Camino de Santiago Specialists

ACCOMMODATION
We have personally chosen accommodation with your absolute comfort in mind
NO WORRIES
All of your logistical and personal needs are taken care of, all you have to do is think about you!
GLOBAL – LOCAL
No matter what corner of the world you have travelled from you can take comfort in knowing we are here on the ground to support you
FLEXIBLE
It’s your Camino, tell us what you need and together we will create a Tailor – Made package just for you!

We invite you to join us on a Guided Group or Self Guided Walking Travel Adventure on Camino de Santiago, known to inspire change, awaken the senses and enliven the spirit.

A chance to switch off to your everyday world. Nothing “to do” just place one foot in front of the other.

Your goal for the day, arrive at your destination.

 

Experience the Magic of Camino de Santiago!

“The French Way” 800km of Sacred Land walked by millions

From the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains France to Santiago de Compostela

For some, to Fisterra, known historically as the “End of the World”

Where historical ruins, myths and legends tell tales of a Pilgrimage with its origins lost in time.

 

A path laid out with yellow arrows and shells to guide the way

A unique path where Pilgrims from all over the world meet as equals.

Where the worldly boundaries of religion, culture, age and social status are dropped

and a simple daily walk with a backpack is your common ground.

 

What others have told us inspired them to walk Camino

Tick it off the Bucket List

Experience of History, Culture and Gastronomy

Physical Challenge Connect with Nature

Reflect and Reconnect personally to the self/spirit

A unique experience with friends/Family

Escape from the grind of daily life

Make life-changing decisions, ReConnect, ReInvent, ReInvigorate

Meet like-minded people from all over the world

Buen Camino!!

You will arrive at Saint Jean Pied de Port, situated in the Basque country at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, a beautiful village that is akin to a Fairy-tale scene, cobbled narrow streets, white house’s made of stone with red wooden windows and doors, with a spectacularly beautiful bridge leading you out of the village towards the Pyrenees Mountains, the start of the French Way, Camino de Santiago, the start of your Pilgrimage.
Wander the streets and soak up the charm, try some local cuisine, then head off to the Pilgrims Mass in the evening, a great way to connect with other Pilgrims and mark the start of your journey. Take advantage of your hotel room to relax and have a good nights sleep before beginning your Camino.
Note: in St Jean Pied de Port there are some great outdoor products shops for Pilgrims, a chance before you begin to pick up any last minute items you may have missed.

 

Today is a long and difficult day especially since it is the first. Before setting out check the weather forecast in the pilgrim’s office at the top of the main street, 39 Rue de la Citadelle, you will be advised of an alternative route if the weather is dangerous, ultimately it is your call.
Walk through the village across the bridge and head to the mountains for a very steep climb, starting at 172m above sea level. You will pass Huntto and Orisson before reaching Vierge de Biakorri, the statue of Madonna at 1.095m. She sits on top of a rock protecting the shepherds in these beautiful mountains. Continue to cross the Pyrenees through Lepoeder mountain pass 1.430m high, then a 480m descent to Roncesvalles (950m), crossing a beautiful beech forest.
Roncesvalles is the primary starting point for pilgrims, mainly Spaniards. Visit St James chapel and the Royal Collegiate Church of Saint Mary.

 

Today’s stage begins in Roncesvalles, almost 1000m above sea level and ends in Zubiri, at 526m. You will mainly be on undulating downward tracks, however, you will climb two small mountain passes, Mezquiriz and Alto de Erro.
At the peak of Alto de Erro, you will begin a difficult descent. This section is very rocky and needs your complete attention. If you have knee problems it may be advisable for you to enjoy the view from the top and jump in a Taxi to Zubiri, for those that are physically ready its difficulty is compensated for, by breathtaking views.
Do not be a hero, listen to your body, it is not a defeat if you can’t manage this section, it is simply smart management. You have to take care of your body, you have a long way to go.
Zubiri is a quaint village, take some time to go to the river’s edge to soak your feet in the cool water.

 

Today you will follow the Arga River on what is essentially an easy day. You will pass through many small villages on paths through woods, and on roads, crossing from side to side of the Arga River over several beautiful old bridges.
In Irotz, when you cross via the Roman bridge of Iturgaiz, the next town you reach is Zabaldika, here you will find a picnic area close to the road. At this point there are two possible routes: the original Camino de Santiago or continue to follow the river through Huarte, both will lead to the same junction a few kilometres along. The last 5 km you will cross into the urban area of Pamplona.

 

Pamplona is the first major city on the Camino famous for its Running of the Bulls festival, Sanfermínes, taking place in July. Have a coffee in the beautiful Café Iruña in Plaza del Castillo, with its incredible art deco interior where Ernest Hemingway spent many of his days.
The Cathedral, Town Hall and Citadel are the three main historical sites to visit in Pamplona.
Pamplona is very popular for its incredible “Pintxos” generally a slice of bread with an unimaginable wide variety of toppings. You will find the most popular Pintxos restaurants in San Nicolas, San Gregorio, Navarreria and Estafeta streets.

 

Today you walk out of Pamplona through beautiful parks until Cizur Menor. Here you start your climb to Alto del Perdón (Hill of Forgiveness) a steep ascent to the iconic sculpture of Pilgrims by Vicente Galbete. On one of the figures, you can read: “Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas.” (Where the path of wind crosses with the stars). From this summit, you have an incredible panoramic view of Pamplona and the Pyrenees up to the north and Navarras plains down to the south.
After Alto del Perdón you have 3-4km of a difficult stony, steep descent.
Another Iconic point today just before you reach Puente la Reina is the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. Built in 1170, an unusual example of Romanesque architecture which has been declared a national monument. Standing in solitude in the middle of a flat, open landscape approximately 2 km off the Camino well worth the extra walking if you have the energy. There is a legend of a tradition whereby those who walk around the building three times are freed from their sins!
Note: It is worth a visit, asking a local for direction may avoid getting lost.
Finally, you will arrive at Puente la Reina a magnificent medieval village with its perfectly balanced 11th Century stone bridge crossing the river Arga, truly a sight to behold. Walk through Rua Mayor to discover the architectural delights of its historical buildings and churches of St. James and St. Peter

 

Today you will leave over the medieval Puente la Reina Bridge (Queen Bridge). You will pass through three beautiful towns on hilltops: Cirauqui, Lorca and Villatuerta.
After Cirauqui you will walk on an old paved Roman Road, one of the best preserved along the Camino.
The rest of the day you will pass through rolling farmland, small towns and villages, mostly along meandering tracks until you reach the end of your walk in Estella (Lizarra, in the Basque language), a charming historic city of 13,000 inhabitants, known for its passion for music and theatre as well as its impeccable cuisine.

