Spain
Fisterra

Here you’ll find travel reports about Fisterra. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

56 travelers at this place:

  • Day660

    It seems both of us may have a bug which is leaving us feeling drained after the slightest exertion. It was a struggle doing the hand washing, using the van services and driving on to our next stopover, but oh boy was the drive worth it!

    On the Northwest tip of Spain, Rostro Beach is an incredible place. We stayed in a small circular gravel car park that formed the end of a sloping, single track lane. Red, black and white signs warned us of the 'Praia Perigosa' (dangerous beach) but there were also information boards with photographs of rare plant species growing in the dunes. From the top of the lane we'd seen the incredible Atlantic waves crashing into a white froth of wild surf and even before we opened the door we could hear their roar. Wooden posts connected by weathered, off-white rope, ran alongside a freshwater stream that flowed behind the dunes and beside the base of a gorse covered cliff, to reach the ocean. Taking Poppy with us and crossing a makeshift wooden bridge, we stepped carefully amongst the red tinged sedum and sea holly, to climb the virgin sand dune, its surface windswept and smooth. Poppy was in her element and after paddling and slurping up stream water, she ran with labouring breaths up the mound, only to stumble and nose dive into the soft sand! She does sometimes forget that she has in excess of 100 doggy years on the clock!

    Bridging the crest a wild scene was layed out before us. A narrow band of pristine beach divided us from a frothing storm of an ocean. Situated on one of the most westerly points on the Iberian peninsula, this beach bore the full brunt of waves whose fetch ran all the way from America. The offshore wind blew the Atlantic rollers backwards, but only succeeded in skimming spray off their peaks. Towering above us, the roar they made when they folded was immense and they rushed up towards us, covering metres in seconds. Observing all this we felt awestruck by the power of nature.

    Back in the van, we watched as the tide rose and waves were funeled up the stream in a surge that made us consider moving further up the hill. The strength of the surge uprooted several of the wooden posts that cordoned off the waterway and at one point we saw the makeshift bridge being sucked out to sea!

    Morning came with a chorus of birdsong and a mist that crept down the hillside and shrouded the shore. It didn't last for long, as the intense rays of sunshine soon burned it off. Although there were some exciting looking clifftop walks nearby, we spent most of the day in the van, trying to regain our energy. We did however take little wanders up the lane, noticing the field of yellow flag iris and the occasional flying cicada, its wings clacking together noisily with each beat. Down on the beach, the waves, while still powerful, had calmed from yesterday's wild rampage. Butterflies flitted around the car park verges and just in front of the van, a group of Common Waxbills picked at seeds in the grass, the bright red beaks and eye stripes, striking features on this otherwise mousy brown little bird. They are natives of Africa but small colonies are becoming increasingly frequent in Spain and Portugal.

    Praia do Rostro was a wonderful place to spend a couple of days and it was with some reluctance that we moved on.
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  • Day18

    To the End of the Earth

    October 5 in Spain

    One quite amazing feature of our hotel in Santiago is that it features a “24 hour breakfast buffet”. I had never previously heard of this innovative idea, however it is actually quite simple. Instead of breakfast only being available between certain hours (eg 7.30 to 10.00 am), the buffet is available at any time of the day or night. This would even make it possible to save valuable time each morning, by having your breakfast before going to bed.

    After completing our walk to Santiago yesterday, it was a huge relief not to have to don my serious walking shoes and backpack once more. I was even able to leave my walking pole in my room. With sandals on my feet and nothing on my back it almost felt like flying.

    Our day began with a guided tour of the old city precinct with a local expert guide who introduced herself as Maria. She certainly was a huge reservoir of information and proceeded to teach us about the place at every opportunity. When she explained that confessions would be heard that morning in the cathedral “in seven languages”, I couldn’t help but wonder how people got on who were not able to speak seven languages. (Sometimes my mind just works that way).

