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Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from North America
  • Flight to Bilbao Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Bilbao.
Day 2 Arrive Bilbao - Pamplona
  • Meet Your Tour Director You will be met at the airport by your tour manager/guide and transferred to your hotel in Pamplona. The city of Pamplona is universally famous for the Festival of St. Fermin, which Ernest Hemingway described in The Sun Also Rises. Each July, men and boys run through the streets of Pamplona just in front of the horns and hooves of the bulls that will fight in that evening’s bullfights.
  • Walking Tour of Pamplona Our Walking Tour of Pamplona will include visits to the lovely Cathedral and the Museo de Navarra, with its fascination displays relating to the history of the area.
Day 3 Pamplona – Eunate – Puenta la Reina – Logrono
  • Romanesque Chapel Today we travel through the famous Ebro valley, which the Rio Oja has made famous for its wine. We are of course on the famous Pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela, which we will continue to follow. Leaving Pamplona, we will pause at Eunate where the finding of human bones leads us to believe the Romanesque Chapel, was a funery.
  • Iglesia de Santiago We continue on to Puente la Reina, look for the bronze pilgrim at the town entrance. On our walk in the town we will view the Iglesia de Santiago with its beautiful carved doorway and statues of St James and St Bartholomew.
Day 4 Logrono – Santo Domingo de Calzada – Burgos
  • Monasterio de Santa Maria la Real Making an early start to Najera, once the capital of the kingdom of Navarra, we will visit the Monasterio de Santa Maria la Real and its cloisters which are built against the cliffs. Traveling on our pilgrim road we come to Santo Domingo de Calzada, the small town was given its name by Dominic, a hermit who in the 11th century built a causeway or calzada, to help the pilgrims on their journey. He also founded a hospital and a hospice here. The route is called the Camino Frances, due to the amount of French Pilgrims who walked this route. The former 14th century ramparts are still standing.
  • Cathedral We will view the Cathedral and see the tomb of Saint Dominic. We travel on to Burgos, where the riverside promenade provides pleasant walks and there are many beautiful churches and medieval and Renaissance palaces preserved in its Old City.
  • Real Monasterio de las Huelgas This afternoon, we will visit the beautiful Real Monasterio de Las Huelgas. Once a palace, it was transformed in the 12th century into a convent. Many of the medieval rulers of Castilla are buried here and there is a rare collection of medieval textiles on display in the museum.
Day 5 Day Trip to Covarrubias
  • Colegieta A short journey this morning takes us to Rio Arlanza and the town of Covarrubias. We will walk through the picturesque old town, where the Rennaisance palace straddles the street to view the charming houses, half-timbered and supported by stone that have been well restored. In the Colegiata, we will see the tomb of Fernan Gonzalez. The Pantheon houses some twenty medieval tombs.
  • Gothic Cathedral Later this afternoon we return to Burgos, time-honored for being the birthplace of El Cid, the champion of the Spanish Reconquest. The city was also the headquarters of Franco during the Spanish Civil War. We will visit the Gothic Cathedral, which is of exceptional quality and beauty and is the final resting place of El Cid.
Day 6 Burgos – Fromista – Palencia – Leon
  • Iglesia de St. Martin Leaving Burgos and traveling to Fromista, we will view the Iglesia de St Martin. The pilgrims halted here as there were four hospices and they could pay homage to the Benedictine San Martin.
  • Cathedral and Museum Then on to Palencia, the seat of Spain’s first university, we will pause to view the Cathedral. A 14th - 16th century Gothic masterpiece, with many beautiful sculptures, tapestries and paintings. We will also view the adjacent Museum, which has a “St. Sebastian” by El Greco and 15th century Flemish tapestries.
  • Gothic Cathedral Continuing northwest we arrive at Leon. Leon was once an important stop on the Way of St James, the medieval town was built on Roman fortifications. By the 11th and 12th century, Leon was almost the center of Christian Spain. We will view the French inspired Gothic Cathedral.
Day 7 Leon – Astorga – Ponferrada – Villafranca
  • Palacio Episcopal Leaving Leon we travel across the Montes de Leon to Astorga, which was a center for the pilgrims to stop. In the middle ages it was a town known for its fairs. In Astorga we will view Gaudi’s Palacio Episcopal, a most fantastic pastiche of a medieval palace.
  • Ponferrada Later in the day we will visit the town of Ponferrada, dominated by the ruins of the Castillo de los Templares. The town obtained its name from the iron bridge, which was built in the 11th century, again for the pilgrims to have access to Santiago de Compostelo. We continue to Villafranca.
Day 8 Villafranca – Lugo – Santiago de Compostela
  • Visit Lugo As we continue along the pilgrim’s way, we arrive at Lugo another Roman town, which was built in the 1st and 2nd century. The Murallas (Town Walls), are over 1 mile long and have 10 gateways into the old quarter. Finally, we arrive at Santiago de Compostelo at the end of The Way of St James.
Day 9 Santiago de Compostela
  • Pilgrimage Today we will journey to the northwestern pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela, the third-largest holy city of the Christian world, a university town and a marketplace for Galician farmers. It was the medieval pilgrims who made the city famous. A pilgrimage to the tomb of the beheaded apostle, St. James, was a high point for the faithful, peasant and prince alike, who journeyed here from all over Europe. Aside from its religious connections, Santiago de Compostela, with its flagstone streets, churches, and shrines, is one of the most romantic and historic of Spain's great cities.
  • Santiago de Compostela Catedral Our morning begins with a visit to the Catedral, which was begun in the 11th century, and is the crowning achievement of Spanish Romanesque architecture. Maestro Mateo's Pórtico de la Gloria, carved in 1188, ranks among the finest produced in Europe at that time and the three arches of the portico are carved with biblical figures from the Last Judgment. In the center, the apostles flank Christ and the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse, and below the Christ figure is a depiction of St. James himself. We will take specialist-guided tour of the cathedral, which has three naves in cruciform shape and several chapels and cloisters. The altar, with its blend of Gothic simplicity and baroque decor, is extraordinary, and we will visit the Crypt, where a silver urn contains what are believed to be the remains of the Apostle St. James.
  • Palacio de Gelmírez Our visit will also include the Cathedral Museum displays tapestries and archaeological fragments, and the Palacio de Gelmírez, an archbishop's palace built during the 12th century, which is another outstanding example of Romanesque architecture.
  • Santiago Walking Tour Our day continues with a Walking Tour, which will highlight many of Santiago’s most impressive buildings and monuments. Highlights of the walk will include the impressive buildings on Plaza del Obradoiro; Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, formerly a royal hospice and, in the 15th century, a pilgrims' hospice; the Monasterio de San Martín Pinario, founded in 899 and rebuilt in the 17th century, it remains one of the most important monasteries in Galicia; the beautiful Plaza de la Quintana; the Casa de la Canónica, the former residence of the canon, which has wrought-iron window bars, lending it a rather severe appearance; and the Renaissance-style Plaza de las Platerías, which has an elaborate fountain.
  • Santa Maria del Sar This afternoon we will visit the Romanesque Santa María del Sar, a collegiate church and one of the architectural gems of the Romanesque style in Galicia. Its walls and columns are on a 15° slant, thought to be attributable to either a fragile foundation or an architect's fancy.
  • Paseo de la Herradura We will cap off our day with a walk along Paseo de la Herradura, the gardens southwest of the old town, where we will get an all-encompassing view of the cathedral and the old city.
Day 10 Departure from Santiago de Compostela
  • Return Flight Home Your enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as your tour manager/guide accompanies you to the airport for the return flight home.