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Duration
11 days
Activities
  • Walking
  • Writing workshops
Accommodation
  • 10 nights hotels and guesthouses
Meals
  • 10 Dinners
  • 10 Breakfasts

Price

$2590USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: SDDD

Trip highlights


  • Accompanied by award-winning journalist, author and veteran Camino pilgrim, Dr Stephanie Dale
  • Deepen your experience of the journey through guided writing sessions – new writers welcome!
  • Galicia! Walk and write the final stages of one of the world’s most iconic pilgrimages
  • Amplify your pilgrim experience by exploring life’s great themes
  • Eat delicious local meals prepared especially for you at the end of each day
  • Sleep soundly in ancient farmhouses and castles, renovated for warmth and comfort
  • Relish the freedom of having your luggage transported for you
  • Enjoy the camaraderie of walking-writing pilgrim buddies
  • Enter one of Spain’s great cities in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims who have walked this way before you
  • Wander through time as history parades before you: landscapes, architecture, cultural heritage

“When you are in a car, beautiful places are a moment,

when you stop the car they are a cluster of moments;

when you walk, beautiful places are an eternity carved into the soul.”

Dr Stephanie Dale, author My Pilgrim’s Heart

Walk & Write Camino will lead you through the final 9 days of Spain’s famous Camino pilgrimage. We will be walking and writing our way through gorgeous Galicia, from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. Throughout the journey you will keep good company with a merry band of pilgrims: wandering the lush countryside, calling by out-of-the-way cafes, feasting on local cuisine, as we literally ‘write our way home’.

The Camino pilgrimage in northern Spain is one of the world’s great walking experiences. We will be walking the final 110km of the Camino, from the ancient township of Sarria to Santiago de Compostela’s fabled cathedral. The cathedral is the site of the tomb of St James, and home to an astonishing incense ritual known as the Botafumeiro. Along the way we will collect stamps in our pilgrim passports, receiving the official Compostela pilgrimage certificate at our journey’s end. Our daily pace is relaxed, walking 10 - 18 km a day. We’ll be staying in fabulous handpicked hotels and guesthouses, including a renovated 300-year-old farmhouse, a castle and a convent. This journey delivers a wonderful sense of appreciation for the historic significance of the trail.

This specially crafted trip includes a series of writing sessions, held in villages, forests and ancient ruins. At certain junctures along the way, such as gentle streams, afternoon cafes and iconic village squares, we will stop, rest and write. The relaxed pace of walking each day ensures there is plenty of time for writing and reflection. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind this is a walking trip. You will need to have good basic fitness to enjoy this journey.

You do not have to ‘be’ a writer to love every moment of your Walk & Write experience. Everyone drawn to the pilgrim experience seeks to explore life’s themes. On our Walk & Write journey, most people will want to record their pilgrimage in some way. Some people will have a writing project buried deep in their heart but have no idea how to begin. This journey will help you tap that dormant idea. Some know what they want to write - this journey will meet your writing needs as you take a break from everyday life.

as a new or experienced writer, on this trip you will

• gently explore life’s great themes

• experience writing as a tool for everyday good health and wellbeing

• clarify your writing direction

• rest in productive time out, as you tune into the rhythms of the world around you and discover your writing voice

• engage in quiet purpose as you wander the beautiful trails of Spain’s northern interior

• receive writing guidance, encouragement and support throughout the journey

• enjoy opportunities for 1-1 personal writing guidance sessions.

Dr Stephanie Dale is a specialist writing guide. She is experienced in supporting new writers as they start their writing journey, as well as skilled in assisting writers expand and develop their writing voice. Whether you want to blog your journey, write interesting letters home, use writing as a pathway to everyday wellbeing, share fabulous social media updates, take notes for a novel, unlock your inner writer or break through writers’ block - this journey will meet your writing needs. Walk & Write will encourage you to sit quietly, patiently, like the hunters of old, tuning your senses to the rhythms of life around you. You will rest and reflect. You will discover words of originality and beauty. You will find new ways of incorporating writing into your everyday life. You will be offered support to write your story, your way.

takeaways include

• a real time record of your Camino adventure

• inspired writing direction

• gentle exploration of life’s great themes

• writing confidence!

