sarria?

Thank you all very much!!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)

I have walked both routes. I think the Ourense - Santiago route is an excellent choice. This is a lovely part of the camino, and although it won't be solitary as in previous years, it will likely be less crowded than the Sarria-Santiago route. | liked it a lot. Go for it!

Have a grand walk!



Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
I vouch for Ourense as well.
Definitely the better of the two routes.



New Member
I definitely agree that the Via de la Plata route is stunning, probably more so than my experience on the Route Frances which was BUSY BUSY last week (i wish I'd made time to go to the monastery in Samos, but was a bit panicked about not having somewhere to stay that night.... next time I'll take the chance). The arrows might be a little harder to spot on the Plata route, but there are lots of friendly locals and other peregrinos to search with! We were never stuck for a bed either, be it alberque publique or prive. The tough hills and moments of 'what am i doing here?' are all so worth it and when you reach the cathedral and you're met by beautiful Galician music, a real buzz.... and then your real camino begins!
I wish you a Buen Camino whichever you choose!! :arrow: :D


New Member
Thank you all for the suggestions! I'm really leaning towards to go through the VDP route instead of the Frances and I might decide tomorrow what I am doing..

I still have few question and I hope you can help me once again.

Since I'm flying to Santiago I need to take a bus back to Ourense. Is it possible? Which bus company do you suggest?

Due the high elevation in this route, is it really necessary a stick? I don't know how are the airlines policies about that so this is why I was thinking to not buy them, but if they are essential I need to change my mind. What do you think?

And last question. :) If they albergues are full, is it safe to sleep out with my sleeping bag?

Thanks again guys!!!

Super excited for next week!!!!



New Member
Hey again!

One company that goes from Santiago bus station to Ourense is Monbus, check out the timetable /horarios at: http://www.monbus.es/index2.htm

I would recommend either bringing your stick with you, or you can easily pick one up in Santiago. Some parts of the walk were very muddy and steep (for me) and I wished I'd bought one when starting.
I didn't sleep out, maybe someone else can help you with that question, visualise that the bed is there waiting for you....and hopefully it will be!!

Buen camino!!

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