12Days

St. Dominic High School

El Camino Pilgrimage

A Walking Pilgrimage

Group Leader: Dr. Ronald J. Martorelli, Ed.D.

June 25 - July 6, 2023

SD062522

St. Dominic High School

El Camino Pilgrimage

A Walking Pilgrimage

Group Leader:
Dr. Ronald J. Martorelli, Ed.D.

June 25 - July 6, 2023

SD062522

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Madrid · Foncebadon · Iron Cross · O Cebreiro · Sarria · Mouzos · Portomarin · Gonzar · Palas de Rei · Melide · Arzua · O Empalme · Lavacolla · Amenal · Monte do Gozo · Santiago de Compostela (St. James)

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.

Santiago de Compostela is the final resting place and tomb of St. James. While you will be removed from the routine of your everyday life, rest assured you will be taken care of with outstanding accommodations, meals and transportation with van / bus driving parallel to the path you walk each day. Should at any point you feel tired, need water, or any medical assistance, it will be readily available to you at check points that are set up along the way on your path. Tourists pass through places, places pass through Pilgrims.

What to Know Before You Go on the El Camino Pilgrimage


Dr. Ronald J. Martorelli, Ed.D.


DATES & PRICES
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Any Questions?  Contact:
Danielle

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip airfare
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
      ~ 1 night: Jun 26 - Jun 27: Hotel Preciados, Madrid
      ~ 1 night: Jun 27 - Jun 28: Alfonso IX, Sarria
      ~ 1 night: Jun 28 - Jun 29: Hotel Vistalegre, Portomarin
      ~ 1 night: Jun 29 - Jun 30: Hotel Casa Benilde, Palas de Rei
      ~ 3 nights: Jun 30 - Jul 03: Hotel Santa Maria, Arzua
      ~ 1 night: Jul 03 - 04: Hotel Ruta Xacobea, Lavacolla
      ~ 2 nights: Jul 04 - Jul 06: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • 8 Lunches (All walking days)
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
  • Vehicle to assist pilgrims who are unable to complete any leg of the tour
  • Wireless headsets where needed
  • Professional local Catholic Guide in Madrid and Santiago de Compostela
  • El Camino de Santiago daily maps
  • Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
  • Mass daily & Spiritual activities
  • Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
Centrally located hotels or similar
hotel
Hotel Preciados
Madrid
1 Night
hotel
Alfonso IX
Sarria
1 Night
hotel
Hotel Vistalegre
Portomarin
1 Night
hotel
Hotel Casa Benilde
Palas de Rei
1 Night
hotel
Hotel Santa Maria
Arzua
3 Nights
hotel
Hotel Ruta Xacobea
Lavacolla
1 Night
hotel
Hotel Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
2 Nights
Not included
  • Lunches and beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Optional
Travel Protection

Providing you coverage for situations that may arise during your trip, including medical and dental emergencies, loss of luggage, trip delay, and so much more.

Cancel For Any Reason Waiver

A Cancellation Waiver - allowing you to cancel your trip and receive a refund anytime - up until 48 hours prior to departure.

Itinerary

Day 1, Sunday, Jun 25: 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.

Day 2, Monday, Jun 26: Arrive in 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 driver. 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 meal before having a restful overnight in Madrid before your walking tour begins!

Day 3, Tuesday, Jun 27: Madrid - Foncebadon - Iron Cross - O Cebreiro - Sarria
(Walking Day: 2.8 miles | 4.5 kilometers | 6,500 steps)

This morning, you will enjoy breakfast and transfer to Sarria. Sarria is located in the northwest of Spain and is noted for being the entry point to the oriental side of the region, Galicia. Your transfer will end and you will begin on foot from 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, you 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. Your tour continues as you leave your burdens behind and continue onward to the village nestled in the mountains, O Cebreiro. Many pilgrims pause at this site due to the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the year 1300. Additionally, be sure to have your cameras ready as this village is suspended 1,300 meters in the air and provides a breathtaking panoramic view. Your first walking day culminates with a delicious meal and an overnight in Sarria.

