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The Camino de Santiago

From $5,695

  • Experience one of the world’s most epic pilgrimages via the famed Camino Francès route
  • Rest assured with an exceptional guide-to-hiker ratio, and constant vehicle support—there is always the option to shorten or skip walks!
  • Explore the town of Pamplona, famous for the running of the bulls; the medieval city of Burgos, home of the 11th century hero El Cid; and the ancient Christian capital of León
  • Enjoy guided visits to historic towns including tours of Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre

Hiking the old pilgrim trails to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela is a challenging quest that has enticed travelers for centuries. Eager to have you fully experience it without any added worry, we’ve included some extra perks that you won’t always find with other companies: the expertise of our local guide (an accomplished historian), full support coach, incredible meals, wine with dinner, tickets, transfers, and comfortable accommodations. What’s more, we’ve peppered your journey with informative afternoon guided tours of charming cities and towns along El Camino, including Pamplona, Burgos, and León. Whether you seek illumination or just want to enjoy the thrill of hiking this famous path, this is certain to be the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 1: Meet in Bilbao (Spain) – Transfer to Saint Jean-Pied de Port (France)

Plan to rendezvous with your guide and the rest of the group at 11:00 a.m. at The Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao in Bilbao. Those flying into Bilbao on Day 1 will be picked up from the airport prior to the 11:00 a.m. rendezvous.  Bilbao is the cultural capital and main city of Basque Country in Northern Spain, and is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, noted for its permanent collections of avant-garde art displaying the works of 20th. Century artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, and many leading Basque and Spanish artists. We recommend that you arrive in Bilbao prior to Day 1 to visit the Museum, and to recover from your jet lag. After introductions and a brief orientation, we’ll transfer together to San Sebastian, considered to be the most beautiful city along the Bay of Biscay.  After a short visit and lunch, we’ll continue on to Saint Jean-Pied de Port on the French side of the Basque Pyrenees, where we’ll take a brief walking tour and then check into our hotel.  We’ll end the day with a delicious welcome dinner.  (2.5 hours driving, no hiking.)

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Des Pyrenees

Day 2: Saint Jean Pied de Port France (France) – Roncesvalles (Spain)

Begin with a short transfer (30 minutes) from St. Jean-Pied de Port to a place called La Virgen de Biakorri. This is the first step of El Camino, crossing this famous historical pass of the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles.  Here is where the famous hero of the Charlemagne Army, Roland, battled against the Basques.  We’ll enjoy a good hike in the mid-altitude meadows of the Pyrenees, with a very gradual climb from St. Jean to the cols of Bentarte and Leopeder, eventually descending into Spain through beech tree forests to Roncesvalles, where we stay for the night.  In the afternoon, we'll have a guided tour of Roncesvalles' historic sites.  (30-minute transfer, 6 hours hiking, 9.3 miles, 1,656' gradual ascent, 2,114’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Roncesvalles

Day 3: Roncesvalles – Pamplona

After breakfast, we’ll hike through meadows and forests, passing small villages along the way.  Our destination is the charming old town of Zubiri in the Valley of Esteribar. We’ll cross the Valley of Erro through oak and beech tree forests, the typical scenery of the southern slopes of the Pyrenees in the Navarra Basque Country.  Once we’ve reached Zubiri, we’ll board our bus and transfer 35 minutes to the city of Pamplona, where we’ll spend the night. Pamplona, a city founded by the Roman General Pompeius, is the first big city that the Pilgrims discovered when they arrived in Spain. We’ll take a leisurely walk through the Old City and the streets of the famous "running of the bulls," before sitting down for dinner. (35 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 14 miles, 1,428' ascent, 2,853’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Tres Reyes

Day 4: Ages Atapuerco – Burgos

Today, we'll begin one of the main stages of El Camino, the Meseta, the High Plains of Central Spain. We’ll start the day with a transfer from Pamplona to Ages, where we begin our walk. Today’s journey follows a very flat route, beginning with a short ascent of about 500 feet to Matagrande, as we leave behind the Valley of Rio Pico, passing through the villages of Atapuerca, Villafria, and Castañares. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive to the city of Burgos, situated on the Rio Arlanzon. Burgos was once the capital of the Castile and Léon realms. This 9th Century city was the home town of El Cid whose statue guards the Puente de San Pablo.  We’ll continue along a riverside walkway to the Puente El Cid, and to the Cathedral near which we will spend the night.  After checking in to the hotel, we'll have a guided tour of The Cathedral and the old town of Burgos before dinner. (2 hours driving, 6 hours hiking, 12.5 miles, 1,000' ascent, 1,500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:NH Palacio de la Merced

