Spain : Galicia

Highlights of the Camino de Santiago Walk

Trip code: W07CS 4.9 (14 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

14.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Walk along one of the most famous UNESCO pilgrimage routes in the world
  • Excellent mix of accommodation, including a converted water mill, restored parish houses and stylish farmhouses
  • Poppy-sprinkled wheat fields, orchid-rich water meadows, pine-scented woodland
  • Share in a breathtaking 1000-year-old sense of achievement with other walkers
  • Pilgrim Passport to record your adventure en route.
  • Based on our popular 10 night, Walking the Camino de Santiago

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Pilgrim's Passport
  • Email briefing pack

TRIP DESCRIPTION

As ancient a route as they come, the Camino de Santiago's growing popularity since its 9th century 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.

Terrain

Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Sarria

Arrival in Sarria and time free to explore the town.

You stay at Rectoral de Goian.

hotel details

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Rectoral de Goian, Goian (nr Sarria)

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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, just 8km from the centre of Sarria, it's a gorgeous property set in isolated countryside in landscaped gardens that are just too perfect.

The Rectoral building is horseshoe shaped - it has an open patio and balconies facing the garden so it is ideal for eating al fresco in the evening. There is even a tiny chapel in the garden that is still used!

Bedrooms are gorgeous with stone walls, beams, wooden floors and modern bathrooms, all with views on to the patio or the garden. Raquel and Javier don't speak English, so a phrase book will come in handy here too.

Day 2: Sarria to Portomarin (23km/14.3mi)

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!

You stay at Casa Rural Santa Marina or Pousada de Portomarin.

hotel details

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Casa Rural Santa Marina, Portomarin

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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.

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Pousada de Portomarin, Portomarin

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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.

The hotel has a gymnasium and a pool just in case you fancy some extra exercise, and it is just a 5 minute stroll into the centre of Portomarin where you can find a small selection of shops and bars.

Day 3: Portomarin to Lestedo (21km/13.0mi)

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.

You stay at Rectoral de Lestedo.

hotel details

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Rectoral de Lestedo, Lestedo

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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.

Selected departures will be staying in Casa Roan, a spectacular original walled Galician farmhouse 3km from the Camino de Santiago. (You will be picked up from Eirexe by the owners, Pilar and Jose Manuel Rodriguez Vasques). Their rambling walled farmhouse has fireplaces you could park a car in, and 8 homely bedrooms are decorated in rustic style. There is also a grand stone dining room that looks as if it could host a gathering for the entire village. Pilar and Jose Manuel don't speak English, so a phrase book will definitely come in handy. The website is www.casaroan.com

Day 4: Lestedo to O Coto (14km/8.7mi)

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.

You stay at Casa de los Somoza.

hotel details

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Casa de los Somoza, O'Coto

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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.

Day 5: O Coto to Arzua (21km/13.0mi)

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.

You stay at Pazo Santa Maria.

hotel details

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Pazo Santa Maria, Arzua

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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.

Most rooms are set into the old stables around a central courtyard, with several also in the main house where the luxurious public lounges can be found on the ground floor.

The walls are solid stone, the beams and roof all ancient, and the dining rooms sports a giant fireplace and other original features. The entire complex is set in landscaped grounds on the edge of Arzua so it is around a 10 minute walk from the centre where all the shops and banks are located, as well as your onward route to Santiago.

Day 6: Arzua to Rua (19km/11.8mi)

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.

You stay at O Muino de Pena.

hotel details

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O Muino de Pena, Rua

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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.

Hidden in the backwoods and valleys this ancient mill sits next to a rushing river and weir, instantly relaxing you with the sound of running water. The bedrooms are on the top floor as you enter (you enter on the second floor as it is built on a steep hill), and all are utterly charming with beams, stone walls and dark wooden furniture.

Downstairs, much of the heart of the mill has been retained, with giant wheels and massive machinery blending perfectly with the bar and dining area and looking quite spectacular. The open riverside garden is perfect for a drink, and the entire place feels as if it is a mythical secret hideaway. Javier will drive you back to the Camino (10 minutes) in the morning.

Day 7: Rua to Santiago (21km/13.0mi)

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!

You stay at Hotel Virxe da Cerca.

hotel details

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Hotel Virxe da Cerca, Santiago de Compostela

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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.

Our superior rooms are in the grand old 4-storey building that backs on to an extensive garden at the back. The breakfast room overlooks the garden while the in house restaurant is on the ground floor in the depths of the building with solid stone walls and a cosy atmosphere.

It is only a 5-minute walk into the heart of the old town so it is perfect for exploring, and feels like coming back to your very own stately home in the city.

