Twin Share: 3,975 AUD
Single Room: 4,825 AUD

From May 19th To June 6th
From September 29th To October 17th

Introduction

Departing from Leon City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, walking to Santiago de Compostela. Live the essence of the Camino on 300kms of Spanish landscape offering a diverse variety of quaint villages and magnificent cities noted as the most scenic stretch of the Camino. Enjoy everything the Camino has to offer, you will experience the challenge of Mountain ranges, sights of great historical significance, witness castles of times gone by, Monasteries of great historical importance and many diverse cultural and gastronomical experiences. Allow the Camino to get under your skin as you feel and work with your inner world.

2018 Program

  • First Section: You start walking along the last Km. in La Meseta, spanish central plateau (800-900m.) up to Astoga.
  • Second Section: You climb to Montes de León (over 1,500 m) the entrance of El Bierzo region (500-600 m) a broad valley surrounded by high mountains, walk across quite a flat terrain, including vineyards and rolling hills.
  • Third Section: You climb up to O Cebreiro (over 1,300 m) and finally reach the greenest Spanish region, Galicia. You cross these hills and mountains (300-600 m) in a continuous upward and downward motion, until your final destination, your target, Santiago de Compostela.

 

 

Transfer pilgrims to accomodations in afternoon to the next point
Therapy group session
Day Date 1 Date 2 Departure Arrival Km Difficulty Hours
1 MAY 19th SEPTEMBER 29th LEON 0 0
2 MAY 20th SEPTEMBER 30th VIRGEN DEL CAMINO HOSPITAL DE ORBIGO 25 easy 7
3 MAY 21st OCTOBER 1st HOSPITAL DE ORBIGO ASTORGA 17 easy 5
4 MAY 22nd OCTOBER 2nd ASTORGA FONCEBADON 26 hard 8
5 MAY 23rd OCTOBER 3rd FONCEBADON MOLINASECA 19 medium 6
6 MAY 24th OCTOBER 4th MOLINASECA PONFERRADA 8 easy 2
7 MAY 25th OCTOBER 5th PONFERRADA CACABELOS 16 easy 5
8 MAY 26th OCTOBER 6th CACABELOS VEGA DE VALCARCE/AMBASMESTAS 25 easy 6
9 MAY 27th OCTOBER 7th VEGA DE VALCARCE/AMBASMESTAS O CEBREIRO 12 hard 5
10 MAY 28th OCTOBER 8th O CEBREIRO TRIACASTELA 21 hard 7
11 MAY 29th OCTOBER 9th TRIACASTELA SARRIA 22 easy 6
12 MAY 30th OCTOBER 10th REST DAY SARRIA 0 0
13 MAY 31st OCTOBER 11th SARRIA PORTOMARIN 22 easy 6
14 JUNE 1st OCTOBER 12th PORTOMARIN PALAS DE REI 22 medium 6
15 JUNE 2nd OCTOBER 13th PALAS DE REI ARZUA 26 medium 7
16 JUNE 3rd OCTOBER 14th ARZUA O PEDROUZO 19 easy 5
17 JUNE 4th OCTOBER 15th O PEDROUZO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 20 easy 5
18 JUNE 5th OCTOBER 16th REST DAY SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 0 0
19 JUNE 6th OCTOBER 17th COMING BACK HOME?
TOTAL 300 88

Itinerary

We arrive at León, sharing with Burgos, the title of most beautiful city in Castilla, León Region, the vast Meseta (plateau) region in Spain.

Explore this beautiful city and its incredible Gothic cathedral renowned for its spectacular stained glass windows.

Visit two districts full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, terraces, Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, both near the Cathedral.

In the afternoon, we’ll meet the group for coordination/logistics meeting and share a beautiful dinner together.

From León to Hospital de Órbigo is 33 Km the exit from León includes 8 kms through the streets of the city and surrounding suburbs walking on paths and busy roads up to the monument of La Virgen del Camino if you wish to walk this and feel that 33 kms is within your reach that will be your choice.

The alternative plan is to take a bus or a taxi, up to Virgen del Camino (which is what many people do), to start your journey there, making it 25 Km to Hospital de Órbigo,

In Virgen del Camino you have the choice between the historic Camino through Villadangos del Páramo, consisting mainly of industrial and residential areas, or, the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife, we suggest this alternative, it takes you far from the national road, a more rural option.

Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a pretty flat and manageable stage, to a cute village that boasts one of the most beautiful bridges in Camino. Take your time to admire this medieval monument.

 

Today is another easy walk day and short only17 Km.

