Created with Sketch.
5 Minutes Camino de Santiago Podcast
4 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
7 Spooky Camino Facts to Get You in The Spirit of Halloween
Halloween is right around the corner so it’s no surprise that we’re getting into the spooky spirit. Whether you’re a fan of ghosts and ghouls or just a little bit superstitious, you can add some ghostly fun to your walk with these 7 spooky Camino facts! As we know, the Camino de Santiago takes walkers to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia, a land rich in folklore, colourful legends, and frightening spirits. Many also believe witches still exist in Galicia, living in disguise and blending in with the general population. With Halloween, and All Saints Day just around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to unleash your inner ghoul! Spooky Fact 1: The Coast of Death The Costa da Morte, on Galicia’s Atlantic coast, stretches from Fisterra to Malpica. English seamen in the XIV century frequently referred to this land as the Coast of Death, as it was known to be a black spot for shipwrecks, due to its difficult and dangerous geography. But even before English seamen encountered trouble along this coast, Fisterra was considered to be the end of the world and a very special place by the Romans and pagans and pre-Christian cultures. It was here where the sun disappeared under the sea, connecting the world of the living and the land of the dead and their spirits. Along the Finisterre Way, you will also find many oscillating stones (pedras de abalar), said to predict tragedies. Spooky Fact 2: Square of the Dead & The Pilgrim Ghost In Santiago de Compostela, you will find the imposing Quintana square at the back of Santiago’s cathedral, which is said to have ‘invisible’ residents. The square is divided in two by a set of stairs: the upper part of the square is called Quintana dos Vivos (Quintana of the Living), while the lower part of the square is the Quintana dos Mortos (Quintana of the Dead), as it was used as a burial ground until 1780. The shadow of a pilgrim is said to appear in a corner of the square every night. Spooky Fact 3: Bonaval Park After 1780, the burial ground for the city of Santiago was moved to San Domingos de Bonaval. Today, many people visit Bonaval Park, which boasts stunning views of the city, to relax and spend time with friends and family. The park, which was opened in 1994, is located right next to a convent and sits on the old cemetery grounds. Spooky Fact 4: Crossroads While in Galicia, you must be careful not to bump into the Santa Compaña, a procession of dead souls feared by many. This very unique procession of restless souls wanders about after midnight, particularly favouring crossroads in country lanes (corredoiras in Galician). The lonely souls are particularly active on special nights like Halloween and Mid-Summer. If you are unlucky enough to cross paths with this terrifying bunch, quickly draw a circle on the ground and step inside it. This should protect you from being taken away by the group. If they happen to offer you a candle, do not (really, do not) accept it, unless you want to forever wander Galicia’s country lanes. Spooky Fact 5: Stone crosses Due to the fear of the Santa Compaña, many ‘cruceiros’ (stone crosses) are strategically placed at crossroads all over Galicia’s countryside. Now you know their real purpose: they will help you escape the recruitment efforts of the Santa Compaña, particularly at this time of the year! Spooky Fact 6: Soul Pockets (Petos de Animas) Petos de ánimas (soul pockets) are frequently found at country crossroads and are designed to gather little token offerings for ‘the souls’, so they can leave purgatory and reach heaven. Once in heaven, they will intervene for those who have left a little gift or token of their respect, so maybe this is something you might want to consider to help you out in the future! Spooky Fact 7: Queimada If all else fails to keep you safe from scary spirits along the Camino de Santiago, we recommend you have a sip of Queimada (literally meaning ‘burnt’), a punch drink made of Galician spirited ‘augardente’ (fire water) mixed with lemon peel, coffee beans, cinnamon, and sugar. A special spell is read out while setting alight the concoction so the Queimada will keep the bad spirits and witches away. If you’d like to go on your own spooky adventure, check out our routes here.
2 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Spooky Camino: Beware of The Santa Compaña
With Halloween just around the corner, we must remind you to beware of the Santa Compaña (‘Holy Company’) while on your travels along the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, especially at this time of the year. The Santa Compaña is a procession of dead souls feared by most Galicians. This very unique procession of restless souls wanders about after midnight, favouring crossroads in the country lanes and being particularly active on special nights such as Halloween – but also Mid-Summer. You will recognise them easily: a living person leads the souls, carrying a cross and a cauldron, while the dead souls carry lit wax candles behind the leader. The living person leading the group shouldn’t turn around to face the souls and he will only be freed from this frightening duty if he finds someone else to replace him as leader of the Compaña. If you meet them at a crossroads and don’t want to be taken by them, you should draw a circle on the ground and step inside it. If you happen to be by a ‘cruceiro’ (stone cross), you will be off the dead souls’ hook if you quickly move up to the steps. The one thing you should never do if you encounter the Santa Compaña, under any circumstances, is accept one of the souls’ candles, otherwise, you will become part of the procession. If you’d like to know more about the spooky Camino myths and legends, you need to read about Costa del Morte (the Coast of Death) and the Pilgrim Ghost. We also have an article about 7 spooky Camino Facts that is sure to get you in the mood for Halloween. Also, if you’re a bit of a supernatural expert and you know of any other spooky Camino stories and Galician rituals, we’d love to hear all about it!
2 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
What is a Jacobean year or Ano Xacobeo?
Holy Year 2022: What is a Jacobean year? You might have heard that 2021’s Jacobean Year celebrations have been extended to the end of 2022. But what exactly is a Holy Year and why is it worth visiting the Camino during one? A Jacobean Year or Ano Xacobeo is a Jubilee or Holy Year. A year is considered a Jacobean or Holy Year when Saint James Day, 25th July, falls on a Sunday. In a normal year, the number of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago increases significantly during Holy Years, particularly in July, as many pilgrims aim to arrive in Santiago de Compostela in time for Saint James Day celebrations. Two facts make a Jacobean Year special for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago: The Holy Door in Santiago’s Cathedral, the Porta Santa, located in the Praza da Quintana only opens for Jacobean Years and remains open the whole year. The Holy Door is officially opened on 31st December, the last day of the previous year. A full plenary indulgence can be obtained, forgiving all the sins. To qualify, pilgrims must visit the cathedral, pray and attend Mass. They should have also gone to Confession within the 15 days before the trip or after the visit to the Cathedral. Those pilgrims who can’t physically continue all the way to Santiago de Compostela due to illness can get plenary indulgence in Villafranca del Bierzo, where the Puerta del Perdón (the door of forgiveness) is also open only during Holy Years. Because of leap years, Holy Years follow a pattern of 6-5-6-11 years. 2010 was the most recent Jacobean Year. After 2022, 2027 will be the next Ano Xacobeo, followed by 2032 and so on. For more information and advice on the Camino de Santiago, or to book your trip, contact our Camino travel specialists.
