8-Day Self-Guided Family FRENCH WAY: Starts Sarria

Family French Way: Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

 

An 8-day, 117 Kilometre Family Pilgrimage through Spain.  It promises to be one of the most inspirational classrooms in the world, bringing history to life and opening the minds of all who walk the path to Santiago de Compostela.

 

SELF-GUIDED

TRIP LENGTH: 8days/7nights - MEALS: 7 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners 

TRIP GRADE: Moderate - OTHER: Luggage Transfer – 1 x 20kg bag per person   

 

DEPARTURE DATE: On a date to suit you 

PRICES FROM: Euro745 per person, twin share.

TRIPLE ROOMS ON REQUEST:  DEPOSIT AUD400 PER PERSON

 
TRIP OVERVIEW

One of the world’s great historical trails, The road to Santiago , also known as the “Camino trail” or the “Way of St James”, is an epic 800km walk across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela.   

It began as a religious pilgrimage to the relics of the Apostle James, interred in the grand old Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and since the ninth century hundreds of thousands have made the life-changing journey. It can take between 30 and 40 days if you choose to do it all in one go, however many also do a portion at a time, and some only walk the last 100km's as this entitles the pilgrim the Compostela recognition.
 
There are many varied reasons that people walk the Camino, which is renowned as one of the most religious, inspirational and rewarding experiences.  Some people do it simply for health and wellbeing, whilst many refer to it as a religious or spiritual journey. There is an enormous depth of history and everyday learning’s, as people of all ages from all over the world come together to walk the paths that so many have done before them.  The small villages along the way would not exist if it wasn't for the Camino, and the Camino wouldn't exist if it wasn’t for the villages. The local people who are proud of their country and their culture, readily offer their hospitality and their generosity is overwhelming.  
 
The countryside is extremely picturesque. The rolling hills are often dotted with a church steeple on the horizon, which may look close, but quite likely may be two or more kilometres away.  The daily walk provides plenty of thinking and reflection time and the challenge of walking distances of 20 to 30 kilometres per day becomes easier as fitness increases with each step. Engaging with the locals is most rewarding and at times quite emotional, with many elderly ladies in the local churches keen to stamp your pilgrim passbook in recognition of your visit.  

SELF-GUIDED WALKING

Our self-guided itineraries are ideal for groups and independent travellers who prefer to navigate their own way in their own time. The Camino de Santiago is well suited for self-guided walking, as the paths and tracks are well-marked with yellow arrows showing the way.

You will be provided with a pack of easy to read maps and instructions, complete with directions to guide you. Your pack will be available at your joining hotel on the first day of your trip.  And, you can be confident that 'you are not alone' as we monitor your arrival at your accommodation each day and provide you with contact details for your journey.

This itinerary is carefully designed for easy to manage walking days. There is a basic level of fitness required and some uphill stretches in part, however, given you only need carry a lightweight day bag and your water supply, which can be replenished in the various villages on route, and other essentials such as snacks, it makes this trip very manageable for any inexperienced walker.

ACCOMMODATION & LUGGAGE TRANSFER     

Your stay will be in an excellent combination of centrally located hotels and charming village accommodation dotted along the Camino.  The character, comfort and often the uniqueness of the accommodation all adds to the experience. In some villages you will stay in ‘Casa Rurals’, which are bed and breakfast style accommodation.  

Your private accommodation is pre-booked in advance and is on a twin share basis with private en-suite facilities.  Single supplement is on request and where possible we will offer a gender share option as requested.



The local cuisine is also a highlight. On occasion, mama will be in the kitchen preparing a three course hearty meal known as the pilgrim’s staple, which comes complete with a bottle of wine, (which can be returned to the kitchen if you wish, or if you are under age!). The cook, or regular chef will not disappoint, and all dietary requirements are taken care of in advance. The language is Spanish. English is difficult to find, which adds an exciting dimension and a great reminder that you are travelling in a foreign land.

Your luggage is transferred daily which means you are carefree to enjoy the walking, with no need to worry about your bed for that night, nor straining your body from carrying too many kilos on your back.  

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


ARRIVE SARRIA Day 1/Night 1 – July 3, 2017

Welcome to Sarria. As well as being rich in history, Sarria is a key service centre for the Camino.  There are two parts, one being the beautiful historical village which is located in the upper part of town. Here you can visit the Tower of El Batallon and the Convent da Magdalena, once a convent and now a hotel it is definitely worth a visit to appreciate the architecture.  Sarria is also renowned for its restoration workshops and antique stores.

SARRIA - PORTOMARIN 23km - Estimated walking time approx. 5-6 hours - Day 2/Night 2

Leaving Sarria as the sun comes up (between 7am and 8am from May through October) it is worth the early morning wake up call, for the magical walk through the Rua Major, where the street lamps lining the road bid us farewell to Sarria.  There are at least 5 villages en route to Portomarin, which is another highlight for history and views.  We enter the town of Portomarin, crossing the longest bridge on the Camino, you will notice, every second shop is a bakery, as Portomarin is also well known for its tarts and liqueurs.  Owing to the construction of a dam on the River Mino you can see the remains of a few buildings and the old bridge when the water line is low.  The Main Square and Church of San Nicolas are a welcoming site and the small Church of San Pedro is worth a visit. In the evening we will join the local families in the square and kick a soccer ball around, this is their national sport, so expect to be shown some impressive local talent!