Day 5: Boadilla del Camino – Carrion de los Condes

Today, we’ll enjoy another full day on the High Plains of Central Spain, as we cross through the Tierra de Campos (or Campos Goticos).  It is here where the Spanish Visigoths settled after defeating the Muslims who entered Spain.  This land is filled with the history of La Reconquista, a period of time lasting nearly 800 years in the Middle Ages, during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula.  It is today known as Castilla.  We’ll walk through this sparse farm country, passing green and golden grasslands and fields of sunflowers, to the town of Carrion de los Condes where we’ll stay for the night. The medieval town of Carrion has one of the most important Churches of El Camino in this area of Tierra de Campo or Campos Goticos, La Iglesia de Santa Marua del Camino.  We'll visit the old town with a local guide on our way to the hotel located in the same monastery that has the relics of San Zoilo.  (1 hour driving, 7 hours hiking, 16.5 miles, 891' ascent, 865’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo

Day 6: El Burgo Ranero – Mansilla de las Mulas (León)

Today, we’ll hike through the small town of El Burgo Ranero, and through vast fields of crops and grasslands on very flat terrain.  By lunch time we will reach the medieval market city of Mansilla de las Mulas, a crossroads in this area of El Camino. After lunch, we'll take a short transfer to the city of León, the Capital of Christian Spain, also known as “El Reino de León.“ The Cathedral of León is one of the most famous in Spain, constructed in the early Gothic style.    In the afternoon we'll enjoy a guided historical tour of the city and the Cathedral.  The Hotel Parador, where we stay this evening, is itself a historical monument from the XVI century worth spending an hour to explore.  (45 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 12 miles, 464' ascent, 1,090’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Hostal San Marcos de León

Day 7: Hospital de Órbigo – Astorga

Our destination today is the small city of Astorga.  The old Roman city of Asturica Augusta, a subdivision of the Roman legion that patrolled all of these High Plains more than 2,000 years ago, is known for its fascinating architecture from the Romanesque style to the Gothic, and is home to the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, built by the famous Catalonian, Antoni Gaudi.  To reach Astorga, we’ll begin in Hospital de Órbigo, with its picturesque old Roman Órbigo Bridge, and continue along country roads through vineyards and rolling hills for 11 miles.  Along the way, we’ll pass through the small villages of Valle de Santibañez and Valdeiglesias, until we eventually reach a poignant part of our trip – El Crucero de Santo Toribio, the religious cross that has marked this trail for centuries.  (1.5 hours driving in two 45-minute shifts, 6 hours hiking, 11 miles, 800' ascent, 834’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo

Day 8: Villafranca – Las Herrerias – O Cebreiro – Lugo

Today we leave the Castilla and Leon region, and the High Plains of El Camino as we hike to Galicia, the northwestern region, with its Celtic history and hilly landscapes. We’ll begin our hike in Las Herrerias crossing La Faba and Laguna de Castilla before we reach our first significant ascent in many days.   We’ll climb over 2,000 feet in our last 5 miles to reach the old Celtic village of O Cebrerio by way of the Piedrfita Pass, where custom has it the pilgrim must throw one stone in the Cruceiro for good luck.  We are now entering Galicia, and the last stage of our El Camino journey.  As we are now in Galicia, we will spend the night in the Old Roman city of Lugo, where we will have the opportunity to visit the Cathedral and walk along the Roman Wall (45 minutes driving, 4 hours hiking, 6 miles, 2,416' ascent, 394’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Méndez Núñez

Day 9: Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast, we’ll have a 45-minute transfer to the town of Pedrouzo, where we’ll start the last stage of our journey along the great El Camino de Santiago.  Today, we’ll reach La Plaza del Obradoiro at the foot of the impressive Cathedral de Santiago in Santiago de Compostela. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James, and is the official destination of The Way of St. James, the traditional pilgrimage route, and of our journey together. We will hike straight to our hotel, the famous XVI century building of the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos (a 5-star parador). (45 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 14 miles, 1,534' ascent, 1,600’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos

