Day 31 Road Trip to Where Virgin Mary Rested at the End of Land, Fisterra–the Final Destination for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago

From the Virgin Mary’s stone boat in Murxia we drove a little over half an hour south to the “land’s end”–Fisterra (as the name means) where some pilgrims continue to walked from Santiago de Compostela to reach kilometer 0.000 on the Camino de Santiago. It’s also here where Mother Mary of Jesus supposedly had rested on a mountain top, on stones that seem to float when sitting on them (Piedras Santas), during her journey to see James. Here’s our visit to Fisterra in pictures.

A mountain path to the Holy Stones (Pedras Santas in Galician). “As Pedras Santas” are two big round quasi-stones that has some “gifts” attributed because, according to stories of old, it is said that the Virgin Mary Mother of Jesus rested on them.

It was an ambitious travel plan because we don’t usually visit 2 places in one day. But we had to do it and it was well worth it!

View from As Pedras Santas (Holy Stones) at the top of the rocky highland of Monte do Facho of Fisterra.

Fisterra was our original destination as the more known destination than Murxia. I simply wanted to see “the end of the then-known world”, let the boys swim on the Atlantic coast in one of the westernmost points of Spain, and see how we would survive the Galician winds on rugged shores.

“Look, Kuya! An island!” while spotting Vikings in the big blue Atlantic ocean.

But then I chanced upon an elusive piece of information about Mother Mary resting atop the mountain in Fisterra when she supposedly visited this part of the world to give a prep talk to James who was getting disheartened with his apostolic duties.

Resting for peace, inner peace that is, on As Pedras Santas. . . while the boys could not wait to get to that wild windswept beach in the distance.

That, I thought, would be interesting for me and quite important for my wife, and for the kids, a likely a difficult climb up the hill.

Even for the 360-degrees view of the mountains, the shores and the sea alone, it’s worth the visit.

Unfortunately, I could not find any more information about it. Instead, I chanced upon a BBC article that mentioned Murxia as the site where the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, allegedly arrived on a stone boat to encourage James (Santiago), the-apostle-now-Saint, to continue to spread the word of Jesus in this land of the Gauls and pagans.

“It’s moving!” Yes, the stones actually did move with a push of a finger. NO kidding! The boys felt like floating.

Apparently, some 40 years after the death of Jesus, James (now a Saint) moved to the northern Spain/Portugal to follow his his calling to Christianize this land populated by Gauls and pagans. He was feeling down, or so the story goes, by the difficulty of this task and that’s when Mother Mary came to him on a stone boat.

Quite a steep and careful climb to get to some kind of abandoned electric installation atop Monte Facho. Many other cars parked about 500 meters further down the mountain.

So, it looked like Mother Mary landed on the rocky and rugged coast of Murxia and later travelled to Fisterra and rested atop the mountain on big stones that move with the touch of a single finger.

Close to this part of the abandoned mountaintop facility is where you can find very limited (and possibly forbidden), cliff-side-without-guardrails kind of parking.

That would be an important destination for my wife who is a practicing Catholic. We could not pass up the opportunity to see the site of the stone boat at the Sanctuario de la Senora de la Barca (Sanctuary of the Lady of the Boat or Santuario da Virxe da Barca in Gallego). So we “double booked” to see Fisterra right after Murxia on the same day.

Look for the sign “Pedras Santas” and follow the dirt road about 500 meters north.

It was exhausting but we all had fun. The boys had beach time and it was quite something else to see the sun set on a wild beach on the Galician Costa da Morte (Coast of Death).

The single-lane, paved road to save you (with little kids) some time and a lot of energy climbing up the mountain to get you about 500 meters closer to the mountain top. You see that white in the distance structure on the right? That’s the lighthouse (Faro de Fisterra) about a 10-minute (1.6 km) drive from the parking at As Pedras.

Many pilgrims make it to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, but (apparently) only a few of those would keep on walking until they reach the “real” end (or beginning) of the road at two places: (1) here in Murxia and (2) in Fisterra. Whowouldvethunk?!?!?!

This is the safer and wider parking spot where many campers stay overnight (or at least looked like it). There’s also an additional parking area not shown here.
A monument to the pilgrims of Camino de Santiago seemms to encourage pilgrims on the last stretch of their walk to kilometer 0.00 located at the lighthouse/Faro de Fisterra. You will have to park somewhere else to see this up close (and not moving like us).
Kilometer 0.000! Yay, we made it!!! (at least to one of the two “kilometer 0,000” on the Camino the Santiago). Nope, this one was in Murxia. We could NOT make it to the one in Fisterra. The sign is the same.
We wanted to try out the traditional Galician dish of “Pulpo a la Gallega” but all the restaurants, tapas bars and pulperias had closed so we ended up with an improvised picnic at a quiet beach–Praia Da Ribeira.
Praia Mar de Fora on the Atlantic, just over the greenery in the middle and about a kilometer walk from the closest yet shady tight-side-street parking.
And they’re off to the beach–about a kilometer walk on semi-paved roads and boardwalk through the trees. . . You can almost see it! Coming BACK was the problem!

The wild and windswept beach of Praia Mar de Fora on the Atlantic ocean in Fisterra. . . por FIN!

After a kilometer walk from our position at the the beach at Praia Mar de Fora, we drove from Fisterra to Santiago de Compostela. Fisterra is about an 1.5 hours from our base campground in Santiago de Compostela .

Next stop: Onwards and southwards do Porto, Portugal.

The September water of the Atlantic ocean was cold and the waves were something else too. But it didn’t stop the boys from swimming. . . that means Tata and Mama too!
Thinking of swimming home. . . to America!
The sun set on us on Praia Mar de Fora on the Atlantic ocean in Fisterra, Galicia. If only we could camp on this beach

Where to stay in santiago de Compostela? save money. go Camping As Cancelas

NOTE: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we have not received any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this camping site or any others on our blog.  We just do it for the fun of it.

If you are heading to Santiago de Compostela or making it your homebase on the road, check out Camping As Cancelas. It is the only campsite in Santiago de Compostela and a little less than a 3-kilometer walk to the Cathedral (or a 15-minute bus ride). This campground is kid-approved and family-friendly for its play areas, swimming pool and proximity to the city center. CHECK OUT OUR QUICK REVIEW of Camping As Cancelas and what to see in Santiago de Compostela in pictures through this link.

Praia Da Ribeira with Castelo de San Carlos on the right with its well-preserved 18th century defensive fortification.
A playground with an awesome view and a place to play football, located right across the Igrexa de Santa María das Areas. It is not marked on Google maps.
Family picnic at Praia Da Ribeira, Fisterra, Galicia, Spain.

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