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The Greatest Road in Europe: Camino De Santiago

Program Number: 3601RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/17/2014 - 6/30/2014; 5/12/2015 - 5/25/2015; 6/2/2015 - 6/15/2015; 6/16/2015 - 6/29/2015; 9/8/2015 - 9/21/2015; 9/29/2015 - 10/12/2015; 10/20/2015 - 11/2/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Spain
Price starting at: $4,599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Over Roman causeways, medieval roads, wooden bridges and mountain passes, people for centuries have made their pilgrimage across northern Spain to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela -- the purported resting place of the apostle James -- to seek forgiveness of their sins. Following in footsteps that are more than 1,000 years old, walk the Camino de Santiago and experience the legends, architecture, food and wine along the greatest road in Europe.




Highlights

• Experts discuss the mysterious legends of the Camino de Santiago and the medieval architecture of Leon.
• Seek out the “Holy Galician Grail” in Ponferrada.
• Savor Castilian cuisine in Leon.



Activity Particulars

Walking/hiking 4-8 miles over mixed terrain; rocky and steep at times. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).




Date Specific Information

6-17-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Madrid; coach to Burgos, 3 nights; coach to Leon, 3 nights; coach to Ponferrada, 2 nights; coach to Sarria, 1 night; coach to Santiago de Compostela, 3 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Madrid
Coach to Burgos
3 nights

Known as the city of El Sid, Burgos is home to Spain's greatest Gothic cathedral. Explore this historic site as local experts discuss the history of the Camino de Santiago and the cult of St. James. Examine the Shrine of San Juan de Ortega and the shrine of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. In the evening, savor a delicious dinner prepared in the old Castilian style.



Coach to Leon
3 nights

In the Middle Ages pilgrims paused in Leon for care in hospitals and spiritual inspiration in the cathedral and the Basilica de San Isidoro, housing some of the finest medieval frescoes anywhere in Europe. An expert on Spanish medieval architecture addresses the city’s remarkable buildings, then view a "Modernist" building designed by the great architect, Gaudi. Walk in Europe’s largest natural park -- Somiedo -- and the Roman garrison of Leon.



Coach to Ponferrada
2 nights
Coach to Sarria
1 night

Explore Ponferrada for its medieval roots and delicious cuisine. Walk across the Roman bridge of Orbigo and the charming village of Cebreiro, with a church and chalice known as the "Holy Galician Grail." Experts discuss medieval medicine in Sarria, while excursions showcase the pilgrims’ path to the impressive Monastery of Samos.



Coach to Santiago de Compostela
3 nights
Departure

Lectures discuss the culmination point of the pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostela -- one of the loveliest cities in Europe. Walk among its gold-tinged monuments and charming medieval streets, while experts discuss the Mount of Joy, the Monastery of Saint Martin -- a 15th-century hospital -- and the fisherman's village of Finisterre.




Spain

With the ascension of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, the Kingdom of Spain took on a shape similar to today’s nation. Ruling a culture born of Roman, Visigoth and Moorish invasions, Spain’s Catholic monarchy threw open the door to the Age of Discovery at the turn of the 16th century, importing goods and ideas from around the world while exporting their cultural fusion throughout the first empire on which the sun never set.



Accommodations
Burgos: Centrally located in the downtown. Leon: Hotel in the heart of town. Ponferrada: Comfortable hotel. Sarria: Three-star hotel. Santiago de Compostela: Centrally located hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones
  Burgos, Spain 3 nights
   Hotel La Posada Regia
  Leon, Spain 3 nights
   Hotel Bierzo Plaza
  Ponferrada, Spain 2 nights
   Hotel Alfonso IX
  Sarria, Spain 1 night
   Hotel Virxe da Cerca
  Santiago de Compostela, Spain 3 nights
 Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones
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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  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

 Hotel La Posada Regia
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 allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Bierzo Plaza
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 allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Alfonso IX
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 allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Virxe da Cerca
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 allowed: Yes
  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


