The Caldas de Reis – Padrón stage is, for many, one of the most beautiful of the whole Way of Saint James. In these last moments of pilgrimage, it is normal to see more and more people along the paths, more accommodations and, mainly, more commerce on the roads that take us to the Galician capital.
With a small slope along the route, this journey does not present any major difficulties. Even local people walk these routes, as an exercise for the whole family. Before we know it, we are in the middle of the Spanish forest, with ancient Roman roads, to get into the spirit of the first pilgrims.
As a culmination, Padrón looks like a replica of a city from the ancient empire of Caesar Augustus, with its brown tones and its architecture unlike the rest of the region. It is time to sit down and order the peppers that inherit the city’s name – Padrón.
Caldas de Reis, despite being a small municipality, has a lot of places to visit. Between restaurants and cafes to have breakfast, don’t miss the Santa Maria church. Both the interior and the exterior are worth the time.
After you pass the residential area just after the church of Santa Marina, you will find a meeting place for pilgrims. Without any person on site taking care of the space, in an organic way, those who walk the path rest there. There is a tap with drinking water and some chairs to sit on.
A few kilometers from Padrón, observe the city from above at the Pino Manso viewpoint. With space for all the pilgrims to sit and enjoy the scenery, there are also two drinking fountains where you can refill your canteen.
At the intersection between the Herbón monastery and the road to Padrón, you must choose which route to take. The first adds 3 kilometers to the journey, but gives you the opportunity to stay in the hostel. The second route takes you directly to Padrón.
Padrón is the last major milestone before Santiago de Compostela. According to legend, it was the rock below the church of Santiago on which the boat carrying the apostle crashed. In a toasted yellow hue, today it is known for its iconic chapel, its streets with an architecture, different from all the other towns we encountered and the Padrón peppers, a delicacy available in every café.
Yes! And in the city, you can find several restaurants that serve this delicacy. This dish, plus a tortillha is the perfect post-ride meal.
Yes. Just cross the bridge and climb the stairs. It is one of the great monuments of the way to Santiago.