The Via de la Plata is one of the longest and potentially loneliest pilgrim routes in Spain. If you are looking for pilgrims solitude this is the Camino for you. It travels from Sevilla in Andalucia up along the spine between Spain and Portugal through Merida, Cáceres, Salamanca, and Zamora. Just past Zamora, the pilgrim has a choice to continue on to Astorga where it connects with the Camino Frances or to walk the Camino Sanabrés which travels west towards Ourense and then up to Santiago de Compostela.
The VldP is much different than the Camino Frances. The distances’ between stops are much longer, with some days reaching 38+ Km from one town to another. There are a mere fraction of the pilgrims walking this route, especially during summer as temperatures can reach 100 degrees or more in Extremadura. Because of this, the prime time to walk this Camino is in the spring and fall.
From the starting point, The Cathedral in Seville, you will find the way well marked. In Seville, there is a pilgrims office where you can purchase a guidebook. There are also a few guidebooks that have been published, as well as a few Smart Phone Apps. The WisePilgrim App is very good to help with the route.
A basic command of Spanish would be very helpful. The pilgrim will walk through many small towns where English is not really spoken.
Here is a link to view the stages of the Via de la Plata
Accommodations on the Via de la Plata with distance and Phone numbers
In many small towns, there are either municipal or parochial albergues. In many, you will need to call the number on the door to get a key to open the door. It is important to have a phone with a way to call without wifi. These are donativo albergues with no hospitalero to speak of. They are clean, well maintain and offer hot water for showers. In some, you will simply find a stamp on a table to stamp your credential and a donativo box to make your donation. It is expected that you will leave the albergue as you found it. Clean, with your blanket folded and returned to the cupboard and your trash in the trash receptacle. The people that maintain them are most likely town residents who are retired and want to help pilgrims.
Once you arrive in Galicia you will be able to stay in the Xunta albergues. These are owned and maintained by the government of Galicia. They are very nice and only 6€ as of 2018. The hospitaleros are employees of Galicia.
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