SPAIN – CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK
Join Big Heart Adventures on a spiritually uplifting walking journey on the Camino in Spain. Up to 12 Wise Women Walkers, will take on the final 100km of the Camino from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela enjoying all the Spanish scenery, cuisine, wine and culture along the way, concluding with a beachside stay in Finisterre to relax and recharge.
Hosted by experienced Camino walker Amanda Panazzolo and Chief Adventurer Lisa Murphy, join Big Heart Adventures for the opportunity to Find Yourself, Be Yourself and Challenge Yourself…
Small group, active, moderate trek on the Camino with a day pack and staying in comfortable accommodation, luggage transfer service included on the Camino.
01/09/18 – 15/09/18
Wise Woman Walking
Up to 12 + hosts
$3,999 per person
Date 03/09/18 – 26/09/18
Start Madrid, Spain
Finish Santiago, Spain
Type Wise Woman Walking
Physical Rating ♦ ♦ ♦
Group Size Up to 12 + hosts
Investment $3,999 per person | twin share
Part proceeds from this tour and funds raised by our Big Heart Adventurers will support Catherine House.
Their mission is to offer recovery-oriented support that works with women accessing their emergency accommodation and services, helping them to achieve greater personal well-being, social and economic participation and a meaningful and satisfying life:
No flights included.
Can be arranged separately, please contact us for more information.
All meals provided as per the itinerary in Spain
B x 13 | L x 0 | D x 1
Group & Luggage Transfers
2 nights accommodation Madrid
12 nights Galician ‘Casa Rurales’
1 night Parador de Monforte de Lemos
Casa Rurale Dinner
Camino de Santiago Trek
Please note itinerary can be subject to change at anytime.
Sarria is a busy, modern town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars, but its origins are Celtic and it was an important and major medieval centre for pilgrims. Remnants of its ancient past can still be seen in the old quarter along Rua Major. The church of Igrexia de Santa Maria has an ancient pilgrim’s mural. If you follow the Camino route to the top end of town you will see the ancient convent Monasterio da Madalena, the ruins of the castle and the medieval bridge Ponte Aspera that crosses the River Celerio.
Nowadays the town is bustling with peregrinos, from those that started their Camino 100’s of kilometers back, to pilgrims like you that walk the final 100 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela to qualify for their Compostela.
Walk Sarria to Morgade (13km)
Time to finally get onto the Camino Trail and on your way to Santiago. The majority of your first walk is a great introduction as it is along sheltered woodland pathways or quiet country roads and passes through many hamlets and small villages. The scenery along the way is wonderfully green and lush and very rural. The trail climbs and falls repeatedly as it passes tiny hamlets full of history.
The high point of the day (660m) at Pina dos Corvos has wonderful views over the reservoir and surrounding countryside. From here begin your steep descent, crossing the Mino Reservoir over its modern bridge into Portomarin.
Portomarin has been inhabited for thousands of years and its importance grew with the popularity of the Camino in the middle ages. At one time it had three orders of Knights: the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John and the Knights of Jerusalem, which may go some way to explaining the castle like edifice of the 12th century Romanesque Igelsia San Nicolas church which still stands in the square at the centre of town. The town was previously divided by the Rio Mino but was flooded in 1960 to create the Mino Reservoir. Every historic monument was moved brick by brick to the town that stands on the hill today; you can see pictures of the old town in some of the bars and cafes that line the main street.
Today’s walk is uphill for pretty much all the way, however the gradient is never too steep. The path crosses and runs parallel to the main road to Gonzar, though you spend most of your days walking on woodland tracks and quiet roads
A climb to start the day takes you to Sierra Ligonde, today’s high point at 720m. The walk is then downhill to Ligonde and Eirexe and onto A Calzada. There is a detour here of 2 km to the National Monument, Vilar de Donas where the Knights of Santiago are buried and is worthy of a visit if you have time. A gentle climb now takes you through several small hamlets to Alto Rosario, a good vantage point on a clear day and then down into Palas de Rei.
Palas de Rei or Palace of the King has little to remind you that it was once home to a king. Today it is a small country town with plenty of services available.
Today’s walk is mostly on paths through quiet woodland, crossing over the main road to Arzua several times and guiding you through six river valleys to reach a high point of 515m at Coto.
On route you will pass Melide, a busy town founded in the 13th century and has many historic buildings and churches including the Capilla de San Pedro and San Roque next to which stands a 14th century stone cross said to be the oldest in Galicia. The museum and the buildings around the Plaza de Convento are well worth a visit. Melide is also famous for Pulpo Gallego, octopus cooked Galician style and reputed to be the best in Spain.
From Melide the path winds through woodlands of oak, pine and eucalypt, passing over several valleys though Boente, Castañeda and then Ribadiso from where you can see the Hospital San Anton, one of the oldest pilgrim hospitals in existence. From Ribadiso follow the country road on a steep uphill climb and through the outer suburbs before entering Arzua.
