Finisterre: The End of Earth No More!

A “short” 90-km walk from Santiago de Compostela, where the famous Camino (Way of St. James) ends, is Finisterre.  Finisterre is a town but the more famous Finisterre is the cape that signifies “the end of earth.”   Back when folks assumed this was the end of earth, hence the name.  (Note:  It is also known as Fisterra in the local dialect, Galician or gallego).

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The town of Finisterre from a distance

Many pilgrims who do the Camino, keep going past the end point, the city of Santiago de Compostela.  I did not when I went because the end goal of the Camino, in my book, is entering the Plaza del Obradoiro and then going to Mass at the massive and old Cathedral.

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While 0k for the Camino is in Santiago, this is 0 km too

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Posing with friends – and friendly photobombers!

However, I highly recommend hiking or somehow making it to Finisterre.  I personally loved walking the rugged terrain past the lighthouse.

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The Atlantic Ocean at Finisterre

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Water activities abound in the area

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Pilgrims leave articles of clothing upon reaching the end of their Camino

It reminded me when I went to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa (check it out here), maybe just a little less spectacular here but impressive nonetheless.

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Finisterre lighthouse

If you drive from Santiago, there is an inland route, more direct, and a route that hugs the shoreline.  I recommend the latter on the way over to Finisterre so you can see Finisterre from the distance and see the beautiful coastline.  I am sure in other times of the year this coastline is slightly less hospitable but on the beautiful July day I went, it was nothing short of spectacular.  On the way back, we did take the fast route back – and that was fine with me.

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The Cape (top left) and the town of Finisterre to its right

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A small coastal town watched over by windmills, a common sight around there

Finisterre, Fisterra, Spain, sea, ocean, travel, photo, Galicia

Beautiful waters!

Finisterre, Fisterra, Spain, sea, ocean, travel, photo, Galicia

A small town along the route

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Smart to rely on these guys given how windy it is!

On the way over, before getting to the coastline, we stopped at a small village by the Rio Tambre to visit a charming town right of CP-0201, not far from Santiago.  The Ponte Maceira crosses the river into the village and forms part of the Camino as witnessed by the many pilgrims we saw cross it.  The village is graced not only by the bridge but by a chapel, an old mill, and a very approachable riverside.  Definitely a “must stop.”

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Pilgrims crossing the Ponte Maceira (Maceira Bridge)

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The Rio Tambre

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The village by the bridge

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The old mill and an approach to the river

The only bummer for my visit was that there was a small festival (for the Feast of St. James) going on near the Cape and we could not stop.  I would have so loved to eat fresh seafood and mingle with the locals.  I hear any of the towns along the shore will have incredible fresh seafood.  I believe it!

If you do have time to explore the area, don’t just go to the cape.  Not that it is overly touristy or that it isn’t spectacular, but there are other parts of the coast that are well worth exploring.  The Rias Baixas (which you may know if you know Spanish wine…), just south of Finisterre, are a series of estuaries/inlets from the Atlantic Ocean that create a mini-ecosystem rich in marine life and with many beaches and water activities, a magnet for tourists from Spain.  While certainly not the French Riviera, it also lacks the over-touristed ambience of places like that, making it more relaxed.  So, give yourself an extra day or two and enjoy Finisterre and all that the area around it offers in the region of Galicia!

Finisterre, Fisterra, Spain, sea, ocean, travel, photo, Galicia

Beautiful coastline

Finisterre, Fisterra, Spain, sea, ocean, travel, photo, Galicia

More of the coastline

Comments

  1. Hi Raul,
    I’m so envious of your time walking the Camino, plus this extra visit to Finisterre. This area just feels like home to me, and I love all of Spain, too. The sweet home in your photo “Village by the bridge” is so adorable — I want to live there!
    Regards,
    Josie
    Josie recently posted..Travel Photo Roulette #111, Theme: Repeating ShapesMy Profile

    • Josie, it was a cute village indeed. My great-grandfather was from the area and I got to meet his 2 surviving nieces and their families – a real blessing!

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