The Camino de Santiago, or the way of St. James, has many different routes, all uniting as one at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This same path has been taken for hundreds of years by the faithful making their holy pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Roman, Moor, Saracen invaders, the Knights Templar, the armies of Charlemagne and Napoleon have also used the path. Therefore, this journey is not only steeped in spiritual significance as you travel to the place believed to be the burial site of St. James, but it also has much historical and cultural significance.
This pilgrimage involves physical activity, including the ability to walk many miles each day, to climb stairs, to climb hills and mountains and to be “on one’s feet” for hours at a time. The terrain is varied, ranging from simple footpaths to paved highways. Some of the footpaths are gravel, rocky, dusty, muddy and rutted by farmer’s tractors. Pilgrims will need sturdy hiking boots and collapsible poles.
DAY 1, Monday, November 11, 2019 – Depart Denver, CO on our American Airlines flight into Chicago O’Hare where we change planes and connect to our trans-Atlantic flight on Iberia Airlines into Madrid, Spain. M
DAY 2, Tues. – Upon arrival in Madrid, we change planes and connect to our flight into Lisbon, Portugal. We meet our driver and guide and our pilgrimage journey begins. We enjoy a panoramic tour of some of Lisbon’s famous sights such as the Belem Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and time permitting, the Alfama District. We continue to Fátima for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3, Wed. – After breakfast, we visit the Sanctuary of Fátima, a world renown pilgrimage site famous for the Marian Apparitions and built on the site where the Virgin Mary visited Lucia Santos and her 2 cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto in 1916. This afternoon, we walk along the Stations of the Cross and to the tiny village where the three young children lived. After dinner, we participate in the nightly torchlight procession. Dinner and overnight Fátima. BD
DAY 4, Thurs.- Our journey continues to the beautiful pilgrim town of Ponte de Lima, one of the oldest towns in Portugal. We continue on to Valencia do Minho, the last Portuguese town on our journey and the starting point of our Camino Walk. After lunch, we walk 3 km across the River Minho, by way of the metal bridge inspired by the work of the famous Gustave Eiffel, from Portugal to Tui, Spain. We visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria de las Asunción de Tui, a late Romanesque and Gothic-style Roman Catholic church located in the center of town. Overnight Tui. B
DAY 5, Fri.- TuitoMos (approx. 23 km). The walk today is not strenuous. It is a good start that gives you time to set your pace. Once everyone arrives in Mos, the bus returns us to Tui for overnight. B
DAY 6, Sat.- Mos to Pontevedra (30 km). We have an early morning departure. Today is the most challenging of our pilgrimage walks. We pass through busy towns and coastal villages. Dinner and overnight Pontevedra. BD
DAY 7, Sun. - Pontevedra to Caldas de Rei (22 km). After the storm comes the calm. We visit the Reformed Episcopal Church Parish in Pontevedra and enjoy a lighter walk today through beautiful scenery. It is a great moment to reflect and let your inner thoughts guide your day. Caldas de Rei is a small medieval spa town. The famous hot thermal springs will be a treat for the feet. Dinner and overnight in Caldas de Rei. BD
DAY 8, Mon.- Caldas de Rei to Padron (approx. 19 km). We walk through hamlets, forests, and vineyards today. Padron, one of the most emblematic sites on the Camino known as Iria Flavia, is the town where the boat with the body of St James arrived just after his death. This boat was moored to a 'pedron', hence this name becoming more popular and the town, centuries ago, became known as Padron. We visit the Church of Santiago to see the Pedron Stone. Overnight Padron. B
DAY 9, Tues.- Padron to Santiago de Compostela (approx. 25 km). Today our destination is reached. The path has been the same but the journey so different for every one of us. Our walk ends at Obradoiro Square, one of the largest squares in Galicia, which serves as an important symbol of Santiago de Compostela. Overnight Santiago de Compostela. BD
DAY 10, Wed.– After breakfast, we visit the Pilgrim Office to collect the Compostelanas (certificate of completion of the Camino de Santiago) and attend the Pilgrims Mass at the Cathedral. This afternoon, we travel to Finisterre, end of the world, as it was known in centuries past. Here we walk the last couple of kilometers that takes us to the lighthouse. It is here, after walking a further 4 days from Santiago deCompostela, that many pilgrims end their journey. It is here, also, that we shall have our final reflection, share our thoughts and enjoy the sunset before returning to Santiago for overnight. BL
DAY 11, Thursday, November 21, 2019 - Early morning departure for Santiago de Compostela Airport where we board our Iberia Airlines flight to Madrid. We transfer to our Iberia Airlines flight to Chicago O’Hareand transfer to our American Airlines flight back to the Denver, CO Airport. BM
B - Breakfast L - Lunch D – Dinner M – Meal on Aircraft
*Itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion of the leaders.