Day 10: Day Trip to Finisterre – Guided Historical Tour of Santiago de Compostela

Today we’ll will enjoy a guided excursion to the coastal village of Finisterre ("the end of the Earth"), another important historical site for those pilgrims walking the El Camino. Some pilgrims choose to continue another 55 miles from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Finisterre, the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a tradition for pilgrims to burn their clothes or boots at the end of their journey at Cape Finisterre. In the afternoon, we'll return to Santiago for a guided historical tour of the old city, and of the Cathedral, and then rest up for a special farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos

Day 11: Departure

Alas we must say adios!  After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport in Santiago de Compostela for departures home.

  • Breakfast

Sep 21, 2015 - Oct 01, 2015

Oct 05 - 15, 2015

Apr 18 - 28, 2016

May 16 - 26, 2016

Oct 03 - 13, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices
$5,695 (4-16 members)
$1,400 single supplement

2016 Prices
$5,695 (4-16 members)
$1,400 single supplement

 

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Hotel Des Pyrenees — Saint Jean Pied de Port (France)

Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo — Carrión de los Condes

Hotel Méndez Núñez — Lugo

Hotel Roncesvalles — Roncesvalles

Hotel Tres Reyes — Pamplona

NH Palacio de la Merced — Burgos

Parador Hostal San Marcos de León — León

Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos — Santiago de Compostela

Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo — Villafranca del Bierzo

"We enjoyed our trip on the Camino de Santiago more than can words can express. We relished every meal, every accommodation, every location, every mile, and every minute. Thank you for making it all so special for us. I am an expert at legendary customer service and want you to know that Erik (trip leader) scored 110 out of a possible 100 points. Please accept our most sincere thanks for our appreciation of your looking after every detail on our fabulous adventure. Also please express our appreciation to your tremendous team. We loved every one of your guys too. Hope to see you again soon." Dennis and Cynder

  • Experience one of the world’s most epic pilgrimages via the famed Camino Francès route
  • Rest assured with an exceptional guide-to-hiker ratio, and constant vehicle support—there is always the option to shorten or skip walks!
  • Explore the town of Pamplona, famous for the running of the bulls; the medieval city of Burgos, home of the 11th century hero El Cid; and the ancient Christian capital of León
  • Enjoy guided visits to historic towns including tours of Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre

Hiking the old pilgrim trails to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela is a challenging quest that has enticed travelers for centuries. Eager to have you fully experience it without any added worry, we’ve included some extra perks that you won’t always find with other companies: the expertise of our local guide (an accomplished historian), full support coach, incredible meals, wine with dinner, tickets, transfers, and comfortable accommodations. What’s more, we’ve peppered your journey with informative afternoon guided tours of charming cities and towns along El Camino, including Pamplona, Burgos, and León. Whether you seek illumination or just want to enjoy the thrill of hiking this famous path, this is certain to be the adventure of a lifetime.

"We enjoyed our trip on the Camino de Santiago more than can words can express. We relished every meal, every accommodation, every location, every mile, and every minute. Thank you for making it all so special for us. I am an expert at legendary customer service and want you to know that Erik (trip leader) scored 110 out of a possible 100 points. Please accept our most sincere thanks for our appreciation of your looking after every detail on our fabulous adventure. Also please express our appreciation to your tremendous team. We loved every one of your guys too. Hope to see you again soon." Dennis and Cynder

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Bilbao (Spain) – Transfer to Saint Jean-Pied de Port (France)

Plan to rendezvous with your guide and the rest of the group at 11:00 a.m. at The Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao in Bilbao. Those flying into Bilbao on Day 1 will be picked up from the airport prior to the 11:00 a.m. rendezvous.  Bilbao is the cultural capital and main city of Basque Country in Northern Spain, and is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, noted for its permanent collections of avant-garde art displaying the works of 20th. Century artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, and many leading Basque and Spanish artists. We recommend that you arrive in Bilbao prior to Day 1 to visit the Museum, and to recover from your jet lag. After introductions and a brief orientation, we’ll transfer together to San Sebastian, considered to be the most beautiful city along the Bay of Biscay.  After a short visit and lunch, we’ll continue on to Saint Jean-Pied de Port on the French side of the Basque Pyrenees, where we’ll take a brief walking tour and then check into our hotel.  We’ll end the day with a delicious welcome dinner.  (2.5 hours driving, no hiking.)

