OVERVIEW

Walk from Leon to Santiago de Compostela crossing through the regions of Castilla y Leon and Galicia as you complete the last 300km of the Camino Frances. Join this iconic route in the vibrant city of Leon, beginning with a visit to its exquisite 18th-century cathedral. From here, follow the centuries-old route across the rise and fall of northern Spain rolling landscape, spending each night in the medieval towns and villages which have a long tradition in welcoming Camino walkers.

Crossing into Galicia, the iconic scallop shell markers will guide you through fertile valleys and across rolling hills through a succession of typical Celtic stone villages and medieval monasteries. Each day, immerse yourself in Spanish culture, dining on typical dishes of Galician stew and fresh seafood platters. One of the most memorable experiences of the Camino is the walking into Santiago’s Plaza de Obradoiro and experiencing the euphoric buzz of pilgrims and walkers having just completed the world’s most famous pilgrim trail.

Highlights

  • Walk the world-famous Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela
  • Explore the architecture of Gaudi in Leon and Astorga
  • Sample the Verdejo white wines of Castilla y Leon
  • End your journey in the atmospheric Plaza de Obradoiro, Santiago
  • Spend each day walking alongside fellow pilgrims on this world-famous route
  • One of the world’s best treks to complete solo or with friends
  • Follow old Roman roads into medieval towns and hilltop villages
  • Try local tapas dishes of Padrón Peppers and Galician style octopus

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
17 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2295

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 750

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
  • Day 15
  • Day 16
  • Day 17

DAY 1
Arrive Leon

A vibrant city, Leon is one of the most popular starting points along the Camino trail and for good reason! Its history is depicted through a wealth of fine architecture. Home to one of Spain’s most significant Renaissance buildings, the Convento de San Marcos, dates back to the 12th century and was originally built as a hospital-shelter for pilgrims travelling along the Camino. Leon also boasts Casa Botines, the work of Antoni Gaudi for which he used the characteristics in the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. Later in the evening, stroll the historic narrow streets, bursting with lively tapas bars and restaurants.

Meals included: None
Accommodation: Hotel Luis Silken Leon
A 10-minute walk from the old city walls and glorious cathedral, this hotel occupies a prime position in the heart of Leon. Comfortable en-suite rooms are equipped with extensive amenities. The hotel bar serves a wide range of cocktails and if you arrive late you can also enjoy a bite to eat from the hotel restaurant.

DAY 2
Walk to Mazarife

Your Camino journey begins by leaving Leon on foot. Having walked through the urban outskirts, you’ll head out onto trails with far-reaching views across to the mountain tops of the Picos de Europa. En-route to Mazaarife, you’ll head over the Passo Honroso Puente, a 200m long medieval bridge with 20 arch-shaped spans which pilgrims have been crossing since the 12th century. In early June each year, a colourful jousting festival takes place in honour of the knight, Don Suero, who challenged all knights that dared to cross the bridge as a display of his affections for his love.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Nuestra Señora de Lourdes
This hotel offers the feeling of a real homestay. Your host, Lola, has created a welcoming and peaceful garden to rest the legs after a day on the trail. Rooms are lovingly decorated with classic furniture and for breakfast, Lola makes a variety of fresh dishes using seasonal ingredients.

DAY 3
Walk to Astorga

A fairly easy going walk today across farmland and through villages as you cross the fertile plains of the Orbigo River. Head through the hamlets of Villares, Santibanez de Valdeiglesias and lastly San Justo de la Vega before a short climb to your overnight stay in the town of Astorga. Founded in 14BC by the Romans, some of the original Roman walls can be seen at the edge of the town. You can also visit the impressive Episcopal Palace, designed by Gaudi and if you have time, visit the chocolate museum which recreates an old chocolate shop of the late 1800s.

Walk: 30km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Spa Cuidad de Astorga
A perfectly placed hotel, next to the most famous monuments in Astorga (including the cathedral and the Gaudí Palace. A classically historic building with a contemporary interior, this 4* award-winning hotel has an indoor pool and sauna and The hotel restaurant, Chalet de Josele Restaurant serves traditional Castilian food.

DAY 4
Walk to Rabanal del Camino

A gentle incline across farmland leads through the region of la Maragateria to the sleepy layover of Rabanal del Camino. Alternating between open plains and trails of heather and oak trees, the small patches of forest have offered shade for many Camino hikers over the years on the ascent to Rabanal del Camino. Although a minor stopover for today’s walkers, Rabanal was a significant town during the middle ages as it had many churches and a hospital founded and run by templar monks.

Walk: 21.5km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hostel el Refugio
Centrally located, this accommodation is well-known for it’s cosy and welcoming atmosphere. A typical stone building with wooden beam ceilings, the hotel’s restaurant is a popular choice for all walkers passing through the town.

