10 Day El Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain

About This Event

Join Original Routes on a journey back in time along El Camino de Santiago, an ancient route which pilgrims have walked for more than a thousand years. This journey begins with a Flamenco show in the vibrant city of Madrid and ends at the Atlantic Ocean on Cape Finisterre, known as the “End of the Earth” 

Surrounded by stunning scenery, medieval villages and the rolling hills of northern Spain, we will walk the final 112 kms of The French Way, the most popular route of the Camino. Walking at your own pace for 4-6 hours each day, you will have plenty of time to connect with yourself, your intentions, and new friends you meet along the way. 

Enjoy the convenience of having your luggage transported for you each day and the comfort of staying in 17th century guest houses in the countryside with three course dinners with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

If you've ever dreamt of walking the Camino and don't want to do it alone, we’d love to have you join us!

Traveling on the Camino in Spain was the most amazing trip of my ENTIRE life and I have travelled the world! This would be a very difficult trip to top and I’m looking forward to traveling with Original Routes, again and again. ~ Danielle Levine. Vancouver, Canada

Event Highlights

  • Explore the vibrant city of Madrid
  • Experience an intimate Flamenco Show
  • Visit the San Miguel night market - a foodie's delight
  • Enjoy Spanish and Galician culture, hospitality and gastronomy
  • Visit an extraordinary 12th century stone castle and a 15th century Romanesque church
  • Visit Cape Finisterre on the stunning Atlantic coast of Galicia, once believed to be the ‘End of the Earth”
  • Explore the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela
  • Includes a Pilgrim Kit with your Official Pilgrim Passport and a John Brierley Guidebook to the Camino
  • Luggage will be transferred along the Camino so that you'll only need to carry the essentials
  • English Speaking Tour Leader throughout

Schedule

Day 1: Arrive Madrid (Aug 28)
Welcome to Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Known for its elegant boulevards, baroque-style architecture, outdoor cafés, art galleries, vibrant night life and culinary delights. During the day there are no planned activities so check into our boutique hotel located near Plaza Mayor, the grand central square, and enjoy this time to explore the city. In the evening we’ll meet for a Welcome Meeting, followed by dinner on the town, a Flamenco show, and a visit to the San Miguel Night Market.

Day 2: Day 2: Sarria
Today we begin our journey by private transport to the town of Sarria, stopping en route at iconic sites along the Way. Cruz de Ferro is the highest point along the Camino Frances. We’ll stop here to take a moment and participate in a centuries old tradition where pilgrims leave a stone brought from home as a symbol of leaving behind something that no longer serves you. In the town of Ponferrada, we’ll visit a magnificent 12th century stone castle. In O Cebreiro, we’ll see pallozas, round stone huts with thatched roofs. These huts are how townspeople of this region lived dating back to Celtic times 1,500 years ago, up until the 1960s.

Day 3: Portomarin
Today our pilgrimage begins! We’ll enjoy a peaceful walk through beautiful countryside, open meadows and the shade of an oak wood forest. Expect some steep uphill and downhill on parts of the route as we pass through charming villages and cross a medieval bridge to our destination of Portomarin. Tonight we stay in a modern boutique hotel in the heart of Portomarin with free time to stroll through the streets with their impressive archways, relax in the main plaza, or check out the castle-style church which was moved brick by brick and reconstructed in a new location after the original village flooded in the 1960’s. Walking Distance: 22 km / 13.7 miles (Approx 6.5 hours)

Day 4: Lestedo
Today we climb steadily uphill through woodlands passing the hamlet of Gonzar. Near Castromajor, the path borders the ruins of a 2200 year old Celtic fort, and in Ligonde, we’ll find a hospital which received the emperor Charles V and his son Philip II, the most famous pilgrims of the 16th century. If you’re interested in architecture, you may wish to follow the 2.5 km detour to the extraordinary 15th century Romanesque church of Vilar de Doñas, the burial place of several nights of the Order of Santiago. Tonight we’ll stay in a luxurious 17th century Galician Manor. The owner will pick us up from the Camino and bring us back to the same point the next day. Walking Distance: 20 km / 12.4 miles (Approx 5.5 hours)

