Walking the Camino (8 days)

specialDepartures May – September of each year.
Walking the Camino or the Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. This trip was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which absolution for sins was earned. Legend says that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino or the Way can take one of any number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of Saint James began at one’s home and ended at the pilgrimage site. Today, many travelers want to do a partial walk. Fully supported with Mercedes mini-buses, you have a choice on Walking the Camino of how far to walk each day. This tour gives you a chance to experience the best parts of the last 300 kilometers of the Camino. You stay in the best accommodations at a guaranteed value price. Walking the Camino is a modern day pilgrimage.

Day 1 – Madrid or Santiago de Compostela
You will be met at the airport and driven to the foothills of the Leon Mountains where you spend the first night of the tour in an 18th century residence of the Earl of Tepa in Astorga. Enjoy a welcome dinner along with a briefing on the week ahead.

Day 2 – Foncebadon/Molinaseca
The walking starts here from Foncebadon. You leave the territory of Astorga and enter El Bierzo. The Camino climbs through rolling mountains to the ‘Cruz de Ferro’, a symbolic monument of a 5 meter tall bare trunk crowned with an iron cross sitting upon a heap of stones, and onward to the village of El Acebo where you will stop for lunch. The Camino winds it way down to the picturesque village of Molinaseca with its pretty riverside location and Romanesque bridge.

Molinaseca has been declared a “Patrimonio Historico Artistico” because much of its original architecture has been saved. Your second night will be spent in Molinaseca in a very comfortable, modern, rural hotel.

Day 3 – La Faba/Tricastela
Begin your day with a short drive through the narrow valley of the Valcarce River, starting on your second walking day from the tiny village of La Faba. A gentle climb along heather-banked paths takes you to O Cebreiro, a village with traditional thatched stone buildings and an ideal stop off place for lunch. From O Cebreiro surrounded by rounded peaks and towering mountainsides, the trail passes through the sierra of Ronadoiro. After crossing the Alto do Poio, you descend into the valley to Tricastela.

After a short stop in Tricastela you transfer to the pre Roman town of Sarria where you will be staying for the night in the best hotel in town.

Day 4 – Sarria/Portomarin
Leaving the old town of Sarria, you pick up the Camino passing through many hamlets dotted along areas of farmland, grazing pastures and woodlands, crossing the great Mino River to Portomarin. Here you will spend the night in a fine hotel that was previously a Parador.

Day 5 – Palas de Rei/Ribadiso
Enter the province of A Coruna and stop in Melide famous for the galician speciality, pulpo a la gallega, (octopus gallegan style) which can be seen boiling in large copper kettles. After lunch and a taste of Ribeiro wine, walk through small, stone-walled fields passing churches dating back to the 12th and 14th century to the town of Ribadiso. Take a short drive through forests of eucalyptus which takes you to a small rustic hotel known as a pazo for tonight’s overnight. Enjoy a fine meal cooked by our chef.

Day 6 – Arca/Lavacolla
You take a chance at a visit to the monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes in the morning. Afterwards continue the Camino with a beautiful walk through the rolling Galician hills passing small villages on the way and greeting the local Galicians as they wish you Bon Camino. Here you spend the night in a 17th century pazo.

Day 7 – Lavacolla/Santiago de Compostela
In the distance the spires of the famous cathedral rise up to welcome you. The magical medieval city of Santiago beckons you. Here you will arrive before lunch and check into the beautiful San Francisco Hotel Monumento (a converted convent) in the heart of the historical city center. You have plenty of time to explore the city. In the evening you enjoy a magnificent farewell meal in your own private dining hall of the hotel.

Day 8 – Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast, transfer to Santiago de Compostela Airport for your departure flight.

Call now for all details 415-331-3791