Our Worry-Free Booking GuaranteeBook your 2022 travel with peace of mindLearn More
Duration
18 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • hotels and village pensions
Meals
  • 9 Dinners
  • 16 Breakfasts

Price

$2199USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

Covid-19 safety measures
We've initiated extra cleaning and hygiene protocols on all trips

Plan with confidence
Our worry-free guarantee supports your 2021 travel plans so if it doesn’t work out, you don’t lose out

Outdoor walking and cycling trails
Social distancing comes naturally when exploring Europe’s countryside

Support and assurance
Our global team of travel experts are here to support you, with your well being our priority

Self guided trips
Take control of your social distancing on our self guided trips


 
 

Overview

Trip Code: UPF

Trip highlights


  • Walking on the original Camino trail between Oviedo and Santiago de Compostela
  • Experiencing the real pilgrim feeling by getting completely off the beaten track
  • Visiting and staying in authentic villages with intimate testimonies of true devotion
  • Discovering vast and impressive landscapes, which are green and lush throughout the year

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, beheaded 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 - travelling 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' Camino 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, this self-guided walk reveals the beautiful natural settings, captivating historical monuments, gorgeous rural farmland and authentically friendly villages of northern Spain. In Melide, the 'Camino Primitivo' joins the more popular French route, where the noticeably busier trail leads to Santiago de Compostela.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. If you arrive early in the afternoon, we recommend visiting the Gothic Cathedral devoted to San Salvador, the historic holy site where the Camino begins. This evening you can enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere, and explore the charming lanes in the old town and traditional cider houses around the corner from your comfortable hotel.

Meals:  Nil

Starting from the cathedral, follow the Camino shells through the city centre into the green Asturian countryside. Quiet lanes and ancient footpaths take you past peaceful villages, some with historic pilgrims’ hostels and inns. From Puerma you will follow the main road to Grado, from where there's a short transfer to your charming rural hotel. Overnight in Sama de Grado. 250m/820ft ascent, 375m/1280ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

Transfer back to Grado this morning. On the first part of today's walk you'll follow narrow trails and country roads through hilly countryside directly to the Cornellana Monastery. Founded in 1024, the monastery was of great religious and political importance throughout the early history of the Christian kingdom in Asturias. On the latter part of the route from Cornellana to Salas, you'll need to take a few detours, as the motorway is still under construction here. Tonight you'll stay overnight in Salas at a hotel located in the historical town centre, near the castle and museum of Pre-Romanesque architecture. 425m/1394ft ascent, 350m/1148ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

After a short ascent through beautiful terrain in the fields outside Salas, you will again follow the main road for about 5km. From La Espina you'll leave the main road behind, continuing to Tineo through quiet woodlands and fields, following quiet country trails. You'll find your accommodation for the night in Tineo's historical centre. 575m/1886ft ascent, 300m/984ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

This morning you will walk through woodlands to reach the peaceful town of Obona, with its historic Monastery of Santa María la Real. After exploring the monastery, continue to Campiello, where you will stay overnight in a welcoming family run establishment. 500m/1640ft ascent, 300m/984ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast a transfer takes you to the village of Borres (or further along to La Mortera), to begin your walk along the original high route (“ruta de los hospitales”). You'll cross steep slopes to reach Puerto el Palo, where several pilgrims’ 'hospitals' were built centuries ago - on either side of the mountain pass - to provide shelter for pilgrims from the harsh winter weather conditions. Enjoy superb views on your way up to the highest point on the pass, “Puerto El Palo”, before continuing for another couple of hours (approx 9.5km), mainly on the road, to reach your hostel in Berducedo. 520m/1706ft ascent, 450m/1476ft descent or 615m/2017ft ascent and 450m/1476ft descent.

Meals:  B

From the tiny village of Berducedo, the day starts with an ascent to the windmills above La Mesa before a steep descent takes you to Lake Salime. You’ll enjoy superb views for the first 5km, then the lovely shade of chestnut trees as you walk down to meet the road. The last few kilometres follow the tarmac road across the dam and then up to your hotel in Grandas de Salime. 330m/1082ft ascent, 970m/3182ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

After a week on the Camino, you can take the day off and relax. Or if you prefer to keep walking, you have two options. You can walk into the village of Grandas de Salime to visit the ethnographic museum or take a dive in the local swimming pool (swimming cap required). Or walk a 5km/3.2mi section on the Camino to reach the village of Castro where you can visit Chao Sanmartin, an interesting archaeological site of mixed Celtic and Roman origin, and take a taxi back to the hotel. 310m/1017ft ascent, 20m/65ft descent

Meals:  B,D

A morning transfer takes you to the village of Castro to continue your Camino. The walk today follows, more or less, the main road to Puerto El Acebo (1165m), gateway to the province of Galicia. You walk mostly on the main road, taking frequent shortcuts. At the end, there’s a short ascent to reach the town of Fonsagrada, not the prettiest of villages but it's friendly in its own way, and has all of the major services you might require. Overnight Fonsagrada. 530m/1739ft ascent, 225m/738ft descent.

