The Camino de Santiago, or Compostela Trail, has for centuries represented an important pilgrimage route from France, across the Pyrenees and the north of Spain to the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela. Following the most interesting sections from Roncesvalles in Spain through famous pilgrimage cities such as Leon and Pamplona, the landscapes change daily from mountain trails to forests and open plains. With the camaraderie of a small group and local guide, the trip is fully supported throughout. At night stay in atmospheric towns in a selection of hand picked hotels where the local flavours are introduced by your hosts.
- Following in the footsteps of pilgrims along the medieval trail to Santiago de Compostela passing by churches and crosses marking the famous route
- Enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow walkers
- Staying at friendly, family run hotels and eating at hotels and restaurants with delicious local dishes
- Visiting Bilbao and the fabulous cities of Pamplona, Burgos, Leon and Santiago with their wealth of religious and historic treasures
- Experiencing the highlights of the Camino Trail
Day 1 Arrive Bilbao, meet your guide and transfer to Roncesvalles or Burguete
Meet your guide at a central location in Bilbao at 3pm (to be confirmed prior to your departure). If you would like to visit the Guggenheim Museum you can do this in the morning, or stay an extra day in Bilbao – please ask our office for pre tour accommodation rates and suggestions. After your group meeting there’s a brief stop at the Guggenheim Museum to admire the exterior of this architectural masterpiece before transferring to Roncesvalles for dinner and overnight. 11 Dec departure: overnight in Pamplona tonight instead of Roncesvalles.
Day 2 Pyrenees walk to Alto del Erro (4-5hrs), transfer to Pamplona
Your introduction to the famous pilgrimage trail begins in the historical village of Roncesvalles, high in the Pyrenees and near the French border in northeastern Navarre. Its famous local church has several relics dating back to the 8th Century and the defeat of Charlemagne by local tribes. Walk along the Camino to Alto del Erro then transfer to Pamplona and the hotel. 12 Dec departure: morning transfer Pamplona to Roncesvalles to commence walking. Walking distance: 18km/11.2mi
Day 3 Camino walk including Puente la Reina (4-5hrs), transfer to Logroño
Leaving Pamplona, we’ll transfer to the town of Cizur Menor to start walking. We can admire Cizur’s 12th century Church of San Miguel before setting off through the village and up through countryside leading to Sierra del Perdon, where you can enjoy beautiful views. We’ll pass through medieval villages and along a road to arrive at Puente la Reina, before transferring to Logroño (1hr). Situated on the Ebro river and on the border between La Rioja and Navarra, Logroño has many historic buildings and a lively tapas district. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant. Walking distance: 18km/11.2mi
Day 4 Visit Laguardia, walk Montes de Oca to San Juan de Ortega (3-4hrs), overnight Burgos
In the morning we’ll visit the picturesque hilltop town of Laguardia in the wine area Rioja Alavesa, including a visit to an unusual wine cellar. We’ll enter Castile e Leon and walk from Montes de Oca, through woodlands and along the foothills of the Oca Mountains, to the medieval village of San Juan de Ortega, which was built as a safe haven for pilgrims. Transfer to historic Burgos for dinner and overnight. Walking distance: 15km/9.3mi
Day 5 Walk from Castrojeriz to Fromista (4hrs), transfer to Carrion de los Condes
In the morning we’ll have a guided walking tour of Burgos, including its UNESCO listed Gothic Cathedral. We’ll then transfer to Castrojeriz to walk across the Castilian meseta to Frómista. This is gentle easy walking along winding paths through the wide open plain, such a contrast to the mountains and hills of the previous days. Transfer to Carrion de los Condes for dinner and overnight. Walking distance: 13km/8mi
Day 6 Walk along the Castile landscape (3hrs) and transfer to Leon
Today we’ll walk through the Castile landscape, characterised by small valleys and riverbeds, from Burgo Ranero to Reliegos. Later we’ll transfer to Leon, once the most important city in Christian Spain. In Leon we’ll have a guided city tour visiting the magnificent Gothic cathedral, built on the site of Roman baths dating from the 2nd century, and a nearby museum. Tapas dinner and overnight in Leon. Walking distance: 13km/8mi
Day 7 Walk from Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga (3hrs)
Today’s walk is between the towns of Hospital de Orbigo and Astorga. A magnificent sandstone bridge leads into Hospital de Orbigo, and from here we’ll pass the holm oak and chestnut tree covered Colomba mountain and cross the Tuerto river to the fascinating town of Astorga. With Roman ruins, a Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral, the Antonio Gaudi designed Palacio Episcopal, and lovely main square Astorga has an interesting architectural mix. Overnight in Astorga. Walking distance: 13km/8mi
Day 8 Walk from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca (4hrs), visit Villafranca, transfer to Hererrías
The walk today is in the mountains and we begin on foot at Cruz de Ferro, which has panoramic views over the plains below. Continue to the picturesque village of Molinaseca before strolling in Villafranca del Bierzo, nestling at the foot of the mountains. We’ll transfer to Herrerias de Valcarce for dinner and overnight. Walking distance: 16km/9.9mi
Day 9 Visit O Cebreiro, walk to Triacastela (4hrs), Samos Monastery and on to Sarria
Our route today takes us from the province of Castile to Galicia. This is another beautiful section through the mountains as we make our way to O Cebreiro, with its imposing church and wonderful views of the Galician countryside. It is also an important point of pilgrimage. From O Cebreiro we walk to Triacastela then transfer to Samos Monastery for a short visit. Transfer to Sarria for dinner and overnight. Walking distance: 18km/11mi
Day 10 Walk to Portomarin (5hrs), transfer to Arzúa
From Sarria we’ll walk along tracks and paths through hamlets, farmland and woodlands to Portomarin. The town was relocated higher up the slopes after its original site was flooded following construction of the Belesar reservoir. Many monuments were moved to the new site stone by stone, including the church in the main square. Quite a feat! This is rural Galicia at its best. Transfer to Arzúa for dinner and overnight. Walking distance: 18km/11mi
Day 11 Walk the last stage of the Camino from Lavacolla to Santiago (3hrs)
Santiago is our destination today. We drive to Lavacolla then walk into Santiago. We’ll arrive in time to visit the amazing Gothic Cathedral and explore the historical centre. Tonight you have time to attend the evening pilgrims mass at 7:30pm. Overnight Santiago. Walking distance: 12km/7.5mi
Day 12 Morning tour in Santiago, afternoon visit to Cape Finisterre and farewell dinner
This morning there’s a guided tour in Santiago de Compostela. In the afternoon we take a half day excursion to Cape Finisterre, a symbolic destination as it was historically considered the edge of the known world. Farewell dinner and overnight Santiago.
Day 13 Trip concludes
Your tour concludes after breakfast. We highly recommend staying an extra night in Santiago to further explore the historic and beautiful town at your own pace – please ask for our rates.
- 12 breakfasts, 12 dinners (beverages and coffee included). Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of bread or toast, tea and coffee. Dinner may start with soup, rice or pasta, followed by either an egg, chicken, red meat or fish dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit, crême caramel, etc. Dinners can be at the hotel or at local restaurants. Please note in Spain dinners are generally begin between 7:30pm – 9.30pm
- 5 nights in 4 star, 7 nights in 1-3 star hotels and charming guesthouses all on a twin share basis – they are often small family-run hotels and rooms have private facilities.
- English speaking guide throughout and local city guides in Burgos, Leon and Santiago (days 5. 6 and 12)
- Support vehicle for baggage and transfers
- Entrance fees according to the programme
Images courtesy of UTracks