15Days

El Camino Pilgrimage to Spain

A Walking Pilgrimage

Spiritual Director: Fr. Dan Vanyo

September 29 - October 13, 2018

DV092918

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Madrid · Astroga · Cruz de Ferro · Ponferrada · O'Cebrerio · Triacastela · Sarria · Portomarin · Palas de Rei · Arzua · Amenal · Monte Do Gozo · Santiago de Compostela · Muxia · Finisterre

The El Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is the most famous, and sacred, pilgrimage walk in the world! Millions of people walked these ancient paths for over 1000 years, and many more dream about it! 206 Tours makes it possible for anyone who wishes to experience this incredible journey knowing that accommodations, all meals, luggage handling, transfers, guiding is taken care of!

With every step you take, and every town you pace through, you are drawn closer to St. James. Those moments of quiet, and the moments of interactions with someone new, draws you closer to Him. Relax knowing the person you are, and the questions you have now, will be completely different by the time you arrive in Santiago and perhaps, that was the answer you were looking for.


Fr. Dan Vanyo


pilgrimage map
DATES & PRICES
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Katherine
Alexandra

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip Air Transportation
  • Fuel Surcharges and Airport Taxes
  • Classic and Quaint Hotels and Inns along the Camino: (or similar)
      ~ 1 night: Sep 30 - Oct 01: Hotel Catalonia Atocha, Madrid
      ~ 1 night: Oct 01 - Oct 02: Hotel AC Ponferrada, Ponferrada
      ~ 2 nights: Oct 02 - Oct 04: Hotel Alfonso IX, Sarria
      ~ 1 night: Oct 04 - Oct 05: Pousada de Portomarin, Portomarin
      ~ 2 nights: Oct 05 - Oct 07: Casa Benilde, Palas de Rei
      ~ 1 night: Oct 07 - Oct 08: A Painza, Arzua
      ~ 1 night: Oct 08 - Oct 09: Hotel Amenal, Amenal
      ~ 3 nights: Oct 09 - Oct 12: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela
  • Tour Escort throughout
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • 7 Lunches
  • Transfer by Private Motor coach
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Mass daily & Spiritual Activities
  • Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
  • Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
Centrally located hotels or similar
hotel
Hotel Catalonia Atocha
Madrid

1 Night

hotel
Hotel AC Ponferrada
Ponferrada

1 Night

hotel
Hotel Alfonso IX
Sarria

2 Nights

hotel
Pousada de Portomarin
Portomarin

1 Night

hotel
Casa Benilde
Palas de Rei

2 Nights

hotel
A Painza
Arzua

1 Night

hotel
Hotel Amenal
Amenal

1 Night

hotel
Hotel Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

3 Nights

Not included
  • Travel Insurance:
    Providing you coverage, both Pre-Existing Conditions throughout your trip. From Medical and Dental Emergencies, Loss of Luggage, Trip Delay, and so much more.
Optional
Travel Insurance

Providing you coverage for both pre-existing conditions and those that may arise during your trip, including medical and dental emergencies, loss of luggage, trip delay, and so much more.

Supplemental Cancellation Protection

A Cancellation Waiver - allowing you to cancel your trip and receive a refund anytime - up until 24 hours prior to departure. The “Waiver” expires once you are within 24 hours of departure.

Itinerary

Day1
Saturday September 29:Depart for Madrid

Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.

Day2
Sunday September 30: Madrid Airport - Madrid
(Tour Day: 2 miles | 3.2 kilometers | 4,500 steps)

Upon arrival in Madrid, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival's Hall where you will be greeted by your tour escort. Transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon walk to the Cathedral of Almudena. Following Mass, we visit the Cathedral. We will continue our walking tour of Madrid to include the exterior of the Royal Palace. Walk through the Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol and we make a stop at the Church of Saint James. Return to your hotel. We will enjoy a nice dinner before having a restful overnight in Madrid before your walking tour begins!

