Step back in time to hike ‘The Way of St. James’, taking in northwest Spain’s rural beauty and ancient heritage
- Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims past, through a spectacular natural world of rolling hills dotted with charming villages and near-ancient monasteries
- Travelling in a small group, your expert leader will guide you among the region’s rich heritage and indulgent tapas cuisine
- Take things at your own pace, with your luggage transported to each hotel and a day to explore Santiago’s medieval grandeur
- 1 Night Samos
- 1 Night Sarria
- 1 Night Portomarín
- 1 Night Palas de Rei
- 1 Night Arzúa
- 1 Night Pedrouzo
- 2 Nights Santiago de Compostela
For over a millennium, travellers have made their way across Spain’s scenic northwest to Santiago, making the Camino de Santiago one of the world’s oldest pilgrimage routes. The goal is the toweringly Romanesque Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Your route, marked by scallop shell symbols, will bring you through an undulating land of old growth forests, fruit orchards and near-endless stretches of fields. It’s all dotted by a rich history, remembered by everything from Roman bridges to medieval church fortresses. While a reasonable level of fitness is required, your luggage will be transferred between hotels and you’ll enjoy the services of an expert guide throughout. They’ll be able to guide you between the region’s rich heritage and its delightful gastronomy.
Day by day itinerary
Begin with an evening flight to Coruna and transfer to Samos where you’ll meet your fellow walkers. You’ll then have some free time to explore this attractive village, perhaps enjoying your first taste of Galician cuisine. The produce of this agriculturally rich region is showcased across tapas menus of just-caught-seafood, rich meats and fresh vegetables.
Stay: Hotel A Veiga (Standard)
After breakfast, you’ll start your walk along perhaps the most unspoilt section of the Camino, populated by a number of traditional villages. You’ll also stop off at one of the oldest monasteries in Spain; exhibiting competing architectural influences, it combines Gothic severity with neoclassical flourishes. You’ll then continue through ancient oak forests to reach Sarria.
Day 2 walking distance - 8 miles
Stay: Hotel Oca Villa de Sarria (Standard)
Follow the region’s hilly, green-dappled contours to reach Portomarín. Along with the rest of its historic buildings, its centuries-old castellated church was moved, brick by brick, from the valley floor to its current hilltop position. In doing so the town swapped the threat of flooding for stunning views over the region.
Day 3 walking distance - 14 miles
Stay: Hotel Villa Jardin (Standard)
Palas de Rei
Begin with a steady ascent to Ventas de Naron – a charming stone village – where the gradient levels out. As you continue, there’s plenty of opportunity to take a break with a café stop. You’ll then overnight at the halfway point of your trek, at Palas de Rei. This delightful church town is perhaps the best example of the Camino’s communal spirit, with plenty of walkers choosing to stay here.
Day 4 walking distance - 15 miles
Stay: La Cabana (Standard)
Today you’ll be treated to perhaps the most picturesque stretch of the route. Crossing several Roman bridges, you’ll pass medieval churches hidden among endless swathes of rolling greenery. You’ll then take your lunch in the small town of Melide, perhaps sampling the local delicacy – octopus. Your final destination for the day is Arzúa, famed for its excellent cheeses.
Day 5 walking distance - 18 miles
Stay: Pension O Retiro (Standard)
Ascending and descending through woods, fruit fields and eucalyptus groves you’ll reach Pedrouzo. As the capital of a farming parish, it’s surrounded by a beautiful tapestry of fields; their produce is best sampled is the town’s atmospheric tapas bars.
Day 6 walking distance - 11 miles
Stay: Hotel Platas (Standard)
Santiago de Compostela
Your last day’s walking will see you summit the famous Monte do Gozo, a hill topped by religious sculptures. It’s here that you’ll be treated to your first view of journey’s end – a sight that elicited cries from the original pilgrims, hence the name ‘Hill of Joy’. Then, as is the ancient tradition, you’ll descend to walk the city’s streets and to reach the Plaza del Obradoio and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Most Fridays, you’ll be treated to its famous mass service, renowned for its botafumeiro incense swinging.
On arrival in Santiago de Compostela, you will obtain the 'compostela', a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims upon completing the way; gained by walking at least 100km of the route, which is done on this trip.
Day 7 walking distance - 12 miles
Stay: Hotel Avenida (Standard)
Santiago de Compostela
Today is left free for you to explore the historic city of Santiago at your own place. After a second look at the cathedral, stroll through the narrow streets of its UNESCO-listed old town to take in the city’s diverse architecture before making a stop at the Museum of Galician Life. Here, the region’s rich traditions and art are presented across a range of exhibitions. Alternatively, join a day excursion to Cape Finisterre. Thought to be the end of the world by the Romans, it’s a site of dramatic natural beauty.
Stay: Hotel Avenida (Standard)
Depart for UK
Transfer back to Coruna airport in the evening, to make your flight home.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
9-day escorted walk from £1,195 incl. flights
Meet our experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7664 2264