 

 

The start of your day will be spent mainly on busy roads, not the most appealing, however, you will, very quickly just outside of Estella, find Bodegas Irache, the famous Navarra winery, with a free wine fountain, yes you read correctly, a wine fountain especially built for pilgrims. Close by is the Monastery of Irache declared a national monument in 1887.
Exit Irache, make your way through vineyards, cereal fields, small pinewoods and small streams to later climbing to Villamayor de Monjardin on a hilltop. From there to Los Arcos, you have 12km without any village and very little shade, make sure you have plenty of water and something to eat.
Arriving at your destination Los Arcos an ancient town with a blend of history, art, folklore and gastronomy.

 

There are three different sections today: Los Arcos to Torres del Río, quite flat, Torres del Río to Viana, up and down for several km, then Viana to Logroño through an industrial suburban area.
In Torres del Río you’ll witness another architectural wonder on the Camino; Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an eight-sided 12th-century wonder associated with the Knights Templar.
Next, you will pass through Viana a well preserved historic town with fascinating mansions, palaces and churches that tell tales of its history. From here you will head to Logroño, where at the entrance you will pass over the Ebro River, the main river in Spain that crosses the country from the mountains in the North, close to the Atlantic Ocean, to meet the Mediterranean Sea in the South of Catalonia.
Logroño is the capital of La Rioja Region, the most famous Spanish wine region. Look out for Laurel Street, an experience in itself. Tapas in Logroño are some of the best in Camino, don’t miss out! Choose a Tapas bar and treat yourself to an afternoon Tapa and Rioja Wine.
You can visit the city with its old town, historical Cathedral

 

Before leaving Logroño pack some snacks and plenty of water in your backpack. You have 13km before you arrive in the next town Navarrete, with very few opportunities to stock up in between.
The first part of the day is spent walking out of the city, as in Pamplona. After about 2 km you will begin to walk through open parkland, then through beautiful vineyards over soft hills and valleys to your first stop Navarrete, a 12th-century town, built by the ‘Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, with its fabulous Baroque Church of the Assumption of Mary.
Today is long, yet not very challenging, you face two moderate mountain passes, Alto de la Grajera and Alto de San Antón, with several sections close to the highway, not a Pilgrims favourite, however walking through vineyards is impressive.
Your final destination is Najera. The town built on the banks of the river Najerilla, along its banks you will find the Monasterio and Iglesia de Santa María La Real constructed in the 11th Century.

 

 

Today you have just a few mountain passes with a soft undulating ground. You will see a change in landscape from vineyards to cereals fields.
Your Camino takes you along some quiet country roads with the La Demanda Mountain to the South on your left when passing through the village of Azofra.
Before arriving in Santo Domingo, on top of a hill in Cirueña, you will walk along the Rioja Alta Golf Course.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Saint Dominic of the Road) is a beautiful medieval town, where this Saint dedicated his life to improving the physical route for the pilgrims and built a pilgrim’s hospital (now the Parador) and a church which has now evolved into the Cathedral.

 

 

The beginning of today’s walk is along a road close to the main N-120. You then turn into the first village of Granon, your last village in La Rioja.
In 2km you will reach the border heading into Castilla. From here you will pass through many small villages before arriving in Belorado, a quiet town with the large medieval, Plaza Mayor. You’ll find there several shops and restaurant terraces.

Today begins closely near the N120 eventually crossing onto a dirt path into Tosantos. Heading out of Tosantos you come across the 12th century Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Peña, which has literally been dug out of the mountain.
Continue on a small incline to Villafranca Montes de Oca. Here you begin a long and solitary ascent to the Oca Mountains, crossing through gorgeous woodlands of fragrant oak, juniper, ash and pine trees, the last mountain range before the Meseta, all the way to San Juan de Ortega
San Juan de Ortega is a beautiful small hamlet in the middle of the mountains. Here you will find the 12th century Iglesia de San Juan de Ortega where you can find San Juan’s Romanesque sarcophagus

 

Heading out of San Juan de Ortega you will find Ages, with its Iglesia de Santa Eulalia. After 2km you reach the next village, Atapuerca, where the Iglesia de San Martin is located. Just three kilometres from this village is where 800,000-year-old human remains were discovered, the oldest human remains in Europe!
Burgos is a large city where you can see the walls of an old castle or the Museum of Human Evolution, but the main attraction of the city is its magnificent gothic cathedral.

 

 

Burgos is a spectacular, historically rich City boasting many ancient remains throughout.
With one of the most extraordinary Gothic Cathedrals in the whole of Spain (declared World Heritage site by Unesco in 1984), located in Santa Maria Plaza built over a period of 200 years combining French Gothic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, deserves a visit.
Other points of interest are: the famous Puente (bridge) San Pablo built in the 13th century lined with Statues of Castilian noblemen from the Middle Ages, the arch of Santa Maria a stone relic from the 14th century, Paseo del Espolon, Monasterio de las Huelgas, and so much more.
You can also visit a futuristic-looking building, the Museum of Human Evolution with remains, dating back 800,000 years.
While you are there try some unusual local Gastronomical treats: the famous blood sausage Morcilla, Lechazo, wood oven slow roasted lamb, and queso (cheese) de Burgos, a white soft cheese eaten with a glass of local wine.

 

During the days ahead you will walk through cereal fields, in a land with extreme temperatures, scorching in the summertime and freezing in winter.
Limited shade and villages are available to you here, ensure that you have water and food for the day. Don’t forget to take your essentials hat and sunscreen.
Today’s walk is quite flat, only 20km for about 5 hours. You will have a nice rest in Hornillos, a tiny village, one of many old medieval villages you will visit in the coming days. A great place to immerse yourself in the ancient atmosphere of the way.

Today we have a short walk again, 20km along two small plateaus up to Hontanas. At the end of the day, before arriving at Castrojeriz, you will pass the old Pilgrims Monastery and Hospital of San Antón.

Castrojeriz is a pretty town, with a curious 9th-century hilltop castle, worth a short visit, and beautiful old houses. The village is 2 km Long! Pay attention as you walk through you may not want to walk that far to explore it later.

 

A unique and unforgettable stage for those who love solitude, silence and endless fields.
When leaving Castrojeriz, we find in front of us the impressive Alto de Mostelares, the highest point in Meseta. A problematic steep ascent of 145m in 1.7Km.
It’s worth the effort, for at the top of the hill you will admire one of the many beautiful views in Camino, an incredible landscape of crop fields with no end, in any direction.
You will finish your day in Boadilla Del Camino, a cute small village in the middle of nowhere. There is limited accommodation in Boadilla. If there is no availability, you will finish in Frómista, 6 km ahead. (This will be discussed with you at the time of booking)

 

 

With Frómista in front of you, you will walk along a stretch of an 18th Century Canal, the Canal de Castilla. It is a beautiful microclimate in this dry land an oasis where you will enjoy 5 Km with trees, water, ducks and other animals during these days.
In Frómista, visit the beautiful 11th century Church of St Martin.
Today you face a simple, flat stage in Tierra de Campos (Fields Land), a region in the middle of Castilla where you will find no shade and not many villages Prepare yourself with enough water, sunscreen and hat.
You will pass through Villalcázar de Sirga which is declared a national monument, home to the XIII Century Templar church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca.
Finishing your day’s walk at Carrión de Los Condes with its many historical sites and churches.

