Days
8
Price from
£655GBP

Explore the historic Camino de Santiago on foot

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have been walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James). Here’s your chance to follow the trails of medieval pilgrims bound for Santiago de Compostela and have all the details taken care of – all you need to do is pack your bags!


Start
Sarria, Spain
Finish
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Country
Spain
Style
Peregrine
Code
PECM
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
3 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 2, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Enjoy the freedom and independence of a self-guided journey without having to organise the finer details

  • Departing from Sarria, walk the last 100 km of the historic Camino de Santiago in just one week and earn your Compostela certificate. Don't forget to stamp your Pilgrim Passport twice a day!

  • Walk through typical Galician countryside, passing many quaint hamlets, original bridges, and of course the beautifully preserved hórreos(traditional granaries on stilts)

  • Enjoy a well-earned feast in Lestedo, staying in a gorgeous old building of original stonework with a modern touch

  • The glorious facade of the Cathedral de Santiago is one of many rewards for conquering this legendary route. Explore the marvels of the medieval old town at your own pace

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a self-guided trip, with accommodation, route notes and a map provided. Your bags will be transported from one hotel to the next. While this affords you the freedom to go at your own pace, bear in mind there will be no group and no leader.

  • You will need to be in good health and able to walk for hours at a time. There are some up-and-down sections, and the terrain varies from well-defined paths to rocky trails.

  • Confidence in reading maps is essential. The maps provided are as accurate as possible and are checked regularly.

  • Your route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number, should you need it. In emergencies, the hotels are usually able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves (this may incur a charge).

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Arrive in Sarria, in the province of Lugo – just over 100 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela. There are a number of ways to reach Sarria. You can take a direct overnight train from Madrid to Sarria; alternatively, take a bus from Madrid city or Madrid Airport to Lugo (5–6 services per day; approximately 5–6 hours in duration) and connect with a local bus service from Lugo to Sarria (a remainder of 25 km). There is no walking scheduled for today, so you can arrive at any time. In your hotel upon check in, you will receive a Welcome Pack. It is a pack of essential information and documents for your trip including very detailed Travel Book with updated itinerary, route notes and maps, Pilgrim Passport, which you need in order to receive Camino certificate upon completion of your trip!), hotel and meal vouchers, luggage tags and some extra information about the places you are going to visit on your route. This Welcome Pack is an essential piece for your trip, so please make sure you will check all included information and make yourself familiar with details of exciting route that lay ahead.
For dinner, the charming restaurant at Hotel Roma in Sarria is highly recommended.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Carris or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Begin the first stage of your walk. Throughout the course of the week you will become familiar with the yellow arrows and scallop-shell symbols that guide you. For centuries this shell has been the symbol of the Camino and there are a few different interpretations of its meaning, ranging from mythical and metaphorical to practical. The walk today takes you past many small hamlets. As you walk along the Rua Maior (Maior Street) to the Magdalena Monastery and cross the beautiful Bridge of Aspera, bid farewell to Sarria. Continuing through beautiful countryside and crossing a small idyllic stream, an uphill climb takes you to the villages of Vilei and Bardadelo. Barbadelo’s church is a perfect example of rural Galician Romanesque architecture. The Camino then winds along a dirt track through farming fields flanked by trees. Pass through the hamlets of Leimán and Peruscallo. The section from Peruscallo to the village of Brea (the official 100 km mark) is one of the most beautiful sections of the route. Continue through Mirallos and arrive at Penas, then take a downhill stone track to Moimentos, followed by Mercadoiro, Moutros, Parrocha and Vilachá. A steep descent brings you to the historic town of Portomarin, your base for the night.

Today's walk should take approximately 5–6 hours and is 23 km long.
Accommodation
  • Pousada de Portomarin or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
With the Church of San Nicolás in your shadow, you will leave Portomarin today and make your way to Lestedo. Following a beautiful uphill track, then a road for a short section, an ascent takes you to a local farm and then to the town of Toxibo. At this point you will come to a very well preserved 'hórreo', which is a granary on stilts, typical to northern Spain. At the village of Gonzar you have the opportunity to stop at a peaceful rest area for pilgrims. After you pass through Gonzar, a steep uphill trail takes you to the small village of Castromaior. Soon you will reach a milestone that marks 80 kilometres. From Ventas de Narón, a short ascent takes you to Monte de Ligonde. Once at the top, take a downhill trail to Ligonde and then ascend to Eirexe. From here, make your way to Lestedo – a tranquil spot and the location of your 'feature stay' for this trip.