Day3
Monday October 01: Madrid - Astorga - Iron Cross - Ponferrada
(Walking Day: 8 miles | 12.8 kilometers | 18,000 steps)

Today, we will depart Madrid and head towards the city of Ponferrada. While in route, we will make a stop in Astorga. This historical and religious city, called Asturica by the Romans, once had 25 hospitals. On it converge the French and the Plata Routes to Santiago. The extraordinary Gothic Cathedral, from the 15 C presides over the town. The Episcopal Palace or Gaudi Palace houses the Museo de los Caminos, which displays pieces from all churches related to the Route to Santiago. After the visit to Astorga, we will continue our journey to Foncebadon. In the eleventh century, this village was a common resting place for pilgrims on El Camino due to its hospitals, hospice, and church. Currently, the structures that have served so many are now in ruins. While in Foncebadon, we will walk to view the "Iron Cross." This Cross is a common pausing place for pilgrims as they leave a stone at the foot of the cross to symbolize a sin or burden that they are leaving behind. Dinner and overnight in Ponferrada.

Day4
Tuesday October 02: Ponferrada - O Cebreiro - Sarria
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25.7 kilometers | 38,000 steps)

Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning we will do a visit to Ponferrada. This town, with prehistoric and Roman antecedents, had two access points in the Middle Ages. One was via the Roman bridge spanning the Boeza River, sunk in the 18th century; the other was via the path of the Gallegos and then, crossing the river by the Medieval bridge of Mascaron. At the end of the 11th century, the Bishop of Astorga, Osmundo, commissioned the building of a new bridge, "la Pons Ferrata", a pass with iron banisters which gave name to the city. Later on, between the 11th and 14th centuries, the Castle of the Knights Templar was built. At the end of the 15th century, the Catholic Monarchs commissioned the construction of the Hospital de la Reina, next to the fortress. In this monumental town also stand the Basilica of Nuestra Senora de la Encina, from the 16th century (built to commemorate the apparition of the Virgin in a grove of Holm oaks) and the Baroque Church of San Andres, from the 17th century, which is home to an outstanding retable from the 13th century, "The Christ of the Wonders". Departure towards Sarria. On our way we will stop in O Cebreiro, the first village in the region of Lugo along El Camino, with an altitude of 1,300 meters and home to pre-historic Celtic huts with straw roofs (pallozas). Finally we come to the ancient Sanctuary of O Cebreiro. Here we will celebrate our group Mass in the pre-Romanesque Church (9th-10th century) and see the renowned Paten of Santo Milagro (Eucharistic Miracle from the 13th century) and a precious Romanesque carving of Santa Maria la Real. Dinner and overnight in Sarria.

Day5
Wednesday October 03: Sarria - Triacastela - Sarria
(Walking Day: 18 miles | 28.9 kilometers | 42,000 steps)

After breakfast in the hotel, we will be transferred to Triacastela. Today is the day that your walking pilgrimage (El Camino) to Santiago de Compostela officially begins! With the guidance of Our Lord, and through the spirit of St. James the apostle, you will become an authentic pilgrim by journeying along the physical road, as well as, the spiritual one. We will walk via the tiny village of Samos, wrapped around the enormous Benedictine Monastery. Continuing on the Route we will pass through a picturesque scene full of oaks and chestnut trees. The end of the stage brings us to Sarria. It was in this town that Alfonso IX died in 1230, while making the pilgrimage. Its old quarter retains a strong medieval character where we will be able to find the Church of Salvador, with a Romanesque ground plan and Gothic facade; the small chapel of San Lazaro; the hospital of San Antonio, which today houses a Court; and the remains of its old fortress, from the 14th century. Dinner and overnight in Sarria

Day6
Thursday October 4: Sarria - Portomarin
(Walking Day: 19 miles | 30.5 kilometers | 44,500 steps)

Breakfast in the hotel. Breakfast in the hotel. Our walking trip for today will finish in Portomarin. The town, which dates back to the Roman Age, was an important halt along the Route in the Middle Ages. The old Portomarin lies beneath the waters of the dam built in 1962. But before flooding the town, many monuments were moved, stone by stone, somewhere else. Such was the case of the church-fortress of the Knights of San Juan of Jerusalem, who once run the old hospital that lies beneath the waters of the Mino river, along with the old Medieval and Roman bridges. The municipality also has the church of San Nicolas, from the 13 C; the portal of the church of San Pedro, from 1182; the Count's House, from the 16 C, and the Palace of Berbetoros, from the 17 C. Dinner and overnight at Portomarin.

