Once you arrive in Madrid, you will be picked up by a private car at the airport and transported to your magnificent hotel. You have lunch on your own, and after a siesta, we will take a guided afternoon walking tour of Old Madrid.
We will visit some of the most interesting sites like the Plaza Mayor and the Mercado de San Miguel, where you can taste wonderful tapas and pinchos. We will then have dinner at one of Madrid’s most exquisite restaurants.
Morning arrivals will join the rest of the group at the hotel and we will have breakfast. We will travel by private bus from Madrid to our hotel in León. After settling in, everyone will meet and we will embark on a guided afternoon tour of the beautiful city of León.
We will see, among other things, the Bayonnat Gothic Cathedral, with its unique stained glass windows. We will visit the Basilica of San Isidoro, with its tombs of the Kings of León and fine Romanesque paintings. Last but not least, we will see the Casa de Botines, a neogothic styled building designed by Gaudi (one of the three Gaudí buildings outside Catalonia). You will have a chance to view the city walls, built in the 1st century BC and enlarged in the 3rd-4th centuries AD.
We will then return to the hotel for welcome cocktails and a delicious dinner with samplings of Léon’s classic cuisine.
16.4 kms / 10.2 miles
16.4 kms / 10.2 miles walking and approximately 20 miles by private bus.
We will leave Léon in the morning and travel by private bus to Hospital de Órbigo to begin the first day of our walk (Hospital is part of the town’s name, as many towns and places along the path were originally hospitals for pilgrims hundreds of years ago.) We will begin walking in Hospital de Órbigo after having a chance to view the Puente de Orbigo, a magnificent Roman bridge.
From here, we will walk to the hotel in Astorga. In the afternoon, you are free to explore the historic city or rest. Astorga is home to the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria de Astorga and the 19th-century Episcopal Palace, designed by Gaudi. There are also Roman archaeological remains, including sewers, two baths (late 1st and 3rd century AD), remains of the forum and several mosaics, as well as remains of the ancient city walls.
We will then have a scrumptious dinner to refuel for the next day’s walk.
16.4 kms / 10.2 miles
16.4 kms / 10.2 miles walking and approximately 32 miles by private bus.
On day three, we will take our bus to the Cruz de Ferro (the Iron Cross), one of the most famous and meaningful places on the Camino. It is traditional for a pilgrim to carry a stone, representing a burden one has been carrying, and leave it at the base of the cross in order to lay down one’s burden and move on.
Our walk will begin at the Iron Cross, and we will walk through beautiful countryside and descend to El Acebo, the beginning of one of Spain’s most charming regions, El Bierzo. After El Acebo, we will walk through a truly enchanted forest and wind our way down to Molinaseca for lunch. Here, you can sit by the beautiful river and watch the storks in their nests before lunch at one of our most favorite restaurants. After lunch, the bus will take us to our beautiful hotel in a nearby town.
15.9 kms / 9.9 miles
Molinaseca–Villafranca del Bierzo
15.9 kms / 9.9 miles walking and approximately 13 miles by private bus.
In the morning, we will tour the gorgeous city of Ponferrada, the Capital of the Bierzo region, by bus. We will continue by bus to Camponaraya, where we begin our walk to Villafranca del Bierzo. After our well-deserved lunch, we will head back to our hotel for the evening. Here, we will have a tour of the winery, along with an optional wine tasting, before a delicious dinner at the hotel.
11.4 kms / 7.1 miles
Villafranca del Bierzo–Triacastela
11.4 kms / 7.1 miles walking and approximately 26 miles by private bus.
We begin our day by taking the bus to O’Cebreiro, where the Camino enters the region of Galicia. There, we will visit Las Pallozas, historic stone houses of Celtic origin and the incredible pre-Romanesque church, the oldest such church on the Camino that remains fully intact and which was the site of a documented miracle. We will continue in our bus climbing a little past the Alto de Pollo, the highest point of the Camino.
We will then start the day’s walk, descending through the beautiful wild flowers and scenery to the village of Triacastela. From there we will enjoy lunch and then go to our new beautiful country house for the night.
12.4 kms / 7.7 miles
12.4 kms / 7.7 miles walking and approximately 6 miles by private bus.
Today is one of our more relaxing days. In the morning, we will leave the hotel and return to Triacastela to start our walk to the Monastery of Samos for about 6 miles. Once there, we will have a guided tour of this 6th century monastery, which still operates as a monastery today.
After our visit, we will have lunch in one of the finest restaurants in Samos and travel by our private bus back to our hotel in Sarria, passing through several charming towns, villages, and forested paths en route to our hotel.
13.7 kms / 8.5 miles
13.7 kms / 8.5 miles walking and approximately 5 miles by private bus.
Only 100 kilometers to Santiago!
During our bus trip from Sarria, we will stop at the Romanesque church of Santiago in Barbadelo founded around 1009. We begin our walk in Peruscallo, and will continue from there to Portomarin, which sits on a reservoir created by damming the Mino River, which is one of the largest rivers in Spain. When the reservoir is low, you can see the ruins of the ancient town of Portomarin, which was submerged in water when the river was dammed.
From Portomarin, we will take the bus to our hotel outside the town and enjoy a great dinner together.
13.5 kms / 8.4 miles
Portomarin–Palas de Rei
13.5 kms / 8.4 miles walking and approximately 4 miles by private bus.
Today’s route takes us through through typical Galician villages, decorated with their raised corncribs and the occasional carved granite cross that marks the way to Santiago. We begin our walk in the town of Hospital de Cruz. Continuing west, we walk through the first of many eucalyptus forests along the Camino and work our way to Palas de Rei. When we arrive, the best way to reward ourselves will be with a glass of Albariño white wine, the most famous white wine from the region of Galicia.
12.6 kms / 7.8 miles
Palas de Rei–Arzúa
12.6 kms / 7.8 miles walking and approximately 12 miles by private bus.
We start the morning walking through beautiful countryside until we arrive in Melide. For those who like octopus, this will be the best chance to taste the incredibly tender octopus which is boiled in large copper kettles on the street.
You will likely pass many cows along the way, as Arzua has one of the highest numbers of cows per capita in Galicia.
10.6 kms / 6.6 miles
10.6 kms / 6.6 miles walking and approximately 14 miles by private bus.
On our second to last day, we will continue by bus to the town of Ras to begin our walk to Santiago. Here you will walk through beautiful pine and eucalyptus forests and feel the excitement among all the pilgrims as you near Santiago. We will arrive in Santiago in time for the noon Pilgrim’s Mass and you will then be free to explore the city and get your Compostelana Certificate if you like.
After a rest, we will walk to our farewell dinner at a very fine restaurant in Santiago, where locals enjoy the traditional dishes of Galicia’s regional cuisine.
After breakfast at the hotel, you are free to explore the city or catch your plane home. We say goodbye to you in Santiago, with hearts full of gratitude for the chance to have walked with you.
1-day extension from Santiago to Cape Finisterre
Join us for an extra day at the end of the tour. What’s included:
Private bus to Cape Finisterre and surrounding area.
A gourmet lunch at Cape Finisterre with wine
A five-star hotel in Santiago de Compostela
Cost per participant: 375€; supplement for single room occupancy: 100€