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Duration
15 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 14 nights in 2-4 star charming hotels
Meals
  • 11 Dinners
  • 1 Lunch
  • 14 Breakfasts

Price

$6890USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: CCT

Trip highlights


  • Sample local gastronomic delights including the famous 2 Michelin star Casa Marcial restaurant & 1 Michelin star restaurant A Tafona
  • Enjoy cooking demonstrations and samplings
  • Walk on the original pilgrimage route to Santiago through superb scenery
  • Explore the magnificent cities of Leon and Santiago with their impressive architecture and cathedrals.
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow food enthusiasts, walkers and pilgrims
  • Experience comfortable and welcoming hotels including two paradors (former palaces)

This unique approach to a classic pilgrimage route combines a passion for good food and produce, with the incredible history of the trail crossing northern Spain. With fully supported day walks on the best sections of the pilgrimage trail paths, including the original route from Oviedo, the essence of the pilgrimage is retained. The walking is combined with cooking demonstrations and numerous samplings of the local cuisine from the heart of Spanish modern cuisine in the Basque region to the small rural villages on the Camino, as the pilgrimage is commonly called. In the company of a local gastronomic expert, there will be many insights into the local culinary scene, two Michelin Star restaurant dining experiences.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival into Bilbao make your way to your hotel and check-in. At 2pm you will meet with your tour leader. Later we visit the impressive Guggenheim Museum before sitting down to our first special dinner, at a Txoko in the Casco Antigua (old quarter).

Meals:  D

We'll transfer from Bilbao to Huarte (2hrs) for a short walk to Pamplona (6km) where we'll enjoy a local coffee at Cafe Iruna and stroll through the old town. Lunch is at leisure in a well-known tapas district. Later we drive to Elciego (1hr) for a guided visit with wine-tasting at the renowned Marqués de Riscal Winery - great wines, spectacular surroundings and the chance to see another stunning creation by Gehry. Afterwards we'll transfer to Logroño (1hr) and our hotel. In the evening a local guide will introduce some historical background of the Camino and recommend some of the best spots for tapas. The choice is yours as to where to dine this evening, or optional tapas hop (payable locally). (6km/3.8mi, +100m/328ft, approx 1hr 15 mins)

Meals:  B

We travel deeper into La Rioja today. There's the option to visit the market before we transfer to Nájera (30mins), the former capital of La Rioja. Our walk from Nájera to Azofra, across a classic Riojan landscape of wheat fields, sunflowers and vineyards, will build your appetite for the anticipated dinner at Echaurren Tradición, famed for its exceptional interpretation of local Rioja cuisine. Before dinner we transfer to Santo Domingo de la Calzada and our hotel (the Parador), with time to visit the impressive cathedral and well known 15th century Gothic henhouse (yes there is still live poultry)! A short return transfer this evening takes us to Ezcaray for a stroll, aperitif (optional, not included) and dinner. (6.3km/3.9mi max, +70m/230ft, -50m/164ft)

Meals:  B,D

A short drive this morning (30mins) before we embark on a walking route close to San Millan de la Cogolla. Alternatively, you can ride on the bus to visit the monasteries of Yuso (Baroque, where Spanish was first written) and Suso (Romanesque). We will reach Burgos around midday (1.5hr transfer) and check into our hotel situated in an impressive 500 year old palace, before heading out for a traditional lunch at Ojeda Restaurant. After lunch there's free time to stroll around the historic centre, visit the fabulous Gothic cathedral where El Cid is buried, or visit the fascinating Museum of Human Evolution which is the display centre for the archaeological UNESCO Heritage site of Atapuerca. Dinner is at leisure, we suggest enjoying delicious tapas in the Old Quarter. (9km/5.6mi, +170m/558ft, -500m/1640ft)

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive to Leon (2hrs) where we’ll take a fascinating guided tour of the spectacular Basilica of San Isidro and the stunning cathedral, famous for its incredible stained glass windows. Following lunch in the tapas district (not included), we take a short walk along the Camino through part of the city before a driving (2hrs) into Asturias and the town of Cangas de Onis. To Spaniards, "Asturias" means rural, green, friendly, tasty and authentic. A place to relax, walk, swim and sample fresh products, straight from the garden, mountain meadows or the sea. Thanks to a relatively mild and humid climate, temperatures are pleasant, even in the height of summer, and the landscape is green year round. Rural Asturias is a patchwork of walled pastures, dense forests and farming villages, bordered by a magnificent coastline to the north and steep limestone massifs to the south. A rich cultural tradition, vibrant historical towns, pre-Romanesque churches and superb regional cooking combine to make travellers feel at home instantly. Overnight in a Parador (we stay for 2 nights). On clear days, from this historic building on the banks of the Sella River, there are distant views of the snowy summits in the Picos de Europa. (2.5km/1.6mi, flat)

