Our Tour Itinerary
In the afternoon, your Fresco Tour guide meets and greets us at our Orientation Meeting. Afterwards, our local historian takes us on a visit of León's magnificent Gothic Cathedral, whose stained glass windows have led people to say that it is made of more glass than stone. We finish our evening with a meal fit for the queens!
After breakfast, we hop in the van and set our eyes on the Iron Cross or Cruz de Ferro, where pilgrims ask for protection while on their journey. In keeping with the long-standing tradition, make sure to bring a stone to leave at the foot of the cross. After lunch, we continue our journey to the mountaintop village of O Cebreiro to learn about the famous miracle that took place here in the 15th century. Finally, we unwind at our accommodations for the evening.
As we leave the market town of Sarria, make sure to keep an eye out for the ruins of Celtic castros hiding in the vegetation along the Camino. Our destination today is the 100 km marker, a milestone (or kmstone!) for the millions of pilgrims who have traversed this same spot during the last millennium. We return to our hotel for a rest before heading to the Benedictine Monastery of Samos and a wonderful dinner of local fare.
Continuing from where we left off the day before, we walk along the Camino de Santiago to Portomarín, where the 12th-century Church of San Juan, a fortified church, once stood guard over the banks of the River Miño before it was moved, stone by stone, to the new center of town – your Fresco Tour guide will tell you more about that! After lunch, the Camino takes us through farmland and woods and brings us to the agricultural hamlet of Gonzar.
Walking from Gonzar to Palas de Rei is a walk back into time! The Way takes us through many small hamlets and villages of historical importance. Some sights that we should not miss are: the 17th century Cross of Lameiros, the 16th century hospice where Carlos V stayed on his journey to Santiago, and the 13th century Romanesque Church of Santiago in Eirexe. In Palas de Rei, we regroup and return to our hotel in Portomarín for a well-deserved rest.
Following the now very familiar yellow arrows, we ramble up and down gentle rolling hills along quiet footpaths. Little has changed in this serene corner of Spain. The peaceful rural environment of local farmers tending to their lazy cattle, which graze near old stone houses creates, a scene from another time. We quickly arrive back to the present in the bustling market town of Melide, where tender octopus, or pulpo, is still boiled in large copper kettles by the street.
We leave Melide early morning and wind our way across the Galician countryside. Our journey is filled with tiny churches dating back to the 12th and 14th-century dedicated to Santiago and Santa Maria. Arzúa is the ideal opportunity to set out in search of their famous local cow cheese or perhaps a bit of empanada, a light crusty pastry filled with either beef or tuna.
Today we continue to enjoy expansive and verdant landscapes, occasionally embellished by the charming atmosphere of tiny three-house villages. Get a feel for the people by greeting a local villager with a Buenos días or Hola. You'll see how these quiet and reserved people will quickly wish you well on your journey to Santiago. On this trek, you are no longer a tourist, but a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago!
Our day starts with a morning excursion to the 13th century Santa Maria Monastery of Sobrado, whose Benedictine monks welcome those pilgrims coming from the Northern Route. Afterwards, we return to the Camino and walk our way into Lavacolla. In the Middle Ages, weary pilgrims would wash themselves here before entering the Holy City of Santiago, our destination tomorrow!
9 days, 112 kilometers, and we have arrived to Santiago de Compostela. Congratulations! You are going to love this magical city filled with fantastic monuments and a lively buzz from the international pilgrims and university students that fill its medieval streets. After requesting our Compostela certificates at the Pilgrims’ Office, we head to our hotel and get ready for our evening celebratory dinner!
After breakfast, our local historian gives us a closer look at the amazing Cathedral that has seen so many transformations since the original chapel, built in the 9th-century. After the tour, we sadly say our last Buen Camino as we leave you at the Cathedral in time for the pilgrims' mass at noon.
This itinerary gives you the opportunity to walk the last 100 km into Santiago. This is a requirement needed to request the Compostela, the certificate granted by the church of Santiago upon the completion of the pilgrimage. It is not mandatory, however, to walk 100 km (60 miles) to participate in this Fresco Tour. As with all our trips, your walk is accompanied by a support van and shorter walk options are available on a daily basis.
* Please note: This itinerary is subject to slight modifications due to hotel availability, weather, festivals and other occurrences.
About Fresco Tours - our travel partner
Fresco Tours was started by Alex Chang in 2006 after he spent several years living and working in Spain. Alex led his first tour in 1999, which led to him dreaming up his own tour company.
Both the company and everyone involved are based in Spain. Guides speak both Spanish and English and have a passion for sharing the Camino with others.
They have firsthand knowledge of the land and the people who live there. There are long term relationships between Alex and the people who own the hotels and manor houses we’ll stay in. There’s a love of the great food & wine we’ll enjoy along the way.
I first met Alex after reading about him in our UConn alumni magazine right before I left for the Camino in the spring of 2023. The article described the life-changing experience Alex had while walking the Camino the first time, and how it motivated him to start his own tour company. Once I returned from the Camino, I reached out to Alex and we’ve since formed a great relationship.
I’m excited to have Fresco Tours take care of us while we have the adventure of a lifetime. They will coordinate our lodging, meals and ground transportation throughout our scheduled tour.