Today's walk should take approximately 4–5 hours and is 21 km long.
Accommodation
  • Casa Rectoral de Lestedo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today the Camino follows the path from Lestedo to Melida. An uphill climb takes you to Os Valos before you descend slowly to the pretty town of Palas de Rei, one of the most important towns on the pilgrim’s route in Galicia. Its large and partially canopied town square is the focal point of the town, home to a town hall made of granite and whitewash render (a typical example of the region's architecture). Leaving Palas behind, you will enter the beautiful countryside on your approach to the lovely village of San Xulián. The trail then leads you through oak groves to Casanova, and you are soon at the border of the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña. When you reach Leboreiro you will notice its modest Romanesque church. Inside is a carved image of the Virgin Mary. In Furelos you will see a four-arch medieval stone bridge. Your final destination today is Melide, one of the largest towns on the pilgrim’s route in Galicia.

Today's walk should take approximately 4–5 hours and is 19 km long.
Accommodation
  • Pousada Chiquitin or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Bid farewell to Melide and wind your way along the quiet country roads and through beautiful countryside en route to the city of Arzúa – the point at which the Camino Frances (French Way) meets the Camino del North (North Way). Along the way, you will pass the ancient pilgrimage villages of Boente, Barona and Vilantime. Cross a bridge and follow the downward path that leads you to the restored village of Ribadiso on the banks of the Iso River. Continue and arrive at Arzúa, your base for the night. A small park in the town is a popular meeting point for the locals and provides an interesting insight into local village life. Some of Arzúa’s main monuments include the 14th-century Capilla de la Magdalena and the 20th-century Iglesia de Santiago. Be sure to try some of the famous local cheese (‘queixo’ in Galician or ‘queso’ in Spanish) – it’s available for sale in many of the town’s shops and restaurants.

Today's walk should take approximately 3–4 hours and is 15 km long.
Accommodation
  • Pazo Santa Maria or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will complete one of the final stages of the Camino de Santiago. This stretch of the walk takes you through agricultural meadows, landscapes of oak and eucalyptus and a collection of sleepy villages such as Ferreiros, Boavista, O Castro and Salceda. Soon after Salceda, you will pass a monument dedicated to the pilgrim Guillermo Watt who died at this point when making his journey to Santiago. Next you will pass through Xen and Ras into Brea. From Brea, continue along the road to Santa Irene. A highlight of the day is a visit to the beautiful chapel of Santa Irene, a beautiful building with unique statues of St James (Santiago). A continuous, quiet country road then takes you eventually to your next stop, Rúa, one of the quieter places before Santiago de Compostela.

Today's walk should take approximately 4–5 hours and is 19 km long.
Accommodation
  • Casa do Acivro or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Embark on the final and key stage of the Camino de Santiago, with your ultimate goal, the city of Santiago de Compostela, in your sights. After leaving Rúa, pass through San Paio and the village of Lavacolla. Pilgrims in ancient times would wash in the stream here before continuing to Santiago. An uphill climb takes you to the village of Vilarmaior, then a gradual ascent sees you reach Monte do Gozo. It’s at this point that ancient pilgrims experienced their first views of the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago. This is a great spot to sit back, reflect and enjoy a well-earned rest before leaving the rural landscapes behind and heading into the urban sprawl of the city. As you come to the end of the final leg, you will walk through the town to the magnificent Plaza del Obradoiro and then to the gates of the marvellous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. After you’ve rested and rejuvenated, take the time to wander around the historic quarter of the city. Perhaps obtain your Compostela certificate while here – provided you have stamps in your Pilgrim Passport as proof of completion of the last 100 kilometres (see your detailed route notes for more information).

Today's walk should take about 4–5 hours and is 19 km long.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Bonaval or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast in Santiago de Compostela. You may wish to book additional nights' accommodation to explore the city some more. You can also book an optional departure transfer to the airport if you wish.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 5 dinners

Transport

On foot

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (3 nights), Pensions (3 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)

Reviews

Our A Week on the Camino (self-guided) trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

A Week on the Camino (Self Guided), September 2016

Rita Novak

A Week on the Camino (Self Guided), May 2015

Peter Coelho

Dates & availability

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Important notes

You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails.
This is a self-guided tour and does not include the services of a tour guide.
Date change amendment fee and deposit: please note that due to specifics of self-guided trip operations, once your booking is confirmed and you would wish to change the date of traveling, a booking amendment fee will be charged. Please also note the deposit from confirmed booking is not transferrable to any other trips.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.