Camino de Santiago Trek

9 days
from
$1,675 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 28 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TSO
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Walk the pilgrimage of St James

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is one of the world's oldest pilgrim routes; travellers have made their way across northern Spain to Santiago on 'The Way of St James' for over 1000 years. The route is marked by the symbol of the scallop shell, typically found on the Galician shores, and a long-standing tradition is to obtain the ‘compostela’, a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims upon completing the way; gained by walking at least 100km of the route, which we will do on this trip.

Highlights

  • Follow one of the world's oldest pilgrim routes
  • Explore romanesque cathedrals, mediaeval monasteries and unspoiled rural scenery
  • Collect stamps for your pilgrim's passport along the way
  • The historic Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela

Key information

  • 8 nights in pensions and 2-3 star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days point-to-point walking with luggage transferred
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Moderate: 5-6km/3-4 miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 214.0km/8.0miles
Day 323.0km/14.0miles
Day 425.0km/15.0miles
Day 529.0km/18.0miles
Day 619.0km/11.0miles
Day 720.0km/12.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Samos.

    The trip will start tonight in our hotel in Samos. The group flight will arrive very late in the evening so the main briefing will take place the following morning. There are no activities planned for this evening, so you are free to enjoy Samos as you like.

  • Day 2

    To Sarria walking through ancient oak forests and quaint villages.

    After breakfast, we will have our main briefing before we start our first walk.

    Our week starts in one of the most unspoilt sections of the Camino, as we walk through the Galician countryside, populated by a number of traditional agricultural villages. We start with a visit to the monastery of Samos (entrance not included), one of the oldest monasteries in Spain, and will then continue through ancient oak forests to the town of Sarria.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Walk through the rolling hills of the Galician countryside to Portomarin.

    We continue walking up and down the hills of Galicia to the town of Portomarin, which was rebuilt on a hilltop from its original location in the River Mino’s valley. This was done to escape flooding when a reservoir was constructed in 1962. The old church was moved, stone by stone, to its current location.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Uphill to the village of Ventas de Naron and on to Palas de Rei.

    We start with a steady ascent to the village of Ventas de Naron, where the terrain levels out. Along the way to Palais de Rei there are plenty of cafes where we can enjoy a break. Palas de Rei marks the half-way point of our trek and we spend the night in a hotel, where we can really feel the spirit of the ‘Camino’ since many walkers stop here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Walk to the town of Melide, renowned for its octopus with potatoes dish, and on to Arzua, famous for its cheeses.

    We begin our longest day's walking along a very picturesque stretch of the Camino, as we cross several Roman bridges and walk past mediaeval churches. For lunch we stop in the small town of Melide, renowned for its delicious octopus with potatoes and end our day in Arzua, famous for its cheeses.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Meet many more pilgrims on the final section to Pedruozo.

    Today’s walk to the village of Pedruozo involves a number of short ascents and descents through woods, fruit fields and eucalyptus. As Santiago draws ever closer, more pilgrims will cross our path, adding to the anticipation of reaching our goal, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk to Santiago de Compostela.

    Our final day’s walk sees us climbing up to the famous Monte do Gozo, where pilgrims traditionally took in their first views of the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. As part of the centuries-old tradition, we make our way through the city’s streets and crowds to Plaza del Obradoiro, dominated by the impressive Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where most Fridays we can observe a mass service with the impressive “Botafumeiro” incense swinging.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day in Santiago de Compostela.

    Free day to explore the historic city of Santiago at your own pace. There are plenty of things to do; you can visit the spectacular cathedral and stroll around the narrow streets of the World Heritage-listed Old Town with its diverse architecture. Alternatively, you can visit the museum of Galician Life, home to interesting exhibits of Galician traditions and art. You can also join a day excursion to Cape Finisterre, which was believed to be the end of the known world in Roman times. The Cape is also the final destination for many pilgrims on the way of St. James.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Santiago de Compostela.

    The trip ends this morning after breakfast in Santiago de Compostela.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

Breakfasts in Spain usually consist of coffee with milk, toast with ham, olive oil, tomatoes, cheese and butter and jam. Bakery items such as pastries, fruit and juice are also popular. During this trip you can expect different variations of breakfast at the hotels and pensions we stay at but they will all include at least some of the standard breakfast items that are popular in Spain.