 

Leave Carrión de Los Condes by crossing the 16th-century bridge and passing the 10th century Benedictine San Zoilo Monastery. From here the Camino de Santiago is reasonably straight and follows an old Roman road known as the Via Aquitania, alternatively known as the Calzada de los Peregrinos.
Today you have another stage with endless straight paths in the Castilian steppe. From Carrión de Los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza you have the longest stretch in Camino (17km) without any villages and almost no shade (remember: water, cap and sunscreen).
At times you will find makeshift Bars, a welcome sight, however, you cannot rely on this happening so stock up. The most exciting thing along this road will be the haystacks! An extra special time for reflection and contemplation.
You will pass the remains of the 11th-century pilgrim hospital of Terradillos de los Templarios is a small humble village, with not much else to do but rest.

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Today we follow through dirt tracks in little valleys. You will pass through Sahagún quite a big village, full of ancient monuments, with a well-known Romanic Church of San Lorenzo, worth a visit. This town was once the seat of high religious power.
Before arriving at Sahagun you will find the sign depicting the halfway mark of Camino!
In Calzada del Coto, the route diverges, but you will follow the Real Camino Francés to Bercianos del Real Camino for your overnight accommodation.

 

Your Camino leaves the expansive ‘Tierra de Campos’ behind and continues across grain and cereal crops, leading pilgrims to the plateau of León. The whole stage continues through straight paths, with little shade, take advantage when you find it.
You have 27 km with only two villages in the middle, El Burgo Ranero and Reliegos. From Reliegos, with only 6km to go, you can almost see Mansilla de las Mulas a small walled enclave, founded in 1181, intimately connected to the Camino hence its seven churches, a house for pilgrims, three hospitals and two monasteries

 

 

Today you leave behind the high plateau setting of the remote Meseta and continue your journey to the spectacular city of Leon. You will walk along busy roads for most of the day.
Your approach the city of León will see you passing through suburbs, residential and industrial areas. From Portillo Hill onwards you will spot the beautiful city of León ahead with its stunning Cathedral.

 

 

You have now walked 470 km in 21 days, your body deserves a rest day to charge your batteries.
Leon is a lively Unesco Heritage listed City one of the largest on Camino de Santiago. Home to many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Cathedral de Leon, with its towers and flying buttresses, Basílica de San Isidoro, boasting Romanesque architecture of the 10th-century, known for its frescoes and royal tombs and Casa Botines, a neogothic styled building designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Visit the Parador in the city centre with its famous Facade of carved skulls and scallops.
If a bit of socialising and gastronomy are on your agenda, two districts, Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants and terraces, both close to the Cathedral, are known for food and fun!
There are also several outdoor shops and a large department store Corte Ingles in this centre. If you are struggling with any of your walking equipment this is a good time to update

From León to Hospital de Órbigo you have 33 km. The exit from León is a difficult, long walk, 8 km through city streets, to the monument of La Virgen Del Camino, marking the end of the city.
Many Pilgrims take a bus or a taxi, to Virgen Del Camino to start their day making it 25km to Hospital de Órbigo. This, of course, is your choice.
When in Virgen Del Camino you enter the off-road Camino path, here you must choose between the historic Camino through Villadangos Del Páramo (full of industrial and residential areas) or the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife. We suggest this alternative as it takes you off the national road to a more rural option, again your choice. Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a flat and manageable stage.
When you arrive at Hospital De Orbigo you will be greeted by the sight of the magnificent bridge the town is famous for. It has nineteen arches with the Río Órbigo flowing through only three and is reserved for pedestrians only. You will also find in the Templar Town a 12th Century Church.

 

Today is an easy short walk only 17km.
When you reach the pretty hilltop city of Astorga, capital of the Maragateria area, visit its ‘pink’ cathedral built in 1471 it houses a museum as well. Also, the fabulous Episcopal palace designed by Antoni Gaudí, (the famous Catalan architect) and the city walls.
Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “Las Mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

 

Start your way towards León Mountains on paths where you will be surrounded by heather, oak and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal Del Camino.
To your left, you will witness for several days the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest Mountain summit in León Camino, 2,188m above sea level, escorting you for days towards Galicia.
You will pass several beautiful villages, Santa Catalina de Somoza and El Ganso
Soon after reaching Rabanal Del Camino 1,150m high, a beautiful little town where you can eat the famous and very hearty Cocido Maragato.

 

A spectacular stage, cold most of the year. Take something warm in your backpack.
You have a hard steep ascent to the beautiful village of Foncebadon, 5.5km, a lost village in the middle of the mountain. Continue to climb to “Cruz de Ferro”(Iron Cross) 1.504m, which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino. A bit further you find the “Collado de las Antenas” 1.515m, the highest point in the French Camino, Take some time to enjoy the stunning view.
Start your descent to the lush area of El Bierzo. You will experience a challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest in Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The most difficult section is between the Collado down to Acebo. Please take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.
You will enter Molinaseca crossing its beautiful Romanesque Pilgrim’s Bridge, a picturesque town that looks a little like a movie set, sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its narrow streets and historic buildings are spectacular.

 

 

 

In just 7.7km you will find yourself walking into Ponferrada the last big city on the way to Santiago de Compostela. The 12th century Templars Castle is especially worth visiting here if you have the time. Leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the village of Compostilla, a former mining town, followed by Columbrianos closely followed by Fuentes Nuevas and Camponaraya.
From Camponaraya to Cacabelos you will walk through beautiful vineyards. This is the heart of the well appreciated El Bierzo wine region.
Arriving in Cacabelos you walk past the Hermitage of San Roque. If it is open pop in, it has been turned into a quirky little museum of sorts. Wander through the village and admire the clever street art. At the end of the main road, you will come to Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.
While here try another hearty speciality of this land, El Botillo.

 

Today you continue in this beautiful area of El Bierzo passing through Villafranca Del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago. Here you can admire the ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta Del Perdón that only opens during Holy Years.
You may hear a change in the language of the people with locals speaking Galician, the language of Galicia and bordering regions. Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ finishing your day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

From here to Santiago you walk mainly through a landscape with oak, beech, chestnut and gum trees.
Today you face the iconic milestone of Camino, the feared climb up to O Cebreiro, at 1.330m. From Vega de Valcarce, at 630m you climb 700m in 12 km. The hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500m in 5.5 km. You cross the border between Castilla and Galicia and realise the day was well worth every step, the views are spectacular.
O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind forever. O Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends and its “pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.
After a hard days walk you will enjoy the specialities of this land: Pulpo (octopus) and the local Cebreiro cheese.
Make sure you get to the Pilgrims Mass whether you are religious or not the Mass here has a special spirit as does this land.