    She also explained that the cathedral is being seriously damaged because, some years ago, much of the roof area was covered with concrete. Although this might have seemed like a bright idea at the time, it actually caused damage because the building was no longer able to breathe. Expensive restoration works are now underway to remove the concrete layer and replace it with something more akin to what was originally installed about 900 years earlier. Another example where the original builders really knew what they were doing after all.

    After a couple of hours of this serious touring, my brain reached memory overload and I was really glad that I could finally wander off by myself for a little respite. There were a couple of small matters that I wanted to attend to. The first of these was to receive my final stamp in my pilgrim passport. Douglas pointed me in the direction of the pilgrim office , so I went in the door with my passport in hand. The only trouble was that about 400 others had arrived before me and had formed a huge queue snaking throughout the building. It looked like a line of football supporters waiting for finals tickets.

    Since I did not want to spend all day waiting in a line, and since I was not interested in getting a piece of parchment paper, I invoked the well known “Plan B”. In another room there was a much shorter line to a man sitting at a cash register. In a very short time I reached the front and explained that all I wanted was a little stamp. He understood perfectly and dutifully proceeded to stamp front and back of my black book. It was all over.

    The other task I wanted to do was to spend more time inside the cathedral. We had spent so much time walking to the resting place of St James, that I thought I had better at least pay him my respects. At the entrance door I had to get past, not one, but two gypsy “beggars” who had almost succeeded in making entrance impossible without paying their own form of admission price. It really seemed a shame that this behaviour was allowed.

    Once inside I spent some time gazing at the ceiling and all the other adornments inside. I had to agree that the place really is huge. I could have spent a lot of time looking at all the minor chapels, statues and images, but I was looking for St James. When I saw a big queue I assumed that I must be on the right track. I joined the rear and slowly shuffled forward every few minutes. It was only when I got closer that I could see that the queue was not actually to see the crypt of St James, it was to hug the statue upstairs. Since I was not much interested in embracing a statue, I ducked out of the line of huggers and went downstairs to see St James instead.

    Once through the narrow doorway and down a few steps, I came to a grated opening where the silver casket of St James was situated maybe 4 metres away. On the floor there were numerous pieces of paper where pilgrims had left prayer requests or messages for the saint. I looked at the casket and wondered what (or who ) was really inside. The lid was firmly closed so the mystery will have to remain unanswered.

    With my two tasks thus completed, I felt that my mission here was finally over. There was, however, one other unfinished piece of business that I wanted to do on my final full day in Spain. I had not yet had a seafood paella. I found a nearby café that was willing to satisfy my curiosity and my hunger at the same time and I have to admit that it was fine eating.

    Although the prime objective for the Camino is to reach the Cathedral of Santiago, for many pilgrims there is a secondary objective as well. That is to continue walking until you can walk no more. That happens when you reach the Atlantic Coast at Finisterre. In Roman times this was regarded as the westernmost point of Europe and the name Finisterre literally means “End of the Earth”. That was where the maps finished and where the unknown began. It was Christopher Columbus who famously sailed into this unknown to discover the new worlds beyond.

    For a pilgrim to walk from Santiago to Finisterre it usually takes an additional 5 days of walking. For us it took a leisurely 90 minutes by bus. The rolling green hills along the way were liberally covered with eucalypts and pines and it made me feel like we could have been driving through parts of Victoria.

    Cape Finisterre is a beautiful spot, surrounded by steep cliffs dropping down to the ocean over 100 metres below. The late afternoon was warm, the sky cloudless and the air still. I sat on a rocky point and gazed out at the endless ocean and imagined how the ancients could really feel that this was the end of the world. I also took the time to think back over some of the events of the past three weeks. We had shared so much together in that time. Much of our walking time had been spent talking to fellow pilgrims and, for a brief time in our lives, everything was so simple – just keep walking westwards. And now we were here. This marked the end of chapter one of our adventure. Tomorrow morning most will be travelling to Portugal and the two Christines will be leaving to continue their own adventure.

