The Way of St. James: Food, Wine and History on the Pilgrims’ Path
This 10-day adventure takes the famous Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, as its focal point. As you explore this historic trail, one of the most iconic pilgrimage routes in the world, you’ll discover the very best of Northern Spain. Marvel at the gorgeous scenery and centuries-old architecture that make the route so special, sample delicious wine and fresh produce in lush vineyards, float high over La Rioja in a hot air balloon, visit ruined Roman gold mines and more.
9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS
Price From: $ 3,195
Pricing is per person based in double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Air is not included. Because this is a Private Xpedition, final pricing is subject to change based on final dates, availability, number of people traveling together, and choices.
Today, arrive in Hondarribia, one of the true gems of the Basque Country. Check into the historic Parador, a former castle built in the 10th century that overlooks the Bay of Biscay and the French coast. Take the day to settle in and to explore this charming walled town on your own before joining your fellow travelers and National Geographic Expeditions staff in the evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
Parador de Hondarribia (D)
After breakfast, head out on a guided exploration of the gorgeous region of Baiona, learning about the fascinating history of the French Basque Country. After a scenic rafting trip on the Nive River, have lunch in postcard-perfect Saint-Jean Pied de Port. Today, walk the French Way. This two-hour route, from the Thibault Cross to Roncesvalles, is considered to be one of the most fascinating sections of the Way of St. James because of its scenery. Spend the night in Roncesvalles.
Hotel Rocesvalles (B, L)
The day begins by setting out for the town of Laguardia, stopping for a guided Segway exploration of Pamplona along the way. Later, walk another stunning section of the Way of St. James, this time a three-hour route that ends at the famous Hill of Forgiveness. Once in Laguardia, enjoy lunch and a wine tasting amid the beautiful vineyards of Casa Primicia. In the afternoon visit some key historic sites including the 17th-century Church of Santa María de los Reyes and the city hall, known for its carillon clock with dancing figurines. After dinner, spend the night in a wine hotel.
Los Parajes Hotel (B, L)
You might choose to start your day with a thrilling hot air balloon ride at dawn (optional), where you can admire the beauty of the verdant La Rioja vineyards from a sky-high vantage point, followed by a country breakfast. Later, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Yuso monasteries in San Millán de la Cogolla, the said cradle of the Spanish Language, followed by a visit to the medieval village of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, one of the most beloved towns by pilgrims on the Way of tSt. James. Then continue to Burgos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its medieval architecture and stunning gothic Cathedral. Spend the night in Burgos.
NH Palacio de Burgos Hotel (B, L)
A very special treat is in store this morning as you visit the beautiful Silos Monastery to see the famous Gregorian chants performed by Benedictine monks. Then it’s back to the Way of St. James for an e-bike ride along the stretch between Puente Fitero and Villalcázar de Sirga. After a delicious lunch at Los Templarios restaurant, visit the cathedral and the Royal Pantheon in Astorga, the charming town where you’ll spend the night.
Astur Plaza Hotel (B,L)
A guided tour of the ancient Roman gold mines in Las Médulas makes for a fascinating start to the day. You’ll also cover another two-hour section of the pilgrimage trail, walking from Santo Cristovo do Real to Samos, where you’ll stop by the wonderful Monastery of San Xulián de Samos. Spend the night in the enchanting town of Sarria.
Alfonso IX Hotel (B, L)
In the morning, continue your adventure by boat on the Sil River. Be stunned by beautiful landscapes with steep slopes and verdant vineyards. Later, enjoy a decadent al fresco lunch in the Ribeira Sacra wine region followed by a light walking to San Clodio’s monastery. In the historic city of Pontevedra, explore the town on your own, strolling through narrow streets and squares at your own pace. Spend the night in Pontevedra.
Galicia Palace Hotel (B, L)
Today you’ll see behind the scenes at a mussel, oyster and scallop farm on the Rías Baixas in Galicia, as well as having the chance to taste the deliciously fresh produce. After lunch, go on a guided walk around Padrón, where the famous Padrón peppers originate. Then it’s time to return to the Way of St. James, walking a portion of the final stage of El Camino to Santiago de Compostela’s Cathedral. Apart from another indulgent dinner, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town on your own.
Spot pilgrims and hikers on its cobbled streets and settle into your hotel, the magnificent Parador de Santiago de Compostela, which is set within a grand 15th-century building.
Parador de Santiago de Compostela (B,L)
In the morning, you’ll have some time to yourself to relax and recharge after your eight action-packed days. The group will reconvene at midday to attend the wonderful Pilgrim’s Mass – an atmospheric climax to our unforgettable experiences on the Way of St. James. Afterward, take in sweeping views of the town from the rooftop of the cathedral. In the evening enjoy a farewell reception and dinner.
Parador de Santiago de Compostela (B,D)
On the last day of the adventure, there will be time to share breakfast one last time. You’ll then be whisked off to the airport for your flight home.
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