Meals:  B

Today we will walk from the Parador to visit Cangas or have a short transfer to visit the Covadonga Lakes. The lakes are a short detour from the Camino but one of the main attractions in Asturias and a place of pilgrimage as well; the Sanctuary of Covadonga is on the way to the glacial Lakes. There are few different hikes we can take here. We return to our parador in the early afternoon then depart for Casa Marcial at around 6pm. If weather permits, we can visit the Mirador del Fitu before dinner, from where the whole oriental coast of Asturias and Picos de Europa can be seen. Dinner tonight is in the renowned Michelin 2 starred restaurant run by chef Nacho Manzano, Casa Marcial, situated in the nearby tiny village of La Salgar.

Meals:  B,D

This morning we drive to the coast to walk a picturesque section of the Camino Norte, between the towns of Ribadesella and Colunga. The views are quite spectacular as we walk from beach to beach along the limestone cliffs. After the walk we will drive to the regional capital Oviedo (30mins), where the original camino trail Camino Primitivo begins. Oviedo is a beautiful city, boasting Gothic cathedrals as well as pre Romanesque UNESCO World Heritage listed monuments. Explore the historical centre on foot and later, dinner will be tapas-style taken at a cider bar, with an opportunity to taste this special beverage. Accommodation is an iconic establishment in Asturias with over 200 years of history within its walls. (13km/8.2mi, ±200m/656ft)

Meals:  B,D

This morning we transfer via the UNESCO World Heritage site Santa Maria del Naranco to Salas (45mins), with its small museum of pre-Romanesque art in the Valdes Palace. We pick up lunch supplies before continuing to the start of our walk at El Pedregal (15mins). The trail takes us through beautiful countryside to reach the abandoned monastery of Obona, which was an important school and retreat for scholars in the Middle Ages. From here we transfer to Tineo (10mins) and our hotel, which dates from 1525 and is a typical example of 16th century Asturian "noble" architecture. (16km/10mi, +250m/820ft, -350m/1148ft)

Meals:  B,D

From Tineo we drive to La Mortera (20mins), from where we have a challenging ascent along one of the most famous stretches of the Camino. Our walk will take us along sections of the original high "ruta de los hospitales" and crosses steep slopes toward the mountain pass Puerto el Palo. Due to extreme winter weather, several pilgrims' hospitals were built on either side of this challenging mountain pass. Superb views will reward our walking efforts. If the weather is not clear we'll take the lower route, which passes tiny valley villages. From the pass or Pola Allende (weather dependent) we transfer to Courias (max 30mins), where we stay overnight in the newly renovated monastery, Parador de Corias. This evening, enjoy regional specialities at the renowned Nueva Allandesa. (12.4km/7.8mi, +600m/1968ft, -100m/328ft, 4.5 or 5hrs)

Meals:  B,D

This morning we transfer to Póboa de Burón (1hr 45mins), a small village formerly of monumental importance on the camino from Oviedo to Santiago. Our walking day is through an ancient section of the pilgrims’ trail, through fields and pine woods, and ends in Paradavella. We then transfer to our welcoming rural accommodation near Castroverde (35mins), where we stay for two nights. (12.3km/7.6mi, +450m/1476ft, -675m/2215ft)

Meals:  B,D

Today is a free day with several options: you can walk the Camino, rest at the accommodation or walk into Castroverde. A morning transfer to Paradavella (45mins) is available for those walking the Camino, and the route follows rural tracks through woodlands, with some short sections on the main road. In the afternoon, transfer from O Cádavo (30mins) back to our casa rural. After dinner, we’ll be treated to a unique tradition: the “queimada”, a ritual followed in preparing this tasty beverage of coffee infused with liqueur (the Galician speciality called “orujo”, an eau-de-vie distilled from grape skins after they’re crushed to make wine). Overnight Castroverde. (12km/7.5mi, +300m/984ft, -250m/820ft)

