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JTW 2020 – Walking the Camino – Spain

30 APR – 21 MAY

The opportunity to walk Spain’s celebrated Camino de Santiago isn’t just another vacation; it’s a life-changing achievement. To feel, absorb, smell and taste Northern Spain’s diversity, whether you wish to undertake a great physical challenge, gain a unique perspective on rural and urban communities, or meet intriguing travel companions, this is an incomparable walk.

Also known as the way of St James, this ancient Catholic pilgrimage route leads to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, North-Western Spain, where legend has it the bones of the apostle St James were brought by boat from Jerusalem to be buried under the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.  As an important Christian pilgrimage route for over 1000 years, the trail was considered to be one of the three pilgrimage routes on which all sins could be forgiven. There are many routes to Santiago de Compostela, starting from a variety of points, from as far away as Belgium to as close as 100km from Santiago – which is where our journey will begin!

Overall, the route isn’t particularly strenuous, but you will need physical and mental stamina. It’s an incredible journey that will immerse you in Spain’s grand history, food and culture. The spirit of the Camino de Santiago is alive and well among people from all over the world.

Day One ­­— 30 APR 2020
Our tour begins the moment we collect you from home and transfer to Sydney airport for our onward flight to Barcelona.

Day Two ­­­ — 1 May 2020
We arrive today in cosmopolitan Barcelona, the sophisticated seaside capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, known for its art and architecture, thriving culture and fine dining.
(Meals: Inflight, Dinner)

Day Three — 2 May 2020
Today we focus on two of the famous sites in Barcelona when we explore the Parc Guell, which pays homage to the works of Gaudi; before entering one of his most celebrated works, the beautiful Roman Catholic church of La Sagrada Familia.
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

Day Four — 3 May 2020
Traveling to Yesa today we visit the beautiful Leyre Monastery where there will be the opportunity to listen to the monks rehearsing their Choir. The Monastery of Leyre is one of the most important monuments in Navarra. It’s surrounded by woodlands and pathways and, from its esplanade, you can take in the magnificence of its scenery, ranging from the nearby Yesa water reservoir to the far distant peaks of the Pyrenees.
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day Five — 4 May 2020
Easing into our first walk of the Camino, we will journey 4km walking through the Aragon Pyrenees to visit the San-Juan de la Pena monastery. Carved into a cliffside, this religious complex is steeped in legends of miraculous stags and the Holy Grail. Our walk today includes a picnic lunch before we transfer to Pamplona for our next stay.
(Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner)