Day 5: Melide
Today we’ll continue slightly downhill passing several villages along the way. In Palas de Rei, enjoy a coffee or check out the souvenir shops along the way. Arriving in the lively market town of Melide for lunch, we’ll eat at one of the many restaurants. If you’re adventurous, you may like to try octopus, Galicia’s most classic dish in one of the many ‘pulperías’. Tonight we’ll stay in a beautiful guesthouse in the countryside with garden and mountain views. Walking Distance: 18 km / 11.2 miles (Approx 5 hours)

Day 6: Arzua
From Melide, the camino becomes gentler and we continue our journey through the peaceful Galician countryside. Today we arrive in Arzua, known for its peculiar shaped cheese and its two churches, Santa María and La Magdalena. Tonight we’ll stay at a modern hotel in the heart of the town. Walking Distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles (Approx 4 hours)

Day 7: O Pedrouzo
With only 40 km (35 miles) left before we reach Santiago, the countryside begins to change as we walk through a shaded forest, along streams and through sleepy villages. In O Pedrouzo, the owner the Galician Manor where we’ll be staying will pick us up and take us to his guest house. We’ll have plenty of time to relax and explore the area including the orchard, granary, a renovated old mill, a small chapel and ethnographic museum. Walking Distance: 19 km / 11.8 miles (Approx 5.5 hours)

Day 8: Santiago de Compostela
Today we’ll cross the Lavacolla river where pilgrims traditionally bathed and washed their clothes to purify their soul before stepping into the Cathedral. We’ll climb up to Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) which offers stunning views of the City before we descend into the medieval town, entering via the “Camino Door” and continue down to the Plaza del Obradoiro. After we share in the emotion of having arrived at our destination, we’ll check-in at our hotel with free time to enjoy this beautiful city and dinner on the town. Walking Distance: 20 km / 12.4 miles (Approx 6 hours)

Day 9: Cape Finisterre
Today we’ll journey along a unique route that starts in Santiago and ends at Cape Fisterra which was believed to be the ‘End of the Earth”. This is the only trail starting in Santiago de Compostela that takes pilgrims West to the stunning Atlantic coast of Galicia where pilgrims in ancient times would go to pray and burn their clothes to symbolically start a new and purer life. A local guide will pick us up in a private vehicle and take us on a day tour along the Finisterre Camino. Rather than spend 3-4 days hiking this trail, we’ll walk a portion of the route along the rugged coastline and beaches feeling the wind and salty air.

Day 10: Departure Day (Sept 6)
In the morning a local guide will take us on a walking tour to see the highlights of Santiago and ensure that we get our Pilgrim’s Certificate for having walked the final 112 km of the Camino. Our tour ends with lunch and marks the end of our pilgrimage to Santiago. In the afternoon there are no planned activities and you are free to depart at any time.

Important Note: For the duration of 2019, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, believed to be the burial site of the biblical apostle St. James, will be under construction but we may still be able to get glimpse inside.

Venue Highlights


Accommodations

9-nights of accommodation in charming 17th century Galician Manors and boutique hotels.
Double occupancy with private bathroom.
A single supplement is available for those who prefer to room on their own.

Extra-nights of accommodation can be booked in advance if you'd like to arrive earlier or stay longer. We recommend arriving at least two nights early in Madrid in order to acclimatize to the time difference and to give yourself time to explore this vibrant city.

Menu/Cuisine

When it comes to food you will not be disappointed, from a foodie night market to tapas bars in Madrid to fresh and delicious Galician cuisine along the Camino.
9 breakfasts and 7 three-course dinners are included
Options are available for special dietary requests

Directions

Start City: Madrid
End City: Santiago de Compostela

Tags: camino europe hiking madrid pilgrimage spain spiritual walking

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