A Walking Tour with Victor Romagnoli


Spectacular walks on Way of St James; Tiny hamlets, stunning scenery; Strolling on Santiago's cobblestone streets; expert leadership; unique local cuisines & wines


Dates & Prices

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Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sat 01 Apr 2017Thu 13 Apr 2017 $4150 USD

Due to the nature of our unique accommodation (ie Paradores), this tour requires a $750 per person deposit.

Optional Single Supplement: $948 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $474, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.

Tour Overview

This tour has been conceived by, and will be led by Senior Tour Leader, Victor Romagnoli, who invites you to join him on this special journey:

"This has always been one of my favourite parts of the world, and what better way to see it, and to experience the unique culture and history associated with one of the world's greatest pilgrimage routes, than on foot at a leisurely pace. The towns and villages en route are pretty, friendly, and steeped in history. The cuisine and wines of the region are also unique to this small area - come and immerse yourself in one of Europe's most compelling and special places."

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Spain

Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Madrid
Today we arrive in Madrid and transfer to our hotel.

The capital of Spain, located in the heart of the peninsula and right in the center of the Castillian plain, is a cosmopolitan city, a business center, headquarters for the Public Administration, Government, Spanish Parliament and the home of the Spanish Royal Family.

Because this tour specifically focuses on the Camino, we have not included any sightseeing in the Spanish capital. Please feel free to arrange your own extra time in advance if you have not visited this lovely city before.

Overnight in Madrid.

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2 Madrid - Burgos
Today we travel to Burgos, set along the Arlanzon River. Burgos preserves one of the greatest collections of Gothic art and monuments in southern Europe, yet it has also had a long role as a military camp, from the days of El Cid in the 15th century to General Franco, who during Spain's Civil War made Burgos his capital. It was here that Franco held his infamous trials of 16 Basque separatists. The Kingdom of Castile was born in the town of Burgos, and its castle stands on what was the Moorish frontier in 884. We will begin our sightseeing program upon arrival, including the Monasterio de Las Huelgas which, founded in 1187, is one of the most important monuments in Spain.

Please note that at some point in the next few days your Tour Leader will assist you to purchase, collect and register your "pilgrim's passport" with the necessary authorities.

Overnight in Burgos.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Burgos: City Tour
Our walking tour of Burgos includes the great gothic Cathedral of St. Mary's (a UNESCO World Heritage site). This magnificent structure is the one of the two finest examples of Gothic architecture in all of Spain, a country abounding in Romanesque and Baroque churches but which can boast of relatively few examples of high Gothic architecture compared to countries such as France and Germany. One detail of interest: the tombs of the legendary Spanish hero El Cid Campeador and his wife, doña Jimena, located in the central nave. They were brought to the cathedral from the nearby Cistercian monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña in 1921. Throughout today's tour we hear stories of El Cid and how he tricked local money-lenders into loaning him money to finance his troops.

Not far away from the Cathedral a panoramic view is waiting for us. The point of view is on top of a hill where the city of Burgos was founded in 884. After visiting the point of view we will stroll along the most beautiful promenade of Burgos called the promenade of El Espolon. At the end of the promenade the statue of EL Cid is waiting for us.

There is time in the afternoon to stroll along the lovely tree-lined walkway along the river. Perhaps you would like to sit in a cafe or sample typical Spanish snacks called "Pinchos."

Overnight in Burgos.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Burgos - Walking toward Leon
Today we join a section of the famed Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a journey for the spirit and soul that millions of pilgrims have completed over thousands of years. Meeting fellow pilgrims, sharing stories and like all those who choose to walk the Camino de Santiago, we will gain special insight into the history of this place and the motivation of those who have come before us. We will also learn how modern pilgrims choose to do the Camino for personal, spiritual or religious reasons, or simply to take some time out from their busy modern lives.

We begin our walk along the Camino toward the city of Leon. Here the route veers away from civilisation to the high plains of central Spain, or the Meseta. At Frómista we take in the simplicity of the Romanesque church before continuing on our way to Leon, with its lively tapas bars and grand buildings in complete contrast to the solitude of the Meseta.

Overnight in Leon.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Leon: City Tour
Today we spend touring the engaging city of Leon. Within the two cities it encapsulates, ie the old medieval part and the modern one that stretches alongside the river, there is an extraordinary historical and artistic heritage. The Roman and medieval walls in between help to highlight the beautiful contrast between the old quarter and the squares, known as the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza del Mercado; and the avenues, modern buildings, parks and gardens that lie to the west. The three most characteristic monuments that stand out for their great artistic value in Leon are the Cathedral, the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro, and the Convent of San Marcos.

Overnight in Leon.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Leon - Sarria - Portomarin
Today we travel by road to the small village of Sarria (approx. 2.5 hours) and start today's walk to Portomarin.

Along its 22 Km (5/6 hours), this section is covered by paved roads, paths, moderately steep hills. This section also crosses medieval and rustic bridges, rolling landscapes, the amazing Belesar dam, and passes countless hamlets. It is on this part of the route where we will find the landmark indicating 100 Km remaining to Santiago de Compostela.