PORTOMARIN - PALAS DE REI 24km. Estimated walking time approx. 5-6 hours - Day 3/Night 3

An easy 24 kilometre walk to Palas de Rei, a town of 3,700 people. Our path takes us through farming regions, fields of sunflowers, and picnic areas. It is a day of fewer villages, so time to soak up the countryside.  Palas de Rei is quaint and welcoming.


PALAS DE REI - MELIDE 14km.  Estimated walking time approx. 3-4 hours - Day 4/Night 4

There are only a couple of kilometres between towns and villages before arriving in Melide, founded in the 10th  century and permitted to build a castle in 1320.

MELIDE - ARZUA 15km. Estimated walking time approx. 4 hours Day 5/Night 5

Much of the day is shaded through the Oak and Eucalyptus forest.  An area for farming and more cattle per head than another area in the region of Galicia.

ARZUA - RUA 19km. Estimated walking time approx. 4-5 hours Day 6/Night 6

This is a thrilling day, the excitement mounts as Santiago, the final stage, feels like it is just up the road and, one sleep away.  There are smiles on the faces of the pilgrims and the locals.  Today is also a day to sample some mushrooms, known in Spain as setas, mushrooms are in abundance at the right time of year.  Take a journey back in time, a rare opportunity to do some old fashioned mushrooming if you wish along the way.



RUA - SANTIAGO 19km. Estimated walking time approx. 5 hours Day 7/Night 7

The last day of the pilgrimage, it will be a day of unexpected events. Arriving in Santiago can be an emotional and bitter sweet experience. Even if your feet and legs are hurting, there is usually a feeling of not wanting the journey to end.  Santiago is visible from about 5 kilometres away, and it is worth the early morning start to arrive at the Cathedral for the pilgrim’s midday mass, making your way past the pied piper (donations welcome), to the final stage at the steps, then to the seats of the congregation.  Following the service, it is a trip to the Compostela office to show your stamp book to the team of volunteers, who are eagerly waiting to hear your story and stamp your certificate highlighting your name in Latin.

 

The last night in Santiago is to celebrate, where the rewards for all that walking are sampling an endless supply of tapas, chorizo, bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches), tortilla and Iberico jamon (Spanish ham), to name just a few of the specialties. You can reflect on the highlights of your journey, and remember the tales that will stay on the Camino     
 


SANTIAGO Day 8 – July 10, 2017

Santiago de Compostela is a special, rare city with a particular magic that can only be enjoyed by walking around its streets.  Its historical centre has been designated a World Heritage Site and offers dozens of churches and religious buildings, including the impressive cathedral, which is both Baroque and Romanesque at the same time and contains the sepulchre of the Apostle St James (known in Spanish as Santiago).  The plazas of A Quintana, Praterias, Acibecheria and O Obradoiro escort the Cathedral and each one stands as an open-air museum.  Plaza de O Obradoiro marks the location of the Hostel dos Reis Cat Thelicos, which is today a parador hotel, the office of the vice-chancellor of the city s university and the Pazo de Raxoi, which is home to the regional government and the City Hall.  The cathedral marks the beginning of Rúa da Raiña and Rúa Franco, which are laden with tapas bars and restaurants where you can enjoy all the specialities of Galicia and, at the end of the street, the beautiful Paseo da Ferradura offers impressive views of the city on one side and the university campus on the other.  Another part of the historical centre contains the beautiful marketplace, which is of neo-Romanesque style.  It is impossible to summarise the beauty of this great city in only a few lines. 

Although the trip finishes after breakfast today, the memories of the Camino will live on.
 

Read Walking the Camino with Kids by Jerry Pilgrim


    Wandering the World  hope you have had a journey of a lifetime and welcome your choice to wander with us again.


FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING:

PHONE: +61 (0) 402 910 552

EMAIL: Glenyce Johnson glenycej@wanderingtheworld.com.au

or Jane Reed janer@wanderingtheworld.com.au

VISIT:  www.wanderingtheworld.com.au


Full booking conditions and payment details available on request.

Wandering the World specialises in creating and tailoring exceptional walking, trekking and touring holidays in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This includes both escorted small group and self-guided trips, as well as individually tailored itineraries for privately organised trips.

We are passionate about sharing the places we love and offer our expertise to ensure our travellers enjoy rich and authentic travelling experiences. Wandering the World select authentic and comfortable accommodation and our itineraries are focused on immersing travellers in the local culture and uncovering the hidden gems of a destination. We are committed to ensuring our travellers have a trip of a lifetime.    


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