Day 2: Portomarin – Palas de Rei

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The 8th Stage:         Day 1           Day 2           Day 3          Day 4           Day 5

French way – Stage 8, Day 2: Portomarin – Palas de Rei:

Distance: 25 Km
Difficulty: medium
Time: 6 hours

This part of the way crosses the Ligonde Mountain range that separates the Miño and Ulla rivers. It has a nice start ascending Mt. San Antonio and walking through pine trees and meadows. After that, most of this way runs along paved roads. Along the way, we will find interesting churches to visit and also, we will have the opportunity to deviate to Vilar de Donas, where we can visit the Church of San Salvador, some pilgrim Hospitals and the Crucero of Lameiros.

Points of interest along this way (PORTOMARIN – PALAS DE REI):

– Santa Maria church (Gonzar Km8.)
– Castromaior: Named for the Castro (Celtic fort). People have probably lived until the Romanesque period in the Celtic Fort. Castromaior also has a Romanesque church from the XVI Century.
– Ventas de Naron:  Is the last village of the area of Portomarin. It is a medieval Village where in 820 A.D. there was a fierce battle between Christians and Moors. In this hamlet you can find the Madalena Chapel, an ancient Pilgrim Hospital. Its curious wooden door has a carved scallop (vieira) symbol of the pilgrimage to Compostela.
– Pazo and Capilla of San Marcos (Os Lameiros Km15,3);
– Crucero de Lameiros (Os Lameiros Km16): From 1670. The cross represents the maternity and life through images of Jesus Crist and the Virgin de los Dolores. The base represents  the death and suffering of Jesus Crist, (A pair of tongs, a crown of thorns and a skull can be seen)
– The church of Santiago (Lestedo Km17.4);
– O Rosario (Km 23,4): Is a place where pilgrims used to pray a Rosary overlooking Monte Sacro. Also, a place where the Apostle Santiago’s Disciples have trained the bowls that later carried the Saint’s body.
– Vilar de Donas church: (Detour (2.5km each way) before Palas de Rei) It is a good example of the Galician Romanesque churches. Around it, some of the knights of the Orden of Santiago were buried.
– Castillo de Pambre (Palas de Rei): Is the most complete Medieval Fort in Galicia, dating from the XIV C.
Pazo de Ulloa (Palas de Rei): This pazo was the home of one of the most important families during the Medieval Period.

Gastronomy in  Palas de Rei:

Cheese of Arzúa – Ulloa: Together with Arzúa, Palas de Rei is famous for its delicious cheese. “Denominacion de Origen” since 1995, (meaning that it has gone throughout strict quality controls and is created with milk of the area). This is a very softcheese, and has a smooth and waxy rind. There are two types of Arzua-Ulloa cheese, the main difference is due to the maturation period (from 6 days to 4 months).

The cream cheeses are more for winter time, while for the summer it is better dry, with a slightly acid taste. This type of cheese is highly appreciated because of its smoothness. It is used in many Galician receipes and accompanies the flavors without actually hiding them.

Where to eat:

Along the way you will find Bars in the following places:
– Gonzar: “Bar descanso del peregrino”,
 Castromaior: “Mesón El labrador” offers a Pilgrim’s menu /”Una Casa Particular” offers drinks and sandwiches,
– Ventas de Narón: “Bar restaurante Casa Molar”,
– Ligonde: “Bar Ugendo” offers Sandwiches and drinks
– Airexe: “Mesón Conde de Valdemar”
– Lestedo: “Mesón Casa A Calzada”.
Generally Bars, offer not only drinks but also sandwiches and Snacks and some places such as the Mesones serve Tapas, Raciones and main meals.
Palas de Rei:
* Bar Hospedaje Guntina (Avda. del Peregrino, 4 )
* Bar O`Portón (Travesía da Feira, 2)
* Hostal Restaurante Vilariño (Avda. de Compostela, 16)
* Hostal Restaurante Ponterroxan (Roxán, 109)
* Mesón Casa Curro (c/ Cruceiro y Avda. de Ourense, 15)


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