camino

Camino de Santiago Trek Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TSO
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is one of the world's oldest pilgrim routes; travellers have made their way across northern Spain to Santiago on 'The Way of St James' for over 1,000 years. The route is marked by the symbol of the scallop shell, typically found on the Galician shores, and a long-standing tradition is to obtain the ‘compostela’, a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims upon completing the way; gained by walking at least 100km of the route, which we will do on this trip.

 

 

At a Glance

  • 8 nights in pensions and 2-3 star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days point-to-point walking with luggage transferred
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout

Trip Highlights

  • Follow one of the world's oldest pilgrim routes
  • Explore romanesque cathedrals, medieval monasteries and unspoiled rural scenery
  • Collect stamps for your pilgrim's passport along the way
  • The historic Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level- 3 (Moderate)

The trip consists of 6 days of walking and 1 free day. Your luggage is transferred between hotels, so you only need to take a day pack with you on the walks. The terrain and type of path track will vary from man-made paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to gravel. The walks are not technically difficult although some steep ascents and descents should be expected, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Low altitude throughout. 

It is important to bear in mind that the distances walked some of the days are long and you are expected to walk 6 days in a row so there is a high chance to get blisters. We do recommend taking extra care in making sure that your shoes are comfortable. We advise bringing several types of shoes (boots, running shoes, strap sandals) as this will allow you to alternate them at any stage.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The tour leader will accompany the group on all the activities from Day 1 to Day 7. They will provide suggestions on what to do on Day 8, your free day. For any further questions until departure your point of contact will be the staff at the hotel reception, who will also coordinate your transfer to the airport.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Samos.

    The trip will start tonight in our hotel in Samos. The main briefing will take place this evening, then there is free time for you to rest or explore Samos as you like.

    Accommodation: Hotel A Veiga (or similar)

  • Day 2

    To Sarria walking through ancient oak forests and quaint villages.

    After breakfast, we start our first walk in one of the most unspoilt sections of the Camino. We walk through the Galician countryside, populated by a number of traditional agricultural villages and visit the town of Samos. We will pass by one of the oldest monasteries in Spain and get the chance to see a lovely old chapel from the ninth century. We will then continue through ancient oak forests to the town of Sarria.

    Accommodation: Hotel Oca Villa de Sarria (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. 14km / 4hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 14 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    135
    Total descent (m):
    240
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 3

    Walk through the rolling hills of the Galician countryside to Portomarin.

    We continue walking up and down the hills of Galicia to the town of Portomarin, which was rebuilt on a hilltop from its original location in the River Mino’s valley. This was done to escape flooding when a reservoir was constructed in 1962. The old church was moved, stone by stone, to its current location.

    Accommodation: Hotel Villajardín (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. 23km / 7hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 23 km / 14 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    465
    Total descent (m):
    490
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 4

    Uphill to the village of Ventas de Naron and on to Palas de Rei.

    We start with a steady ascent to the village of Ventas de Naron, where the terrain levels out. Along the way to Palas de Rei there are plenty of cafes where we can enjoy a break. Palas de Rei marks the half-way point of our trek and we spend the night in a hotel, where we can really feel the spirit of the ‘Camino’ since many walkers stop here.

    Considering the length of the walk please note that a taxi can be arranged to allow opting out from a section, if needed.

    Accommodation: Hotel Complejo la Cabaña (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. 25km / 7hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 25 km / 15 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    545
    Total descent (m):
    365
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 5

    Walk to the town of Melide, renowned for its octopus with potatoes dish, and on to Arzua, famous for its cheeses.

    We begin our longest day's walking along a very picturesque stretch of the Camino, as we cross several Roman bridges and walk past medieval churches. For lunch we stop in the small town of Melide, renowned for its delicious octopus with potatoes and end our day in Arzua, famous for its cheeses.

    Considering the length of the walk please note that a taxi can be arranged to allow opting out from a section, if needed.

    Accommodation: Hotel O Retiro (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. km 29/ 8hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 29 km / 18 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    560
    Total descent (m):
    715
    Activity (hours):
    8
  • Day 6

    Meet many more pilgrims on the final section to Pedrouzo.

    Today’s walk to the village of Pedrouzo involves a number of short ascents and descents through woods, fruit fields and eucalyptus. As Santiago draws ever closer, more pilgrims will cross our path, adding to the anticipation of reaching our goal, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

    Accommodation: Hotel Platas (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. 19km / 7hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 19 km / 11 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    320
    Total descent (m):
    415
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 7

    Walk to Santiago de Compostela.

    Our final day’s walk sees us climbing up to the famous Monte do Gozo, where pilgrims traditionally took in their first views of the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. As part of the centuries-old tradition, we make our way through the city’s streets and crowds to Plaza del Obradoiro, dominated by the impressive Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where we can observe a mass service that may include the impressive “Botafumeiro” incense swinging, although it cannot be guaranteed. 

    Accommodation: Hotel Avenida (or similar)

    Walk Profile: approx. 20km / 7hrs walking

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    300
    Total descent (m):
    340
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 8

    Free day in Santiago de Compostela.

