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Image of pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago Map of the Camino de Santiago trip

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Walk the ancient path across Northwestern Spain, through cobbled villages and farmer's fields. Spend eight days in the serene natural landscape, accepting the hospitality of locals along the way. Bask in a silence broken only by birdsong, the gravel under foot and the sounds of your own breathing. Challenge yourself to complete 100km of this historic route, become part of its legend and experience a life-changing personal odyssey.

Join us for a purpose driven quest on the last 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the Camino. Along the way, we'll visit powerful points of interest, staying in historic hotels, palaces, convents and guesthouses along the way. Meet the hospitable residents who proudly welcome us to their illustrious home turf, and enjoy exceptional regional cuisine in small loca villages.Upon completion of the pilgrimage, you will receive an official "Compostela" bearing your name-a testament to the many thousands of steps you will have taken on this unforgettable seeker's trek.

The Trip

Day One / Leon

Morning arrival to Leon

The Pulchra Leonina, the "Sistine Chapel" of Spanish Romanesque architecture and the old Hospital de San Marcos are the key points of this former Roman encampment. Over the course of time, León became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages, a historic enclave on the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela and a city perfectly suited to its inhabitants.

3 PM- 7 PM Half day guided walking tour in León

Visit the Cathedral that King Ordoño II built on the site of his royal palace as a show of gratitude for defeating the Arabs at the battle of San Esteban de Gormaz. The stained glass in the Cathedral is from the 13th through the 20th century and cover 1,200 square metres of surface area. The Colegiata de San Isidoro is one of the most notable and emblematic churches of all of Spain. It was constructed on top of an old church dedicated to St. John the Baptist and was demolished by the Moor Almanzor in 988. Alfonso V rebuilt it in a Romanesque style, with three naves and a sanctuary with three apses. One of the apses disappeared when it was converted into a Gothic style. Antonio Gaudí built the Casa de Botines as a modernist building with a medieval look. All business activity was carried out on the ground floors. The upper floors were reserved for residences. The building was declared a Historic Monument in 1969. Today it is the social headquarters of a saving bank. Dinner at the parador, accommodation in León: Parador de San Marcos

Where We Sleep

Parador de San Marcos

Construction began around 1515 on this monumental building, which features a Spanish Plateresque façade. The building's history can be felt at the Cloister, Church, Choir and Chapterhouse, and the present in the careful renovation-work, combined with an interior filled with works of art and rooms which gave shelter to pilgrims in times of old.

Casa Díaz

Located in Samos, Casa de Díaz combines the charm of the ancestral with the modern travellers needs. Established through the 19th Century as a refuge for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Due to its location, this family hotel is the prefect start for those pilgrims on the last portion of the Way. Their attention to every detail and the quality of their meals are well-known by the pilgrims.

Pousada Portomarin

The Pousada de Portomarin lies at the very heart of the Pilgrim´s Way, on the borders of the river Miño and surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Balneario Río Pambre

This cosy spa-hotel is located in the heart of Galicia, the in Ulloa region, well known for its "pazos" (palaces) and for having the first pilgrim hospital. Just 2 km away from the French pilgrim route of Camino de Santiago, the spa is surrounded by century-old forests. The hotel consists of a main building and 2 "pallozas" (round, stone buildings with thatched roofs), which are perfect for groups of friends since they provide a more private location. The rooms are very comfortable and fully equipped. The spa area is located in the main building. The thermal water comes from a century-old nearby spring. The hotel has been built according to the principles of sustainability and environmental respect, using materials such as stone, wood and slate. All ingredients used in the restaurant are organic.

Casa Rural A Paínza

A Painza was a village built in the 19th Century that has been renewed in order to receive tourists and pilgrims on their way to Santiago. A Painza combines the elegance of its buildings with impressive gardens and marvelous traditional restaurants offering fresh products.

Casa Rural Pazo Xan Xordo

Situated in the heart of the Santiago region, 7 km from the city, this traditional-style house offers elegant accommodation amid beautiful natural surroundings. As well as attractive accommodation in tranquil surroundings, you'll also have access to a comfortable hall in which to relax. A meeting room is available, complemented by free parking and internet access.

