For over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Whether you’re on a spiritual journey or simply want the thrill of hiking this famous pilgrimage route, join us on this new Active Journey.

Starting at: $5,995 Register Interest
 Shell symbol for El Camino de Santiago  The cathedral at Santiago de Compostela  The road to Roncesvalles  Travelers along the Camino de Santiago  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  The town of Burgos, along the Camino de Santiago  Statue of El Cid in Burgos  Medieval bridge outside Burgos  Landscape of Leon Province  Scallop shells, symbol for the Camino de Santiago  Landscape near O Cebreiro  Village of O Cebreiro  Arriving at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela  Interior of the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela  Cabo de Finisterre  Sunset over the Atlantic, Finisterre

Hiking and History Along El Camino de Santiago

11 days from $5,995

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Whether you’re on a spiritual journey or simply want the thrill of hiking this famous pilgrimage route, join us on this new Active Journey.

Overview

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Whether you're on a spiritual journey or simply want to enjoy the thrill of walking this famous pilgrimage route, join us on this new Active Journey. Along the way, enjoy traditional cuisine, historic accommodations, and tours of important cities and towns. You'll also have the expertise of a local historian and guide who provides insight into the history and culture of the region. (Level 3/Hikes of 3 to 6 miles most days. See our Activity Level Description on the Tour Details tab for more information.)

Highlights

  • Pilgrimage Route: Begin your walk to Santiago de Compostela from Pamplona and Roncesvalles, charming cities nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees. You'll hike nearly 40 miles of the legendary Camino, focusing on the most scenic sections and bypassing others by mini buses. Along the way, explore historic sites and savor impeccable meals in charming towns.
  • Historic Sites: Throughout your journey, explore historic cities and towns that pilgrims entered hundreds of years ago. Enjoy walking tours of Pamplona, famous for its running of the bulls; Burgos the 19th-century capital of Castille; Leon, with its many cathedrals and churches; and small villages in Galicia. You'll also savor local wines during a tasting at a winery in La Rioja wine region.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Hike into this legendary city, arriving at the cathedral the same way as countless pilgrims before you. Meditate on your experience, explore the cathedral and the city's old quarter, and even attend a Pilgrims Mass as well. You'll also visit Cabo Finisterre, an extension of the route that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Lodgings: Each evening, settle into upscale historic properties or luxury paradores such as restored medieval monasteries and Santiago's Parador Nacional de Los Reyes Catolicos.
  • Small Group Feature: With a small group of no more than 18 people, you'll quickly develop a strong sense of camaraderie with your Adventure Guide and fellow active travelers—resulting in an interesting and enjoyable trip that is also more flexible!

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Spain

Day 2 — Arrive in Pamplona, Spain and Transfer to Roncesvalles

Arrive in Pamplona this morning. Depending on your arrival schedule, meet your guide at the airport or train station, and drive to the nearby town of Roncesvalles for an introduction to the history of pilgrimages along the Camino de Santiago.

Join your guide for a walking tour of the historical sites of Roncesvalles. Before your welcome dinner, gather for the first of our lectures. Tonight, trace the roots of Spain from 1500 BC to AD 711. (D)

Day 3 — Roncesvalles to Viscarret and Pamplona

Today you'll begin your pilgrimage, hiking from Roncesvalles to Viscarret in Nararra. Stop to enjoy a lovely lunch before driving back to Pamplona. Founded by the Roman General Pompeius, Pamplona is the first big city that the pilgrims discovered when they arrived in Spain.

Take a walk through the old city, including the streets where the famous "running of the bulls" takes place. Your lecture this evening will focus on the history of the Basque people. Hiking 5 miles, 3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Pamplona to El Alto del Perdon and La Rioja

Today’s hike begins right from your hotel in Pamplona. You will follow the Camino to El Alto del Perdon. Following a picnic lunch, we will transfer by van to La Rioja, where you will visit a local winery for a tour and tasting. Check in to your hotel before joining your guide for a talk on Spanish History.

Tonight, you'll focus on the years from 711 to 1492 and La Reconquista, the period when Christianity expanded throughout Spain, leading to the era of exploration. Hiking 6 miles, 3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Burgos and El Cid

After breakfast this morning, continue to follow the Camino into the city of Burgos, the main capital of the Kingdom of Catilla in the 9th century. Situated on the Rio Arlanzon, Burgos was home to El Cid, famed warrior Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, whose statue still guards the Puente de San Pablo. Check into your hotel then enjoy a guided tour of the Gothic-style cathedral and the old town.

Tonight’s talk will focus on the legacy of El Cid. Hiking 5-6 miles, 2-3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Carrion de los Condes

This morning, a short transfer takes you from Burgos to the start of your hike in Boadilla del Camino. You'll follow the Camino today to the village of Fromista in the Province of Palencia. Before lunch, visit the Romanesque Church of San Martin de Fromista then continue by coach to the charming Castillian town of Carrion de los Condes. Take a guided tour of the old town, then settle into the hotel, impressively located within a restored medieval monastery.

Your lecture tonight will focus on the famous kings and queens of Spain and their dynasties. Hiking 4.5 miles, 2-3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Leon and Christian Spain

After a week of hiking as pilgrims along the Camino, you can give your legs a break today. After breakfast this morning, transfer by coach to the capital of Christian Spain: the city of León. Take a historical tour of the city and its early Gothic-style cathedral, one of the most famous in Spain. Visit the Colegiata de San Isidoro and learn about its fascinating history dating back to its original incarnation as a temple to the Roman god, Mercury.

Your talk tonight will focus on the history of the Jews in Spain. Dinner tonight is free for you to choose from one of the many excellent restaurants and bistros in León. Walking, 2-3 hours (B,L)

Day 8 — Monforte de Lemos and the Celts

Today, continue your pilgrimage along the Camino. A short drive brings you to the village of las Herrerias en El Bierzo. From the town square, hike to the hilltop hamlet of O Cebreiro, the oldest church and village along El Camino de Santiago. Be sure to leave a coin at the village cross for good luck! This is the northwestern region of Galicia, known for its Celtic history and rolling hills. Soak in the beauty of the surrounding countryside before transferring to Monforte de Lemos.

Our hotel tonight is a Benedictine monastery. Join your guide for a short walk in town to visit the tower and monastery before our evening lecture. Tonight we will discuss Spanish history from the 1900s: the Civil War and Franco. Hiking 6 miles, 3-4 hours (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Santiago de Compostela

Embark this morning on the final stretch of El Camino. It’s a special feeling to catch your first glimpse of the towers of Santiago’s cathedral and know that your pilgrimage is near its end. Depending on the interests and fitness of your group, there will be two trailheads to choose from.

Continue by foot into the heart of the city to Plaza del Obradoiro, arriving at the foot of the cathedral the same way countless pilgrims have before you. Take a moment to meditate on your achievement before checking into the hotel.

Your final lecture tonight will trace Spanish history from the time of Franco through today. Hiking 6-10 miles, 3-5 hours (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Finisterre and Farewell

Journey this morning to Cabo Finisterre, the westernmost tip of Spain and an extension of El Camino for many pilgrims. Return to Santiago after lunch and a guided tour of the cathedral and the city’s old quarter, a World Heritage site.

For those who wish, join a Pilgrims Mass at the cathedral this evening before gathering with your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner. Walking 2-3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Departure

After a final breakfast, a transfer is provided to the Santiago de Compostela airport for your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)