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El Camino Walk 2018 Pilgrimage

 
 

13 Day Pilgrimage Journey on the El Camino from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela

Departure: 20 October 2018 Ex Madrid  •  Download Itinerary or Call us on 1800 819 156 for more information

Highlights: Madrid / Sarria / Portomarín / Palas de Rei / Arzúa / Amenal / Santiago de Compostela
 
IMPORTANT: Even though this is stated as a walking pilgrimage, the group will be supported with a bus to carry luggage and transport pilgrims who may require respite at times along the way.
 

El Camino Walk Pilgrimage

 
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
ITINERARY
Day 1: Saturday 20th October – Arrive Madrid

Upon arrival at Madrid’s Barajos airport we will be met and transferred to our centrally located accommodation to rest and prepare for this special walk. Note: There will be a one way transfer from Madrid Airport at 10am. All other transfers will be at an additional cost.

Madrid overnight (D)

Day 2: Sunday 21st October – Madrid

Following Mass this morning we enjoy a Madrid walking tour where we will visit the Cathedral, view the Royal Palace, walk through the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and also visit the Church of Saint James. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Madrid overnight (BD)

Day 3: Monday 22nd October – Foncebadon / Iron Cross / O Cebreiro to Sarria (5 Km’s)

This morning we depart Madrid and travel to Foncebadon, a village popular in the 11th century with pilgrims on the Camino due to its hospitals and church. From here we continue by foot to view the ‘Iron Cross’ where traditionally pilgrims bring a stone from their places of origin and deposit it at the foot of the cross to symbolise a sin or burden they are leaving behind.

We then rejoin our coach and continue to the ancient Sanctuary of O Cebreiro. Here we will celebrate our group Mass in the pre- Romanesque Church (9th-10th century) and see the renowned Paten of Santo Milagro (Eucharistic Miracle from the 13th century) and a precious Romanesque carving of Santa Maria la Real.

We then continue to Sarria and our accommodation.

Sarria overnight (BD)

Day 4: Tuesday 23rd October – Triacastela to Sarria (20 Km’s)

We will be transferred to Triacastela this morning. We will walk via the tiny village of Samos, wrapped around the enormous Benedictine Monastery that we will visit and where we will celebrate Mass. Continuing on the Route we will pass through a picturesque scene full of oaks and chestnut trees.

The end of the stage brings us back in Sarria. It was in this town that Alfonso IX died in 1230, while making the pilgrimage. Visit the old quarter which retains a strong medieval character. We will also see the Church of Salvador, with a Romanesque ground plan and Gothic façade; the small chapel of San Lazaro; the hospital of San Antonio, which today houses a Court; and the remains of its old fortress, from the 14th century.

Sarria overnight (BD)

Day 5: Wednesday 24th October – Sarria to Portomarin (22 Km’s)

Today’s section of the Camino is considered to be one of the most picturesque. Walk through bucolic countryside, traversing enchanted forests and small patches of farmland to the banks of the Mino River. En route we will pass the 100km marker – a milestone for pilgrims who travel the Camino.

Our walking trip for today will finish in Portomarín, picturesquely situated on a hilltop. The old Portomarín, which dates back to the Roman Age, was an important halt along the route in the Middle Ages and lies beneath the waters of the dam built in 1962. Before flooding the town, many monuments were moved, stone by stone, to higher ground. Such was the case of the church-fortress of the Knights of San Juan of Jerusalem, who once ran the old hospital that lay beneath the waters of the Miño River, along with the old Medieval and Roman bridges.

The municipality also has the Church of San Nicolás, from the 13th century; the portal of the church of San Pedro, from 1182; the Count’s House, from the 16th century, and the Palace of Berbetoros, from the 17th century.

Portomarin overnight (BD)

Day 6: Thursday 25th October – Portomarin To Palas De Rei (24 Km’s)

Passing through small villages decorated with cruceiros (carved stone crosses that mark the way to Santiago) and containing only a dozen houses, we will meet other peregrinos on today’s hilly walk.

Although we all share a special quest and a sense of camaraderie with fellow pilgrims from around the world, there are always moments of solitude to contemplate this special journey. The undulating countryside is studded with meadows and forests of eucalyptus and pine as we approach Palas de Rei. This was once an important town in the Middle Ages as it had a Royal Hospital. The Church of San Tirso now stands on its lands, with a Romanesque portal.

Palas de Rei overnight (BD)

Day 7: Friday 26th October – Rest Day

Today following Mass you have the day to rest your feet. You can take this time to reflect on your journey so far.

Palas de Rei overnight (BD)

Day 8: Saturday 27th October – To Melide to Arzua (13 Km’s)

Today we also pass from Galicia’s Lugo province to Galicia’s A Coruña province. We will have lunch altogether in a typical restaurant of Melide where we will taste its magnificent “pulpo a feira”. A medieval bridge leads pilgrims to Ribadiso, before arriving at Arzua, the next halt on our journey. Surrounded by a beautiful scenery stands the Gothic Chapel of Magdalena, the only part of the old Augustinian monastery that has come down to us. The little town is famous nowadays for its Galician cheese factories.