Parador de los Reyes Católicos

A mixture of history, art and tradition, the dream of pilgrims and an emblem of Santiago, the Parador-Hotel de los Reyes Católicos, located in the Plaza do Obradoiro, forms a magnificent golden corner with the cathedral, imparting beauty on one of the most visited regional capitals of the world. The hostal, which originated as a Royal Hospital in 1499 to give shelter to the numerous travellers making their way to Santiago, still today invites the traveller to enjoy a universal and fascinating city. Considered to be the oldest hotel in the world, it is also one of the most luxurious and beautiful. It has four cloisters of immense beauty, elegant living rooms, spectacular bedrooms and a luxurious dining room.

Day Two / LEON - ASTORGA - O CEBREIRO - SAMOS

Transfer to Astorga (50 Kms), Arrival to Astorga. 10 AM - 1 PM Half day guided walking tour in Astorga, Meet your local expert guide. Astorga offers a rich medieval legacy as a result of its location at the crossroads of the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela and the Ruta de la Plata. Its walled town preserves churches, convents and hospitals which take travellers back to the purest tradition of the Pilgrim's Road. Another outstanding feature in the town's streets is a culminating work by the Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí: the Bishop's Palace. This is a Neogothic work by the Modernist master Antoni Gaudí. Lunch in Astorga, Continue to O Cebreiro - Santa María (110 kms). Enjoy exploring O Cebreiro on your own before continuing to Samos (35 kms) On the French route of the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela, O Cebreiro has a Grail some consider to be sacred and others to be miraculous. O Cebreiro is a village which has a series of pallozas, or round stone houses with a straw roof, which are still standing and which were inhabited until relatively recently. A must in O Cebreiro is a visit to the pre-Romanesque church, the oldest remaining fully intact on the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela, and which contains a Holy Grail. Its bells rang during the winter to guide the pilgrims through the mists. You should also stop by the San Giraldo de Aurillac lodging house, without a doubt the most frequented after Roncesvalles since it has been in operation since the 9th century. Samos monastery has suffered many terrible fires and has been plundered on many occasions throughout its troubled history. Seven bishops have come from this monastery, the most notable of whom is the illustrious Benito Jeronimo Feijoo. At the beginning of the 19th century it was converted into a Benedictine site. The church façade dates back to the eighteenth century and is still incomplete. The most outstanding feature of the Samos monastery is the Classical Feijoo cloister, along with a statue of the aforementioned illustrious gentleman. Once inside the monastery, there is an ancient door from an old Romanesque church that was destroyed in the 17th century. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Samos: Casa Díaz

Day Three / SAMOS - SAN XIL - SARRIA - PORTOMARIN

Enjoy walking a portion of the Camino de Santiago from San Xil to Sarría (18 kms). Portomarín, declared a historic artistic monument, belongs to the province and dioceses of Lugo. The geographic surrounding of Portomarín is formed by three different unities: the surface of oceanic flattening, the Miño valley and the dividing reliefs (of the Miño and Ulla river basins). Numerous forts and burial mounds give testimony to the occupation of these lands in prehistoric times. The process of Romanization was affirmed with the construction of a bridge over the Miño river in the II century. In the low Middle Ages the highlight is the French Way to Santiago, empowered by the existence of the roman bridge over Miño. Portomarín appears in the Calixtino Códice as Pons minea (miño bridge). Dinner included.
Accommodation in Portomarín: Pousada Portomarin.

Day Four / PORTOMARIN - SARRIA - PORTOMARÍN

Transfer to Sarria. Walk from Sarria to Portomarin (22 Kms). Ventas de Narón is mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus, site of a 9th century battle between the northern Christian kingdoms and the Arabs. Stop to see the hermitage of Santa María Magdalena at Ventas. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Portomarín: Pousada Portomarin

Day Five / PORTOMARÍN - PALAS DE REI

Walk to Palas de Rei (25 Kms). This entire area was very important in the middle ages and has a rich history made up of a mixture of cultures and times. It is a growing town of about 5000 inhabitants and has long served as a meeting point for pilgrims who would regroup together before tackling the last leg of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The church of San Tirso has a beautiful romantic-era doorway and façade, and is the only vestige that remains of the past towns. However, the artistic wealth remains, in the forms of other churches of the city, as well as the castles of Pambre and Felpos. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Palas de Rei: Balneario Río Pambre.