 

Today you initiate your journey in Galicia, through the “Ancares” Mountains.
It’s important to consider that you are walking in a land where fog, wind and low temperatures are frequent in all seasons and particularly in winter.
You find moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa, where you face a hard, challenging, steep incline up to Alto de Poio 1.337m, the highest point in Galician section of Camino. There you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría and from there you have a long walk downhill, 9 km to the town of Triacastela, the first stop on the Galician section of the Camino with around 1000 inhabitants. There are regularly more Pilgrims than locals in the town, a great place to rest after your days of climbing mountains!

 

You have a decision to make today. There are two options to get Sarria: Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino (7km shorter), or, through Samos, where you walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, magnificent oak and chestnut trees and admire the impressive Samos Monastery.
Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.
At the end of your day, you arrive in Sarria, a large town, about 15,000 inhabitants. You will notice from here an influx of Pilgrims. This is due to the last 100 km rule of the Compostela. It is here that tour companies and groups in buses hop on and off the Camino to do short walks and get stamps.
A Camino fact, around 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year start the pilgrimage here in Sarria. Do not fear though, you will find as the groups only do small sections, there are still stretches where you will have times of peace and tranquillity.

 

 

Today is the day for a well-earned rest in a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.
No bag to place in the foyer, have a sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast then visit the old quarter. Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along Rua Major and take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit Iglesia de Santa Mariña, Monasterio de la Magdalena, medieval bridge Ponte Aspera, Capilla de San Lazaro and Torre de la Fortaleza, the only remains of a once impressive castle, just to name a few.
ENJOY YOUR DAY!

 

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside, from here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you will cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.
The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s, Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometres downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments, the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos were transported stone by stone high above the river to the new village of Portomarin that you will visit today. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

 

 

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, you exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, you then begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km a challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.
In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar, in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins well worth the short detour off the Camino.
Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there, is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, most of town life revolving around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

 

Today you have a long day ahead of you. Walking downhill for most of the way, crossing many creeks. In the middle of your journey, you reach Melide, a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia, together with a Ribeiro wine. Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.
From here pretty much most of the way to Santiago you will wind your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest with quite a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.
Finally, you arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa. Visit the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

 

 

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes, alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

 

 

Today you face your last walk day in Camino!
The first half runs through rural landscape, similar to days before.
From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city centre, from here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago.
The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!
This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines, sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.
*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

 

Enjoy your last day and explore this Historic City with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants, meet other pilgrims with whom you have shared joys and sorrows during so many days, some of them you will never meet again others will be friends for the rest of your life and some of you will have found love!
If you were late arriving yesterday you can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.
The end of this unique experience, unless of course, you are heading to Fisterra!

 

Your Camino begins in Leon, one of the most beautiful cities in Castilla, situated in the vast Meseta (plateau) region in Spain.

Explore this beautiful city and the incredible Gothic cathedral renowned for its spectacular stained glass windows.

Visit the two main districts full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, terraces, Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, both near the Cathedral.

Enjoy a meal and the take an early night to ensure you are rested and ready for your first day of walking Camino de Santiago!

 

From León to Hospital de Órbigo you have 33 km. The exit from León is a hard and long walk, 8 km through city streets, to the monument of La Virgen Del Camino, marking the end of the city.

Many Pilgrims take a bus or a taxi, to Virgen Del Camino to start their day making it 25km to Hospital de Órbigo. This, of course, is your choice.

When in Virgen Del Camino you enter the off-road Camino path, here you must choose between the historic Camino through Villadangos Del Páramo (full of industrial and residential areas) or the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife. We suggest this alternative as it takes you off the national road to a more rural option, again your choice. Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a flat and manageable stage.

When you arrive at Hospital De Orbigo you will be greeted by the sight of the magnificent bridge the town is famous for. It has nineteen arches with the Río Órbigo flowing through only three and is reserved for pedestrians only. You will also find in the Templar Town a 12th Century Church.

 

Today is an easy short walk only 17km.

When you reach the pretty hilltop city of Astorga, capital of the Maragateria area, visit its ‘pink’ cathedral built in 1471 it houses a museum as well. Also, the fabulous Episcopal palace designed by Antoni Gaudí, (the famous Catalan architect) and the city walls.

Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “Las Mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

Start your way towards León Mountains on paths where you will be surrounded by heather, oak and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal Del Camino.

To your left, you will witness for several days the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest Mountain summit in León Camino, 2,188m above sea level, escorting you for days towards Galicia.

You will pass several beautiful villages,  Santa Catalina de Somoza and El Ganso

Soon after reaching Rabanal Del Camino 1,150m high, a beautiful little town where you can eat the famous and very hearty Cocido Maragato.

A spectacular stage, cold most of the year. Take something warm in your backpack.

You have a hard steep ascent to the beautiful village of Foncebadon, 5.5km, a lost village in the middle of the mountain. Continue to climb to “Cruz de Ferro”(Iron Cross) 1.504m, which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino. A bit further you find the “Collado de las Antenas” 1.515m, the highest point in the French Camino, Take some time to enjoy the stunning view.

Start your descent to the lush area of El Bierzo. You will experience a challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest in Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The most difficult section is between the Collado down to Acebo. Please take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.

You will enter Molinaseca crossing its beautiful Romanesque Pilgrim’s Bridge, a picturesque town that looks a little like a movie set, sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its narrow streets and historic buildings are spectacular.

 

After 5 days of walking, today is a very easy and short walk into Ponferrada the last big city on the way to Santiago de Compostela. You have time to take advantage of being in a city if you have any need to update any of your gear and have a well-deserved rest. The 12th century Templars Castle is especially worth visiting here.

 

Leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the village of Compostilla, a former mining town, followed by Columbrianos closely followed by Fuentes Nuevas and Camponaraya.

Arriving in Cacabelos you walk past the Hermitage of San Roque if it is open pop in it has been turned into a quirky little museum of sorts. Wander through the village and admire the clever street art to the end of the main road you will come to Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.

This is where you will rest tonight

 

Today you continue in this beautiful area of El Bierzo passing through Villafranca Del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago. Here you can admire the ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta Del Perdón that only opens during Holy Years.

You may hear a change in the language of the people with locals speaking Galician, the language of Galicia and bordering regions. Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ finishing your day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

 

From here to Santiago you walk mainly through landscape with oak, beech, chestnut and gum trees.

