Rounding a green valley bend in this remote stretch of rural Galicia that plays hide and seek with settlements, it is hard not to be astounded by the appearance of a large Benedictine monastery surrounded by green forest and a substantial cornfield.
Samos is fascinating for the fact that this monastery was founded in the 6th century during Visigothic rule and is still here and active. It has resident monks to this day, numbering at around seventeen men of all ages.
But neither the Visigothic nor the later Romanesque structures from the Middle Ages survive. The bulk of the monastery was rebuilt from the 16th-18th centuries and of local Galician granite, as with the earlier foundations, giving it its ancient and rooted feel.
A cheerful monk will greet you at the entrance at designated times (these should be posted on the door) and there are daily guided tours of the monastery interior.
The small nearby village of Samos also has some amenities and is a nice place to catch your breath as you prepare to continue on to the delightful pilgrim town of Sarria.
And catch your breath in Samos you may want to do for Sarria is the most common starting point for those pilgrims desiring the certificate of pilgrimage, the Compostela, which can be achieved with a minimum of walking 100 kilometers.
Because Sarria marks the starting point for that last 100 km, it may feel a bit shocking to arrive there to the sudden swell and bustle of many more pilgrims than you encountered up until now.