Based in Spain since 2006

Santa Irene to Lavacolla

Arzúa to Santa Irene

Day 9

Accommodations: Lavacolla (B, L, D)

Walking: 13 km / 8 mi

After breakfast, and with our walking shoes on, we begin our journey from Santa Irene to Lavacolla. But before starting our walk, we will jump on the bus and visit the Monastery of Santa María in Sobrado des Monxes. The monastery still runs as a hostel for pilgrims doing the Camino de Santiago del Norte, another Camino route that starts in Spain in the Basque Country and follows the northern Spanish coast.

The monastery was founded in 952 and is one of the oldest in the region; and the first abbey in Galicia to join the Castilian Cistercian Congregation. After learning more about the history of the town from our guides we will settle down for a Fresco Tours picnic full of local cheeses and fruits and enjoy the rural scenery before finishing our journey for the day in Lavacolla, our final stop before Santiago de Compostela. 

The monastery of Sobrado on the Camino del Norte.
Monastery of Sobrado

Lavacolla, a pleasant town with remnants of its rural and historic past. Aymeriac Picaud describes how medieval pilgrims would perform their ablutions in Lavacolla before entering the holy city of Santiago. This practice involves pilgrims washing themselves completely, something they probably hadn’t done in several weeks. Though we, on the other hand, will have had plenty of opportunities to stay clean, the village appears to have received its current name from the union of two words: lava (wash) and colla (genitals). This explanation has been debated and other more profane (and less fun) etymological explanations have been hypothesized, such as: field at the bottom of the hill. Let’s stick to the classic and fun explanation! 

The Camino near O Pedrouzo.
The Camino near O Pedrouzo.

After cleaning up for dinner (just like the pilgrims of the past), we will gather for one of our final dinners together and enjoy more local cuisine before heading to bed. We have a big day ahead! 

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

Lavacolla to Santiago