O Camiño Dos Faros - Day 1

Just finished an amazing lunch at the end of a great day's walking. Michelin star food and fabulous scenery, yes I'm back in Spain. I'm walking the Camiño Dos Faros, the Lighthouse Way, a 200 km walk around the northwest corner of Spain. The coastline is known as the Costa de Morte, a name given to it by English sailors for sadly obvious reasons. Well we have survived our first 12 km and it's definitely thumbs up, so far so good.

Fishermen at Malpica

I'm with Christine and we flew into Coruña yesterday afternoon and got a taxi along the coast to Malpica and the start of the walk.

Last night we ate in a bar near the harbour, a feast of octopus, garlic, pan fried chips and grilled peppers. Clearly sea food is the thing to eat in this part of the world and I'm not complaining.
Illas Sisargas - home to the first lighthouse
Spring flowers near the Illas Sisargas

The walk itself was great. Christine kept comparing it to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and with a similar rock and even vegetation she has a point. We have only been here for a day but the weather, cloudy and grey with rain later, also had a Welsh flavour to it. The path stuck rigourously to the coast and avoided any attempt to snip off a headland with a shortcut. Although we have a GPS version of the route the way marking, so far consisting of subtle green arrows, was very good.
An ancient green lane
The walk starts the end of the harbour wall in Malpica next to a busy fishing port and heads back through town. From there it climbs up to a church dedicated to Santos Adrian who seems to have been a big deal in Galicia. After passing some lovely sandy beaches the route becomes less manicured and follows a narrow path close to the water's edge.
Armeria Maritina or Sea Thrift

The first lighthouse we see, the Faro das Sisargas, is on an island about a kilometre from the coast. Built in the 1850s it's the second oldest lighthouse on the Costa del Morte.

Wading through a river near Boe
Following a old coastal road through the bracken, marked with huge stones on either side, the route then takes us into the little village of Beo and onto Seiruga. Here we faced a serious obstacle, a river without a bridge, running down to the sea. With the restaurant about 2 kms away, and a confirmed lunch booking, we had no choice but to wade across, a real pain given that it was already raining.
White Campion
We usually seem to walk either too early or too late to enjoy wild flowers but this time we seem to have hit the jackpot. The broom is only just starting to come out but other flowers are providing a wonderful display.
Another ancient green lane

The restaurant and hotel, the As Garzas, is in a remote and, compared with the rest of the coast, not exceptionally beautiful location but somehow it has been able to establish a huge reputation. It's one of only 2 restaurants with a Michelin star in Galicia. We had the 10 course taster menu and enjoyed a sequence of taste bombs each exceeding the one which went before. It was as theatrical as it was delicious.

Great start to the trip but the weather forecast for tomorrow is grim so it can only go downhill from now!

If you would like to see Day 1 on a map please follow this link

In Malpica we stayed at Hotel Fonte do Frail - good value but along the beach from the harbour itself.

We then walked to As Garzas - nice rooms and good value and an amazing Michelin starred restaurant - definitely to be recommended.


6 comments:

  1. Great review. Just a little note, there are 13 restaurants with a Michelin star in Galicia. April is usually a rainy month in Galicia but I hope you could enjoy the "Lighthouses Way"

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    1. That's great news, confirms how good Spanish food is. Do you have any recommendations for the rest of the route?

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    2. I would love to know also that recomendations! The seafood, mainly fish is great in the area, for shelfish is better the Rías Baixas area(southwards), but maybe I´m wrong. I could be fantastic if you book that places in advance, as this is low season, and maybe some have jus a few stock. Difficult , I know! I suggest to ask middle age people at the villages for good places, some probably know a little English. May is a gorgeous month (a lot of flowers in the area). April is just a matter of luck, with good weather the way ys very different, but a little rain is helpful to give more colours to the walk. Weather is very changeable in any season, just a kind of lottery, you can have 20 ºC and lovely sun,even in October, or 16ºC and dark rainy weeks. July and August are the hottest and dryest months, but never too hot. Good for walking in any season. September use to be fantastic, less crowd and incredible sunsets (maybe some storms but usually short, that´s fantastic for wathing the sea) The only guarateed thing in the area is the wind. We follow you. Please tell us the truth..your truth about the way :) Thank you. Good luck! (Spanish Anonymous)

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  2. The second picture of a flower is called Lover´s Flower in Galician. If you put them in a pocket of somebody without noticing him ot her, he/she will fall in love with you

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  3. Hello. Are there places to stay along the route for pilgram. Any type of hostal?. Should I take my tent. Can't seem to find much info on route. Thank you

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    1. Have you had a look at this website www.caminodosfaros.com/en/ - lots of information there including information on hostals

      Best of luck

      John

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