DAY 5
Walk to Molinaseca

Leaving Rabanal, the route climbs towards the high point of ‘Cruz Ferro’ (iron cross). At just 1500m, take a moment to enjoy the far reaching views across the Camino. There are many theories as to the origins of the cross, but it is believed to have been erected in the 11th century. Traditionally pilgrims will leave a small rock with a message on it for loved ones which they have bought with them from home. From the cross, the route descends into the delightful village of Molinaseca.

Walk: 26.5km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hostel Casa Rural el Palacio
Situated close to the river Hostel Casa Rural features a garden, bar and en-suite rooms. Only a few minutes walk from cafes, restaurants and the San Nicolas Church, this accommodation provides a comfortable stay.

DAY 6
Walk to Villafranca del Bierzo

Within a couple of hours of leaving Molinaseca, you will reach Ponferrada, a former outpost of the Knights of the Templar. Do take time here to explore the magnificent castle which once housed the knights. With an abundance of cafes, it is a great opportunity to sample the traditional Camino almond cake and café con leche. Walking onwards to Villafranca, pass through the wine region of Bierzo and several small villages before arriving into Villafranca del Bierzo.

Walk: 31km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel La Puerta del Perdón
A friendly and rustic guesthouse, your hosts welcome you with iced lemon water and invite you to relax in their home. Comfortable rooms and a breakfast with fresh fruits, homemade cakes and excellent coffee are the perfect set-up for another day on the Camino.

DAY 7
Walk to Herrarias de Valcarce

Today walk to the farming hamlet of Herrerias de Valcarce, the penultimate stop in Castilla y Leon before crossing into Galicia. The familiar scallop shell markers guide you on your way across rolling farmland and deep into a lush valley, as you follow the Valcarce River. There are some steep climbs today so we would suggest leaving in good time to allow plenty of time to take the day at a steady pace. This is one of the most challenging days.

Walk: 18km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Posada Real Paraiso del Bierzo
A boutique-style hotel, located on the Camino Frances trail. After ascending to the hotel, enjoy a sundowner on the patio before heading to your en-suite room to freshen up. You can eat at the hotel or head to one of the nearby cafes. This family-run hotel is always popular with walkers.

DAY 8
Walk to O’Cebreiro

Set off early so you can pace yourself on the steady climb to O Cebreiro. On arrival, take the opportunity to rest and explore the dry-stone houses complete with thatched roofs in the most charming of settings! In the town you may even encounter musicians playing folk music with a ‘galleta galleo’ (bagpipes), which stems from the Celtic connection in the middle ages.

Walk: 9km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel O’Cebreiro
A typical rural stone house which over the centuries has been a prison and town hall. Since 2002 the property has been welcoming Camino walkers into the comfortable lodgings. With only 5 en-suite rooms, the property has managed to keep the traditional stone walls and chestnut wood beams.

DAY 9
Walk to Triacastela

Having completed a couple of days of climbing, you can enjoy a predominantly downhill trail to Triacastela. Peppered with hamlets and villages, there are plenty of opportunities today to take a break from the downhill, find some shade and rest the feet. Although destroyed by the Normans in the 10th century, Tricastela was named after the 3 castles surrounding the settlement. Nowadays this is the last stop before joining the final 100km of the Camino at Sarria the following night.

Walk: 22km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Casa David
A simple Camino hotel, equipped with en-suite rooms and laundromat the hotel also boasts a garden with a view along with a café and bar where you can get refreshments on arrival. The nearby Plaza la Iglesia is only a couple of minute’s walk where there are further cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from.

DAY 10
Walk to Sarria

Today you can choose from 2 routes. Follow a trail through a succession of villages to Samos, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Galician mountains to the east. Here you can visit the remarkable Benedictine Monastery, a significant stop on the Way of St. James and a real highlight of the Camino Frances. Alternatively, you can take a rural route towards Sarria, which is a little shorter (and omits the visit to Samos). On arrival into Sarria, seek out the historic streets where you can visit the 13th-century ‘O’Salvador’ gothic church and the medieval fortress of Sarria.

Walk: 25km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Alfonso IX
Begin your Camino in the comfortable Hotel Alfonso, located in central Sarria which means you can easily join the Camino trail the next morning. All rooms have their own bathroom and there is a small cafe to grab a cafe con leche before heading out to further explore Sarria.

DAY 11
Walk to Portomarin

Begin the day by walking through a woodland of ancient oak, birch and chestnut forests, before joining the official Camino trail. Marked by the famous scallop shell waymarks of this world renowned route, stroll alongside fellow pilgrims as the trail undulates across grazing pastures and farm tracks, passing through tiny hamlets where you see many traditional ‘horreos’ granaries. Descend into Portomarin via the Mino Reservoir, the former site of Portomarin town. In the 1960’s Portomarin was moved brick by brick to higher ground, including the imposing structures of San Nicolas and San Pedro church.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Pousada de Portomarin
This modern hotel has been welcoming pilgrims for the last 50 years. A typical simple walkers hotel, rooms are comfortable, ensuited and bright. Other facilities include a bar, café, restaurant and a swimming pool open during the high summer months.

