OVERVIEW

Walk stage 4 of the historic, UNESCO-protected Camino Frances, walking from Leon to Sarria, and traverse the beautiful regions of Castilla y Leon and Galicia.  Before commencing,  visit the exquisite 18th-century cathedral in the centre of the vibrant city of Leon. Soak up the nightlife in the plaza adjacent to the cathedral or simply enjoy wandering the streets.  From Leon, follow the centuries-old route across the undulating northern Spain's landscape, spending each night in medieval towns and villages with a long tradition of 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.

Highlights

  • Walk 206km on the fourth stage of the Camino Frances from Leon to Sarria
  • Explore the impressive architecture of Leon
  • Sample Spanish wines of Castilla y Leon
  • Spend each day walking alongside fellow pilgrims on this world-famous route
  • 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
11 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

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

PRICE FROM
$ 1755

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 655

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room 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 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 its a 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 at 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 homes. 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 a 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
Onward Travel

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

Meals Included: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 10 nights accommodation & 10 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers as described
  • Flexible itinerary to add days
  • Route Notes, Maps and GPX tracks
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Walk 206km of the world-famous Camino from Leon to Sarria
  • Explore the architecture of in Leon
  • 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, similar accommodations are usually 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 10 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 as 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.

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

  • NIGHT 9

  • NIGHT 10

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ~AVERAGE

Elevation training should be a consideration in your overall training program.

Try to include some form of elevation in more than 40% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

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 206km of the Camino walk as Moderate to Challenging. The Camino is a well-trodden route, so the trails are very well defined for the 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 walking more 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 them for your own device.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

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

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. See trainline

From Sarria is best to take a train back to Madrid ( 4 hours) or to Santiago de Compostela ( 2 hours), should you be flying out of Santiago de Compostela. See trainline

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 31 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $1755

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $655
  • 1 Mar 2025 - 31 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $1825

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $680

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.

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: 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 11 days and 10 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 stage 4 of the historic, UNESCO-protected Camino Frances, walking from Leon to Sarria, and traverse the beautiful regions of Castilla y Leon and Galicia.  Before commencing,  visit the exquisite 18th-century cathedral in the centre of the vibrant city of Leon. Soak up the nightlife in the plaza adjacent to the cathedral or simply enjoy wandering the streets.  From Leon, follow the centuries-old route across the undulating northern Spain's landscape, spending each night in medieval towns and villages with a long tradition of 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.

Highlights

  • Walk 206km on the fourth stage of the Camino Frances from Leon to Sarria
  • Explore the impressive architecture of Leon
  • Sample Spanish wines of Castilla y Leon
  • Spend each day walking alongside fellow pilgrims on this world-famous route
  • 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
11 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

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

PRICE FROM
$ 1755

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 655

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 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 its a 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 at 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 homes. 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 a 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
Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans, you can spend the morning soaking up the atmosphere of Sarria and the Camino 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

  • 10 nights accommodation & 10 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers as described
  • Flexible itinerary to add days
  • Route Notes, Maps and GPX tracks
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Walk 206km of the world-famous Camino from Leon to Sarria
  • Explore the architecture of in Leon
  • 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, similar accommodations are usually 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 10 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 as 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.

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

  • NIGHT 9

  • NIGHT 10

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ~AVERAGE

Elevation training should be a consideration in your overall training program.

Try to include some form of elevation in more than 40% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

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 206km of the Camino walk as Moderate to Challenging. The Camino is a well-trodden route, so the trails are very well defined for the 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 walking more 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 them for your own device.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

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

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. See trainline

From Sarria is best to take a train back to Madrid ( 4 hours) or to Santiago de Compostela ( 2 hours), should you be flying out of Santiago de Compostela. See trainline

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 31 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $1755

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $655
  • 1 Mar 2025 - 31 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $1825

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $680
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.

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: 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 11 days and 10 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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