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Des Pyrenees

Day 2: Saint Jean Pied de Port France (France) – Roncesvalles (Spain)

Begin with a short transfer (30 minutes) from St. Jean-Pied de Port to a place called La Virgen de Biakorri. This is the first step of El Camino, crossing this famous historical pass of the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles.  Here is where the famous hero of the Charlemagne Army, Roland, battled against the Basques.  We’ll enjoy a good hike in the mid-altitude meadows of the Pyrenees, with a very gradual climb from St. Jean to the cols of Bentarte and Leopeder, eventually descending into Spain through beech tree forests to Roncesvalles, where we stay for the night.  In the afternoon, we'll have a guided tour of Roncesvalles' historic sites.  (30-minute transfer, 6 hours hiking, 9.3 miles, 1,656' gradual ascent, 2,114’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Roncesvalles

Day 3: Roncesvalles – Pamplona

After breakfast, we’ll hike through meadows and forests, passing small villages along the way.  Our destination is the charming old town of Zubiri in the Valley of Esteribar. We’ll cross the Valley of Erro through oak and beech tree forests, the typical scenery of the southern slopes of the Pyrenees in the Navarra Basque Country.  Once we’ve reached Zubiri, we’ll board our bus and transfer 35 minutes to the city of Pamplona, where we’ll spend the night. Pamplona, a city founded by the Roman General Pompeius, is the first big city that the Pilgrims discovered when they arrived in Spain. We’ll take a leisurely walk through the Old City and the streets of the famous "running of the bulls," before sitting down for dinner. (35 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 14 miles, 1,428' ascent, 2,853’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Tres Reyes

Day 4: Ages Atapuerco – Burgos

Today, we'll begin one of the main stages of El Camino, the Meseta, the High Plains of Central Spain. We’ll start the day with a transfer from Pamplona to Ages, where we begin our walk. Today’s journey follows a very flat route, beginning with a short ascent of about 500 feet to Matagrande, as we leave behind the Valley of Rio Pico, passing through the villages of Atapuerca, Villafria, and Castañares. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive to the city of Burgos, situated on the Rio Arlanzon. Burgos was once the capital of the Castile and Léon realms. This 9th Century city was the home town of El Cid whose statue guards the Puente de San Pablo.  We’ll continue along a riverside walkway to the Puente El Cid, and to the Cathedral near which we will spend the night.  After checking in to the hotel, we'll have a guided tour of The Cathedral and the old town of Burgos before dinner. (2 hours driving, 6 hours hiking, 12.5 miles, 1,000' ascent, 1,500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:NH Palacio de la Merced

Day 5: Boadilla del Camino – Carrion de los Condes

Today, we’ll enjoy another full day on the High Plains of Central Spain, as we cross through the Tierra de Campos (or Campos Goticos).  It is here where the Spanish Visigoths settled after defeating the Muslims who entered Spain.  This land is filled with the history of La Reconquista, a period of time lasting nearly 800 years in the Middle Ages, during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula.  It is today known as Castilla.  We’ll walk through this sparse farm country, passing green and golden grasslands and fields of sunflowers, to the town of Carrion de los Condes where we’ll stay for the night. The medieval town of Carrion has one of the most important Churches of El Camino in this area of Tierra de Campo or Campos Goticos, La Iglesia de Santa Marua del Camino.  We'll visit the old town with a local guide on our way to the hotel located in the same monastery that has the relics of San Zoilo.  (1 hour driving, 7 hours hiking, 16.5 miles, 891' ascent, 865’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo

Day 6: El Burgo Ranero – Mansilla de las Mulas (León)

