The Routes to Santiago de Compostela
Most pilgrims who arrived at Santiago followed the "French route", but there are other six historic routes. The French route is the most travelled by and promoted. It enters Spain through Roncesvalles and Sompot, in the Pyrenees and crosses the autonomous communities of Aragón, Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla, León and Galicia.
The second more widely known itinerary is the "Northern Route". From Irún, it crosses Euskadi, Cantabria and Asturias before entering Galicia through Ribadeo, on the coast, and through A Fonsagrada, in the interior. Until the 10 C it was the most travelled by.
The pilgrims from the North of Europe and Bristish Islands made the pilgrimage by boat, following the so-called "English Route". They disembarked at the port of La Coruña or El Ferrol and continued on foot to the Cathedral.
The "Portuguese Route" goes through Galicia: first the municipality of Tui, then O Porriño, Mos, Redondela, Soutomaior, Vilaboa, Pontevedra, Barro, Portas, Caldas de Reis, Valga, Pontecesures, Padrón, Rois, Teo, Ames and finally Santiago. There is a variant of this route that crosses the Spanish border through Chaves and then joins the Southeastern Route in Verin.
The fifth route to Santiago de Compostela is the "Southeastern-Way of Silver". It begins on the Galician extension of the Roman road that connected the cities of Mérida and Astorga. It goes in Galicia through A Mezquita and, at A Gudiña is divided in two branches that pass through many Galician villages before arriving at Santiago.
Another route followed by pilgrims was the "Fisterra-Muxia Route". In the Middle Ages, some pilgrims, after venerating the tomb of the Apostle, continued the journey to Cabo Neiro (Finisterre), considered to be the end of the world
Finally the "Maritime Route of Arousa and Ulla River" commemorated the arrival of the boat of the Apostle Santiago from Palestine. It has two entrances to Galice and meets the Portuguese Route at Padrón.