Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Santiago de Compostela Cathedral at the end of the French Way
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Highlights

  • Walking the final 300km of the French Way to Santiago.
  • Starting your journey from the Cathedral in León.
  • Walking through the villages and mountains of Galicia.
  • Collecting your Compostela from the pilgrim's office in Santiago.
  • Meeting fellow pilgrims and turning strangers into friends for life.

Walk the last 300km of the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, from the Cathedral city of León to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Following the ancient pilgrim’s route of the Camino de Santiago through the villages, towns and cities of Galicia you will have a journey filled with beautiful places, people and experiences on your way to Santiago.

You can also download our free guide to the Camino Frances or visit our Online Camino information page to give you all the tools you need to get started on your Camino adventure.

Day 1:Arrive León

Your journey on the last 300km of the Camino Frances to Santiago begins in the beautiful city of León. The magnificent Cathedral is the spiritual heart of the city packed with beautiful architecture.
Oviedo (1h30 by bus) and Madrid (4h30 by train) are the most convenient airports.


Overnight: León


Day 2: Walk to Villadangos del Paramo

The highlight of your walk today will be the Cathedral and architecture of León. The rest of the day is flat and follows a sometimes busy road.


Walk: 21km.


Overnight: Villadangos del Paramo


Day 3: Walk to Astorga

Continuing across the plains of Leon you can look forward to reaching Astorga, a lively market town set atop a steep ridge.


Walk: 26km


Overnight: Astorga


Day 4: Walk to Rabanal del Camino

Leaving Astorga, the Camino Frances heads into the mountains through an area known as the Maragateria, where the people have distinctive customs, traditions and music.


Walk: 19km


Overnight: Rabanal del Camino


Day 5: Walk to Molinaseca

Today the Camino climbs past the iconic Cruz de Ferro, through the pass of Irago to the highest point of the French Way at 1,515m. The long descent to Molinaseca follows.


Walk: 24km


Overnight: Molinaseca


Day 6: Walk to Villafranca del Bierzo

The Camino passes the ruins of the Templar Castle and through Ponteferrado, a pretty medieval city, with less attractive surrounds and then continues on to delightful Bierzo.


Walk: 30km.


Overnight: Villafranca del Bierzo


Day 7: Walk to Herrerias de Valcarce

As you continue your Camino through the fertile valleys of El Bierzo you can choose either a high or low level route to Herrerias de Valcarce.


Walk: 22km.


Overnight: Herrerias de Valcarce


Day 8: Walk to O’Cebreiro

Although a short day, the steep climb through a mainly chestnut woodland on a rocky path makes the picturesque village of O’Cebreiro a welcome sight.


Walk: 9km


Overnight: O’Cebreiro


Day 9: Walk to Triacastela

The Camino descends from the mountains through a number of small villages to reach Triacastela, the town of the three castles. Although unfortunately none remain today.


Walk: 21km.


Overnight: Triacastela


Day 10: Walk to Sarria

You have two choices today. Either a longer walk via the Benedictine monastery at Samos or a shorter but hillier and more scenic route via San Xil.


Walk: 19km or 25km via Samos


Overnight: Sarria


Day 11: Walk to Portomarin

Sarria is a major starting point for pilgrims and always bustling and busy. The route today follows lovely woodland paths and tracks to reach the cobbled streets and churches of Portomarin.


Walk: 22km.


Overnight: Portomarin


Day 12: Walk to Palas de Rei

The Camino continues through the rolling green hills of Galicia. Consider adding a detour to visit Villar de Donas, the ancient seat of the Knights of Santiago.


Walk: 25km.


Overnight: Palas de Rei


Day 13: Walk to Arzua

Today is a long day on the Camino, which can be split with an extra night at the medieval town of Melide. Pleasant walking takes you through a number of picturesque towns until you reach Arzua.


Walk: 28km.


Overnight: Arzua


Day 14: Walk to Rua

Leaving the old quarter of Arzua, the Camino leads past sturdy oak trees, which give way to lush meadows. Visit the medieval shrine at Santa Irene, dedicated to a martyr saint from Portugal and the Baroque fountain of healing waters.
Throughout the day you’ll be walking through different villages: Brea, Calzada, Rua and A Calle; the meaning of which is synonymous with ‘Camino’.


Walk: 19km.