When you reach the pretty hilltop city of Astorga, capital of the Maragateria area, visit its ‘pink’ cathedral, the fabulous Episcopal palace designed by Antoni Gaudí, (the famous Catalan architect) and the city walls.

Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “las mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

Today we leave behind the Meseta and start our way up towards León, through mountains, taking paths where you will be surrounded by surrounded by heather, oak trees and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal del Camino.

Today we start walking with the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest summit in León Mountains (2,188 m.). For days, to our left, escorting us towards Galicia.

We’ll walk the whole day upward, In El Ganso we’ll reach a height of 1,000 m.above sea level, after Matagrande in Burgos, at the door of la Meseta.

You’ll pass an old oak tree known as El Roble del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s Oak) where many pilgrims take refuge in its shade. Walking the path towards Rabanal del Camino (1,150m), passing the remains of the Roman gold mines of La Fucarona we’ll continue through Rabanal and walk to Foncebadón, 1,440 m. High, the end of today’s journey.

From Rabanal to Foncebadón we have a hard ascent, 300 m, 5.5 Km the view is unbelievable, a freezing area in winter, you need to prepare for any weather situation in this area.

As in Foncebadón, there are few accommodation options; we’ll remain here preferably however as a second option we will stay in Rabanal del Camino. In this case, you will be transferred by car from Foncebadón to Rabanal and back to Foncebadón next morning.

A spectacular stage, cold in winter, do not forget to take something warm in your backpack.

We cross León Mountains and go down to the lush area of “El Bierzo”.

The first 2 Km is a steep ascent to “Cruz de Ferro”, Iron Cross (1,504 m), which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino, and a bit further we’ll find the “Collado de las Antenas” (1,515 m), the highest point in the French Camino. Enjoy the stunning view.

From here we initiate the most challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest in Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The steepest section between the Collado down to Acebo. Take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.

Molinaseca is a lovely small town. You will enter into it, crossing its beautiful Romanic Pilgrim’s Bridge.

Today we are making a short walk, just 8 Km, a soft descent to Ponferrada, 2-3 hours. Explore the old quarter with the impressive 12th century Templars Castle.

Ponferrada is a big town, 70,000 inhabitants. You have the opportunity to buy anything you may need, wash your clothes or just rest after five days walking almost 100 Km.

In the evening, we will hold our second group session and have a beautiful dinner with traditional products from El Bierzo.

Today we face a flat 16 Km stage to Cacabelos.

Most of the day we’ll walk through amazing vineyards that produce the very well appreciated Bierzo wine.

You can try the local specialities, such as Botillo and some of Spain’s most delicious cured meats.

Today we’ll continue in this beautiful area of El Bierzo. We’ll pass through Villafranca del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago, where you can admire the ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years.

In this area, we’ll begin to listen to people speaking Galician, the language of Galicia and bordering regions.

Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’. We’ll finish our day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

From here to Santiago we’ll walk mainly through oak, beech, chestnut and gum tree bushes.

Today we face the most critical stage in Camino, the iconic milestone, the feared climb up to O Cebreiro (1.330 m.) from Vega de Valcarce (630 m.). A gap of 700 m. in 12 Km., although the hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500 m. in 5.5 Km. (almost 10% steep).

You will see that it’s worth every step, be assured the views are spectacular.

When you get La Faba, you think you have made it, however not we still have another problematic ascent to La Laguna. A little bit further, we’ll cross the border between Castilla and Galicia.

O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind for a long time. O Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends and its “pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.

We initiate today our journey in Galicia, through “Ancares” Mountains.

It’s important to consider that we are walking in a land where fog, wind and low temperatures are frequent in winter.

We’ll find moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa. There we have to face a hard, challenging steep incline up to Alto de Poio (1,337m.), the highest point in Galician Camino, where you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría.

From Fonfría we have a long walk downhill, 9 Km to the town of Triacastela.

We start the day with a difficult decision. We have two options to get Sarria: Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino, that will lift your spirits.

Or through Samos, 7 Km longer, we walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, magnificent oak and chestnut trees bushes and admire the impressive Samos Monastery.

Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.

At the end of our day, we’ll arrive in Sarria, a large town, about 15,000 inhabitants.

Today, we’ll stay peacefully in Sarria. Sarria is a modern, bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.

You can take advantage of buying any equipment that you need to finish your Camino or visit the old quarter, with its Santa Maria church and Rua Major, the Monastery da Madalena, the ruins of the Castle and the medieval bridge Ponte Aspera.

