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 12 km
Exploring the beautiful villages along the Camino Trail
Guided Tour of Sagrada Familia
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
Pre-tour Camino Guidance and Planning
Meet and Greet Document Distribution Day (subject to minimum numbers attending)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - Walking the Camino is on many a bucket list. A certain level of fitness will be required to particpate on this tour as well as completing and signing a Camino Trail - Fitness & Medical Declaration. This declaration is in addition to our usual Terms and Conditions which can be found on our website.
MEALS WHILST ON THE CAMINO TRAIL - As specified in the itinerary. Please note that there are daily lunch stops along the walking trail.
PREPARATION FOR THE CAMINO TRAIL WALK - You tour hostess will be offering 4 x training get togethers (Melbourne Based) as well as a suggested daily walking training program. These sessions will encourage you to improve your fitness, get to know your fellow walkers, swap travel tips, share in the excitement of your upcoming adventure and ensure you enjoy the Camino to its' fullest. Details will follow upon booking.
Day 1 - Wednesday 9 September 2020
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 10 September 2020
Welcome to Spain. Upon our arrival into Madrid we'll be transferred to our hotel. The remainder of our day is at leisure to explore and get our 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 with a nice cold beer/wine and some tasty tapas.
This evening we'll regroup and enjoy an Authentic Tapas and History Walking Tour. You'll feel the passion as your local guide explains the wonders of Spanish food and drinks. As a “madrileño”, our local guide will recommend the best places to eat creative tapas dishes, from older taverns to many new bars. We will learn about city life, what to experience in Madrid to feel like a local, what is a Tapa or a racion or the difference between a Pincho and a pintxo! You'll be able to distinguish between Iberian ham from Serrano and taste the best tortilla in Madrid with Spanish wines.
Overnight - Principe Pio (or similar)
Day 3 - Friday 11 September 2020
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. We 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.
Afternoon and dinner tonight at leisure
Overnight - Principe Pio (or similar)
Day 4 - Saturday 12 September 2020
This morning is at leisure.
This afternoon we'll enjoy a tour of Toledo - the City of Three Cultures, where Christians, Muslims and Jews all live together. Located 70 km away from Madrid, Toledo is a beautiful city museum declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe and has great artistic beauty and buildings from almost all periods in history (Arabian, Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance and Baroque style). We'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 will tour through the Jewish quarter; visit the Mosque of El Cristo de la Luz; see a demonstration of the famous technique of damascene (incrustation of precious metals in steel) and have panoramic views of Toledo.
Returning back to our hotel, dinner is at leisure tonight.
Overnight - Principe Pio (or similar)
Day 5 - Sunday 13 September 2020
Madrid - Monforte De Lemos (B, D)
Today we'll transfer to the train station for our rail journey to Monforte De Lemos. The train trip will take approximately 5 hours so sit back, relax and take in the sights as we prepare for our Camino Trail. Arriving into Monforte De Lemos we'll be transferrd to our accommodation with the afternoon at leisure before our walk briefing, prior to dinner.
Overnight - Monforte De Lemos
Day 6 - Monday 14 September 2020
Camino Trail - Walk Sarria - Morgade (13km) (B,D)
Today is the day we have been waiting for! Time to finally get onto the Camino Trail and on our way to Santiago.
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. We will be doing the most popular route – the Camino Frances. The official accreditation once was a scallop shell! However nowadays you can earn the famous ‘Compostela Certificate’, which we will receive after completing the minimum distance required to earn this certificate – a great acheivement indeed!
The majority of our first walk is an introduction as it has long sheltered woodland pathways or quiet country roads that pass through many hamlets and small villages. The scenery along the way is wonderfully green, lush and very rural. The trail climbs and falls repeatedly as it passes tiny hamlets full of history.