7 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
Mindful Walking on an Ancient Camino Trail
Mindful Walking on an Ancient Camino Trail Embarking on the Camino has often been described as a walk for the soul. Walking along the Meseta across Northern Spain, one can’t help but tune into a slower pace of life. In recent years and in light of the Covid pandemic, using the Camino for mindful walking and as a time to reflect is becoming quite popular. The joy of walking is the ability to bask in the task of the moment and a quiet walk in natural surroundings allows us to pause, take deep breaths and enjoy the repetitive task of putting one foot in front of the other. Whether you walk the coastal paths of the Camino Portugues or the forest tracks of the Camino Frances, each trail offers the chance to discover the power of nature. Mindful Walking on the Camino Portugues Coastal “Walking allows us to deeply immerse ourselves in nature, our new surroundings, and appreciate each moment. Our mind and body focus on the activity, taking step after step and enjoying every single one of them. The pleasure of meeting other pilgrims along the way makes the Camino journey even more special.” These are the words of Galician native Maria Golpe. Maria has walked and cycled many different Camino routes and has first-hand experience of the mental health benefits the Camino provides. Research has proven that a connection with nature provides strong social and emotional benefits. A recent study in the Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging shows that nature helps to reduce levels of anxiety and enhance higher positive well-being. In fact, during the various lockdowns around the world, people constantly flocked to nature for comfort and to cope with the stress of the pandemic. With that in mind, when you walk the Camino, make sure you take the time to be aware of the smells, sights and sounds around you. Being present in the moment when you hear birds chirping and trees rustling can be an exhilarating experience, helping to restore clarity after these trying times. How mindful walking helped me to achieve a work-life balance I had my first taste of a walking holiday in 2015. Since then, I’ve chosen a new Camino route each year, one that gives me the time and space to simply live in the moment. My most recent trail was the Camino Portugues from Baiona to Santiago. This stunning route takes you along the dramatic Atlantic coastline and through a variety of beautiful historic towns. Before heading off on my journey, I was a little apprehensive. Firstly, I had little experience walking over long-distance terrain. My biggest experience before this was a Sunday stroll in the Irish hills, which led me along tree-lined paths for just over two hours. Time had never allowed for much longer, yet here I was preparing to walk over 120 km in 6 days. How would I find my way? What types of terrain would I cross? Is it dangerous? What if I can’t keep up with the others? These were just a few of the worrisome questions that crossed my mind. However, as soon as we started out on the Camino paths with the vibrant yellow arrows guiding us, these questions quickly faded into the background. The joy of walking is truly being immersed in your immediate surroundings. No clouds of judgment exist, just clouds guiding you to your next destination. These are the simple joys we often take for granted. As previously mentioned, I had very little experience with active holidays. For me, my job was one that was both enjoyable and demanding, with pressure being part of the package. Phrases like reaching targets, achieving results, making contacts and building profiles sprinkled my days. If I’m being honest, they also haunted my evenings. Many people working with multi-national companies will be familiar with these action points and I needed time out. I needed to just be, to live in the moment, to drag myself far away from forecasts and plans. Walking the Camino de Santiago showed me a new path. I learned that pleasure comes from the doing and the seeing, the knowing and the not knowing and the ever-changing pace of your steps along the way. As with other mindful practices, you don’t need to prove your purpose or have a set goal. Paying attention to those daily activities that are so often taken for granted suddenly seemed so right and easy to enjoy. Something I thoroughly enjoyed was the simple act of sitting down and leisurely sipping a café con leche while snacking on some delicious churros. Peace can be so easy to find. Lisa’s Mindful Walking Tips After learning to relax and be in the moment, I wanted to share my top tips for mindful walking on the Camino in the hopes that it will inspire you to take the break you need and embark on your own long-distance walking adventure. Breathing on the trails Stop and allow yourself to take the time you need to breathe in slowly, feeling your lungs expand as you take in the sights around you. When walking it is easy to ignore your breathing and concentrate on your footwork, but switching your concentration will help you to focus more on the activity. Paying attention to your body Another tip is to feel the weight of your legs as you walk along the stunning trails. On the Camino routes, you will walk over several types of terrain including cobbled streets, forest paths, along sidewalks and coastal tracks. This is the perfect opportunity to feel the true texture of the landscape underneath you. Being aware of negative thoughts We all hear those negative whispers that creep into our daily routines. As you practice mindfulness on your Camino, you will start to become familiar with the patterns that can accelerate those thoughts. Once you recognise these patterns, you have the chance to take this negativity and dissipate the reoccurring thoughts that create a negative atmosphere around you. Having a daily intention This tip is easy when walking any of the Camino routes as your focus is solely on getting from one town to the next. I can’t describe how wonderful it is to rise early in Northern Spain and have only one goal: to walk to your next destination. Now, I’m not saying that this is an easy task. In fact, for many, including myself sometimes, this walk tested my legs, my patience, and my stamina. However, your arrival at the next town is the ultimate reward. Treat yourself to a glass of the famous local Albariño wine and some tapas. Connecting with nature There is no better place to feel in tune with nature than when you are out for a walk. The Camino de Santiago is a spiritual journey, but also one where you have time to appreciate your natural surroundings. Walking through lush green forests and along the Atlantic coastline, you will find yourself falling in love with the ground beneath you. Showing appreciation and humility Being mindful involves taking time to appreciate your surroundings and expressing thanks for the simple pleasures in life. “Buen Camino” is a common greeting when one is walking the Camino. This catchy phrase simply means “Good luck on your way”. You will hear fellow pilgrims, restaurant owners, hoteliers, and even the public wish you well when you are walking past them. Adopt the phrase, own it and use it to greet your fellow walkers. My name is Lisa and I am a walking addict. I’ve completed three Caminos and it really is the perfect way to live in the moment, soak up your surroundings and escape the screens that dictate our daily routines. I hope you found these tips useful and that they help you find time to reflect on your own journey. For more information about the Camino routes featured in this article please contact one of our Travel Specialists. Contact us
7 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
The History of the Camino de Santiago
