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Duration
20 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 19 nights in a combination of quality hotels & farmhouse B&Bs
Meals
  • 17 Dinners
  • 19 Breakfasts

Price

$2390USD

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Overview

Trip Code: CRL

Trip highlights


  • Walk through stunning scenery, visiting mountain villages
  • Experience the history of the trail marked by crosses, statues and grain silos
  • Arrival into Santiago and experience the satisfaction of reaching the end of the ‘Camino’
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Explore the magnificent cities of Leon and Santiago with their impressive architecture and cathedrals.

This last stage of the Camino pilgrimage route offers a fine balance of walks in spectacular natural settings with visits to inspiring cultural sites including the magnificent cathedral city of Leon. En route there are numerous reminders of the pilgrims past who travelled the route including crosses, statues and grain silos. In the valley of Ponferrada, O Cebreiro welcomes you to the gates of Galicia and leads you to the fabled Santiago de Compostela. Shorter 15 and 16 day versions are also available.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Leon is one of the most historic towns of Old Castile, a large province bordered by Galicia, Asturias, Palencia and Zamora. There is evidence of Roman occupation as well as the Moors; however it was the knights of Templar who built the castles and fortifications in the middle Ages. Ensure you take the time to visit the old city. One of Leon’s glories is without doubt the Cathedral. Constructed from the 13th Century for a period of 200 years the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro houses an impressive collection of early manuscripts. The Town Walls are of Roman and medieval construction. Overnight Leon.

Meals:  D

This morning there will be a short transfer to Chozas de Abajo just beyond León. You will pass through some small villages so you will be able to pick refreshments up along the way before arriving in the peaceful camino friendly village of Villar de Mazarife. As you progress, the landscape gradually changes with mountains appearing on the horizon. Walking across a fabulous stone bridge you will reach Le pont de Hospital de Orbigo probably one of the most famous buildings along the way. Overnight Hospital de Orbigo. Distance: 18.1km

Meals:  B,D

Todays walk will take you by the Santo Toribio stone cross near San Justo de la Vega. At this point you will see Astorga in the distant valley. Arriving into the town of Astorga after a short ascent, you can appreciate the medieval centre and historic buildings. Distance 17km/10.5mi

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is a steady climb to Rabanal Del Camino so we recommend that you start early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Walk through the village and follow the tree lined pavements before passing a polar grove and the River Jerga arriving at Murias de Rechivaldo. You will walk through the village of Santa Catalina de Somoza and onto El Ganso. The landscape will change into densely populated oak trees, heather and conifers as you ascend 'los Montes de Leon' before reaching Rabanal Del Camino (1200m), a charming mountain village. Distance 19km/11.8mi

Meals:  B,D

Passing through broom, heather and other plant species you will continue your ascent to the famous 'Mount Irago'. Passing by a coniferous forest you will come to Cruz de Ferro (1490m) and the Hermitage of Santiago. From Manjarin you will be able to see the valley floor and the Leon Mountains. A descent into the Ponferrada Valley will take you into the quaint village of Acebo for your overnight stay. Distance 16km/10mi

Meals:  B

Head through Molinaseca with its slate roofs and wooden balconies on your way to Ponferrada. Today is a relatively easy day as you continue across the Valley of Ponferrada. Distance 15.5km/9.6mi

Meals:  B,D

You will see the Templar castle before walking through a well-watered valley to Cacabelos. The region of Bierzo where Cacabelos is situated, is in a low lying area whose agreeable climate allows for the cultivation of many fruits and vegetables. Distance 15.5km/9.6mi

Meals:  B,D

Starting from Cacabelos you will hike to Villafranca del Bierzo. This is the last important town you will pass through on your Pilgrims journey. On the outskirts of the village you will find the 12th-century Romanesque church of Santiago. In early days pilgrims who could not make it all the way to Santiago were given the jubilee blessing here. Continue through here to Trabadelo for your overnight stay. Distance 17km/10.5mi

Meals:  B,D

Your final day in the El Bierzo area is one of the most beautiful and the most challenging. The route passes through woodlands of chestnuts, conifers, oaks, heather and bracken. You will pass through the narrow valley of the River Valcarce before tackling the challenging ascent of O Cebreiro (1300m/4265ft), situated between the ranges of Los Ancares and La Sierra do Courel. Distance 20.5km/12.7mi

Meals:  B,D

The day begins with an ascent through the pine covered slopes of Monte Poso e Areas before joining the track in the direction of Linares. You will walk through forested areas before arriving at Padornelo where you can fill your water bottles at the fountain. After the village of Fonfria the trail passes through birch forest which takes you to Biduedo, from where you descend to Triacastela. Distance 21km/13mi