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Madrid Airport, Spain. Meet your group by 9:30 AM for the group transfer to Burgos (approx. 2.5 hours). (Hotel check-in is at 2:00 PM.) You will be staying at Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones that night.
  End of Program:
Santiago de Compostela, Spain. After breakfast on the last day. (Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM.) You will be staying at Hotel Virxe da Cerca the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Available but not an easy transfer on your own.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Burgos
  Transportation to site: 1. Take a taxi or bus from the Madrid Airport to the main train station, Chamartin, in Madrid (costs approx. 20 Euro for a taxi or 4 Euro per person for a bus). If you decide to use a taxi, be sure that the meter is working; otherwise, be sure to agree on a fare before departing. The yellow airport bus leaves every 15 minutes during peak travel times from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM. The new Barajas metro provides a fast route into central Madrid. Transfers by taxi or bus can take from 30 minutes to an hour. 2. Take the train from the main train station, Chamartin, in Madrid to Burgos (approx. cost per person: Regional Train Tourist Class one-way is 22 Euro; Intercity and Talgo Trains Tourist Class one-way is 26 Euro; Intercity and Talgo Trains Preferent Class one-way is 35 Euro).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Santiago de Compostela
  Transportation from site: From the Hotel Virxe da Cerca take a taxi to the airport in Santiago de Compostela. It costs 21 Euro and takes about 15-20 minutes.
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.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight flight to Europe
(Tuesday, June 17)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight to Europe.

Day 2: Arrivals / Gothic Cathedral
(Wednesday, June 18)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Santo Domingo de la Calzada / Rioja district
(Thursday, June 19)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Oca Mountains and the Shrine of San Juan
(Friday, June 20)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Castrojeriz / Meseta / Fromista / Transfer to Leon
(Saturday, June 21)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Posada Regia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Natural Park of Somiedo / Brana de Mumian
(Sunday, June 22)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Posada Regia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Treasures of Leon
(Monday, June 23)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Posada Regia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Puente de Orbigo / Paso Honroso / Molinaseca / Transfer to Ponferrada
(Tuesday, June 24)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bierzo Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Villafranca del Bierzo / Iglesia de Santiago
(Wednesday, June 25)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bierzo Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: O'Cebreiro / Samos Monastery / Transfer to Sarria
(Thursday, June 26)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Alfonso IX
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Sarria / "Camino last 100 km" / Portomarin / Transfer to Santiago de Compostela
(Friday, June 27)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Virxe da Cerca
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: "The Wonderful Sights" / Monastery of Saint Martin / Los Reyes Catolicos
(Saturday, June 28)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Virxe da Cerca
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Finisterre / Cabo Finisterre
(Sunday, June 29)

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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Virxe da Cerca
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Monday, June 30)
   
 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 Humana
The 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 Galego
The 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 Castle
Visit 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 Marcos
See 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino De Santiago


Author: John Brierley


Description: With 52 maps and town plans, information on pilgrim hostels and other accommodations, practical advice and spiritual encouragement for the route from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Campostela.



A Traveller's History of Spain


Author: Juan Lalaguna


Description: A swift survey from prehistory through the Romans, Goths and Moors to the present.



Birds of Europe


Author: Lars Svensson


Description: Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps.



I'm Off Then, Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago


Author: Hape Kerkeling


Description: Overweight, overworked and unfit, Kerkeling turns an arduous trek across the French Pyrenees into a superb opportunity to deploy his self-deprecating humor and barbed wit in this laugh-out-loud account of an unlikely pilgrim.



Northern Spain Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


Description: A nicely detailed, overview map of the western (coastal) part of Northern Spain and the Way of St. James, extending as far east as San Sebastian, at a scale of 1:380,000.