    There was a tradition among pilgrims to burn all their old clothes when they reached the ocean. Presumably they would then start afresh and the rest of their lives would begin. Although the authorities are trying to stop this tradition (this is a high fire danger area after all), we noticed that pilgrims had left a number of items behind – boots, socks, walking poles, etc. Some of these had been tucked into the rocks.

    Then it was finally time to return to the bus for the very last time with Raoul. We were headed back to Santiago for our final night in Spain.

    After dinner some of us went for a walk back to the Cathedral. There were still hundreds of people there and we were attracted by the sounds of some nearby music. It turned out to be a group of colourfully dressed musicians who were playing a wide variety of stringed instruments and singing well known Spanish songs. Throngs of happy students were singing and clapping to the music. You would have had to have a stony heart not to feel touched.
    Somehow it felt like the perfect way to finish an amazing trip.

    Buen Camino indeed.
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  • Day39

    Finisterre 34 km

    October 8, 2017 in Spain

    Der Weg ist hier und jetzt zu ende. Mit vielen Gefühlen die es erst einzuordnen gilt, ist es Zeit mich vom Camino zu verabschieden. Sehr viele Hochs und nur wenig Tiefs durfte ich durchleben. Sehr viele Caminofreunde aus der ganzen Welt habe ich kennengelernt. Auf dem Weg gibt es nicht du oder ich, es gibt nur die Caminofamilie. Wer diesen Weg geht, der sagt dass eigentlich Leid und Krieg gar nicht möglich ist. Viel durfte ich erfahren, lernen, durchhalten, kennenlernen, abschied nehmen, die Natur spüren, ankommen, weitergehen, etc.....Nun kommt die Zeit der Ruhe und zurückzugehen zu meiner Familie, die mir die Kraft gab den Weg so gehen zu dürfen. Danke , Danke, Danke.
    Vorallem meiner lieben Frau Bea und meinen erwachsenen Kindern Patrick, Silvan und Claudio.
    Tschau Camino du hast mich stark Berührt.
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  • Day61

    Another wonderful day, and we have finally TRULY finished the pilgrimage. We walked the final 3.5 kms to the lighthouse at the “end of the earth” and reached the signpost 0.000. The path went alongside the road and so was easy walking...we just had normal shoes, no sticks, and I had no hat which I use as a hair controller as well as sun shield, so got very wind blown. And again we had perfect weather! Spectacular views all the way along as we walked high on the cliff top till we reached the lighthouse. Standing on the rocks there you truly feel you have reached the end of the earth - Finisterre. Quite a few people there, photographing the views, marvelling at the scene, posing like us at the 0.000 milestone. There was a man there, about to start busking playing the didgeridoo - he turned out to be from Kazakhstan originally, then lived in Germany, came to Spain and met his girlfriend and has been living here for several years!! Not sure where the didgeridoo fitted in!!!

    We walked up with the Canadian couple, Arlene and Lambert, that we have met a lot during this Finisterre section, and who are staying at the same hotel. They walked back another route and we returned the way we came and had an amazing lunch of more fresh seafood...chiperones, pulpo, prawns...SO good. The fish is so fresh. Last night we had merluza (hake), which had been caught that day. The fish come straight from the boats to the restaurants round the port. Now digesting and relaxing.

    The wifi here is very hit and miss...won’t even try for photos till back in Santiago...at the moment I will feel lucky to upload this!
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  • Day65

    Jakobsweg

    October 10 in Spain

    So Stellplatz bezogen und alles aktiviert.
    Hier in Fisterra endet der Jakobsweg, an der Spitze dieser Halbinsel steht der 0 km Stein und ein symbolischer Schuh... (Fotos morgen)
    Die heutige Reise war 250km lang und ging durch eine keinesfalls arme Gegend Spaniens.

