Via de la Plata or Camino Mozarabe
This Camino is a truly Spanish route that travels up the western peninsula of Spain and is steeped in history. As well as being known as the Via de la Plata or Silver Way, this route is also known as the Camino Mozárabe or Mozarabic Way of St James. The name of Via de la Plata however does not refer to actual silver, but it is believed that the name derives from the Latin word 'Lapidata' meaning stone road or possibly the Arabic word 'Balatta' meaning road.
This route was traditionally used for agricultural and trade purposes between the north and south of Spain. During the Roman times a grand access road was built to facilitate the transit of troops, goods and traders. This also assisted with spreading the Roman culture and providing a means of controlling the territory. After Roman times this route was then used by the Moors to advance into northern Spain and then subsequently by the Spanish during the Reconquista.
From the 9th Century it was used as a Camino route by Mozarabic pilgrims from the south of Spain, North Africa and other parts of the Mediterranean. It is from this period that this route gets the name Camino Mozáeabe. Read more on our blog about the Via de la Plata.
Starting in Seville, the capital of southern Spain's Andalusia region, and passing through the regions of Extremadura and Castilla y Leon before finishing at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. This is the longest route of all the Caminos. It is well way marked with the route following mostly paths and paved roads. Although easier in terms of terrain than the French Way, there is at stages longer days walking with less facilities available.
To make this long route more manageable we at Follow the Camino have established 10 sections of between 6 -7 days along the Via de la Plata. Along the Silver Way you will stay in carefully chosen accommodation and have the opportunity to sample some of the finest local cusinse.
The Southeast Way is actually an extension of the Roman road known as the Via de la Plata, which connected Emerita Augusta (Merida) with Asturica Augusta (Astorga), and crosses the western part of the Iberian Peninsula from south to north, travelling over the basins of the Tajo and Duero Rivers. The Way was laid out in early Christian times with older roads providing a convenient template.
Also it is one of the routes which allows you to obtain the Compostela (certificate of pilgrimage) when you walk at least from Ourense to Santiago!
Since 2006, Follow the Camino has invented a new innovative way to walk the Silver Way, creating 10 manageable sections, each of them with 6-7 days, where you stay each nights in carefully selected and regularly assessed, authentic accommodation (hotels, casa rurales, pensiones), enjoying the freshest local food and drinks!