Greetings from sunny Spain. I am currently hanging out in Valencia and catching up with work. I am also planning my second Camino in between the dull work!
The Via de la Plata is also known as the Silver Way as it was originally a roman road that was used to transport silver. The main part of the Via de la Plata goes from Seville to Astorga. Astorga is actually on the Camino Frances and many will follow this route into Santiago.
However there is an option to join the Camino Sabres after Zamora and travel to Santiago avoiding the Camino Frances.
The VDLP has far less pilgrims compared to the Way of St James (Camino Frances). It should provide any interesting contrast to the very busy CF.
The route is a 1000km long and goes through famous cities such as Merida and Salamanca. I am expecting it to take me around 6 weeks but a lot will depend on how many zero (rest) days I take.