Panoramic Tour of Madrid including a tour of the Royal Palace
Toledo the City of Three Cultures Highlights Tour
Free Day in Madrid to Explore at Leisure
Authentic Tapas & Walking Tour in Madrid
11 Day - Walk the Camino Trail from Sarria to Santiago (at a leisurely pace) Average daily walk is 12km
Exploring the beautiful villages along the Camino Trail
Guided Tour of Sagrada Familia
48hr Hop on Hop off Bus in Barcelona
Flamenco Dinner & Show
Cooking Class in Barcelona
Friends for Company!
Fully Escorted by an Experienced Sisterhood Hostess who is on hand to assist with making your tour memorable
Return Economy Airfares ex Melbourne to Spain including taxes (other Cities and Classes of Travel available upon request)
Transportation as per detailed itinerary
3 Night Stay in Madrid including breakfast daily
10 Night Camino Trail Walk - Starting in Sarria ending in Santiago (Private Ensuite Rooms)
Spanish Phrase Book
Camino Guidebook with Maps
Hotel Luggage Transfer from hotel to hotel whilst on Camino (1 x 15kg bag per person)
Waterproof Map and Document Case
3 Night Stay in Barcelona including breakfast daily
Meals as specified in itinerary - B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Sightseeing as per detailed itinerary
Willing to Share Option
Meet and Greet Document Distribution Day (subject to minimum numbers attending)
** Pre Trip Camino Guidance and Planning **
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St James is the ancient Catholic pilgrimage route to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north-western Spain. Legend has it that the bones of the apostle St James were brought by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain and are buried under the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Trail has been an important Christian pilgrimage route for over 1000 years and was considered to be one of the three pilgrimage routes on which all sins could be forgiven. There are many routes to Santiago de Compostela, starting from a variety of points, from as far away as Belgium to as close as 100km from Santiago. Sisterhood Womens Travel will be doing the most popular route – the Camino Frances. Our walk will be the minimum distance required to earn your ‘Compostela Certificate’ – which will be exciting! The official accreditation was once a scallop shell!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - Walking the Camino is on many a bucket list. A certain level of fitness will be required to particpate on this tour. PLEASE CLICK for a copy of our Camino Trail - Fitness & Medical Declaration which must be signed and returned to Sisterhood Womens Travel. This declaration is in addition to our usual Terms and Conditions which can be found on our website.
MEALS WHILST ON THE CAMINO TRAIL - You will be able to stop for lunch along the way of the trail. For dinner, many hotels offer a 3 course Pilgrim's Dinner for around EUR10 including wine.
PREPARATION FOR THE CAMINO TRAIL WALK - Your tour hostess Donna Simmons will be offering 2 x training get togethers (Melbourne Based). These sessions will encourage you to improve your fitness and enable you to walk and really enjoy the Camino to the fullest. Details will follow upon booking. This will be a great way to get to know your fellow walkers and swap travel tips and to share in the excitement of your upcoming adventure.
Day 1 - Wednesday 11 September 2019
Melbourne - Madrid (Meals Inflight)
Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel. Meet your Hostess and fellow travellers at the Melbourne Airport for your onward flight to Madrid. Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of your airlines as you head towards Spain.
Day 2 - Thursday 12 September 2019
Welcome to Spain. Upon our arrival into Madrid we'll be transferred to our hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore and get your bearings. Madrid is a captivating city and has so much on offer to see and do. The city is grand in its design and magnificent buildings, parks, fountains and wide tree lined avenues are everywhere. Visit one of the many museums; go shopping in Gran Via or upmarket Serrano Street, or relax for a nice cold beer/wine and some tasty tapas.
Regroup for dinner tonight night at a local restaurant.
