9 Days / 8 Nights
(Madrid – Burgos – Leon – Ponferrada – Sarria – Santiago de Compostela – Madrid)
DAY 1: Madrid – Burgos: This Morning, you will collect your car rental and head, approx. 250kms, to Burgos, a monumental city that was founded in in 884, and is known for being the birthplace of the legendary El Cid. After checking-in at your selected hotel, you may care for a (optional) private guided walking tour of the historical centre including a visit to the striking 13th Century Cathedral and other monuments. Overnight stay in Burgos.
DAY 2: Burgos “San Millán de la Cogolla & Santo Domingo de la Calzada”: After breakfast, we suggest a full day excursion to San Millan de la Cogolla and Santo Domingo del La Calzada. San Millán de la Cogolla, the cradle of the Spanish language, is comprised of a village and two monasteries and has its roots from the 5th Century. The monasteries, Yuso and Yuso are declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterwards we suggest a visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a town marked by the Pilgrim´s route to Santiago de Compostela. Return to Burgos for your overnight stay.
DAY 3: Burgos – Leon: After breakfast, you will west in the direction of Leon. You should ensure you pass Castrojeriz, to view the evocative landscape of the great plains of Castile where a walk through the flat lands rolling hills of the meseta (an area) to the border of the province of Palencia is recommended. Later you will continue to Leon. On arrival, check in at your selected Hotel and start to explore the medieval city of Leon. Overnight stay in Leon.
DAY 4: Leon: After breakfast we recommend a private guided walking tour (optional) to visit to the impressive Gothic cathedral (the purest example of Gothic architectural style in Spain) with its impressive stained glass windows, and other monumental sites in this historic city. The Pantheon of the Kings contains some of the finest medieval frescoes anywhere in Europe, which are remarkably preserved and still in their original setting. The Hostal San Marcos is a modernist building designed by the great Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. The rest of the day will be at your leisure. Overnight stay in Leon.
DAY 5: Leon – Ponferrada: Following breakfast, today’s destination is Ponferrada. Head to Orbigo where you should cross (on foot) the impressive Roman bridge “passo honroso”, and then continue to the walled city of Astorga, where a visit to the cathedral is recommended. Also, the Episcopal Palace of Astorga – one of only three buildings outside of Cataloñia that were designed by Gaudí – and which houses a museum on the Camino de Santiago, is to be visited. Afterwards, continue to the edge of the Leon Mountains, to see the “Cruz de Hierro” (a reference point of the French Way to Santiago and 1km from the village of Foncebadón) where to follow tradition, Pilgrim’s should deposit a stone as they pass. A stop to walk through the picturesque scenery near the village of Molinaseca is also to be considered. Continue to Ponferrada for your overnight stay.
DAY 6: Ponferrada – Sarria: After breakfast, you should head toward Villafranca de Bierzo, outside of which stands the Iglesia de Santiago. It was here that pilgrims who could continue no further could receive a special absolution. Leisurely see some of the small villages famed along the route to Santiago such as Cacabelos. Follow the route further to O´Cerbreiro, another symbolic site on the Camino and on to Triacastela, and the rolling hills to Montan, as you make your way to Sarria – from where you may care to take an afternoon excursion to Lugo (a well preserved roman city with almost 2 miles of walls around the centre of the old town). Overnight stay in Sarria.
DAY 7: Sarria – Santiago: Today, Sarria is the starting point for any who wish to walk a major part of the Camino, being approximately 100KM´s from Santiago – the minimum distance required for Pilgrims to opt for their “Compostela”. You should, after breakfast, walk to the head of the trail and experience walking a small part of the camino. Your route to follow today will take you to Lavandeira, and then on to Portomarin, located on the banks of the Rio Mino, as you head to Santiago. You will likely see many pilgrims on the road, happy in the knowledge that they will soon reach Santiago. Overnight stay in Santiago de Compostela.
DAY 8: Santiago de Compostela: After breakfast, we suggest a privately guided walking tour of Santiago (Optional): From the Plaza de Obradoiro, the heart of the important pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostal, you will see the western façade of the magnificent Cathedral, the finest example of both Romaneeque and Baroque style architecture art in Spain. Other major landmarks to admire and see are the monastery of Saint Martin and the fifteenth century hospital (which is now Los Reyes Catolicos, a glorious five-star hotel which is believed to be the oldest hotel in the World); and the Palacio de Gelmirez. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city wandering amongst other places through the squares located behind the cathedral. Santiago de Compostela rightly deserves its status as a wonderful destination to be seen and enjoyed. Overnight stay in Santiago de Compostela.
DAY 9: Santiago de Compostela to Madrid: After breakfast, you will start the return trip to Madrid. We recommend you stop and enjoy a visit (and lunch) in Valladolid – where many say the purist form of Spanish is spoken- before continuing to Madrid, where your trip will conclude. End of the services
- 8 nights hotel accommodation including daily continental buffet breakfast
- 9 days car rental – Category B*
*possibility with supplement to book different car category
**possibility to reserve private guide services in any cities.