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The Greatest Road in Europe: Camino De Santiago

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Road Scholar
Program #3601RJ
14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Highest elevation is 5200 feet.

Equipment Requirements
Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).

Itinerary for Oct 1 — Oct 14, 2013

Expand all
Day One: Tuesday, October 01 - Overnight flight from the U.S.A. to Europe.
In Transit: Overnight flight from the U.S.A. to Europe.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: New hotel ideally located in the main shopping area, five minute walk to the historic city centre and the splendid cathedral, next to the Museum of Human Evolution. The contemporary rooms were inspired by the Grand Theatre, therefore giving it's name to the hotel.

Contact info:
Avda. de Arlanzon, 8-b
Burgos, 09004 Spain
phone: +34947253901
web: www.hotelgranteatro.com

Room amenities: Safe, mini bar, large desk, AC, Internet connection, flat screen TV, hairdryer, and telephone.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, public rooms, small fitness area open 24 hours, free Internet and laundry for a charge.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: n/a
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Wednesday, October 02 - Arrival in Madrid - Transfer to Burgos / Gothic C...
Note: Two hours of city walking in Burgos.

Arrive To: Arrive Madrid transfer to Burgos (2821 feet), transfer time is approximately 2.5 hours.

Lunch: Depending on time of arrival one can get a light snack.

Afternoon: Time permitting, orientation stroll through the center of the city and excursion to the magnificent Gothic cathedral.

Dinner: Welcome drink, orientation briefing followed by dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Silken Gran Teatro

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: New hotel ideally located in the main shopping area, five minute walk to the historic city centre and the splendid cathedral, next to the Museum of Human Evolution. The contemporary rooms were inspired by the Grand Theatre, therefore giving it's name to the hotel.

Contact info:
Avda. de Arlanzon, 8-b
Burgos, 09004 Spain
phone: +34947253901
web: www.hotelgranteatro.com

Room amenities: Safe, mini bar, large desk, AC, Internet connection, flat screen TV, hairdryer, and telephone.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, public rooms, small fitness area open 24 hours, free Internet and laundry for a charge.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: n/a
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Thursday, October 03 - Burgos - "La Rioja" Walk; Santo Domingo de la Cal...
Burgos - "La Rioja" Walk; Santo Domingo de la Calzada, twin monasteries of San Millan, Rioja district, local wine cellar for a taste and to learn the making of the Riojan wine.

Note: Two hours of walking in villages and countryside trails.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (2100 feet) to view the cathedral and excursion of the town center. Continue to San Millan de Cogolla for a field trip of one of the twin monasteries of San Millan. Private coach to Ciruena (2425 feet), then walk to San Domingo de la Calzada (2100 feet).

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue by coach through a quantity of the best scenery of the famous Rioja district to Laguardia. Excursion to an old traditional local wine cellar including a Riojan wine tasting.

Dinner: Return to Burgos and enjoy dinner at a local establishment.

Lodging: Silken Gran Teatro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: New hotel ideally located in the main shopping area, five minute walk to the historic city centre and the splendid cathedral, next to the Museum of Human Evolution. The contemporary rooms were inspired by the Grand Theatre, therefore giving it's name to the hotel.

Contact info:
Avda. de Arlanzon, 8-b
Burgos, 09004 Spain
phone: +34947253901
web: www.hotelgranteatro.com

Room amenities: Safe, mini bar, large desk, AC, Internet connection, flat screen TV, hairdryer, and telephone.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, public rooms, small fitness area open 24 hours, free Internet and laundry for a charge.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: n/a
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Friday, October 04 - Burgos - "the Oca Mountains & the Shrine of San J...
Note: Four hours of walking on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach to the edge of the Oca Mountains (2450 feet). Walk to the shrine of San Juan de Ortega, with its beautiful Romanesque church and monastery ruins.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Independent afternoon in Burgos. Group Leader will give you additional ideas of what to see and do.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment.