Today you face the iconic milestone of Camino, the feared climb up to O Cebreiro, at 1.330m. From Vega de Valcarce, at 630m you climb 700m in 12 km. The hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500m in 5.5 km. You cross the border between Castilla and Galicia and realise the day was well worth every step, the views are spectacular.

O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind forever. O Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends and its “pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.

After a hard days walk you will enjoy the specialities of this land: Pulpo (octopus) and the local Cebreiro cheese.

Make sure you get to the Pilgrims Mass whether you are religious or not the Mass here has a special spirit as does this land.

 

Today you initiate your journey in Galicia, through the “Ancares” Mountains.

It’s important to consider that you are walking in a land where fog, wind and low temperatures are frequent in all seasons and particularly in winter.

You find moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa, where you face a hard, challenging, steep incline up to Alto de Poio 1.337m, the highest point in Galician section of Camino. There you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría and from there you have a long walk downhill, 9 km to the town of Triacastela, the first stop on the Galician section of the Camino with around 1000 inhabitants. There are regularly more Pilgrims than locals in the town, a great place to rest after your days of climbing mountains!

 

You have a decision to make today. There are two options to get Sarria: Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino (7km shorter), or, through Samos, where you walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, magnificent oak and chestnut trees and admire the impressive Samos Monastery.

Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.

At the end of your day, you arrive in Sarria, a large town, about 15,000 inhabitants. You will notice from here an influx of Pilgrims. This is due to the last 100 km rule of the Compostela. It is here that tour companies and groups in buses hop on and off the Camino to do short walks and get stamps.

A Camino fact, around 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year start the pilgrimage here in Sarria. Do not fear though, you will find as the groups only do small sections, there are still stretches where you will have times of peace and tranquillity.

 

Today is the day for a well-earned rest in a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.

No bag to place in the foyer, have a sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast then visit the old quarter. Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along Rua Major and take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit  Iglesia de Santa Mariña, Monasterio de la Magdalena, medieval bridge Ponte Aspera, Capilla de San Lazaro and Torre de la Fortaleza, the only remains of a once impressive castle, just to name a few.

ENJOY YOUR DAY!

 

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside, from here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you will cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.

The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s, Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometres downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments, the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos were transported stone by stone  high above the river to the new village of Portomarin that you will visit today. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

 

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, you exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, you then begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km a challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.

In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar, in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins well worth the short detour off the Camino.

Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there, is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, most of town life revolving around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

Today you have a long day ahead of you. Walking downhill for most of the way, crossing many creeks. In the middle of your journey, you reach Melide, a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia, together with a Ribeiro wine. Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.

From here pretty much most of the way to Santiago you will wind your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest with quite a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.

Finally, you arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa. Visit the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

 

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes, alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

 

Today you face your last walk day in Camino!

The first half runs through rural landscape, similar to days before.

From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city centre, from here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago.

The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!

This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike

enjoying the local cuisine and wines, sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.

*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

 

Enjoy your last day and explore this Historic City with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants, meet other pilgrims with whom you have shared joys and sorrows during so many days, some of them you will never meet again others will be friends for the rest of your life and some of you will have found love.

If you were late arriving yesterday you can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.

The end of this unique experience, unless of course, you are heading to Fisterra!

Make your way to your hotel in Sarria, hopefully, you will have time to wander through the old city and enjoy a nice meal while in this iconic town. Have a good nights’ rest before you head off on the first walking day of your Camino

 

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside, from here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you will cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.

The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s, Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometres downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments, the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos were transported stone by stone  high above the river to the new village of Portomarin that you will visit today. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

 

 

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, you exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, you then begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km a challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.

In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar, in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins well worth the short detour off the Camino.

Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there, is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, most of town life revolving around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

 

Today’s stage you will walk downhill for most of the way, crossing many creeks. This is a short day allowing you to enjoy the sights and gastronomy of Melide.

Melide is a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia, together with a Ribeiro wine. Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.

 

From here pretty much most of the way to Santiago you will wind your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest with quite a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.

Finally, you arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa. Visit the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

 

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes, alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

 

Today you face your last walk day in Camino!

The first half runs through rural landscape, similar to days before.

From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city centre, from here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!

This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines, sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.

*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

 

WALK: NOT TODAY
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE TIME
DINNER: LEON
ACCOMMODATION: LEON
Today you’ll arrive in Leon the starting point of your Camino.
Leon is an amazing, culturally rich city, with almost 250.000 inhabitants, one of the biggest cities in Castilla

Leon was born as a military camp from the Roman Legions. It grew up in the XIX century thanks to the boom of coal mines in the region.
Try to arrive early enough to explore this wonderful city you will not regret it.

  • Its astonishing Cathedral built between mid-XIII and XV centuries, known as “The House of the Light” due to its 125 (1,800 sq. m) stained glass windows, the large rose window is particularly outstanding.
  • Pay a visit to the main monuments:  Casa de los Botines, a fascinating palace created by Antoni Gaudí the famous Catalan architect, San Isidoro Basilica, one of the main Romanesque churches in Spain, San Marcos Monastery, an impressive renaissance monument,…

In the old city, you’ll walk through the narrow streets of the 2 main districts: Barrio Húmedo (Wet District) and Barrio Romántico (Romantic District) located on both sides of the cathedral. Plaza del Grano (Grain Square) in Barrio Humedo has a special charm.
In Leon, you’ll find hundreds of bars with beautiful tapas, don’t be surprised when you are served a tapa with your glass of beer or wine, for free!!! It’s the tradition.

“Embutidos” are particularly good: chorizo, cecina (smoked ham made with cow leg) the Cheeses are also remarkable.

We’ll meet in the evening at the Hotel foyer to share a welcome drink and our first foodies’ dinner.

WALK: SANTIBAÑEZ DE VALDEIGLESIAS – ASTORGA. 11.5 KM – 3.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT ASTORGA CATHEDRAL AND BISHOP’S PALACE
LUNCH: ASTORGA
ACCOMMODATION: ASTORGA

After your breakfast, we’ll be transferred to Santibañez de Valdeiglesias, a small village, where you’ll begin your Camino. Todays walk will take you, trough beech, oak and pine trees, to Astorga, at the end of La Meseta (the dry Spanish central plateau, 800-900 m above the sea).
Astorga was founded by Roman Legions at the I century b.c. a very important location for the Catholic Church, head of one of the biggest regions.

Important gold mines existed in the region a.c.

150 years ago a chocolate industry grew in Astorga, by 1914 there were 49 chocolate factories in the city, and Astorga was one of the main chocolate producers in Spain. Also on the food “must try list” are  “Mantecadas de Astorga” (soft cupcakes) and “Hojaldres” (puff pastries made with honey).

