Camino de Santiago Self-Guided Trek - Walk the Camino

Camino de Santiago Self-Guided Trek

  • Overview
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Essential Info
  • Pics & Vids
  • Dates & Prices

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 7 day self-guided Camino de Santiago Trek giving you the freedom to take your own pace.
  • Trek one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in the world, The Camino de Santiago de Compostela 
  • Follow in the footsteps of countless pilgrims, walking the last 100kms of the legendary Way of St James 
  • Hike through beautiful landscapes and historic towns to collect stamps for your pilgrim’s passport
  • Explore romanesque cathedrals, medieval monasteries and unspoiled rural scenery 
  • Be part of a long-standing tradition in obtaining the ‘compostela’, a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims upon completing the way
  • Fully supported self-guided trek allowing you to enjoy this historic pilgrimage at your own pace
  • Experience the amazing camraderie with fellow pilgrims from all over the world
  • Choose your very own trip date between April – October
  • Receive a complimentary Water-To-Go bottle on departure to minimise our plastic foot-print in Spain!

OVERVIEW

A self-guided Camino trek gives you the chance to explore this historic region at your own pace on foot  while having all the necessary tools and information beforehand: the route notes, places of interest, accommodation and transport all accessible through an easy and intuitive app.

Since Apostle James’ tomb was discovered in the ninth century, the route has also been known as ‘The Way of St James’. The symbol of the scallop shell, typically found on the Galician shores, marks your way. On completion of the final 100km stretch of The Way of St James, it is a great tradition to receive a certificate or ‘compostela’.

This section of the Camino will take you from the interior and unique region of Galicia to Santiago through peaceful rolling landscapes, rich vineyards, many small villages and town before your final goal, the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

One of the most special parts of undertaking this renowned route is the people you meet along your way from all over the world and the experiences you share as you absorb yourself in the culture and tradition of the route.

Staying in a selection of Guesthouses and family run hotels on a half board basis you can be sure of a warm welcome at the end of your day. With specially selected accommodation close to your route and your luggage transfers included, you can relax in the knowledge that we have taken care of all the arrangements so all you need to do is choose the date which suits you, step foot on the famed Camino on your own or with a small group of family or friends and enjoy your journey.

Summary of route

Start: Sarriá  Finish: Santiago de Compostela

Day 1: Arrival in Sarria (15.2 km – optional)
Day 2: From Sarria to Portomarin (23km)
Day 3: From Portomarín to Palas de Rei (25.3km)
Day 4: From Palas del Rei to Arzua (28.8km)
Day 5: From Arzúa to A Rua (18km)
Day 6: From A Rua to Santiago de Compostela (22.4km)
Day 7: End of trek
 

Why go Self-Guided:

FLEXIBILITY
You get to choose your very own trip date between April – October. Take advantage of low-cost flights or make the most of your precious leave by arranging travel around a Bank Holiday or a weekend.

YOU CHOOSE THE PACE
Travelling independently gives you the freedom to go at your own pace and stop where you wish to sample local food & drinks.

PICK YOUR TRAVEL BUDDIES
You let us know who would like to go with, and we’ll arrange the rest. For cost purposes these trips are best with a minimum of 2 people. Solo trips can be arranged and feel free to contact us for more info.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE DESTINATION
Stop at places that take your interest, linger in a local market, savour your coffee or chat with the locals.

SAMPLE THE LOCAL FOOD
Time to indulge in all the local delicacies. Find the best ice cream, sample the finest cellar door wines or enjoy locally famed cuisine.

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Relax in the knowledge that we have made all your arrangements for you. From your starting point to your departure, we have it covered. We handpick your accommodation, transport your bags each day and provide you with all the route details and information you need to have a fantastic trekking journey. And don’t forget, a self-guided adventure doesn’t mean you’re all on your own. The local team is only a phone call away to offer a helping hand, should you need it.

Day 1
Arrival in Sarria (15.2km – optional)

Start your Camino adventure with a public bus ride or pre-arranged private transfer to Sarria, ‘gateway’ to Compostela and start of the requisite final 100km for the official pilgrimage certificate. If you have not obtained your Pilgrims Passport in advance, you can collect one here. Arrive early to visit nearby Samos, a 6th-century monastery which has welcomed pilgrims since the Camino’s very inception. Or book an extra night pre-trek and enjoy the beautiful 14km walk from Samos Monastery back to Sarria.

