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 RELIGION & PILGRIMAGE TOUR

 NORTHERN SPAIN & THE CAMINO 

The itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival in Madrid we meet our guide and driver, and proceed to Segovia, an important stop along the Sephardic Way.

Enjoy a guided tour of featuring the Alcazar, the Cathedral, and the Jewish Cultural Centre. After lunch our journey continues to Avila our home for the next two nights.

Overnight: AVILA 

Day 2

Breakfast in the hotel.

This morning we travel to the small town of Alba de Tormes

We visit the Basilica of St. Teresa and there will be time for quiet reflection at her tomb.

We visit the Santa Teresa Museum which houses relics of the saint and of St. John of the Cross.

Our journey continues to Salamanca, a city that is also closely connected to St. Teresa. It is here that her best friend and confessor, San Juan de La Cruz, studied at the University which is one of the four oldest universities in Europe.

Arrive Salamanca. Free time for lunch in the Plaza Mayor.

Meet city guide for a walking tour / visit of Salamanca.

Depart Salamanca

Overnight: AVILA 

Day 3

Breakfast in the hotel.

Today we travel back to Madrid where we board the train and depart for Pamplona.

Upon arrival we board our motor coach and transfer to Roncesvalles.

Guided visit of the Roncesvalles Museum.

Briefing on the following day's walk over the Pyrenees.

Overnight: RONCESVALLES. 

Day 4

Early morning drive over the border with France to the pretty town of St. Jean Pied de Port. Those who wish to hike the entire 7 to 8 hour trail (25 km) will begin the climb to the 'Cruz de Thibault'. Those who do not want to hike up to the 'Cruz de Thibault' will have some free time to explore St. Jean Pied de Port on foot and then take taxis to the top of the trail where they will meet the walking group for the downhill portion. Later in the afternoon, everyone will join together again in Roncesvalles.

Overnight: RONCESVALLES

Day 5

This morning the walkers will begin at Roncesvalles and walk to Espinal, approximately 6.5 km (between 3.5 and 4 miles). The others will travel by coach from Roncesvalles via Espinal where they meet the walking group and visit the Estelas of Sprinal, an ancient burial ground. All will then continue by coach to Larrosoana and have a lunch break. From here you can walk or take the coach to Zabaldika, approximately 6.5 km, where we will visit San Esteban Church. Everyone will continue by coach to Pamplona.

Overnight: PAMPLONA 

Day 6

Breakfast in hotel

Meet Pamplona city guide at hotel

We will enjoy a half day guided walking tour of Pamplona for the entire group which will include the Town Hall, the Plaza Castillo, a section of the Running of the Bulls route, the Plaza de Toros, the Citadel and Walls, the statue of Hemingway and the Cathedral of Santa Maria.

We will visit the Cathedral of Pamplona, rebuilt in the 17th century and one of the most important and beautiful religious buildings in northern Spain. King Carlos the III and his wife are buried here. We will visit the Diocesan Museum where we will see many religious artefacts.

Free afternoon

Briefing on next day's walk

Overnight: PAMPLONA 

Day 7

This morning everyone will begin with an early visit to the San Miguel Church in Cizur Menor. The church once belonged to the Order of San Juan which is now the Order of Malta. The walkers will begin just after Cizur Menor and walk to Uterga (11 km or approximately 6 1/3 miles) which includes the Alto de Perdon, an uphill walk followed by a steep downhill walk. The non-walkers will remain on the coach and meet the walkers in Uterga and everyone will drive to Puente la Reina, with a short stop at the Eunate Church. We will have a short visit in Puente la Reina and continue to Estella for lunch and a tour. We continue by coach to Burgos stopping in Santa Domingo de la Calzada if time permits.

Overnight: BURGOS

Day 8

Today is a non-hiking day and everyone will drive together to visit the Santo Domingo de Silos Monastery and return to Burgos for a visit to Burgos Cathedral. We will explore all of Burgos today and have dinner and overnight in Burgos.

Briefing on next day's walk

Overnight: BURGOS .

Day 9

Breakfast in the hotel.

The whole group will take the coach to the small village of Hontana and those who wish will then walk to Castrojeriz which is a distance of approximately 10 km - slightly more than 6 miles. This is an easy walk for those who wish to try it. The non-walkers will take the coach and the entire group will drive from Castrojeriz to Fromista. Then the group will proceed by coach to Leon and visit the Panteon/Basilica of San Isidoro.

Overnight: LEON 

Day 10

Breakfast in the hotel.

Depart early as the group will cover about 250 km (155 miles) today. We begin by traveling the mountain road to Cacabellos where the walkers will walk approximately 6 km to Villafranca del Bierzo. Those not walking will visit the town of Villafranca with the guide and have free time there while the others are walking, and time for lunch. When the walkers arrive, there will be time for them to have lunch.

Depart Villafranca del Bierzo, with everyone on the coach.

We continue to O'Cebreiro, the finest Galician town on the Camino. After a short stop, continue on the coach to Fonfria. There the walkers will continue their walk to Triacastela while the non-walkers go on to Triacastela in the coach.

Regroup in Triacastela. Opportunity to view Samos Monastery from the outside.

Overnight: SAMOS 

Day 11

Breakfast in the hotel.

Today the serious hikers will depart at 7:30 am and walk via A Pena to Portomarin, a distance of 22.5 km. Those who wish to walk part of the way will depart with the serious hikers and will meet the coach at A Pena, a distance of approximately 9 km. The non-walkers will leave the hotel later and drive to A Pena where they will pick up group 2 and continue to Portomarin. There, everyone will await the arrival of the group which has walked the entire route. The entire group will travel by coach to Mote de Gozo. From here, everyone is encouraged to take the final walk into Santiago de Compostela which will take about 1 hour.

Overnight: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 

Day 12

Breakfast in the hotel.

We enjoy the morning in Santiago and attend the Pilgrim's Mass. In the afternoon, we will drive to Finisterre (Land's End) where we will celebrate Holy Eucharist. We will return to Santiago de Compostela for a gala "farewell to Spain" dinner.

Overnight: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Day 13

Breakfast in the hotel.

Departure for the Santiago Airport for check-in and flight departures

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