Lodging: Silken Gran Teatro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Ideal location, pedestrian area only in the historic center with rooms decorated in the original style of the 14th century property. The interior is painted in bold colors with beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regiodores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34987213173
Room amenities: Private bath, hairdryer, TV, phone, piped in music, mini-bar, AC.

Facility amenities: Lounge Bar area, restaurant serving the typical cuisine of Leon, free Wi-Fi is available in public areas, laundry and ironing service available at a charge, room service, small fitness area.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Saturday, October 05 - Burgos-Leon - Transfer Day; Great Plains of Casti...
Burgos-Leon - Transfer Day; Great Plains of Castile, "perfect" Romanesque church of Fromista.

Note: Four hours of walking through the flat lands and rolling hills of the meseta.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart Burgos by private coach to Castrojeriz (2666 feet). Along the way view the evocative landscape of the great plains of Castile. From Castrojeriz, walk through the flat lands and rolling hills of the meseta (the plateau) to the border of the province of Palencia.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue by private coach to see one of the architectural gems of the program, the perfect Romanesque church of Fromista. Arrive in Leon (2700 feet). Check into your hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel La Posada Regia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Ideal location, pedestrian area only in the historic center with rooms decorated in the original style of the 14th century property. The interior is painted in bold colors with beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regiodores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34987213173
Room amenities: Private bath, hairdryer, TV, phone, piped in music, mini-bar, AC.

Facility amenities: Lounge Bar area, restaurant serving the typical cuisine of Leon, free Wi-Fi is available in public areas, laundry and ironing service available at a charge, room service, small fitness area.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Sunday, October 06 - Leon - "Natural Park of Somiedo" in the foothills...
Leon - "Natural Park of Somiedo" in the foothills of the Picos de Europa (mountain range Cordillera Cantabrica).

Note: Four hours of trail walking through the natural park.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Travel by private coach to the beautiful region of Asturias, for a field trip to the memorable Natural Park of Somiedo in the foothills of the Picos de Europa. Today's walk starts (3900 feet) and leads up the hill to a most picturesque shepherd's village, "Braña de Mumian" (4300 feet) with a magnificent view from the mountain range of the Cordillera Cantabrica.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Descend via the town of "Coto de Buenamadre." Return to Leon by private coach.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel La Posada Regia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Ideal location, pedestrian area only in the historic center with rooms decorated in the original style of the 14th century property. The interior is painted in bold colors with beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regiodores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34987213173
Room amenities: Private bath, hairdryer, TV, phone, piped in music, mini-bar, AC.

Facility amenities: Lounge Bar area, restaurant serving the typical cuisine of Leon, free Wi-Fi is available in public areas, laundry and ironing service available at a charge, room service, small fitness area.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Monday, October 07 - Leon- "The Treasures of Leon"; Roman garrison of ...
Leon- "The Treasures of Leon"; Roman garrison of Leon, Gothic cathedral with impressive stained glass windows, Pantheon of the Kings and the Casa de Botines designed by Gaudi.

Note: Three hours of city walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Walking field trip through the former Roman garrison of Leon, including an excursion to the impressive Gothic cathedral (purest example of Gothic style in Spain), with its impressive stained glass windows that rivals that of Chartres. The Pantheon of the Kings contains some of the finest medieval frescoes anywhere in Europe, remarkably preserved and still in their original setting. The Casa de Botines is an uncharacteristically restrained modernist building by the great Catalan architect, Gaudi.

Lunch: Lunch at a local establishment in Leon.

Afternoon: Independent afternoon - Group Leader will provide suggestions for activities.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel La Posada Regia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Locatead in the very heart of the town and in an rambling house dating back to the 17th century, converted to a hotel in 2003.

