- Today, Nava Castro, accompanied by the regional representative of the Xunta in Lugo, José Manuel Balseiro, presented this publication with practical information for pilgrims
- The brochure, published in seven languages, will also serve as promotional material for distribution at conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions in Spain and abroad
- The guide includes maps, stage profiles and distances, information about town councils on the route, their resources and services, and telephone numbers and websites of interest
- The initiative is in addition to signage enhancements, which will be completed in time for the upcoming Xacobeo (Holy Year) 2021, as part of the Way of St. James Master Plan
Monforte de Lemos (Lugo), 8 November 2017
The Winter Route now has a new information guide published by Turismo de Galicia. It was presented today in Monforte de Lemos by Turismo director Nava Castro, together with the regional representative of the Xunta in Lugo, José Manuel Balseiro. The publication, which contains practical information for pilgrims, is part of the Xunta de Galicia's commitment to this route, which obtained official recognition last year with the passing of the Cultural Heritage Act.
The new guide, published in six languages (Galician, Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian) follows the format of those published for the other pilgrimage routes. It includes content about the world of the pilgrimage to Santiago, its history, rituals and customs, allowing pilgrims to contextualize their experience. It also provides the practical information most often requested by pilgrims: maps, stage profiles and distances, stage details and basic information about the municipalities on the way, with resources and services, places to visit, hostels, information telephone numbers and websites, as well as travel tips. It can also be used as the credencial (pilgrim's passport) where pilgrims collect stamps in order to obtain the Compostela certifying that they have completed the pilgrimage.
'The Winter Route will become better and better known,' Nava Castro ventured during the presentation ceremony, which took place at the Ribeira Sacra Wine Centre, bringing together mayors, town councillors, representatives of Friends of the Way of St. James associations, business owners and local residents. The director of Turismo de Galicia encouraged them to work together to develop this route, the only one which runs through all four of the province's autonomous communities.
The four Galician provinces
Specifically, the Winter Route goes through Rubiá, Carballeda de Valdeorras, O Barco de Valdeorras, Vilamartín de Valdeorras and A Rúa in the province of Ourense; Quiroga, A Pobra de Brollón, Monforte de Lemos, Pantón, O Saviñao and Chantada in Lugo; Rodeiro, Lalín, Silleda and A Estrada in Pontevedra; and Vedra, Boqueixón and Santiago de Compostela in A Coruña**.
'This publication will also provide essential promotional material for all of them at trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences and congresses held in Galicia, the rest of Spain and abroad,' stated Nava Castro about this new and comprehensive material.
The guide joins the information already available on the Smart Camino project app and website, but Nava Castro urged those in attendance to keep sharing their knowledge with visitors 'as good hosts'. She also underscored that the Way of St. James, 'in addition to representing enormous cultural wealth, generates economic and social benefits, opens up new business opportunities and market niches, and stimulates and diversifies local economies, and in doing so, helps retain population in rural areas'.
Nava Castro noted that Turismo de Galicia has already been promoting improvement of provisional signage on the Winter Route to make it safer for pilgrims. On this subject, she remarked that under the Way of St. James Master Plan, work will be done on permanent signage in preparation for the upcoming Holy Year, Xacobeo 2021.
142% increase in pilgrims
She ended by mentioning the pilgrim numbers for the Winter Route are 'modest for now'. However, the route is already seeing the impact of its official recognition, with an 172% increase in the last year, from 272 to almost 500 pilgrims.