A Taste of the Camino de Santiago Trail
The Way from Portugal to Spain
April 28 to May 3, 2024
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Trip Start: Porto, Portugal
Trip Ends: Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain or Porto, Portugal
Countries visited: Portugal and Spain
Cost: $4899 US based on double occupancy, per person
Single supplement available $950 US
This rate is based a group minimum of 12 passengers traveling.
Join me on this walking of the Camino de Santiago Trail. This hike offers the combination of personal challenge and adventure with unsurpassed service and luxury that is ideal for those of us who want to be both active and spoiled on vacation! Experience handpicked sections of the Camino de Santiago trail that ends in beautiful Santiago de Compostela. Discover tiny Spanish villages with surprising Celtic ties. Gaze out over the immense and powerful sea. Sip refreshing Vinho Verde, perfectly paired with the fresh seafood we sample along the coast. Meet other pilgrims along the way. Although we’ll be walking along parts of the Camino de Santiago, it’s important to note that this experience will be quite different from that of its Compostela-seeking pilgrims, who are required to walk at minimum the last 100 kilometers into Santiago—often along long stretches of a busy highway—and who typically stay in simple dormitories. This trip allows us to experience the essence and highlights of the Camino and surrounding landscape in comfort, with the region’s best hotels, gourmet meals and excellent route support each day. It’s also important to note that as we are walking the Camino, many of this historic pilgrimage is on paved paths, back roads, or cobblestones. You can expect about half of the walking to be on a hard surface.
Discover two fascinating countries with their own cultures, cuisines and traditions in one amazing trip
Trip start Porto, Portugal – Trip Ends Santiago de Compostela, Spain or Porto, Portugal
Experience handpicked sections of the Camino leading to Santiago, where pilgrims arrive from across the world
Savor Galicia’s unique gastronomy and culture, from pulpo a feira to ancient Druids and centuries of pilgrimage history
Multiple daily routes--choose among several expertly designed tours each day
Canada to Portugal--!Bem-vindo a Portugal!
Plan to arrive one day early prior to the walking tour. We will depart from Porto, a World Heritage city with a colorful history. We can assist you with pre-tour hotel options in Porto ($).
Day 1 of Walking and Hiking Tour Starts
After meeting in Porto, we shuttle north to Vitorino dos Piaes to set out on foot along a popular section of the Caminho Portugues, one of the traditional pilgrimage paths that originates in Lisbon. Punctuated by enchanting wine tunnels, the route winds through the lush farmland, vineyards and charming aldeas (villages) that typify northern Portugal. Along the way we break at a traditional quinta (farm) for lunch of regional fare.
Continue walking to beautiful Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal. and check out its namesake medieval stone bridge. From here you can catch a lift in the shuttle or explore the town before hopping in the van t head to Torre de Fomariz, our decadent home for the next two nights. Settle into your room enjoy a dip in the pool or savor a drink on the terrace taking in sweeping views of the surrounding land. We gather tonight for a welcome reception at the hotel followed by a delicious meal and fado performance, the moving traditional music of Portugal. FYI! Meet up point will be advised.
Accommodation: Torre de Gomariz
Day 2 of Walking and Hiking Tour
After a hearthy breakfast at the hotel we start our hike. Head across the Ponte de Lima bridge and out of town along a section of the Caminho Portuges that passes through quaint villages and pine and eucalyptus woodland. As you walk along the Camino Trail you may notice that the Galician sea scallop shell is widely used on sign posts and worn by pilgrims. A symbol of the Camino, the shell's grooves unite at a single point representing the different trails that all end at Santiago de Compostela. Historically, the shell may also have been collectd by pilgrims to take home as proof that they had completed the journey.
After lunch by a beautiful river, the trail turns upward as you begin a challenging climb into the beautiful Labruja Mountians (a less challenging route is offered). Rest your legs in the van as we return to the hotel where there's time to take a refreshing swim in the pool or indulge in a rejuvenating massage ($). Dinner tonight is a Portuguese-style BBQ at the hotel's restaurant.
Accommodation: Torre de Gomariz
Day 3 of the Walking and Hiking Tour
We say adeus to Portugl and hola to Spain's Galicia region today as we head northward on the Camino da Posta located along the coastline. After shuttling just over the border into Spain, hike or shuttle up Mount Santa Tecla to an area of intriguing circular castros, remains of an ancient fortified settlement built by some of Galicia's Celtic invaders. Take time to explore the ruins and learn about the area's rich Celtic heritage that dates back over two millennia. Then we head downhill to the coastal town of A Guarda for lunch at a local restaurant savoring the region's seafood and other delicacies. After lunch we shuttle to the hotel to explore the castle and enjoy some downtime or continue on foot along a section of the Coastal Camino.
Following lunch shuttle to the hotel to explore the castle and enjoy some downtime, or continue on foot along a section of the Coastal Camino, an alternative route to the Portuguese Camino. This afternoon we arrive at a historic hotel perched above the sea for beautiful views of the town of Baiona and the ocean. In the 15th century when the parador was still the castle of the Conde de Gondomar, it earned a spot in history as the first observation site of Columbus' ship La Pinta, as it approached Spanish soil with news of the New World. Take a scenic walk atop the surrounding medival fortress wall or head down to the white sand beach below to dip your toes in the ocean.