History of the Camino de Santiago The Camino de Santiago is considered a bucket list destination for many people, whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not. But how did the Camino de Santiago come to be so popular among modern travellers and what do we know about the history of the Camino? Thousands of people walk the Camino de Santiago every year. Coming from all walks of life, this pilgrimage is one that captivates all who make the journey. Originally, however, the Camino was responsible for one of the largest movements of people across Europe. Pilgrims would make the long journey to the magnificent cathedral in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela, in search of a way to reduce their time in purgatory. The Legend of Saint James Mystery and legend are both key components of the history of the Camino de Santiago. According to the pilgrimage’s official history, the body of Saint James the Apostle is buried in Santiago’s cathedral. James, son of Zebedee and brother of John the Evangelist, was discovered in a field in Galicia by a shepherd named Pelayo in the 9th century, during the reign of King Alfonso II. Saint James is the namesake of the Camino de Santiago, which translates to English as the Way of Saint James. Santiago or Sant Iago means Saint James. Saint James had died some 800 years earlier and according to legend, was transported to Galicia (to the town of Iria Flavia, today’s Padron, found on the Camino Portugues) by two disciples in a boat led by angels. Somehow his body was then buried in a field not far from there, the very place where it would be discovered a few centuries later. Informed about this important discovery, King Alfonso II had a small chapel built in this holy place. He would later commission a larger temple in order to attract pilgrims from all over the world. This would, in effect, compete with other important religious centres of pilgrimage, such as Jerusalem and Rome. Of course, at this point in time, religious buildings across Europe were all busy competing for the best relics in order to attract as many pilgrims as possible. The relics of Saint James would transform Santiago de Compostela into one of the world’s most important pilgrimage destinations. Apart from the obvious religious aspect, the discovery and the development of the pilgrimage route was also vital from a political point of view. A large influx of faithful Christians travelling across Northern Iberia, settling and creating strong cultural links with the rest of Europe, would be a very powerful tool in keeping the Moors away. Fisterra However, there is also an additional pre-history of the Camino de Santiago as we know it. The ‘way’ may have attracted pilgrims even earlier than the 8th century thanks to a route following the Milky Way to Fisterra, today’s Camino Finisterre. Steeped in mysticism, Costa da Morte’s Fisterra was once believed to be the End of the World. Legend says that when the sun disappeared beneath the waves, the veil between this world and the next thinned, opening the gates to the Afterlife. To counteract any potential ill will, pagan prayers and offerings would be made to appease the gods as Fisterra was also believed to be the location of Ara Solis, an altar dedicated to the sun. History of the Ways to Santiago The construction of the city’s Romanesque cathedral began in 1078 and with it began a golden age for the pilgrimage to Santiago. Originally, the safest route to Santiago would have been along today’s Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo, believed to be the oldest Camino route and the ones followed by King Alfonso II himself on his pilgrimage in the 9th century. It wouldn’t be until a bit later that the Camino Frances would be developed by King Sancho the Great and King Alfonso VI across their territories of Navarra and Leon, shortly after having recovered them from Moorish influence. Important infrastructure such as monasteries, pilgrim hospitals and bridges were built to protect pilgrims on their journey to Santiago. The Christian kings also offered certain privileges to encourage the people to settle along the routes, with many towns and cities developing into thriving communities around this time. By the time Aymeric Picaud wrote his Codex Calixtinus in the 12th century, thousands were heading to Santiago each year, mainly along the Camino Frances. The Codex Calixtinus would be the first Camino travelogue or guidebook for the Camino pilgrim and it shows the importance of the route in those days, despite the perils of pilgrimage in Medieval Europe. The reason we have such a web of Camino de Santiago routes is that the original pilgrims would begin their journeys in their local parishes. Many pilgrims would stop in different important pilgrimage centres along the way, paying a visit to other saints and getting the benefit of important relics. As previously mentioned, going on a pilgrimage in Medieval Europe (just like some travel in the modern world) could be a perilous journey so safety in numbers was a must. Most pilgrims would join fellow travelers along the way, with these branches converging with routes coming from other parts of Europe. For instance, many of the Camino routes in France join up before the Pyrenees, very close to St Jean Pied de Port. For Faith or Money? The 12th and 13th centuries marked the heyday of pilgrimage to Santiago with as many as 250,000 pilgrims travelling every year. These pilgrims were moved by their faith, but there were other reasons why people made the journey to Santiago. Some pilgrims wanted to secure salvation as Pope Calixtus II had declared that all years where Saint James’ Day (July 25th) fell on a Sunday, would be known as Holy Years. Other pilgrims wished to pay a penance, while many were also moved by money, undertaking the treacherous trip on behalf of wealthier citizens, or even to serve a sentence. From the 14th century onward and due to various circumstances such as religious wars and the Reformation, overall interest in pilgrimage decreased across Europe. This included the Way of Saint James and while pilgrims continued to travel to Santiago, the numbers were much lower than those of its medieval heyday. The Modern History of the Camino de Santiago Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Camino de Santiago has seen a fantastic resurgence in popularity. This is due to promotional efforts by tourist boards, but also due to the work of Camino enthusiasts like Father Elias Valiña. Father Valiña was the parish priest of O Cebreiro. In the 1980s, he worked tirelessly to both mark the route and to bring about a new golden age for the Camino, highlighting it as a route of cultural exchange, communication and understanding between European citizens. He would certainly be very proud of the Camino today. To give you an idea of the new age of the Camino’s popularity, 1,245 pilgrims arrived in Santiago in 1985 and over 100,000 in 1993, the year the route was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. By Holy Year 2010 those numbers had reached 270,000, with over 327,000 pilgrims getting their Compostela in 2018 alone. We hope that you have enjoyed our dive into the History of the Camino de Santiago. For more information about us, our routes or the history of the Camino de Santiago, contact us on the form below:
3 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Tapas Recipe: Pan con Tomate y Jamón Serrano
Over the summer, why not try a tapas recipe? Treat your family or friends to some Spanish tapas from this book of recipes by Yosmar Martinez. The book is suitably titled – ‘Tastes of the Camino: 30 authentic recipes along the French Way‘. Yosmar has walked the Camino de Santiago many times and is very active in the pilgrim community in the United States. Enjoy this short sneak peek into her delicious book with this great tapas recipe from her experience of the Camino journey. Tapas Recipe: Toasted Bread with Tomato and Serrano Ham Pan con Tomate y Jamón Serrano is my all-time favorite tapa from Spain and one that I indulged in quite often while walking the Camino as well as one that I frequently resort to when I’m entertaining at home. Jamón Serrano is Spain’s national treasure, shared by everyone. Cured for at least a year, it has a deep, salty flavor and firm texture. In this tapa, the saltiness of the ham is softened by the freshness of the tomatoes and the fruitiness of the olive oil. Typically the bread is rubbed with tomato and sometimes garlic and then drizzled with olive oil before topping with the Serrano ham. I prefer putting the tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in the food processor to create a paste that I can then brush onto the toasted bread. I find that this produces a much more flavorful tapa. Makes 18 tapas 18 slices country or rustic bread, about ½ inch thick 4 cloves garlic, peeled 1 large ripe tomato, cut into large chunks ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt 1 teaspoon (5 g) sugar ½ teaspoon (3 g) pepper 18 slices Serrano ham (if you cannot find Serrano ham in your area, you can substitute prosciutto) Preheat the oven at 250°F (120°C.) Place the bread slices in a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, process the garlic cloves in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the tomato and process until smooth. Gradually add the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool down for at least five minutes. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the tomato mixture on each slice of bread. Top with a slice of Serrano ham and serve. Make it ahead: The tomato mixture can be made up two days ahead. We hope that you enjoy this little tapas recipe and to learn how to make some easy tapas that will remind you on the Camino you can buy signed copies of the book on Yosmars website: Whisk and Spatula If you would like to try some tasty Spanish tapas and experience the Spanish culture on one of the Camino de Santiago trails please contact one of our Travel Specialists.