DAY 12
Walk to Palas de Rei

The day begins with a steady climb through pine forests, corn fields and across meadows. Today’s high point is Sierra Ligonde (720m). Here you can make a small detour to the 14th century Romanesque church of El Salvador at Vilar de Donas, a national monument to the Knights of Santiago. The last gentle climb of the day passes through age-old villages and descends into the village of Palas de Rei (Palace of the Kings), where you will spend tonight.

Walk: 26km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Casa Beilde
Nestled in the pedestrian area of Palas de Rei, this small and friendly hotel has simple en-suite rooms. Very popular with Camino walkers, the hotel has a great atmosphere at breakfast as fellow hikers are preparing for the day ahead. Close to all the town facilities, this hotel makes for a pleasant stay.

DAY 13
Walk to Arzua

A long but manageable day follows secluded trails through woodlands and into a region dotted with medieval castles, churches and ancient settlements. After leaving Palas de Rei you will soon reach the classic Camino village of San Xulian with its tiny 12th century church. The trail continues to climb, crossing Porto de Boi and through the villages of Campanilla and Leboreiro, where you can visit a 13th century Romanesque church. Before arriving into Arzua you pass the ancient town of Melide, famous for the classic Galician dish of ‘Pulpo a Galega’ (octopus).

Walk: 29km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Casa Teodora
A family run business, brothers Jesus and Gabriel manage this popular Camino stopover. The restaurant is popular with locals and serves dishes such as fresh sardines and beef shank, which are complemented by local wines, such as a perfectly chilled Albarino and Ribeiros white wine.

DAY 14
Walk to Rua

The penultimate day of walking weaves its way towards Santiago across farmland and woodland. The trail heads through several villages including Cortobe and Fondevila which have seemingly stood still in time since the middle ages. A gentle ascent leads up to the 18th century hilltop chapel of Santa Irene (named after a Christian martyr). The last few km’s of today’s route follow a shaded trail through eucalyptus woods before arriving into the lively town of Rua.

Walk: 17km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel O’Pina
For over fifty years Hotel O’Pina has been welcoming pilgrims on the last leg of their journey to Santiago. Small and hospitable, the en-suited rooms are spacious and the hotel restaurant is famous for its fresh, daily serving of Empanada Gallega (Galician pie).

DAY 15
Walk to Santiago de Compostela

Today, the Camino leads you into the heart of Santiago de Compostela to the majestic cathedral in Plaza de Obradoiro. Leaving Rua, rural trails give way to an urban environment as fellow walkers begin to converge for the last leg of this historic route. As you pass through Lavacolla, before crossing the stream, tradition would usually see pilgrims bathe and purify themselves in preparation for their arrival to Santiago. The final stretch to Santiago heads into the magnificent historic centre where you can present your pilgrim passport and receive your ‘Compostela’ certificate. With 2 nights in Santiago you can relax and recharge the legs this afternoon, before exploring this UNESCO listed city tomorrow.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Lux Santiago
Spend 2 nights in Hotel Lux, only a few minutes walk from the historic centre. Within easy reach of local bars and restaurants you can spend the evenings sampling local lobster and octopus dishes. Rooms have their own bathroom, comfortable beds and wifi.

DAY 16
Rest day in Santiago de Compostela

A day to rest and enjoy the spectacular atmosphere of this world famous city. You can return to Plaza de Obradoiro and the Cathedral built in honour of Saint James and depending on the day, you may even be able to attend mass. For some, the journey continues onto Finisterre, which in Roman times was thought to be the end of the world. Another 4 days of walking, many pilgrims continued to the coast to bathe after their long journeys. Nowadays, the additional days of walking add a closing chapter to your Camino experience. If you wish to add Finisterre on to your experience, this can easily be done for you. Just let us know at the time of booking.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Lux Santiago

DAY 17
Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans, you can spend the morning soaking up the atmosphere of the plaza before heading off on your journey home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 15 nights accommodation
  • 15 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers as described
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Flexible itinerary to add days
  • Receiving your Compostela certificate for completing 300km of the Camino
  • Route Notes, Maps and GPX tracks
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Walk the world-famous Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela
  • Explore the architecture of Gaudi in Leon and Astorga
  • Follow old Roman roads into medieval towns and hilltop villages

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

During this tour you will stay in simple, small family run hotels and guest houses that have been welcoming walkers of the Camino for many years. All rooms are en-suited and typically, in the style of the Camino, accommodations have a great atmosphere as the majority of other guests will be fellow walkers. As this walk is a very busy route it is usual for similar accommodations to be used other than that listed.

