Since time immemorial, the port of A Coruña has been the maritime entrance for the faithful and pilgrims from northern Europe who wish to travel the world-famous Way of St. James—one of the most important pilgrimages in Europe that has a particular itinerary with an extensive route starting from the so-called Balcony of the Atlantic.
The origins of this pilgrimage go back to the beginning of the ninth century, when the tomb of St. James the Greater was discovered. Over time, the city of Santiago de Compostela was born and grew around it. A short time later, the significant transit of faithful from the interior of the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe would begin.
Many of these faithful arrived by sea. Thus, the port of A Coruña was established as one of the most important in Europe. However, the person who gave this route a real impact was the English pilgrim William Wey, founder of the famous Eton College in the city of Windsor.
William Wey disclosed the route in great detail in 1456 as a guide for the faithful from Wales, England, Ireland, France, Brittany, Normandy and the rest of Europe. Thus, the pilgrimage route was baptized as The English Way in his honour.
Over the centuries, The English Way has become an important tourist epicentre, not only for the hundreds of thousands of faithful who travel it every year but also for tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of Galicia as well as its exquisite gastronomy.
A pilgrimage full of beauty and heritage value
The pilgrimage along The English Way, starting from A Coruña, is usually done on foot or by bicycle. It starts at the imposing Church of St. James in the historic centre of the city.
Pilgrims arriving by boat can be guided by the Tower of Hercules lighthouse, which is the most visible point from the sea. Upon disembarking in the Parrote port, the faithful will find a spectacular trail of places and monuments of great tourist interest including Maria Pita Square.
This route, which crosses the entire isthmus and the city's Marina promenade, reaches Ourense Square and continues until it reaches Cuatro Caminos along an urban route. From there, the path begins to show the spectacular views offered by the A Coruña countryside.
This route, which runs through the entire municipality of A Coruña, ends at O Portazgo in Culleredo, over 6.8 kilometres. From there, another 68 kilometres remain to reach Santiago de Compostela.
From A Coruña to Bruma
The first stage of The English Way—a total route of 73.7 kilometres of moderate difficulty—runs along the O Burgo Promenade in Culleredo and continues through Alvedro, then ascends through the parish of Sigrás.
Little by little, the pilgrims enter the countryside on trails through spectacular medieval bridges and Romanesque churches.
This beautiful trail runs through Carral, Abegondo and Ordes until it reaches Bruma in the municipality of Mesía.
The first stage is a 32.4-kilometre journey in which pilgrims can stay in Sergude, a parish located in the municipality of Carral.
From Bruma to Siguero
The second stage starts from the chapel of Bruma, where the ruins of an old hospital for pilgrims are treasured, and enters Ordes through places full of paths and mills amid beautiful native trees until reaching Sigueiro along a 24.2-kilometre journey.
From Sigueiro to Santiago de Compostela
The last stretch, 16.1 kilometres, begins on the banks of the Tambre river (enormously popular thanks to its excellent gastronomy and great beauty) and enters the towns of Marantes and A Lameira. Leaving the countryside behind, it returns to the urban environment until arriving in Obradoiro Square, in front of the Cathedral of Santiago.