"Jacobean Year" - Holy Year of Compostela
The Way of St. James - El Camino & Fatima14 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- First Class 4-stars hotels and quaint Inns in double occupancy
- ~ 1 night: Catalonia Atocha, Madrid, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Alfonso IX, Sarria, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Pousada de Portomarin, Portomarin, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Palas de Rei, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: A Painza, Arzua, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Amenal, Arca/O Pino, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Marques de Pombal or Mundial, Lisbon, Portugal
- ~ 2 nights: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
- Breakfast daily
- 7 Lunches
- Dinner Daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Vehicle available to assist pilgrims who are unable to complete any leg of the tour
- Professional local Catholic Tour Escort
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Lunches on days 2 & 10, Tips to your guide & driver
Day 1, 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.
Day 2, Arrive in Madrid
(Tour Day: 2 miles | 3.2 kilometers | 4,500 steps)
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 driver. Transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon walk to the Cathedral of Almudena. Following Mass, we visit the Cathedral. We will continue our walking tour of Madrid to include the exterior of the Royal Palace. Walk through the Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol and we make a stop at the Church of Saint James. Return to your hotel. We will enjoy a nice meal before having a restful overnight in Madrid before your walking tour begins!
Day 3, Madrid - Foncebadon - Iron Cross - O Cebreiro - Sarria
(Walking Day: 2.8 miles | 4.5 kilometers | 6,500 steps)
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast and transfer to Sarria. Sarria is located in the northwest of Spain and is noted for being the entry point to the oriental side of the region, Galicia. Your transfer will end and you will begin on foot from Foncebadon. In the eleventh century, this village was a common resting place for pilgrims on El Camino due to its hospitals, hospice, and church. Currently, the structures that have served so many are now in ruins. While in Foncebadon, you will walk to view the "Iron Cross." This Cross is a common pausing place for pilgrims as they leave a stone at the foot of the cross to symbolize a sin or burden that they are leaving behind. Your tour continues as you leave your burdens behind and continue onward to the village nestled in the mountains, O Cebreiro. Many pilgrims pause at this site due to the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the year 1300. Additionally, be sure to have your cameras ready as this village is suspended 1,300 meters in the air and provides a breathtaking panoramic view. Your first walking day culminates with a delicious meal and an overnight in Sarria.
Day 4, Sarria - Portomarin
(Walking Day: 15 miles | 23.5 kilometers | 35,000 steps)
Today is the day that your walking pilgrimage (El Camino) to Santiago de Compostela officially begins! With the guidance of Our Lord, and through the spirit of St. James the apostle, you will become an authentic pilgrim by journeying along the physical road, as well as, the spiritual one. Your first official day of walking will culminate in Portomarin. This town dates back to the Roman Ages and was an important halt along the route in the Middle Ages. Due to the creation of a dam in 1962, the Old Portomarin is currently underneath the Mino River. As a result of the dam creation, many of the old buildings were moved, brick by brick. Among these buildings is the Church of St. John of Jerusalem. In Medieval Times, this church was strategically set along the route of El Camino in order to protect the tomb of Santiago. At Portomarin, you will enjoy dinner followed by an overnight.
Day 5, Portomarin - Palas de Rei
(Walking Day: 16 miles | 25 kilometers | 37,500 steps)
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel and journey from Portomarin, through the woods to the Palas de Rei. This was a noteworthy town in the Middle Ages, as it contained a Royal Hospital and the church of St. Tirso. As the rugged walk continues, you will continue through fields, forests, and granaries. Additionally, you will see a prominent characteristic of Galician Landscape, Los Cruceiros. These wayside crosses depict Christ and the Virgin Mary. Dinner and enjoy a restful overnight in Palas de Rei.
Day 6, Palas de Rei - Arzua
(Walking Day: 18.2 miles | 29 kilometers |
Breakfast will be served at your hotel. Your pilgrimage continues as you will travel from Palas de Rei to the bustling small town of Arzua. Before arriving in Arzua, your group will stop at Melide. This town is a crucial point of El Camino because it is where the French and Oviedo routes converge. Upon arrival in Melide, you will notice the old roads that date back to the fourteenth century, which are some of the oldest in the region of Galicia. After lunch, you will leave the Lugo province and enter into the province of A Coruna. As your group continues to Arzua, you will cross the beautiful, medieval bridge over the Iso River to Ribadiso. Following your visit to this Chapel, your day will culminate with the arrival in Arzua, where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight.
Day 7, Arzua
(Rest Day: 4.5 miles | 7.2 kilometers | 10,500
Today, you will take a break to rest your bodies and shake off any fatigue. After Mass, there will be time to reflect on the journey thus far and to spend at your own leisure. Dinner and overnight will be provided in Arzua.
Day 8, Arzua - Arca de O Pino
(Walking Day: 14.2 miles | 22.8 kilometers |
Your journey is almost over as you walk to the largest community before Santiago, Arca de O Pino! Upon walking this route, you will immerse yourselves in the fragrant eucalyptus groves and experience the breathtaking scenery. At a point throughout your walk, you will stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. Following lunch, you will continue your journey and arrive in Arca de O Pino. As you explore this village, you will notice joy etched on the faces of the pilgrims. Although they have traveled a long distance, they are not weary. With God and St. James guiding their paths, excitement and anticipation continues for their arrival in Santiago.