    Free day to explore the historic city of Santiago at your own pace. There are plenty of things to do; you can visit the spectacular cathedral and stroll around the narrow streets of the World Heritage-listed Old Town with its diverse architecture. Alternatively, you can visit the museum of Galician Life, home to interesting exhibits of Galician traditions and art. You can also join a day excursion to Cape Finisterre, which was believed to be the end of the known world in Roman times. The Cape is also the final destination for many pilgrims on the way of St. James.

    Accommodation: Hotel Avenida (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Santiago de Compostela.

    The trip ends this morning after breakfast in Santiago de Compostela.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels & Pensions

You will spend 8 nights in 2 and 3-star standard hotels and pensions. All rooms feature en suite facilities and most offer free Wi-Fi.

A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement on request.

Please be advised that due to the increased popularity of the Camino de Santiago and demand for accommodation, there may be some departures where groups are split between 2 hotels in some locations during the trip. All hotels used will be of a similar standard and quality throughout.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £250.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

Breakfasts in Spain usually consist of coffee with milk, toast with ham, olive oil, tomatoes, cheese and butter and jam. Bakery items such as pastries, fruit and juice are also popular. During this trip you can expect different variations of breakfast at the hotels and pensions we stay at, but they will all include at least some of the standard breakfast items that are popular in Spain.

The land in north Spain is rich and produces almost everything one might want to eat from fish and seafood to good quality meat, vegetables and fruit. Your leader will recommend good places to eat. Sometimes it will be tapas, sharing some “raciones” as a group and sometimes you will be able to choose from the menu.

In the Camino de Santiago restaurants and bars offer a set menu called the “Menu del Pergerino” and offer 5 starters, 5 mains and dessert, coffee and drink for about EUR 10-15. If you feel daring you can try the Octopus “Pulpo a la Feira” that Spaniards consider a delicacy and is well cooked and served sliced with paprika, olive oil and sea salt. Sometimes it is also served with “grelos" (boiled sliced potatoes).

Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00hrs and 21.30hrs.

Please be aware that meat and fish are staple food in Northern Spain. 

Vegetarians can be catered for, as are other dietary requirements although there may not be the same choice or variety as you have at home and please be prepared to be flexible. Please advise us upon booking.

Transportation

Transfers to and from the airport will be by private vehicle (normally minibus).

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In April and October expect temperatures in the 40-60F/ 5-15ºC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May and September tend to be about 10F/5ºC warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds.

Weather Charts

Northern Spain

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 9 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Vueling (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 9 days starting in Samos and ending in Santiago de Compostela

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Samos in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

You can pre-book private arrival and departure transfers through Exodus if you wish (payable in advance). Please ensure that you provide us with all relevant information at least 2 weeks before departure.

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about approximately EUR 200 should you decide to make your way independently to Samos.

Location start:
Samos
Location end:
Santiago de Compostela

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking boots or shoes with sturdy soles that have been broken in
  • Comfortable flip flops or strap walking sandals
  • Daypack (20-25 litre capacity)
  • Water bottle (1-2 litre capacity at least)
  • Wind/waterproof jacket
  • Wind/waterproof trousers
  • Woolly hat and gloves
  • Warm clothes/fleece
  • Sunglasses, sunhat and high factor sunscreen

Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the area which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

We ask that you do not bring more than 20 kg of hold luggage with you to ensure that the whole group's luggage fits in the support vehicle and can be safely handled. 

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles
  • Camera

Reading List

Roads to Santiago- Cees Nooteboom (1997) 

The Pilgrimage -Paulo Coelho (1986) 

Walkers on the Caminso

Practical Information

Passport

Spain

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Spain

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Spain's Currency

The national currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 1.17 to the GBP, 0.85 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.62 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There are cash points available in most towns along the route and most places take major credit cards, even though cash is generally easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

All along the Camino Santiago there are restaurants offering set lunches and dinners for approximately EUR 10‐15 specifically aimed at those following the route. The exception would be the special farewell group dinner in Santiago de Compostela for approximately EUR 30. We recommend you allow approx. EUR 230 in total, however this does depend on which restaurant you choose.

Optional Excursions

In Santiago de Compostela the entrance to the Cathedral is free, but if you want to visit the Cathedral's Museum it will cost you EUR 12 (or EUR 10 for those over 65 years old).


Other Museums in Santiago de Compostela:

  • Museum of the Arte Sacro: EUR 1.50
  • Museum of the Galician Life: EUR 4
  • Museum of Contemporary Arts: free

Excursion to Cape Finisterre bookable locally for approximately EUR 60 including transport, a Spanish guide and lunch.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution between EUR20 to EUR25 per client per week. 

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to stay in accommodations that are locally owned or at least employs local staff and uses local produce wherever possible. Our small group size allows us to support smaller hotels and restaurants bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region. As a walking trip, it allows easy access and flexibility for clients to interact with the locals, visit local cafes and bars, support local produce and craft to facilitate cultural exploration.

Water is a really important issue on trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we do not cause unnecessary waste from single use plastic bottles. Hence, we strongly encourage clients to come prepared with a reusable water bottle.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.