After a period of rest in your accommodation, we’ll face our foodies’ restaurant for lunch. In Astorga and its region, the speciality is “Cocido Maragato”, a powerful stew made with vegetables, chickpeas and a variety of different meats (hen, cow, pork, Cecina, chorizo,…). You eat first the meat, then vegetables, finishing with the soup. You’ll choose between the Cocido or other traditional dishes.
In the evening we’ll meet in the foyer to start our visit to the Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace.
The Cathedral was built between the XV and XVIII centuries from late gothic to baroque styles. Bishop’s Palace is a work of Antoni Gaudi, the great Catalan architect, at the beginning of his extraordinary career. Nowadays it’s an interesting Caminos Museum.

WALK: FONCEBADON – EL ACEBO. 11 KM – 4 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT EL BIERZO WINERY
DINNER: EL BIERZO
ACCOMMODATION: EL BIERZO

After breakfast, we’ll take you to Foncebadon, an amazing little village 1,440 m above the sea, where you’ll start your walk.
Today you’ll cross Montes de Leon ( Mountains of Leon), the natural barrier between Castilla and El Bierzo, in an iconic stage in Camino. You’ll go up to Cruz de Ferro, an impressive iron cross at the top of a mountain (1,500 m) with tons of stones at its base, placed by pilgrims, a tradition of the Camino.
You’ll continue to Collado de las Antenas at (1,515 m) the highest point in Camino, before starting the very steep descent to El Acebo, where you will be able to rest and enjoy some food and drinks.
Then, you’ll be driven to your accommodation in El Bierzo, where you can take some time to rest before meeting in the early evening when we’ll go visit a top regional winery and enjoy some wine tasting before we head off to our exceptional dinner.

El Bierzo is a beautiful wide valley, surrounded by mountains with a favourable benign climate for growing nice vegetables, particularly grapes, making El Bierzo popular for its  well-appreciated wines.
El Bierzo is a transition land between Castilla and Galicia and, therefore, it’s also a transition in gastronomy. You can taste already Galician specialities like the empanada (a flat pie filled with capsicum, onion, tuna or chicken,…) or the octopus. The speciality in El Bierzo is el Botillo, another stew made with legumes, vegetables and meat (chorizo, pork cured with paprika and garlic). Probably too strong for dinner. Botillo croquettes could be a lighter option. It’s up to you.

WALK: LAS HERRERIAS – O CEBREIRO. 8 KM – 3.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT O CEBREIRO AND SAMOS MONASTERY
DINNER: SARRIA
ACCOMMODATION: SARRIA

Today we’ll start our day in Galicia, the northwestern Spanish region of which Santiago is the capital.
You’ll be transferred to Las Herrerias (675m) to walk another iconic stage of Camino, the ascent to O Cebreiro (1,330m), 650m in 8 km. The steepest section takes you from Las Herrerias to La Laguna (500m in 5.7 km). After La Laguna, you’ll cross the boundary stone between Castilla and Galicia.
The views are out of this world, a sight never to be unseen, a gift of Mother Nature.
O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a romantic little hamlet on top of the mountain.
We’ll visit the village with the astounding pre-romanesque church built in the IX century and its “Pallozas”, traditional old houses built of stone with a straw roof.
This is a good stop to taste the empanada and the octopus Galician style, very popular all over Galicia.
After our visit to O Cebreiro, you will be transported to Sarria, making a short stop on the way in Samos where we’ll visit its stunning Monastery of Benedictine monks, founded in the VI century. The current monastery was built in the late gothic style.
Sarria is the biggest town in Galician Camino (after Santiago), about 15,000 inhabitants. Distance from here to Santiago is about 115km, the main starting point in Camino for 50% of pilgrims wanting to gain their Compostela certificate.
After a rest in your accommodation, we’ll enjoy a well-deserved dinner in an extraordinary restaurant.
In this area, rural Galicia, Lugo province, veal and beef are exceptionally good! steak is our suggestion to end your day, however,  close proximity to the coast gives us the opportunity to taste extraordinary fish also. Other fabulous food finds are O Cebreiro cheese (fresh cow cheese), particularly good with quince, Empanadas, Octopus, lacón (made with pig hock, served with olive oil and paprika), Caldo Gallego (a nice vegetable soup) just to name a few.

WALK: FERREIROS – PORTOMARIN. 9.5 KM – 3 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE VISIT TO PORTOMARIN
DINNER: PORTOMARIN
ACCOMMODATION: PORTOMARIN
In the morning you’ll be driven to Ferreiros, from there you’ll walk to Portomarin.
Today you walk in rural Galicia, surrounded by oak and chestnut trees, through prairies and little hamlets. Soon after Ferreiros, you’ll see the 100 Km to Santiago milestone.
Arriving at Portomarin you will see the Belesar Dam on Miño river, the most important river in Galicia, the descent down to the Dam is very steep, we suggest you walk along the road. You’ll cross a long bridge to get the other side a steep 200m climb to the town centre.
Portomarin was a medieval village flooded under waters when the dam was built in 1963. Just a few buildings were moved stone by stone to the new town, including San Nicolas romanesque church-fortress.
Enjoy a free afternoon.

In the evening we’ll meet again at the reception of your accommodation for today’s foodies’ dinner.
Due to the nearness to the river, you can find eels in some restaurants. As yesterday, beef and veal are exceptionally good. The local “Porco Celta” (Celtic pork) is becoming increasingly appreciated, Tarta de Santiago (almond tart) is another local speciality. Portomarin is the first village in the Ribeira Sacra wine region. We’ll have the opportunity to taste their interesting red wines.

WALK: SAN XULIAN DO CAMIÑO – MELIDE. 11 KM – 3 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE VISIT TO ARZUA
DINNER: ARZUA
ACCOMMODATION: ARZUA
After breakfast, we’ll take you to San Xulian do Camiño, a little hamlet where you’ll begin your walk.  Today will see you on what is known as “corredoiras” (trails), crossing rivers surrounded by beautiful bushes, in a steady up and down motion to Melide.
From Coto, you’ll walk in A Coruña province, the last province in Camino.
Heading through Melide (8,000 inhabitants) well known in Galicia for the quality of its livestock. An important cattle fair is held once per month, however, the main attraction in Melide is “pulpo”, (octopus), considered the main point in Spain to eat this delicious cephalopod. We will stop to try it in one of their popular “pulperias” (pulpo restaurants); Ezequiel and Garnacha are the most famous establishments. The most appreciated wine for this is the popular Ribeiro wine.
Once you are fed and rested, we’ll transport you to your accommodation in Arzua.

You’ll have a free afternoon before meeting again for our foodies’ dinner.

