« Camino de Santiago Walking Tour 2018 Spain

Category:
Travel The World
Code:
ADV0353
Dates/Times:
April 5th, 2018 – April 21st, 2018
Duration:
17 Days
Location:
Spain

Walk the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James), from Leon to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The El Camino walk is a journey that millions of Pilgrims have completed over thousands of years and what makes walking the Camino special, are the fellow pilgrims you meet, the places you visit, the stories you share and the challenges that you overcome.


The Camino is a personal journey and whatever your reasons for walking it, each new day on the Camino brings with it, new opportunities for growth & understanding of who you are. We respect that sometimes you will wish to walk alone, and sometimes with others, therefore we're providing a walking tour to enable you to do this, with the assistance of our two Adventurous Women Tour hosts, with one leading the group at the front and one supporting at the back ….we all walk at different paces, we want you to be comfortable as this is 'your' Camino!

Adventurous Women standing outside the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrival at Léon Any Time Today
Welcome to Spain! There is no walking today, however we recommend you arrive some time before dinner. You may want to consider arriving a few days early, to adjust to any jet lag, as well as to allow time to explore this fascinating, historic city, the last major city on this stretch of the Camino, with many sites worth seeing! We will meet over dinner for a debrief, outlining the details of the tour.

DAY 2 Transfer from Léon to Vilar de Mazarife, then walk to Hospital de Orbigo, 14km
Today we avoid the built up areas, clear the city limits and transfer by Local Bus to Vilar de Mazarife to start our walk. Many pilgram's choose to do this, as it can take some time to clear the city limits of Leon, as well as placing unnecessary stress on our feet from the onset. We head into Hospital de Orbigo over the Puente de Órbigo's – one of the most famous stone bridges of the pilgrimage. This 13th century Roman bridge has a massive 20 arches, an interesting monolith at its centre - the site of love battle between jousting knights in 1434!

DAY 3 Hospital de Orbigo - Astorga, 16km
Today we continue following the iconic scallop shell symbols and yellow arrows of the Camino, across the magnificent mediaeval bridge over the Órbigo River. From here we head through beautiful rural countryside, heading steeply downhill to cross the Tuerto River before ascending again to Astorga.

DAY 4 Astorga - Rabanal del Camino, 20km
We head off today for a largely uphill walk through farmland and lovely views in the Leon Mountains. We pass through a collection of small villages over cobblestone paths, past pilgrim's fountains and old buildings with quaint thatched roofs. Just before we reach the small town of Rabanal we pass El Roble del Peregrino, or "The Pilgrim's Oak Tree", where many a pilgrim has stopped to rest in the shade. We head off, refreshed along a cobblestone road into this charming town.

DAY 5 Rabanal – Molinaseca, 24km
We start our day with a steep uphill stretch, as we head towards the town of Foncebadón, then on to one of the most magical places on the Camino – the Cruz de Ferro, (iron cross) one of the Camino's most sacred sites. The cross was believed to have been placed on what was originally a Roman altar, in the 11th century by a hermit Gaucelmo, who devoted his life to protecting pilgrims on the Camino. It is surrounded by millions of rocks, part of an important Camino ritual. Many were brought from pilgrims' homeland and inscribed with inscribed little messages. We continue our walk until we reach the highest point on the entire Camino, at 1515 meters, after which there is a prolonged descend into a nice valley, before we reach the charming stone village of Molinaseca, the town where there is a natural swimming pool by the river.

DAY 6 Molinaseca - Ponferrada, 9k
This morning is a gentle downhill walk from Molinaseca to Ponferrada, where you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the day relaxing or exploring this beautiful town.

DAY 7 Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo, 27km
Today's walk, while relatively flat, takes us through some hilly vineyards and tranquil farming country, passing through many small villages, and crossing small rivers. Just prior to arriving at the historical town of Villafranca del Bierzo we may pass an interesting set of sculptures.

DAY 8 Vilafranca del Bierzo - Herrerias, 19km
Leaving town today, we pass some chestnut trees as you head through more small villages and hamlets, and through a forest of giant chestnut trees. After a relatively flat terrain yesterday, we have now reached one of the mythical climbs of the Camino, as we leave the region of Castilla y León, and enter the region of Galicia. However we will rest often, and turn around to take in the fabulous views of the impressive countryside. We might even find a quaint place to stop for liquid refreshment.

DAY 9 Herrerias - O Cebreiro, 9km.
This morning while we're fresh we ascend to the quaint mountain village of O Cebreiro, perched high up on a ridge offering sweeping views of the Galacian landscape. The village of O Cebreiro is a time-warp to an uncomplicated, almost prehistoric past, when people lived very close to nature, in stone igloos with thatched roofs. We have built in additional time here for you to explore.

Day 10 O Cebreiro - Triascastela, 22km
A few kilometres outside O Cebreiro we head briefly uphill again to San Roque where we are rewarded with spectacular views, as well as a famous statue of a pilgrim on his way to Santiago. Not far from here, we commence a long downhill stretch on dirt and narrow stony-dirt tracks through a number of small villages, until we reach our destination village of Triascastela (which literally means "three castles" that once stood there but unfortunately no longer exist).

DAY 11 Triacastela - Sarria, 18km
Today we have the choice of 2 routes. The route to the right at the junction via San Xil is mainly on the road and quite a difficult incline early on. The rewards however, are great views of the surrounding Galacian Hills.
The recommended route is longer by about 6km, it heads to the south through Samos, past a famous Benedictine Monastery (originally built in 5th & 6th century).It follows oak and chestnut lined track, providing beautiful scenery as it follows the valley and the Oribio River.