Today, we’ll hike through the small town of El Burgo Ranero, and through vast fields of crops and grasslands on very flat terrain.  By lunch time we will reach the medieval market city of Mansilla de las Mulas, a crossroads in this area of El Camino. After lunch, we'll take a short transfer to the city of León, the Capital of Christian Spain, also known as “El Reino de León.“ The Cathedral of León is one of the most famous in Spain, constructed in the early Gothic style.    In the afternoon we'll enjoy a guided historical tour of the city and the Cathedral.  The Hotel Parador, where we stay this evening, is itself a historical monument from the XVI century worth spending an hour to explore.  (45 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 12 miles, 464' ascent, 1,090’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Hostal San Marcos de León

Day 7: Hospital de Órbigo – Astorga

Our destination today is the small city of Astorga.  The old Roman city of Asturica Augusta, a subdivision of the Roman legion that patrolled all of these High Plains more than 2,000 years ago, is known for its fascinating architecture from the Romanesque style to the Gothic, and is home to the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, built by the famous Catalonian, Antoni Gaudi.  To reach Astorga, we’ll begin in Hospital de Órbigo, with its picturesque old Roman Órbigo Bridge, and continue along country roads through vineyards and rolling hills for 11 miles.  Along the way, we’ll pass through the small villages of Valle de Santibañez and Valdeiglesias, until we eventually reach a poignant part of our trip – El Crucero de Santo Toribio, the religious cross that has marked this trail for centuries.  (1.5 hours driving in two 45-minute shifts, 6 hours hiking, 11 miles, 800' ascent, 834’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo

Day 8: Villafranca – Las Herrerias – O Cebreiro – Lugo

Today we leave the Castilla and Leon region, and the High Plains of El Camino as we hike to Galicia, the northwestern region, with its Celtic history and hilly landscapes. We’ll begin our hike in Las Herrerias crossing La Faba and Laguna de Castilla before we reach our first significant ascent in many days.   We’ll climb over 2,000 feet in our last 5 miles to reach the old Celtic village of O Cebrerio by way of the Piedrfita Pass, where custom has it the pilgrim must throw one stone in the Cruceiro for good luck.  We are now entering Galicia, and the last stage of our El Camino journey.  As we are now in Galicia, we will spend the night in the Old Roman city of Lugo, where we will have the opportunity to visit the Cathedral and walk along the Roman Wall (45 minutes driving, 4 hours hiking, 6 miles, 2,416' ascent, 394’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Méndez Núñez

Day 9: Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast, we’ll have a 45-minute transfer to the town of Pedrouzo, where we’ll start the last stage of our journey along the great El Camino de Santiago.  Today, we’ll reach La Plaza del Obradoiro at the foot of the impressive Cathedral de Santiago in Santiago de Compostela. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James, and is the official destination of The Way of St. James, the traditional pilgrimage route, and of our journey together. We will hike straight to our hotel, the famous XVI century building of the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos (a 5-star parador). (45 minutes driving, 6 hours hiking, 14 miles, 1,534' ascent, 1,600’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos

Day 10: Day Trip to Finisterre – Guided Historical Tour of Santiago de Compostela

Today we’ll will enjoy a guided excursion to the coastal village of Finisterre ("the end of the Earth"), another important historical site for those pilgrims walking the El Camino. Some pilgrims choose to continue another 55 miles from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Finisterre, the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a tradition for pilgrims to burn their clothes or boots at the end of their journey at Cape Finisterre. In the afternoon, we'll return to Santiago for a guided historical tour of the old city, and of the Cathedral, and then rest up for a special farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos

Day 11: Departure

Alas we must say adios!  After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport in Santiago de Compostela for departures home.

  • Breakfast

Hotel Des Pyrenees — Saint Jean Pied de Port (France)

Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo — Carrión de los Condes

Hotel Méndez Núñez — Lugo

Hotel Roncesvalles — Roncesvalles

Hotel Tres Reyes — Pamplona

NH Palacio de la Merced — Burgos

Parador Hostal San Marcos de León — León

Parador Nacional De Los Reyes Catolicos — Santiago de Compostela

Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo — Villafranca del Bierzo

Dates and Pricing

Sep 21, 2015 - Oct 01, 2015

Oct 05 - 15, 2015

Apr 18 - 28, 2016

May 16 - 26, 2016

Oct 03 - 13, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices
$5,695 (4-16 members)
$1,400 single supplement

2016 Prices
$5,695 (4-16 members)
$1,400 single supplement

 

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