Of all the ways, this is the only one whose end purpose is not to reach the tomb of the Apostle. Quite on the contrary, its starting point is Compostela itself. The very existence of this odd way is the fact that, since medieval times, once pilgrims had finished their pilgrimage, they still wanted to continue a few more days westbound and reach the (known land’s end) end of the known land: Finisterre. Additionally, this area has always been surrounded by a halo of mystery, mythology and symbolism, bound to all kinds of beliefs and rites, all of which has given it an unparalleled appeal.
Reaching the land’s end is such a magnet that, to this day this is the most frequented pilgrimage route, rating second after the French Way, and there are even pilgrimage certificates exclusive to this route issued upon completion. It still is a blessed route, since many people have a great devotion to the Holy Christ of Fisterra and to the Virgen de La Barca in Muxía. Devotion to the Virgen de La Barca (literally, “Our Lady of the Rowing Boat”) comes from the ancient belief that the Virgin came ashore in a stone boat in this remote corner of the land to encourage Saint James in his preaching across the Peninsula.
INFORMATION FOR PILGRIMS IN NAVARRE
In this route we find hostels run by the Xunta (regional government of Galicia) and by local councils, plus privately-run hostels, many of which remain open round the year. There is also plenty of conventional accommodation available, such as hotels and “pensiones”.
As for the climate, it is possible to make the journey at any time of the year since the temperatures are not extreme. However, bear in mind that this is a rainy region and the wind blows on stormy days.
Another peculiarity of this way is that there are two certificates attesting its completion. The “compostela” can only be obtained upon arrival in Santiago, but pilgrims may obtain their “fisterrana” and “muxiana” certificates at the tourist offices and municipal hostels located at the end of this route.