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Spain El Camino de Santiago Hiking

A Bucket-List Pilgrimage Across Northern Spain

 

For over a thousand years, the faithful have hiked the Camino de Santiago trail across northern Spain. Whether you're on a spiritual journey or just want to enjoy the thrill of walking this famous pilgrimage path, take off along its most popular route, the Camino Frances - the French Way, which begins in France. Enjoy the expertise of a local guide, incredible meals, comfortable accommodations, full coach support, and tours of charming cities and towns along the way, including Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon. On this epic adventure, the journey is the destination.

  • Embark across northern Spain on one of the world's most epic hiking pilgrimages

  • Tour the bustling town of Pamplona, famous for its annual running of the bulls spectacle

  • Marvel at the fascinating historic sites of Santiago de Compostela

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Bilbao, Spain

Depart:

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Price: from $6,395

Duration:

11 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

4-16 Guests

Min Age:

18 yrs

Activity:

Level 4

This is a strenuous hiking trip with average hikes of 10 miles per day. There is only significant elevation gain on two days (Day 2 & 8). The terrain and trails are in good condition with some sections of paved roads as we cross through villages from time to time. You need to be in good condition to be comfortable on this trip.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Meet in Bilbao & Transfer to Saint Jean-Pied de Port

    Day 1

    Arrive in Bilbao this morning and transfer to the hotel. Meet your guide and the rest of the group at 11am for a brief orientation and transfer to San Sebastian. Enjoy lunch and a short visit of this beautiful city along the Bay of Biscay before continuing on to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a small market town on the French side of the Basque Pyrenees. After checking into the hotel, take a brief walking tour and end the day with a welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Les Pyrenees-Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France

    Hotel Les Pyrenees in the charming town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a stellar base for exploring Basque Country. This family-run hotel offers warm, inviting guest rooms that are simple but contemporary. The grounds are lovely, with a courtyard and a pool, and the restaurant on the property serves delicious gourmet fare.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Begin the First Stage of El Camino

    Day 2

    Transfer from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Biakorri, where a statue of the Virgin Mary watches over travelers from atop a rocky ridge. Begin the first stage of El Camino, crossing from France into Spain along the historical Pass of Roncesvalles, where the hero of the Charlemagne Army, Roland, battled against the Basques. Hike in the mid-altitude meadows of the Pyrenees, with a very gradual climb to the cols of Bentarte and Leopeder, eventually descending through beech tree forests to Roncesvalles. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of Roncesvalles' historic sites.

    Accommodation: Hotel Roncesvalles-Roncesvalles, Spain

    A welcome respite after walking the Camino de Santiago, Hotel Roncesvalles features well-appointed, modern rooms in a restored medieval monastery that retains much of its original character. Amenities include private bathrooms, TVs, hair dryers, and free Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers hearty breakfasts to fuel up hikers.

    Activity: 6 hours/9.5 miles hiking with 1,656' elevation gain & 2,114' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Zubiri & Transfer to Pamplona

    Day 3

    After breakfast, hike through meadows and forests, passing villages on the way toward the charming old town of Zubiri in the valley of Esteribar. Cross the Erro valley through oak and beech tree forests, typical for the southern slopes of the Pyrenees. In Zubiri, board the bus and transfer to Pamplona. Founded by the Roman General Pompeius, Pamplona is the first big city that the pilgrims discovered when they arrived in Spain. Take a walk through the old city, including the streets where the famous "running of the bulls" takes place.

    Accommodation: Hotel Tres Reyes-Pamplona, Spain

    Ideally located only a short distance from the city center, the upscale Hotel Tres Reyes is a perfect homebase for exploring Pamplona. Spacious, modern rooms come equipped with private bathrooms, minibars, LED televisions, telephones, safes, A/C, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel boasts a bar, cafe, restaurant, swimming pool, and fitness center.

    Activity: 6 hours/14 miles hiking with 1,428' elevation gain & 2,853' elevation loss

    Transportation: 40-minute private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Meseta & Arrive at Burgos

    Day 4

    After transferring 2 hours from Pamplona to Ages, begin one of the main stages of El Camino: the high plains of central Spain, known as the Meseta. After a short 500-ft ascent to Matagrande, the journey follows a very flat route, passing through several villages. In the afternoon, arrive at the 9th-century city of Burgos on the Rio Arlanzon, home town of El Cid, whose statue guards the Puente de San Pablo. Check in to the hotel and enjoy a guided tour of the Gothic-style cathedral and the old town before dinner.

    Accommodation: NH Collection Palacio de Burgos-Burgos, Spain

    This elegant hotel, housed in a Gothic church erected in the 16th and 17th centuries, sits at the heart of Burgos. Guests are only a short walk from the UNESCO-protected Burgos cathedral as well as the city's other attractions and restaurants. Modern amenities abound at this historic property, including a fitness center, sauna, rooftop terrace, and free Wi-Fi.

