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.
After your walk, you will enjoy lunch in the pretty medieval town of Estella after which you will pay a visit to the famous wine fountain at the Bodegas Irache winery
In the afternoon, we will travel to Logroño to check in to our hotel. You will have some free time to explore the city, the capital of La Rioja. 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.
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 km 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.
DAY 7: EXPLORING SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Today, you will have the day free to explore Santiago de Compostela at your own pace. The city has been a destination for pilgrims for centuries and the capital of Galicia is a city full of wonders, with beautiful cobbled squares, arched streets, and cosy nooks and crannies. Originally built in the 9th century on the spot where the remains of Saint James were found, the Cathedral is the city’s most important landmark and monument but there are many other wonderful places not to be missed in Santiago’s Old Town such as the Abastos Market, the Alameda Park, the University Buildings and its many museums.
In the lively streets of the Old Town such as Rua do Vilar, Rua Nova, and Rua do Franco you will find a vibrant mix of pilgrims, locals, and students enjoying the many cafes, bars, and restaurants. Galicia’s traditional cuisine can be found everywhere; the famous Galician octopus, empanadas (savory pastries), Padrón peppers, caldo galego, Tarta de Santiago, and almond cake are just some of the region’s many unmissable delicacies you should sample.
Santiago city is split into two areas: the Old Town (Zona Vella), and the New Town (Zona Nova). You can also venture into the New Town, wrapped around the historic quarter and a short walk away where you will find many stores.
DAY 8: GUIDED CITY TOUR AND RETURN TO DUBLIN
On your last morning, you will have breakfast in the hotel and check out at 10 am. Your local guide will then meet you at the hotel to take you on a guided tour of the city; the best way to discover this magnificent UNESCO-listed Old Town.
You will then have a visit to the cathedral after the city tour. Your bags can be left at the hotel reception while you go on the tour.
Following the tour, you will have a little free time to get lunch and some last-minute souvenir shopping, before returning to the hotel to collect your bags. The group will then be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Dublin.