Contact info:
Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, 4
Ponferrada, 24400 Spain
phone: +34987409001
web: www.hotel.bieroplaza.com

Room amenities: Telephone, TV, AC, internet access, strongbox, private bath and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Bar, cafeteria, restaurant, game room and 24-hour reception service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Tuesday, October 08 - Leon - transfer day to Ponferrada; Roman bridge "...
Leon - transfer day to Ponferrada; Roman bridge "Passo Honrosso", Astorga, Cruz de Hierro monument, Molinaseca.

Note: Three hours of walking in villages and on dirt trails.

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Depart Leon by private coach to Puente de Orbigo where you will cross (on foot) the impressive Roman bridge "Passo Honrosso." Continue by coach for a field trip to the walled city of Astorga (2854 feet). After the field trip, you will have independent time to explore this city on your own. (A good place to begin is at the new-gothic Bishop's palace built by Gaudi, which houses a museum on the Camino de Santiago).

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue by private coach to the edge of the Leon Mountains. Over the pass “Cruz de Hierro” (Iron Cross, 3429 feet) we will find one of the oldest monuments on the Jacob's way. Stop to walk through the wildest scenery of the program to the village of Molinaseca (2050 feet). Arrive at the hotel in Ponferrada.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment in Ponferrada.

Lodging: Hotel Bierzo Plaza

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Locatead in the very heart of the town and in an rambling house dating back to the 17th century, converted to a hotel in 2003.

Contact info:
Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, 4
Ponferrada, 24400 Spain
phone: +34987409001
web: www.hotel.bieroplaza.com

Room amenities: Telephone, TV, AC, internet access, strongbox, private bath and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Bar, cafeteria, restaurant, game room and 24-hour reception service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Wednesday, October 09 - Ponferrada - "Villafranca del Bierzo"; Cacabelos,...
Note: 2.5 hours of walking through vineyards and villages.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart by private coach to Camponaraya (1611 feet) for a field trip walk on an effortless trail through vast vineyards to Cacabelos. Continue by coach to Pieros, from here walk to Villafranca del Bierzo (1706 feet). Before entering the town, the Iglesia de Santiago stands, a place where pilgrims who could not continue on to Santiago de Compostela due to health reasons, could receive a special absolution.

Lunch: Get acquainted with this town before a light lunch at a rural restaurant/shop producing and promoting local products like wine, grappa, bottled vegetables and fruits, etc.

Afternoon: Following lunch return by coach to Ponferrada (2099 feet). Independent time to explore Ponferrada.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment in Ponferrada.

Lodging: Hotel Bierzo Plaza

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Located in the center of Lugo.

Contact info:
Calle de la Reina No 1
Lugo, 1 Spain
phone: +34982230711
web: www.hotelmendeznunez.com

Room amenities: TB, telephone, radio, mini-bar, AC and internet access.

Facility amenities: Breakfast room, lounge and public area.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Thursday, October 10 - Ponferrada - Transfer Day to Lugo; O'Cebreiro - ...
Ponferrada - Transfer Day to Lugo; O'Cebreiro - symbolic site, Saint James temple, Triacastela and Montan.

Note: 3 hours of walking on trails in nature over rolling hills and through the town of Lugo.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart by private coach to O’Cebreiro (4290 feet), another important symbolic site of the pilgrimage. Walk and explore this mystic place, known for its thatched stone huts (pallozas) and the pre-Romanesque church, the oldest temple on the Saint James route preserved in its entirety. From O’Cebreiro, continue on along the pilgrim’s way to Triacastela (2195 feet) and walk through the beautiful Galician nature over rolling hills to Montan (2957 feet), a little hamlet. This walk involves a variety of steeper and gradual uphill walking as well as level and downhill walking. Continue by private coach to the hotel in Lugo.

Lunch: Picnic on the trail.

Afternoon: This afternoon experience a great walking field trip of Lugo, a well-preserved former Roman city with its Roman wall of almost 2 miles around the center of town, which has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment.

