3601
Spain
The Greatest Road in Europe: Camino De Santiago
Experience one of the world’s great walking routes as you learn about ancient cathedrals, religious icons and medieval Europe along the wondrous Camino De Santiago.
Rating (4.97)
Program No. 3601RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,999
Flights start at
825
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14 days
13 nights
33 meals
12 B 9 L 12 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Check In, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Burgos
D
Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

Activity note: Hotel check in is at 2:00 PM. Up to 1.5 miles of city walking for 2 hours.

Afternoon: Transfer to Burgos (2821 feet). Transfer time is approx. 2.5 hours. If time permits, you will take an orientation stroll through the center of the city and visit the magnificent Gothic Cathedral. Attend an orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel. Water is included in the program cost at all meals. Unless otherwise noted dinners on this program are typically a three course set menu.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Rioja district
Burgos
B,L,D
Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

Activity note: Up to 3.1 miles of walking for 2 hours in villages and countryside trails.

Breakfast: At the hotel. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: Private coach to Cirueña, and walk to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (2100 feet). Enjoy an excursion of the town center and visit the cathedral.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue by coach through the Rioja region and take in its stunning landscape. Excursion to and old traditional local wine cellar. Enjoy a Rioja wine tasting before returning to Burgos.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
The Oca Mountains and the Shrine of San Juan
Burgos
B,L,D
Hotel Rice Palacio de Los Blasones

Activity note: Up to 7.8 miles of walking for 4 hours on mountain trails (the longest walk of the program).

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 on the trail.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Burgos. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Castrojeriz, Meseta, Fromista, Transfer to Leon
Leon
B,L,D
Hotel Silken Luis de León

Activity note: Up to 5.6 miles of walking for 4 hours through the flat lands and rolling hills of the Meseta.

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 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: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
The Treasures of Leon
Leon
B,D
Hotel Silken Luis de León

Activity note: Up to 2 miles of city walking for 3 hours.

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: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Natural Park of Somiedo, Brana de Mumian
Leon
B,L,D
Hotel Silken Luis de León

Activity note: Up to 4.7 miles of walking for 4.5 hours on trails through the natural park.

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 on the trail.

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

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Puente de Orbigo, Paso Honroso, Molinaseca, Ponferrada
Ponferrada
B,L,D
Hotel Aroi Bierzo Plaza

Activity note: Up to 5.8 miles of walking for 3 hours in villages and on dirt trails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart Leon by private coach to Puente de Orbigo where you will walk across the impressive medieval 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 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," 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: At a local restaurant in Ponferrada.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Villafranca del Bierzo, Iglesia de Santiago
Ponferrada
B,L,D
Hotel Aroi Bierzo Plaza

Activity note: Up to 5.9 miles of walking for 2.5 hours through vineyards and villages.

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 meal at a rural restaurant/shop producing and promoting local products like wine, grappa, bottled vegetables, and fruits.

Afternoon: Following lunch return by coach to Ponferrada (2099 feet). On your own to see and do more of what interests you most.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Ponferrada.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
O'Cebreiro, Samos Monastery, Transfer to Sarria
Sarria
B,L,D
Hotel Alfonso IX

Activity note: Up to 7.4 miles of walking for 4 hours on trails in nature over rolling hills. There is some steep uphill and downhill walking.

Breakfast: In 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. After a short coach drive, walk 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 in Triacastela.

Afternoon: Walk through the beautiful Galician landscape on the way towards Santiago. After a guided visit of the Monastery of Samos, continue by private coach to the hotel in Sarria.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Sarria, Portomarin, Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
B,L,D
Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Activity note: Up to 4.4 miles of walking for 4 hours on the pilgrim's path through undulating and picturesque countryside fields and meadows. Town walking in Santiago de Compostela.

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: 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: At a local restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
B,D
Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Activity note: Up to 1.5 miles of walking for 2 hours in town.

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 set in the monumental Obradoiro square.

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: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Finisterre, Cabo Finisterre
Santiago de Compostela
B,L,D
Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Activity note: Up to 2.1 miles of walking for 1 hour on coastal roads and in town.

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, "the end of the world."

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 tapas dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Private coach transfer to the Santiago de Compostela airport. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures.






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