Madrid & Santiago de Compostela6 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Moratin, Madrid
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Madrid
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Upon arrival in Madrid, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival’s Hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Make your way to the Bus where your group will transfer to your hotel. You will enjoy free time before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Madrid & Toledo
This morning, you will awaken in the capital city of Spain! Following breakfast, you will enjoy a tour of Madrid that includes the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. Both sites are iconic to Madrid as the Palace holds state ceremonies and events; and the Plaza Mayor is the geographic center of Madrid, as well as the social center. This afternoon, you will depart for Toledo (approximately one hour and twenty minutes). Toledo is a city set upon a rocky mound that is isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Rio Tajo. It is known as the City of Three Religions or Cultures because the Christians, Jews, and Moors have lived peacefully in this city for centuries. Each inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral in which the cobbled lanes infiltrate with its best efforts. During your time in this city, you will view the some of the grandest treasures such as, the glorious Gothic Cathedral that was built upon the Great Mosque of Toledo. Also, you will visit la iglesia de Santo Tomé, best known for housing El Greco’s most famous painting and, the Sinagoga del Tránsito, known for its impeccable stucco inscriptions. Your tour will continue as you visit the Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca that interestingly appears to be a mosque rather than a Catholic church and la Iglesia de San Juan de los Reyes. Additionally, you will visit a number of monuments such as la Puerta de Bisagras, la Puerta del Cambrón, la Puerta del Sol and many others. Your day will culminate with a return transfer to Madrid where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight.
Madrid - Santiago de Compostela
Today, you will depart Madrid and head towards the city of Santiago de Compostela (approximately six hours). While en route, you will make a stop on the calle del Agua of Villafranca del Bierzo. This main street truly emanates Baroque architecture and, is filled with palaces and emblazoned houses. At the entrance of this village, you will find the Romanesque church of Santiago. According to tradition, the pilgrims who were unable to finish El Camino as a result of an illness would receive the jubilee blessing at this church. Your next two stops will be visits to the gothic styled Collegiate Church of Santa María and the church of St. Nicolas, dedicated to the patron Saint of Villafranca del Bierzo. This late afternoon, you will enter Galicia (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes) by way of the city, Lugo. Your first stop will be to O Cebreiro, the first village in the region of Lugo and nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters. While in O Cebreiro, you will have the opportunity to view the iconic palloza styles houses, and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the year 1300. This evening, you will proceed to Santiago de Compostela (approximately two hours and thirty minutes) for your dinner and overnight.
Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will join the walking pilgrims at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the iconic Cathedral are visible. You will walk the last few miles of El Camino and attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descent into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims’ relics are kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gemirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure until a final dinner with your group. You will spend a final overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Your last day in Spain will begin with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a transfer to the Santiago Airport for your return flight(s) home. You will say hasta luego (see you later) to your new friends made on this journey.
About your trip
About Santiago de Compostela:
The History of El Camino, The Way of St. James or St. James' Way Often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried. The Way of St James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. It was considered one of three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; the others are the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimageto Jerusalem. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where they were buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are some, however, who claim that the bodily remains at Santiago belong to Priscillian, the fourth-century Galician leader of an ascetic Christian sect, Priscillianism, who was one of the first Christian heretics to be executed.