On this self-drive tour you will be following along the French Pilgrimage way to Santiago. If you wish you could walk some of the scenic portions of the trail having some in your party designate as the driver for the day and you could roate around the day so you all get a chance to walk a portions of the trail. The normal daily schedule could be a morning walk of 2 or 3 hrs every day, but days will vary depending on the climate, etc. In the afternoons in some historic cities you will meet up with some private local guides to enjoy guided visits of Cathedrals, old quarters, etc.
Accommodations are based on two different classes: A - Deluxe or B - Moderate refer to the lodging for further details. Along the way you will sample fine local cuisine and wines with a winery visit in the region of La Rioja.
Day 1: Bilbao - Haro - Laguardia (Rioja wine country).
This morning pick up your car rental (See Transportation) from Bilbao airport or from a city centre office if you have opted to stay overnight in Bilbao. Drive from Bilbao to Haro in the Heart of Rioja Alvesa wine country. Upon arrival you will meet a local guide to enjoy a visit of the old quarter of the town and a tour/tasting of a Rioja winery. Free time for lunch on your own in Haro (Recommend: try a few Tapas in the many bars/taverns along Barrio de la Herradura). After lunch continue driving through the rioja wine country arriving at Laguardia a charming wine town. Check-in Hotel. Later if you wish take a stroll around the old quarter of town. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Laguardia.
Day 2: Laguardia - Santo Domingo De La Calzada – Burgos.
Breakfast. Today you could start by visiting Santo Domingo de la Calzada's Cathedral and old quarter. Then leaving La Rioja you following along the French Pilgrimage Way To Santiago In Castilla Y Leon. If you take turns for driving days then some of you this morning could enjoy walking independently between Belorado and San Juan de Ortega. We have selected the most scenic portions to walk which will be around 6kms (Duration: 1h30 approx.) for this stage. You will cross the Montes de Oca in the forest trails with Chestnut trees, etc. and ending the day in Burgos. Walking today you will have the opportunity to meet other pilgrim walkers from many different countries around the world. Before lunch your designated driver for the day will pick you up and take you to Burgos. Check-in Hotel and free time for lunch on your own. In the afternoon meet up with a local guide and enjoy a guided visit of Burgos, with its impressive cathedral and old quarter. Rest of the day at your own leisure to explore the city. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Burgos. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Burgos - Carrion De Los Condes - Sahagun – Leon.
Breakfast. Starting off this morning if you take turns for driving days then some of you could enjoy walking independently through the "Tierra de Campos" where you will see the wheat and cereal fields that are so characteristic of the Castilian Plains. During the walk you will see different types of traditional architecture of the homes, villages, etc. We have selected the most scenic portions to walk which will be around 8kms (Duration: 2 hours approx.) for this stage from Burgos to Castojeriz. Continuing on passing through many small pilgrimage villages stopping in Carrion de los Condes for lunch on your own (Recommend: Having lunch in the restaurant of a Pilgrimage Monastery). After lunch you continue to Sahagun. Upon arrival to Leon Check-in hotel. In the afternoon on your own visit the cathedral & old quarter of the city. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Leon. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Leon - Astorga - Molinaseca - Ponferrada.
Breakfast. Leaving Leon you could make a stop at the Virgen del Camino (The Virgin of the Way). Then continue driving on making a stop in Astorga to visit the Cathedral and Episcopal Palace which houses the Pilgrimage Museum de los Caminos. Free time for lunch in the medieval town of Castrillo de los Polvazares (Recommended: For lunch you could try ordering in one of the local restaurant the traditional dish, "Cocido Maragato"). After lunch some of you could enjoy walking independently in the beautiful region known as the "Valle del Silencio" (Valley of Silence). The picturesque walk today will take us though old mountain villages in an area of profound valleys of the Rivers Sil and Duero. We have selected the most scenic portions to walk which will be around 10kms (Duration: 2h 30 approx). In Foncebadon stop at La Cruz de Ferro (The Iron Cross). After this you cross the Pilgrims Bridge to the village of Monlinaseca. Ending the day in Ponferrada, on your own you could visit the Templar Castle and the Iron Bridge. Check-in Hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Ponferrada. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Ponferrada - Villafranca Del Bierzo - O Cebreiro - Samos - Portomarin - Santiago De Compostela.
Breakfast. In the morning you could make a stop in Villafranca del Bierzo to visit the old quarter. Then following along the French Pilgrimage Way To Santiago In Galicia entering into Galicia. Visit the Celtic mountain village of O Cebreiro. Then the Monastery of Samos. Free time for lunch on your own. After lunch you will pass through many villages making selected stops until in Portomarin. Now you will make the final stretch to... Santiago De Compostela the end of the Pilgrims' way! Admire the typical Galician Countryside while walking through the forest trail with eucalyptus trees and passing by cows and "Horreos" which are stone granaries used to store the corn and wheat, and are a cultural symbol of Rural Galicia "The Land of the Apostle St. James". Passing Melide we are getting in the proximity of Santiago. For this last stage we have selected the most scenic portions to walk which will be around 5kms (Duration: 01h00 approx.). Check-in Hotel upon arrival. Dinner on your own (Recommended: For fine cuisine Restaurante Toñi Vicente, for tapas try many of the bars/taverns in the old quarter). Overnight in Santiago. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Santiago - Walking Day Tour In The Historic Quarter of The Ancient Pilgrimage City.
Breakfast. This morning meet up with a local guide and enjoy a detailed visit of the Cathedral & old quarter and ethnographic museum of the Galician people. Lunch on your own in the old quarter. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Santiago. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Santiago - Santiago Airport.
Breakfast. Check-out (Before 12:00 noon). Drive to Lavacolla, Santiago's International Airport where you will drop off your car rental or if you are continuing on by other means of transportation you could drop off the car rental at the Renfe Train Station in Santiago city. Includes: (B).
Notes: Prices above are per person based on 6 people traveling. This tour is available for as little as 2 people. Please inquire for exact prices. When you book your vacation, an agreement is made between you, our company and others who provide services. Upon request we can provide you with our general terms and conditions governing the provision of these holidays. A non-refundable upfront initial deposit of € 200 Euros is due within 7 days of the initial booking request. Final payment is due 45 days before the tour departure. Within 45 day full payment is due upon booking request. All prices, itinerary etc. listed are subject to change without notice. No unused portion of the vacation can be refunded. Cancellation penalties apply & change fees after booking is confirmed, refer to our general terms. Please inquire for pre or post tour add-ons / hotel stays.
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