On your bucket list….
El Camino is the Spanish name for the sacred pilgrim walking trails to Santiago de Compostela.
Join us in walking one of the most famous routes in history – but doing it in style and comfort. No tethering the donkey, changing bandaids (well maybe not?), fixing tyre punctures, sleeping with 20 other snorers in a dorm….but plenty of downtime, beers and nourishing food at the end of the day.
Pilgrims obtain plenary indulgence for their sins and so avoid purgatory! What better reason for you to go!
El Camino is the subject of moving film “The Way” which tells of a father who retraces his son’s steps on the trail played by Martin Sheen and his real life son Emilio Estevez. Full of poignant, funny, bitter-sweet moments it is the story of a man who finds out about his son and about himself by reluctantly walking El Camino with a bunch of people he doesn’t want to be with at first. Everyone walks the trail for their own reasons and no one comes out unaffected by the experience.
This natty little tome below is a highly treasured illuminated manuscript called the Codex Calixtinus written by the French monk Aymeric Picaud and is the earliest known tourist guide book in the world. You can see this wonderful document on a guided tour of the archives of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
It is an anthology of detail and advice for pilgrims travelling The Way of St James (Santiago in Spanish) to his shrine in Galicia (Galeeth-ya) in Northern Spain. Pictured on the left is the famous French Emperor Charlemagne and his troops – who fought the Moors in Spain – following the Camino de Santiago after a “visitation” by the Apostle Saint James in the 9th century. St James told him to make the pilgrimage to his grave following the stars of The Milky Way.
Pilgrims from the 11th century onwards flocked through Europe down through France and ended their pilgrimage at the steps of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where the bones of Saint James are said to repose.
It was the most important pilgrimage outside the Holy Land for medieval Christians and is still a Rite of Passage for many adventurers throughout the world today.
You can elect to do a 7 night walking holiday which takes you from Sarria along the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela.
Pricing is in euros: for 7 nights including luggage transfers daily, 5 dinners, all breakfasts and 3 star accommodation approx €690 pp twin room share or for superior accommodation: approx €990 pp twin room share basis.
Please contact us if you are interested in joining a small group.
This is the final 112 km of the traditional pilgrims’ route and is considered to be the most beautiful and peaceful part. With 5-7 days to cover 112 km
As in Medieval times, the reward for your efforts is the magnificence of Santiago de Compostela. However, unlike the pilgrims of old you won’t arrive in the city starving, flea-bitten and exhausted.
You’ll be pleasantly tired, fresh from all the wonderful clear air, slim, trim, fit and ready to spend a night or two recovering in Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino de Santiago is a challenging walk so we can add some special touches to keep you inspired along the way. Arrival and departure transfers, daily luggage transfer (you just walk with your day pack) and good quality B & B style accommodation.
And when you arrive and you have participated in the pilgims’ mass in the grand Cathedral, you can receive your Compostela. The compostela is a certificate of completion of the Camino de Santiago, and is issued to you by the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela. There are two types of certificate: one is in Latin, and is issued to pilgrims who declare that they did the camino for religious or spiritual purposes. Your name will also be written in Latin. The second certificate is for those who did it for cultural or historical purposes. This one is written in Spanish. Both are testament that you have done the Camino de Santiago. You will be asked for the purpose of your pilgrimage at the Pilgrim’s Office desk, and you will be given a form to fill in.
To qualify for this you must have completed the last 100 kms of the camino if you are walking or on horseback, or the last 200 km if you rode a bicycle. It does not matter how many kms you have walked on the camino trail if you do not make it to Santiago de Compostela. For the officials of the Santiago Cathedral, the point of the pilgrimage is to reach the tomb of St. James. In the last 100 km (walking/horseback) or 200 km (cycling) you must also have at least two or three stamps per day in your pilgrim’s passport to prove that you did not get buses or taxis.
The ‘Botafumeiro’ above is the famous giant thurible or censer in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral weighing 53 kgs when empty and up to 10 kgs more when full.
A ‘Botafumeiro’ has been used since the Middle Ages, originally to clean the air when crowds of pilgrims having completed the Camino de Santiago arrived in Santiago de Compostela after their long journey.
If you want to see the ‘Botafumeiro’ in use, the easiest way is to attend pilgrim mass on Friday evening at 7.30pm.