El Camino Francés – The French Pilgrim’s Way
A Guided Walking Trip – 10 Days & 9 Nights
This guided walking tour on the Camino de Santiago covers approximately the last 300 km of the Camino Frances route, taking you to the most emblematic spots along the Way – true jewels of Spanish art, architecture and history. After a first night in León, our support vehicle enables us to spend the next 3 days covering the 200 km to Sarria, visiting the most interesting sights and walking only the most attractive sections of the trail. From Sarria onwards, over the next 5 days, we’ll walk the entire way to Santiago—115 km—meeting the requirement to qualify for the official pilgrim’s certificate.
Individual arrival in León and transfer to hotel located near the cathedral.
Overnight: in the heart of historic quarter of León, near the great cathedral.Day
León to Astorga (transfers & selected walks)
Meet the rest of the group and your trip leader, then tour the main sights of León, including the Cathedral, with its fabulous stained glass windows, and the Royal Basilica of San Isidoro, to see its remarkable Romanesque frescoes. After a light tapas lunch we transfer to the famous bridge at Puente de Orbigo, for our first walk, across rolling heaths into the historic town of Astorga.
Overnight: in the old town of AstorgaDay
Astorga to Villafranca del Bierzo (transfers & selected walks)
Superb views and pure air bless us as we follow lovely country tracks lined with heather, gorse and aromatics. Along the way we visit such jewels as Castrillo de los Polvazares, one of Spain´s best preserved medieval villages and la Cruz de Ferro – one of the simplest, yet most symbolic monuments of the entire Camino—a hilltop iron cross where pilgrims throughout the ages have placed stones, creating a huge mound at its base. Our destination is known as “little Compostela” for its profusion of historic buildings.
Overnight: in Villafranca del Bierzo, in an historic inn.Day
Villafranca del Bierzo to Sarria (transfers & selected walks)
We walk in wonder along ancient paths shaded by birches, oaks, chestnuts and poplars up to the emblematic mountaintop stone-built village of O’Cebreiro. Pretty trails take us to Triacastella and beyond. On our way, we pass by the Benedictine monastery in Samos, one of the oldest in western Christendom.
Overnight: in or near SarriaDay
Sarría to Portomarín
Today’s walk may be the most beautiful of the entire pilgrimage, through verdant forests, grassy meadows, fertile orchards and simple stone-built hamlets to Portomarín, perched on the banks of the Miño, one of Galicia’s great rivers.
Portomarín to Palas de Rei
The Way continues on through lush Galician countryside. If time allows, we’ll take a short detour to visit one of Spain’s most outstanding Romanesque churches at nearby Vilar de Donas.
Overnight: Palas de Rei areaDay
Palas de Rei to Castañeda
The Way crosses rolling green landscapes, dotted with cows, stone walls and ancient churches. Stop for lunch in Melide, famed for its Pulpo a la Feira – tender morsels of boiled octopus drenched in virgin olive oil, sea salt and paprika.
Overnight: Melide-Arzúa areaDay
Castañeda to Pino
Rural paths and country lanes wend through increasingly populated countryside, a patchwork of vegetable patches and fields with oak, pine and eucalyptus woods.
Overnight: Pino-Rua areaDay
Arca to Santiago
Quiet lanes and forest paths lead up to the Monte del Gozo—“Mount of Joy”, soon followed by the magical moment of arrival at the cathedral in the Plaza del Obradoiro – Santiago’s grandiose central square. In the evening the group will enjoy a celebratory supper.
Overnight: in the old quarter of Santiago, near the magnificent Obradoiro square.Day
A morning guided tour of cathedral and surrounding area with local licensed guide, finishing in time to attend 12:00 noon pilgrim’s mass. If you’re flying out, it’s just a 15 minute transfer to the Santiago international airport.
Single room Supplement: 250€
110€ per person (single room)