Arzua overnight (BLD)

Day 9: Sunday 28th October – Arzua to Amenal (21 Km’s)

Before departing Arzua we will celebrate Mass in Arzua Parish Church with its statue of St. James and the chapel dedicated to St. Lazarus just outside the village. Here we leave behind the last major centre of population on the Camino until Santiago. Wander through the picturesque village of Calle, with its traditional stone houses. Onwards to Salceda where we see a monument to Guillermo Watt, a pilgrim who died at this spot only a day away from his earthly destination on pilgrimage.

Continuing on we climb up through magnificent eucalyptus woods en route to Amenal.

Amenal overnight (BD)

Day 10: Monday 29th October – Amenal to Santiago de Compostela (16 Km’s)

‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad’ (Ps 118:24).

Excitement mounts as the trail brings us closer to our destination. Walk through rolling terrain towards Lavacolla, where medieval pilgrims traditionally bathed in the river to purify themselves before arriving in the holy city of Santiago. From here we will begin to ascend the Monte del Gozo, “Mount of Joy”, the point where pilgrims first catch sight of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago, these days surrounded by the bustling, new city of Santiago de Compostela.

On approach to the centre, we will pass through the city’s walls and under the Arch of Obispo drawing us forward into the great Obradoiro Square. Here we have finally arrived at our destination, St. James Cathedral for the traditional Pilgrim’s Mass, ready to receive a deserved grace and special blessing.

Santiago de Compostela overnight (BLD)

Day 11: Tuesday 30th October – Santiago de Compostela

The city of the apostle is full of historical buildings and other attractions and is thus the ideal place for a quiet unhurried walk of discovery through streets, squares and nooks, to be taken as a reward for the effort of reaching this city of St James.

This morning we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of St James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. As pilgrims we have the opportunity to climb the stairs behind the high altar to visit the crypt where the relics of St James are preserved, touch the central pillar (Portico de La Gloria), view the ‘botafumeiro’ and admire the wealth of medieval art inside the Cathedral, before visiting the cloister museum. Afternoon at leisure.

Santiago de Compostela overnight (BD)

Day 12: Wednesday 31st October – Santiago de Compostela & Finesterra

We travel out today to one of the most western points of continental Europe! We firstly come to the lovely seaside town of Finesterra. It is situated on the rocky Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), named because of the large number of shipwrecks along these shores. During our time here we will visit the Chapel of Nosa Señora do Bon Suceso, dating from the 18th century.

Nearby we explore Cape Finisterra, meaning “Land’s End”. This name stems from the fact that this area is on a remote peninsula that is one of the westernmost points of land in Spain. It is also the final destination for pilgrims on the Way of St James. Time permitting we may visit the spectacular lighthouse on the promontory called “Monte Facho” at the tip of Cape Finisterre overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On the road up to the lighthouse is the parish Church of Santa María de Fisterra which contains the Chapel of Santo Cristo.

In the late afternoon we return to Santiago de Compostela. Tonight we celebrate our final night on pilgrimage with a special meal at a local Spanish restaurant.

Santiago de Compostela overnight (BD)

Day 13: Thursday 1st November – Depart Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for your homebound flight connections.

Note: only one group transfer (B)


PILGRIMAGE DETAILS
Tour Code: 8PV33
Commences Madrid: 20 October 2018
Indicative Cost Per Person Twin Share: $3,890 (Incl. Tax)
Single Room Supplement: $1,090
Prepaid Tipping: $195
 
All details of sightseeing listed and order of daily arrangements must remain subject to change due to any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise, or at the discretion of the pilgrimage leadership. This overview is based on the standard pilgrimage departure and return dates. Please refer to your personal flight itinerary for more specific details or amendments pertaining to your travel.

SIMPLE BOOKING PROCEDURES
Contact Harvest to place your booking and to advise any other extension plans. Send an $800 AUD deposit per person with completed pilgrims booking form to Harvest Journeys in Sydney. Cheques to be made payable to Harvest Journeys, nominate Credit Card details where shown or Direct Deposit. Await Harvest’s letter of confirmation containing receipt, visa(s) information (if applicable) and travel insurance detail along with any other specific travel detail. Make balance of payment seven weeks prior to departure. Collect or await the delivery of final tour documentation approximately two weeks prior to departure date.

INCLUSIONS
Airfares
: No airfares included.
Accommodation and Meals: Based on moderate hotel accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily.
Miscellaneous inclusions: Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary
Not Included: Airfares • Passport and additional Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate).
 
* Costs have been based on prices as at July 2017 and must remain subject to change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (15) contingencies.
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