Trek info: (optional) 15.2 km, 4.5-5 hrs, 150m ascent, 350m descent.

Day 2
From Sarria to Portomarin (23km)

Your route begins through the green heartland of Galicia where the landscape is scattered with pretty stilted grain stores known as horreos. As you pass through this enchanting landscape and quaint little villages you will have plenty of opportunity to stop and enjoy tasty Galician delicacies in one of the local cafes before crossing the fantastic Roman bridge over the Mino River to your final goal; Portomarin. This lovely village was completely moved, brick by brick in 1962, to its current location following the construction of a dam which would flood the village’s original location. During the dry season, when water levels drop, some of the remains of the village can still be seen. Spending the night in the village you can enjoy a relaxed evening meal in your accommodation.

Trek info: 23km, 7 hrs, 375m ascent, 400m descent.

Day 3
From Portomarín to Palas de Rei (25.3km)

Saunter down the steep high street out of Portomarín then ‘switch gears’ on a gentle uphill track alongside the main road. Crossing the N-540 at Hospital de la Cruz, you can take a breather at today’s highest point, Monte San Antonio. Your route soon levels out taking you through fragrant eucalyptus plantations and leading you to Palas de Rei through gently rolling countryside with a pleasant 10km section on tarmac. The final 3km veer off onto a dirt track again, as you approach the humming pilgrims’ town of Palas de Rei. The town was a major hub for pilgrims during the Middle Ages as they gathered to face the final stretch of their journey together. Today, the town remains a popular overnight stop for pilgrims and is a hive of activity. You too will spend the night in the town before taking the final few days of your journey

Trek info: 25.3km, 7.5 – 8hrs, 500m ascent, 290m descent.

Day 4
From Palas del Rei to Arzua (28.8km)

From Palas de Rei you embark on a long but technically easy route, free of steep prolonged ascents or descents. Join the traditional pilgrim countdown as stone markers sprout up showing the distance left to Santiago Cathedral. Encountering cool shady stretches, you amble along to Melide, historic crossroads where the Original Way or ‘Camino Primitivo’ meets the popular French Route or ‘Camino Francés’. Just past this point, you’re treated to an aromatic section through eucalyptus trees and oak groves, trekking toward Arzúa and a well-earned coffee . . . or glass of local wine!

This longer stage can be shortened by arranging a morning transfer to O Coto, saving 8km on a road.

Trek info: 28.8km, 7.5 – 8hrs, 250m ascent, 400m descent.

Day 5
From Arzúa to A Rua (18km)

You will not leave Arzúa without tasting its delicious cheese from the Arzúa-Ulloa Denomination of Origin and without sealing your Pilgrim’s Credential in the Church of Santiago de Arzúa. Green hills will be your travel companions to the town of Rúa. You will find hermitages such as Santa Irene.

The excitment starts to build as you feel the collective energy grow with your fellow pilgrims as the famed end point is getting closer! 

Trek info: 18km, 6 hrs, 360m ascent, 460m descent.

Day 6
From A Rua to Santiago de Compostela (22.4km)

Burst back into modern life as you rush along past the regional airport and cross the highway, railway and ring-road drawn by an immense, irresistible magnet: Plaza Obradoiro. The urban hustle and bustle will not deter you and it’s still easy to imagine ancient pilgrims filled with joy as they glimpsed the distant spires. Historically, pilgrims pause at Monte do Gozo to set their sights then make one last stop at the spring in Lavacolla, to cleanse their face and feet before meeting their beloved saint. You will leave behind the Plaza Cervantes and through the beautiful streets of the old town of Compostela you will reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Santiago de Compostela.

Trek info: 22.4km, 7 hrs, 440m ascent, 475m descent.

Day 7

End of trek

Your self-guided pilgrimage comes to an end this morning after you’ve enjoyed a relaxed breakfast. You can opt to further explore the historical city of Santiago de Compostela before making your onward journey or additional night/s can be booked to allow time to explore the city of Santiago.

