The Pilgrims' Trail to Santiago de Compostela is one of the great historical 'long distance foot paths' through Europe. According to legend, it all began in the 9th century when the bones of the apostle St. James, murdered in Palestine, miraculously appeared in a village in what is now Galicia. Word spread round the Christian world, reaching (among others) King Alfonso II of Asturias. He undertook the pilgrimage - journeying through dark woods and daunting mountains, from Oviedo via Lugo to Santiago - and invited fellow kings and nobleman to follow in his footsteps. This 'original' route became very popular in the early Middle Ages, when areas south of the Cantabrian Range were continuously at war. Walked by millions of 'peregrinos' over the centuries, the walk reveals the beautiful natural settings, captivating historical monuments, gorgeous rural farmland and authentically friendly villages of Northern Spain. Near Lugo, the 'Camino Primitivo' joins the more popular French route. In the company of an expert guide we have the option to walk the last few kilometres, to enter the city of Santiago de Compostela on foot.
DAY 1 Arrive Oviedo DAY 2 Walk through the Asturian countryside and transfer to Cornella Monastery and our castle hotel in Salas (5.5hrs) DAY 3 Walk to Tineo, visit monastery of Obona and continue to Villaluz (5.5-6hrs) DAY 4 Transfer to Borres following the original high "ruta de los hospitales" and transfer to Pola de Allande (5.5hrs) DAY 5 Descend to village of Villapedre and cross lake of Salime to our hotel (5hrs) DAY 6 Transfer to Galicia & walk across high pastures & heather fields to Paradavella (6hrs) DAY 7 Follow quiet lanes past traditional buildings to Gondar, transfer to Lugo, where the Camino Primitivo meets the classic French route (6.5hrs) DAY 8 Drive to Monto del Gozo for our first sight of Santiago, walk with other pilgrims to the St James Cathedral (1hr) DAY 9 Trip concludes
*8 breakfasts, 8 dinners *8 nights 2-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities *English speaking driver / guide throughout, walking largely self guided with maps and notes supplied *internal group transfers by private vehicle