It's a short stroll into the town of Baiona, a picturesque fishing village, for dinner on your own this evening.Many of the restaurants serve up superbly fresh Galician seafood--perhaps you will be tempted to try the zamburinas (scallops) or the merluza a la gallega (hake with paprika and potatoes). For those who prefer turf and surg, Galicia is also famous for its chuleton de buey (beef steake). Recommendations will be offered.
Day 4 of the Walking and Hiking Tour
Today we take a break from the Camino to explore one of Spain's most spectacular national parks. Following breakfast, we gather to board a private boat bound for the Cies Islands Nature Reserve. The rugged archipelago is home to an abundance of flora and fauna including the world's largest colony of seagulls. Once on Faro Isalnd, ascend through coastal shrub to its namesake faro (lighthouse) for 360-degree views over the Atlantic Ocean, Vigo River and neigboring isles. Make your way back down toward the beach for a swim in the clear waters. The reserve's beaches are claimed to be some of the most beautiful in the world. You can stay and relax on the white sand or continue exploring with a walk across pristine Monteagudo Island. We refuel with a casual lunch by the beach.
In the afternoon we shuttle to our final destination, Santiago de Compostela, for some R&R. Our home for the next two nights is the luxurious Hotel A Quinta de Auga (Relais and Chateaux property) set along the Sar River on the outskirts of Santiago. Originally an 18th century papermill this peaceful hotel blends old-world charm with modern elegance. This evening we are treated to a local wine tasting followed by a delicious dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Day 5 of the Walking and Hiking Tour
After breakfast we head into the Galician countryside to walk along sections of the final stages of the Camino Frances, the most popular and well-known route to Santiago whcih originates in the French Pyrenees and runs across northern Spain. For many pilgrims, this journey is a communal experience so expect a welcoming atmosphere and some friendly conversation along the way. Set out on the trail past fragrant ecalyptus forests, green pastures and small hamlets. We make our way just off-trail to a small rural village, Sedor, for a delicious picnic lunch.
After lunch we shuttle to the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela to walk the final couple miles into the famed cathedral. Then you're welcome to continue to our hotel on foot, spend some time exploring this fascinating town or shuttle directly to the hotel to take advantage of the incredible spa. This evening we will shuttle back into town for a farewell reception followed by dinner at the historic Parador Hostal Dos Reis. For those who want to attend the Pilgrim's Mass, feel free to skip the reception and celebrate the 7:30 pm mass. It will finish just in time to sit down for dinner with the rest of the group. After dinner, there's plenty to do--stay in Santiago or return to the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel A Quinta da Auga
Day 6 Last Day of Walking and Hiking Tour
Set out early from the hotel this morning for one last ramble through the gorgeous Galician countryside and sample the Caminio Finisterre--the extension of the Camino that take you to the end of the earth. We reconvene at the city center for a guided tour of the cathedral and old town which offers a remarkable display of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture. The spectacular Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela is a World Heritage Site that marks the official end of the Camino de Santiago. Legend holds that the burial grounds of the Apostle Saint James are located here. In the 9th century King Alfonso II ordered a chapel to be built on-site and in the centuries that followed, it blossomed into a Romanesque church and finally the incredible Baroque catheral that stands today. Led by a local guide, we enter the cathedral alongside other pilgrims waiting to receive their compostela--a certificate of accomplishment for completing the Camino. For some it is a spiritual journey; for others, a physical challenge or a break from their busy modern lives. If you'd prefer a more leisurely start of the day, feel free to skip the hike and shuttle to the tour, or sleep in and enjoy the services at the hotel.
At approx. 1:30 pm it will be time to bid farewell! On the last day of the trip, transportation will be provided to the Santiago de Compostela airport. As well transporation will be provied back to Porto where we will drop off at a central hotel (TBA).
Depart this evening or stay additional night in Porto ($). We can assist you with post-tour hotel options in Porto ($).
All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners are included
Accommodation at 5* hotels
Expertise and services of Experienced Trip Leaders
Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages between meals
Van shuttles to support a variety of route options (support of two vans is provided)
Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries as per the itinerary
All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as per the itinerary
Park and other entry fees
Baggage transfers and porterage
Hiking poles and water bottles
Airfare (ask us about flight options)
Additional hotel nights (available upon request)
Items of a purely personal nature (phone, laundry, etc.)
Tips to the guides
Is this trip for you?
Although we’ll be walking along parts of the Camino de Santiago, it’s important to note that this experience will be quite different from that of its Compostela-seeking pilgrims, who are required to walk at minimum the last 100 kilometers into Santiago—often along long stretches of a busy highway—and who typically stay in simple dormitories. This trip allows us to experience the essence and highlights of the Camino and surrounding landscape in comfort, with the region’s best hotels, gourmet meals, and excellent route support each day. It’s also important to note that as we are walking the Camino, many of this historic pilgrimage is on paved paths, back roads, or cobblestones. You can expect about half of the walking to be on a hard surface. As well, there will be a support van shuttle to support a variety of the route options.
Activity Level: The routes on this trip are rated Levels 1 to 4. Several walking and hiking options will be offered daily.
This itinerary is tentative and subject to change with notice.
Earn key rings for 2 countries on this trip.
Portugal and Spain
Portugal and Spain's Atlantic Coast enjoys a moderate climate with summertime temperatures that are usually quite comfortable. However, this region is prone to variable weather including heat and year-round rain that can strike at any time of the day. Come prepared--waterproof, breathable rain gear is a must; a sweater or light jacket for evenings is recommended.