7 minutes | Jul 9, 2021
10 Things to do in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is not just the final point of the Camino de Santiago, it is a fantastic place to explore, wandering around its alleys and quaint granite streets. There are also many things to do in Santiago de Compostela. It is quite pocket-sized too, so make sure you dedicate at least a couple of days to soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Things to do in Santiago de Compostela As some Galicians say, more than a city, Santiago is a ‘big village’. The city population is just around the 100,000 mark but with nearly 40,000 students settling there for the academic year and thousands of pilgrims walking into town every year, Santiago de Compostela gets a very special mix of people. Personally, I think Santiago is a great city but I’m obviously biased. I lived in Santiago (or ‘Compostela’) for four years while studying at the city’s University (one of the oldest in Europe by the way, founded in 1495) and the mention of Santiago always gives me a warm exciting feeling. I still have many great friends living in Santiago. That’s the thing: many of the students arriving in Santiago for four years end up never ever leaving… for such a small place, Santiago can make quite a big impact on people, whether pilgrims, visitors, or students. That is why when you visit it, you will find many things to do in Santiago de Compostela. 10 things to do in Santiago de Compostela We have picked 10 things to do in Santiago de Compostela that should keep you busy for a couple of days! 1. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela If you have walked all the way to Santiago de Compostela, your first stop is likely to be the Praza do Obradoiro with its imposing Cathedral, where the remains of Saint James are (allegedly) buried. Of all the things to do in Santiago de Compostela, you must find the time to squeeze in a visit to the famous Cathedral in Santiago. The cathedral is Santiago’s most famous building with a Romanesque structure and later Gothic and Baroque elements. At the Cathedral, check out the Pórtico da Gloria (the original Romanesque porch entrance by Mestre Mateo), the Botafumeiro (its giant thurible) and, if you are not scared of heights, take a guided tour of the Cathedral’s rooftop to enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Santiago (they run every day from 10 am to 8 pm and it lasts one hour approximately – rooftop tours are currently on hold until restoration is complete). 2. The Old Town Santiago is divided into two main districts: the Old Town (Zona Vella) and the New Town (Zona Nova). The Old Town with its winding granite streets, arches, squares, and monuments has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Here you will find not only Romanesque and baroque churches, museums and some of the oldest University buildings but also many cozy cafes, traditional and contemporary restaurants, interesting shops and some of the best nightlife too! The New Town isn’t much of a sight, mostly apartment buildings housing the student population, but you will also find shopping areas, good bookshops, as well as restaurants and bars. 3. Alameda Park Take a breather at the Alameda, Santiago’s most emblematic green space. Go for a stroll along with the Paseo da Ferradura, get a nice tree-framed view of the Cathedral, sit by the statue of writer Valle Inclán, or take a picture with the statue of ‘As Marías’, the two Fandiño sisters dressed in their colourful outfits. The sisters used to go for a walk in the Alameda every day at 2 o’clock on the dot. The Alameda Park is also a central point to many celebrations in Santiago’s busy festival calendar. 4. ‘De Viños’ – Wine trail Rúa do Franco goes all the way to the Obradoiro Square and takes its name after the French pilgrims that used to follow this street to get to the Cathedral. With adjacent Raíña, this is the most famous street to go out for a few drinks with friends. Many bars and restaurants along the Franco display their octopus, shellfish, and other Galician delicacies on their windows (vegetarians beware!), and most offer a free bite with each drink: croquettes, tortilla, or even tiger filet (not really tiger meat, by the way). After a few wines with their bites, you probably won’t need any dinner, but if you are still hungry, you can always order a few dishes to share. 5. Museo das Peregrinacións After walking to Santiago as a pilgrim, you should probably visit this museum, dedicated to the pilgrimage. 6. San Domingos de Bonaval Park ‘Bonaval’ for short, is another popular park in Santiago de Compostela. Bonaval sits on the grounds of a Dominican convent’s old cemetery and has been re-invented into a secluded public green space by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza. Next to Bonaval, you’ll find two of Santiago’s best museums: the CGAC (Galician Contemporary Art Centre) in a modern building also by Siza and the Museum of the Galician People (Museo do Pobo Galego) in the former convent. Bonaval is loved by visitors and locals, who like to enjoy a good book there or just relax under the shade of the oak grove (carballeira) on a hot day. 7. Mercado de Abastos Santiago’s food market has a rural chic feel: traditional stores run by ladies from surrounding farms mix with stylish stalls. Modernity and tradition really live in harmony in the Abastos area, with exciting new restaurants also opening their doors in recent years. Here you will find some of Galicia’s best produce. 8. Culture Santiago has a very active cultural life: from poetry recitals to concerts big and small, galleries, exhibitions, museums, theatre, etc…there is always something to fulfill your cultural ambitions. Many pubs and cafes also have their own cultural activities so make sure to catch one of these as this is one of the top things to do in Santiago de Compostela. 9. Festas Festas da Ascensión in May and Festas do Apóstolo in July (celebrating Saint James Day and Galicia’s National Day) are the main celebrations in Santiago, with outdoor concerts and many other events taking place, some of them free of charge. However, there are many more festivals in and around the different neighbourhoods in Santiago. Before you travel, check out the Santiago Turismo website, local tourist board, to see what’s coming up in Santiago. 10. Try the octopus You can’t leave Santiago (or Galicia) without trying the land’s most iconic dish: octopus. The Galicians call it octopus fair style (‘pulpo á feira’) as it used to be a dish eaten on market day; while Spaniards like to call it octopus Galician style. Whatever your choice of words, you must try it at least once before you go back home! As you can see there are many things to do in Santiago so make the most of it! Although all routes lead to Santiago if you only have a short time to spend on the Camino there are some popular starting points that will allow you to finish in this stunning city: the last section of the Camino Frances, the Camino Ingles, and the last week on the Portuguese Camino are trails to consider. For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists on the form below:
6 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
10 Things to see on the Camino Frances
