|Starts||Mon 28 Sep 2020|
|Finishes||Sat 10 Oct 2020|
|Tour Cost||TBA* per person|
|Single Room||TBA Supplement|
|Deposit||$800 non-refundable deposit|
|*to be announced|
Not included – Please contact Harvest to help arrange flights should you require.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
TOURING & TRANSPORTATION
El Camino de Santiago; the trail on which all sins can be forgiven with a plenary indulgence, culminating at the resting place of St James the apostle in Compostela. This journey has been taken for over 1000 years and is the world’s most travelled Christian pilgrimage route. Unlike any other, this pilgrimage offers a complete break away from the rigid structure of daily life with time to think and the inevitability of a life-changing outcome.
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.
12 Nights / 13 Days: Madrid (2) • Sarria (2) • Portomarín (1) • Palas de Rei (2) • Arzúra (1) • Amenal (1) • Santiago de Compostela (3)
Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner
Upon arrival at Madrid’s Barajos 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.
Following Mass this morning we enjoy a Madrid walking tour where we will visit the Cathedral, view the Royal Palace, walk through the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and also visit the Church of Sain James.
Remainder of the day at leisure.
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 co tinue to Sarria and our accommodation.
We will be transferred to Triacastela this morning. We will walk via the tiny
village of Samos, wrapped around the enormous Benedictine Monastery that we will visit and where we will celebrate Mass. Continuing on the Route we will pass through a picturesque scene full of oaks and chestnut trees.
The end of the stage brings us back in Sarria. It was in this town that Alfonso IX died in 1230, while making the pilgrimage. Visit the old quarter which retains a strong medieval character. We will also see the Church of Salvador, with a Romanesque ground plan and Gothic façade; the small chapel of San Lazaro; the hospital of San Antonio, which today houses a Court; and the remains of its old fortress, from the 14th century.
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 the Knights of San Juan of Jerusalem, who once ran the old hospital that lay beneath the waters of the Miño River, along with the old Medieval and Roman bridges.
The municipality also has the Church of San Nicolás, from the 13th century; the portal of the church of San Pedro, from 1182; the Count’s House, from the 16th century, and the Palac of Berbetoros, from the 17th century.
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.
Today following Mass you have the day to rest your feet. You can take this time to reflect on your journey so far.
Today we also pass from Galicia’s Lugo province to Galicia’s A Coruña province. We will have lunch altogether in a typical restaurant of Melide where we will taste its magnificent “pulpo a feira”. A medieval bridge leads pilgrims to Ribadiso, before arriving at Arzua, the next halt on our journey. Surrounded by a beautiful scenery stands the Gothic Chapel of Magdalena, the only part of the old Augustinian monastery that has come down to us.
The little town is famous nowadays for its Galician cheese factories.
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.
‘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 del 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 for the traditional Pilgrim’s Mass, ready to receive a deserved grace and special blessing.
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, touch the central pillar (Portico de La Gloria), view the ‘botafumeiro’ and admire the wealth of medieval art inside the Cathedral, before visiting the cloister museum. Afternoon at leisure.
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 Finisterra, 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 eal at a local Spanish restaurant.
After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for your homebound flight connections
Note: only one group transfer
“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.”