  • Day60

    Well we have finally finished our walking!! Today we walked the last 13 kms into Finisterre - and according to Amr’s Apple Watch we have walked 840 kms! So now we are recovering, mentally, and having to transfer to a more normal life. Physically we are pretty good - no blisters, no aching muscles or bones, but it is a good feeling to know we have completed it all, and we feel proud of ourselves. Our bags magically were delivered to our hotel for the last time - from now on we will be responsible for them! But it’s fairly amazing that they came to 42 hotels without any hiccups...and we have had a re-pack, all the walking stuff (sticks, shirts...)have gone to the bottom of the bag.

    So this morning’s walk was again lovely. We just had to get round a few more headlands to get to Finisterre, and over one of them, but it was a pretty and easy walk, with water glimpses and views a lot of the time. Our hotel is lovely - we are here for 2 nights - but it is quite a high climb up the hill from the water. The whole town is on the side of the hill. Our room wasn’t ready when we first arrived, so we left the backpacks and sticks and went down to the town for some lunch...this is a fishing town, so seafood here is amazing. Then, on walking back, we decided we’d stay put now and shower and sort our stuff...we had had thoughts of walking to the lighthouse this afternoon (a 7 km round trip) but have voted against that! Maybe tomorrow....it is a historic place to go...it is again great weather today which is why we theoretically thought it would be a good lighthouse day, but tomorrow may be ok too...weather is no longer vital to us...we have been SO lucky.

    So tomorrow we veg here - wander around, eat fish, relax - and on Tuesday we will take a bus back to Santiago for one night at same hotel as before. Finisterre (or Fisterra) is like Cee, a busy and prosperous town...many hotels and hostels as many pilgrims end up here, but full of normal people too and today being Sunday many people were out and about, having lunch, walking the dog, riding bikes etc. I think we will enjoy our day of relaxation tomorrow!

    I don’t think the wifi is good, but so often it surprises me and does upload photos...but if none appear, they will eventually back in Santiago.
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  • Day107

    Sunset at the"end of the World"

    July 23, 2015 in Spain

    The Camino tradition is to finish in Santiago and then go to Finisterre, either by bus or walking, to watch the sun set into the most western spot in Spain. We really enjoyed this last part of our hike because it was true to the Camino spirit which we encountered throughout the journey. The Camino is way more than a long hike. It is a journey that is really about people. It's an amazing journey filled with incredible people, incredible stories, and incredible acts of kindness, love, and sharing.
    Last night we enjoyed this beautiful sunset with other pilgrims spread silently throughout the beach. It's just one of those moments in life.
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  • Day9

    End of the world

    May 5 in Spain

    On the drive to Finisterre we zoomed along a highway and then climbed some considerable heights on twisty secondary roads, where huge windmills stood in a line along the ridges. Then we began to see Camino signage again and people walking with backpacks. I felt both guilty and relieved to be sitting in a car. Apparently many pilgrims choose to see the ocean at the traditional end of the known world, and they will walk on for 4 days from Santiago.
    In the town, we felt a close similarity to our old stomping ground of Gloucester MA, where many Portuguese fishermen emigrated. After a really good dinner of very fresh fish, and watching the sunset at the lighthouse, we headed beck to the airport hotel, ready to depart in the morning.
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  • Day44

    Finisterre, Spain.

    October 3 in Spain

    I’ve had just a wonderful day here in Finisterre. I just can’t believe how beautiful it is. The town, harbor, lighthouse and ocean are all so stunning. I’m a bit sad, my Camino is over. But I really do need the rest. I noticed today that my legs are slowing down.
    Finisterre was named by the Romans. It means “finis terrae” or the end of the earth. Most people now say the end of the world. In Roman timed it was the end of the world. You could go no further, until Columbus proved that the world was round.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Fisterra, فيستيرا, Finisterre, فیسترا, フィステーラ, Фистера, Finisterra, Финистерре, Фістерра, FNE, 菲尼斯特雷

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