Overnight: Rua


Day 15: Walk to Santiago

Today you can look forward to a fabulous day walking to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino leads first to San Paio and Lavacolla, where it was traditional for pilgrims to wash in the river before reaching Santiago.


Tall eucalyptus trees sway in the wind as you make your way to the ‘Mount of Joy’ of Monte del Gozo (368m). From here, catch sight of your goal - the impressive spires of Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral. The final kilometres of your walk takes you through the beautiful streets of Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Walk: 20km, 5 hrs


Overnight: Santiago


Day 16: Onward travel

Check-out of your hotel and make your own way to the airport.


Additional nights

We strongly suggest that you add an additional night to your trip in Santiago so that you are able to attend the Pilgrim's Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela which takes place at noon each day. A highlight of any journey on the Camino.


Extensions

Many people choose to continue their Camino to Finisterre, we can organise this for you too. Have a look at the Camino Finisterre itinerary on our website.

Accommodation

Our Camino tours include high-quality hotels and inns close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite (attached) bathroom.
In Leon, Sarria and Santiago you will stay in 3-star hotels, the other nights will be in a mixture of rural hotels and hostels, all with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms.


Single Rooms


Single rooms are available, although a supplement is payable.


Meals

A light continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread and orange juice. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Every place you stop will have evening meals available, you can get a pilgrims menu for about 10 Euros which includes 3 courses, wine and water!

Availability

You can start your Camino on any day of your choosing, between February and Mid November subject to availability.


Time of Year

The spring months of March and April tend to offer nice mild conditions for walking although the nights can be quite cold at this time of year and there can be quite a lot of rain in the region of Galicia at this time. The summer months of July and August can get very hot and humid. The autumn from late September through to October offers cooler temperatures again although daylight hours start to become less at this time. The region of Galicia in particular experiences higher rainfall than the rest of Spain so you should come prepared with waterproofs!


Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo travellers to start on any day. You will need to pay a supplement for a single room. We do not arrange for solo walkers to room together but one of the joys of the Camino is the many people you meet so you will rarely walk alone.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that you only need to walk with a daypack.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 19-28km so you will be walking for between 5 and 8 hours each day. The trail consists of a mixture of dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Camino is very easy to follow. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background. The detailed travel pack we supply to you includes a detailed guidebook including maps, a detailed information pack for planning and preparing for your Camino, detailed instructions of how to find your overnight accommodation and everything you need for your Camino.


In addition to the printed route notes you will receive in your travel pack, you will also have access to our Macs Adventure App, allowing you to follow the route on richly detailed mapping on your smartphone.


Pilgrim Passport

The Pilgrim Passport is issued by the Church of St James, you will find this in your pack waiting for you at your first hotel. Alternatively, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the Pilgrims’ Office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km).


Clothing & Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a daypack. Read our kit list for the Camino for more detailed packing advice.

Getting to León

By Air: Oviedo is the closest airport and is serviced by EasyJet from London. There are 8 buses a day from Oviedo to Leon which takes 1hr30. Timetables and fares at Alsa.


Madrid airport is the best airport if travelling from outside Europe. Connect by train from Madrid.


By Train: León is 2h45 by train from Madrid. Timetables and tickets at Renfe.


By Bus: León is 4h00 by bus from Madrid. Timetables and fares at Alsa.


Getting home from Santiago

Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) is the most convenient. You can fly directly from Santiago to the UK with Ryanair or Easyjet. If you are travelling outwith Europe we suggest flying from Santiago (SCQ) connecting at either Paris or Madrid.


Trains to Madrid from Santiago de Compostela take between 6 and 7 hours. For train times and tickets in Spain visit www.renfe.com


Journey planning

We can recommend the website www.rome2rio.com for planning your journey to the start or from the end of your Camino.

Included

  • 15 Nights accommodation in small rural hotels and hostels with en-suite W/C.
  • Baggage Transfers
  • A detailed information pack including route notes, maps and local information for your party.
  • Camino guide book.
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
  • Emergency support from our local and UK offices.

Excluded

  • Return travel to Leon/Santiago.
  • Lunches, dinners (optional), snacks or drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation.
  • Single supplements.

Below you will answers to our FAQ's. If you are considering the Camino please download our Free Guide to the Camino.

How fit do I need to be?

The average daily distance of our Camino tours are between 20 and 25 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment.

Can I walk the Camino solo? 