Meals:  B,D

Our last day of walking is a delight, as we enjoy the pastoral Galician countryside following quiet tarmac lanes and rural tracks from one hamlet to the next. Beautiful examples of traditional architecture such as the well-preserved 'pazos' and 'casas grandes', impressive buildings in stone and wood often turned into modern-day hotels. The walk today is in two sections. First from Castroverde to Gondar (8.7km) before driving to As Casa da Vina, then walking into Lugo and our centrally located hotel. In Lugo, the Camino Primitivo blends with the French Route. There's time to enjoy Lugo's impressive Roman Walls and outstanding tapas bars. A special evening is programmed with our expert guide at a classic restaurant right by the Roman Wall, with some of the best dishes of Galician gastronomy rejuvenated with the touch of the chef López (9km/5.7mi, +0m/ft, -100m/328ft)

Meals:  B,D

A treat for the senses today, with wine tasting in the Ribeira Sacra region. We'll have a short stop in the lovely town of Portomarin before continuing to our winery visit (just over 1hr drive). Here we'll have a short guided tour and tasting tasting followed by an informal picnic overlooking the Miño River. We later drive to our lovely pazo near Arzúa (1 hr), located on the Camino de Santiago and not far from Santiago de Compostela, which gives us easy access to the city tomorrow morning. Dinner tonight is at one of the classic pulperías on the nearby town of Melide where the traditional dish “pulpo a feira” (Galician-style octopus) is served, among other local delicacies enjoyed with local white wine.

Meals:  B,D

Time and weather permitting, today we walk from Lavacolla or Monte do Gozo, joining other joyful pilgrims as we approach St James Cathedral. On arrival in Santiago we treat you to a drink and tapa at a lovely and popular bar by the Cathedral to celebrate having reached our destination. There's free time afterwards to explore the city before we meet for a scrumptious farewell dinner at one of Santiago’s highly-acclaimed restaurants serving cutting edge innovative cuisine based on traditional products. The perfect way to complete the tour (8km/5mi, +300m/984ft, 2hrs)

Meals:  B,D

Farewell your fellow travellers and the trip concludes after breakfast. We recommend staying an extra day in Santiago as there are many things to do in this fabulous city - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • Tour escort throughout and local gastronomic experts at points through the trip
  • 14 nights accommodation at carefully selected hotels and paradors (twin share basis) including all breakfasts (continental style)
  • 4 very special gourmet dinners: Txobo in Bilbao (day 1*), Restaurant Echaurren Tradición (day 3*), Casa Marcial in Arriondas (day 6, wine not included) and A Tafona in Santiago de Compostela (day 14*) - with matched wines included on 3 nights*
  • 4 authentic meals featuring regional cuisine: lunch: Roasted lamb Castilian style at Ojeda Restaurant Burgos (day 4), dinners: Tapas Asturian style at an authentic cider house in Oviedo (day 7), at the Parador in Corias (day 9), restaurant in Lugo (day 12)
  • 4 dinners featuring home cooking (3 course set menu served at your accommodation) in: Palacio de Meras (Day 8) near Castroverde (day 10 & 11) and classic Galician cooking (day 13)
  • Guided visits: Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (day 1), Logrono (day 2), Marqués de Riscal Winery (day 3), Cathedral and Panteón in León (day 5), Oviedo Historical Centre (day 6), Lugo (day 12, with your tour leader) and Winery in the Ribeira Sacra (day 13)
  • Winery visits with tastings: Marqués de Riscal (day 3) and Ribeira Sacra (day 13)
  • Guided or self guided walks as per the program
  • All transfers according to program

  • Travel to Bilbao and from Santiago de Compostela
  • Meals and drinks not listed as included: Lunches except on day 4, 3 dinners (day 2, 4, 5) and drinks
  • No drinks are included at the Michelin 2 star restaurant Casa Marcial in Arriondas (dinner on day 6) - wine pairing costs EUR45 pp (subject to change), however good wines at reasonable prices are available by the bottle - allow EUR20pp
  • Travel insurance
  • A supplement applies if you book a single room
  • Arrival and departure transfers - available on request (supplement applies)
  • Extra nights before or after the trip - please ask for our rates
  • Storage of luggage
  • Tips - allow EUR 2-5 per evening meal, EUR50-80 for the guide and EUR40-50 for the driver.
  • Items of a personal nature

Accommodation


Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2 This is a leisurely paced guided walk with average daily stages of 3.5 to 7 hours. The trip is graded introductory to moderate as it is mainly on well defined trails, with a few off path sections only. There are many ups and downs and walking poles are definitely a good idea. A reasonable level of fitness is required to complete all the walks. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure. As the trip is fully supported there is the option to skip some of the walks and ride with the support vehicle.


Departure dates


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Priceper person from

$6890USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$910
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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