Room upgrades: Suite.
Suites offer extra space.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 8: Leave Santiago de Compostela

Enjoy Santiago and the cathedral before taking a taxi to the airport (pay locally approx 15 euro). Alternatively, stay on for extra nights to explore this beautiful historic city. Walking through the old streets of Santiago is a fantastic way to spend your time here, with Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings lining the old town's streets and plazas.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Petit Palace Preciados, Madrid.

hotel details

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Hotel Petit Palace Preciados, Madrid

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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.

The hotel has a charming turn of century facade and many of the rooms have wrought iron balconies from which you can sit and watch the world go by.

The 75 rooms are furnished in a modern style with laminate flooring and crisp white decor. All are double glazed and air-conditioned and are equipped with mini bar, satellite television and direct dial telephone. The bathrooms are well appointed and many have hydro massage showers.

Room upgrades and extra nights: Contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £322.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £322.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Santiago de Compostela with Iberia, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Arrival transfer for tour only packages
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
Out:Iberia Heathrow to Santiago de Compostela via Madrid then transfer to hotel 90 minutes Return: Taxi to airport approx. 15-20 minutes payable locally then Iberia Santiago de Compostela to Heathrow via Madrid

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Every part of my trip was brilliantly organised. Going solo did give me some fear. But booking transfers, dinner bed and breakfast and having the apps and print outs made the whole thing flow amazingly. The standard of the accommodations were fabulous. Thank you.

Marion Macdonald, 10 Jun 2024

 

Overall, walking the Camino was fantastic, so many good memories and met so many nice people. We weren't expecting much in the way of accomodation but it was all OK. I wish we had been aware that there was the option to stay at the Paradore in Santiago on the last night but probably too much information to go through, we made up for it when we transferred to Madrid. The walking was good, very easy. I was worried that we might not be able to manage 20km a day at 69 years old but it was fine. It's a type of holiday I wish I had done sooner

The worst bit was trying to get hold of transport at the end of the day and couldn't get a mobile signal or they didn't pick up the phone. On one occasion we decided to keep on walking and go to the hotel ourselves as it was only a couple of miles away

We are now looking at doing another walking holiday, maybe a bit longer next time

Kevin Carling, 27 May 2024

 

Very impressed with your pre holiday information and updates. Everything went smoothly. A thoroughly enjoyable and well organised trip. A great range of food and accommodation from traditional to more modern and from homely to more formal.

Edward John, 7 May 2024

 

Our experience was really good and we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The itinerary could have been shortened by a day at the beginning as we had time to go from the airport directly to Sarria. We did not see Sarria at all other than starting the walk. We were surprised that the Hotel in Santiago had no real dinner arrangement as an option.

David Hiscox, 22 Apr 2024

 

Excellent. The only observation is that the full fees must be paid months in advance of the trip taking place which differs from many other providers.

Suzanne Thorn, 9 Oct 2023

 

Terrific experience. I do not see your name mentioned among the traditional Camino companies but it should be. It was a very easy and terrific experience.

Suzanne Schiller, 8 Aug 2023

 

An enjoyable experience, with like minded people

ISSITT, 16 May 2023

 

A great experience with interesting and for the most part, rural, off the beaten track accommodation of a very high standard. The hosts were without exception extremely welcoming. The walk is challenging at times but no less enjoyable for that and the experience of arriving in Santiago and the sense of achievement at the end of the 6 days of walking was one I won't forget any time soon.

SEABROOK, 9 May 2023

 

A perfect balance of independent travel with the knowledge of knowing that at the end of each days walk there will be a comfortable bed and an excellent meal in an unspoilt rural location each with its own individuality.

Mrs Seville, 4 Oct 2019

 

The Camino from Sarria to Santiago do Compostela is a pilgrimage rather than a conventional long-distance hike. If you would like to share an unusual, fascinating and historical experience with fellow travelers from all over the world (and of all faiths and none), you will probably love it. I have heard people complain that it is rather crowded. If you see that as a disadvantage rather than a positive part of the experience, then perhaps this is not the right walk for you. The walking itself, for anyone of moderate fitness, is not at all challenging, and the way-marking makes it impossible to get lost. As I say, this is a great, historic pilgrimage, but not an escape to the wild.

Mr Huggett, 14 May 2019

 

Great experience to walk the 100km+ on the camino

Mr Flintoff, 28 Sep 2018

 

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!

Ms Green, 25 Sep 2018

 

The holiday was excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well organised, fantastic accomodation. Will definately book again through Headwater

Mr Main, 8 May 2018

 

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

Mrs Parkinson, 1 May 2018

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

14.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from £1549

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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