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SPAIN

The Greatest Road in Europe: Camino De Santiago

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Road Scholar
Program #3601RJ
14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
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
Day 8: Cruz de Hierro (4900 feet).

Equipment Requirements
Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.

Itinerary for Sep 9 — Sep 22, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Tuesday, September 09 - Overnight flight to Europe
In Transit: Overnight flight to Europe.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The four-star Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones is a completely renovated hotel located in the historic heart of Burgos. The hotel combines Renaissance charm with the comforts of modern amenities, offering a delightful and unique experience. Within a short distance is the Way of Saint James, downtown Burgos, and the Cathedral.

Contact info:
C/ Fernán González, 6-10
Burgos, Castilla y León, 09003 Spain
phone: +34 947271000
web: www.hotelricepalaciodelosblasones.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, laundry facilities, air conditioning and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
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, September 10 - Arrivals / Gothic Cathedral
Note: 2 hours of city walking in Burgos.

Arrive To: Arrive in Madrid and transfer to Burgos (2821 feet). Transfer time is approx. 2.5 hours.

Afternoon: If time permits, you will take an orientation stroll through the center of the city and visit the magnificent Gothic Cathedral. Enjoy a welcome drink and orientation briefing.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The four-star Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones is a completely renovated hotel located in the historic heart of Burgos. The hotel combines Renaissance charm with the comforts of modern amenities, offering a delightful and unique experience. Within a short distance is the Way of Saint James, downtown Burgos, and the Cathedral.

Contact info:
C/ Fernán González, 6-10
Burgos, Castilla y León, 09003 Spain
phone: +34 947271000
web: www.hotelricepalaciodelosblasones.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, laundry facilities, air conditioning and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
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, September 11 - Santo Domingo de la Calzada / Rioja district
Note: 2 hours of walking in villages and countryside trails.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach to Ciruena, and walk to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (2100 feet). View the cathedral and enjoy an excursion of the town center. Continue by coach to Laguardia, during which you will drive through the Rioja district and take in its stunning landscape.

Lunch: Picnic lunch in a pleasant park in Laguardia.

Afternoon: Excursion to an old traditional local wine cellar. Enjoy a Riojan wine tasting before returning to Burgos.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

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

Description: The four-star Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones is a completely renovated hotel located in the historic heart of Burgos. The hotel combines Renaissance charm with the comforts of modern amenities, offering a delightful and unique experience. Within a short distance is the Way of Saint James, downtown Burgos, and the Cathedral.

Contact info:
C/ Fernán González, 6-10
Burgos, Castilla y León, 09003 Spain
phone: +34 947271000
web: www.hotelricepalaciodelosblasones.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, laundry facilities, air conditioning and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
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, September 12 - The Oca Mountains and the Shrine of San Juan
Note: 4 hours of walking on mountain trails (approx. 7.8 miles, the longest walk of the program).

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: Enjoy a free afternoon in Burgos. Your program staff will give you additional ideas of what to see and do.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

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

Description: The Hotel La Posada Regia is ideally located in the historic center of Leon. Originally built in the 14th century, the hotel has retained its traditional style including bold colors and beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regidores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34 987 213 173
web: www.hotellaposadaregia.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, laundry services, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar and lounge area, laundry and iron services, small fitness area and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Saturday, September 13 - Castrojeriz / Meseta / Fromista / Transfer to Leo...
Note: 4 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: The Hotel La Posada Regia is ideally located in the historic center of Leon. Originally built in the 14th century, the hotel has retained its traditional style including bold colors and beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regidores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34 987 213 173
web: www.hotellaposadaregia.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, laundry services, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar and lounge area, laundry and iron services, small fitness area and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Sunday, September 14 - Natural Park of Somiedo / Brana de Mumian
Note: 4.5 hours of trail walking through the natural park.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Travel by private coach to the beautiful region of Austurias for a field trip to the memorable Natural Park of Somiedo in the foothills of the Picos de Europa. Today's walk starts at 3900 feet and leads up the hill to a most picturesque shepherd's village, Branade Mumian (4300 feet), with a magnificent view from the mountain range of the Cordillera Cantabrica. This reserve has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation, and it is one of Spain's most breathtaking settings.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the trail.