Day7
Friday October 5: Portomarin - Palas de Rei.
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25.7 kilometers | 37,700 steps)

This morning, you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel and journey from Portomarin, through the woods to the Palas de Rei. This was a noteworthy town in the Middle Ages, as it contained a Royal Hospital and the church of St. Tirso. As the rugged walk continues, you will continue through fields, forests, and granaries. Additionally, you will see a prominent characteristic of Galician Landscape, Los Cruceiros. These wayside crosses depict Christ and the Virgin Mary. Dinner and enjoy a restful overnight in Palas de Rei.

Day8
Saturday October 6: Palas de Rei.
(4.5 miles | 7.2 kilometers | 10,500 steps)

Today, you will take a break to rest your bodies and shake off any fatigue. After Mass, there will be time to reflect on the journey thus far and to spend at your own leisure. Dinner and overnight will be provided in Palas de Rei.

Day9
Sunday October 7: Palas de Rei - Arzua.
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25.7 kilometers | 37,700 steps)

Breakfast will be served at your hotel. Your pilgrimage continues as you will travel from Palas de Rei to the bustling small town of Arzua. Before arriving in Arzua, your group will stop at Melide. This town is a crucial point of El Camino because it is where the French and Oviedo routes converge. Upon arrival in Melide, you will notice the old roads that date back to the fourteenth century, which are some of the oldest in the region of Galicia. After lunch, you will leave the Lugo province and enter into the province of A Coruna. A medieval bridge leads pilgrims to Ribadiso, before arriving at Arzua, the next halt on our journey. Surrounded by a beautiful scenery stands the Gothic Chapel of Magdalena, the only part of the old Augustinian monastery that has come down to us. The little town is famous nowadays for its Galician cheese factories. Dinner and an overnight in Arzua.

Day10
Monday October 08: Arzua - Arca de O Pino/Amenal
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25.7 kilometers | 37,700 steps)

Your journey is almost over as you will walk to the largest community before Santiago, Arca de O Pino! Upon walking this route, you will immerse yourselves in the fragrant eucalyptus groves and experience the breathtaking scenery. At a point throughout your walk, you will stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. Following lunch, you will continue your journey and arrive in Arca de O Pino. As you explore this village, you will notice joy etched on the faces of the pilgrims. Although they have traveled a long distance, they are not weary. With God and St. James guiding their paths, excitement, and anticipation continues for their arrival in Santiago.

Day11
Tuesday October 09: Arca de O Pino/Amenal - Monte Do Gozo - Santiago de Compostela.
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25.7 kilometers | 37,700 steps)

Today, you will culminate the walking portion of your journey! Excitement mounts as the trail brings us closer to our destination. Walk through rolling terrain towards Lavacolla, where medieval pilgrims traditionally bathed in the river to purify themselves before arriving in the holy city of Santiago. From here we will begin to ascend the Monte del Gozo, "Mount of Joy", the point where pilgrims first catch sight of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago, these days surrounded by the bustling, new city of Santiago de Compostela. On approach to the center, we will pass through the city's walls and under the Arch of Obispo drawing us forward into the great Obradoiro Square. Here we have finally arrived at our destination, St. James Cathedral. Upon arrival, feel free to say a small prayer in thanksgiving to Our Lord for keeping you safe throughout the walking pilgrimage. At this time, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time to explore Galicia's capital, Santiago. This evening you will enjoy a nice dinner, followed by a very restful overnight in Santiago de Compostela.


Day12
Wednesday October 10: Santiago de Compostela
(Tour Day: 3.6 miles | 5.7 kilometers | 7,480 steps)

This morning you will awaken in the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela! Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, the tradition will lead as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descend into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims' relics is kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy free time for lunch on own before your sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gelmirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure until a final dinner with your group. You will spend a final overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Day13
Thursday October 11: Santiago de Compostela - Finisterre - Muxia - Santiago de Compostela
(Tour Day: 3.6 miles | 5.7 kilometers | 7,480 steps)

