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Camino de Santiago
El Camino de Santiago is one of the most important medieval Christian pilgrimages. Walk with us as a small group of pilgrims from Roncevalles on the French-Spanish border to the Atlantic Ocean along the old route of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela and to Finisterre, the ‘End of the World’; it is a life changing experience, rich in cultural encounters, incredible landscapes, great food and the best company. We’ve chosen the best walks and we transport your luggage as you walk The Way. Whether it is for religious, spiritual reasons, mindful time-out or simply that itchy-feet feeling; The Camino is calling and you must go!
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Strenuous
- Group Size Small Group
PICK UP: Bilbao Airport
DROP OFF: Santiago Airport
El Camino de Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important medieval Christian pilgrimages, which can be traced back to the 9th century. A movement so extraordinary that millions of people have travelled on foot to the sacred shrine of St James the Apostle, mostly for religious purposes. Today’s motives for embarking on the journey tend to differ. Contemporary pilgrims travel the Way to break free from the ties of the modern world, live an authentic moment in life, allowing time for mindful reflection.
On this carefully researched tour we trace back along the ancient route starting from the quaint town of St Jean Pied de Port on the French border in the Pyrennees. We then cross into Spanish territory and head to Pamplona, an ancient Roman city made famous by Hemingway for the Running of the Bulls festival. On our way to Santiago we pass through the wine region of Rioja and the incredible cities of Burgos and Leon with their imposing Gothic Cathedrals. From Leon to Astorga we are rewarded with ancient Roman ruins and spectacular Gaudi Palaces, before crossing the Montes de Leon, and descending with spectacular views to the Knights Templar Castle of Ponferrada.
As we enter Galicia and make for Santiago we stroll through traditional farming villages, hilly pastures and cross many rivers. Arriving in Santiago de Compostela and gazing at the ancient Cathedral is like a dream come true, an unforgettable and rewarding experience. But our Journey is not over yet for on our last day we make our way to the coast of Finisterre, known in ancient times as the end of the world, where strolling bare foot on the beach you will find scallop shells, the symbol of the Camino, to take home as memories.
If you would like to know more about el Camino de Santiago read Antonio’s travel journal here!
If you prefer to speak with us to know more about our Camino de Santiago Walking Tour, please write us an email or call 800.908.1980. We would be happy to hear from you and help you planning your next adventure!
- 2 experienced guides 24/7
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners as per itinerary
- Wine, water & coffee with meals
- All accommodations
- All gratuities for hotel porters and waiters
- Minibus transport from start to finish
- Entrance fees to museums, events and parks as listed on itinerary
- Local specialist guiding fees
- Transfer to the meeting point
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Single room accommodations
- 2 lunches & 1 dinner
- Day 1 Bilbao – St Jean
We meet at 14.00 at Bilbao Airport and drive along the Spanish northern coast to St Jean Pied de Port. Here we enjoy a leisurely stroll around the town’s medieval streets and up to the citadel where you can view the Pyrenees.
After collecting our pilgrim passports we head to our hotel and then get together for a lovely welcome dinner.
- Day 2 St Jean – Roncesvalles
We begin El Camino de Santiago tracing the steps of ancient pilgrims, heading up into the Pyrenees for breathtaking views and our first picnic.
After lunch we cross over the Spanish border and descend into one of the oldest and most important stops on the Camino, the 11th century monastery of Roncesvalles. Here the Basques defeated the rear guard of Charlemagne’s army, spawning the famous epic poem of chivalry “La Chanson de Roland”.
Tonight’s hotel is located inside this historic building. (5h/ walk 18km) (shorter option available) (Elev. +1400m/-600m)
- Day 3 Pamplona – Estella
A short drive takes us to the ancient city of Pamplona, which with its Fiesta de San Fermin and beautiful architecture has captured the eye of many artists. Enjoy a pleasant walking tour of the city following the route of the famous running of the bulls and tracing Hemingway’s footsteps.
We enjoy lunch and head off for an afternoon walk along an an alternative route under the shade of a forest from which we emerge to see the whole valley spread out below us. Return to Pamplona. (4h/14km)
- Day 4 Pamplona – La Rioja – St Domingo de La Calzada
Today we step into the region of Rioja, home to Spain’s finest and most renowned wine. We walk through gently rolling hills and vineyards towards the beautiful town of St Domingo de La Calzada. Admire its enchanting cathedral and spend a relaxing evening in the towns streets busy with many pilgrims. (4h/14km)
- Day 5 St Domingo – Burgos
We leave St Domingo and move on along a quiet mountain path through oak and pine woods and emerge in St. Juan de Ortega. After lunch we walk on to the quaint village of Ages, before driving on to Burgos.
