Spain: Camino

Trip Duration: 8 days/7 nights, ex Sarria
Trip Dates: 8th-15th September, 2018 FULLY BOOKED, TBA September 2019
Cost: $2,985.00 per person twin/sharing. Single supplement $450.00
Grade: Moderate grade
Accommodation: 3 star hotels, most with ensuite
Group Size: Only 10 places, 2019

Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

The Camino is the Spanish name for the historic Pilgrims’ Way which terminates in Santiago de Compostela where the magnificent cathedral is said to contain the relics of the Apostle, St James.This is the final stage of the pilgrimage and those who walk this section are entitled to the Pilgrims’ Certificate, the Compostela.

Pilgrims have crossed this area for more than a thousand years, travelling from all over Europe, over the Pyrenees on their way to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. We follow parts of this ancient but still used path on this journey. This is a walk through history, culture and lovely Spanish countryside, staying in small towns and villages as we go.

We walk between three and six hours each day, allowing plenty of time to appreciate our surroundings. In this final stage it passes through the lush green farmlands of Galicia, a region of Spain with strong cultural traditions and cuisine. The country is undulating and walking paths are good. The towns and villages along the route have been welcoming pilgrims for a millennium, and there are churches, monasteries and ancient pilgrims’ hospitals (hostels) scattered through the area. Santiago’s old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is much to see and enjoy.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive in Sarria.

Sarria is an ancient riverside town, with remnants of an old quarter, chapels and monastery. Now it is a busy town with all facilities.

There are direct trains form Barcelona or trains with changes coming from Madrid. The nearest airport is at Santiago de Compostela. From the airport there are taxis or a bus service (with changes) to Sarria. Overnight: Sarria/nearby (D)

Day 2. Sarria to Portomarin. 23kms/5.5 hours walking

Our first day on the Camino. You will walk along quiet country roads, through woodland, farm land and small villages. The path passes into wine country and Portomarin is famous for its brandy. The path is undulating and gently rising around 200 metres to the highest point and then descends around 260 metres to Portomarin. The old town was flooded to create the Mino Reservoir. Important heritage buildings were moved to the current site in the 1960’s. Overnight: Portomarin/nearby (B,D)

Day 3. Portomarin to Palas de Rei. 25.5kms/6.00-6.5 hours

There are a few miles of road walking along this stretch but the roads are quiet. A slightly steeper ascent of around 300 metres this morning, and then a descent of around 150 metres. We pass through some small interesting villages including Gonzar with a Romanesque church and Ligonde. Good views from Alto Rosario before arriving in Palas de Rei (Palace of the King).Overnight: Palas de Rei/Melide area (B,D)

Day 4. Palas de Rei to Melide. 15.0kms/4.0 hours

Undulating but generally downhill over the day, walking quiet paths through woodland. Melide has a former monastery church, and an ancient pilgrim hospital. Overnight: Palas de Rei/Melide area (B,D)

Day 5. Melide to Arzua. 15.0kms/4.0 hours

Undulating with a couple of short climbs of around 50 metres. Arzua is a rich dairying area famous for its cheese. Overnight: Arzua/Rua area (B,D)

Day 6. Arzua to Rua. 18.3kms/4.5 hours

A gently undulating day with around 100 metre height loss. You will walk along country lanes through pine and eucalypt woodland. Overnight: Arzua/ Rua area (B,D)

Day 7. Rua to Lavacolla.11.0kms/3.0 hours

An easy day with one climb of around 60 metres, passing though eucalypt forest. Lavacolla is where pilgrims traditionally bathed in the river to purify before entering Santiago. Overnight: Lavacolla/Rua area(B,D)          

Day 8. Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela. 10.4kms/2.45 hours

The last day’s walk is short so pilgrims can arrive in the Plaza de Obradoiro and enter the Cathedral by midday in time for the Pilgrims’ Mass when the pilgrims are blessed. There is a steady climb of around 80 metres to Monte del Gozo (Mount of Joy) and our first views of Santiago, then around 120 metres gentle descent into the old quarter and the magnificent cathedral. (B)

End of arrangements.

People may choose to spend another night in Santiago, or move on this afternoon. 

Cost includes

  • Seven nights twin/sharing accommodation in hotels, guest houses, three star or equivalent where possible (All or nearly all rooms will be en suite)
  • Single room supplement, A$450.00
  • Seven breakfasts (B), and seven evening meals (D)
  • Minibus and driver for the duration of the trip (shuttles, pick ups, etc)
  • All bookings and administration
  • Pilgrims’ Passport
  • Maps and first aid kit
  • All local taxes
  • Group transfer from Santiago de Compostela Airport to Sarria at the beginning of the trip.
  • Group and individual transfers to Santiago de Compostela station or airport on day 8.

Not included

  • Travel to and from Santiago de Compostela
  • Lunches, drinks and items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance (required for this trip)
  • Admission to optional attractions

 

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