• writing as a pathway to everyday good health and wellbeing

• notes for future writing projects

• lifelong friendships

• enthusiasm to do it again!

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Our pilgrimage begins in the medieval township of Sarria, with its ancient steps and stones, iconic churches and modern cafes. On arrival in Sarria you will make your way to the hotel. (Please contact our team about a possible group transfer from Madrid or Santiago). From medieval times to the present day, Sarria has long been a meeting place for pilgrims. This atmosphere can be experienced in the Old Quarter, which is located on a hilltop offering wonderful views of the region and the river running either side. We will spend our first evening greeting our fellow pilgrims over dinner. Your walking writing journey begins in the morning.

Meals:  D

Let the pilgrimage begin! We leave Sarria through the Old Quarter, paying our respects to the 13th century Convento de la Magdalena on the way. We spend our first day wandering tree-lined pathways, roads and gravel tracks, passing through a string of small hamlets en route to Morgade, where we will spend the night. On the morning of Day 2 we will experience our first writing workshop, and set our pilgrim theme for the day. This workshop will clarify your writing purpose and set your walking, writing pilgrim intentions for the journey ahead. If you have no idea about your writing purpose, don’t worry! Through a short series of specially-crafted exercises, we’ll find it.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast this morning we set our pilgrim walking writing intentions and wander on to the stunning historic township of Portomarin, the village ‘above and below water’. Our day will lead us through hamlets, grazing pastures and woodlands, offering us sightings of the alluring Iberian ‘horreos’, the raised stone or wood granaries distinctive to the region. Today is relatively easy walking until the descent, where we cross the Dam of Portomarin. From the dam we can see the ruins of the ancient flooded village, the town below water, as we climb to our accommodations in the town above water. Writing: Over the next 7 days Stephanie will conduct a string of formal and informal writing sessions, designed to focus our pilgrimage intentions and generate innovative writing experiences. Along the way we will gather spontaneously in cafes, village squares, hilltops and forest glades, to write in common purpose. There will be ongoing support and guidance available from Stephanie as we wander Camino, as well as regular group conversations over dinner to share our daily walking and writing experiences. Stephanie will make a point of offering at least one 1-1 writing session for each pilgrim sharing this journey.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s pilgrim route takes us through ‘the brooms’, curious Spanish plants renowned for their magnificent fragrance. We will pass through hamlets and wonder at calvaries (outdoor crosses). During this stage of our journey we will fill our water bottles at Ventas de Naron before wandering over the gentle Sierra de Ligonde, then making our way downhill through Previsa, Lameiros and Ligonde, with its church dedicated to the apostle St James. Emperor Charles V stayed in the modest village of Ligonde on pilgrimage in 1520. We will meet in Ligonde at an appointed time for transfer to our hotel in Lestedo.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast on Day 5 we will transfer to Ligonde, and pick up our walk from where we left off yesterday. We will traverse country roads, stopping to marvel at the mossy beauty of a 17th Century Wayside Cross. We will pass through Palas de Rei and other small villages before arriving at the hamlet of Coto. From Coto we will transfer to Palas for our overnight accommodation.

Meals:  B,D

This morning we will depart Coto for Melide, which is one of the larger towns along the Galician section of the Compostela trail. Galicia is renowned for its seafood. After sampling local delicacies such as Melide’s famous ‘Pulpa a feira’, octopus cooked with red pepper and paprika, we will journey onwards to cosy beds and a delicious meal in Castaneda.

Meals:  B,D

Today our pilgrim trail passes through undulating eucalypt forests as we walk through Arzu´a, in the province of La Corun~a, to Salceda. We pass through many villages along the way, offering perfect pilgrim meeting places for coffee, lunch, and writing sessions. We will meet at the appointed time in Salceda, for transfer to our hotel in Lavacolla

Meals:  B,D

Our transfer this morning will return us to Salceda, where we will continue walking from where we left off yesterday. Today’s walk is gorgeous, as we wander along through eucalypts, green fields, and iconic countryside. We will overnight again in Lavacolla.

