In 2015 I moved to Andalusia, this was an excellent oppertunity for me to explore a new part of the route to Santiago, something I had been wanting to do for a while! I chose the "Vía de la Plata" route, starting in Sevilla, and completed the stages until "Zafra" in early 2015:
Total Distance
Sevilla Guillena 22,7 31-01-2015 22,7
Guillena Castilblanco de los Arroyos 17,5 01-02-2015 40,2
Castilblanco de los Arroyos Almadén de la Plata 29,3 02-02-2015 69,5
Almadén de la Plata El Real de la Jara 14,7 03-02-2015 84,2
El Real de la Jara Monesterio 19,8 02-03-2015 104
Monesterio Calzadilla de los Barros 26,6 08-03-2015 130,6
Calzadilla de los Barros Zafra 18,6 09-03-2015 149,2

The Vía de la Plata connects the South of Spain to the North of the country. The route has a long history before pilgrims started using it. Early farmers used the route to transport their herds from the cooler North to the mild South at the change of seasons. Based on several archaeological findings, it is believed that the route was also used as a trade route by the Greeks. Later the Romans converted the route into one of their main Spanish causeways.

In the middle ages, this route formed the most important way to Santiago for Christians coming from Southern Spain and Northern Africa, which were under Muslim regiment. “Vía de la Plata” is often translated as “The Silver Route”, based on the modern Spanish word for silver; plata. However, the name actually comes from the Arabic word “al-balat”, which means cobbled paving. This described the road as engineered by the Romans.

The Vía de la Plata is increasing in popularity, yet is still quiet compared to the Camino Francés. This makes it an ideal route to witness a rural Spain still largely unchanged by modern times. The Vía de la Plata crosses a varied terrain with superb all round views of the Spanish countryside.