Single Rooms
If you are travelling with family and/or friends but would like single rooms, we would advise booking as soon as your plans are finalised to secure your rooming preferences. Single rooms incur an additional single occupancy fee.

Dining
You will be provided with 15 breakfasts. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

You will find many of the accommodations have their own restaurant which serves regional dishes, using local ingredients. Although dinners aren’t included in this tour, dinners can be included each evening for a supplement if you wish. Lunches can be purchased locally this is a great part of the experience. You can either order lunch from your accommodation or buy local cheeses and meats along with a wide variety of different breads you will find along the Camino.

GENERAL INFO

AVAILABILITY

This tour is available from the start of April through October. Regardless of when you travel there are often celebrations along the Camino, specific to the individual towns or regions. From Galician literature festivals through to the nationwide celebrations of Semana Santa, walking the Camino is a colourful experience.

WEATHER

The route runs across northern Spain and through a variety of terrain. During the early and latter part of the season, conditions can be changeable from temperate warms days through to frosty mornings and very cool nights. From May to September, rainy days are less frequent and temperatures are steadily between 20-24 degrees, however, it is possible that you may experience a few cloudy days.

THE WALKING

We grade this walk as Moderate to Challenging. The Camino is a well-trodden route, so the trails are very well defined for most part. You will follow an ancient pilgrim trail and therefore, whilst sections of the walk will take you deep into the picturesque countryside, you will also walk through urban environments and alongside roads, as you follow the truest route possible.

You should be used to walking up to 30km with up to 500m of ascent and descent. On any typical day you will hike on rocky trails, farm and forest tracks and cover long sections in the open countryside. You will make sustained climbs to hilltop towns, villages and across the rolling countryside. You will also walk on some roads, so please be mindful of all road users at all times.

A moderate active lifestyle makes the walking enjoyable, an exercise regime of 2 to 3 times a week is needed, in addition to your usual walks. The route is very well waymarked by the iconic scallop-shell markers and with many other walkers on the trail it’s very easy to find your way.
For each of the walks, you will be provided with daily walk notes, a map and the GPX tracks if you wish to use for your own device.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

The tour starts in Leon and finishes in Santiago. The best way to reach Leon is by arriving into one of the following airports; Madrid, Santiago de Compostela or Bilbao Airport.

From Madrid Airport train station, a 3 to 4-hour train journey connects through to Leon (changing once at Madrid Chamartin station). If travelling from Bilbao Airport there is a bus journey which is around 5 hours and should you be flying in and out of Santiago de Compostela, we can arrange a private transfer for you to Leon.

INSURANCE

We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance for all of our trips. We require that you purchase a travel insurance policy for all travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. It is also important in the event of an accident or loss of property.  See FAQ’s for more information.

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Mar 2020 - 31 Oct 2020
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $750
  • 1 Mar 2021 - 31 Oct 2021
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2385

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $775

FAQS

Q: Where would you suggest adding an extra night?

Leon a vibrant city, which has been welcoming Camino walkers for centuries! The two major sights of Leon is the Casa de Botines, designed by Antoni Guadi and Hostal San Marcos (a former monastery and shelter for pilgrims during the middle ages. This exquisite property is now a luxury parador hotel). If you wish to start your Camino in style, we can arrange an upgrade for you to this luxury hotel. Traicastela if you really want to do nothing and relax by the pool, this is the perfect hotel to do so. Once walkers have departed for the day, there really is little more to do other than to take up residence by the pool and recharge in the peace of the countryside. Santiago, of course! This city is worthy of an extra day and not just to further explore the grand cathedral. Santiago boasts a wealth of medieval architecture, tapas bars and restaurants. We can also arrange an onward walk to the coastal point of Finisterre. Regarded as the end of the world by the Romans, many pilgrims continue on walking for several days to reach Finisterre. Having completed the Camino, it is an extra 4 days to reach Finisterre with a transfer back to Santiago on the fifth day.

Q: Can you extend our stay in Santiago de Compostela?

Of course, please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to extend your time in Santiago.

Q: Can my children walk with me?

We don't allow children under the age of 16 to do this walk.

Q: Is this tour OK for solo walkers?

Absolutely. Many people choose to complete stages of the Camino as a solo walker. There are many people walking the route and many of the overnight stays welcome hordes of walkers which means you can choose to walk your own journey or join in the camaraderie of walking with others.

Q: We’re travelling as friends but would like single rooms?

Subject to a single occupancy payment, single rooms are available. However, due to the limited accommodation single rooms might not always be available for every night of the tour, but we will let you know your options throughout the booking process.

Q: Can we reduce the days walked?

We wouldn’t suggest completing the itinerary in less than 16 days and 15 nights.

Q: Can we extend the days walked?

Of course, we’re happy to discuss your needs. If you feel you would prefer the ultimate Camino walk, you may wish to look at walking the full Camino route for 40 days.