Why go

Supporting local tourism, local communities and understanding the Galician culture

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on local communities and livelihoods across the planet, we’re keen to promote adventures in countries that are actively working towards sustainable tourism and conservation projects. Given the numerous environmental, cultural and conservation projects in place in Spain, we’re particularly keen and passionate to help support the local tourism industry here whilst also giving you the chance to get out and explore this historic pilgrimage trail in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Why go Self-Guided
Flexibility

You get to choose the day of the week to start your adventure, within our specified periods of when best to travel, allowing you to take advantage of low-cost flights or make the most of your precious leave by arranging travel around a Bank Holiday or weekend. You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.

You choose the pace

Travelling independently gives you the freedom to go at your own pace. If you fancy a lie-in, have one! It’s your holiday. With no group times to stick to you can take the day as you like, whether that’s indulging in a leisurely breakfast or speeding ahead to settle in your accommodation and explore each destination to the full.

Pick your travel companions

With self-guided you choose who you travel with, whether that’s your partner, your family or a group of friends. You let us know who would like to go with, and we’ll arrange the rest.

Immerse yourself in your chosen destination

The best thing about a self-guided trip is that you get to see places you might otherwise miss. Stop at a cathedral you might have passed by, linger in a courtyard and savour your coffee, peruse local markets or chat with the locals.

Sample the local food

Exploring independently allows you the opportunity to indulge in all the local delicacies the area has to offer, allowing you to find the best ice cream, sample the finest cellar door wines or enjoy Galician cuisine (Caldo Gallego, Empanada).

Book with confidence

Relax in the knowledge that we have made all your arrangements for you. From your starting point to your departure we have it covered. We handpick your accommodation, transport your bags each day and provide you with all the route details and information you need to have a fantastic trekking journey. And don’t forget, a self-guided adventure doesn’t mean you’re all on your own. The local team is only a phone call away to offer a helping hand, should you need it.

Pre-trip info

On booking your Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Trek, you’ll receive all the exciting trip info via our free mobile travel app.

You’ll have access to your itinerary, trip countdown, live updates, contact info, weather forecasts, know before you go trip info, kit lists and much more at the touch of a button 24 hours a day via your mobile phone. No more unnecessary use of reams of paper to benefit the environment and the need of carrying around documents with you. A’ppy days.

Plus your nav app will enable you to follow your daily hiking routes in an easy and intuitive way.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background.

 

Pre-trip support

With being a small family business we pride ourselves with providing personal, professional and friendly service for your Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Trek.

We appreciate that everyone has different levels of experience and reasons for wishing to embark on this trek and therefore require varying levels of support and guidance. We’re here to help you every step of the way from the moment you join the flock all the way through to completing the trek and beyond.

Jim and Sue’s knowledge and expertise stems from dozens of years of travelling and exploring the destinations that we visit in order to fully support you in the lead up to your adventure. Jim and Sue have both completed this trek numerous times, so are well equipped to answer any of your queries no matter how big or small.

Flights

Nearest airports are Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), however you can also fly to A Coruña (LCG) and Asturias airport (OVD).

Alternate travel:

By coach: From Madrid to Lugo (ALSA company) and from Santiago de Compostela or Santiago Aeropuerto (FREIRE company). From Lugo to Sarria operates the company MONBUS.

By train: Direct connections with Madrid and Barcelona (RENFE). From Santiago de Compostela to Sarria it is possible to travel by train via Ourense and A Coruña.

Getting to and from

Arrival in Sarriá

By public transport from Santiago de Compostela airport

The best way to reach Sarria is to fly into Santiago de Compostela airport and first get a suttle bus to the central bus station of Santiago(with www.empresafreire.com; every 30 min )

From there you can travel to Lugo with the same company (Freire) OR with ALSA www.alsa.es and then take another local bus from Lugo to Sarria (35 mins; min 6 services a day) . Check timetables at www.monbus.es

On workdays (Mon to Friday) there is also a direct bus from Santiago de Compostela bus station to Sarria  with company Monbus  (Check www.monbus.es). But remember that you first have to travel into town to the central bus station (with www.empresafreire.com; every 30 min. aprox)

You can book with S-cape optional transfers from Santiago (SCQ) or A Coruña (LCG) airports to your first accommodation in Sarria or from last accommodation in Santiago to the airport (prices on request).

