The Path of Saint James: The Pilgrim’s Way
DURATION: 8 Nights / 9 Days
- Day 1- Arrival to Bilbao Airport, Accommodation in Bilbao.
- Day 2- Accommodation in Burgos
- Day 3- Accommodation in Leon
- Day 4 – Accommodation in Ponferrada
- Day 5 – Accommodation in Lugo
- Day 6 – Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela
- Day 7 – Accommodation in Santiago de CompostelA
- Day 8 – Accommodation in Santander
- Day 9 – Departure from Bilbao Airport
Day 1 – BILBAO (Aprox. 13 Km)
Just arrived in the Bilbao airport the journey starts. The airport has designed be the well-known architect Calatrava. Another landmark of contemporary art, Frank O. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the newest icon of the Basque Country’s industrial capital city. Further, one can will explore this refurbished city with a scenic tour which takes us from the newer suburbs to the historic old town and its Seven Streets, where one can have the first encounter with the path of Saint James while visiting the Santiago church, nowadays a Cathedral. Accommodation in a central situated Hotel Ilunion Bilbao*** or similar.
Day 2 – BILBAO – BURGOS (Aprox.. 160 Km)
On the way to Burgos one will ascend the hills, to find in the midst of nature the late Romanesque church of San Juan de Ortega another landmark created for and by the pilgrims. Possibility of hiking along the Path of Saint James from Ermita de Valdefuentes to San Juan de Ortega (6, 4 km). Later the city of Burgos welcomes you with its tale of the origins of Castile at the gate of Santa Maria, with special reference to the historical figure “El Cid”. Take thereafter a visit to the imposing Cathedral, an outstanding example of Gothic architecture and a World Heritage Site, followed by a stroll round the almost majestic inner town through the “Paseo del Espolon” promenade ending up at the Main Square. A visit to Casa Del Cordon can be arranged, and as one approach the outskirts one will discover a great monument: The Cistercian monastery of Las Huelgas, a royal pantheon from the 13th Century. Finally, one will able to attend the Holy Mass of the Cartuja de Mariflores church and burial places for Isabella, the Catholic Queen’s parents. Accommodation in central situated Hotel Centro Los Braseros*** (or similar).
Day 3 – BURGOS – CARRION DE LOS CONDES – LEON (Aprox. 80 + 93 = 173 Km)
Resuming the journey along the Path of Saint James and in the Castilian plain, one encounters the narrow Arch of Saint Anton near Castrojeriz. Possibilities of hiking on Saint James path from Hontanas to Castrojeriz (9 km) or from Fromista: Campos (3, 8 km), Revenga de Campos (3, 7 km), Villamentero (2 km), Villalcazar (4 km). Another sight in Fromista is the Saint Martin truly Romanesque church. From Villalcazar make your way to the village of great important Jacobean past Carrion de Los Condes where more sublime Romanesque churches appear, in the shape of Santiago and Santa Maria del Camino. In the afternoon arrival in Leon, one of the capitals of Medieval Spain. Take time to explore one of the most important collections of stained glass in the wonderful Gothic Cathedral. After contemplating the beautiful facade of the former pilgrimage hospital of San Marcos which has been transformed into a splendid Parador-Castle hotel, it is nowadays possible to end up drinking a local glass of red wine on terrace. Accommodation in central situated hotel Conde Luna**** (or similar).
Day 4 – LEON – ASTORGA – PONFERRADA (Aprox. 50 + 60 = 110 Km)
The adventure continues to Astorga, another city of Roman origin surrounded by a medieval city wall and a mystified Gothic Cathedral and its Modernist Episcopal Palace designed by the Catalan mythic architect Antoni Gaudi. Leaving Astorga along the Saint James Path towards Foncelabon hiking the last bit of 1,9 km to reach “La Cruz De Hierro (The Iron cross) in 1482 m – which is the highest point on the path. The hiking could continue down to Manjarin (2,3 km) and El Acebo (6,9 km) in 1000 m height, ending Molinaseca (7,6 km). Here it will be possible to organize a traditional “Maragato” lunch. In the afternoon, one can traverse one of the most untouched sections of the Path, Rabanal Del Camino, Cruz de Ferro, ending up in Ponferrada famous for its Knight of Templar castle. Accommodation in central situated hotel Castillo*** (or similar).
Day 5 – PONFERRADA – O CEBREIRO – LUGO (Aprox. 50 + 70 = 120 Km)
Villafranca, the ancient capital of El Bierzo offers an important urban setting in with the conspicuous Romanesque church of Santiago. Here the pilgrims began their 1300 m climb to O Cebreiro also known as the entry gate to Galicia. The resting place surprises with its particular architecture and the legend that surrounds the humble church. It will be possible to attend the Holy Mass. One can continue the journey along the green countryside of Galicia until arriving into the Benedictine cloister of Samos, which one can visit before lunch in the beautiful village of Sarria. After lunch possibility of hiking along the Path of Saint James to Barbadelo (4,3 km) y Rente (0.9 km). Arrival in Lugo in the afternoon. Accommodation in central situated hotel Mendez Nuñez**** (or similar).
