Introduction to Santiago de Compostela and the Way of Saint James
There is a tradition that pilgrims who were not able to travel to the Holy Land would choose instead to go to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Santiago de Compostela has been a focal point of European pilgrimage for over a thousand years and still has an enormous attraction for all kinds of people who may not necessarily have Christian convictions at all. Pilgrims embark on this adventure to discover themselves and others along the way and Compostela is the final chapter of the story. Ideally this is a destination for those who wish to walk long at least some of the Camino (Way) but since this is not possible for everyone, we offer you the chance to use modern transport to reach the main destination and then to explore the place at greater leisure.
We are suggesting three ways of visiting Santiago de Compostela: -
In the Footsteps of St James
Fly to Madrid or Bilbao and follow the Camino from Burgos to Compostela by bus and on foot. It is entirely up to you how much walking you would like to undertake each day. Please see below for our suggested 8 day itinerary.
Compostela to Montserrat
Fly to Santiago de Compostela and travel by coach across the North of Spain stopping en route at Valladolid, Salamanca, Avila, Toledo, Zaragoza, Montserrat and fly home from Barcelona. Please see below for our suggested 8 day itinerary.
The Compostela Weekend
fly to Santiago de Compostela for a long weekend (Thursday to Sunday) and, apart from an initial guided tour on your first day, you are free to explore at your own pace.
We are also happy to provide tailor made tours for groups wishing to devise their own routes to any cities within Spain.
This tour is available for groups of 15 or more pilgrims
Please contact us directly for further details
In the Footsteps of St. James
This programme gives you the opportunity of following the Pilgrims Way partially on foot to appreciate the spirit of the Pilgrimage. For those for whom this level of walking would be a problem there is always the option of staying on the coach. The Apostle, St. James the Great, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother or St. John the Gospel Writer, was born near Nazareth and was nick-named "Son of Thunder" by Jesus, because of his impulsive and passionate nature. St. James made the journey from Palestine to Spain, where he carried out his preaching mission. When he returned to Palestine he was beheaded as an example to the Christian community there. Thus he became one of the first martyrs of the Church and his body was taken back to Galicia for burial. By the year 820 the remains of St. James were found and news of the discovery spread throughout the community of believers and the Christian communities of the West. And so began the tradition of pilgrimages to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela.
London / Madrid Burgos
Fly to Madrid or Bilbao where you coach and guide will meet you. Transfer by coach to Burgos for check in, dinner and overnight stay.
Burgos / Carrion de los Condes
After breakfast visit the famous gothic cathedral and other sites of interest. Proceed by coach to Castojeriz and Fromista and then on to Villalcazar de Sirga and Carrion de los Condes. You will walk between Hontanas and Castojeriz (about 1 1/2 hours). Dinner and overnight stay at Carrion de los Condes.
Carrion de los Condes / Leon
After breakfast drive to Bustillo and walk to Calzadilla de la Cuesta (about 2 hours). Continue to Sahagun and Leon. In the afternoon visit the gothic cathedral and the Romanesque collegiate church of San Isidora. Dinner and overnight stay at Leon.
Leon / Villafranca
After breakfast, drive through Hospital de Orbigo, Astorga, Foncebadon to Ponferrada. Continue to Villafranca where there will be a city tour. Dinner and overnight stay in Villafranca.
Villafranca / Portomarin
After breakfast, driver to O'Cebreiro and then on to Samos where we visit the monaster. Continue to Sarria and Mouzos. We walk to Portomarin (about 4 hours). Dinner and overnight stay in Portomarin.
Portomarin / Santiago
After breakfast we visit the Nicolos church and then proceed by coach to Palais de Rei and Melide. Proceed on foot to Boente (about 1 1/2 hours). Carry on by coach through Arzua to Santiago, the final stage of our pilgrimage and the town of the Apostle James. Dinner and overnight stay at Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast there is a half-day guided tour of the city beginning at the famous Plaza del Obradoiro. The afternoon is free. Dinner and overnight stay in Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela / London
After breakfast transfer to the airport for return flight to London.
Compostela to Montserrat
London / Santiago de Compostela Fly from London to Santiago de Compostela. Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel in Santiago de Compostela for check in, dinner and overnight stay.
Santiago de Compostela After Breakfast you will have a half day city tour, starting at the famous Plaz del Obradoiro and incuding the Cathedral, visiting the famous 12th century Portico de la Gloria. Walk through the typical stone arched streets. "The whole town in itself is a monument." The afternoon is free for you to explore and enjoy Santiago de Compostela at your own pace. Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Compostela.
Oseira / Orense / Valladolid After breakfast drive to Oseira to visit the magnificent monastery, then on to Orense with its three important sites: the Cathedral, the Roman Bridge and the Hot Springs. In the afternoon drive through Allariz and Verin to Pueble de Sanabria and on to Valladolid. Dinner and overnight stay at Valladolid.
Valladolid / Salamanca After breakfast you will have a guided tour of the city, including the cathedral, before leaving for Salamanca. Tour of the city with its university gothic churches and Roman bridge. Dinner and overnight at Salamanca.
Avila / Toldeo After breakfast Drive to Alba de Tormes, the town where St. Teresa died in 1582, with a brief visit to the tomb. Proceed to Avila where you will visit the Cathedral and the convent of Discalced Carmelites, which was founded by St. Teresa. In the afternoon we drive to Toledo, the former capital of Spain. Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Toledo.
Toledo After breakfast we visit the Gothic Cathedral. The former Synagogues El Transito and Santa Maria la Blanca represent the rich former Jewish life in Toledo. San Juan de los Reyes monastery is a typical Gothic building and the Chapel St. Tome houses one of the most important pictures of El Greco. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Toledo.
Toledo / Guadalajara / Zaragoza
After breakfast drive to via Guadalajara to Siguenza, one of the most beautiful Spanish villages with its castle built over a Roman settlement and nowadays housing a Parador. Continue to Santa Maria de Huerta and Calatayud and on to Zaragoza. In the afternoon visit majestic Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin El Pilar. Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Zaragoza.
Zaragoza / Montserrat / Barcelona After breakfast we drive to Lleida and on to the Sanctury on the Mount of Montserrat. We spend time visiting the shrine of the Virgin, patroness of Catalonia, before continuing to Barcelona. Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Barcelona.
After breakfast we have a half day guided sight-seeing in Barcelona, including the old city, Port and Columbus Monument, the Gothic Quarter and Cathedral and the "Segrada Familia" Cathedral designed by Gaudi. The afternoon is free for personal sightseeing with time to explore the famous "Ramblas". Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel at Barcelona.
Barcelona / London Check out of your hotel and transfer to Barcelona Airport for your return flight to London.