Arzua is the crossroad between North and French Caminos, where the famous  Arzua-Ulloa cheese (soft cow cheese) is produced.
Other Galician specialities not yet mentioned are Zorza (smashed chorizo), Raxo (pork meat marinated with paprika), Tetilla cheese (very similar to Arzua cheese in breast shape), the delicious Padron peppers fried and served with rock salt and the extraordinary Galician bread,

WALK: VILAMAIOR – SANTIAGO. 8.5 KM – 2.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT OLD CITY AND MASS IN SANTIAGO CATHEDRAL
DINNER: SANTIAGO
ACCOMMODATION: SANTIAGO
Today is your last day walking Camino.
We’ll travel to Vilamaior, in the Santiago surroundings, to start your walk to Santiago. We’ll go up to Monte do Gozo, a hill where you will find the monument to pilgrims.
From this point the view, with your first glimpse of the spires of Santiago Cathedral, is momentous.
You will walk down to the city fringe, through the historical streets of the old city, to arrive finally into Plaza del Obradoiro with its imposing Cathedral. It is an indelible moment that you will take away with you.
Congratulations! You made it!
If you arrive on time attend the official Pilgrim’s mass at noon, there is another at 7 pm if you miss it.
You will be indulged in an extraordinary historic Hotel for your last night of rest.

Santiago is the capital of Galicia, located close to the ocean where, due to its waters unique composition and climate, you can find some of the very best seafood in the world. Exceptionally good Lobster, Cigalas (crayfish, scampi), Mussels, Prawns, Oysters, Percebes (barnacles, a delicious ugly creature), Clamp, Scallops, Zamburiñas (small scallops), Cockles, Navajas (razors), several varieties of crab (centollas, buey, necoras,..), Calamari and  Squid
Quality of fish is unbelievable: hake, monk-fish, sea bass, turbot, sole, sardine, grouper,…
Regarding wines, the finest white wines to drink with these stunning natural products are the local Albariño, a beautifully aromatic, fruity variety.
In the evening we’ll meet at the Hotel Foyer to do a guided tour to the Old City and its monuments, then continue with our last foodie-gourmet dinner in an iconic restaurant.

Leaving the city fringes of Santiago you very quickly find yourself back in rural landscape, when you arrive at Sarela de Abaxio look back to the incredible view of Santiago the Cathedral an imposing and magnificent sight against the skyline.

This stage is very beautiful with eucalyptus, oak and pine bushes on gently rolling paths. You’ll climb towards  Alto do Vento (Wind pass) the only difficulty on today’s path then continue through small villages, eventually crossing the Tambre river across Ponte Maceira a 14th-century bridge before coming to the medieval town of Negreira. Take time to visit Pazo do Cotón, the country house of Cotón family, and Saint Mauro’s chapel.

 

 

Today you face the most challenging stage in Fisterra Camino it is long 33km, there are quite a few steep stages to the day and you will have to spend some time walking on asphalt roads, however, there are also beautiful forests and meadows, you will pass through small villages with many old Galician granaries, hórreos (constructions made from stone or wood, raised above the ground by pillars and meant for storing crops) They are unique of rural Galician architecture and a distinguishing trait of the landscape.

Once in Vilaserío then through Santa Mariña you have a constant up and downhill walk until you reach a steep climb to Monte Aro, the highest point in Fisterra Camino, enjoy the fantastic panoramic view. The path then continues through Fervenza reservoir and Hospital then finally descending into Olveiroa where you will cross the Xallas River via Ponte Olveiroa to your destination today.

 

Today you will experience mostly gentle gravel paths through peaceful open spaces reaching Alto do Cruceiro da Armada where you will enjoy your first glimpse of the ocean, the bay of Fisterra. Finally, you’ll have a steep descent to Cee then continue to the quaint Heritage listed village of Corcubión where you’ll stay tonight.

 

As you walk today you will enjoy views over Cape Fisterra,  passing through San Roque then descend to Estorde, hug the coast along Sardiñeiro, Langosteira Beach (an extraordinary sensation to walk on the sand, instead of land) and finally arrive at the vibrant village of Fisterra.

Another 4 km to go up to the lighthouse where you will reach the 00.00 marker and have the chance, if you plan your time, to sit and enjoy the sun setting at the end of the world.

Time to reflect on your Camino, contemplate the completion of your challenge, where it is said you leave the old you behind and walk into your new life.

Congratulations!

While in Fisterra if you are a seafood lover it is a must try what is said to be one of the best seafood in the world!

Note; on the way to the lighthouse you can visit the municipal cemetery, located on the edge of the coast, then as you continue the climb up Mount Facho you will find a shrine dedicated to Saint William and “Cama de San Guillermo” (Saint William’s Bed), a pit excavated in the rock, about the size of a human body that according to local legend women of the era laid to pray to the Saint for fertility, there are other myths and  legends and that all lend to this as a sacred site for fertility rituals that some still adhere to today.

 

Your Camino begins in Leon, one of the most beautiful cities in Castilla, situated in the vast Meseta (plateau) region in Spain.

Explore this beautiful city and the incredible Gothic cathedral renowned for its spectacular stained glass windows.

Visit the two main districts full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, terraces, Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, both near the Cathedral.

In the evening we will meet as a group for the first time (you will be advised of the location prior to arrival) to become familiar with your fellow pilgrims and discuss the days ahead of us. You will have a chance to ask any questions or concerns to ensure you are feeling ready for your Camino.

After this, we will enjoy a meal together before having a good nights rest to prepare for your first walking day on Camino de Santiago!

From León to Hospital de Órbigo you have 33 km. The exit from León is an uninteresting and long walk, 8 km through city streets, to the monument of La Virgen Del Camino, marking the end of the city.

Many Pilgrims take a bus or a taxi, to Virgen Del Camino to start their day making it 25km to Hospital de Órbigo. You are free to decide what you wish to do for this day. For those of you that wish to shorten the day, we will meet as a group at an agreed time in the foyer of your hotel to catch the bus to La Virgen Del Camino

When in Virgen Del Camino you enter the off-road Camino path, here you must choose between the historic Camino through Villadangos Del Páramo (full of industrial and residential areas) or the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife. We suggest this alternative as it takes you off the national road to a more rural option, again your choice. Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a flat and manageable stage.

When you arrive at Hospital De Orbigo you will be greeted by the sight of the magnificent bridge the town is famous for. It has nineteen arches with the Río Órbigo flowing through only three and is reserved for pedestrians only. You will also find in the Templar Town a 12th Century Church.

Note; you will have a guide walker for the entire day today

Today is an easy short walk only 17km.

When you reach the pretty hilltop city of Astorga, capital of the Maragateria area, visit its ‘pink’ cathedral built in 1471 it houses a museum as well. Also, the fabulous Episcopal palace designed by Antoni Gaudí, (the famous Catalan architect) and the city walls.

Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “Las Mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

Start your way towards León Mountains on paths where you will be surrounded by heather, oak and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal Del Camino.

