Highlights of the Santiago Self-Guided Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W07CS
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip 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.

Is This Trip for You?

Walking Conditions
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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local agent/representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred from point to point and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
12
Child max age:
17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Sarria
End City:
Sarria

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Sarria

    Arrive at 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
    Distance covered: 23 km / 15 miles
    Activity (hours):
    8
  • 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
    Distance covered: 21 km / 14 miles
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • 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
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • 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
    Distance covered: 21 km / 14 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • 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
    Distance covered: 19 km / 12 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • 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
    Distance covered: 21 km / 14 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 8

    Leave Santiago de Compostela

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.

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 £224.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

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

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
Iberia Heathrow to Santiago de Compostela via Madrid 06:20/13:00 then transfer to hotel 90 mins. Return: Taxi to airport approx. 15-20 mins payable locally (around 15-20€) then Iberia Santiago de Compostela to Heathrow via Madrid 13:35/17:20.

 

Location start:
Sarria
Location end:
Compostela

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Light walking boots (good walking trainers will suffice)
Small daypack for camera, guidebook, etc.
Water bottle to use when walking and sightseeing (2 litre)
Sun cream
Hat
Sunglasses
Waterproofs
Warm clothes

Optional Equipment

Walking poles
Swimwear

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.

Visa

Spain

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

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.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CEST (GMT +02:00)

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

ATMs are widely available and usually the most convenient way of obtaining Euros. Travellers cheques are accepted in banks. Credit cards are widely used.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Lunch is not included in the itinerary and some dinners are left open where there are good restaurant choices, please allow some spending money for this. We recommend approximately €5-15 (US$4.50-13) per lunch and €20-30 (US$18-27) for dinner.

Responsible Tourism

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

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.