Meals:  B,D

Continue on to Samos where you will have the opportunity to visit its impressive monastery which is one of the oldest in Spain. Distance 9km/5.5mi

Meals:  B,D

Samos has as its centrepiece an enormous monastery, it is one of the largest and oldest monasteries dating back to the 6th century. From here pass through Cruce and Sarria to Barbadelo following a winding path between the river and railway to cross a stream. Distance 17.5km/10.8mi

Meals:  B,D

You are now experiencing rural Galicia at its best following a well worn path along granite stepping stones and narrow laneways to stay above the flood prone area below. Gently climb to Ferrieros and Vilacha before descending steeply to the bridge spanning the Miño river. Overnight in Portomarin. Distance 16.5km/10.2mi

Meals:  B,D

The route takes you through the brooms with their magnificent fragrance. Along the path you will pass charming hamlets and calvaries. Over this stage you will pass through Ventas de Naron where you can fill your water bottles, over the gentle Sierra de Ligonde, then downhill through Previsa, Lameiros and Ligonde where will find a church dedicated to the apostle St James. Emperor Charles V stayed here in the modest village of Ligonde, on the 24th of March 1520. Overnight in Lestedo Distance 19.6km/12mi

Meals:  B,D

Today you will walk on a quiet country road, passing a 17th Century Wayside Cross en route. Continue through Palas de Rei and other small villages until you arrive at today’s destination, the hamlet of Coto. Distance 13km/8mi

Meals:  B,D

Crossing over the River Seco on the Magdalena Bridge you will reach Furelos and pass through the township of Melide, which is one of the larger towns along the Galician section of the Compostela Trail. We recommend you try the local speciality of ‘Pulpa a feira’, octopus usually served boiled and cooked with red pepper and paprika. Continue to Castañeda, where you will overnight. Distance 12km/7.5mi

Meals:  B,D

The terrain becomes much easier today as you walk through forests full of Eucalyptus trees. You will be able to stop at one of many villages for lunch. Today you will walk through Arzúa in the province of La Coruña, before continuing to Salceda. Distance 21km/13mi

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is lovely, as you again pass eucalyptus trees, large green fields and rural landscapes on your way to Lavacolla. Distance 18km/11mi

Meals:  B,D

Today you will pass many ancient sites including monuments, chapels and bridges – all have a story to tell. Follow country lanes and forest paths through increasingly populated countryside. The last day on the trail is always a special one. Continue downhill to the city. In historic Santiago de Compostela there is plenty to see and do – or you can simply relax and celebrate the end of your journey. Dinner is not included tonight so you can try one of the many restaurants in town. Distance 10km/6mi

Meals:  B

Your trip arrangements end after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 19 breakfasts, 17 dinners (no dinners in El Acebo or Santiago): Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by chicken, red meat, fish or a pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 19 nights in a combination of quality hotels, farmhouse B&B’s (Posadas) and guesthouses on a twin share basis generally with private facilities. Optional upgrade in Santiago available: to a superior hotel or to the Parador - additional cost applies.
  • Information pack including route notes & guidebook per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag of 20kg max pp - additional bags and excess weight will attract a surcharge)
  • Visitor tax
  • Pilgrim's Passport
  • Transfer to Chozas de Abajo on day 2

  • Travel to Leon and from Santiago de Compostela
  • Drinks, lunches and dinner in El Acebo and Santiago
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • excess baggage charges - please advise us if you will have more than one bag weighing a max of 20kgs as extra charges will apply for additional pieces of luggage. Please do not tie smaller bags onto your main luggage as we only include one bag and they will be charged as an extra bag. Charges will be higher if not paid when final balance for your trip is due.

Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE - GRADE 2 Daily walks are between 9-21km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to mountainous. This is a well worn path where route finding will be reasonably straight forward (refer below for further details on self guided adventures). The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns and cities. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates

Daily

Notes

DN1
Departures from November to February are likely to experience wetter and colder conditions than at other times with snow possible. Winter can be a magical time to experience the Camino with fewer people and more local encounters, but the walking day is shorter. In addition, hotel closures are possible which may require a change in overnight towns.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Fisterra Day Trip - 09:10 to 18:30 (operates daily from 15 Apr to 31 Oct)USD$50
  • excess luggage (per piece, max 20kg in weight)USD$210
  • single supplementUSD$660
  • single traveller surchargeUSD$770
*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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Walking the Camino de Santiago with UTracks

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