Monte de Gozo was the place of the last rite of passage for pilgrims before arriving in Santiago. Pope John Paul II visited this location in August 1989 to celebrate mass on World Youth Day. The monument was erected later, in 1992 as part of a building complex for pilgrims.
Originally a benedictine monastery built in the late 16th century, it is the second largest in Spain. Impressive in size and style, the original structure has been reformed over the years. Nowadays it houses seminarians.
- 12.5 miles (20 km)
- 4-5 hours
It is an easy trail to negotiate with moderate slopes except in one or two places. You will first see the Cathedral's spires from Monte de Gozo, signaling your imminent arrival.
Description of the stage
Ready with anticipation as this is the final stage of the journey on the Camino, pilgrims eager to reach their final goal in Santiago usually make it through this stage pretty fast. Other pilgrims, sad to see their wonderful time on the Camino coming to an end, choose to take it easy through the leaf covered paths.
Monte de Gozo (Hill of Joy) is the first place from where you can see the spires in Santiago's Cathedral. Tradition has it that the first pilgrim in your group to get up the hill be crowned the "pilgrimage king" and recognized as such. After Monte de Gozo, the stage is not a particularly scenic towards the end, as the rural scenery starts giving way to urban landscape once you get close to Santiago.
If you leave early in the morning, you will arrive at Santiago's Cathedral in time to attend the pilgrim mass at noon. You can also follow in the rest of the pilgrim's tradition that includes visiting the crypt, the Apostle's relics, climbing the Camarin and hugging the Apostle. A suitable celebration to the end of your pilgrimage.