The tour starts at your historic hotel in the heart of Leon (although a train ticket from Madrid to Leon is included in the price of the tour). Masses of restaurants, tapas bars on your doorstep, so we've left you free for dinner tonight.
After a 1hr transfer to Cruz de Ferro, a remote hilltop chapel high in the smoky Montes de Leon, the Camino winds downhill through fragrant pines where once the Knights Templar protected pilgrims from bandit attack. An easy path lined with wild chestnuts, cherries, peppers and fennel leads to riverside Molinaseca, where you'll meet your host Juan Belda, who has walked the entire Camino three times! Walking time 4hr, distance 16km/10mi or walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8mi.
After a short transfer (30 mins), you ascend the Rio Valcarce valley, climbing into moody oak woods strung with lichen and strewn with early purple orchid. O'Cebreiro is a C11 village in the heart of the Cordillera Cantabrica - walk to the viewpoint above the village for a perfect sunset and views over 4 ranges of hills, then return along the narrow cobbled streets past traditional thatched houses known as palazos. Walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8mi.
Farmers wield razor sharp scythes in tiny fields outside Triacastela, as the Camino meanders between heather clad villages overlooking the Monastery of Samos - you can even hear the bells! On reaching Sarria - the antiques capital of Galicia - you'll be whisked to Javier and Raquel's luxurious country rectory, (10 mins), complete with chapel and al fresco dining patio. Walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi.
A Roman bridge leads out of Sarria up the Celerio Valley, where you'll traverse the hamlets of the southern flank of the Sierra del Paramo. Descend into Portomarin - the original village was drowned by the Belesar Reservoir, and houses still shimmer below the surface! This evening, meet Mario's horses and enjoy wine from his vines, before a waterside stroll after dinner. Walking time 5hr, distance 21km/13mi.
Drop into Portomarin's church then follow the Torres stream passing between cornfields lined with ox-eye daisies. Stamp your pilgrim passport in country churches dedicated to the Order of St James before arriving at your delightful rural farmhouse this evening. Walking time 4.5hr, distance 20km/12mi.
Country lanes lead past fortified farmhouses into the hillside town of Palas del Rei (Palace of the King) as you enter the province of A Coruna. You'll pass typical raised Galician granaries and chickens scamper across narrow streets as you enter vineyards, with views east to the Montes del Vacaloura. Walking time 13km/8mi.
Melide is a thriving country town with tavernas brimming with locals enjoying Galician seafood in specialist pulperias (octopus restaurants!). Drop into the Romanesque church to admire the frescoes, before lanes lined with bright yellow celandine bring you into the lively market town of Arzua. We collect you here and take you back to Melide for a second night. Walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi.
Short (20 min) transfer back to Arzua's colonnaded streets which lead you into open country where local farmers wear berets as they tend vines and build haystacks with pitch forks. Your route rises and falls through river valleys crossing rushing streams. This evening you can marvel at Javier and Maria's breath-taking converted water mill, where original machinery has been turned into spectacular period features! Walking time 5hr, distance 19km/12mi.
Excitement mounts as you set off towards Monte do Gozo - the Mount of Joy - where pilgrims of old caught their first glimpse of the spires of Santiago. It is a bit busier these days! On reaching Santiago's historic centre, congratulations are everywhere as a steady stream of pilgrims reach journey's end below the cathedral's spectacular Baroque facade. Drop into the Pilgrim Office to collect your certificate if you wish, before checking into our historic hotel near the old marketplace, still a riot of colour! Walking time 5hr, distance 19km/12mi.
Enjoy Santiago and the cathedral before taking a taxi to the airport (pay locally approx 15 euro). Or stay on for extra nights to explore this beautiful city.