El Camino Walk – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages

El Camino Walk

13 Day El Camino Walk from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela

El Camino de Santiago: the sacred trail on which pilgrims for over a millennium have walked with footsteps of faith and carried a backpack full of hopes, dreams and prayers, culminating at the resting place of St James the apostle in Compostela. 

IMPORTANT: Even though this is stated as a walking pilgrimage, the group will be supported with a bus to carry luggage and transport pilgrims who may require respite at times along the way.

Map CM0120
  • 9 Days / 11 Nights
  • 20 Meals
  • Optional Daily Mass
  • Tour Code: CA2301
  • Walking Tour


12 Nights / 13 Days: Madrid (1) • Sarria (1) • Portamarin (1) • Palas de Rei (1) • Arzua (2) • Santiago de Compostella (3)


Upon arrival at Madrid’s Barajas airport we will be met and transferred to our centrally located accommodation to rest and prepare for this special walk. Note: There will be a one way transfer from Madrid Airport at 10am. All other transfers will be at an additional cost.

Overnight Madrid (D)


This morning we depart Madrid and travel to Foncebadon, a village popular in the 11th century with pilgrims on the Camino due to its hospitals and church. From here we continue by foot to view the ‘Iron Cross’ where traditionally pilgrims bring a stone from their places of origin and deposit it at the foot of the cross to symbolise a sin or burden, they are leaving behind. We then rejoin our coach and continue to the ancient Sanctuary of O Cebreiro. Here we will celebrate our group Mass in the pre- Romanesque Church (9th- 10th century) and see the renowned Paten of Santo Milagro (Eucharistic Miracle from the 13th century) and a precious Romanesque carving of Santa Maria la Real. We then continue to Sarria and our accommodation.

Overnight Sarria (BD)


Today’s section of the Camino is considered to be one of the most picturesque. Walk through bucolic countryside, traversing enchanted forests and small patches of farmland to the banks of the Mino River. En route we will pass the 100km marker – a milestone for pilgrims who travel the Camino. Our walking trip for today will finish in Portomarín, picturesquely situated on a hilltop. The old Portomarín, which dates back to the Roman Age, was an important halt along the route in the Middle Ages and lies beneath the waters of the dam built in 1962. Before flooding the town, many monuments were moved, stone by stone, to higher ground. Such was the case of the church-fortress of San Nicolás, built by the Knights of San Juan of Jerusalem, who once ran the old hospital that lays beneath the waters of the Miño River, along with the old Medieval and Roman bridges. The municipality also has the Romanesque portal of the church of San Pedro, from 1182; the Count’s House, from the 16th century, and the Palace of Berbetoros, from the 17th century.

Overnight Portamarin (BD)


Passing through small villages decorated with cruceiros (carved stone crosses that mark the way to Santiago) and containing only a dozen houses, we will meet other peregrinos on today’s hilly walk. Although we all share a special quest and a sense of camaraderie with fellow pilgrims from around the world, there are always moments of solitude to contemplate this special journey. The undulating countryside is studded with meadows and forests of eucalyptus and pine as we approach Palas de Rei. This was once an important town in the Middle Ages as it had a Royal Hospital. The Church of San Tirso now stands on its lands, with a Romanesque portal.

Overnight Palas de Rei (BD)


Today we set off walking along quiet paths through hamlets and woodlands, crossing an occasional stone bridge along the way. Stop to admire the tiny 12th century church dedicated to St Julian, one of the many Romanesque treasures along the Camino. Just before arriving to Melide, passing through San Juan de Furelos, you can admire a very special crucifix in the Romanesque church. Passing Melide, geographical centre of Galicia, a small town with a wonderful square and church. This town is crucial to the Route, because it is the place where the French and Oviedo Routes converge. We are likely to see more peregrinos as we continue along our way. As we continue our walk through eucalyptus woods, before arriving to Arzua, we will walk over a medieval stone bridge in Ribadiso da Baixo where once was the old Hospital de Sant Antón and nowadays an albergue where you may find some refreshment before walking uphill to enter in Arzua.

Overnight Arzua (BD)


Today following Mass you have the day to rest your feet. You can take this time to reflect on your journey so far.

Overnight Arzua (BD)


Before departing Arzua we will celebrate Mass in Arzua Parish Church with its statue of St. James and the chapel dedicated to St. Lazarus just outside the village. Here we leave behind the last major centre of population on the Camino until Santiago. Wander through the picturesque village of Calle, with its traditional stone houses. Onwards to Salceda where we see a monument to Guillermo Watt, a pilgrim who died at this spot only a day away from his earthly destination on pilgrimage. Continuing on we climb up through magnificent eucalyptus woods en route to Amenal. We then return by coach to our hotel in Arzua.

Overnight Arzua (BD)


‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad’ (Ps 118:24). Excitement mounts as the trail brings us closer to our destination. Walk through rolling terrain towards Lavacolla, where medieval pilgrims traditionally bathed in the river to purify themselves before arriving in the holy city of Santiago. From here we will begin to ascend the Monte do Gozo, “Mount of Joy”, the point where pilgrims first catch sight of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago, these days surrounded by the bustling, new city of Santiago de Compostela. On approach to the centre, we will pass through the city’s walls and under the Arch of Obispo drawing us forward into the great Obradoiro Square. Here we have finally arrived at our destination, St. James Cathedral, where the remains of the Saint are preserved and where tradition suggests us to hug St. James statue behind the main altar, ready to receive a deserved grace and special blessing praying in front of the reliquiary.

Overnight Santiago de Compostela (BD)


The city of the apostle is full of historical buildings and other attractions and is thus the ideal place for a quiet unhurried walk of discovery through streets, squares and nooks, to be taken as a reward for the effort of reaching this city of St James. This morning we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of St James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. As pilgrims we have the opportunity to climb the stairs behind the high altar to visit the crypt where the relics of St James are preserved, admire the central pillar and the Portico de La Gloria, recently restored and cleaned, and, if the restoration works are terminated*, view the ‘botafumeiro’ and be fascinated by the elaborate medieval art inside the Cathedral, before visiting the cloister museum. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight Santiago de Compostela (BD)

*Note: In preparation for the Jacobean Holy Year of 2021, restoration works are conducted inside the Cathedral. It is not sure yet when the restoration is going to end and therefore it is, at this moment, unkonw when Pilgrim’s Mass, with the eventual botafumeiro, will be celebrated again in the Cathedral.


We travel out today to one of the most western points of continental Europe! We firstly come to the lovely seaside town of Finesterra. It is situated on the rocky Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), named because of the large number of shipwrecks along these shores. During our time here we will visit the Chapel of Nosa Señora do Bon Suceso, dating from the 18th century. Nearby we explore Cape Finisterre, meaning “Land’s End”. This name stems from the fact that this area is on a remote peninsula that is one of the westernmost points of land in Spain. It is also the final destination for pilgrims on the Way of St James. Time permitting, we may visit the spectacular lighthouse on the promontory called “Monte Facho” at the tip of Cape Finisterre overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On the road up to the lighthouse is the parish Church of Santa María de Fisterra which contains the Chapel of Santo Cristo. In the late afternoon we return to Santiago de Compostela. Tonight. we celebrate our final night on pilgrimage with a special meal at a local Spanish restaurant.

Overnight Santiago de Compostela (BD)


After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for your homebound flight connections. (B)

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

  • “Life-changing. To walk where Jesus walked, taught, suffered & died was beyond my wildest dreams. Deeply moving – a renewal of my spirit which I will never forget.”

    Erin Bremford


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