    Activity: 6 hours/12.5 miles hiking with 1,000' elevation gain & 1,500' elevation loss

    Transportation: 2-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Cross the Tierra de Campos & Reach Carrion de los Condes

    Day 5

    Today enjoy another full day on the high plains of central Spain, while crossing through the Tierra de Campos (or Campos Goticos). Today known as Castilla, this region is filled with the history of La Reconquista, a period lasting nearly 800 years in the Middle Ages. Pass green and golden grasslands and fields of sunflowers on the way to the medieval town of Carrion de los Condes. Take a guided tour of the old town, then settle into the hotel, impressively located within a restored medieval monastery.

    Accommodation: Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo-Carrion de los Condes, Spa

    Set in a spectacular 10th-century monastery, the sophisticated Hotel Monasterio San Zoilo is a short walk from Rio Carrion. The individually decorated rooms seamlessly blend historic details, like exposed brick and original archways, with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi. The hotel features a charming bar and a Castilian restaurant, as well as a beautiful cloister and peaceful gardens.

    Activity: 7 hours/16.5 miles hiking with 891' elevation gain & 865' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike through El Burgo Ranero & Transfer to Leon

    Day 6

    Today hike through the small town of El Burgo Ranero and through vast fields of crops and grasslands on very flat terrain. By lunchtime, reach the medieval market city of Mansilla de las Mulas, a crossroads in this area of El Camino. After lunch, take a short transfer to the capital of Christian Spain: the city of Leon, also known as El Reino de Leon. Take a historical tour of the city and its early Gothic-style cathedral, one of the most famous in Spain.

    Accommodation: Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidoro-Leon, spain

    Located in the heart of León's historic quarter, the Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidoro consistently wows guests. As a converted monastery, built in to the city's Roman walls, the hotel oozes Romanesque elegance with its brick walls, frescoes, and cloistered corridors. Its comfortable rooms are stylish and clean, with modern amenities and private bathrooms. The hotel also has a royal pantheon, museum, and collegiate library.

    Activity: 6 hours/12 miles hiking with 464' elevation gain & 1,090' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1.25-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike from Hospital de Orbigo to the Roman City of Astorga

    Day 7

    Begin today's hike in Hospital de Orbigo, with its picturesque old Roman bridge, and continue along country roads through vineyards and rolling hills. En route pass through the small villages of Valle de Santibanez and Valdeiglesias, and reach El Crucero de Santo Toribio, the religious cross that has marked this trail for centuries. Continue on to the small Roman city of Astorga, founded in 14 B.C. and today known for its fascinating, eclectic architecture. Then transfer to Villafranca del Bierzo, home for the night.

    Accommodation: Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo-Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain

    Framed by the Ancares Mountains, Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo offers modern accommodations in the El Bierzo district. Its Galician-style exterior, clad in stone and slate, is offset by lovely flower-filled grounds - which provide unobstructed views of the verdant mountains. The parador also has indoor and outdoor pools and an ice fountain.

    Activity: 6 hours/11 miles hiking with 800' elevation gain & 834' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1.75-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike from Las Herrerias to the Celtic Village of O Cebrerio

    Day 8

    Leave behind the high plains of El Camino and enter the northwestern region of Galicia. Begin the hike in Las Herrerias and reach the first significant ascent in many days. Climb over 2,000' in the last five 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. Spend the night in the ancient city of Monforte de Lemos.

    Accommodation: Parador Nacional de Monforte de Lemos

    Set in a beautiful 17th-century, neoclassical building that was once a monastery, this parador is ideally located in historic Lugo. Enjoy a stroll around the property's tranquil cloister with elegant carved stonework. Comfortable rooms offer air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Other amenities include laundry service, a hot tub, fitness center and an outdoor pool.

    Activity: 4 hours/6 miles hiking with 2,416' elevation gain & 394' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Reach Santiago de Compostela

    Day 9

    After breakfast, a 45-minute transfer leads to the town of Pedrouzo, where you start the last stage of the trek along El Camino de Santiago. Today reach the official destination of the journey - Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral that is the reputed burial place of St. James. The cathedral sits on La Plaza del Obradoiro, as does the hotel, a five-star parador located within a spectacular 16th-century building.

    Accommodation: Parador de Santiago de Compostela-Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    Travel back in history with a stay in this grand hotel - originally a royal hospital built in the 15th century - in the center of Obradoiro Square. Four-poster beds, brocade linens, warm woods, and rich velvets adorn the comfortable rooms. The restaurant serves a delicious menu of Galician-style food, although endless culinary delights await outside the hotel.