Overnight - Principe Pio (or similar)
Day 3 - Friday 13 September 2019
This morning we'll enjoy a Madrid Panoramic Highlights tour with entry into the Royal Palace. Madrid shows the multiple contrasts inherited through the History. Elegant squares such as Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de España, Parque del Oeste, Príncipe Pío, el Puente del Rey, la Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto, ending at Segovia’s Bridge Puente de Cathedral of Almudena. We will continue to Puerta de Toledo, Plaza de la Villa, Plaza Mayor, Puertadel Sol, Las Cortes, Plaza de Neptuno, Atocha, Paseo del Prado, Puerta de Alcalá, Alcalá street, the Retiro’s Park and Las Ventas Bullring, plenty of cheers and colors. You will continue towards the new Madrid, with its modern buildings, gardens, the great avenue Paseo de la Castellana, until Plaza de Castilla (Europe’s Gate) and we’ll go down towards Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Plaza de Cibeles, Gran Via and Plaza del Callao, to end at Plaza de Isabel II (in front of Royal Opera House). The tour will make convenient stops for walking and taking pictures at Plaza Mayor, Templo de Debod and Las Ventas Bullring. The Royal Palace was built in the XVIII century upon the ancient Baroque Italian style fortress of the Habsburg. It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved palaces in Europe and a symbol of the permanence and consolidation of Madrid as the capital of the Kingdom. The Palace was the official residence of the Spanish Monarchy from 1765 to 1931. To date, the most stunning receptions of the Spanish Crown are celebrated here: audiences, dinner parties, signature of agreements and the traditional ceremony of presentation of Credential Letters from foreign ambassadors to His Majesty the King.
This afternoon you'll enjoy a tour of Toledo - the City of Three Cultures. Located 70 km away from Madrid is Toledo is a beautiful city museum declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe and has a great
artistic beauty and buildings from almost all periods in history (Arabian, Gothic,Mudéjar, Renaissance and Baroque style). Toledo is called the “City of the Three Cultures”, since Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together. You'll have an outside view of the Cathedral; Church of St. Tomé with El Entierro del señor de Orgaz, masterpiece of El Greco; Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and tour through the jew quarter; Mosque of El Cristo de la Luz; demonstration of the famous
technique of damascene (incrustation of precious metals in steel) and panoramic sightseeing of Toledo.
Returning back to your hotel for dinner at leisure tonight.
Overnight - Principe Pio (or similar)
Day 4 - Saturday 14 September 2019
A free day to enjoy today in Madrid. Why not visit the famous Prado Museum, go shopping in Gran Via or upmarkeet Serrano Street or there is plenty of time to relax and just soak up the atmosphere. This evening you'll regroup and enjoy an Authentic Tapas and History Walking Tour. You'll feel the passion as your local guide explaining the wonders of Spanish food and drinks. As a “madrileño” your local guide surely knows what places to hit during the tour. From the older Taverns to the new bars offering creative Tapas like Croquettes, Octopus. Your guide will advise you about city life and what to do in Madrid (and how to do it like a local!!). . What is a Tapa or a racion? And a Pincho, what is a pintxo? You'll be able to distinguish between Iberian ham from Serrano, taste the best tortilla in Madrid, with Spanish wines.
Overnight - Princpe Pio (or similar)
Day 5 - Sunday 15 September 2019
Madrid - Sarria (B)
Today you'll transfer to the train station for our rail journey to Sarria. The train trip will take approximately 5 1/2 hours so sit back, relax and take in the sights as we prepare for our Camino Trail. Arriving into Sarria you'll be transferrd to your hotel for dinner at leisure. Sarria is a busy, modern town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars, but its origins are Celtic and it was an important and major medieval centre for pilgrims. Remnants of its ancient past can still be seen in the old quarter along Rua Major. The church of Igrexia de Santa Maria has an ancient pilgrim’s mural. If you follow the Camino route to the top end of town you will see the ancient convent Monasterio da Madalena, the ruins of the castle and the medieval bridge Ponte Aspera that crosses the River Celerio.
Overnight - Sarria
Day 6 - Monday 16 September 2019
Camino Trail - Walk Sarria to Morgade (13km) (B)
Time to finally get onto the Camino Trail and on your way to Santiago. The majority of your first walk is a great introduction as it is along sheltered woodland pathways or quiet country roads and passes through many hamlets and small villages. The scenery along the way is wonderfully green and lush and very rural. The trail climbs and falls repeatedly as it passes tiny hamlets full of history.