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Overview

OVERVIEW

Walk from Leon to Santiago de Compostela crossing through the regions of Castilla y Leon and Galicia as you complete the last 300km of the Camino Frances. Join this iconic route in the vibrant city of Leon, beginning with a visit to its exquisite 18th-century cathedral. From here, follow the centuries-old route across the rise and fall of northern Spain rolling landscape, spending each night in the medieval towns and villages which have a long tradition in welcoming Camino walkers.

Crossing into Galicia, the iconic scallop shell markers will guide you through fertile valleys and across rolling hills through a succession of typical Celtic stone villages and medieval monasteries. Each day, immerse yourself in Spanish culture, dining on typical dishes of Galician stew and fresh seafood platters. One of the most memorable experiences of the Camino is the walking into Santiago’s Plaza de Obradoiro and experiencing the euphoric buzz of pilgrims and walkers having just completed the world’s most famous pilgrim trail.

Highlights

  • Walk the world-famous Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela
  • Explore the architecture of Gaudi in Leon and Astorga
  • Sample the Verdejo white wines of Castilla y Leon
  • End your journey in the atmospheric Plaza de Obradoiro, Santiago
  • Spend each day walking alongside fellow pilgrims on this world-famous route
  • One of the world’s best treks to complete solo or with friends
  • Follow old Roman roads into medieval towns and hilltop villages
  • Try local tapas dishes of Padrón Peppers and Galician style octopus

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
17 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2295

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 750

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
  • Day 15
  • Day 16
  • Day 17

DAY 1
Arrive Leon

A vibrant city, Leon is one of the most popular starting points along the Camino trail and for good reason! Its history is depicted through a wealth of fine architecture. Home to one of Spain’s most significant Renaissance buildings, the Convento de San Marcos, dates back to the 12th century and was originally built as a hospital-shelter for pilgrims travelling along the Camino. Leon also boasts Casa Botines, the work of Antoni Gaudi for which he used the characteristics in the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. Later in the evening, stroll the historic narrow streets, bursting with lively tapas bars and restaurants.

Meals included: None
Accommodation: Hotel Luis Silken Leon
A 10-minute walk from the old city walls and glorious cathedral, this hotel occupies a prime position in the heart of Leon. Comfortable en-suite rooms are equipped with extensive amenities. The hotel bar serves a wide range of cocktails and if you arrive late you can also enjoy a bite to eat from the hotel restaurant.

DAY 2
Walk to Mazarife

Your Camino journey begins by leaving Leon on foot. Having walked through the urban outskirts, you’ll head out onto trails with far-reaching views across to the mountain tops of the Picos de Europa. En-route to Mazaarife, you’ll head over the Passo Honroso Puente, a 200m long medieval bridge with 20 arch-shaped spans which pilgrims have been crossing since the 12th century. In early June each year, a colourful jousting festival takes place in honour of the knight, Don Suero, who challenged all knights that dared to cross the bridge as a display of his affections for his love.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Nuestra Señora de Lourdes
This hotel offers the feeling of a real homestay. Your host, Lola, has created a welcoming and peaceful garden to rest the legs after a day on the trail. Rooms are lovingly decorated with classic furniture and for breakfast, Lola makes a variety of fresh dishes using seasonal ingredients.

DAY 3
Walk to Astorga

A fairly easy going walk today across farmland and through villages as you cross the fertile plains of the Orbigo River. Head through the hamlets of Villares, Santibanez de Valdeiglesias and lastly San Justo de la Vega before a short climb to your overnight stay in the town of Astorga. Founded in 14BC by the Romans, some of the original Roman walls can be seen at the edge of the town. You can also visit the impressive Episcopal Palace, designed by Gaudi and if you have time, visit the chocolate museum which recreates an old chocolate shop of the late 1800s.

Walk: 30km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Spa Cuidad de Astorga
A perfectly placed hotel, next to the most famous monuments in Astorga (including the cathedral and the Gaudí Palace. A classically historic building with a contemporary interior, this 4* award-winning hotel has an indoor pool and sauna and The hotel restaurant, Chalet de Josele Restaurant serves traditional Castilian food.

DAY 4
Walk to Rabanal del Camino

A gentle incline across farmland leads through the region of la Maragateria to the sleepy layover of Rabanal del Camino. Alternating between open plains and trails of heather and oak trees, the small patches of forest have offered shade for many Camino hikers over the years on the ascent to Rabanal del Camino. Although a minor stopover for today’s walkers, Rabanal was a significant town during the middle ages as it had many churches and a hospital founded and run by templar monks.

Walk: 21.5km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hostel el Refugio
Centrally located, this accommodation is well-known for it’s cosy and welcoming atmosphere. A typical stone building with wooden beam ceilings, the hotel’s restaurant is a popular choice for all walkers passing through the town.