    Activity: 6 hours/14 miles hiking with 1,534' elevation gain & 1,600' elevation loss

    Transportation: 45-minute private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day Trip to Finisterre & Tour Santiago de Compostela

    Day 10

    Today enjoy a guided excursion to the coastal village of Finisterre ("the end of the Earth"), 51 miles from Santiago de Compostela. It is a tradition for pilgrims to end their journey by burning their clothes or boots here at the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. In the afternoon, return to Santiago for a guided historical tour of the old city and the cathedral, then rest up for a special farewell dinner.

    Accommodation: Parador de Santiago de Compostela-Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    Travel back in history with a stay in this grand hotel - originally a royal hospital built in the 15th century - in the center of Obradoiro Square. Four-poster beds, brocade linens, warm woods, and rich velvets adorn the comfortable rooms. The restaurant serves a delicious menu of Galician-style food, although endless culinary delights await outside the hotel.

    Transportation: 2.5-hours private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Santiago de Compostela

    Day 11

    Today say adios to Spain. After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Santiago de Compostela for departures home.

    Meals: Breakfast

Spain El Camino de Santiago Hiking

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been leading treks on this famous pilgrimage route for over 7 years, with back-up coach support for those who need it.

Reason #02

Guided by a top-notch team of local experts, hikers enjoy historical and cultural tours in ancient towns on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

Reason #03

This trip has been perfected to blend hiking and history, plus delicious cuisine and elegant accommodations.

Meet your guides

Erik Perez

Erik Perez

Erik was born and raised in the Asturias region of northern Spain and has been leading MT Sobek trips in Europe, Asia and South America since 1989. Erik holds the coveted IFMGA/UIAGM certification, which is the highest professional award attainable in mountaineering. He has written two guidebooks on hikes and climbs in the Picos de Europa. Erik studied Humanities at the University of Oviedo-the capital city of Asturias-and received a Masters degree in History. He is among MT Sobek's most well-loved guides, leading Across the Pyrenees, El Camino de Santiago, and MT Sobek's 50th Anniversary Base Camp Trek in 2019.

Leo San Sebastian

Leo San Sebastian

Leo was born in the mountains of Spain's Basque Country and made his home in Jaca, in the heart of the Pyrenees, where he spends his winters on backcountry skis. He has been guiding in the Pyrenees for many years, as well as in Nepal, Morocco, Tanzania, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Pakistan, India, and the French Alps. He has also taught skiing in Colorado. He is an International Certified Mountain Guide (UIAGM) and a professional ski instructor (ISIA). Leo is fluent in English, French, and Basque.

Joaquin Alvarez

Joaquin Alvarez

Joaquin is a mountain guide, ski instructor, and a freelance climbing guide from the Asturias region. He comes from a family of sportsmen and climbers in northern Spain, and one of his uncles was a famous mountain guide in Spain's Picos de Europa. Follow Joaquin on MT Sobek's enchanting hiking adventure on the legendary Camino de Santiago.

Activities

Moderate to challenging hikes through spectacular landscapes, paired with city, culture and history tours.

Lodging

Revamped medieval monasteries and historic buildings offer standard to high-class amenities, comfort, and warm hospitality.

Climate

Spring and fall mornings are cool but warm up to 75°F at midday, cooling back down to about 55°F in late afternoon.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival at the Bilbao airport on Day 1?

If you are flying into Bilbao the morning of Day 1, your guide will meet you directly after you exit customs and transfer you to the meeting point in Bilbao city center.

Do I have to do all of the hikes each day?

No. Each day, there are several opportunities to shorten your hike by getting a lift from our support vehicle.

Can I wear walking/running shoes instead of hiking boots on this trip?

Yes. In fact, for this trip, shoes are recommended over boots as boots are too heavy for this terrain.

Do I need hiking/trekking poles for this trip?

No. This trip is easily done without hiking poles. The paths and roads are in excellent condition.

What's the best way to train for this trip?

Hiking is the best way to train for this trip. The most important aspect of your training should be time spent hiking versus elevation gain. This trip is very flat, so focus on distance.

Do I have to carry my own water on this trip?

Yes, but there are several opportunities each day to refill your water bottles. A good day pack is a must for carrying water, snacks and extra layers on this trip.

2021

Scheduled Dates

  • Oct 11 - 21, 2021
    $6,395 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Wait ListConfirmed

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • Apr 18 - 28, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • May 16 - 26, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 29 - Sep 08, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 11 - 21, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 26 - Oct 06, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • Oct 10 - 20, 2022
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

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Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $7,795 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $7,395 per person double occupancy

8 to 16 guests from $6,895 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $6,695 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $6,195 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.