The Camino Frances is the most popular of the Camino routes. It’s full of unmissable sites and unique experiences so make sure you don’t miss these things to see on the Camino Frances: 10 Things to see on the Camino Frances 1. The Belorado Caves Belorado is a beautiful little village located along the Camino Frances between Logrono and Burgos. You will find one of the Camino’s hidden gems on the outskirts of the town. The Cave of Fuentemolinos is an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon featuring flowing forms, stalagmites and stalactites. The trickling sound of water from the river that runs through the cave adds to the atmosphere of tranquillity inside it. 2. Wine and Tapas in Logroño Logroño is probably best known for La Rioja wine, a deep red that is synonymous with the region. Every year the locals here host a harvest festival where visitors can experience the ‘treading of the grapes’. Logroño also boasts some of the best tapas available in Spain, and it’s extremely good value for money. 3. Meet Fellow Walkers The Camino Frances is also the most sociable Camino route. You’ll encounter lots of other pilgrims from different nationalities and backgrounds, especially on the last 100km into Santiago. he magic of the Camino is the sense of community that it creates amongst walkers. Be prepared to make new friends and share some laughs on your journey. 4. Heritage in O Cebreiro The quaint village of O Cebreiro is surrounded by the mountain ranges of O Courel and Os Ancares. This tiny town is home to perfectly preserved pre-Roman dwellings known as ‘pallozas’. Here, you will get a real feel for how Galicians lived here in centuries past. Make sure to visit the folk museum which is housed inside a renovated ‘palloza’. 5. Bodegas Irache Wine Fountain Bodegas Irache is a winery located just outside Estella that is over 100 years old. The company installed a wine fountain on one of the walls of the winery that dispenses free wine for pilgrims. This simple act captures the spirit of the Camino. Be sure to get here early, as although 100 litres of wine are dispensed each day, it can still run out! 6. The Templars Castle The Templars Castle in Ponferrada was named by the Knights of Templar, who used it as a stronghold after they placed the town under protection in the 12th century. The magnificent structure is home to the Templar Library which includes work from none other than Leonardo Da Vinci amongst its impressive collection. 7. Monte do Gozo As you reach the summit of Monte do Gozo you will spot the three spires of The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela for the first time. This hill is located about an hour’s walk from the end of the Camino and ancient pilgrims would have yelped with exaltation here upon spotting the finish line of their pilgrimage. 8. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela represents the final chapter of what has hopefully been a wonderful journey along the French Way. It is here that the remains of St James are said to be buried. The stunning Romanesque architecture is world-famous, and the interior of the building is breathtaking. 9. Museum of Pilgrims If you have completed the Camino as a pilgrim, what better way to celebrate than by learning more about the ancient trail the pilgrims whose footsteps you followed along the way. Here you will also learn about St James and the importance of the Camino in the development of Santiago. 10. Collect your Pilgrim Certificate You’ll need to walk over 100km or cycle over 200km in order to claim your pilgrim certificate when you reach Santiago de Compostela. This document is a commemoration of the journey you have completed. Don’t forget you’ll need to get a pilgrim passport and have it stamped twice every day in order to get your ‘Compostela’. For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino adventure, contact our travel specialists on the form below:
14 minutes | Jul 4, 2021
When We Cycled The Camino Frances | Camino Memories
Back in 2017, Karl writes and podcasts about his Cycling holiday on the Camino Frances. Enjoy! I packed my rain jacket, scarf, gloves, sunglasses, and suncream and checked the weather for the last time before heading for the airport. I was heading to meet my colleagues Ana, Sophie, and Ciara for three days cycling along the Camino Frances. Excited was an understatement! I’m a recently converted cyclist having ditched my car for a greener alternative. It was time to test my skills in the Galician landscape. The weather forecast was patchy but we didn’t care. Day 1: Cycling the Camino Frances We spent our first night in Sarria, visiting local craft shops and getting our first taste of the Camino cuisine. Ana, who had walked the Portuguese Coastal Camino last year insisted that I tried Churrasco. I was glad I did! We met for breakfast early on our first cycling day keen to hit the road. We had 46 km ahead of us, so time was of the essence. Leaving early is key so you have ample time to cycle at your own pace and enjoy the small towns and villages you pass throughout the day. After completing the long climb on the way out of Sarria we stopped at a quaint little cafe for some freshly squeezed Orange juice. Just what the doctor ordered! We reached Portomarin in the early afternoon for some lunch and exploring then it was straight back on the road. The second half of day one was probably the most challenging of the trip. After leaving Portomarin we were met with a long but steady ascent into the Galician hills. The skies opened up and it began to rain. When we finally conquered the climb the sense of achievement was marvelous. All that was left now was to weave downhill toward our final destination for the evening, Palas de Rei. A warm shower, a good dinner, and a chance to explore were our rewards for a great day of cycling. Day 2: Cycling the Camino Frances The sun was rising over the green backdrop of The Camino as we set off on Day Two. Refreshed after a great night’s sleep, we were raring to go. Pulpo was on the menu today, and where better to experience this delicacy than the town of Melide, which is famous for ‘pulperias’! The trail was very busy, and there was plenty of “Buen Camino” to go around. I won’t forget my first time tasting Octopus. The texture and flavour were so foreign to my palate, it took me a few bites to grow accustomed to it. I ended up ordering it again before the trip was over though, I think that says it all! The scenery was beautiful on this leg of the journey and a real highlight was the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso. We arrived in Arzúa and picked up some creamy cheese before a visit to Santa Maria church. We awoke to a beautiful red sky ushering us to get on the saddle and attack day three on the Camino. This was our final stretch, 37 kilometers from Palas de Rei to the sacred city of Santiago de Compostela. The red sky soon cleared, giving way to a crisp sunny morning, perfect for cycling. We stopped to say hello to a couple of horses peering over a farm fence, and their owner approached with fresh Apples for all of the pilgrims that had gathered. OK, I get it now, this is the Camino in all its glory! Spirits were high amongst the Camino community, and we met some familiar faces in Amenal at lunch. In the second half of the day, the weather changed for the worse. But would we be stopped by a bit of rain? Not a chance! We had gotten used to our bikes at