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The Crux Of The Camino

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • San Sebastian
  • Saint Jean Pied de Port
  • The Pyrenees
  • Roncesvalles
  • Pamplona
  • La Rioja
  • Burgos
  • Sarria
  • Santiago de Compostela

19 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 13 Aug 2019
  • 1 Sep 2019

Following a path of ancient scallop shells, where adventure and the divine connect, walk the most magnificent legs of the Camino Francés, with the luxury of a vehicle to whisk you onwards at any point.

The Crux of the Camino 2019

Arrive in San Sebastián in time to dine overlooking the Bay of Biscay. A stunning introduction to our travels, which will bring us to Saint Jean Pied de Port in France and the starting point for the Camino Francés.

The days ahead are two of the more challenging, but also the most rewarding. We begin our journey with a walk of up to 25 kilometres over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles. We will then explore abundant farmlands over a 22-kilometre walk to Pamplona before sampling the delectable sheep’s cheese, ham and produce, many of which are on regular order by the Basque Country’s numerous Michelin-starred chefs.

On our first day of rest, we reach Elciego where our restaurant boasts a Michelin star. The following day the energetic among us walk up to 12 kilometres to Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we learn from vintners at esteemed local wineries of the La Rioja vineyards. Our stays during these evenings are at the visionary Marqués de Riscal Hotel, designed by architect Frank Gehry, and conversely, at a former pilgrims’ refuge from the 12th century.

A day in Burgos surrenders some of the world’s finest examples gothic architecture. After an appreciation of the town’s cathedral and the tomb of El Cid, military genius and national hero, we walk for 21 kilometres among fields between Frómista and Carrión de los Condes. Upon our arrival, we settle in for a feast of succulent lamb served at Mesón de Villasirga.

En route to León, we investigate Spain’s past, as told by its architecture. And upon arrival are welcomed to a lovingly restored monastery, the Hotel Real Colegiata, where the delightful sounds of a chamber orchestra mark our private dining experience. Astorga reveals Gaudí’s Episcopal Palace, and a 21-kilometre walk whets our appetites for the chef’s tasting menu and wines at the Palacio de Canedo.

Those determined to earn their Compostela must walk the rest of the way. We collect, in our pilgrim’s passport, a stamp at each town, proof that we are committed to our challenging journey. A gentle uphill climb leads us to farmlands. there’s an air of comradery as we pass fellow walkers wishing us a ‘Buen Camino’. We savour rest and dinner prepared by a local couple.

Imagine a time when pilgrims risked life and limb to complete the Camino. Nearing the end of our journey, we visit Castañeda, where lime kilns once fired stone used for the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims would collect a stone from Triacastela and carry it all the way here, so that they could say they helped build the cathedral. Two evenings are spent at Pazo de Andeade, one of the Camino’s most charming residences.

Today heralds the last leg of our odyssey, a 20-kilometre walk to Santiago de Compostela. We feel an emotional tug – we are on the finishing stretch. To celebrate our arrival, we dine on a local specialty, mariscada, and stay at the Parador de Santiago de Compostela, by the city’s famed cathedral. Here we are privy to the swinging of the Botafumeiro – usually reserved for special liturgical celebrations – Afterwards it’s time for us to put away the walking shoes and poles. Time then to reflect upon our sense of self-achievement as a journey comes to an end.