The land in north Spain is rich and produces almost everything one might want to eat from fish and seafood to good quality meat, vegetables and fruit. Your leader will recommend good places to eat. Sometimes it will be tapas, sharing some “raciones” as a group and sometimes you will be able to choose from the menu.

In the Camino de Santiago restaurants and bars offer a set menu called the “Menu del Pergrino” and offer 5 starters, 5 mains and dessert, coffee and drink for about EUR 10-15. If you feel daring you can try the Octopus “Pulpo a la Feira” that Spaniards consider a delicacy and is well cooked and served sliced with paprika, olive oil and sea salt. Sometimes it is also served with “grelos" (boiled sliced potatoes).

Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00hrs and 21.30hrs.

Please be aware that meat and fish are staple food in Northern Spain. 

Vegetarians can be catered for, as are other dietary requirements although there may not be the same choice or variety as you have at home and please be prepared to be flexible. Please advise us upon booking.

Weather

In April and October expect temperatures in the 40-60F/ 5-15ºC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May and September tend to be about 10F/5ºC warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds.

Northern Spain

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level- 3 (Moderate)

The trip consists of 6 days of walking and 1 free day. Your luggage is transferred between hotels, so you only need to take a day pack with you on the walks. The terrain and type of path track will vary from man made paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to gravel. The walks are not technically difficult although some steep ascents and descents should be expected, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Low altitude throughout.

Group flights: please be advised that there is incredibly limited choice of direct group flight options from London. The only possible, direct flights are with Vueling that arrive late in the evening on Day 1. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Pensions

You will spend 8 nights in 2 and 3-star standard hotels and pensions. All rooms feature en suite facilities and most offer free Wi-Fi.

A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement on request.

2018 departures:

Please be advised that due to the increased popularity of the Camino de Santiago and demand for accommodation, in 2018 there may be some departures where groups are split between 2 hotels in some locations during the trip. All hotels used will be of a similar standard and quality throughout.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ignatia Evans

    Wonderful trip

    Thank you to Exodus and Cumbres for making my Camino such a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few moments of gentle chats and encouragement which will stay with me and the genuine sharing of the elation and excitement when arriving at the Cathedral.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were extremely lucky having Alberto as our guide. He is a great leader and excellent co-ordinator. He was always pleased to share his extensive knowledge of the beautiful Galician region, its culture and history. His happy disposition and gentle sense of humour were extra bonuses.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read and take onboard all your trip notes beforehand, try and follow your exercise plan in preparation. Then ... enjoy...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would certainly like to use Exodus again.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Gillian Martin

    Footsore but happy

    A brilliant trip, well organised and most enjoyable

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising we’d actually made it to the cathedral in Santiago

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgeable and full f information. He was also very caring, looking after the group members who had blisters and encouraging those that needed it. It was a pleasure having him guide us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to take photos at the beginning, especially of the marker stone at the start of the trek, as you will regret it later if you haven’t. They give you a bit of an impetus as you progress knowing how far you’ve come and the distance left to do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Had never used walking poles before but actually bought some and they were really useful
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Lydia Hammond

    Wonderful Galicia

    This was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. I was invited by a best friend and whilst i wasn't sure I could do the whole walk, coming from couch potato status, I made it with the help of our wonderful guide Jose, the support of my friend and everyone in the group. The Galician countryside is just beautiful and we were blessed with some lovely weather in May, mostly blue skies and sunshine but not too hot. Most of the walk is through beautiful woods and the scents of the countryside even from farmyard to Eucalyptus trees was wonderful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several moments along the trip which were amazing but I really enjoyed the lovely little town of Portomarin, dinnner at O Mirador restaurant and the views of the reservoir below.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was just amazing. He was full of energy, always smiling and really took care of us all on the trip. I can't imagine we were an easy group to manage as we had different paces and abilities but Jose always knew where we were and kept us in check. He was also very kind and caring looking after our blisters to make sure we made it to the end!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are going to bring a book, just bring the one. You are pretty tired each evening and after dinner most nights, it was straight to bed! Bring two pairs of walking socks for each day so you can change them and keep your feet dry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just an amazing experience overall and one that I will never forget! Thank you fellow pilgrims - Buen Camino!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Roger Haydon