this stage and were picking up some serious speed on downhill sections. I must admit, the adrenaline you get from flying down a hill in the rain with a clear goal in sight is beyond exhilarating! We arrived in Santiago de Compostela in the early evening and made our way to the Cathedral. It was time for that iconic picture and a group hug. Ana and Ciara attended mass and experienced the famous Botofumeriro, while Sophie and I opted for tapas and local wine! Day 3: Cycling the Camino Frances The last day of our trip was spent browsing the streets of Santiago. The independent gift shops were full of trinkets and we filled our bags with gifts for our families and some keepsakes for ourselves. We visited the Cathedral and marveled at the architecture. An old man we had met on the trail entered the giant square in front of the Cathedral having arrived at the end of a long journey. A group of pilgrims beside us began to cheer him on his final few steps and everybody stood and joined and in. 300 or so pilgrims in unison, celebrating his achievement. I’m not afraid to admit it, it was an emotional moment for me! After our last meal together, sitting on a terrace in the sunshine, it was time to go home. We left Galicia with heavy hearts and fond memories. I can’t wait to get back and experience a different route to Santiago. I’ll let my fellow pilgrims fill you in on their own highlights below. Ciara: “My main highlights of cycling the last section of the French Way were the chance to cycle through the scenic Galician countryside and the company of other pilgrims completing the walk or cycle and hearing their stories. The challenge itself of biking uphill and reaching Santiago de Compostela was brilliant! Our arrival in Santiago was special, and the sense of achievement that followed was an experience I’ll never forget.” Sophie: ” One highlight of the French Way was I trying local delicacies like Octopus, empanadas, tortilla, Arzua cheese, and the multiple-choice of tapas. I also enjoyed discovering the culture of the Galician Country. I loved spending some time in the city of Santiago de Compostella and walking around the old part of the town, getting lost in the small paved streets.” Ana: “It was a great experience. The Galician culture, the food which won my stomach, and the beautiful landscapes You meet lovely people during the Camino, share experiences, and build strong friendships. But more than this it was a good challenge for me, I discovered my physical limits and all that I can achieve. One of the amazing parts is arriving at “La gran plaza”. I can’t explain the emotion when you finally make it.” For more information on any of our walking or cycling holidays, please contact the travel specialists
4 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
León: An Insider’s Guide
León: An Insider’s Guide While walking or cycling on the Camino de Santiago to Santiago de Compostela, one should consider a welcome rest in Leon and try to allow themselves some time to visit and absorb the magnificence that is Leon. Much of the surrounding region has escaped the tourist boom and remains wooded or mountainous. Leon is one of the most historic regions of Old Castile. It is a large province, bordering Galicia and Asturias, Palencia and Zamora. Very few Celtic remains have been found here but there is evidence of Roman occupation. Other peoples have settled here including the Moors but it was the Knights Templar who built castles and fortifications here in the Middle Ages. The city of Leon has been very cosmopolitan, even since Roman times when it was known as Legio Septima due to the fact that the seventh legion was stationed here. The Moors moved in briefly but were driven out by the kings of Asturias who chose it as their new capital in AD913. You can walk or cycle the last 300km of the Camino from Leon, by going to the Camino Frances full Route, and customising the starting point of the route. Explore León by Moñi Jorgey Enjoy Moñi’s account of her hometown with some tips for anyone traveling through this wonderful town on their Camino journey. León is a quiet and not very big city located in the North West of Castilla y León. You can arrive in León, by plane, bus and train. The airport is connected to the centre of the city by bus, and the bus and train stations are very close to the city centre. It is only a five to ten-minute walk to reach the main places to visit in the city. History of Leon León was built it the first century due to a Roman settlement. All around the old town, you can find roman and medieval vestiges. León is also a transit place in the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The traveller will feel the Leonese hospitality from the very first moment. People from León know how to host their guests with wisdom and simplicity. What to see in Leon León’s Cathedral One of Leon’s glories is, without doubt, the Cathedral, one of the finest in Europe. Construction started in the 13th century and continued for a period of 200 years before it was completed. Among its unusual features are its towers and steeples where no attempt was made to make them match. It has more than 250 remarkable stained glass windows including a large rose window. In total there is over 1800 square metres of glass. The cathedral museum is also worthy of a visit and has wide array of exhibits. Hostal San Marcos – Parador de León, 12th century Also known as the Convento de San Marcos, is the former house of the Knights of Santiago. This magnificent building was originally a Hostal built to shelter the pilgrims on the Santiago. In the 15th century it was converted into a monastery, in the 17th century it was a prison and during the Spanish Civil War, it served as an army barracks. Today it is one of Spain’s most impressive hotels. Part of the building is the Archeological Museum of León, well worth a visit. Casa de Botines Designed in the 19th Century by the famous Gaudí, the corner towers make this building look like a fairytale castle. The Palacio de Los Guzmanes Is a magnificent 16th-century building with an impressive courtyard. It was once the home of the Guzman family, one of the wealthiest families in León. The building has four towers. The Collegiate Church of San Isidoro San Isidro houses an impressive collection of early manuscripts. It is an early example of Romanesque construction. This is a truly romantic church in San Isidoro Plaza with a beautiful façade and an 11th-century baptism fountain. It has an interesting museum and pantheon of St. Isidoro with sculptures, works of art, medieval textiles, and the magnificent Royal Pantheon. If you are interested in painted murals then this is the place to be. Today it is a fantastic hotel whose interior has the appearance of a museum. The streets of Leon Calle Ancha, Burgo Nuevo, Pícara Justina, the square Plaza de San Marcos, or the Catedral’s surroundings are some of the zones that have been turned into pedestrian streets, thinking about comfort for pedestrians. The construction of some underground car parks, the traffic diversions, and the widening of the pavements help to create better access and protect León’s valuable heritage. What to eat in Leon Nowadays, the Barrio Húmedo, in the old town, has a wide range of delicious places to eat. Here the custom is the “tapa”, served free with your choice of drink. It is one of the areas where the traveler can mix with the Leonese and taste the delicious Leonese cuisine. Pork is the main meat in León food, used for black pudding, spicy dry sausage, ham, and loin. This is handmade cold meat which is most often smoked, keeping the traditional old taste alive. Don’t forget the star from all the cold meat: cecina (salt-dried meat). You must try this when you are in town. Night Life and Entertainment Visit any of the bars in the old town of Leon to enjoy the nightlife in León. There are lots of inns and pubs where you can have fun and dance. Accommodation in Leon León is a cozy city, with great hotel services, good restaurants and inns, and vibrant culture. We would like to sincerely thank Moñi who gave us this lovely account of her home town and we hope that anyone who visits will take some tips from her. Want to start the Camino from Leon? Just go to Camino Frances full Route and customise the starting point of the route. For more information about the sections of the Camino that pass through León please get in touch