In Burgos we head on a short guided tour of the city and a visit to the spectacular Cathedral before meeting up to share our experiences over dinner. (3.5h/13km) (Elev. +/-400m)
- Day 6 Burgos – Leon
Today we experience life in the heart of Castilla y Leon, walking through the mesetas and small, slow paced villages. This plateau region 800m above sea level is entirely covered in cereal crops which form endless horizons broken only by the occasional view of a bell tower in the distance.
Pilgrims walk along this path for many days and have been known to describe these endless silent stretches as the most thought provoking and spiritual of the whole Camino. After lunch we enter the picturesque streets of Leon with time to enjoy the city and its many streets, boutiques and squares. (3.5h/13km)
- Day 7 Leon – Astorga
Our day starts crossing over the longest and best preserved medieval bridge in Spain, the Puente de Obrigo where we walk through the town of Hospital de Obrigo. Our walk takes us across open countryside to our destination city, Astorga.
Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll among the different periods of architecture existing in perfect harmony- ancient Roman walls, a gothic cathedral and the modern Gaudi Palace – contrasting and complimenting one another. (6h/17km)
- Day 8 Astorga – Ponferrada – Villafranca del Bierzo
One of our favourite walks of El Camino de Santiago! We head up into the mountains, over the pass of Irago, through the beautiful towns of Rabanal del Camino and Foncebaldon and descend to Ponferrada to visit the ancient Castle of the Knights Templar.
This ancient order was devoted to protecting pilgrims along the way and preserving the true spirituality of the Camino. We spend our evening and dinner relaxing in Villafranca tasting some excellent Bierzo wines. (4h/16km) (Elev. +/- 500m)
- Day 9 Villafranca del Bierzo – O’ Cebreiro
We leave Villafranca del Bierzo and walk along a spectacular and quiet alternative route over the Alto Pradela. After a picnic lunch we head up into the high mountains of Galicia to famous O’ Cebreiro. Here still standing is one of the oldest surviving churches associated with the Camino, the Iglesia de Santa Maria Real, dating as far back as the 9th century.
We return to spend another evening in the beautiful town of Villafranca. (4-6h/12-20km) (Elev. +/-900m) (afternoon is optional)
- Day 10 O’ Cebreiro – Portomarin
Today we walk through the beautiful hills and forest of Galicia, past traditional farming villages to the town of Portomarin which sits on the hillside overlooking a spectacular river.
Relax and enjoy the slow pace of the streets, take your time to reflect on what you have lived and the personal aspects of the Camino. Tomorrow we shall arrive in Santiago de Compostela! (16km/4.5h) (Elev. +/-200m)
- Day 11 Portomarin – Santiago de Compostela
We enter the city of Santiago de Compostela, home to the shrines of St. James, the raison d’etre of El Camino de Santiago. The final leg of our pilgrimage starts in Monte del Gozo and from here we descend into the streets of the city. We arrive in the Praza Obradorio and Cathedral in time for the 12.00 am mass to see the swinging of the famous Botafumiero, giant incense burner. You are free to explore the city and shop in its many streets. (6km/1.5h)
- Day 12 Santiago de Compostela – Finisterre
Our journey does not end here, as true pilgrims we must continue to Finisterre and the lighthouse at the end of the world. We walk into Finisterre along a spectacular, 2km stretch of the Playa de Langosteira beach and head on a further 3km to the famous lighthouse.
Here, having lunch in the lighthouse, staring over the ocean, our pilgrimage ends. From this point we can go no further! We return to spend another evening in Santiago.(2h/7km)
- Day 13 Departure
Departure at 9.00 from our hotel to Santiago airport. Alternatively you can make your own way at your leisure.
If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay or make other independent departure arrangements such as early taxis to the airport.
An idea on what we mean for picnic :-)
Accommodations are an important point of your overall holiday experience. One of our first thought is to find and choose the best hotel and b&b solutions, ensuring that each night of your itinerary finds you comfortably settled in a space that is welcoming and full of authentic local charm.
When considering a hotel, we look at more than just the rooms and wherever possible, we arrange for stays close to the places you most dream of seeing like historically iconic, coveted high-design or supremely located at the edge of a wilderness.
Take a closer look at some of the properties we have chosen for your next Caspin Journeys holiday!