DAY 5
Walk to Molinaseca

Leaving Rabanal, the route climbs towards the high point of ‘Cruz Ferro’ (iron cross). At just 1500m, take a moment to enjoy the far reaching views across the Camino. There are many theories as to the origins of the cross, but it is believed to have been erected in the 11th century. Traditionally pilgrims will leave a small rock with a message on it for loved ones which they have bought with them from home. From the cross, the route descends into the delightful village of Molinaseca.

Walk: 26.5km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hostel Casa Rural el Palacio
Situated close to the river Hostel Casa Rural features a garden, bar and en-suite rooms. Only a few minutes walk from cafes, restaurants and the San Nicolas Church, this accommodation provides a comfortable stay.

DAY 6
Walk to Villafranca del Bierzo

Within a couple of hours of leaving Molinaseca, you will reach Ponferrada, a former outpost of the Knights of the Templar. Do take time here to explore the magnificent castle which once housed the knights. With an abundance of cafes, it is a great opportunity to sample the traditional Camino almond cake and café con leche. Walking onwards to Villafranca, pass through the wine region of Bierzo and several small villages before arriving into Villafranca del Bierzo.

Walk: 31km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel La Puerta del Perdón
A friendly and rustic guesthouse, your hosts welcome you with iced lemon water and invite you to relax in their home. Comfortable rooms and a breakfast with fresh fruits, homemade cakes and excellent coffee are the perfect set-up for another day on the Camino.

DAY 7
Walk to Herrarias de Valcarce

Today walk to the farming hamlet of Herrerias de Valcarce, the penultimate stop in Castilla y Leon before crossing into Galicia. The familiar scallop shell markers guide you on your way across rolling farmland and deep into a lush valley, as you follow the Valcarce River. There are some steep climbs today so we would suggest leaving in good time to allow plenty of time to take the day at a steady pace. This is one of the most challenging days.

Walk: 18km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Posada Real Paraiso del Bierzo
A boutique-style hotel, located on the Camino Frances trail. After ascending to the hotel, enjoy a sundowner on the patio before heading to your en-suite room to freshen up. You can eat at the hotel or head to one of the nearby cafes. This family-run hotel is always popular with walkers.

DAY 8
Walk to O’Cebreiro

Set off early so you can pace yourself on the steady climb to O Cebreiro. On arrival, take the opportunity to rest and explore the dry-stone houses complete with thatched roofs in the most charming of settings! In the town you may even encounter musicians playing folk music with a ‘galleta galleo’ (bagpipes), which stems from the Celtic connection in the middle ages.

Walk: 9km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel O’Cebreiro
A typical rural stone house which over the centuries has been a prison and town hall. Since 2002 the property has been welcoming Camino walkers into the comfortable lodgings. With only 5 en-suite rooms, the property has managed to keep the traditional stone walls and chestnut wood beams.

DAY 9
Walk to Triacastela

Having completed a couple of days of climbing, you can enjoy a predominantly downhill trail to Triacastela. Peppered with hamlets and villages, there are plenty of opportunities today to take a break from the downhill, find some shade and rest the feet. Although destroyed by the Normans in the 10th century, Tricastela was named after the 3 castles surrounding the settlement. Nowadays this is the last stop before joining the final 100km of the Camino at Sarria the following night.

Walk: 22km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Casa David
A simple Camino hotel, equipped with en-suite rooms and laundromat the hotel also boasts a garden with a view along with a café and bar where you can get refreshments on arrival. The nearby Plaza la Iglesia is only a couple of minute’s walk where there are further cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from.

DAY 10
Walk to Sarria

Today you can choose from 2 routes. Follow a trail through a succession of villages to Samos, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Galician mountains to the east. Here you can visit the remarkable Benedictine Monastery, a significant stop on the Way of St. James and a real highlight of the Camino Frances. Alternatively, you can take a rural route towards Sarria, which is a little shorter (and omits the visit to Samos). On arrival into Sarria, seek out the historic streets where you can visit the 13th-century ‘O’Salvador’ gothic church and the medieval fortress of Sarria.

Walk: 25km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Alfonso IX
Begin your Camino in the comfortable Hotel Alfonso, located in central Sarria which means you can easily join the Camino trail the next morning. All rooms have their own bathroom and there is a small cafe to grab a cafe con leche before heading out to further explore Sarria.

DAY 11
Walk to Portomarin

Begin the day by walking through a woodland of ancient oak, birch and chestnut forests, before joining the official Camino trail. Marked by the famous scallop shell waymarks of this world renowned route, stroll alongside fellow pilgrims as the trail undulates across grazing pastures and farm tracks, passing through tiny hamlets where you see many traditional ‘horreos’ granaries. Descend into Portomarin via the Mino Reservoir, the former site of Portomarin town. In the 1960’s Portomarin was moved brick by brick to higher ground, including the imposing structures of San Nicolas and San Pedro church.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Pousada de Portomarin
This modern hotel has been welcoming pilgrims for the last 50 years. A typical simple walkers hotel, rooms are comfortable, ensuited and bright. Other facilities include a bar, café, restaurant and a swimming pool open during the high summer months.

