Proposed Itinerary – El Camino Frances – The French Way – June 2015

Day 01 – Madrid

Today a transfer will greet you and drive to your centrally located hotel in the heart of the historic quarter, where you’ll spend the next 2 nights.

4* Hotel HC Las Cortes Catalanes.

Day 02 – Madrid

This morning your local guide will take you on a walking tour of Madrid’s historic quarter following the Route of the Hapsburg and Borbon Royalty. We will walk along the ‘tapas’ district, La Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor ending by the Royal Palace.

When finish your guide will walk back to your hotel. En route you will stop at the Museo de Jamon (Spanish Ham Museum) where we can enjoy a selection of sandwiches featuring the various types of Ham (on your own). Rest of the day at leisure to explore more of the city on your own or rest.
Optional: This afternoon we can arrange for you to visit the impressive El Prado Museum with a private guide.

This evening enjoy a welcome dinner in the heart of the historic quarter.
(Buffet Breakfast/ Welcome Dinner)

Day 03 – Madrid to Sarria

After breakfast you travel to Sarria by train. Where you will start your walk and spend the night.

3* Hotel
(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

Concha de VieraDay 04 – Sarria to Portomarin

This morning you visit the town of Sarria, where you’ll first get your Pilgrim Passport stamped. You can also buy in Sarria a walking stick, preferred by many pilgrims for support. The cost varies from euros 15 to 20 Euros.

Then you begin your pilgrimage, leaving Sarria and walking peaceful roads through quaint villages en route to Portomarin, where you’ll spend the night. This evening you relax before dinner. Today’s walk is 22 km, around 4 ½ hours on foot.

3* Hotel
(Buffet Breakfast / Packed Lunch / Dinner)

Notes on the terrain: Gradual ascent on the path from Sarria to Morgade. From Morgade to Portomarin the path descends. The surroundings are marked by hills. The walk mostly takes place over small country roads.

Day 05 – Portomarin to Palas de Rei

This morning you continue to Portomarin and head toward Palas de Rei, where we pass by the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria in Gonzar and the Galician cemetery church in Ligonde. Dinner and overnight. Today’s walk is 24 km, around 5 hours on foot.

2 ½ * Hotel / Pensión
(Breakfast with eggs, fruit, yogurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruits, coffee, tea and juice) (Packed Lunch / Dinner)

Notes on the terrain: Gradual ascent from Portomarin until Alto de la Sierra de Ligonde. From Ligonde gradual descent until Palais de Reis, with a few small hills in between. The majority of the walk takes place on small paved roads.

Day 06 – Palas de Rei to Melide

After breakfast you depart for Palas de Rei and Melide. This is a lovely town with a former monastery Church Sancti Spiritu, Church of San Pedro and Church of Santa Maria. Nearby, is the medieval bridge which traverses the river Furelos. Dinner and Overnight. Today’s walk is 15 km, around 3 hours on foot.

3* B & B
(Breakfast with eggs, fruit, yogurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruits, coffee, tea and juice)
(Packed Lunch / Dinner)

Day 07 – Melide to ArzuaEl Camino de Santiago

This morning you depart Melide and walk to the small town of Arzua, experiencing beautiful sights and lush scenery. In Arzua, the town’s centerpiece is the Church of La Magdalena.  Today’s walk is 24 km, around 5 hours on foot.

3* Hotel / Pension
(Breakfast with eggs, fruit, yogurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruits, coffee, tea and juice)
(Packed Lunch / Dinner)

Notes on the terrain from Palas de Rei to Arzua Days 05 and 06:
Mostly gradual descent from Palais de Rei until Arzua, with a few small hills in between. The majority of the walk takes place via rural country roads and small paths parallel to the Lugo-Santiago road, which we will cross a few times.