Day 04, Wednesday, Jun 28: Mouzos - Portomarin
(Walking Day: 9.37 miles | 15 kilometers | 22,000 steps)

After breakfast, transfer to the outskirts of Sarria, at Mouzos, to walk the Camino to Portomarin. Along the Way today you have the beautiful Romanesque portal on the Church of Santiago at Barbadela. At Marzan, you'll pass a Molino/Mill. The village of Brea is mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus. You'll pass the ruins of the Monastery at Loio, seat of the Knights of Santiago in the 12th century. When you reach Portomarin, you cross the River Mino on a Roman bridge and then ascend to the 12th c village, moved stone by stone when the river was diverted to flood the plain. San Nicolas Church stands as a 13th c fortress, and belonged to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Meet your guide at the inn, unless you need a transfer earlier. Relax over dinner at Pousada Portomarin.

Day 05, Thursday, Jun 29: Gonzar - Palas de Rei
(Walking Day: 10.6 miles | 17 kilometers | 24,900 steps)

After leaving Portomarin, a town that dates back to the Romans which was an important stop along the route in the Middle Ages, you will set out on foot for Palas de Rei. This stage will take you through the region of Monterroso and Palas de Rei, crossing renowned villages like Gonzar, Castromaior and Ligonde. The first half of the stage goes right by the main road and the second over roads paved specifically for the pilgrims. Still path is equally impressive as far as the landscape goes. 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.

Day 06, Friday, Jun 30: Palas de Rei - Melide
(Walking Day: 9.1 miles | 14.7 kilometers | 21,560 steps)

Today, after breakfast, we prepare for our walk that takes us from Palas de Rei to Melide. Along the way we will see the Church of St. Maria of Leboreiro, the building that used to be the pilgrim hospital named "La Casa de la Enfermeria" founded by the noble Ulloa family, whose coat of arms can be seen on the wall. On the top of its entrance you will see the image of St. Maria. Opposite to the church, there is a traditional Cabaceiro (a very big basket that, like Horreos, was used to preserve the corn, letting it dry and preventing it from being eaten by animals). We also see the The Furelos Bridge that dates from the 12th century. The history of Melide, since its foundation in the 10th century, is deeply linked with the pilgrimage to Santiago as it is on the path of the Camino. In 1320 Melide obtained from the Archbishop of Santiago the privilege of building up a castle, fortressing the village, and charging taxes. In 1467 "os irmandinos" opposed the Archbishop and started a series of fights against its power. During this riot the walls of the village were destroyed as well as the castle. After this, the Catholic Monarchs banned the construction of any fortress in the village. Melide is very well-known for being the village located in the interior that serves the best Galician Octopus, probably the most traditional dish in Galicia. The village is also famous for its sweets. Transfer to Arzua and enjoy dinner and restful overnight.

Day 07, Saturday, Jul 01: Melide - Arzua
(Walking Day: 8.75 miles | 14 kilometers | 20,533 steps)

Following breakfast we transfer to Melide to begin our walk from Melide to Arzua. Today our forests of oak and chestnut change to eucalyptus and pine as we walk through the area of traditional farms, filled with "Blond Cows" known for their fine veal. Because Melide and Arzua connect with the Primitive and North Caminos, we will see more pilgrims from now on. As you cross the River Iso, watch for the ancient hospital, so welcome to medieval pilgrims. In Arzua you will visit the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena which dates from the 14th century and is located near the ruins of an ancient convent. We will celebrate Mass at Church of Santiago. At the end of the day enjoy dinner and restful overnight in Arzua Hotel.

Day 08, Sunday, Jul 02: Arzua - O Empalme
(Walking Day: 9.5 miles | 15.3 kilometers | 22,440 steps)

Your journey is almost over as you walk to the largest community before Santiago! 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 O Empalme. 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.