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

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel La Posada Regia

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

Description: The Hotel La Posada Regia is ideally located in the historic center of Leon. Originally built in the 14th century, the hotel has retained its traditional style including bold colors and beautiful wood furnishings.

Contact info:
Regidores 9
Leon, 24003 Spain
phone: +34 987 213 173
web: www.hotellaposadaregia.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, laundry services, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar and lounge area, laundry and iron services, small fitness area and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Monday, September 15 - The Treasures of Leon
Note: 3 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 Gothic cathedral. With its impressive stained glass windows which rival that of Chartres, it is the purest example of Gothic style in Spain. Also see the Pantheon of the Kings which contains some of the finest medieval frescoes 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: Explore local fare on your own in Leon.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Leon. Your program staff will give you additional ideas of what to see and do.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel La Posada Regia

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

Description: The Hotel Bierzo Plaza is located in the very heart of the Old Town of Ponferrada, in a rambling house that dates back to the 17th century. Renovated in 2009, the hotel is a warm and enchanting place to stay within the historical surroundings of the city.

Contact info:
Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, 4
Ponferrada, 24400 Spain
phone: +34 987 409 001
web: www.aroihoteles.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, reading areas in the lobby, laundry services and wireless Internet access (for a fee).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Tuesday, September 16 - Puente de Orbigo / Paso Honroso / Molinaseca / Tr...
Note: 3 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 walk across the impressive Roman bridge "Paso Honroso." Continue by coach for a field trip to the walled city of Astorga (2854 feet), where you will have some free 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, one of the main natural barriers of the road. Over the pass “Cruz de Hierro" (4900 feet) or "The 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 restaurant in Ponferrada.

Lodging: Hotel Bierzo Plaza

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

Description: The Hotel Bierzo Plaza is located in the very heart of the Old Town of Ponferrada, in a rambling house that dates back to the 17th century. Renovated in 2009, the hotel is a warm and enchanting place to stay within the historical surroundings of the city.

Contact info:
Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, 4
Ponferrada, 24400 Spain
phone: +34 987 409 001
web: www.aroihoteles.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, reading areas in the lobby, laundry services and wireless Internet access (for a fee).

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Wednesday, September 17 - Villafranca del Bierzo / Iglesia de Santiago
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 we will walk to Villafranca del Bierzo (1706 feet). Before entering the town, see the Iglesia de Santiago, a place where pilgrims who could not continue on to Santiago de Compostela due to health reasons could receive a special absolution.

Lunch: 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). Enjoy some free time in Ponferrada.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Ponferrada.

Lodging: Hotel Bierzo Plaza

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

Description: The Hotel Alfonso IX is located in the center of Sarria. Set in a welcoming and pleasant atmosphere, the hotel features a modern style with up-to-date amenities, and boasts a privileged spot on the French Pilgrim Road that leads to Santiago itself.

Contact info:
Rua do Peregrino, 29
Sarria, 27600 Spain
phone: +34982530005
web: www.carrishoteles.com/en

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, swimming pool, gym, sauna, laundry services and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Thursday, September 18 - O'Cebreiro / Samos Monastery / Transfer to Sarria
Note: 4 hours of walking on trails in nature over rolling hills. There is some steep uphill and downhill walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart by private coach to enter Galicia through O’Cebreiro (4290 feet), an important symbolic site of the pilgrimage. Walk and explore this mystic place, known for its thatched stone huts (pallozas) and its pre-Romanesque church. From O’Cebreiro, the coach drives along the pilgrim’s way to Triacastela (2195 feet). From here we walk through the beautiful Galician nature over rolling hills to Samos Monastery, an impressive archetype of the importance the mighty benedictine order of Cluny had in the pilgrimage way of Santiago.

Lunch: Picnic on the trail.