Departure from Santiago de Compostela

There is ashuttle bus to the airport of Santiago from the center of Santiago with different stops in the city (Check www.empresafreire.com)

Passport

All nationalities require a full passport. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. For the latest info, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/entry-requirements

Visa

British nationals do not require a visa to enter Spain for the purpose of tourism for up to 3 months. For the latest entry requirements, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain and also Brexit advice at https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers

Travel insurance

Travel Insurance is an important part of any booking. It is compulsory that everyone who travels with us has taken out adequate travel insurance which includes, among other things, cover for the full value of your trip, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, activities undertaken, personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects and COVID-19 travel cover.

For UK residents we have partnered with Campbell & Irvine Direct to provide you with a travel insurance. If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Direct for a quote.

You must send your Travel Insurance Policy to Adventurous Ewe no less than one month prior to departure.

Vaccinations & allergies

COVID-19
For the most up to date entry requirements please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/entry-requirements

Vaccinations
Recommended vaccinations include: Tetanus. For the most up to date info on vaccinations, please consult with your GP or travel healthcare practitioner 8 weeks in advance of travel. For more info, feel free to visit https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.

Severe allergies
If you have a severe allergy please inform us at the time of booking. We will do all we can to help, but unfortunately we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on this trip. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you.

Group size

You are most welcome to book this Self-Guided trek as a solo trekker or with a small group of friends or family be it 2 – 12 people. There is a ‘Solo Traveller Supplement’ fee.

Trip grading

The Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Trek is graded as ‘Medium’. The trek consists of 6 consecutive days of walking. Your luggage is transferred between hotels, so you only need to take a day pack with you on the walks. The terrain and type of path will vary from paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to gravel. The walks are not technically difficult although there are some steep ascents and descents, so a good level of fitness is ideal. 

It’s important to bear in mind that the distances walked some of the days are long and you are expected to walk 6 days in a row so there is a high chance to get blisters. We recommend to take extra care in making sure that your hiking boots are comfortable and well worn in. We advise bringing hiking boots and trail running trainers as this will allow you to alternate them at any stage to avoid blisters and pain.

Preparation is key to help you get the most enjoyment and reward from this trek. A good level of fitness, endurance and some gritty determination will help you conquer each day.

Training

A bespoke training programme will be provided when join the team for this adventure to help you with your preparations together with some top tips.

We also have exclusive offers with our Training Partners and Communities, please visit our Training and Preparation page.

The more you are prepared, the more you will enjoy the trek.

Our motto is: Train hard, smile harder and enjoy the journey!

Kit

A full kit list will be provided when you register for this trip. Good kit can make the difference between a fantastic adventure and an uncomfortable one. Well worn in waterproof hiking boots are recommended.

An exclusive Adventurous Ewe discount code will be provided for the independent outdoor retailers both in shop and online when you book this trek.

Weather

In April and October expect temperatures in the 40-60F/ 5-15ºC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May and September tend to be about 10F/5ºC warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds.

When to go

The largest daily influx of Pilgrims will be found from Easter until the end of October. In the months of May, June and September you can find especially Pilgrims from all over the world. In July and August on the other hand you will find mainly national pilgrims from groups of young people to families where they travel from the child of 8 years to the over 80 years.

In Galicia you never know, you always have to have the raincoat at hand, but in the hottest months you will enjoy as never before walking under the shade of the trees immersed in the lush forests.

Accommodation

In the small towns of Sarria, Portomarin, Palas de Rei, Melide and Arzua you’ll stay in comfortable family run hotels and guesthouses. In Rua you’ll stay in a more rural property but has all the flavour and charm of Spain. In Santiago you’ll stay in a comfortable hotel in the old town. All accommodation is en-suite and is based on twin sharing.

You’re most welcome to book this Self-Guided trek as a solo traveller, a solo traveller supplement is incurred. You’re also welcome to book single rooms for your group, this incurs a single room supplement and is dependent on availability. 

Additional nights in Santiago de Compostela are available, please contact us for more info.