Day 09, Monday, Jul 03: O'Empalme - Lavacolla
(Walking Day: 8.31 miles | 13.30 kilometers | 19,500 steps)

Following breakfast the route continues to the small village of Lavacolla, in the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela and one of the last stops for pilgrims. Lavacolla is where traditionally pilgrims used to cleanse themselves before the final walk into Santiago.There are many theories in relation to the origin of the place name Lavacolla. One of the theories claims the name Lavacolla comes from the fact that pilgrims in the Middle Ages used to wash in the stream that crosses Lavacolla to arrive clean in Santiago. This is one of the theories you might hear from the guides of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela if you take a rooftop tour of the cathedral. This theory implies the name Lava-colla could come from the words 'lavar' (to wash) and 'cuello' (neck), meaning 'to wash the neck'.Another theory would refer to pre-pilgrimage times and would have more to do with the geography of the place: the name Lava (low pasture or field) and Colla (hill) would mean the low pasture by the hill. Whatever the origin of its name, Lavacolla still sees thousands of pilgrims walking by every year, getting closer to their Camino final point: Santiago de Compostela. Dinner and overnight in Lavacolla.

Day 10, Tuesday, Jul 04: Lavacolla - Monte do Gozo - Santiago de Compostela
(Walking Day: 6.75 miles | 10.8 kilometers | 15,839 steps)

Today, you will culminate the walking portion of your journey! Before arriving at your final destination, you will first stop for Mass on Mount Joy (Monte del Gozo). You will know that you are approaching Santiago because, at this point, you will be able to see the spires of the Cathedral. Following lunch, you will complete your walking journey and arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. 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 marvelous dinner, followed by a very restful overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 11, Wednesday, Jul 05: Santiago de Compostela

This morning, after a good night's sleep and breakfast, we enjoy a guided tour of Santiago. Santiago is the third major site visited by pilgrims and visitors, after Jerusalem and Rome. We delight in our walking tour through the labyrinthine cobbled streets of this medieval city, virtually intact since no human or natural upheaval has damaged the city, a true national monument with its buildings built of almost indestructible granite stone. We visit the Plaza del Obradoiro and the great Cathedral that dominates the town. The main entrance to the church is two stories above the plaza, and from above the statue of St. James smiles benignly down. The towers soar into the sky. The Portico de la Gloria, designed by Maestro Mateo and completed in 1188, is one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture. Inside the Cathedral we see more priceless architecture, statues and religious treasures. Behind the silver and gold main altar are the sarcophagi of St. James and two of his disciples, and a statue of St. James stands above surrounded by an elaborate display of drapery and sculpture. We attend the Pilgrims Mass then complete our visit by kissing the hem of the jeweled cloak that drapes the statue. Afternoon 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.

Day 12, Thursday, Jul 06 : Santiago de Compostela - Airport

Your last day in Spain will begin with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a transfer to the Santiago Airport for your return flight(s) home. You will say 'hasta luego' (see you later) to your new friends made on this journey.



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2023 Dates & Prices

Dates

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Booking

Jun 25
Sunday
Jul 6, 2023
Thursday
Jun 26
Monday
Jul 6, 2023
Thursday
Options & Upgrades

*All pricing is per person

Single Supplement / Private Room $799.00 (USD)

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (One-Way) $2,200.00 (USD)

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (Round-Trip) $4,400.00 (USD)

Would like to stop over in Europe?

Let us know at time of registration, we will reschedule your airline reservations pending availability at no additional fee (these options will be available to you when you register online). Let us know if you need assistance with pre or post stay at hotel. Simply Contact 206 Tours:  800-206-TOUR (8687)  or  sales@206tours.com

Options and upgrades

Options & Upgrades

*All pricing is per person

Single Supplement / Private Room $799.00 (USD)

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (One-Way) $2,200.00 (USD)

Business Class Trans-Atlantic (Round-Trip) $4,400.00 (USD)

Earn a Free Trip

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

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Would you like to arrive
earlier or stay later?

Let us know at time of registration, we will reschedule your airline reservations pending availability at no additional fee (these options will be available to you when you register online). Let us know if you need assistance with pre or post stay at hotel. Simply Contact 206 Tours:  800-206-TOUR (8687)  or  sales@206tours.com

About your trip

  • Madrid
  • Foncebadon
  • Iron Cross
  • O Cebreiro
  • Sarria
  • Mouzos
  • Portomarin
  • Gonzar
  • Palas de Rei
  • Melide
  • Arzua
  • O Empalme
  • Lavacolla
  • Amenal
  • Monte do Gozo
  • Santiago de Compostela (St. James)

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).

Pilgrimage Information

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:
Danielle