Overnight - Morgade
Day 7 - Tuesday 17 September 2019
Camino Trail - Walk Morgade to Portomarin (9km) (B)
The high point of the day (660m) at Pina dos Corvos has wonderful views over the reservoir and surrounding countryside. From here begin your steep descent, crossing the Mino Reservoir over its modern bridge into Portomarin.
Portomarin has been inhabited for thousands of years and its importance grew with the popularity of the Camino in the middle ages. At one time it had three orders of Knights: the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John and the Knights of Jerusalem, which may go some way to explaining the castle like edifice of the 12th century Romanesque Igelsia San Nicolas church which still stands in the square at the centre of town. The town was previously divided by the Rio Mino but was flooded in 1960 to create the Mino Reservoir. Every historic monument was moved brick by brick to the town that stands on the hill today; you can see pictures of the old town in some of the bars and cafes that line the main street.
Dinner and Overnight - Portomarin
Day 8 - Wednesday 18 September 2019
Camino Trail - Walk Portomarin to Ventas de Naron (13km) (B)
Today’s walk is uphill for pretty much all the way, however the gradient is never too steep. The path crosses and runs parallel to the main road to Gonzar, though you spend most of your days walking on woodland tracks and quiet roads
Overnight - Ventas de Naron
Day 9 - Thursday 19 September 2019
Camino Trail - Walk Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei (12km) (B)
A climb to start the day takes you to Sierra Ligonde, today’s high point at 720m. The walk is then downhill to Ligonde and Eirexe and onto A Calzada. There is a detour here of 2 km to the National Monument, Vilar de Donas where the Knights of Santiago are buried and is worthy of a visit if you have time. A gentle climb now takes you through several small hamlets to Alto Rosario, a good vantage point on a clear day and then down into Palas de Rei.
Palas de Rei or Palace of the King has little to remind you that it was once home to a king. Today it is a small country town with plenty of services available.
Overnight - Palas de Rei
Day 10 - Friday 20 September 2019
Camino Trail - Palas de Rei to Melide (15km) (B)
Today’s walk is mostly on paths through quiet woodland, crossing over the main road to Arzua several times and guiding you through six river valleys to reach a high point of 515m at Coto.
On route you will pass Melide, a busy town founded in the 13th century and has many historic buildings and churches including the Capilla de San Pedro and San Roque next to which stands a 14th century stone cross said to be the oldest in Galicia. The museum and the buildings around the Plaza de Convento are well worth a visit. Melide is also famous for Pulpo Gallego, octopus cooked Galician style and reputed to be the best in Spain.
Overnight - Melide
Day 11 - Saturday 21 September 2019
Camino Trail - Melide to Arzua (14km) (B)
From Melide the path winds through woodlands of oak, pine and eucalypt, passing over several valleys though Boente, Castañeda and then Ribadiso from where you can see the Hospital San Anton, one of the oldest pilgrim hospitals in existence. From Ribadiso follow the country road on a steep uphill climb and through the outer suburbs before entering Arzua.
Arzua with a population of around 7000 is the last large town before you reach Santiago. The 14th century Capilla de la Magdelena is the town’s main monument. Arzua is most famous for its local cheese, Queixo, a smooth creamy cheese made from cow’s milk which most restaurants feature in some way and is definitely worth trying. The town also celebrates its cheese with a Queixo Cheese festival every March.
Overnight - Arzua
Day 12 - Sunday 22 September 2019
Camino Trail - Arzua to O Pedrouzo (19km) (B)
The majority of today’s walk to O Pedrouzo is through wonderful pine and eucalyptus scented woodland. The path is mostly level, passing through three shallow river valleys with a gradual climb up to Alto de Santa Irene at 404m. The country lanes and woodland paths pass through many small hamlets. The final section climbs steeply to a main road, into eucalyptus woodland and onto A Rua and the village to O Pedrouzo. O Pedrouzo /Arco do Pino is a small but busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the staging point for the last section of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.