Lodging: Hotel Mendez Nunez

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Situated in the heart of the monumental part of town and occupies a building from the 18th century and in front of the facade passed the royal road. Two different surroundings contributes to this restored manor house; one facade is towards the market place of the historic part of town and the facade faces Belvis Park.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34981569350
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: TV, telephone, piped in music, minibar, hair-dryer, safe, AC.

Facility amenities: The hotel has beautiful gardens, a romantic dining area surrounded by glass, like a cloister. Wi-Fi/computer area, lounge, cafe-bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Eleven: Friday, October 11 - Lugo - transfer Day to Santiago de Compostela; Sa...
Lugo - transfer Day to Santiago de Compostela; Sarria, Portomarin on the banks of the Rio Mino, and Mount of Joy.

Note: Four hours of walking on the pilgrim's path through undulating and picturesque countryside fields and meadows. Town walking in Santiago de Compostela.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart by private coach to Sarria (1480 feet), starting point of the walking field trip on the pilgrim's path with some steep uphill, follow the undulating terrain in a picturesque countryside along cultivated fields and cows grazing in the meadows. The lanes flanked by chestnut and oak trees. Arrive at Lavandeira (2195'), pick up the private coach and drive to the pretty town of Portomarin, located on the banks of the Rio Mino.

Lunch: Lunch at a local establishment.

Afternoon: Continue by private coach to Santiago de Compostela (860 feet). Stop along the way at Mount of Joy for a view of Santiago, continue on by private coach to the center of town and walk along a paved road, the final modest stretch to the Cathedral of Santiago.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment in Santiago de Compostela.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Situated in the heart of the monumental part of town and occupies a building from the 18th century and in front of the facade passed the royal road. Two different surroundings contributes to this restored manor house; one facade is towards the market place of the historic part of town and the facade faces Belvis Park.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34981569350
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: TV, telephone, piped in music, minibar, hair-dryer, safe, AC.

Facility amenities: The hotel has beautiful gardens, a romantic dining area surrounded by glass, like a cloister. Wi-Fi/computer area, lounge, cafe-bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Twelve: Saturday, October 12 - Santiago De Compostela - "The Wonderful Sights"; ...
Santiago De Compostela - "The Wonderful Sights"; Monastery of Saint Martin, Los Reyes Catolicos.

Note: Two hours of town walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Today’s walking field trip includes the magnificent cathedral, the finest example of both Romanesque and Baroque art in Spain, Monastery of Saint Martin, and the fifteenth century hospital (which is now Los Reyes Catolicos, a glorious five-star hotel).

Lunch: Lunch at a local establishment.

Afternoon: Independent afternoon in Santiago de Compostela, the Group Leader can advise information for activities.

Dinner: Dinner at a local establishment.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Situated in the heart of the monumental part of town and occupies a building from the 18th century and in front of the facade passed the royal road. Two different surroundings contributes to this restored manor house; one facade is towards the market place of the historic part of town and the facade faces Belvis Park.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34981569350
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: TV, telephone, piped in music, minibar, hair-dryer, safe, AC.

Facility amenities: The hotel has beautiful gardens, a romantic dining area surrounded by glass, like a cloister. Wi-Fi/computer area, lounge, cafe-bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Thirteen: Sunday, October 13 - Santiago De Compostela - "Finisterre"; Fisterra a...
Santiago De Compostela - "Finisterre"; Fisterra and the Cape "Cabo Finisterre" ("end of the world").

Note: One hour walk on coastal roads and village walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach to Finisterre (82 feet), the literal end of the world. After only a few miles, pass the picturesque fisherman's village Fisterra, then reach the Cape, "Cabo Finisterre" (after the "Cabo de Roca" in Portugal, the most western point in Europe).

Lunch: Lunch at a local seafood establishment.

Afternoon: Afternoon independent for packing or one last walk around Santiago.

Evening: Farewell reception and dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Fourteen: Monday, October 14 - Santiago de Compostela - Departure Day
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach transfer to the Santiago de Compostela airport, program ends here.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
34 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
19 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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