Day 08 – Arzua to O Pedrouzo

This you resume your walk. Leaving Arzua there is a chapel in As Barrosas, which is dedicated to St Lazarus, a common devotion on the road recalling the Lazaretos for the attention of pilgrims with contagious diseases. Traditionally, pilgrims would cleanse themselves here before the final walk into Santiago de Compostela.  Today’s walk is 10 km, around 2 hours on foot.

3* Hotel / Pension
(Breakfast with eggs, fruit, yogurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruits, coffee, tea and juice)
Packed Lunch / Dinner in hotel).

Notes on the terrain: Gradual ascent from Arzua to O Empalme. From O Empalme we will gradually descend until Rua o O Pedrouzo. We will walk on mostly country paths or parallel to the main road. It will be necessary to cross the main road several times.

Day 09 – Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela

This morning you begin the last leg of our journey to Santiago de Compostela. Leaving O Pedrouzo you enter deep thick woodland of eucalyptus and native trees. The Camino climbs slowly through the magnificent tall trees. In Santiago, we will first stop by the Office of the Pilgrim, where you will receive our final official stamp, completing our journey to Santiago. If time allows you can attend the daily Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral, otherwise you can attend it the following day. Today’s walk is 18 km, around 4 hours on foot.
(Buffet Breakfast)

Notes on the terrain: Gradual ascent from Rua, or O Pedrouzo until Mount do Gozo. Then gradual descent from Mount do Gozo, until we arrive in Santiago de Compostela. The terrain will be a combination of country paths and small sections of paved roads. The last few kms will be walked on urban roads.

In Santiago de Compostela you will spend the next 2 nights at the centrally located:
4* Hotel San Francisco Hotel Monumento

Day 10 – Friday – Santiago de CompostelaConcha de Viera

This morning your local guide will greet you and take you to visit the beautiful Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the town of St. James and where his remains are resting. Your tour of the Cathedral will also include a walk along the rooftop which offers spectacular views of the city.

An impressive feature of the Cathedral is the Portico de la Gloria, which is located just inside the main entrance. Through the centuries, millions of pilgrims have touched the central pillar. After a thousand years of embracing and touching, the stone has been left smooth and worn. The relics of St. James, the apostle, repose in the high altar. Pilgrims can follow the centuries-old tradition of climbing the stairs behind the altar to kiss the shells that rest on the golden statue of the saint. Below the statue is the crypt that contains the bones of St. James in a silver reliquary.

12:00 p.m. – After your tour of the Cathedral, if we did not have time to attend the day before mass, we will attend the daily ‘Pilgrims’ Mass by the main Altar dedicated to the Pilgrims that have completed El Camino. After Mass, enjoy a walking tour of Santiago’s historic quarter before stopping for lunch on your own. This evening enjoy a farewell Dinner at the historic Parador de Santiago.
(Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

Day 11 – Santiago de Compostela to Madrid

Today you return by train (5 hrs) to Madrid where you will spend your last night.
4* Hotel HC Las Cortes Catalanes. (Buffet Breakfast)

Day 12 – Madrid – USA

After breakfast this morning a transfer will drive you to the Barajas International Airport for our flight to the United States.

(Buffet Breakfast)

Estimate Cost per person based on shared double occupancy USD 3,460

Single Supplement: add USD 1,230
Note: Estimates is based on today’s exchange rate and could vary in the future.
Price is for land only, no air fare is included in quote.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • You should wear very comfortable shoes preferable already used and broken in.
  • Bring a small compact umbrella in case of a light shower.
  • Small backpack to carry any medicines you might take and your packed lunch.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, sun glasses, jacket that repels water and a hat for the sun.
  • Bring sun block.
  • In Sarria you can purchase a walking stick to fit your size which can vary in price from
  • 10 to 20 euros each.
  • You may want to bring a personal camera and note pad with you.
  • Your packed lunch which will include: A sandwich, juice, bottled water and a fruit or energy bar.
  • Dinners will take place in either the Hotel/Pension or a nearby restaurant.
  • They will consist of an entree, main dish, desert and soft drinks: Coffee, tea, soda or juice.