Day 9, Arca de O Pino - Monte del Gozo - Santiago de Compostela
(Walking Day: 10.4 miles | 17 kilometers |
Today, you will culminate the walking portion of your journey! Before arriving at your final destination, you will first stop for Mass on Mount Joy (Monte del Gozo). You will know that you are approaching Santiago because, at this point, you will be able to see the spires of the Cathedral. Following lunch, you will complete your walking journey and arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Upon arrival, feel free to say a small prayer in thanksgiving to Our Lord for keeping you safe throughout the walking pilgrimage. At this time, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time to explore Galicia's capital, Santiago. This evening you will enjoy a marvelous dinner, followed by a very restful overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 10, Santiago de Compostela
(Tour Day: 8.2 miles | 13.1 kilometers | 19,200 steps)
This morning you will awaken in the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela! Formed by Galician granite, the 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, the tradition will lead as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descend into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims' relics is kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy free time for lunch on own before your sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gelmirez 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.
Day 11, Santiago de Compostela - Lisbon
Today, you will transfer to Lisbon (approximately five and a half hours). Following your orientation drive through Lisbon, you will visit St. Anthony's church. Although this patron Saint of Lost Things is known as St. Anthony of Padua (Italy), he was originally born in Lisbon, Portugal. This Church is built upon the site of St. Anthony's birth, and is also where Saint John Paul II visited in 1982. The former Pope stopped at this Church, on his way to Fatima, to pray to Our Lady in thanksgiving. Saint John Paul II recognizes Our Lady as saving him from being killed when he was shot one year prior, in 1981. This evening, you will enjoy dinner and overnight in Lisbon.
Day 12, Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
Today, we will travel north to the old city of Santarem. In Santarem, visit and attend Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, which holds (13th century) Eucharistic Miracle: The Miracle occurred when a woman yearned to change the ways of her unfaithful husband and consulted a sorceress. The sorceress agreed that she would cure the husband's infidelity in exchange for a consecrated Host. The woman committed the sacrilege, but when she exited the church, the Host began to bleed. It bled so much that her fellow parishioners thought she had cut her hand. The woman ran home and hid the bleeding Host in a trunk. When her husband arrived home, the wife told him what she had done, and later that night there was a light emanating from the trunk. She and her husband began to kneel before the trunk. The following morning, the husband and wife brought the Host to the Parish Priest. It was then moved to the Church of St. Stephen where another miracle occurred; the miraculous Host was originally put in a wax container, however, when the Priest opened the tabernacle to view the Host, the container was found broken, and the Host was found enclosed in a crystal pyx. Return to Fatima with a visit to the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three shepherd children. Visit the Parish Church and Fatima Parish Cemetery before returning to the hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 13, Fatima
Today will surely be a memorable experience as you pray and meditate upon one of Our Blessed Mother's apparition sites. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia (age 10), Jacinta (age 7), and Francisco (age 9). These apparitions occurred monthly from May until October of 1917. Historically, as the entire world was in true turmoil, Our Lady's most prominent message during this time was to pray for world peace. The destruction of the world at that point in history was also mentioned by Our Lady in her messages of Fatima, and more specifically, in her second secret to the children. Your profoundly reflective day begins with Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Following Mass, your tour of Fatima begins at the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima. This Sacred space contains the tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as, a Monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Due to Our Lady's consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars that are dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Upon arriving at this Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Following this visit, your tour will continue to the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three shepherd children and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's August 1917 apparition. Next, your tour culminates as you and your fellow pilgrims experience Christ's unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacre. The "Sacred Way" marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fourteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found below in the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen of Hungary. Your night will conclude with private devotions, and a candlelight procession, requested by Our Lady (1917). Enjoy dinner and a comfortable night's rest in Fatima.
Day 14, Return Home
Today you will enjoy an early morning breakfast, and say farewell to your fellow pilgrims and a pilgrimage that will be embedded in your hearts forever. You will transfer to the Lisbon airport for your return flight(s) home.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of places to be visited. Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visits.
While you will be removed from the routine of your everyday life, rest assured you will be taken care of with outstanding accommodations, meals and transportation with van / bus driving parallel to the path you walk each day. Should at any point you feel tired, need water, or any medical assistance, it will be readily available to you at check points that are set up along the way on your path. Tourists pass through places, places pass through Pilgrims.
This itinerary involves an average of 13 - 20 miles daily of walking/hiking. It is essential that participants be in fit condition in order to complete the journey. We will have assistance vehicles (motor coach) available to assist pilgrims who are unable to complete a particular leg of the journey.
What to Know Before You Go on the El Camino Pilgrimage
About your trip
This pilgrimage is good for your body and soul!
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 the remains of the Apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried. The Way of St James has existed for over one thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, as 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 pilgrimage to Jerusalem. St. James' remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where they were buried at the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is one of most famous Marian shrines in the world. 4 million Pilgrims visit Fatima each year! Many are drawn by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the three local shepherd children, in 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13th until October 13th. The events at Fatima gained fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia.