The Best of the Pilgrim Route

Spain

Holiday overview

Destination

Spain


Type

Pilgrim Routes, Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Jan - Dec


Price

£ 1599 pp


Duration

13 nights


Contact Us

14 days, 13 nights, 9 days walking. Dinner each night except in Burgos and Santiago.

This walk is a great introduction to the Camino – it takes in all the historic cities and sites and you still walk the last 100 km into Santiago to gain the pilgrim passport.

 

Price:

£1599 per person (based on two people sharing.)

Single room supplement £230.00.

 

Included:

13 nights accommodation with breakfast

11 dinners (all nights except Burgos and Santiago)

Transfers as mentioned in the programme

Maps and route notes

Luggage transfers

 

Pilgrim Passport:

This can be obtained from the Cathedral in Burgos.

Day 1: Arrival in Burgos 

Capital of Castille with splendid Gothic Cathedral and Santiago chapel and many important buildings.

 

Day 2: Visit of Burgos and transfer to Castrojeriz.

This small town was built by the Romans and was an important place for pilgrims in former times – with several hospitals for pilgrims. Today it is a nice place to stay with three interesting churches and a good view of the ruins of the Alcazar on the hill above the town.

 

Day 3: Walk Castrojeriz – Fromista 15 miles/24kms.

Fromista – small town with Romanesque Church in centre of town (now deconsecrated) and one of the best preserved National Monuments to the Camino. The main church is the 15th Century Church of San Pedro.

 

Day 4: Transfer to Leon.

Free day in Leon – here it is worth spending a whole day. The three most important monuments are the 13th c cathedral in French Gothic style with marvellous stained glass windows, the Basilica of San Isidoro and the Romanesque church of San Marcos, formerly an important pilgrim hospital and now a parador. The Casa de las Bottines by Gaudi is now a bank.

 

Day 5: Transfer to Hospital de Orbigo.

Walk Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga 10 miles/16kms. Transfer to the longest Pilgrim bridge in Spain crossing the river Orbigo at Hospital de Orbigo – it is 204 metres long and has 20 arches – from where it is just over 10 miles to Astorga. Astorga is the junction of two of the major Pilgrim routes – the Camino Frances and the Via de la Plata. In Astorga you will find the Bishop’s palace built by Gaudi, the pilgrim museum and the beautiful Gothic cathedral along with several other interesting churches. Overnight in a hotel in Astorga.

 

Day 6: Transfer to Rabanal del Camino.

Walk Rabanal – Ponferrada 18.75 miles/30kms. After about 4 miles you come to the small deserted village of Foncebadon where the hermit Gaucelmo built a hospital, church and hospice for pilgrims in the 12th century – however the remains are all that is seen today along with several ruined houses. A mile further along the route you come to Cruz de Ferro (1504m) with fantastic views on a clear day. It is traditional to take a stone from home and add it to the pile. From here the route is all downhill as far as Ponferrada. After another mile you will walk through another nearly abandoned village and after about 5 miles will come to the village of  El Acebowhich formerly had a pilgrim hospital – today it has a long narrow street with attractive old houses with overhanging balconies and a church. Overnight Ponferrada

 

Day 7: Visit of Ponferrada and transfer to Villafranca del Bierzo

The  small historic part of the town has a 13th century castle built by the Knights Templar, the 16th C basilica of Nuestra Senora de la Encina (Our Lady of the Evergreen Oak) and in the suburbs there is the 10th century church of Santo Tomas de Ollas. Time to visit Ponferrada before transferring to Villafranca del Bierzo – here the Iglesia de Santiago was previously the point where pilgrims who were too weak or ill to continue to Santiago were able to obtain the same indulgences had they continued their pilgrimage. There are a number of other interesting churches in the town. Overnight Villafranca

 

Day 8: Walk Villafranca – O Cebreiro 18 miles/28.8kms.

The walk between Villafranca and El Cebreiro is a strenuous walk and you should set out early – there are mountains and a stiff climb but in the end it is worth the effort and at the end of the day you stay in a very atmospheric hostel opposite the Church. El Cebreiro is a tiny village with lots of pallozas (round wooden dwellings of Celtic origin). The Church contains relics and a 12th century statue of the Virgin who inclined her head after a miracle took place in the 16th Century. Overnight El Cebreiro

 

Day 9: Transfer to Sarria, a modern town with old quarter.

Walk Sarria – Portomarin. 14.5 miles/23.2kms. The walk between Sarria and Portomarin is one of the quietest and most peaceful of the Camino. During the summer there are plenty of places for lunch and drinks along the way. Overnight in Portmarin

 

Day 10: Walk Portomarin – Palas de Rei 15.5 miles/24.8kms.

There are several miles of road  walking along this stretch but the roads are quiet and you pass through some small villages  – i.e. the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria in Gonzar is 5 miles into the walk. There is a lovely Galician cemetery church in Ligonde which is about another 3 miles. Overnight in Palas de Rei

 

Day 11: Walk Palas de Rei – Arzua 18 miles/28.8kms.

The route takes you to Melide about 4 miles from Palas – this is a pleasant town with a former monastery Church Sancti Spiritu, along with a pilgrim hospital and the Church of San Pedro and the church of  Santa Maria as you leave the town. Overnight in hotel in the small town ofArzua

 

Day 12: Walk Arzua – Lavacolla 17.5 miles/28kms.

The route continues to the small village of Lavacolla where traditionally pilgrims used to cleanse themselves before the final walk into Santiago de Compostela. Overnight Lavacolla

 

Day 13: Walk Lavacolla – Santiago 7.5 miles/12kms.

The last day’s walk is short so pilgrims can arrive in the Plaza de Obradoiro and enter the Cathedral by midday when the pilgrims are blessed. Overnight hotel.

 

Day 14: End of the tour after breakfast