Ancient Trails and Paradors of Northern Spain’s camino de santiago

Overview

The Way of St. James leading to the holy city of Santiago de Compostela has drawn pilgrims and travelers for centuries. Our special journey weaves together the perfect experience of El Camino across northern Spain’s exquisite landscapes and historic cities, immersing you in the traditions of this legendary pilgrimage. It’s a fantastic journey from the ancient kingdom of Castile to lush, mystical Galicia, a hidden corner of Spain alive with legends and Celtic heritage. We’ve crafted each day to showcase the best of the landscape and villages, skipping sections that parallel highways and industrial areas. Follow country lanes marked with the scallop shell, the symbol of St. James, through mist-shrouded forests of gnarled oaks, and along the beach at Finisterre—“the end of the earth”—and mythical Kilometer 0 on the pilgrim trail. Along the way we’ll see great Romanesque architecture, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow pilgrims from throughout the world, and be welcomed each night in our carefully selected hotels and paradors, including two nights at the extraordinary Parador Dos Reis Catolicos, set right on the square in Santiago, overlooking the Cathedral of St. James. Our team of expert Trip Leaders ensures that the traditions of El Camino are very much a part of your journey, from your own “Pilgrim’s Passport” and traditional scallop shell, to insider’s visits of cultural and historic treasures. Whatever reason you may choose to hike El Camino, you’ll be swept up by its fascinating heritage, the beautiful landscapes, architecture, cuisine, and most certainly the wonderful camaraderie of the other pilgrims sharing the trail, and this treasured goal, with you!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Burgos / León / Astorga

Meet in historic Burgos, then head to the Castilian meseta (high plain) and hike to the remote village of Hontanas. We explore León’s leafy squares and 12th century frescoes before continuing to the walled city of Astorga.

 View Lodging
Days 3-5
Cruz de Hiero / O’Cebreiro / Portomarin

Entering rural Galicia, hike past thriving farmsteads and tiny abandoned villages to Cruz de Hiero, a towering iron cross where for a thousand years pilgrims have carried a single stone from their homeland to make a wish (don’t forget to bring yours!). In the mountaintop village of O’Cebreiro, visit a tiny church whose chalice is linked in legend with the Holy Grail, then hike to the whitewashed village of Portomarin.

 View Lodging
Days 6-9
La Coruña / Santiago de Compostela / Finisterre

Following trails through hamlets and farms flanked by ancient grain silos, arrive in Santiago, where you’ll join the spectacle of the Pilgrim’s Mass in the twin-towered cathedral that reputedly contains the remains of St. James. We complete our pilgrimage with a hike to Finisterre—the “End of the Earth,” walking the last part of the trail barefoot along the beach, as tradition dictates. Depart on Day 9.

 View Lodging

Highlights

Highlights

Hike the best sections of Europe’s most revered pilgrimage route
Complete the pilgrimage at Finisterre, the westernmost point on the Iberian Peninsula
Enjoy Galician cuisine, famous for its seafood, and some of Spain’s most delicious meats and cheeses
Overnight in historic hotels and inns, including the 5-star Parador Los Reis Católicos, a 15th century monastery on Santiago’s main square

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $4195  
Arrive: Burgos, Spain
Depart: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Lodging: 8 nights inns, manor houses, and paradors
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on easy to moderate trails, some steep sections, 3-8 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to shorten a day’s hike)

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Buen Camino

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Buen Camino