As ancient a route as they come, the Camino de Santiago's growing popularity since its C9 inception has almost bypassed the need for an introduction. The vast expansion of its humble Roman roads connecting France and Spain has, over time, fanned out across Iberia and western Europe, making it one of the most unmissable long distance trails in the world.
On this seven-night walk, you'll start in Sarria, a large town famed for Galicia's antique fairs. From here you'll walk along farm tracks, paths and country lanes, and through vineyards, stopping off at churches to admire the frescoes and tavernas for lunch en route. Be sure to have your Pilgrim Passport stamped in bars, hotels and churches along the way to qualify for a certificate from the official Pilgrim Office in Santiago.
Chat to other walkers and share in the camaraderie as you meet people from all over the world, some who have been walking for months, covering hundreds of miles. The finishing line is the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela - the resting place of St James the Apostle - its magnificent baroque facade and elongated spires a fittingly grandiose conclusion to a truly monumental journey. Your accommodation for the week is diverse including restored parish houses, converted water mills and stylish farmhouses, all packed with period features. A phrase book will come in handy for some of the hotels where the owners don't speak English.
Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended.
A transfer takes you from Santiago to your hotel in Sarria. (Staying at Rectoral de Goian, Half Board)
Today starts with a walk along the Roman bridge that leads out of Sarria up the Celerio Valley. Cross through the hamlets of the southern edge of the Sierra del Paramo then descend into Portomarin - the original village was drowned by the Belesar Reservoir, and some remains still shimmer below the surface! (Staying at Casa Rural Santa Marina, Half Board)
Today you can visit Portomarin's church before passing between cornfields lined with ox-eye daisies as you follow the Torres stream. Stamp your Pilgrim Passport in country churches dedicated to the Order of St James before arriving at your beautifully restored rectory. (Staying at Rectoral de Lestedo, Half board)
Walk along country lanes past fortified farmhouses into the hillside town of Palas de Rei (Palace of the King) as you enter the province of A Coruna. You'll pass typical, raised Galician granaries, and see chickens scamper across narrow streets as you enter vineyards, with views east to the Montes del Vacaloura. (Staying at Casa de los Somoza, Half Board)
Today's first stop is the thriving country town of Melide, where you'll see locals enjoying Galician seafood in specialist pulperias (octopus restaurants). Drop into the Romanesque church to admire the frescoes, before walking to the lively market town of Arzua along lanes lined with bright yellow celandine. Your final stop is the elegant manor house, surrounded by tranquil countryside, just outside the town. (Staying at Pazo de Santa Maria, Half Board)
Follow Arzua's colonnaded streets into open country where local farmers wear berets as they tend vines and build haystacks with pitch forks. Your route will rise and fall through river valleys, crossing rushing streams. This evening you'll stay at Javier's breathtaking converted water mill, where original machinery has been turned into spectacular period features. (Staying at O Muino de Pena, Half Board)
The finishing line is near! Set off towards Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) today, where pilgrims of old caught their first glimpse of the spires of Santiago. As you reach Santiago's historic centre, the atmosphere is electric as a steady stream of pilgrims reach their journey's end below the cathedral's spectacular Baroque facade. Drop into the Pilgrim Office to collect your certificate, before checking into our historic hotel near the old marketplace - still a riot of colour! (Staying at Hotel Virxe da Cerca, Breakfast only)
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
A rectoral in Spain is the equivalent of a parsonage in the UK. A grand home, often in a picturesque location built of attractive old stone. Such is the case with The Rectoral de Goian - a gorgeous property set in isolated countryside in landscaped gardens that are just too perfect. Javier will collect you from the Hotel Roma cafe opposite the station in Sarria and bring you the 8km to the hotel, and will also drop you off in the morning in the same place to continue the walk.
This eco-friendly hotel is located on the banks of the Mino river. The rooms are located in the Main building and are decorated with wood panelling.
