Finisterre on the Camino

Cape Finisterre is well-known as being one of the final destinations of the Camino de Santiago. In medieval times Europeans believed it was the westernmost point of land and therefore the end of the earth.

These days 190,000+ pilgrims arrive in Santiago every year, and about 5% of them walk on to Finisterre.

While Nate and I haven’t yet walked the Camino to Finisterre (but we’re pleased that a couple of our teammates have been able to), we’ve had the privilege of visiting it several times, both with pilgrims and with family. Today I wanted to share this beautiful little fishing village and cape with you.

The town itself sits along this harbor:

The town of Fisterra

In late June we took our friends Mark and Gayle, and their four pilgrim friends Miriam, Felisa, Alfonso, and Abel, to see Finisterre. It was a nice and sunny day:

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Nate and three of the kids sitting along the harbor:

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This is the Castillo de San Carlos (Castle of Saint Charles), built in the late 1700’s during the reign of Charles III of Spain:

Museo de la Pesca, Fisterra

Up and inside the castle grounds:

Museo de la Pesca, Finisterre

In recent years the castle was converted into a fishing museum. It’s a small space but exhibits take you through some of the tools, boats, and nets Gallegos have used for centuries to fish. Display cases within show miniature boats:

Museo de la Pesca, Fisterra

The view from the castle:

Playa en Finisterre

Usually, after we’ve explored the town and the harbor, we hike or drive along the main road to get to Cape Finisterre, the point that was considered the end of the world. On the way we pass this famous statue of a pilgrim:

Statue of the Pilgrim, Finisterre

Once at Cape Finisterre, the kids like to climb this rock and sit or stand at the foot of the cross:

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We first went to Finisterre with Nate’s parents a few years ago, and Dad Walter took this photo of our family. I can’t believe how little the kids look:

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Pilgrims Alfonso, Mark, and Abel at the stone Camino marker that displays “0.00 km.” In other words, they can’t walk any further west!

The 0 KM marker Finisterre

The Finisterre lighthouse:

Faro de Finisterre

Faro de Finisterre

Pilgrims sitting by the water at the end of their journey:

Peregrinos en Finisterre

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Beautiful views on the cape:

Cabo Finisterre

There’s always an outdoor art exhibit in front of the lighthouse. This summer these tiled sails are colorful and interesting to look at:

Art in Finisterre

Lastly, a parting look at Cape Finisterre as it sits quietly on the ocean, waiting for more pilgrims and visitors to arrive:

Cabo Finsiterre

May it one day welcome you as well! Buen Camino.

 

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