Points of interest include:
- Church of Santa Maria de Ferreiros (Ferreira). This small church with a Romanesque facade of the XII Century is located in the little hamlet of Ferreiros. Ferreira was a blacksmith's site where pilgrims could repair their shoes and those of their horses.

- The Pre-Romanesque church of Santa Maria de Loio (Paradela) is the only remaining vestige of the Monastery where the "Orden of Santiago" was born: 12 knights who swore to protect pilgrims from Muslim raids.

You may want to sample the delicious almond cake for which the area is famous, or the traditional dish of Portomarin: fried eels.

Overnight in Portomarin.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Portomarin - Pambre
Today we walk 24km (+/- 6 hours) to Pambre.

This part of the way crosses the Ligonde Mountain range, which separates the Miño and Ulla rivers. It has a nice start, ascending Mt. San Antonio and crossing through pine trees and meadows. After that, most of the route runs along paved roads. Along the way, we will find interesting churches to visit and have the opportunity to deviate to Vilar de Donas, where we can visit the Church of San Salvador, some pilgrim hospitals and the Crucero of Lameiros.

Some points of interest:
- Castromaior: Named for the Castro (Celtic fort). Castromaior also has a Romanesque church from the XVI Century.
- Ventas de Naron is the last village of the area of Portomarin. This is a medieval village where, in 820 AD, there was a fierce battle between Christians and Moors. In this hamlet you can find the Madalena Chapel, an ancient pilgrim hospital. Its curious wooden door has a carved scallop (vieira) symbol of the pilgrimage to Compostela.

Overnight in Pambre.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Pambre - Ribadiso
Today's walk takes us as far as Ribadiso (near Arzua, 25 km - 7 hours).

This section is somewhat more challenging, with many ups and downs. Pambre is an excellent starting point for today's on-foot exploration of the Galician countryside. We follow lovely backroads that pass through hamlets and farms flanked by grain silos in granite. We will see the first forest of eucalyptus, which heralds the proximity of the ocean. The churches here are small, and numerous religious crosses along the way testify that Christianity is deeply anchored in this land.

Our route crosses the border between the provinces of Lugo and La Coruña, through Leboreiro and the "Pulpera of Melide," where it links with the primitive Road, and continues through beautiful scenery. Along the way we will be walking through some eucalyptus and oak forests, passing very traditional Galician hamlets where you will see many farm animals. Because Melide and Arzua connect with the Primitive and North Caminos, the number of pilgrims on the way will be higher from this point.

Points of interest: The Furelos medieval bridge, dating from the 12th century. Iglesia del Espiritu Santo, constructed with the stones of an old Fort of O Castelo that was destroyed during "La revuelta de los Irmandiños" at the end of the 15th century.

Named after the nearby town on this route, Melindres are a sweet treat like a donut but drier with a slight taste of anis and glazed with syrup. Even though they are sold in many parts of Galicia, it is believed that Melide makes the best. Also try Ricos, a traditional butter cookie with a peculiar shape made only in Melide.

Overnight in Ribadiso.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Ribadiso - Arca
Today we walk 19.2 km to Arca (5 hours).

Once more we walk among meadows, oak, and eucalyptus. We will also be passing through small and traditional hamlets. Most of this walk is along dirt roads, with some sections beside the road. The walk is easy with some up-hills and many flat sections; this journey will be so much easier than the previous.

Points of interest: at Santa Irene (Arca), we can visit the Medieval shrine dedicated to a martyr saint from Portugal and the Baroque fountain of healing waters. Puñide bridge, dating from the 6th century and crossing the Mera River.

Overnight in Arca.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Arca - Santiago de Compostela
Our last walk takes us the remaining 20 km to the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago (+/- 5 hours).

All the previous meadows, sheep, cows, mud, conversation, self-knowledge, mysticism, religion, wine, Indo-European languages, up-hills, down-hills, sacrifices and efforts will soon be a memory. Once in Santiago, we will be able to admire the Portico de la gloria, the hug of the saint, the saint door, and the botafumeiros in the Cathedral of Santiago.

Points of interest:
A Lavacolla: The creek of Sionllas crosses known for being the place were pilgrims used to get rid of their dirty clothes and washed themselves in preparation for their imminent arrival in Santiago.

Monte do gozo: a small elevation of 380 metres from where pilgrims have the first view of the towers of the cathedral of Santiago.

Santiago is one of Spain's most beautiful cities, built of golden granite and declared a national monument in its entirety. It's a wonderful place to walk, with its arcades and flagstone streets.

Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Santiago de Compostela: City Tour
Today we have a half-day guided tour of Santiago.

