Set off on a 10-day hiking expedition and discover ancient Spain. Spilling over the Pyrenees from France into Spain, the network of trails that make up the Route of St. James—or El Camino de Santiago—converges at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Follow in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims as you trek the high plains of Castilla and the hills of Galicia, during a journey back in time. Set out from Pamplona to discover the longest pilgrimage route in Europe, experiencing the most picturesque and poignant sections of this World Heritage site on foot.

Trip highlights

Visit the Burgos Cathedral and the monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Discover ancient relics and monuments including Roman sites, mountain villages, and the architecture of Antoni Gaudí.

Explore the famed city of Pamplona and follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway (and many a bull) and discover the spectacular historic centre of Santiago de Compostela.

Stay in historic monasteries and paradors built centuries ago.

Itinerary - 10 Days

1 Pamplona, Spain

Arrive in the historic city of Pamplona and transfer to our hotel which was once a haunt of Ernest Hemingway. Enjoy a brief orientation where you will meet your guides and fellow guests before setting off on a walk through the old city and streets made famous by the running of the bulls. In the evening meet up for a welcome dinner. (D)

Accommodation: Gran Hotel La Perla

2 Logrono/Navarrete

Your first hike of the expedition will take you out to the foothills of the Pyrenees to La Rioja, one of Spain’s most celebrated wine regions. In the capital city of Logroño, we get the first stamp in our “credencial” at the Plaza de Santiago.
Hike along El Camino, walking through picturesque vineyards to the village of Navarrete. During the afternoon, visit the Yuso and Suso monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla, a World Heritage site considered the birthplace of the Spanish language. Along the way, stop off for a wine tasting at a local bodega before heading to our hotel. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Parador Nacional de Santo Domingo de la Calzada

3 Atapuerca/Burgos

Our route today rises onto the Meseta Central, high plains that stretch across much of central Spain. Picking up the trail in Atapuerca, we will make our way towards Burgos and head straight to the centre of the city which was formerly the capital of the kingdom of Castile and home to the Spanish national hero El Cid. Set out on a guided tour of the old town and its 13th-century Gothic cathedral, a World Heritage site. (12–13 miles hiking, 5–6 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: NH Collection Palacio de Burgos

4 Fromista/Carrión De Los Condes

Continue across the Meseta, hiking through the endless gree and gold fields of the Tierra de Campos. This land is filled with the history of La Reconquista, when Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking areas of the Iberian Peninsula controlled by Moors. Arrive in the town of Carrión de Los Condes, where we’ll stay the night in a historic monastery. (11 miles, 5 hours hiking) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Hotel Real Monasterio San Zoilo

5 Sahagún/Bercianos Del Camino/León

Begin your day in the medieval city of Sahagún and head west to the village of Bercianos del Real Camino. Drive on to León for lunch and spend the afternoon discovering the city’s historic sites, including its remarkable cathedral, filled with more than a hundred stained glass windows.
This evening, enjoy dinner at your own leisure in the town, and head to the hotel, a spectacular Renaissance convent. (5–6 miles hiking, 3 hours) (B/L)

Accommodation: Hotel Real Colegiata

6 Hospital De Órbigo To Astorga/Villafranca Del Bierzo

Begin the day with a hike at the Roman bridge, in the village of Hospital de Órbigo. Enjoy a scenic morning as you follow country roads that take in the view from El Crucero de Santo Toribio, a stone cross that has marked our trail for centuries.
Descend to Astorga, and explore the town’s fascinating architecture, from Romanesque and Gothic churches to a palace designed by Antoni Gaudí. Continue west to Villafranca del Bierzo for the night. (11 miles hiking, 5 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo

7 Las Herreias/O Cebreiro/Monforte De Lemos

Hike to the region of Galicia in the northwest that is famed for its Celtic history and rolling hills. Your first hike will climb nearly 1,200 feet in the last four miles, follow forest paths and switchbacks past thatched houses and stone villages to reach the hilltop hamlet of O O Cebreiro. Explore the oldest intact church on El Camino and leave a coin at the village cross for good luck. We’ll spend the night in a Benedictine monastery in Monforte de Lemos. (7–8 miles hiking, 4 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Parador Nacional de Monforte de Lemos

8 O Pedrouzo/Santiago De Compostela

Journey to the town of O Pedrouzo, where we’ll set off on the final leg of our hike along El Camino de Santiago. From Monte del Gozo, catch a first glimpse of the towers of Santiago’s cathedral and continue into the heart of the city to Plaza do Obrandoiro at the foot of the cathedral – the endpoint of the pilgrimage route. (12 miles hiking, 6 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Parador de Santiago - Hostal dos Reis Católicos

9-10 Cabo Fisterra/Santiago De Compostela

As your hiking expedition comes to an end, journey to Cabo Fisterra that sits at the westernmost tip of Spain and is a continuation of El Camino for many pilgrims. Head back to Santiago for a guided historical tour of the cathedral and the city’s old quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, enjoy time to explore on your own before our farewell dinner.
The next morning, transfer to the airport before continuing your journey home. (Day 9; B/L/D, Day 10; B)

Accommodation: Parador de Santiago - Hostal dos Reis Católicos

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