Yes, many of our guests travel solo. Although the nature of the Camino means that they soon join up with other pilgrims. There is a single room supplement payable for solo walkers.

Do you offer group trips?

No, we do not offer group trips as independent self-guided trips are a much better way to experience the Camino.

When can I start?

You can start on any day of your choosing, subject to availability.

Can I tailor-make my Camino tour?

Yes, although we find our standard itineraries are perfect for most walkers, we can add additional nights at any point of the Camino and tailor-make the trip to meet your needs.

What type of trails does the Camino follow?

A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is well marked and easy to follow. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100,000 people. We will always try and accommodate late booking requests. 

Can I walk with my bags?

Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.

When is the best time of year?

We would recommend April/May/June and September/October when the weather is at its best for walking. July and August can be very hot and are busy.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support contact us and we will be more that happy to help.

Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly suggest that you have travel insurance which covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury before and during your trip.

Brilliant!!

5

Brilliant trip! We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks walking. Glad we opted for two week trip to see more of the changing landscape. All accommodation were excellent, spotlessly clean with friendly staff and we loved the variety - from 4 star hotels to small and rustic. Thank you to macs adventure and we can't wait to choose our next trip.

Hardy vikings

Shetland

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Great walking in very interesting Spain.

5

Impressed with organistion and the whole daily rhythm of the walk. Chance to walk and think, as well as, interact with other walkers and the local Spanish people.

Happy Aussie

Australia

My Camino walk across Spain

4

Walking the Camino de Santiago from September 15-October 23, 2017 was an experience of a lifetime. Thank you for making hotel arrangements for my two friends and me (Sadie from Sept 15-Oct 9 and Annie Oct 19-23). The Micro Hostal in Villafranca del Bierzo was the absolute best place I stayed in! Pilar, the owner/manager was wonderful. She made me feel welcome and at home there. The reason I mention walkers and bikers is that most of the bikers do not announce their presence. It's scary. I was hit by one of them when I moved over and the biker moved the same way. I wasn't hurt but scared. I suggest walkers stay to the right on the path and bikers on the left with a signal from their bells of their arrival behind walkers. Trash and litter (white tissues) are everywhere and disgusting. Maybe green bags could be given to those entering the trail for disposal of trash. Pilgrims should not be littering the beautiful countrysides of Spain.

Mary Etta

St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago

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wonderful journey

5

Prehaps planning a break between stages or dividing very long distances will be necessary for some people. I will plan to take a break next time

CG

suffolk

true

BEST HIKING TRIP EVER!

5

A great trip! One of my favorites ever.

Norn

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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A weight off of your shoulders -physically and mentally

5

Met many fellow pilgrims who were rushing to get to an alburgue before they were full and others who were unable to find accommodation where they wanted and had to walk further than they intended. As Seniors, knowing that we were booked in and that our luggage would be waiting for us meant we could take our time and enjoy each day's walk. Never disappointed with the accommodation.

Slow Stroller on the Camino

Poulton-le-Fylde

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Fabulous experience

5

It was very well organised. We were picked up by a friendly driver who was very helpful . Each hotel had its individual identity and they were always well situated near the Camino. Accommodation was basic but clean and with breakfast to set us up for the day's walk.The information sent beforehand was useful and accurate, apart from a couple of distance discrepancies. A Very enjoyable experience all well organised. Thank you Macs Adventures

Jamesy

Woodford green

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Camino complete walking holiday, extraordinaire!

4

This walk challenged us and we came home ready to brag to anyone how far we had walked, 731 kms in all, and we had a fabulous time.

A and B

Canada

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I cannot say enough!

5

I cannot say enough positive things about my adventure and how well I felt I was looked after. It was an outstanding experience. I have already recommended MACTours to others!

Christina the Princess Traveler

Golden, BC

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Fantastic week of walking

5

The whole trip was very well organised from beginning to end, no problems with the luggage transfers. All the accommodation was great, every place was different but equally good in their own way. Last nights accommodation there was a problem but they transferred us to another hotel just down the road, so it was no problem for us we were happy with the replacement. The guidebook we had I would say wasn't the best and I wish we had got another more in depth one, was a little vague in places and we missed out on a few places to visit. So top tip, get another guidebook. All the maps and directions to hotels were spot on. Great experience and a very well organised trip.

Mrs.T

Worcester

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Camino Stage 4 & 5: Leon to Santiago

4.5 34

100.0

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