Day Six / PALAS DE REI - MELIDE - PALAS DE REI

Walk to Melide (17 Kms). This medieval village, famous for a 14th Century miracle in which the Eucharist was transformed into actual flesh and blood, houses the beautiful romanesque Santa María Church and the oldest stone cross in Galicia. Return to Palas de Rei at your own leisure time. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Palas de Rei: Balneario Río Pambre.

Day Seven / PALAS DE REI - MELIDE - CALZADA - ARZÚA

Transfer to Melide. Walk to Calzada (18,2 Kms). One of the last staging points on the Way of St James before Santiago de Compostela. The history of Arzúa is very closely linked to the Road to Santiago. Surrounded by a beautiful scenery stands the Gothic Chapel of Magdalena. The little town is famous nowadays for its Galician cheese factories. The chestnuts and oaks give way to eucalyptus. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Arzúa: Casa Rural A Painza.

Image of pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago

Day Eight / ARZÚA - CALZADA - LAVACOLLA

Transfer to Calzada. Walk from Calzada to Lavacolla (25 kms). Arrival to Lavacolla. Traditionally Lavacolla was the place where pilgrims used to cleanse themselves before the final walk into Santiago de Compostela. Santiago's airport is also located here. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Lavacolla: Casa Rural Pazo Xan Xordo.

Day Nine / LAVACOLLA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Walk from Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela (10,2 kms). Arrival to Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela, World Heritage City and capital of Galicia, is the final landmark on the St. James pilgrimage route. Centuries of splendor and development have left us an urban layout in which the medieval Christian heritage is mixed with monumental Baroque buildings. Dinner included.
Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela: Parador de los Reyes Católicos

Day Ten / SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

9:30 AM - 1:30 PM Half day guided walking tour in Santiago. Meet guide in hotel lobby. Enjoy walking the Medieval Streets of Santiago de Compostela with your expert local guide. Visit the Plaza del Obradoiro, which has important monuments, including the Cathedral. This square gives access to the Pórtico de la Gloria, created by Master Mateo in the 12th century. Inside, Romanesque and Gothic elements alternate with other Baroque style decoration. Visit the Plaza Quintana, Plaza Azabachería and Plaza de Platerías. Afternoon at leisure. Farewell dinner included.
Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela: Parador de los Reyes Católicos

Day Eleven / DEPARTURE

Transfer provided to airport / Flight details to be advised

The Details

Image of Spanish countryside

Level of Activity: Moderate - Suitable for most ages and abilities, with activities ranging from city walking to strolls through streets and along nature paths.

Start: Leon
Finish: Santiago de Compostela

What’s Included:

What’s Not Included:

Trip Operator: Horizon & Co. (founded in 1963), is Canada's leading boutique travel company. Horizon designs and stages authentic and deeply personal travel experiences that are carefully choreographed to induce a life-long memory. In addition to offering published trips on seven continents, Horizon builds private custom trips for discerning individuals and small groups.

Trip Format: Our Escorted Trips are designed for sociable travellers who want access to our Horizon guides on the ground 24 hours a day so that they can focus on having fun, meeting new people, and getting the most out of their travel experience rather than spending all of their time planning logistics, making choices, or reaching into their wallets. The itinerary, prices and dates are all fixed, and every trip is escorted by a Horizon guide.

Dates

Duration 10 nights / 11 days
Dates May 2011

TO BOOK YOUR TRIP: Contact Chantal Farand-Viau by calling 416-617-4868 or via email at chantal@entre‑amiesgetaways.com. Please inquire about the possibility of joining Sue Kenney, pilgrim, on the Camino Trail in May 2011.

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