Breakfast in the hotel. We travel out today to one of the most western points of continental Europe! We firstly come to the lovely seaside town of Finesterra. It is situated on the rocky Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), named because of the large number of shipwrecks along these shores. During our time here we will visit the Chapel of Nosa Senora do Bon Suceso, dating from the 18th century. Nearby we explore Cape Finisterra, meaning "Land's End". This name stems from the fact that this area is on a remote peninsula that is one of the westernmost points of land in Spain. It is also the final destination for pilgrims on the Way of St James. Time permitting we may visit the spectacular lighthouse on the promontory called "Monte Facho" at the tip of Cape Finisterre overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On the road up to the lighthouse is the parish Church of Santa Maria de Fisterra which contains the Chapel of Santo Cristo. Today we will also travel to Muxia to visit the Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of La Barca. It is located in a very unique spot, right by the ocean, and believed to have been a sacred place of cult for villagers since pre-Christian times. Since the 12th century, pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago have travelled further on after reaching Santiago de Compostela to pay tribute to Our Lady of the Boat in Muxia. Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Day14
Friday October 12: Santiago de Compostela - Madrid

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Santiago de Compostela airport, where you will aboard your short flight to Madrid. You will stay the night and enjoy dinner as per your own arraignments.

Day15
Saturday October 13: Madrid - Home

Today you will enjoy an early breakfast and depart for your return flight home.

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Dates & Prices

Dates

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Booking

Options & Upgrades

*All pricing is per person

Single Supplement / Private Room Upon Request

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (One-Way) Upon Request

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (Round-Trip) Upon Request


Pre Stay Madrid

*All pricing is per person - per person

Madrid Overnight Hotel & Breakfast (Per Night) $119.00 (USD)

Private Room Overnight Hotel & Breakfast (Per Night) $205.00 (USD)

Arrival Transfer (Per Person) $45.00 (USD)

Would like to stop over in Europe?

Let us know at the time of registration if you would like to arrive earlier, or stay later, than the scheduled tour dates, and pending availability, we will book your airline reservations accordingly, at no additional cost. Pre- and/or post-stays at the hotel will cost an additional fee. These options should be available to you when registering online, or simply contact us at: 800-206-TOUR (8687) or sales@206tours.com

Options and upgrades

*All pricing is per person

Single Supplement / Private Room Upon Request

Business Class Trans-Atlantic Upgrade (One-Way) Upon Request

Business Class Trans-Atlantic Upgrade (Round-Trip) Upon Request

Pre Stay Madrid

*All pricing is per person - per person

Madrid Overnight Hotel & Breakfast (Per Night) $119.00 (USD)

Private Room Overnight Hotel & Breakfast (Per Night) $205.00 (USD)

Arrival Transfer (Per Person) $45.00 (USD)

Earn a Free Trip

For groups of 20 or more, you may choose your own departure and earn FREE trips.

contact us
Would you like to arrive
earlier or stay later?

Let us know at the time of registration if you would like to arrive earlier, or stay later, than the scheduled tour dates, and pending availability, we will book your airline reservations accordingly, at no additional cost. Pre- and/or post-stays at the hotel will cost an additional fee. These options should be available to you when registering online, or simply contact us at: 800-206-TOUR (8687) or sales@206tours.com

About your trip

pilgrimage map
  • Madrid
  • Foncebadon
  • Iron Cross
  • O Cebreiro
  • Sarria
  • Portomarin
  • Palas de Rei
  • Arzua
  • Arca do Pino
  • Monte do Gozo
  • Santiago de Compostela

This piligrimage is good for your body and soul!

The History of El Camino:

The Way of St. James or St. James' Way, often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north- western Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried. The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Melissatian pilgrimages during medieval times. It was considered one of three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; the others are the Via Fran- cigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where they were buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are some, however, who claim that the bodily remains at Santiago belong to Priscillian, the fourth-century Galician leader of an ascetic Melissatian sect, Priscillianism, who was one of the first Melissatian heretics to be executed. There is not a single route; the Way can take one of any number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. However a few of the routes are considered main ones. Santiago is such an important pilgrimage destination because it is considered the burial site of the apostle, James the Great. The Black Plague, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in 16th-century Europe resulted in a decline of visitors. By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims arrived in Santiago annually. However, since then, the route has attracted a grow- ing number of modern-day pilgrims from around the globe. The route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 1993. Today tens of thousands of Melissatian pilgrims and other travelers set out each year from their front doorstep, or popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did, on horseback or by donkey (for example, the British author and humorist Tim Moore).

Know Before You Go

We promise to do all within our power to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us, please note should any problems arise during your trip you should first contact your local emergency contact in your destination country or the 206 Tours.

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Any questions?  Contact Us:
Katherine
Alexandra