Stage 1. Tui-O Porriño
The route begins on the international bridge in Tui, a town rich in history and with an impressive historic centre. This town was once one of the seven capitals of the old Kingdom of Galicia and during the Medieval Ages and the Modern Era it was the religious, administrative, military and commercial centre of the south of the region.
A walk around its historic centre is a must, especially Santa María Cathedral, built in the 12th century with a Romanesque building and a Gothic façade, next to a pilgrims' hostel. Other important religious monuments are the chapels of San Telmo and the Misericordia, the churches of San Francisco and San Bartolomé and the convents of Clarisas and Santo Domingo.
The town preserves the remains of two of its city walls: one dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, with its gate Porta da Pía, several posterns, the base of the tower and some sections of the wall; the other was built during the 17th and 18th centuries to protect the area during the wars against Portugal.
Part of the history of Tui has been linked to the Way of Saint James. In fact, there was a pilgrims' hospital (now a Diocesan museum with wonderful religious and archaeological collections), and there, you can find the Virxe do Camiño Chapel and As Febres Bridge.
The international bridge over the Miño River, influenced by Gustave Eiffel, was built in 1886. The river, the natural border between Galicia and Portugal, is a natural space of incalculable value.
In Tui, if you have enough time, you should visit the Aloia Hill, the first one in Galicia to be declared Natural Park, in 1978. It is 700 metres high and has a great variety of plant species, among which the native forests and exotic centennial trees stand out. There are five viewpoints with amazing panoramic views over the Miño River. These points and some recreational areas and seven watermills are linked by six routes. The most visited place is the San Xián Hill Chapel.
The Way crosses the medieval bridge A Veiga, over the Louro River. The Virxe do Camiño Chapel is a little farther on the route. After passing by two highways on this section of the route, AP-9 and A-55, you arrive at the As Febres Bridge, where Saint Elmo, patron of the fishermen and of the town of Tui, got seriously ill and died in 1251.
You enter the parish of Santa Comba de Ribadelouro and you find a calvary with five cruceiros (stone crosses). Then, you walk through the town of O Porriño. The Way passes next to the industrial state of As Gándaras, but you can take an alternative route which crosses the parish of San Xurxo de Mosende. On the old Royal Road to Vigo there is another magnificent cruceiro. The route passes by the San Carpio Chapel and the manor house Quinta do Adro.
In O Porriño you can visit the chapels of San Sebastián or San Benito, the Santa María Church or the town hall, designed by the architect Antonio Palacios. Finally, you arrive to the pilgrim's hostel, by the Louro River.