Headwater - Highlights of the Santiago Walk

8 days
from
£1,089
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Trip code: 
W07CS
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
12

As ancient a route as they come, the Camino de Santiago's growing popularity since its C9 inception has almost bypassed the need for an introduction. The vast expansion of its humble Roman roads connecting France and Spain has, over time, fanned out across Iberia and western Europe, making it one of the most unmissable long distance trails in the world.

On this seven-night walk, you'll start in Sarria, a large town famed for Galicia's antique fairs. From here you'll walk along farm tracks, paths and country lanes, and through vineyards, stopping off at churches to admire the frescoes and tavernas for lunch en route. Be sure to have your Pilgrim Passport stamped in bars, hotels and churches along the way to qualify for a certificate from the official Pilgrim Office in Santiago.

Highlights

  • Walk along one of the most famous UNESCO pilgrimage routes in the world
  • Excellent mix of accommodation, including a converted water mill, restored parish houses and stylish farmhouses
  • Poppy-sprinkled wheat fields, orchid-rich water meadows, pine-scented woodland
  • Share in a breathtaking 1000-year-old sense of achievement with other walkers
  • Pilgrim Passport to record your adventure en route.

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Pilgrim's Passport

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Pilgrim's Passport

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request -compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Travel to/from the start/end points
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended.

Day by day breakdown
Day 223.0km/15.0miles
Day 321.0km/14.0miles
Day 414.0km/9.0miles
Day 521.0km/14.0miles
Day 619.0km/12.0miles
Day 721.0km/14.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Sarria
to
Sarria
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Sarria

    A transfer takes you from Santiago to your hotel in Sarria. (Staying at Rectoral de Goian, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Sarria to Portomarin

    Today starts with a walk along the Roman bridge that leads out of Sarria up the Celerio Valley. Cross through the hamlets of the southern edge of the Sierra del Paramo then descend into Portomarin - the original village was drowned by the Belesar Reservoir, and some remains still shimmer below the surface! (Staying at Casa Rural Santa Marina, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Portomarin to Lestedo

    Today you can visit Portomarin's church before passing between cornfields lined with ox-eye daisies as you follow the Torres stream. Stamp your Pilgrim Passport in country churches dedicated to the Order of St James before arriving at your beautifully restored rectory. (Staying at Rectoral de Lestedo, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Lestedo to O Coto

    Walk along country lanes past fortified farmhouses into the hillside town of Palas de Rei (Palace of the King) as you enter the province of A Coruna. You'll pass typical, raised Galician granaries, and see chickens scamper across narrow streets as you enter vineyards, with views east to the Montes del Vacaloura. (Staying at Casa de los Somoza, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    O Coto to Arzua

    Today's first stop is the thriving country town of Melide, where you'll see locals enjoying Galician seafood in specialist pulperias (octopus restaurants). Drop into the Romanesque church to admire the frescoes, before walking to the lively market town of Arzua along lanes lined with bright yellow celandine. Your final stop is the elegant manor house, surrounded by tranquil countryside, just outside the town. (Staying at Pazo de Santa Maria, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Arzua to Rua

    Follow Arzua's colonnaded streets into open country where local farmers wear berets as they tend vines and build haystacks with pitch forks. Your route will rise and fall through river valleys, crossing rushing streams. This evening you'll stay at Javier's breathtaking converted water mill, where original machinery has been turned into spectacular period features. (Staying at O Muino de Pena, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Rua to Santiago

    The finishing line is near! Set off towards Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) today, where pilgrims of old caught their first glimpse of the spires of Santiago. As you reach Santiago's historic centre, the atmosphere is electric as a steady stream of pilgrims reach their journey's end below the cathedral's spectacular Baroque facade. Drop into the Pilgrim Office to collect your certificate, before checking into our historic hotel near the old marketplace - still a riot of colour! (Staying at Hotel Virxe da Cerca, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Santiago de Compostela

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Food along the Camino de Santiago is generally fresh local produce, simply prepared and presented with lots of great flavours. The emphasis in the majority of restaurants is on hearty fare for hungry walkers.
Galicia in particular is famous for having excellent seafood.

Among other dishes you may encounter the ‘empanada gallega’, a simple flat pie which can be stuffed with almost anything including pisto (Spanish ratatouille), tuna or meat, mixed with a base of lightly fried onions, green peppers and tomato. Pimientos are small green peppers, usually lightly fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Lacón con Grelos is a popular meat based dish - boiled meat from the front leg of a pig. Grelos are turnip leaves - the lacón and grelos are boiled together and served with sausage and potatoes. Stews are also common to revitalise hungry visitors - Caldo Gallego is a Galician broth full of cabbage, potatoes and beans, often with ham, sausage and pork added to make a filling main course.

Dessert is sometimes the ubiquitous ‘flan’ - a variation on crème caramel, or pancakes stuffed with honey, sugar, custard or jam. Along the Camino you can always find ‘tarta de Santiago’ a dry cake made with almonds, often with a sugar dusted cross on the top - sweet, delicious and filling.

There are five Denominaciones de origen in Galicia: Ribeiro, Valdeorras, Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Monterrey. Although known almost exclusively for their white wines, each also produces red wine.

Weather

In April and October expect temperatures in the 40-60°F/5-15°C with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May, June and September tend to be about 10°F/5°C warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds. July and August are typically sunny and warm (60-80°F/15-25°C). Occasionally in summer there can be hot days so it is always important to make sure you have enough water.

Is this trip for you?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 19.8km (12.6miles).
No. of days walking: 6
Terrain and route:  Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes , farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Your accommodation for the week is diverse including restored parish houses, converted water mills and stylish farmhouses, all packed with period features. A phrase book will come in handy for some of the hotels where the owners don't speak English.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936