Based in Spain since 2006

Arzúa to Santa Irene

Melide to Arzúa

Day 8

Accommodations: Arzúa (B, L, D)

Walking: 15 km / 9 mi

We start on our Camino this morning after breakfast and leave Arzúa to continue our journey. On our route is the small town of Calle, a picturesque village that gracefully combines traditional Galician architecture with newer homes, where the Fresco Tours support vehicle will be available for any of our needs that may arise. We will continue walking having refueled and will pass through many small Galician villages along the Way. This unique opportunity allows us to interact with the locals like we are neighbors! 

A classic Fresco Tours picnic cheese platter.
A classic Fresco Tours picnic cheese platter.

Farther down the road we enter our destination for today, the hamlet of Santa Irene, sheltered amongst green trees and winding paths. The town is named after Saint Irene of Tancor who was a Portuguese woman who lived in the early medieval ages. At an early age she decided to become a nun, though this did not sit well with her tutor, the evil monk Remigius. Remigius gave her a potion that made her belly swell and appear pregnant, though this enraged her suitor Britald, who hired an assassin who promptly killed her and threw her body into the Tagus. Her uncle, who had received a revelation about what had really happened, found her uncorrupted body in the river and took it to the local town of Santarem, where it would be venerated. The town houses a small 18th century chapel and a fountain with supposedly curative waters for crying babies and monthly female pains to honor Saint Irene. It may cure our thirst too! 

Santa Irene
Santa Irene

As we plan for the day ahead, we will enjoy local food and wine and hopefully learn more about the fellow pilgrims on our journey. At our evening meeting our knowledgeable Fresco Tours guides will prepare us for the terrain tomorrow, explaining the map, where we will stop, and what to look at for on the path. Finally, we return to bed at our Galician manor home to rest for the day tomorrow! 

Elevation Profile for the Arzúa to Alto de Santa Irene stage on the Camino de Santiago
Elevation Profile for the Arzúa to Alto de Santa Irene stage on the Camino de Santiago

Santa Irene to Lavacolla