FoodieCultural Camino on Camino de Santiago, an unforgettable gastronomical experience
Land abounding with nature, history and culture. Traversing through the northern regions of Spain for 8 days (7 nights). Join an intimate group of Foodies (9-15 pax).
Leon to Santiago, 300km across this land of incredible gastro-culture.
Each day you will walk on Camino, enjoy a cultural experience (1-day rest) and be delighted with a gastronomical meal. Discovering some of the hidden gastro gems of Camino de Santiago. Indulge your senses with amazing local delights; from the tasty Cocidos (stews) in Leon, Extraordinary peppers, cecina and wine in El Bierzo. Outstanding Beef, Veal, Octopus and Albariño wine in rural Galicia and (some would say) the best seafood in the world from the coast of Galicia.
This is an extremely rich gastronomy trip through inland Spain.
- Feel the vibe of the Camino, walking around 3 – 3.5 hours per day amongst the lush nature of this world-renowned Pilgrimage.
- Meet Pilgrims from all over the world and connect with the locals and their land.
- Moving between locations in a comfortable, modern, well-equipped vehicle.
- Delve into the culture and their history visiting quaint villages and cities with impressive monuments; cathedrals and monasteries in regions of great historical significance.
- Most importantly feast on the best local gastronomy of the land. Culinary spoils created in prestigious Michelin Star(at least 1), Michelin Bib Gourmand and the best local traditional restaurants on and around Camino de Santiago!
- Not to be forgotten the fabulous wines. With your meals, and in the vineyards.
- Witness the transformation of grapes into wine in El Bierzo with a chance to participate in a wine tasting of some of the regions best wines.
- Luxuriate in outstanding accommodation boasting loads of Spanish charm, ensuring you are comfortable and well-rested along the way!
An abundant experience for your palate, mind, body and soul.
If you have special needs we offer;
- Difficulty: Rest day
- Length: km.
- Hours: h.
WALK: NOT TODAY
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE TIME
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.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 11.5 km.
- Hours: 3.5h.
WALK: SANTIBAÑEZ DE VALDEIGLESIAS – ASTORGA. 11.5 KM – 3.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT ASTORGA CATHEDRAL AND BISHOP’S PALACE
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.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Length: 11 km.
- Hours: 4h.
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.
- Difficulty: Hard
- Length: 8 km.
- Hours: 3.5h.
WALK: LAS HERRERIAS – O CEBREIRO. 8 KM – 3.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT O CEBREIRO AND SAMOS MONASTERY
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.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 9.5 km.
- Hours: 3h.
WALK: FERREIROS – PORTOMARIN. 9.5 KM – 3 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE VISIT TO 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.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 11 km.
- Hours: 3h.
WALK: SAN XULIAN DO CAMIÑO – MELIDE. 11 KM – 3 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: FREE VISIT TO 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,
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 8.5 km.
- Hours: 2.5h.
WALK: VILAMAIOR – SANTIAGO. 8.5 KM – 2.5 HOURS
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: VISIT OLD CITY AND MASS IN SANTIAGO CATHEDRAL
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.
- Difficulty: Rest day
- Length: km.
- Hours: h.
Today you will enjoy a breakfast of Kings, your last morning with Crossroads Travel
Many of you will venture off to other parts of the world, some of you will continue your adventure to Fisterra!
Whatever it is you do from here please go safely, thank you for choosing Crossroads Travel FoodiesCamino!
We hope to see you again sometime soon.
From – Monday, May 18th, 2020 To – Monday, May 25th, 2020 – 8 days
From – Sunday, October 11th, 2020 To – Sunday, October 18th, 2020 – 8 days
2021 DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED WHEN WE FEEL CONFIDENT FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR CLIENTS AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED.
Inclusions FoodieCultural Camino
- Welcome cocktail at the start hotel
- 7 nights’ Premium accommodation
- Daily Buffet breakfast
- 7 Foodies Meals: Michelin Star (minimum 1), Bib Gourmand and best Local Traditional Restaurants
- Wine pairing with all Foodies Meals
- Luggage transfer daily (1 x 20kg bag per person)
- Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
- 2 support guides daily on Camino
- Guide Walker in all stages
- Transfers to/from accommodation entire Camino
- Premium Minibus daily on the road
- Entrance fees to Cultural sites and Tour Guides.
- Pilgrim’s passport
- Camino shell
- Luggage tags
- Full Camino walking guidebook with maps
- Camino Journal with Pen
- Other goodies for your Camino
- Travel and medical insurance
- Additional bags transfer (will incur additional costs)
- Any meal not specified in the Inclusions list
- Any other item not specified in the Inclusions list
- Single supplement
- Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations
- Minimum pax per group: 9. Groups between 6 to 8 pax would require an extra charge of 300 AUD/pax
- Airport transfers from the start point and end destination
- Extra nights’ accommodation at the start point and end destination
- Extra luggage transfer or storage
- Fisterra experience: Tour from Santiago to Fisterra return 2 days
With Crossroads Travel your FoodieCultural experience will not only have you feasting on the best of what the land has to offer you will also enjoy the cultural experience of Spanish hospitality; resting in Premium Accommodation as well!
The gallery is provided to give you a glimpse of the possible locations we have chosen for you.
ARRIVING at LEON:
These are the main options:
Take the train to Leon (6:00 h).
Fly to Leon (1:30 h).
Take the train to Leon (2:15 h).