Food & drinks

All breakfasts are included during your trip. Breakfasts in Spain usually consist of coffee with milk, toast with ham, olive oil, tomatoes, cheese and butter and jam. Bakery items such as pastries, fruit and juice are also popular. During this trip you can expect different variations of breakfast at the hotels and pensions we stay at but they will all include at least some of the standard breakfast items that are popular in Spain. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know. 

Lunch and dinners will be eaten at local cafes and restaurants. This allows you to purchase items that you wish and also helps support local businesses. North Spain is rich and produces almost everything one might want to eat from fish and seafood to good quality meat, vegetables and fruit. Your app will recommend good places to eat.

Please bring your own water bottles or camelbaks/platypus (or similar) and flasks (if you wish to take a hot drink during your challenge) and refill to avoid the need of purchasing plastic water bottles.

Water-to-go bottle

Adventurous Ewe has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – for more info please click here.

Adventurous Ewe trekkers will receive a free Water-to-Go bottle when departing on our Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Trek, and better still, 15% of the purchase value for replacement filters will be donated to our environmental charity partner, Cool Earth. Please help us reduce the volume of single use plastic in this pristine environment.

Payment info

Deposit: £125 per person is required on booking.
Remaining balance: £560 per person is due for payment no later than 5 weeks prior to your trip start date.

Departure & Return Duration Availability Deposit Total Cost* (*Total cost includes the deposit)
May 18, 2024
May 24, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
May 25, 2024
May 31, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jun 01, 2024
Jun 07, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jun 08, 2024
Jun 14, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jun 15, 2024
Jun 21, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jun 22, 2024
Jun 28, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jun 29, 2024
Jul 05, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jul 06, 2024
Jul 12, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jul 13, 2024
Jul 19, 2024
7 Days Available £675.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jul 20, 2024
Jul 26, 2024
7 Days Available £125.00 £675.00 Book Now
Jul 27, 2024
Aug 02, 2024
7 Days Available £125.00 £675.00 Book Now

What's Included?

Pre trip

  • Personalised trip support in the lead up to your trek from Adventurous Ewe
  • Trek training guide
  • Discount on personal kit both in shop and online
  • Trip info supplied via mobile travel app
  • Public liability insurance
  • Financial Protection for your booking
  • Monthly payment plan available
  • Risk assessment and emergency management planning
  • Free Adventurous Ewe Water-to-Go Bottle

On the trip

  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Luggage transport
  • Road book with logistic information and description of routes
  • 2 dinners 
  • Transfer day 3 to your “select” accommodation in Pidre (all other accommodation is on the Camino)
  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates.

What's Not Included?

  • 4 dinners 
  • Pack lunches
  • Optional transfers at the beginning and end of the trek to/from first and last accommodation
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Return flights to Santiago de Compestla Spain. These can be arranged for you at an additional cost through our Flight Agent who is ATOL protected
  • Vaccinations
  • Any COVID-19 entry/exit requirements per the UK and Spain Governments
  • Personal spending money and drinks
  • Meals not listed in your itinerary (lunch & dinners)
  • Snacks, electrolytes, water purification tablets
  • Kit and equipment as listed on your kit list and medication
  • Tips for local crew
  • Single room supplement where available
  • Any associated costs with leaving the trek early.

SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Adventurous Ewe is committed to delivering our trips in a responsible and ethical manner with sustainability at its core. We respect and aim to operate our adventures to benefit local people, their economy and the environment!

Some of the responsible travel features embedded in our Self-Guided Camino de Santiago Trek are:

  • Staying in local family owned and run hotels wherever possible
  • Minimising plastic waste wherever possible with providing a complimentary Water-To-Go bottle on departure
  • Careful management of limited energy and water resources
  • Offering real life experiences which promote cross-cultural understanding 
  • Operating with a ‘leave no trace’ ethos – take only memories, leave only footprints
  • Adventurous Ewe will make a financial contribution to the environmental charity, Cool Earth, as part of our business partnership.

Together, we can all make a difference in helping preserve this precious and wonderful planet.

 
Location
Europe
Duration
7 days
Difficulty
Cost From
£675.00
Trip Notes