Meals:  B,D

Today we enter the fabled city of Santiago de Compostela. We will follow country lanes and forest pathways as we pass numerous ancient sites, including monuments, chapels and bridges, all with a story to tell. The final day on the trail is always special. We wander downhill into the city, finishing the pilgrimage component of our journey at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the apparent burial place of Jesus’ apostle, James the Great. Those among us collecting pilgrim passport stamps along the way will find the pilgrim office for their official Santiago stamp, your pilgrim accreditation. We will enjoy the delights of the Old City, relaxing and celebrating our journey’s end over a delicious meal with our walking writing pilgrim buddies.

Meals:  B,D

Today is a free day to enjoy the cultural and cuisine attractions of Santiago de Compostela. Some pilgrims may like to take the bus to the beautiful village of Finisterre (Land’s End). Here you might wriggle your toes in the Atlantic coastline and dine in gorgeous waterside cafes and restaurants. Others among us may prefer to experience the 12noon Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together as a group, dining out on fabulous food and toasting the journey shared. Before dinner, we will gather for a final group workshop, to check in with our writing journeys and ponder: where to from here?

Meals:  B,D

And finally our journey’s end. We will have breakfast together and salud! We will be on our way to life’s next adventure. This is farewell, but not the end. It is not uncommon for pilgrims to form lifelong bonds of friendship on The Way. Buen Camino!

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Accompanied by journalist, author and pillgrim Dr Stephanie Dale
  • 10 nights in a combination of 2-4 hotels and comfortable guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners
  • Luggage transfer (max 20kgs per person) - fees apply for any excess luggage
  • Transfers as noted in the itinerary

  • Travel to Sarria and from Santiago
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks, lunches,
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Local/Cultural Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Transfers not noted as included

About Your Leader

Dr Stephanie Dale is an award-winning author and journalist with a passion for pilgrimage. In 2014, Stephanie founded The Write Road, a writing for wellbeing initiative for rural and remote Australians which achieved renown in the UK. In 2017 she expanded The Write Road’s mission to include her love of walking long distances, by launching Walk & Write in partnership with World Expeditions. Stephanie has twice walked the Camino: in 2005, from St Jean Pied du Port to Santiago de Compostela and, in 2019, from St Jean Pied du Port to Finisterre. In 2007 she joined her son on the middle leg of his 7000km pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Stephanie walked 1500kms across Italy and through the Balkans, before the snow-bound mountains of Macedonia put an end to her overland journey. In 2023, Stephanie founded the International Wellbeing-through-writing Institute: www.iwwi.com.au (hyperlink URL: https://iwwi.com.au/)

Stephanie is the author of two books, including the widely-acclaimed travel memoir, My Pilgrim’s Heart, which featured in the Huffington Post: (hyperlink URL: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/walk-it-out_b_4153412 )

“My Pilgrim’s Heart by Stephanie Dale...tests the author’s resourcefulness and is a journey of often painful self-discovery, as all good travel writing should be. It (demonstrates) the kind of humour and pluck for which Australians like to think we are famous.”

Susan Kurosawa, The Australian, Travel

“A born storyteller with a gift for adventure.”

Susan Maushart, author & former ABC presenter


Grading

introductory to moderate  

The walking is graded introductory - moderate (2). Daily walks are between 10 and 18km 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 and notes. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

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

Priceper person from

$2590USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement (SDDD)USD$490
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely not! Everyone is welcome. New writers, experienced writers, writers who are not yet confident enough to call themselves a writer. Our program is about your individual pilgrim journey.

Walk & Write adventure writing is designed to open your senses to experiencing whatever it is you’d like to write. Past pilgrims have explored travel writing, blogging, social media messaging, food writing, fiction, short stories, memoir, letters, speeches, family and community histories, landscape, architecture and journaling.

Our pilgrim writing journey is a self-guided pilgrimage. This means it’s completely up to you whether you walk with the group or wander on alone. In our experience, some in our merry band of pilgrims will enjoy time alone, as well as time with the group, meeting up in coffee shops and at various waymarkers along the trail. We’re easy. If you want company along the way you will find company along the way. If you want the day to yourself you will have the day to yourself, confident we will meet up with you at designated meeting points.


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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Walk the Camino. Write your journey home with award-winning author Stephanie Dale. Sleep in castles!
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