Meals:  B

From Fonsagrada you will descend to the village of Póboa de Burón. Here you will join the oldest Camino Primitivo trail, a high route across green pastures and fields of heather on the way to the ruins at Hospital de Montouto, another ancient pilgrims' hospital. After an easy descent to Paradavella, transfer back to Fonsagrada (as there is no other suitable accommodation nearby) and your hotel. 400m/1312ft ascent, 650m/2132ft descent.

Meals:  B

After breakfast a transfer takes you back to Paradavella (or a little further) to continue your walk. Today's route is mainly along rural tracks, taking you through wooded areas and open fields, with only some short sections on the main road. After O Cádavo, you walk through Villabade, which has an interesting church, before finally reaching Castroverde. 400m/1312ft ascent, 475m/1558ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

Today you can enjoy the green beauty of the Galician countryside, as you walk on quiet tarmac lanes and dirt tracks from one hamlet to the next, passing gorgeous examples of traditional architecture. Continue to Lugo and your modern hotel in the heart of the historical centre, just 100m from the splendid Roman walls, a UNESCO World heritage site. Overnight Lugo. 150m/492ft ascent, 250m/820ft descent.

Meals:  B

From Lugo onward, several Caminos come together to join the main French Route (Camino Francés). Today you have a long walk to reach the next accommodation, situated in Ferreira. The first 20km until O Burgo are almost all paved but mainly uphill - or you can hire a taxi in Lugo to shorten this stage. 200m/656ft ascent, 200m/656ft descent. NOTE: to receive your Compostela you will need to walk the full route from Lugo, as it is 100km to Santiago. If you book a taxi transfer to shorten the stage you will not qualify for the Compostela.

Meals:  B

Today's stage is shorter than yesterday's, however it starts and continues uphill until O Requián. Then there is another climb until Monte da Feira. From here the route is a piece of cake to Melide! 280m/918ft ascent, 350m/1148ft descent

Meals:  B,D

Walking from Melide, you have now joined the French Route, or Camino Francés, which is the most popular of all the Camino variants to Santiago. You will find yourself among a multitude of pilgrims from all over the world, as you follow trails, country roads and footpaths parallel to the main road. Your accommodation for this evening is located just outside the village of Arzúa. 150m/492ft ascent, 200m/656ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

This section of the Camino is one of the least interesting, as it basically parallels the main road, but there are lots of people you'll meet along the way. The excitement shared with fellow pilgrims grows, combined with mixed feelings of soon facing the end of your pilgrimage! Overnight stay at the best available 2 star hotel, with friendly owners. 200m/658ft ascent, 225m/738ft descent.

Meals:  B

The last day on the trail is always a special one. Today's walk brings you back to modern life, as you pass the regional airport, cross the highway, railway track and ring road around Santiago. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing experience to catch a first glimpse of Santiago and the cathedral spires in the distance, like so many pilgrims before you. From Monte del Gozo, pilgrims historically made one last stop at the spring in Lavacolla, to wash their face and feet before presenting themselves before the Saint at the Cathedral on Plaza del Obradoiro. On arrival in the fabled Santiago de Compostela there is plenty to see and do – or you can simply relax and celebrate the end of the journey. Dinner is not included tonight so you can try one of the many restaurants in town. Overnight in Santiago. 175m/574ft ascent, 175m/574ft descent

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast in Santiago de Compostela. If you'd like to stay longer to further explore this interesting city, we can assist with extra nights accommodation - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  Nil


Inclusions

  • 15 breakfasts, 9 dinners: 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
  • 17 nights in a mix of 3-4 star city and comfortable rural hotels and village pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (one per room booked)
  • Luggage transfer (max 20kgs per person)
  • Emergency hotline
  • Transfers as described (days 2, 3, 6, 9, 11)

  • Travel to Oviedo and from Santiago
  • Drinks and lunches daily, 6 dinners
  • Items of a personal nature including laundry, phone calls, etc
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Transfers not noted as included

Grading

moderate to challenging  

The walking is graded moderate to challenging (4). Daily walks are between 4.5 to 7.5 hours on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to mountainous. There are a few off-path sections. There are many ups and downs and walking poles are definitely a good idea. A good to excellent level of fitness is required. 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, three to four times a week for three months prior to your departure. It is also recommended to do some bush walking, and multi day walks (ie. Saturday and Sunday) in preparation for your trip.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
This tour will entitle you to the Compostela as you will walk the required 100km to from Lugo into Santiago.
DN2
High season is from 21 Jun to 9 Sep - supplement applies.

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

$2199USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$690
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$1050
*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. 

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips