28 MAY to 13 JUNE 2023
From €1495 pp sharing (single supplement €259)
On your 17-day Camino you will walk 255 km, across three scenic sections of the Camino Frances, averaging 16.5 km (10.25 miles) per day. The longest day is 22km (13.6 miles).
We walk in spring when everything is green, the wildflowers are spectacular and the European stork have returned to their huge nests to raise their young.
Stage one: 5 days
Day 1: The group meets in St Jean Pied de Port - St John at the Foot of the Pass - an ancient pilgrim town on the border between France and Spain. This is a rest day to rid you of jet-lag and prepare you for the next 16 days. There will be an orientation with your Group Leader in the evening where you will be given your goodie bag. (If you would like to arrive a day earlier, we'll be happt to reserve an extra night for you.)
Day 2 : We will walk 8 km to the Auberge Orisson where we will have a short rest or even lunch. You can either walk back to St Jean or taxis can be arranged. (amaWalkers will pay). Why don't we sleep over?
The auberge only sleeps 18 people in a dormitory with bunk beds, or 6 two-person tents outback that can be cold even in summer! The walk to Roncesvalles is a steep, hard climb and we like to break it up into two days.
Day 3: A taxi will take us back to Orisson to resume our walk to Roncesvalles completing the climb to the Pass (steeply up and steeply down) covering 17km to the monastery complex of Roncesvalles. The Abbey of Roncesvalles has been providing spiritual and physical support to pilgrims for over 1000 years.
Day 4: Today is a roller-coaster through beech woods and forests to Zubiri.
Day 5 : We walk to Pamplona, the first large city on the route.
Stage two: 5 days
Day 6: From Pamplona we will travel by train to Burgos where will stay close to the UNESCO-listed Gothic Cathedral.
Day 7: The next day we will travel by bus to León in Castilla y León where you can visit the cathedral which boasts the best stained glass windows in Europe.
Day 8: We will take a morning bus to the Roman, walled town of Astorga, home of the Palacio Episcopal - known by most people as the "Gaudi Palace" - and start walking to Rabanal del Camino in the Irago Mountains. (You can explore Astorga a bit more and get a taxi for 10km to Catalina de Somoza, then walk the last 10km to Rabanal). We will walk through some of the most spectacular landscape on the Camino Frances.
Day 9: After Rabanal, we will follow an ancient tradition and leave our stones, brought from home, at the base of the enigmatic Cruz de Ferro - the Iron Cross - before visiting Manjarin, one of the most iconic traditional pilgrim shelters on the Camino. We continue to the beautiful town of El Acebo.
Day 10: Today we walk to Ponferrada where we will visit a massive Templar castle.
Stage 3: 6 days
Day 11: Our hired bus and driver will take us to the mountaintop, listed village of O Cebreiro for breakfast.. There we will see the home of the Holy Grail and Celtic 'polozzas' - thatched houses - then onto Samos for a 14.5km (9 miles) walk to Sarria. If you prefer, you can continue with the bus to Sarria.
Day 12 - 16:
In order to earn the Compostela certificate, pilgrims must cycle or ride their horses for 200km to the Cathedral in Santiago. Walkers must walk the last 100km to Santiago.
You will spend the last 5 days walking through rural farms surrounded by mossy stone walls dotted around green Galician hills.
On your final day you'll arrive in the great Obradoiro Square and celebrate at the Pilgrim's Mass in the stunning Santiago Cathedral.
If you would prefer to spend two nights in Santiago, there is an option to travel to Finisterre - the End of the World - a fitting ending to your magical Camino.
(If you would like to spend an extra day here we'd be happy to reserve an extra night for you).
Note: Extra nights can be arranged at the start and the end of your Camino.