DAY 12
Walk to Palas de Rei

The day begins with a steady climb through pine forests, corn fields and across meadows. Today’s high point is Sierra Ligonde (720m). Here you can make a small detour to the 14th century Romanesque church of El Salvador at Vilar de Donas, a national monument to the Knights of Santiago. The last gentle climb of the day passes through age-old villages and descends into the village of Palas de Rei (Palace of the Kings), where you will spend tonight.

Walk: 26km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Casa Beilde
Nestled in the pedestrian area of Palas de Rei, this small and friendly hotel has simple en-suite rooms. Very popular with Camino walkers, the hotel has a great atmosphere at breakfast as fellow hikers are preparing for the day ahead. Close to all the town facilities, this hotel makes for a pleasant stay.

DAY 13
Walk to Arzua

A long but manageable day follows secluded trails through woodlands and into a region dotted with medieval castles, churches and ancient settlements. After leaving Palas de Rei you will soon reach the classic Camino village of San Xulian with its tiny 12th century church. The trail continues to climb, crossing Porto de Boi and through the villages of Campanilla and Leboreiro, where you can visit a 13th century Romanesque church. Before arriving into Arzua you pass the ancient town of Melide, famous for the classic Galician dish of ‘Pulpo a Galega’ (octopus).

Walk: 29km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Casa Teodora
A family run business, brothers Jesus and Gabriel manage this popular Camino stopover. The restaurant is popular with locals and serves dishes such as fresh sardines and beef shank, which are complemented by local wines, such as a perfectly chilled Albarino and Ribeiros white wine.

DAY 14
Walk to Rua

The penultimate day of walking weaves its way towards Santiago across farmland and woodland. The trail heads through several villages including Cortobe and Fondevila which have seemingly stood still in time since the middle ages. A gentle ascent leads up to the 18th century hilltop chapel of Santa Irene (named after a Christian martyr). The last few km’s of today’s route follow a shaded trail through eucalyptus woods before arriving into the lively town of Rua.

Walk: 17km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel O’Pina
For over fifty years Hotel O’Pina has been welcoming pilgrims on the last leg of their journey to Santiago. Small and hospitable, the en-suited rooms are spacious and the hotel restaurant is famous for its fresh, daily serving of Empanada Gallega (Galician pie).

DAY 15
Walk to Santiago de Compostela

Today, the Camino leads you into the heart of Santiago de Compostela to the majestic cathedral in Plaza de Obradoiro. Leaving Rua, rural trails give way to an urban environment as fellow walkers begin to converge for the last leg of this historic route. As you pass through Lavacolla, before crossing the stream, tradition would usually see pilgrims bathe and purify themselves in preparation for their arrival to Santiago. The final stretch to Santiago heads into the magnificent historic centre where you can present your pilgrim passport and receive your ‘Compostela’ certificate. With 2 nights in Santiago you can relax and recharge the legs this afternoon, before exploring this UNESCO listed city tomorrow.

Walk: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Lux Santiago
Spend 2 nights in Hotel Lux, only a few minutes walk from the historic centre. Within easy reach of local bars and restaurants you can spend the evenings sampling local lobster and octopus dishes. Rooms have their own bathroom, comfortable beds and wifi.

DAY 16
Rest day in Santiago de Compostela

A day to rest and enjoy the spectacular atmosphere of this world famous city. You can return to Plaza de Obradoiro and the Cathedral built in honour of Saint James and depending on the day, you may even be able to attend mass. For some, the journey continues onto Finisterre, which in Roman times was thought to be the end of the world. Another 4 days of walking, many pilgrims continued to the coast to bathe after their long journeys. Nowadays, the additional days of walking add a closing chapter to your Camino experience. If you wish to add Finisterre on to your experience, this can easily be done for you. Just let us know at the time of booking.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Lux Santiago

DAY 17
Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans, you can spend the morning soaking up the atmosphere of the plaza before heading off on your journey home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 15 nights accommodation
  • 15 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers as described
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Flexible itinerary to add days
  • Receiving your Compostela certificate for completing 300km of the Camino
  • Route Notes, Maps and GPX tracks
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Walk the world-famous Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela
  • Explore the architecture of Gaudi in Leon and Astorga
  • Follow old Roman roads into medieval towns and hilltop villages
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

During this tour you will stay in simple, small family run hotels and guest houses that have been welcoming walkers of the Camino for many years. All rooms are en-suited and typically, in the style of the Camino, accommodations have a great atmosphere as the majority of other guests will be fellow walkers. As this walk is a very busy route it is usual for similar accommodations to be used other than that listed.

