DAY 1: BILBAO
Today you will travel to Dublin airport for your flight to Bilbao; talk to our travel team if you would like us to organise flights from a different airport/country. You will spend a night in the city and enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town.
DAY 2: BILBAO AND LA RIOJA
The Camino de Santiago Coach Tour kick starts today with a sightseeing walking tour of Bilbao in the morning. After the tour, the group will leave the city behind and head to the Camino trail for the first walk of the week, approximately 90 minutes. This easy stretch of the Camino Frances will take the group to the vineyards of La Rioja wine region, passing small Romanesque chapels and little villages along the way.
Our visit to La Rioja wine region wouldn’t be complete without visiting a local vineyard. We have organised wine tasting and lunch at a winery for the group, after finishing the day’s walk near the pretty medieval town of Estella.
In the afternoon, we will travel to Logroño to check in to our hotel. You will have some free time to explore the city, capital of La Rioja, before meeting the group again for dinner together back at your hotel. Logroño is a lovely historic city, well known for its tapas scene and exquisite Rioja wines. Make sure to visit Santa María de la Redonda Cathedral with its twin baroque towers, the Santiago Church, the Cubo del Revellín fort and take a stroll along the banks of the River Ebro.
DAY 3: LOGRONO AND BURGOS
Our Camino de Santiago Coach tour continues today after breakfast with a 2-hour walk on a lovely stretch of the historic Camino Frances route, between Logroño and Burgos, through oak forests and crop fields, dotted with ancient castles.
After our morning walk, the group will continue to the beautiful city of Burgos where you will be staying for the night and where you will enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace.
Burgos, historic capital of Castile, is home to fabulous Gothic and Renaissance architecture, testament to the city’s rich heritage. Visit the unmissable Burgos Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Gothic masterpiece; explore the historic town centre and take in fantastic views of the whole city or catch a sunset from Burgos Castle. A contemporary must-see in the city is the Museum of Human Evolution, focusing on the life and the evolution of humans.
The group will enjoy dinner together at the hotel this evening, a chance to exchange impressions from our day exploring.
DAY 4: LA MESETA AND LEON
Today we will observe a distinct change in the scenery as we leave the vineyards of La Rioja and Logrono and head to the vast plains of the Meseta. You will spend a couple of hours walking in this fascinating area.
Your stop for tonight will be the city of Leon, where you will arrive around lunchtime so you have plenty of time to discover this stunning city.
Not to miss in the lovely city of Leon is the cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Spain, the 10th century Romanesque Basílica de San Isidoro, the gothic Casa Botines designed by Gaudi and the Barrio Húmedo, the best place in town for tapas.
DAY 5: LEON MOUNTAINS, O CEBREIRO AND LUGO
Today the group will leave Leon and walk to the medieval town of Hospital de Órbigo with its iconic bridge. The town takes its name from the Pilgrims Hospital built in the Middle Ages to host pilgrims on their way to Santiago. As we walk towards the city of Astorga, we will enjoy views of the Mountains of León ahead. After the walk, the coach will take the group to O Cebreiro where we will admire its unique thatched buildings known as ‘pallozas’ and its pre-Romanesque village church, home of the Galician Holy Grail.
The city of Lugo will be our stop for the night. It is home to an impressive UNESCO listed Roman City Wall. Lugo is located on the Camino Primitivo, the oldest Camino route and first walked by King Alfonso II of Asturias, who walked from Oviedo in the 9th Century to confirm the discovery of the tomb of Saint James in Santiago.
DAY 6: SARRIA AND SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Today is our last walking day and we will be starting in the town of Sarria. At just over 100km from Santiago on the Camino Frances, this market town has become the most popular starting point for pilgrims.
The atmosphere is amazing each morning as hundreds depart the town and begin the stroll out of town, through oak forests and small country roads through tiny farms and hamlets. After a couple of hours walking this section of the Camino, the group will travel by bus to Melide, where we will have free time for lunch. Melide is well known for its ‘pulperias’, octopus restaurants, so it is highly recommended you try this classic Galician dish at least once during your trip.
In the afternoon, the coach will take the group to Monte de Gozo, on the outskirts of Santiago, where you will catch the first glimpse of the city. From there, you can choose to walk down into the city to experience the last few kms of the Camino into the Cathedral, or you can board the coach to be transferred to your hotel. The group will then check in at the hotel in Santiago where we will spend two nights and enjoy dinner together in the evening.
DAY 7: EXPLORING SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Today we have arranged a guided walking tour of Santiago de Compostela in the morning, so you can learn more about the city’s famous history and its stunning heritage. The Galician capital is synonymous with the Camino that has linked the city with the rest of Europe since the Middle Ages. The city’s most important landmark is the Cathedral, the reputed burial place of Saint James the Great; followed by the Abastos Food Market, also in the UNESCO listed Old Town. Gastronomy is an essential part of the city and the region’s culture and there is a spectacular array of restaurants, bars and taverns, with prices to suit every budget. You will have the afternoon free to explore this fantastic city at your leisure, go for a stroll in Alameda Park, visit some of the great museums in the city or simply wander the cobbled streets of the Old Town taking in all its beauty.
DAY 8: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA AIRPORT
On your last morning you will have some more time to soak up the atmosphere of the city, as the return flight to Dublin is expected to be around 5pm, so the group will be transferred to the airport around 2pm.