Day Six — 5 May 2020
We start today with a tour of Pamplona. Pamplona makes a fascinating place to explore. With its grand cathedral, archaeological treasures and 16th-century fortifications, there’s much history hidden in these atmospheric medieval lanes. Today we will explore the Pamplona Cathedral, follow the route of the world-famous bull run and visit the Ernest Hemingway trail. We visit Roncesvalles, a small town which sits in the Pyrenees and visit the convent, before walking to Burguete (4.5km).
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day Seven — 6 May 2020
This morning we will transfer to Leon via Burgos where we’ll have a brief stop for lunch and the opportunity to explore the town. This is a city that rewards deeper exploration with pretty streetscapes that extend far beyond the landmark cathedral. This evening we arrive into Leon, a beautiful city that combines stunning historical architecture with irresistible energy.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Eight — 7 May 2020
We have a 5km walk today from San Justa de la Vega into Astorga, a historic city in the province of León. Here we visit the main sights of the town, before continuing to Cruz de Ferro, one of the main iconic landmarks of the Camino, symbolising and encouraging pilgrims to continue the legendary custom of depositing a stone at its base to achieve protection throughout the journey. This evening we will be transferred to Sarria. Although we have done some shorter walks, Sarria is the starting point for our exciting main journey, walking the final 100km along the Camino, through to the end point of Santiago De Compostela.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Nine — 8 May 2020
Our first walk of our journey today is a 12km half day walk through the charming hamlets and small rural villages that lie between Sarria and Morgade. These towns along the way offer many cafes and restaurants from which to choose our stop for lunch.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Ten — 9 May 2020
Today we’ll experience the vast open expanses of the Meseta, a large open elevated plateau that offers solitude and a feeling of liberation in a landscape typifying the middle of Spain. The walk is 11kms from Morgade to Portomarin and will include small historical towns and villages along the way that are dependent on the foot traffic of the Camino as their lifeline.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Eleven — 10 May 2020
Today we make our way from Portomarin to Ventas de Naron. Here, the Camino follows the Senda beside the highway, and we take short strolls into the forest and farmland and visit a hórrero in the hamlet of Toxibo. Along this 10km stretch, the Camino ventures through small communities, crosses the River Mino and passes through the beautiful church in Santa Maria.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Twelve — 11 May 2020
This morning we walk 13kms from Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei. Palas de Rei was referred to as the Royal Palace in the first pilgrims’ guide from the 12th century and the lands in the town, and it’s surrounds, reflect its noble past.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Thirteen — 12 May 2020
Today we walk through the villages of Casanova and Leboreiro to Melide, located in the region of Galicia in Northwest Spain and the only town where two Camino routes meet. Arriving into Melide, we’ll view impressive architecture of the Chapels and monuments throughout the town and take some time to relax after our walk.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Fourteen — 13 May 2020
Today’s destination is Arzua, and our 14km walk promises to be one of the most scenic as we walk through medieval villages and visit numerous churches that are centuries old.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Fifteen — 14 May 2020
Our second last walking day is the longest of our journey, as we travel 23kms from Arzua to Amenal. We walk through woodlands, a eucalyptus forest, small villages and one of the quietest points of our journey, the hamlet of A Rúa. We settle in Amenal for the night before our final day on the Camino
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Sixteen — 15 May 2020
We have reached our final day of our 100km walk! We finish with a 14km walk from Amenal to Santiago de Compostela, walking through the Lavacolla and to the monument at Monte do Gozo where we will see the cathedral for the first time! Once we arrive in Santiago, there is an optional pilgrims mass if you wish to participate, or simply take time to relax and explore your surroundings knowing you’ve achieved the walk of a lifetime.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Seventeen — 16 May 2020
After a morning at leisure in Santiago, we’ll explore this final stop on the epic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. Santiago is a beautiful historical city of arcaded streets and magnificent stone architecture, of which the famous cathedral is the jewel in the crown. We’ll visit the historical area, Old Town and view the magnificent architecture of the Praza da Quintana, Fonte dos Cabalos and Praza de Cervantes.
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

Day Eighteen — 17 May 2020
Today we cross into Portugal – through to Porto, stopping along the way to explore the historic town of Guimaraes, a charming city at the centre of gothic buildings, traditional houses, and delightful plazas. Guimaraes is regarded as the birthplace of Portugal, and its extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city. We will visit the famous castle and the Paco dos Duques de Braganca.
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Nineteen — 18 May 2020
In Porto we’ll explore the famous Sao Bento train station, Clerigos Tower and Bridge D. Luis – an icon of the city spanning the River Douro and linking the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia with the bustling downtown Ribeira district. We’ll spend the evening in a Porto wine cave and learn about the making of the wines and of course, give them a taste!
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

Day Twenty — 19 May 2020
This morning we hop aboard a scenic cruise on the Douro river from Regua to Pinhao and view the stunning scenery of Douro Valley. We visit the Quinto do Bonfim winery for some tasting before our evening visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Remedios, one of Portugal’s most stunning Baroque Churches, whose impressive staircase leads down to the heart of the town. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner accompanied by a Fado show, showcasing traditional music from the region!
(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day Twenty-One — 20 May 2020
This morning we say good-bye to Porto, and reflect on the many experiences we’ve had and the memories we’ve made as we make our way to the airport for our flight back home.
(Meals: Breakfast, Inflight)

Day Twenty-Two — 21 May 2020
Today we arrive at Sydney Airport where we will transfer you home where you can relax and start planning your next adventure!
(Meals: Inflight)

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