Single Rooms
If you are travelling with family and/or friends but would like single rooms, we would advise booking as soon as your plans are finalised to secure your rooming preferences. Single rooms incur an additional single occupancy fee.

Dining
You will be provided with 15 breakfasts. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

You will find many of the accommodations have their own restaurant which serves regional dishes, using local ingredients. Although dinners aren’t included in this tour, dinners can be included each evening for a supplement if you wish. Lunches can be purchased locally this is a great part of the experience. You can either order lunch from your accommodation or buy local cheeses and meats along with a wide variety of different breads you will find along the Camino.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

AVAILABILITY

This tour is available from the start of April through October. Regardless of when you travel there are often celebrations along the Camino, specific to the individual towns or regions. From Galician literature festivals through to the nationwide celebrations of Semana Santa, walking the Camino is a colourful experience.

WEATHER

The route runs across northern Spain and through a variety of terrain. During the early and latter part of the season, conditions can be changeable from temperate warms days through to frosty mornings and very cool nights. From May to September, rainy days are less frequent and temperatures are steadily between 20-24 degrees, however, it is possible that you may experience a few cloudy days.

THE WALKING

We grade this walk as Moderate to Challenging. The Camino is a well-trodden route, so the trails are very well defined for most part. You will follow an ancient pilgrim trail and therefore, whilst sections of the walk will take you deep into the picturesque countryside, you will also walk through urban environments and alongside roads, as you follow the truest route possible.

You should be used to walking up to 30km with up to 500m of ascent and descent. On any typical day you will hike on rocky trails, farm and forest tracks and cover long sections in the open countryside. You will make sustained climbs to hilltop towns, villages and across the rolling countryside. You will also walk on some roads, so please be mindful of all road users at all times.

A moderate active lifestyle makes the walking enjoyable, an exercise regime of 2 to 3 times a week is needed, in addition to your usual walks. The route is very well waymarked by the iconic scallop-shell markers and with many other walkers on the trail it’s very easy to find your way.
For each of the walks, you will be provided with daily walk notes, a map and the GPX tracks if you wish to use for your own device.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

The tour starts in Leon and finishes in Santiago. The best way to reach Leon is by arriving into one of the following airports; Madrid, Santiago de Compostela or Bilbao Airport.

From Madrid Airport train station, a 3 to 4-hour train journey connects through to Leon (changing once at Madrid Chamartin station). If travelling from Bilbao Airport there is a bus journey which is around 5 hours and should you be flying in and out of Santiago de Compostela, we can arrange a private transfer for you to Leon.

INSURANCE

We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance for all of our trips. We require that you purchase a travel insurance policy for all travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. It is also important in the event of an accident or loss of property.  See FAQ’s for more information.

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Mar 2020 - 31 Oct 2020
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $750
  • 1 Mar 2021 - 31 Oct 2021
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2385

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $775
Faqs

FAQS

Q: Where would you suggest adding an extra night?

Leon a vibrant city, which has been welcoming Camino walkers for centuries! The two major sights of Leon is the Casa de Botines, designed by Antoni Guadi and Hostal San Marcos (a former monastery and shelter for pilgrims during the middle ages. This exquisite property is now a luxury parador hotel). If you wish to start your Camino in style, we can arrange an upgrade for you to this luxury hotel. Traicastela if you really want to do nothing and relax by the pool, this is the perfect hotel to do so. Once walkers have departed for the day, there really is little more to do other than to take up residence by the pool and recharge in the peace of the countryside. Santiago, of course! This city is worthy of an extra day and not just to further explore the grand cathedral. Santiago boasts a wealth of medieval architecture, tapas bars and restaurants. We can also arrange an onward walk to the coastal point of Finisterre. Regarded as the end of the world by the Romans, many pilgrims continue on walking for several days to reach Finisterre. Having completed the Camino, it is an extra 4 days to reach Finisterre with a transfer back to Santiago on the fifth day.

Q: Can you extend our stay in Santiago de Compostela?

Of course, please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to extend your time in Santiago.

Q: Can my children walk with me?

We don't allow children under the age of 16 to do this walk.

Q: Is this tour OK for solo walkers?

Absolutely. Many people choose to complete stages of the Camino as a solo walker. There are many people walking the route and many of the overnight stays welcome hordes of walkers which means you can choose to walk your own journey or join in the camaraderie of walking with others.

Q: We’re travelling as friends but would like single rooms?

Subject to a single occupancy payment, single rooms are available. However, due to the limited accommodation single rooms might not always be available for every night of the tour, but we will let you know your options throughout the booking process.

Q: Can we reduce the days walked?

We wouldn’t suggest completing the itinerary in less than 16 days and 15 nights.

Q: Can we extend the days walked?

Of course, we’re happy to discuss your needs. If you feel you would prefer the ultimate Camino walk, you may wish to look at walking the full Camino route for 40 days.

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