June 16 - June 26, 2019
"The French Way"
June 16 - June 26, 2019
"The French Way"
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart USA to Lisbon on Iberia Airlines.
Arrive Lisbon Airport. After checking through immigration and customs, we will be welcomed by our escort and bus driver. We will have a panoramic city tour including the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Geronimo’s Monastery (from outside) and the Belem Tower. Celebrate Mass. In the afternoon continue to Fatima. Check in at the hotel where we will have dinner and overnight.
We spend the day in Fatima. We visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Basilica and the tombs of Francisco, Jacinta and Sr. Lucia. We visit also the Monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In Aljustrel and Valinhos, we see the two homes of the little shepherds and site of the first and third visit of the “Angel of Peace”. We stop at the Parish Church and the cemetery where Francisco and Jacinta were once buried. Celebrate Mass. After dinner, we join the nightly candlelight procession.
This morning we depart hotel and drive to Porto to enjoy a panoramic city tour including Church of St Francis. Then we continue to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Lugo where we will spend the next 2 nights while we walk the Camino.
After a short drive, your driver will leave you near the village of Sarria where you can start your journey on the Camino de Santiago exactly 100 km away from Santiago. Leaving Sarria you pass Sarria Castle, with its one remaining tower, the rest destroyed in the peasants’ uprising against the aristocracy in the 15th Century. You will be walking along shady tree-lined roads and pathways, passing through pretty small hamlets such as Cortinas. The Camino ascends to a high point at Pena dos Corvos; at 660m you will enjoy panoramic views, before descending into the lush Rio Mino valley, to Mercadoiro and then to the unique town of Portomarin which is a replica of the Medieval town relocated in the 60s rock by rock to avoid floods. We will attend Mass in Portomarin in the main church of the town before heading back to our hotel in Lugo.
After a drive back to Portomarin, we will leave the village of Portomarin on a bridge over the artificial lake of Belesar. The Camino crosses the Minho river then steadily climbs upwards, before passing through the settlement of Gonzar and Castromaior, where you’ll find the tiny Romanesque Church of Santa Maria. Continue along country roads edged by bright yellow gorse, pine and oak trees. Upon reaching the high point of today’s Camino at Sierra de Ligonde (750m), descend to the ancient hamlet of Ligonde. After passing Eirexe you cross the Alto Rosario, and descend into the village of Palace de Rei. Transfer to our hotel in Melide.
After a short drive back to Palais de Rei, we continue The Way. Leaving Palace de Rei, you soon reach San Xulian do Camino, a classical Camino village with a tiny 12th Century church dedicated to Saint Julian. After crossing the provincial border you pass through the hamlet of O Coto and village of Leboreiro. Perhaps stopping for lunch at the town of Melide, famed for its octopus dishes ‘pulpo Galega.' The shaded forests of oak and chestnut give way to eucalyptus and pine before you ascend to Arzua. Transfer back to our hotel in Melide.
After a transfer back to Arzua, continue towards your way towards the City of the Apostle. Your first stop will be Santa Irene where we can visit the Medieval shrine dedicated to a martyr Saint from Portugal and the Baroque fountain of healing waters. Then we will pass through Puñide bridge and Church of Lardeiros, also known as the cathedral of the mountains.Finally we will arrive O Pedrouzo, where you will enter the last forest of eucalyptus before Santiago. Transfer to our hotel in Santiago.
After a transfer back to O Pedrouzo, we we will walk the last Kilometers before we get to our final destination: the Tomb of the Apostle. Passing through Galician villages, we will arrive in Lavacolla. From there, there will be 14 Kms walking through roundabouts, roads, townhouses, industrial areas until we get to the Monte do Gozo, where we will have the first sight of the city of Santiago de Compostela. From this point we will be walking through streets until we will arrive at the “plaza del Obradoiro”. You have finally finished the Camino de Santiago! The Cathedral presents itself to you, majestic and beautiful. Stop here for a while and breathe in this moment, do whatever feels right. You still have a few things to do today - get your pilgrim certificate, attend the Pilgrim's Mass & marvel at the architecture of our beloved city before driving back to your hotel.
Another day in Santiago de Compostela. The options for the day are: Remain in Santiago for personal activities and spiritual reflections. Or extend the Camino experience by reaching (1.5 hours drive ) Capo Finisterre on the stunning Atlantic coast of Galicia. Finisterre was believed to be the most westerly point in Europe by the Romans, the place where the sun disappeared into the ocean and they named it accordingly: Finis Terrae, land’s end. In the medieval age, as they arrived, pilgrims used to burn the clothes they had walked in for so many days, as a act of closure and purification. Then they took a scallop shell as proof they completed the pilgrimage since the shells are indigenous to the Galician coast. Return to Santiago De Compostela with some time at leisure, before returning to the hotel for dinner and overnight
Depart Santiago De Compostela with a flight back to the USA.
Airlines and transfers
Accomodations (The hotels offered along the Camino are simple but correct. All of them with private bathrooms in the rooms. Take into account that the Camino passes through very small towns, villages and there is not a great variety of hotels)
English speaking guide from day 1 to day 7
Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
Pilgrims credentials (passport certificate of completion)
Visits to Santiago De Compostela, Cathedral, Museum, Cloister, Treasure and Archbishop palace.
Complete or buffet breakfast and dinner