DAY 12 Sarria - Portomarin, 23km
Today we cross over the all-important last 100km-to-Santiago milestone. This is the minimum distance pilgrims must walk in order to obtain their Compostela in Santiago. Today's journey takes us through a time warp of cobblestone paths through countless villages, farmland, lush forests, more wonderful architecture, quaint medieval walkways and bridges, interspersed with modern conveniences.
The town of Portomarin has a fascinating recent story. The original town is now completely under water – the result of the damming of the Río Miño river to create the Embalse de Belesar reservoir in the 1960's. The most historic monuments were relocated, brick by brick, and reassembled where they stand today. If you look closely at the bricks on the Iglesia de San Nicolas you can still see numbers from their relocation.

DAY 13 Portomarin - Palas de Rei, 24km
We set out this morning across metal bridge over the Torres River, then think of home as we walk through forests of eucalyptus and oak as we pass the ruins of an old fort at Castromaior, before a long gradual ascent of Mount San Antonio. This area divides the valleys of the Mino and Ulla rivers and the surrounding area is the site of a 9th century battle between the northern Christian kingdoms and the Arabs. We are now quite familiar with lovely walks through farmland, forests, small hamlets, larger towns with amazing ancient architecture and today is no exception.


DAY 14 Palas de Rei - Arzua, 28km
Aside from the distance, todays walk is relatively easy with gently undulating terrain and more of our familiar eucalyptus and oak forests. In the Leboreiro we'll come to the 13th century Iglesia de Santa María and a curious Cabazo, which is a gigantic weaved basket with straw roof perched up on a stone platform, used to store corn.
At about our half –way point in the town of Melide we are met with the Camino Primitivo, which is another Camino trail, a deviation southwards from the Camino del Norte (which runs along the north coast of Spain). In Arzua we are also joined by the pilgrims on the Camino del Norte.

DAY 15 Arzua - Lavacolla, 26km
We head off today through gently undulating Galacian countryside, through farmland and the ever-present quaint little villages and hamlets. Always following the little scallop shell markers, yellow arrows and Camino waymarkers we enjoy all that this iconic walk has to offer. We soon see an example of the stark contrast of the ancient and modern, as we pass near the Santiago airport.

DAY 16 Lavacolla - Santiago de Compostela, 12km
It will be with mixed emotions that we set off today, as we cover the last few kilometres on our final day of walking on the world-famous Camino de Frances.
The first highlight of today will be Monte de Gozo, meaning "Mount of Joy". Here stands huge statues of pilgrims, and on top of the hill a modern monument commemorating the visit of Pope John Paul II in the Holy Year 1993. We may even get glimpses of the huge spires of the Santiago Cathedral.
It's not long until we enter Santiago, where we continue on through exquisite historical buildings across the Praza da Immaculada, underneath the Arco del Abispo and into the massive Praza de Obradoiro. There stands before us, the magnificent Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, guaranteed to take your breath away! In mediaeval time this was the third most important place of pilgrimage, after Jerusalem and Rome.
After savoring the moment, and our wonderful journey, we'll head off to register our pilgrimage and apply for our Compostela.

DAY 17 Trip ends after breakfast
Our tour concludes today after breakfast, however I thoroughly recommend you attend the Pilgrim's Mass in , regardless of your religious beliefs. This is a special Mass held at noon every day where the countries of origin and starting points of all pilgrims who received their Compostelas the previous day (including us!) are announced. During this Mass, we watch the spectacular swinging of the massive 'butafumeiro', synchronised beautifully with the moving "Hymn to Christ". It really is an extremely moving experience, not to be missed.

**We recommend arranging transport from Santiago to your next destination after the Mass if at all possible.

Cost of Tour :

AU$ 4595.00, or Join our Adventure Club as a financial member, and pay the discounted rate of AU$ 4350.00

Book on our Camino Portuguese and receive a further $350 off the price of the combined tours.

 

Inclusions:

2 x Adventurous Women Tour Hosts (1 Leader, 1 Support)
Bus Travel between Leon to Villar de Mazariffe
16 nights accommodation twin share with ensuite
16 breakfasts
15 dinners, no dinner included in Santiago
Daily Luggage transfers (1 piece of max 20kg per person)
Information pack, containing maps/route information
Pre-departure information & support to assist you with pre-trip planning (flight/transport options to Leon, local transport options, emergency contact numbers, taxi's, accommodation pre/post, )
Visitor Tax

 

Not included:

Flights - Travel to Leon/ from Santiago de Compostela
Drinks
Items of a personal nature
Entrance fees
Travel insurance (Compulsory)

 

TO BOOK YOUR PLACE - Click on the Book Now Button Below, fill out the booking form and we'll provide you with an invoice for payment of a $500.00 deposit.

Once the deposit is paid, your place is secure.


I have some questions Book this Adventure

Loved it! Had a great time right from day one to the end.


1star2star3star4star5star
Sri Lanka 2014
Anne S - Oct 31 2014
thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. From trepidation at the beginning, from not knowing what to expect, to really enjoying the experience. Enjoyed the challenge of the physical…Read more

1star2star3star4star5star
The Best of Vietnam
jill s - Mar 02 2015
Read more feedback