Day 6 – LUGO – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (Aprox. 110 Km)
This ancient Roman settlement maintains its robust 3rd Century intact wall, and the only city in the world to be surrounded by a complete Roman wall. The wall reaches the height of 10 to 15 meters along a 2,117 m circuit constructed with 71 towers. Walking on top of the walls, allows you to view its historical quarter where one later can visit the Romanesque Cathedral and the Main Square. Further, one can pass the City Hall (Casa do Concello in Galician), a large Baroque structure with a mid-18th Century façade. Annexed is a clock tower, originally from the 16th Century, but rebuilt later on. The Convent and the church of St. Francis are in Gothic style, with remains of the original cloister. Currently, it houses the Museo Provincial, which shows a display of Galician art and other building of the 18th Century. After lunch one can move on to Santiago de Compostela. The city has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the Cathedral of the city. Also the final destination of the Path of Saint James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th Century. In 1985 the Old Town of the city was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Accommodation in central situated hotel Praza Quintana**** (or similar).
Day 7 – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
A walk through the narrow streets of the historical quarter will lead you to the cathedral of Santiago that, since its construction, has been object to almost all Christian pilgrimages, and the monumental Plaza de Obradoiro, surrounded by granite works of art. Along the Western side and across the square of the Plaza do Obradoiro is the elegant 18th Century Pazo de Raxoi, now the city hall and seat of the Galician Xunta. To the right hand sight of the Cathedral is the Hostal dos Reis Católicos founded in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella of Castile Isabella and Ferdinand II of Aragon, as a pilgrims’ hospice (now a parador hotel). The Obradoiro façade of the Cathedral is known be filled with Spanish euro coins of 1 cent, 2 cents, and 5 cents. Santiago is also the site of the University of Santiago de Compostela, established in the early 16th Century. The main campus can be seen best from an alcove in the large municipal park in the centre of the city. There will be a possibility of attending Holy Mass in the cathedral. Accommodation in central situated hotel Praza Quintana**** (or similar).
Day 8 – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – SANTANDER (Aprox. 470 Km)
Living the ancient Santiago behind on this day which will bring you along some of the most breath-taking routes of Spain. Firstly a picturesque adventurous drive living the city which is surrounded by the steep hills and so long as the weather is agreeable walking in mountains is just fantastic. La Coruña on route is well worth a visit particularly for the impressive 57-metre Tower of Hercules. If not make you way inland towards the Costa Verde (Green Coast) which is so green it could easily be mistaken for Ireland or Scotland. Also here one can walk part of the renowned pilgrimage trail or make a stop in one of the many coastal restaurants, sampling that day’s catch and watching the world go by. The coast is known as the seafood coast and home to stunning scenery and superlative seafood. Moving on getting close to Santander known as the gateway to northcentral Spain. Also here it`s worth stopping at some of the small fishing towns and villages along the coastal Santander. Make a short detour to Castro-Urdiales, where the castle and harbour wall can be explored. Santander, the capital of Cantabria, has probably the best beaches of any city, the best being El Sardinero and la Peninsula de la Magdalena. Accommodated in centric hotel Boutique Las Brisas*** (or similar).
Day 9 – SANTANDER -BILBAO (Aprox. 105 Km)
This last day will bring you from Santander to Bilbao through a stunning landscape along the coast. Living beautiful Santander and it`s wonderful beached behind one could check out Langre to be found it just across the bay opposite the city. Definitely consider checking out Castro Urdiales another large seaside town, with an impressive church overlooking the waterfront and a lighthouse/museum next to it. Great seafood tapas in the bars along the newly refurbished front too. Recommendable is the town of Santoña a fishing town famous for its anchovies. Nice centre with plazas and next to it the Playa Berria a lovely stretch of beach. Between the town and the beach is the huge rocky outcrop of a headland called Monte Buciero. Some stunning marked walks around and across it even if one is not into walking far one should go for a stroll around the blue route for some stunning emerald sea views. Try to make the famous lighthouses which is worthwhile. Later arrival at Bilbao airport.
- Group A: Fiat 500 (0r similar)
- Partial Damage Cover with excess (CDW) and occupants insurance.
- Free cancellations & amendments.
- Unlimited mileage.
- VAT included.
- The vehicle will be delivered with half a tank of fuel (between 30 € and 65 €, depending on the hired car group) and you can return it empty.We don´t charge refuelling service.
In Centric 3*** or 4**** Hotels with Breakfast.
Available: All Year Round.
Prices From: 499,00 Euros Total Price 2 Persons.
Including: 1 Double Room with breakfast in the above mentioned hotels (or similar) and 1 rental car including the above mentioned conditions.
Early Booking Discount.
Avoid To waist time standing in a queue or simply to find your favorite sight or event sold out !
Entrances For Multiple Sights, Events, Tickets and Much More Available For Forehand Reservation Against Supplement.
Fly & Drive Route Including Car Rental with Markets Best Prices & Conditions.