Afternoon: Guided visit of the Monastery of Samos. Continue by private coach to the hotel in Sarria.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Alfonso IX

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

Description: Located in the historical city center of Santiago de Compostela, the Hotel Virxe da Cerca consists of two buildings joined by a romantic garden. The hotel was once an old banking house and Jesuit residence, and has preserved its traditional appeal of warmth and elegance. Magnificent views of the Abastos market in the old town are right outside the windows of this charming hotel.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34 981 56 93 50
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, laundry services, safe, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, cafeteria with terrace, sitting rooms, private garden, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

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

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

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Eleven: Friday, September 19 - Sarria / "Camino last 100 km" / Portomarin / Tran...
Sarria / "Camino last 100 km" / Portomarin / Transfer to Santiago de Compostela

Note: 4 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: Today we start the walk on the pilgrim's road right from the hotel in Sarria (1480 feet), the starting point of the most popular section of the pilgrimage: the "Camino last 100 km." We will walk some steep uphill, and then follow the undulating terrain in a picturesque countryside along cultivated fields and cows grazing in the meadows. The lane is flanked by chestnut and oak trees. Arrive at Lavandeira (2195 feet), where we 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 restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue by private coach to Santiago de Compostela (860 feet). Stop along the way and walk on the Mount of Joy with 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 restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

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

Description: Located in the historical city center of Santiago de Compostela, the Hotel Virxe da Cerca consists of two buildings joined by a romantic garden. The hotel was once an old banking house and Jesuit residence, and has preserved its traditional appeal of warmth and elegance. Magnificent views of the Abastos market in the old town are right outside the windows of this charming hotel.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34 981 56 93 50
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, laundry services, safe, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, cafeteria with terrace, sitting rooms, private garden, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

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

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

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Twelve: Saturday, September 20 - "The Wonderful Sights" / Monastery of Saint Marti...
"The Wonderful Sights" / Monastery of Saint Martin / Los Reyes Catolicos

Note: 2 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 15th-century hospital (which is now Los Reyes Catolicos, a glorious five-star hotel).

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Santiago de Compostela. Your program staff will give you additional ideas of what to see and do.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in the historical city center of Santiago de Compostela, the Hotel Virxe da Cerca consists of two buildings joined by a romantic garden. The hotel was once an old banking house and Jesuit residence, and has preserved its traditional appeal of warmth and elegance. Magnificent views of the Abastos market in the old town are right outside the windows of this charming hotel.

Contact info:
Rua Virxe da Cerca, 27
Santiago de Compostela, 15703 Spain
phone: +34 981 56 93 50
web: www.pousadasdecompostela.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, laundry services, safe, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, cafeteria with terrace, sitting rooms, private garden, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

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

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

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Thirteen: Sunday, September 21 - Finisterre / Cabo Finisterre
Note: 1 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, named after the Cabo de Roca in Portugal (the most western point in Europe).

Lunch: Lunch at a local seafood restaurant.

Afternoon: Return to Santiago by coach. Remainder of the day is free for packing or one last walk around Santiago.

Dinner: Farewell reception and dinner at a local restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.

Lodging: Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Monday, September 22 - Departures
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach transfer to the Santiago de Compostela airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Burgos
Museo de la Evolucion HumanaThe Museo de la Evolucion Humana displays outstanding findings from the nearby site of Sierra de Atapuerca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about these findings along with the scientific disciplines and theories drawn from them at this impressive modern museum.
For additional information, visit: www.museoevolucionhumana.com
Santiago de Compostela
Museo do Pobo GalegoThe Museo do Pobo Galego is an ethnographical museum that aims to investigate, preserve and promote the Galician culture. The museum itself is housed in a former convent, and has an impressive triple helical stairway.
For additional information, visit: www.museodopobo.es
Ponferrada
13th Century Templar CastleVisit the 13th Century Templar Castle, and see its impressive exhibition of 100 facsimiles of some of the most beautiful manuscripts and illustrated books of all time. Some of these include the Book of Kells from the 9th century, and graphic art of Dali from the 20th century.
For additional information, visit: www.caminomyway.com/my-visit-to-the-ponferrada-castle-on-the-camino-de-santiago
Leon
San MarcosSee the archaeology, historical artifacts and art on display at this five-star hotel and museum, which was once an important pilgrim's hospital during the Middle Ages. The current building dates back to the 16th century and is a masterwork of Spanish, late Gothic and Plateresque styles.
For additional information, visit: www.parador.es/museo_en/parador-leon

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
33 meals: 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 12 dinners
12 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips

Ratings

5
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