To your left, you will witness for several days the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest Mountain summit in León Camino, 2,188m, escorting you for days towards Galicia.

You will pass several beautiful villages,  Santa Catalina de Somoza and El Ganso

Soon after you will reach Rabanal Del Camino 1,150m high, a beautiful little town where you can eat the famous and very hearty Cocido Maragato.

A spectacular stage, cold most of the year. Take something warm in your backpack.

You have a hard steep ascent to the beautiful village of Foncebadon, 5.5km, a lost village in the middle of the mountain. Continue to climb to “Cruz de Ferro” (Iron Cross) 1.504m, which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino. A bit further you find the “Collado de las Antenas” 1.515m, the highest point in the French Camino, Take some time to enjoy the stunning view.

Start your descent to the lush area of El Bierzo. You will experience a challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest in Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The most difficult section is between the Collado down to Acebo. Please take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.

You will enter Molinaseca crossing its beautiful Romanesque Pilgrim’s Bridge, a picturesque town that looks a little like a movie set, sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its narrow streets and historic buildings are spectacular.

After 5 days of walking, today is a very easy and short walk into Ponferrada the last big city on the way to Santiago de Compostela. You have time to take advantage of being in a city if you have any need to update any of your gear and have a well-deserved rest. The 12th century Templars Castle is especially worth visiting here.

Leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the village of Compostilla, a former mining town, followed by Columbrianos closely followed by Fuentes Nuevas and Camponaraya.

Arriving in Cacabelos you walk past the Hermitage of San Roque if it is open pop in it has been turned into a quirky little museum of sorts. Wander through the village and admire the clever street art to the end of the main road you will come to Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.

In the evening we will meet as a group to share a dinner and some of our Camino stories. (You will be advised of location and time on Camino)

Today you continue in this beautiful area of El Bierzo passing through Villafranca Del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago. Here you can admire the ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta Del Perdón that only opens during Holy Years.

You may hear a change in the language of the people with locals speaking Galician, the language of Galicia and bordering regions. Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ finishing your day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

From here to Santiago you walk mainly through a landscape with oak, beech, chestnut and gum trees.

Today you face the iconic milestone of Camino, the feared climb up to O Cebreiro, at 1.330m. From Vega de Valcarce, at 630m you climb 700m in 12 km. The hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500m in 5.5 km. You cross the border between Castilla and Galicia and realise the day was well worth every step, the views are spectacular.

O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind forever. O Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends and its “pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.

After a hard days walk you will enjoy the specialities of this land: Pulpo (octopus) and the local Cebreiro cheese.

Make sure you get to the Pilgrims Mass whether you are religious or not the Mass here has a special spirit as does this land.

Today you initiate your journey in Galicia, through the “Ancares” Mountains.

It’s important to consider that you are walking in a land where fog, wind and low temperatures are frequent in all seasons and particularly in winter.

You find moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa, where you face a hard, challenging, steep incline up to Alto de Poio 1.337m, the highest point in Galician section of Camino. There you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría and from there you have a long walk downhill, 9 km to the town of Triacastela, and the first stop on the Galician section of the Camino with around 1000 inhabitants. There are regularly more Pilgrims than locals in the town, a great place to rest after your days of climbing mountains!

You have a decision to make today. There are two options to get Sarria; Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino (7km shorter), or, through Samos, where you walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, magnificent oak and chestnut trees and admire the impressive Samos Monastery.

Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.

At the end of your day, you arrive in Sarria, a large town, about 15,000 inhabitants. You will notice from here an influx of Pilgrims. This is due to the last 100 km rule of the Compostela. It is here that tour companies and groups in buses hop on and off the Camino to do short walks and get stamps.

A Camino fact, around 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year start the pilgrimage here in Sarria. Do not fear though, you will find as the groups only do small sections, there are still stretches where you will have times of peace and tranquillity.

Today is the day for a well-earned rest in a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.

No bag to place in the foyer, have a sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast then visit the old quarter. Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along Rua Major and take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit the Iglesia de Santa Mariña, Monasterio de la Magdalena, medieval bridge Ponte Aspera, Capilla de San Lazaro and Torre de la Fortaleza, the only remains of a once impressive castle, just to name a few.

In the evening we will meet as a group to share a meal in a wonderful traditional restaurant, a chance to catch up with the group and share Camino stories. (Location and time to be determined on Camino)

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside, from here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you will cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.

The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s, Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometres downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments, the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos were transported stone by stone  high above the river to the new village of Portomarin that you will visit today. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, you exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, you then begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km a challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.

In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar, in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins well worth the short detour off the Camino.

Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there, is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, most of town life revolving around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

Today you have a long day ahead of you. Walking downhill for most of the way, crossing many creeks. In the middle of your journey, you reach Melide, a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia, together with a Ribeiro wine. Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.

From here pretty much most of the way to Santiago you will wind your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest with quite a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.

Finally, you arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa. Visit the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

 

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes, alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Today you face your last walk day in Camino!

The first half runs through rural landscape, similar to days before.

From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city centre, from here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago.

The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!

This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines, sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.

*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

Enjoy your last day and explore this Historic City with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants

If you arrived late yesterday you can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.

In the evening we will meet as a group to share our last night, last meal and Camino stories, some of you will have developed a bond that will last a lifetime. For some, this is the end of this unique experience unless of course, you are heading to Fisterra!

Hopefully, you have had a chance to wander through the streets of Sarria and explore some or all of its historic sites.

In the afternoon we will gather for the first time as a group  (time and location to be confirmed prior to arriving)  for introductions and discuss what we have in front of us, and ensure that you are all prepared for the walking days ahead. After this, we will share a wonderful meal together then have a not too late evening to ensure we are all rested and ready to walk

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside, from here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you will cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.

The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s, Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometres downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments, the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos were transported stone by stone by the local community high above the river to the village of Portomarin that you will visit today. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, you exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, you then begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km a challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.

In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar, in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins well worth the short detour off the Camino.

Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there, is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, most of town life revolving around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to the early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

 

 

Today’s stage you will walk downhill for most of the way, crossing many creeks. This is a short day allowing you to enjoy the sights and gastronomy of Melide.

Melide is a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia, together with a Ribeiro wine. We will have a late lunch together today in one of Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia Ezequiel or Garnacha. Of course, if Pulpo is not on your agenda there are other foods available.

From here pretty much most of the way to Santiago you will wind your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest with quite a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.

Finally, you arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa. Visit the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes, alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.

Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.

O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Today you face your last walk day in Camino!

The first half runs through rural landscape, similar to days before.

From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city centre, from here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!

This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines, sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to fellow pilgrims met along the way.

We will meet for our last Crossroads Travel Meal together, a chance to share the triumph of having made it to your destination and achieved your Compostela!