Overnight - Portomarin
Day 7 - Tuesday 15 September 2020
Camino Trail - Walk Morgade to Portomarin (9km) (B,D)
The high point of the day (660m) at Pina dos Corvos, has wonderful views over the reservoir and surrounding countryside. From here we begin our 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 and 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 16 September 2020
Camino Trail - Walk Portomarin to Ventas de Naron (13km) (B,D)
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 we will spend most of our day walking on woodland tracks and quiet roads
Dinner and Overnight - Ventas de Naron
Day 9 - Thursday 17 September 2020
Camino Trail - Walk Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei (12km) (B, D)
A climb to start the day takes us 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. A gentle climb takes us 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 us that it was once home to a king. Today it is a small country town with plenty of services available.
Dinner and Overnight - Palas de Rei
Day 10 - Friday 18 September 2020
Camino Trail - Palas de Rei to Melide (15km) (B,D)
Today’s walk is mostly on paths through quiet woodland, crossing over the main road to Arzua several times and guiding us through six river valleys to reach a high point of 515m at Coto.
On route we 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.
Dinner and Overnight - Melide
Day 11 - Saturday 19 September 2020
Camino Trail - Melide to Arzua (14km) (B,D)
From Melide the path winds through woodlands of oak, pine and eucalypt, passing over several valleys through 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 well worth trying. The town also celebrates its cheese with a Queixo Cheese festival every March.
Dinner and Overnight - Arzua
Day 12 - Sunday 20 September 2020
Camino Trail - Arzua to O Pedrouzo (19km) (B,D)
Today’s walk to O Pedrouzo is 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.
Dinner and Overnight - O Pedrouzo
Day 13 - Monday 21 September 2020
Camino Trail - O Pedrouzo to Santiago (20km) (B,D)
Today’s route will be busy as pilgrims begin the last stage of their walk into Santiago. The pilgrims mass at Santiago Cathedral begins at midday so we will need to start our walk early to arrive there on time.
The first section of our walk today 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. Lavacolla, literally means to wash your tail. At Monte Gozo, Mount of Joy, we 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. We continue until we finally reach the Praza Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral.
Congratulations you have earned your "Compostela Certificate"!!
Tonight we celebrate with our new walking buddies - we have shared such an amazing experience together and we should all be proud of ourselves!
Dinner and Overnight - Santiago
Day 14 - Tuesday 22 September 2020
Free Day in Santiago (B)
Today we have the whole day to relax, enjoy and explore historic Santiago with its many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend one of the 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.
Optional afternoon tour - some say this is the true end of the Camino de Santiago, Finisterre (extra cost). Dinner at leisure tonight!
Overnight - Santiago
Day 15 - Wednesday 23 September 2020
Santiago - Barcelona (B,D)
Today we will farewell Santiago with a transfer to the airport for our flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival we'll be transferred to our hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.
Our hotel is 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 we'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. We will 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 the flamenco is transmitted in a way that cannot be learned in an academy. Even the humble wicker chairs we will sit on are a recreation of these gathering. It's 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 - Hotel Gotico (or similar)
Day 16 - Thursday 24 September 2020
This morning we will enjoy a guided tour of the Sagrada Familia followed by a free afternoon to use our 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 with the guided tour of 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 we will see drawings, plaster models and pictures of the history and development of this basilica, from its early beginnings to the present day. The museum provides valuable information about Antoni Gaudi´s life and career. At the end of the museum visit, the guide will leave us 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 - Hotel Gotico (or similar)
Day 17 - Friday 25 September 2020
Today is a free morning for shopping or further sightseeing.
Later this evening we will take part in a Paella and Tapas Cooking Class guided by a local chef who will source the ingredients with a visit to the famous La Boquera Market. Thereafter, we will have a hands-on paella and tapas making class and enjoy our creations in the schools dining area and 'wash' it down with some delicious sangria (included).
Overnight - Hotel Gotico (or similar)
Day 18 - Saturday 26 September 2020
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 27 September 2020
Welcome Home! Thank you for joining us for such a special experience. You must be so proud for walking the last 100 km of the Camino Trail and have a Certificate to prove it!
We look forward to welcoming you back for your next adventure.