Sarria is very popular in Camino since the distance from here to Santiago is 108 Km the minimum distance to get your Compostela, the certificate you get in Santiago when you have completed the Camino.

In fact, more than 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year, start the pilgrimage here in Sarria.

Meaning that, from tomorrow, you will walk with double the number of people than before!!!!

In the evening, we will hold our fourth group session and have a beautiful dinner with great fresh Galician products.

Today we face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages and hamlets with its traditional “hórreos” (granaries).

In Pina dos Corvos we’ll enjoy beautiful views of Belesar reservoir and surrounding countryside. From here begin your steep descent into Portomarín. Now cross the Miño reservoir over its modern bridge into Portomarín.

The medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters.

The new town was built 50 years ago on top of the hill, but some old buildings moved and rebuilt stone by stone to the new location, especially the Romanic San Nicolás Church, whose stones numbered before its transfer.

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes as yesterday, but in the first 12 Km. we rise uphill steadily from 350m up to 725 m high.

At the exit from Portomarin, we cross river Miño, Galicia’s longest river.

In Ventas de Narón, Romanesque Church of Santa María in Castromaior and the Romanesque church in Eirexe is worth a visit.

Palas de Rei known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there.

Today it is a small country town with plenty of shops, bars and cafes

Today’s stage is a continuous up and down, crossing many creeks.

In the middle of our journey, we’ll reach Melide. From the gastronomic point of view, here you have a mandatory stop to enjoy the most famous octopus in Galicia (and Spain), together with a Ribeiro wine, in one of the two most renowned octopus restaurants in Spain.

Finally, we’ll arrive at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago, famous for its local cheese. In Arzúa, churches of Santa María and A Magdalena, town’s central monument, can be visited

Comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes.

It alternates between track and county lane passing through several small hamlets.

After Salceda, the path continues on woodland paths passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino.

We’ll pass through a woodland path to Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today and a good picnic and rest area.

O Pedrouzo – O Pino is a small but busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Today we face our last walk day in Camino. If you start walking early in the morning, you can arrive in Santiago’s Cathedral in time for the Pilgrim’s Mass, held every day at midday.  

The first half, up to Lavacolla runs through a rural landscape, similar to days before. From Lavacolla we’ll walk through urban areas, airport, residential areas and highways,

We’ll go up to Monte do Gozo, Mount of Joy, 5 Km. before city centre. From here you will sight for the first time the spires of the cathedral in Santiago.

The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning. You cannot believe yet that you are there, you have achieved your goal, your target. You have enjoyed and suffered for 39 days, but it is worth.

In the end, you make your triumphant entrance to Plaza del Obradoiro, with the Cathedral in front of you. All memories and feelings come into your mind. You get excited and, many times “your eyes get full of water”. It’s a unique moment in your life.

The Old City of Santiago is UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the best preserved in Europe. In the Cathedral, you can pay tribute to the tomb of the apostle Santiago, Saint James. El Portico de la Gloria, Entrance of the Glory, is a masterpiece of the Spanish Romanic.

In Santiago the Compostela you will find pilgrims, locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine.

The end of this, unique experience in our lives.

Enjoy and explore the historic Santiago with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants. It’s time to meet other pilgrims with whom you have shared joys and sorrows during so many days, some of them, you will never meet again in your life.

You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the

famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.

In the evening we will celebrate together with the group our success, share our stories of these 40 days and share a celebratory dinner.

 

After Breakfast, End of Our Services.

Coming Back Home?

Going to Fisterra? Extending our trip in Spain, Europe?

Difficult decission!!

Inclusions

  • 18 night’s excellent accommodation (not luxury), preferably rural and boutique hotels.
  • Private Bathroom in all rooms
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer daily from accommodation to accommodation (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • Full Camino walking guidebook with maps, per person
  • Pilgrim’s passport per person
  • Luggage tags
  • Maps of your accommodation locations
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Dedicated support vehicle for the entire program
  • 2 support people daily on the Camino
  • 4 Special Meals
  • 4 Group Sessions
  • 2 x 1-1 Art Process Sessions
  • Welcome pack
  • Australian and Spanish emergency phone numbers
  • Guide Walker in some stages
  • Additional personal transfer to/from accommodation in some stages

 

Not Included

  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Additional bags transfer (will incur additional costs)
  • Any meal not specified in Inclusions list
  • Any other item not specified in Inclusions list
  • Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations.

Booking

Spring (May 19th To June 6th)

Autum (September 29th To October 17th)