Overnight - O Pedrouzo
Day 13 - Monday 23 September 2019
Camino Trail - O Pedrouzo to Santiago (20km) (B)
Today’s route will be a busy as pilgrims begin the last stage of their walk into Santiago. The pilgrims mass at Santiago Cathedral begins at midday so you will need to leave early to arrive on time. The first section of today’s route passes through eucalypt forests with most of the route on quiet roads and pathways before the final kilometres and a climb to Mount Gozo before descending into the suburbs of Santiago. The path runs alongside the airport and you will see many crosses of twigs and branches used by pilgrims to decorate the fence.
Lavacolla village is where pilgrims traditionally washed to purify themselves before entering Santiago and Lavacolla literally means to wash your tail. At Monte Gozo, Mount of Joy, you will first sight the stunning Catedral de Santiago spires.
The final section is well signposted into the old quarter with its wonderful historical buildings and narrow shop filled alleyways, until you finally reach the Praza Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral. Congratulations you have earned your "Compostela Certificate".
Celebrate tonight with your new walking buddies - you have all shared an amazing experience together!
Overnight - Santiago
Day 14 - Tuesday 24 September 2019
Free Day in Santiago (B)
Today you have the whole day to relax, enjoy and explore historic Santiago with its many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St James which forms the city’s heart and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey.
Overnight - Santiago
Day 15 - Wednesday 25 September 2019
Santiago - Barcelona (B)
Today you'll farewell Santiago with a transfer to the airport for your flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival you'll be transferred to your hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure. Your hotel will be in an ideal location to explore on foot. There are few cities that can match the vibrancy and intensity of Barcelona. Nestled within the borders of Barcelona are award-winning architecture, monuments, museums, and major landmarks. Barcelona has artistic influence from Picasso and Gaudi which transforms the city into a unique place with art galleries, museums, and architecture.
Tonight you'll enjoy a Flamenco Show including dinner. Founded in 1970, the Tablao Cordobes is considered one of the most important flamenco venues of Spain, by the more demanding artistic minorities and has reached great international prestige. You are going to enjoy the “duende” (magic and charm) of an authentic flamenco show, from a privileged platform: the Tablao. The intimacy, warmth, closeness...will allow this ancient culture to drench the senses in a unique scenic setting. The show is the gathering of no more than 180 people around the stage, similar to a Flamenco family party, in this setting this type of flamenco is transmitted in a way that cannot be learned in an academy. Even the humble wicker chairs you will sit on are a recreation of these gathering. Its vaulted architecture, like a cave, allows the natural sound that is characteristic of flamenco, free of microphones and devices to come across clean and vibrant. An absolute stunning performance.
Overnight - H10 Raco Del Pi (or similar)
Day 16 - Thursday 26 September 2019
This morning you'll enjoy a guided tour of the Sagrada Familia followed by a free afternoon to use your 48 hour hop on hop off bus pass to explore more of Barcelona. Barcelona is known as the capital of Modernism and the place where the famous architect Antoni Gaudí worked and lived. Gaudi, one of the greatest innovators of his time, has left behind numerous treasures for the discerning tourist to discover in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited buildings in the world. Discover this magnificent modernist building in the guided tour inside the basilica. We will visit the astonishing interior of this church, where vaults reach seventy metres. Antoni Gaudí designed a Latin cross plan with five aisles, extremely rich in ornamentation and symbolism. We will also visit the Sagrada Familia museum, where you will see drawings, plaster models and pictures about the history and development of this basilica from its early beginnings to the present day. The museum will also give valuable information about Antoni Gaudi´s life and career. At the end of the museum visit, the guide will leave you at the entrance of the elevator to the tower (admission included) to admire the astonishing views of the city from there.
Dinner at leisure tonight.
Overnight - H10 Raco Del Pi (or similar)
Day 17 - Friday 27 September 2019
Today you'll enjoy a half day cooking class.
A farewell dinner on your last night to celebrate the friendships formed and the miles covered together on the Camino Trail.
Day 18 - Saturday 28 September 2019
Barcelona - Home
Today we'll transfer to the Barcelona airport to begin our journey home. Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of your airline as you head towards home.
Day 19 - Sunday 29 September 2019
Welcome Home! Thank you for joining us for such a special experience. You must be proud of yourselves for walking the last 100km of the Camino Trail and you have a Certificate to prove it! We look forward to welcoming you back for your next adventure.