8 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
[Infographic] 99.8% of pilgrims would recommend the Camino to family and friends - Camino de Santiago
We conducted a survey of intrepid Camino fans in 2019 to gain some insights on pilgrims and the culture surrounding the trail. Of course, the Camino has existed for thousands of years, but over time trends and views towards it have changed. According to the latest statistics from the Pilgrims Office, 327.378 pilgrims from nearly 200 different countries received their Compostela certificate in 2019. But why are all these happy pilgrims taking to the famous trails? Top reasons people walk the Camino? 27.5% for spiritual reasons 18.1% are looking for a physical challenge 17% want to tick it off their bucket list 11.9% want to experience a new culture 9.2% walk the Camino for religious reasons 8.8% want to switch off from technology There were some interesting ‘other’ reasons such as ‘to spend time with family’, ‘to celebrate my birthday’ and ‘I walked the route for charity’. Who will you take on your next Camino? The Camino has a different social focus for diverse groups of people. Our survey found that 27.7% plan to walk their next Camino alone. This feeds into the perception that you make new friends on the Camino, but it is also the perfect path for personal reflection. 25.2% will walk their next Camino with friends and 28.4% will walk with a spouse or partner. Some of the participants in the survey were planning to walk with grandparents or grandchildren. The Camino really is suitable for all ages! Finding your way Modern technology has changed the way that we navigate between places. From taxi apps, to google maps, to sat navs getting where you are going has never been easier. Pilgrims on the Camino are a little different. In fact, 66% of them forgo any maps or technology and just simply follow the arrows. 9.9% will use traditional paper maps and only 14.4% will use a GPS device. How would you improve the Camino? We asked an open-ended question to pilgrims this year. How would you improve the Camino? There were some really interesting/funny answers. Here are some examples; “No rain!” “My fitness?” “Closer to Australia ?” Would you recommend the Camino to family or friends? This was the last question we asked our faithful pilgrims. And ok, maybe they are a little biased but 99.8% answered yes and we’d tend to agree. There is definitely a Camino for everyone. Top Camino Routes There were no surprises with the top routes this year. The Camino Frances topped the bill, followed by The Portuguese Coastal Camino and the Camino Portugues. *This survey was conducted by Caminoways.com in June 2019 with a sample size of 1000 pilgrims. Thank you to all of those who took part! For more information about any of our walking or cycling Camino tours, please contact the travel specialists.
4 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Reasons to love the Camino de Santiago
There are as many reasons to love the Camino de Santiago as there are pilgrims. Everyone has their own personal Camino and there is a Camino for everyone. Each journey is unique and special but these are 7 of the reasons every single pilgrim falls in love with the Camino: 1-Freedom When was the last time you got up in the morning and your only focus was to walk? For a whole week, for a whole month or even longer… On the Camino, there is one simple goal for days and weeks on end: getting to the next stage, to the next bed. Putting one foot in front of the other becomes a simple but really powerful act of mindfulness. It is therapeutic, cathartic and it gives us an incredible sense of freedom. 2-Time to think Head space, switching off, time to think… almost every pilgrim we’ve met mentions this as one of their top reasons they enjoyed and loved the Camino so much. 3-People The people you travel with, friends you make along the way, fellow pilgrims, friendly locals… people ARE the Camino de Santiago. Random acts of kindness abound and will restore your faith in humanity. This is the spirit of the Camino. Exchange of cultures and ideas among different peoples and nationalities over centuries made the Camino a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is why. 4-Living history If you think about it, every single pilgrim on the trail is part of living, breathing history. Pilgrims have walked these same trails to Santiago for hundreds of years, towns and cities were built to protect them on their way and now you are joining in and following in their footsteps. How amazing is that? 5-The food Food is one of the biggest pleasures in life and, also on the Camino. Each region will welcome you proudly with its own flavours. From the mountain cheeses of the Pyrenees to the tapas of Burgos city and Galicia’s famous seafood, enjoy each single bite along the way. You’ve earned it. 6-Life lessons Some pilgrims might even go as far as saying the Camino changed their lives. It might not be entirely life changing for us all but we all agree with the fact that the Camino teaches us some very valuable life lessons. Many of these simple and yet essential life lessons we tend to take for granted while we get distracted in the general business of carrying on with life. Lesson number one: enjoy the journey! 7-The Camino lives on ‘The Camino provides’ is a common expression used by pilgrims, to express the fact that things will always work out in the end. The Camino will throw some challenges your way but also many solutions! This is another reason the Camino stays in pilgrims’ minds and hearts for a very long time after the trip. You might catch a flight back home, miles away from the Camino but the Camino will stay with you. Possibly forever. You can get the pilgrim out of the Camino but you can’t get the Camino out of the pilgrim. In fact, many pilgrims get back to the Camino and walk many different routes over the years. Chances are you will be back sooner than you think. Buen Camino! For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to book your trip, contact our travel specialists
3 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Camino tips: Responsible travel checklist
