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Monasterio de San Miguel de Xagoaza: Is it worth a visit?

Peregrino andante

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I have seen several references to the albergue in Xagoaza, but my searches on the forum for mentions of the Monasterio de San Miguel de Xagoaza have yielded nothing. For those of you who have been there, would you recommend a visit? The 360 degree photos on Monasterio de San Miguel de Xagoaza (at the bottom of the page) look interesting.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have seen several references to the albergue in Xagoaza, but my searches on the forum for mentions of the Monasterio de San Miguel de Xagoaza have yielded nothing. For those of you who have been there, would you recommend a visit? The 360 degree photos on Monasterio de San Miguel de Xagoaza (at the bottom of the page) look interesting.
Hi, @Peregrino andante,

Many years ago, when I walked up to Xagoaza from Barco in the afternoon just to check out the albergue, I walked by the church and monastery. I believe the monastery was either a restaurant, events place, or some kind of venue open to the public. (But it was closed when I was there). I could not go inside the church either. I do not remember anything exceptional about its exterior but maybe my memory is failing.

Since the camino from Barco has been re-routed to stay closer to the river, it now passes even further from Xagoaza than it used to. Before the route change, the albergue in Xagoaza was about 1.5 km off camino, I think, and anyone who wants to stay there now is advised to take the “old route” which goes closer to Xagoaza. I think I only know one pilgrim who has stayed in the albergue there, but to visit the monastery would be a quick little side trip from the albergue.

Are you planning to walk the Invierno and stay in Xagoaza? It’d be great to have some mroe recent news about it.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Peregrino andante

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi Laurie,

First, thanks for all the great work you've done to let the rest us know about the Caminos Olvidado, Viejo, and Invierno.

I've wanted to do the Invierno since I took the train from Santiago de Compostela to Pamplona. If the vaccination program in Spain keeps the Delta variant at bay, I'll start at the end of September. I'm doing the Norte to Bilbao and then take the Olvidado to Ponferrada, and finally the Invierno to the last stages of the VdlPlata into Santiago.

Right now my tentative schedule gives me 3-4 days to play around with, so I thought I'd take a look at the monastery. The restoration looks impressive, but I've wondered whether it's too good. The polychromatic secondary altar looks incredible but I wonder whether it is actually unbelievably too well accomplished. I hope that someone who has seen the place since the restoration was completed can tell me what it's really like.

Buen camino a ti, también,
David
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Right now my tentative schedule gives me 3-4 days to play around with
One thing that I would definitely recommend with days to play around with on the Invierno is to walk the circle from Torre Vilariño to the amazing views over the Miño River with a romanesque church or two for good measure. And a visit to the museum that is a stone‘s throw away from Torre Vilariño and the hill fort on its site. If you start in Monforte, you’ll have a short day that gives you all the time you need to soak all of this up, and it is wonderful.

Torre Vilariño is a great place to stop — beautiful grounds, very good food (take the more expensive menú — they do have tour bus loads but their food is good if you don’t go too cheap). It’s not in a great location for those who want to walk more “normal” stages, but if you have time it is a 5 star way to spend a day, IMO.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I stayed for the night in Xagoaza when I was walking the Invierno in 2019. The albergue is modern. but the church across the road from it seemed delightfully ancient and had benches where I could sit and watch the sun on the hillside and the fall colours. That was one of very few days on the Invierno that it did not rain. The church was, of course, locked, as were all the buildings of the monastery down the hill from it. At the top of the hill, ruling the skyline, sits a modern and characterless large building, which appears to be used to host banquets. There must be a terrific view out of the windows, and at least from inside you don't have to observe the building. The location of the monastery was the most interesting aspect of it for me. There is a small local road going through the pass above the monastery. A sign notes that at one time that pass was a pilgrim route, and the monastery served as a pilgrim hospital to host those who came over the pass. I had some extra time, which is a real advantage to any camino, so I enjoyed my day exploring the area and my night spent in the albergue. Bring your own food.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I've wanted to do the Invierno since I took the train from Santiago de Compostela to Pamplona
That's what hooked me too. But it's even better on foot than it looked from the train, and less daunting than it looks from the train, too.

One thing that I would definitely recommend with days to play around with on the Invierno is to walk the circle from Torre Vilariño to the amazing views over the Miño River with a romanesque church or two for good measure.
Absolutely!!! It also allows you to linger the next day at Diomondi, which is not to be missed.
Here are directions:
Here's a screenshot of the loop, Laurie, for quick reference; San Martiño is O Priorato on the map, and the little sqiggle that goes into the middle of the circle is the way to Mirador Cabo do Mondo:
Screenshot_20190610-194203_Wikiloc.jpg

Right now my tentative schedule gives me 3-4 days to play around with,
One other suggestion is to stay the 1st night in Villavieja, Borrenes, or Orellen, and then have a short 2nd day to Las Medulas. Having almost tbe whole day to explore this amazing place without weight on the back is a joy.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Thanks for mentioning this and providing the wikiloc reference. I had thought about stopping at Torre Vilarino but it made for a very short day. This loop fits in perfectly.
 

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