Arzua with a population of around 7000 is the last large town before you reach Santiago. The 14th century Capilla de la Magdelena is the town’s main monument. Arzua is most famous for its local cheese, Queixo, a smooth creamy cheese made from cow’s milk which most restaurants feature in some way and is definitely worth trying. The town also celebrates its cheese with a Queixo Cheese festival every March.
The majority of today’s walk to O Pedrouzo is through wonderful pine and eucalyptus scented woodland. The path is mostly level, passing through three shallow river valleys with a gradual climb up to Alto de Santa Irene at 404m. The country lanes and woodland paths pass through many small hamlets. The final section climbs steeply to a main road, into eucalyptus woodland and onto A Rua and the village to O Pedrouzo. O Pedrouzo /Arco do Pino is a small but busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the staging point for the last section of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.
Today’s route will be a busy as pilgrims begin the last stage of their walk into Santiago. The pilgrims mass at Santiago Cathedral begins at midday so you will need to leave early to arrive on time. The first section of today’s route passes through eucalypt forests with most of the route on quiet roads and pathways before the final kilometres and a climb to Mount Gozo before descending into the suburbs of Santiago. The path runs alongside the airport and you will see many crosses of twigs and branches used by pilgrims to decorate the fence.
Lavacolla village is where pilgrims traditionally washed to purify themselves before entering Santiago and Lavacolla literally means to wash your tail. At Monte Gozo, Mount of Joy, you will first sight the stunning Catedral de Santiago spires.
The final section is well signposted into the old quarter with its wonderful historical buildings and narrow shop filled alleyways, until you finally reach the Praza Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral.
Today you have the whole day to enjoy and explore historic Santiago with its many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St James which forms the city’s heart and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey.
Stay in central Madrid hotel.
- Non refundable deposit is $1,000pp payable within 7 days of booking, final balance due 60 days before departure.
- Payment plan available, please enquire.
- Limited Single Rooms available on request – add supplement $850 per person to twin share price. If there is no-one to share a room with you, you will be required to pay a single supplement. We will match you with a room mate at your request.
- A minimum of 6 travellers are required for this trip to depart. Itinerary and price subject to change at any time. See full terms and conditions on our booking form. Please note we calculate any currency conversions on the day of payment.
A good level of fitness is required to complete 8 days of walking the Camino. You should able to walk up to 8 hours on hilly terrain with a 35-litre backpack weighing up to 7kg. A completed medical form is required and a doctor’s clearance may be requested.
- 2 night Madrids – 4 star hotel
- Train journeys between Madrid and Monforte de Lemos and Santiago de Compostela
- 8-10 group weekend walks commencing 8 weeks prior to departure
- Group transfer Monforte de Lemos to Sarria
- 1 night Parador de Monforte de Lemos
- 12 nights in charming Galician ‘Casa Rurales’
- Breakfast Daily
- Private Room with en-suite
- 1 dinner included at ‘Casa Rurale’ (location to be advised)
- Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 bag up to 20kg per person)
- Pilgrims Passport per person
- Spanish Phrasebook
- Sarria to Santiago Camino Guidebook by John Brierley
- Waterproof map & document case
- Daily luggage tags
- Maps of hotel locations
- Dedicated local support person for reassurance
- Big Heart Adventures Host(s)
- Big Heart Adventures IOMerino Top and Bluff (head sock)
- Journal and Pen
- Travel insurance.
- Flights to/from Spain (if you book your flights with us, you receive complimentary arrival transfer in Madrid).
- Meals and drinks not stated in the inclusions or itinerary.
Meet your hosts
Lisa is the founder of Big Heart Adventures and brings an extensive portfolio of personal adventure travel as well as boundless enthusiasm & proven expertise in travel planning. Lisa’s attention to detail and passion for curating unique experiences has allowed her to plan travel, adventures & holidays for an extensive demographic of clients over many years.
An experienced adventure traveller, having completed expeditions including the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, Inca Trail in Peru, Mt Kinabalu in Sabah, Overland Track in Tasmania, Milford and Routeburn Tracks in New Zealand to name a few, Lisa knows first-hand the challenges and amazing reward that exploring the outdoors adds to your life.
Amanda Panazzolo is originally from Adelaide though she has lived in Western Australia and for a short time in the UK. Travel is in her blood and she has shared many adventures with her husband and three children in Australia and throughout the world. She enjoys many styles of travel including hiking and camping though sometimes she also likes having access to a few extra luxuries and an art gallery or two.
A “jack of all trades” but most recently she was a secondary school tourism teacher and a graduate in Ecotourism studies. Travel has always been her first passion, walking and hiking were later additions to her list of hobbies. With her husband in tow, Amanda walked 400 km of the Frances route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in 2016 and then solo in 2017 for 700km of the same path. The Camino is a call to self and it has been calling her name for many years.