Off the Road, A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route Into Spain


Author: Jack Hitt


Description: An American abroad, popular NPR contributor Hitt unleashes his wit and wonder in this account of his trek, 500-miles across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Naturally, he falls in with an odd assortment of fellow pilgrims, and adventures ensue.



Paris to the Pyrenees


Author: David Downie


Description: David Downie's spirited book is haunted by the Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix (say that 10 times fast!) and the Gallo-Roman forebears of modern France. On ancient trails through the forests of the rugged Morvan, they continued across the celebrated wine country of Burgundy and the centuries-old Via Podiensis on the Way of Saint James.



Pilgrim Stories, On and Off the Road to Santiago


Author: Nancy Louise Frey


Description: The sights, sounds -- and meaning -- of modern journeys along the "Camino de Santiago," according to interviews with those who travel it.



Pilgrimage to the End of the World, The Road to Santiago de Campostela


Author: Conrad Rudolph


Description: An engaging, literary account of 11 weeks of travels from Le Puy along the way of St. James, 1,000 miles all told.



Roads to Santiago, A Modern-Day Pilgrimage Through Spain


Author: Cees Nooteboom


Description: An exhilarating but erudite portrait of modern and historic Spain. Nooteboom writes quite brilliantly of Spanish art, philosophy, history, architecture and culture, as well as of the people he encountered.



Santiago de Compostela Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A walking map of the city at a scale of 1:10,000.



Spain, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Peter R. Bush (Editor)


Description: This collection of 30 stories form a “who’s who” of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.



The Basque History of the World


Author: Mark Kurlansky


Description: Kurlansky's engaging portrait of the seven provinces of Basque lands takes in everything from language to culinary heritage, role in the Spanish Civil War and seafaring traditions.



The Camino, A Journey of the Spirit


Author: Shirley MacLaine


Description: The much-reincarnated, ever-brave entertainer treks 500-miles across Northern Spain on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela, interweaving travelogue, commentary and journeys both actual and interior in this personal journal.



The Miracles of St. James, Translations from the Liber Sancti Jacobi


Author: Thoma Coffey (Editor)


Description: The English translation of a Medieval writings on the pilgrimage to Santiago, and the miracles of St. James, from the Codex Calixtinus.



The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela


Author: William Melczer


Description: This is the original guide used by 12th-century pilgrims along the sacred way, reprinted with an introduction by a professor of medieval studies, plus endnotes and a gazetteer. It's an excellent, hugely informative presentation of this curiosity.



The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago, The Complete Cultural Handbook


Author: David Gitlitz, Linda Kay Davidson


Description: A kilometer-by-kilometer guide to the route of St. James across northern Spain with copious information on the historical and artistic sites along the way. You probably won’t want to it in your daypack, but in your suitcase it will be invaluable for previews of the following day and reflections on the preceding one.



The Road to Santiago


Author: Kathryn Harrison


Description: The novelist's personal and meditative account of journeys along the Route of St. James, from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela.



The Roads to Santiago, The Medieval Pilgrim Routes Through France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela


Author: Derry Brabbs (Photographer)


Description: This gorgeous book celebrates the shrine Santiago de Compostela and the medieval routes through France and Spain -- each a World Heritage site -- in 220 color photographs.



The Song of Roland


Author: Robert Harrison (Translator)


Description: The medieval French epic poem recalling the gory battle which took place in 778 (as Charlemagne's rear guard was ambushed by Saracens) this text offers important insights into Christian attitudes toward Muslims in medieval European history. Translated by Robert Harrison.



Travels with My Donkey


Author: Tim Moore


Description: In this wickedly comic account of grand adventures on the 500-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela with a French-speaking donkey, Moore salts his anecdotes of fellow travelers and grand adventures with an account of the history and culture of the medieval Way of St. James.



Walking


Author: Henry David Thoreau


Description: Slip this pocket edition of Thoreau's meditations on the spiritual benefits of this most civilized form of travel in your daypack for inspiration.





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