The Saint James Way is famous worldwide for the thousands of pilgrims who venture to complete it every year. But...where does the Way begin? In the north of Catalonia. We can identify two starts: from la Jonquera or el Port de la Selva and consequently from Sant Pere de Rodes. Sant Pere de Rodes became, after Santiago de Compostela, the second place of pilgrimage in the Iberian Peninsula. Today the route from the Port de la Selva provides a starting point next to the Mediterranean that allows the walker cross the whole Peninsula from Cap de Creus to Finisterre.
Port de la Selva-Sant Pere de Rodes-Vilabertran section
From Port de la Selva take the coastal path towards Llançà, go up towards the Vall de Santa Creu and then towards Sant Pere de Rodes, we leave Sant Pere de Rodes along the paved road that leads to Santa Helena. We take the path in a westerly direction towards Mas Ventós, we take the road and follow it downhill for just under 500 m.
After a bend to the right, we take the path that goes down to Pau, from this point to Pedret the whole route also coincides with the network of Itinerànnia trails. We enter the area through the forest of la Margalla and pass close to la Creu Blanca. Following the old road from Pau to Sant Pere de Rodes, we will pass through Els Caus d’en Felis and Els Pins d’en Norat. We will find the first houses and turn left onto Carrer del Puig Castellar, continue along Carrer de Sant Pere de Rodes and Carrer del Progrés to Plaça Major. We will go along Carrer del Llop and Carrer dels Baladres, to Carrer de Vilajuïga, and we will leave the town center, the street becomes an unpaved road, it is the old road between Pau and Vilajuïga. Enters at Vilajuïga along Passeig de Pau. Head towards Carrer del Sol and, at Plaça de la Margineda, turn left onto Carrer Figueres and walk to the roundabout.
Take the Vilajuïga to Marzà road. Leave the road after the cemetery and head straight on the Camí of Pedret, parallel to the Rec d’en Coll irrigation canal. The Cami de Sant Jaume continues towards Pedret, along the Camí de Pedret. At the village, turn right onto the Castelló d'Empúries to Pedret i Marzà road. Take a path on the right at the top of the Pont de Pedret, we will only follow the arrows of the Camino de Santiago, and continue alongside the Pedret creek bed towards Marzà. Take a left on the road from Vilajuïga to Marzà. Enter the town of Marzà along Carrer de la Tramuntana, now the route coincides with the Itinerànnia trail network until arriving at the Peralada Castle, continue along Carrer del Mar, and then take a street on the left before reaching the main road. Cross the road and the national motorway and turn left to walk between fields. The road now leaves the municipality of Pedret and continues in the direction of Peralada.
The town is entered through the neighbourhood of Vallgornera, a castle documented since 1123. You come to a population centre in mediaeval times, essential for this pilgrims’ route.
The road goes through places surrounded by fields and watered by channels on the left bank of the Muga. You can take in the marvellous views on all four sides which take you through the old streets and squares of the town. You can visit the Romanesque cloister of Sant Domènec and go through its gate, documented form the 10th-11th centuries.
When you leave in the direction of Vilabertran, we only follow the yellow arrows, you’ll see the chapel of Sant Sebastià, considered the protector against epidemics
The road that leaves Peralada stands out for the irrigations and black poplars bushes dotted with paths that cross it, connected with the towns of Cabanes, Vilanova de la Muga and the many farmhouses that dominate the surroundings.
To go to Vilabertran follows the C-252 and enters the municipality along the Camí de la Tribana. The route leads to the right along the Camí de la Gorga, enters the village and continues along Carrer Peralada, Carrer Pep Ventura, Plaça Major, Carrer Príncep de Vergara and Plaça dels Hortolans to the House of Canons of Santa Maria de Vilabertran.