The Pousada de Portomarin is a large modern building set high above the reservoir, just a short walk from the centre of this village. The ground floor is given over mainly to public areas decorated with period furniture and with views out towards the lake. The thirty two rooms are on the upper floors where bedrooms are relatively modern, spacious and light with modern amenities.
Set deep in the countryside directly on the Camino, on a hillside with fabulous north facing views, this ancient light stone ruin has been restored by Susana and Cesar (a local vet). The sloping garden gives all the rooms pleasant country views, and the public spaces are very effectively designed to maximise natural light and make the most of the views. The 9 bedrooms are light and spacious with black and white photos on the walls, wooden floors and some striking designer touches that you might not expect in a building of this age.
An old farmhouse that has been renovated beautifully in keeping with the rustic country feel. The inner courtyard has been restored and the estate is filled with gardens. The rooms have maintained their traditional wood and stone walls and have been furnished with restored furniture from the original house.
In the tiniest village of just a few houses, Jesus Cardelle's rustic country Turismo Rural is a popular stop on the Camino. The house was originally a farm, and has an old world charm about it with tiled floors and wooden beams throughout. The garden outside is always full of passing pilgrims having a drink in the sunshine, and playing Jesus' typical in house Galician skittle game. This is a simple village and a simple hotel, full of rustic charm. There is no English spoken here.
Casa Assumpta has been wonderfully restored and the rooms are beautifully decorated with stone walls and wooden furniture.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
NEARBY:Juan Manuel Duque took on this ruined Galician stately home on the outskirts of Arzua as a retirement project several years ago, and has restored it to it's former glory using original materials and creating an atmosphere of perfect peace and tranquillity.
Just off the Camino (you will be picked up from Pension Compas which is on the Camino by Javier), can be found some of the loveliest and most unusual properties to stay in, and this is one of them.
Just on the edge of the historic centre in Santiago de Compostela, the Virxe da Cerca sits just below the old market - it is still used by the locals daily and is definitely worth wandering through.
Room upgrades: Suite.
Suites offer extra space.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
NEARBY:The Hotel Petit Palace Preciados enjoys an excellent position just off the bustling Puerta del Sol Square, which is considered one of the central spots in Old Madrid. The hotel itself lies just off the pedestrian area to the north where the famous Corte Ingles department store is located. You are ideally situated for exploring all of Madrid's famous sights.
Room upgrades and extra nights: Contact us for details.
Transfer from Santiago de Compostela airport at 13:00. Transfer on return payable locally.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Great experience to walk the 100km+ on the camino
Excellent holiday we connected with your other clients and walked as a group of six and made our own
Camino Famílily. Very helpful before set off. Great accommodation and food. Some confusion with notes for arrival at hotels! - we could provide you with better notes!
The holiday was excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well organised, fantastic accomodation. Will definately book again through Headwater
Our holiday processing along the French Way of the Camino de Santiago at the beginning of May was a joy. We were not quite knowing what to expect, as some people had said that the Camino and Santiago itself were pretty busy and commercialized. How wrong they were! We loved the enchanting unspoilt villages and tracks we passed along and the places which we stayed at were a delight. Full marks to Headwater for winkling out those excellent choices. As indicated on the questionnaire, all were good but some were outstanding. Our hosts were generally highly helpful and, even if they didn't speak English, made every effort to please us through our pathetic Spanish. (Charming Fernando at Rectoral de Lestedo even presented us with a voice-recognition translating app on his mobile - conversations became quite fulsome!). The Pazo Santa Maria was the jewel in the crown - I could have stayed for days! A brill holiday - which I've been exalting since our return, thank you. Catherine Parkinson
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
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Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Every Tuesday from 9th Apr 2019 to 22nd Oct 2019, for 7 nights.
Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
Transfer from Santiago de Compostela airport at 13:00. Transfer on return payable locally.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Highlights of the Camino de Santiago Walk. Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.