    FUN TREK

    Exodus makes your experience virtually worry free. You don’t need to wonder about schedules, meals, hotels, baggage transport, and flights. You get to concentrate on a beautiful walk through farmland and beautiful countryside. You get a paper “passport” to get stamped alone the way. It shows you did the hike and gets you a certificate at the end. A fun souvenir to own.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk through beautiful farm country and interesting old towns and cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was very good at communicating what to expect each day. He really kept the trek worry free for the group. On the trail he sped up or slowed down to keep us together enough to have all stops and meals together. All of the stops were at great places for coffee and food and we put tables together so we could visit. Jose made a point of interacting with all of us. He had excellent advice on how to avoid blisters and offered first aid if people developed them. Having Jose with us allowed us to enjoy the Camino concentrate on the trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do an honest self evaluation of your walking skills. Then take time to get to the point that you are able to walk for a few hours and go a long distance. This trek was not a marathon race, but you cover a lot of ground. The days are usually a pattern like : breakfast, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk about 2-3 hours, lunch, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk an hour or so, check into hotel with a group dinner scheduled for later. It is a full day that is so interesting and picturesque that is goes by quickly. If you read the blogs they tell you to bring certain kinds of gear. Take it with a grain of salt. Decide what you really need to trek miles per day. Dress for the weather. In May I wore merino wool longjohns, poly tee shirt, Gore Tex pants and jacket, Keen walking shoes. I bought a huge rain parka on the trail. I was warm and dry. I did not carry a pack or knapsack. I had a fanny pack with cash, ID, and small water bottle. I would not recommend bringing poles unless you usually need them to walk. Shoes are the most important thing. Make sure you have shoes you can walk in for hours. I walk 8-10 miles most days. So I know my shoes are broken in and they fit. When you train for the trip trip you will be able to break in new shoes. I only used one pair of walking shoes and never unpacked the second pair. So one good pair of hiking shoes was enough for me. Off the trail I used lightweight slip-ons. In May we had fairly cool weather with rain a few times and lots of sunshine. Walking was usually in the shaded countryside with some mud. It was nice because we did not have extreme weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group blended well and people were fun to be around on the trek. While hiking you can easily take time to speed up or slow down to engage people, either from your group or trekking on their own, in conversation. You meet interesting people. Our guide, Jose, knew the countryside and was full of interesting and historical facts. The trail allows horses, so expect “mud!” Some people bring dogs, most were nice. Bicycles are allowed and most did not signal that they wanted to pass you. You really appreciate the good bikers who give you a verbal heads up and do not just buzz through your group.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    John Ratcliffe

    We Had Fun On The Camino

    I thoroughly enjoyed walking in rural Galicia (whatever the weather), and the company of our international group. It was good fun and we had a great time. Thanks to Jose for looking after us so well and also to Exodus for the logistical arrangements. Walking the Camino is such a unique experience and one which I would recommend particularly when you belong to a group who you can easily walk and socialise with. Glad I went.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On top of the steps leading into Portomarin, the group raised their poles/sticks and formed an impromptu “Guard of Honour” for Jose. He was touched by the tribute and it confirmed to me that we had all well and truly bonded as a group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Manuel Garcia. In addition to above, I would like to add that Jose is very experienced and knowledgeable about the Camino (he’s done it for 7 years!). He also puts in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure things run smoothly e.g. tables were reserved or lunch was ready when we arrived.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use your baggage allowance to take spare footwear and clothing. Recommend wearing well broken in walking boots or trail shoes. Walking continuously in trainers can lead to blisters especially when the weather is hot or is wet underneath.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    NT NT

    El Camino trek

    This trip will give you a taste of the Camino. I would encourage you to slow down and experience the Camino as a peregrino, rather than race to the lunch stop or the hotel at the end of the day with your head down. Lift your head up, enjoy the views, talk to the other walkers. Enjoy the Camino. Wear running shoes or trainers rather than walking boots. Expect blisters.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking with and sharing the Camino experience

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fine

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Slow down, participate and enjoy the Camino experience Wear trainers not boots Pack your compeeds
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Peter Keeney