Santiago's cathedral is truly grand, adorned with many statues of St James in his familiar pilgrim guise with staff, broad-brimmed hat, and scallop-shell badge. The cathedral's highlight is the Portico de Gloria, with its striking Romanesque sculpture of a host of figures. Christ presides over the main door, flanked by his Apostles, and surrounded by 24 Elders of the Apocalypse playing music. Saint James sits on the central column beneath Christ. So many pilgrims have prayed at this spot with their fingers pressed in to the roots of the marble Tree of Jesse below Saint James that five deep holes have been worn into the marble.

We will also to take a guided tour of the Cathedral roofs, which allows us to climb to the very top of the building and look out over the historic centre from the heights. To do so we make for the Gelmírez Palace, located to the side of the Cathedral in the Plaza del Obradoiro square. We pass through the interior of the Gelmírez Palace, past the Cathedral gallery (above the Gloria doorway) and up to the roof of the cathedral for a stupendous view -- definitely a highlight of our trip.

Afternoon at leisure for independent exploration (dinner on your own this evening).

Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 12 Santiago de Compostela: Excursion to Cape Finisterre
Today we have an excursion to Cape Finisterre (Galician: Cabo Fisterra, Spanish: Cabo Finisterre), a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia.

In Roman times it was believed to be the end of the known world. The name Finisterre, like that of Finistère in France, derives from the Latin finis terrae, meaning "end of the earth". It is sometimes said to be the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. However, Cabo da Roca in Portugal is about 16.5 kilometres further west and thus the westernmost point of continental Europe.

Cape Finisterre is the final destination for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James, the pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Cape Finisterre is about a 90-km walk from Santiago de Compostela. It is a recent tradition for pilgrims to burn their clothes or boots at the end of their journey at Cape Finisterre. The origin of the pilgrimage to Finisterre is not certain. However, it is believed to date from pre-Christian times and was possibly associated with Finisterre's status as the "edge of the world". The tradition continued in medieval times, when "hospitals" were established to cater to pilgrims along the route from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre.

While in the area we'll visit the Celtic ruins at Castro de Baroña, rediscovered in 1933 near the fishing village of Porto do Son, and dated to the first century AD. Twenty stone structures cover a rocky outcropping into the Atlantic, surrounded by the ruins of a double defensive wall.

Return to Santiago and our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Departure
Departure from Santiago de Compostela.


Meal plan: Breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Sol Melia Tryp Rex

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain

The Tryp Rex hotel is located in the Gran Via. Between the Plaza de España and the Plaza Callao, close
... the famous museums and the historical city center of Madrid. Rooms feature bathroom with hair-dryer, individual climate control, satellite TV, safe deposit box, wireless internet connection (WI-FI)throughout the hotel.

Read More.

Hotel Cordon

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Burgos
Country: Spain

Located at the heart of the city, next to the House of the Cordon, where the Catholic King and Queen
... Columbus back from his second trip to America, this hotel provides the traveller with the peace and quite silence of a walking area. In less than five minutes guests can reach the famous gothic Cathedral of Burgos and the futurist Museum of the Human Evolution.

Read More.

Parador de Leon

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Leon
Country: Spain

The Hostal de San Marcos is one of the most extraordinary historic hotels on the Old Continent. Construction of the
... was begun in the 16th century, together with the bridge across the River Bernesga in the outskirts of León. It was built to house the peninsula's western headquarters for the Military Order of Saint James.
Read More.

Parador de Santiago

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Santiago de Compostela
Country: Spain

One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the Paradores chain is located in Santiago de Compostela. In this
... the destination of millions of pilgrims, rays of sunlight illuminate the building façades in summer and the rain creates a magical ambiance that overtakes the cobbled streets in winter. The Parador de Santiago, known as the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, is a blend of history, art and tradition, the dream of pilgrims and emblem of Santiago.
Read More.

Trip Information

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Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily. All accommodation, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring when temperatures are milder and crowds thinner. Spring is also popular for green landscapes. Showers are possible at any time - the northern part of the country does not always experience extreme heat and conditions can be quite mild and changeable. Indeed, this trip will occur early in the season when layering is key and one much be prepared for a wide variety of conditions.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Ground transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Road travel is not particularly arduous as there are plenty of stops of interest and distances are not great.

THIS IS A WALKING/ HIKING TOUR: This trip is rated "MODERATE" and involves country hiking over varied terrain for 3-7 hours on hiking days. We will be hiking regardless of the weather, and the itinerary will only change if conditions become "extreme." Please note that it may not be possible to create alternative hiking or touring programs on a given day. Your feet should be well-prepared for the hikes.

In order to ensure your suitability, all participants must have a physician's signature on a simple questionnaire provided at time of booking.

Please refer to the detailed tour itinerary for details pertaining to each day's walks and the placement of non-hiking days.

Vehicle support for luggage -- you carry only your day pack.


Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels and inns (3 star) throughout. IN Leon and Santiago we stay in beautifully restored historical Paradores. All hotels have en suite bath, though some may have shower only. Porter service is sometimes available though you should be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, Victor Romagnoli, throughout; driver/s & local guides.

Group Size

12-18 plus Your Leader




TOUR ENDSantiago de Campostela