Chemin français

Palas de Rei - Arzúa

28 km Difficulty
This is a long section and includes many ups and downs. Accordingly, some might prefer to divide it in two and spend the night in Melide or in one of the local hostels in the villages in-between. The route leaves Palas de Rei through Campo dos Romeiros and proceeds towards the villages of Carballal and San Xulián.

It then continues with some uphill walking until the province of Lugo is left behind to enter A Coruña through O Coto, 8.5 kilometres away from the day’s starting point.  There are some villages along the way, as well as industrial areas and rural paths, until you reach the medieval bridge adjoining Furelos and Melide, where the pilgrims walking on the Primitive Way meet those taking the French Route.

Melide marks the exact mid-point of this day’s journey.  Notable sites include the renovated pilgrim hospital that is now the Museo da Terra and the Convent of Sancti Spiritus. There are also many restaurants where people can try octopus prepared the Galician way, simply boiled and seasoned with olive oil, salt and red pepper.

The path becomes milder after this, with lighter ups and downs, as it heads towards Ribadiso. In Ribadiso there is a hostel by the river.  I It is a wonderful place to take a break in the shade before completing the remaining 3 km to Arzúa. Here pilgrims coming from the North Way from Boimorto meet those on the French Way in another merging at the parish of Santa María de Arzúa.

Arzúa is famous for its delicious cheese and its pilgrim-hosting history, with many chapels, churches, manors, and pilgrim’s  pousadas worth visiting. 

Tips from our postmen and women

" you come to Arzúa on the 8th and 22nd of each month, pilgrims can see the traditional open market selling locally grown produce. .  In addition, the first week-end of March is the Festa do Queixo (Cheese Festival), which holds tastings of the different varieties of cheese from around here and other areas.  Other events include eco-fairs, the honey festival, and the like... most of them dedicated to showcasing the large array of wonderful produce found here”. Vanesa Rocha, Correos of Arzúa.