At CaminoWays.com we have a responsible travel and ‘leave no trace’ ethos and we encourage our clients to follow these simple but very important principles. We have prepared a simple Responsible Travel checklist to keep in mind when you travel to the Camino de Santiago or any of our other travel destinations including the Via Francigena in Italy, Ireland, and the Canary Islands: 1. Reduce and Reuse. Reduce the number of water bottles used, for instance, bringing a durable water bottle that can be refilled along the way, instead of purchasing new bottles every day. 2. Be considerate and respect fellow Camino walkers and cyclists. This is not just responsible travel but also the very essence of the Camino de Santiago. 3. Respect local wildlife, as well as livestock and other farm animals. 4. Dispose of litter in appropriate, designated areas. If you don’t find bins along the way, you can bring litter back with you and dispose of it at your hotel. Many accommodations we work with will have facilities for recycling and separating litter. 5. Respect local customs and culture Unique culture and customs are an essential part of the Camino experience. Embracing these is part of a responsible travel ethos. We encourage you to absorb as much as possible of the traditions, language, and culture along the Camino routes. We write regular Culture blog posts to introduce you to interesting traditions and stories from the regions; and we also include a list of useful phrases as part of our holiday pack in the many languages of the Camino (Spanish, Galician, Portuguese and French). 6. Holiday Packs. If you are receiving maps and ebooks as part of your trip (as opposed to a guidebook), we recommend you download them, along with your hotel information and general information, to your phone or tablet. With our new holiday packs, we are aiming to be completely paper-free while still providing up-to-date and accurate information. If you are traveling technology-free, we suggest you print notes and holiday info on recycled paper or scrap paper. 7. Encourage fellow walkers to follow these simple principles. We are WTM Responsible Tourism Supporters As an international tour operator, we are keen to ensure that everyone plays their part in building a sustainable future. We will strive to promote issues that tackle climate change and actions that encourage our walkers and cyclists to respect the environment, landscape, and culture of our destinations; as well as supporting local communities along the different trails. For a number of years, we have supported organisations that have inspired, motivated, or encouraged us to have a positive impact on the communities that we engage with. As part of our commitment to responsible and sustainable travel, we have developed the Greenlife Fund. We select projects that support the protection of unique environments or causes in one of our adventure travel destinations. *You might also want to read: A Greener Future Camino Clean Up and how Mike and Rochelle collected over 6,000 pieces of litter on the Camino. For further information on our Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists.
4 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Camino FAQ: What is a Parador?
‘Parador’ is the name given in Spain to luxury hotels managed by a state-run company and usually located in buildings of historic importance such as fortresses, monasteries and castles; but also new buildings set in nature reserves and areas of outstanding beauty. Paradores de Turismo de España, the public company managing these luxury hotels, was founded by King Alfonso XIII to promote tourism in Spain. The first, Parador de Gredos in Ávila, was opened in 1928 by the King. Today there are 94 of them from 3 to 5 stars all across Spain, many along the Camino de Santiago. What is a Parador? The name comes from the Spanish ‘parar’ which means to stop, halt or stay. The concept behind Parador is to open exceptional historic properties to the public and use the hotel’s profits to maintain these beautiful buildings. Most of them also have excellent restaurants offering traditional cuisine at a high standard using local and seasonal produce. Regardless of the Parador date or style, they all are refurbished to a high standard offering all modern comforts, as long as they comply with protected building regulations. Prices at Spanish Paradores will vary depending on the room, region and season but they are a real treat to the pilgrim! You will find various stunning ‘Paradores’ along the Camino de Santiago routes: Parador de Santiago The most famous Parador on the Camino de Santiago is the 5-star Hostal dos Reis Católicos in the Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela, just across from the cathedral. The building has been welcoming pilgrims for over 500 years and you will feel like you are stepping back in time as soon as you walk through the door. Whether you are staying or eating at the restaurant, it is a must-see if you are in Santiago. Parador de León on the Camino Frances 16th century Parador de León, the monastery-hospital Hostal de San Marcos, featured in the movie ‘The Way’ when the main character, played by Martin Sheen, and some of his fellow pilgrims decide to treat themselves to a pampering night before continuing on their journey to Santiago. Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada on the Camino Frances Santo Domingo de la Calzada, on the French Way, has two beautiful one: 3-star Santo Domingo Bernardo de Fresneda by the Convent of Saint Francis and the 4-star Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, located in the building of a 12th-century pilgrims hospital. Parador de Baiona on the Portuguese Coastal Way The Parador in Baiona is a picturesque medieval fortress with a spectacular location in the Monterreal peninsula, looking out to the bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Parador de Hondarribia on the Camino del Norte This 4-star is located in a 10th-century fortress overlooking the Bidasoa estuary, in the Basque Country. The original medieval building was founded by King Sancho of Navarra. Parador de Tui on the Camino Portugues The 4-star Parador in Tui is a beautiful example of the Galician ‘pazo’ or grand house. Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo on Camino Frances This is a new building and 4-star hotel in one of the most stunning towns on the Camino Frances. Parador de Ferrol on the Camino Ingles This is a 3-star in a coastal Galician mansion, combining traditional styles and materials such as granite stone and traditional white ‘galerías’ windows. Parador de Ribadeo on the Camino del Norte The Parador in Ribadeo, on the Camino del Norte, offers pilgrims spectacular panoramic views of Ribadeo Bay. Parador de Vilalba on the Camino del Norte At the 4-star Parador in Vilalba, you will feel like a medieval pilgrim as the building incorporates a 15th-century fortress. Parador de Pontevedra on the Camino Portugues The 4-star is a 16th century Renaissance palace, former home of the Counts of Maceda, located in the historic centre of the city. Parador de Zafra on the Vía de la Plata Zafra is a stopping point on section 2 of the Vía de la Plata. Its 4-star located in an imposing castle built in the 15th century for the ‘Duques de Feria’, a Spanish noble family. For more information about staying in a Parador during your Camino, our Superior Collection or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022