    A truly wonderful experience

    Having read a couple of books, with regards to the Camino, and being keen walkers my wife and I thought it would be a great challenge and the opportunity to move away from the more traditional summer holiday. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly say it was a fantastic experience. Everything was extremely well organised, from the flights, transfer, our daily accommodation and meals where necessary. The daily distance wasn't too bad as it is split between morning and afternoon with plenty additional stops on the route, if required. Our group of 16, travelled at different paces and that worked very well. We'd often meet up along the road and exchange different experiences of the day. The overall route, is relatively easy, with only a few hills, here and there and three larger ones towards the end. Accommodation, on the route was extremely good. It varied from a log cabin type to a room that had four double beds! Meals were very good and look out for the Pilgrims Menu - 10 euros and plenty of wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the most inspirational moment(s) has to be arriving into Santiago and the Pilgrims mass. It was a feeling of achievement, with a group of people we didn't know the previous week, but have now ended up as friends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was an excellent leader. Extremely knowledgeable about the area, the history of the area and the history of the Camino. He was always on the lookout for us all, but not in an intrusive way. He organised a number of meals, for us (daytime/evening time) and everything went really smoothly. Couldn't have asked for a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Choose your footwear carefully. I walked mainly in boots and as most reviews say "they're often not required". Most of the Pilgrims walked in some form of light trainer/walking shoe. Take up the freetour in Santiago. It's very informative. You can make a contribution, at the end. We used Santiago DC. Just take it all in and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We've been inspired to do more of the same.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Sheilah Whyte

    once in a lifetime

    The walk was quite an achievement for me and, as I am close to 70 years old, I'm glad I have experienced it. The travel arrangements by Exodus were good, though I would have preferred to arrive at the start in Samos much earlier than 2.30am! All the hotels were modest and clean and comfortable for our overnight stays. As a group we ate dinner together which was nice, with our guide often suggesting suitable venues. So all in all a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure you'd call it an inspirational moment but ..... when I completed the 29km day walk!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Jose Manuel. He was excellent as a leader ensuring that all of us were ok at all times. He emphasised at the beginning the importance of letting him know if any one of us should have the slightest blister so that appropriate care could be taken. He would explain the route for the day and helped us with ordering food and drinks at all the breaks/stops. He would also suggest suitable restaurants for dinner in the evening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take more than just 1 pair of walking shoes/boots. Even though I had done several walks in my walking boots, I had very sore toes and a blister after 2 days of walking and had to abandon my boots and then walk in my sneakers for the rest of the camino. A couple of people in our group walked the whole 130km in sandals. The walking trails and paths are well trodden and relatively flat, so this might be an option for some. As a mature person, I found my walking poles invaluable but many others in the group did not find them necessary.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Diane Mark

    A Really enjoyable experience

    Having been on a number of Exodus walking holidays, I think this was one of the best. The walking is accurately described in the trip notes and although 6 successive days of walking was tiring, the different walking paces of all in the group were accommodated and there were good opportunities for stops for lunch, coffee and dinner, all well researched by Jose, our group leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting other walkers from many countries along the way - often the same people on successive days

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was always cheerful and lead the group well, identifying and recommending the best places to eat and reserving spots along the way - really important when there are so many walkers and, in some places, not a lot of places to sit and eat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Look after your feet by having good and comfortable boots, walking trainers or walking sandals! Make sure you are used to walking on successive days, so that you avoid the risk of blisters
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Paul Everett

    Exceeded all expectations

    My wife and I did this trip in August, it was our first holiday of this type and we were worried about whether it would be for us. We needn't have. We both enjoyed it immensely and were sad when we have finished the walk. We did not find the walking too tough, challenging yes, but very manageable. We worried about doing the walk in August but again the weather was ok, one wet day, but not excessively so. The heat never became too much even for someone fair-skinned like me. The accommodation was always good, sometimes outstanding, same for the food. The bag transportation worked well, with only one glitch which was quickly resolved by the local agents (who are excellent). To say this trip changed our holiday lives would not be an overstatement. We are going back to do the Santiago to Finisterre & Muxia section next year, alas with another company as Exodus/Headwater do not offer this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it, but the others doing the same walk at the same time as us have become firm friends. Its no cliché to say that its the people that you meet that make this trip so special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No leader as such as this is a self-guided trip, but the local agent in Leon was excellent as were the local staff when one of our bags went awol.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is relatively easy, no heavy boots required. There are plenty of cafes on the route so don't worry about food and drink during the day.

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