This route starts in Seville, runs for nearly 800km and joins up with the Camino Francés (French Way) in Astorga. It was a real political tool, facilitating the rapid movement of Roman legions, then later on, that of the invading Muslim-Arab armies, and eventually the recapture of Extremadura and Andalucia. It was also an important trade route along which goods were carried to the port of Gijón.
The origin of this itinerary's name lies not in the trade in precious metals (Plata = silver) between the mines of the North (mainly in Asturias and León), and the cities of the South such as Mérida and Seville, but derives from the Arabic word B’lata, which means "a paved way" and refers to the paved Roman road surface which still exists along this route. Thus this itinerary is steeped in traces of the Arab-Andalusian civilisation present in Spain for seven centuries and is also intimately linked to the history of the devotion to Saint James.
This itinerary has seen an increase in the number of users over the last few years. Wild in places, but also tarmac-surfaced in many places (which is ideal for cyclists), much effort has been made in respect of signposting (yellow arrows) and in creating a network of "albergues" (pilgrim hostels).