If you’re looking to take on your own pilgrimage – along a route filled with beautiful countryside and rustic villages of Northern Spain – start here, at the Camino de Santiago. This incredible 10-day adventure begins with two days of exploration in stately (and must-see) Madrid. Then continue to the picturesque municipality of Sarria to hike the final 100km of the famed Camino and receive a “compostela” at the finish to prove your accomplishment. Refuel with tasty Spanish food and take the time to stop and smell the flowers – it’s active but at a slower, more picturesque pace.
Please note: This program is being shared with our partner G Adventures. This means that this group will be a mix of teachers and non-teachers.
Arrive at any time in Madrid. If you have the time, we recommend coming in a few days early. There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.
Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, typically 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. After the meeting, you might want to head out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to get to know your tour leader and traveling companions further. Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
Enjoy a short orientation walk around Madrid with a free day to explore. Opt to check out the world-famous museums, do some shopping or enjoy some fantastic food. Other options for exploring the city include the Palacio Real, Real Jardin Botánico or Escorial. Experience more nightlife at the Plaza del Dos de Mayo, in the area known as Malasaña. Taste some sangria and dance to the latest music. See our optional activities list below to get an idea of what to do with your free time.
Travel in the early afternoon (typically our train departs around 1 PM) to the charming town of Sarria by train. We arrive in time for dinner.
Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by train
Today, we start our trek by hiking from Sarria to Portomarín, covering about 23 km (14 mi) over the course of the day. Pass through many lovely towns along the way and choose to have a picnic in places such as Barbadelo, Renta, or Ferreiros. We spend the night in the riverside city of Portomarín.
Approximate travel time: 6-8 hrs on foot
Get those walking shoes back on! We leave Portomarín behind in the early light of the morning to make the most of the day. This stretch is a mix of ups and downs through beautiful scenery. The entire area has a rich history, especially during the Middle Ages.
After our approximately 23 km hike, we arrive in the town of Palas del Rei.
Approximate travel time: 6 hrs on foot
Today, we head west and continue the pilgrimage, passing through the lush green valleys of Galicia. Covering about 15 km today, we pass through many lovely villages and towns along the way, offering ample opportunity for rest stops and time to pick up any needed supplies before arriving in Melide.
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs on foot
Leaving Melide, the Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track to the village of Boente with its church of Santiago. Next is the scenic medieval village of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa (389 m). In Arzúa, we visit the churches of Santa María and Capela De La Magdalena. The distance covered today will be 13 km.
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs on foot
Today, we traverse 23 km of scenic Galician countryside, passing through pretty woods, sleepy villages, and across streams as we continue our pilgramage. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. En route, don’t miss the lovely hamlet of Rúa (310 m). The rest of the route to Amenal is along a mix of good and calm country roads and forest tracks.
Approximate travel time: 6 hrs on foot
This morning, we depart early in order to reach Santiago de Compostela in time for the pilgrim’s mass. Walk the last part of the pilgrimage (14 km) and enjoy the scenery before the baroque, painted towers of the cathedral come into view. Later, we explore this fascinating city and sip some wine in a café to celebrate the incredible journey.
The pilgrimage would not be complete without a visit to the cathedral on the magnificent Praza do Obradoiro, which houses the supposed tomb of St. James the Apostle. It is widely believed that his remains were buried here in the 1st century AD. From that time forward, he was revered as the patron saint of the Christian Crusades.
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs on foot
Depart Santiago de Compostela at any time.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
You must be prepared to hike an average of 6-10 hrs per day, approx. 20-25 km per day, with some shorter and longer days along the way.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
To get from airport to Hotel Europa (please check your vouchers to ensure this is your start hotel):
From airport terminals T1, T2, T3 or T4- take pink metro line “8” to Nuevos Ministerios. This should take about 22 minutes. From T1, T2 & T3 this is 5 stops. From T4 this is 7 Stops.
At Nuevos Ministerios change trains to line “C3” to station ‘Sol’ this is 5 minutes, traditionally direct (no stops).
The hotel is a 1 minute walk away.
At the Station ‘Sol’ Take exit Carmen.
Walk west towards Calle del Carmen.
Across the road you will see the Hotel Europa, it is number 4
Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Direct with no traffic would be about 20 minutes & cost 35 EUROS. Traffic in Madrid can be bad – this would then increase the taxi to about 45 minutes & cost 50 EUROS plus.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. GMT)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours, please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels. You can also use a local laundromat if need be. As mentioned in the checklist above, however, there will likely be little to no time to do laundry on this trip.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Americans do not need a visa for travel in Spain. Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Spanish Embassy to find out if they need a visa.
Spain is in the Eurozone, and the unit of the currency is the Euro. As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note: If you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a guideline, $35-$50 USD per person per week can be used.
You do not need any vaccinations to travel on this program.
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
The program starts in Madrid.
The program ends in Santiago de Compostela. There are several buses and trains that run from Santiago on a daily basis to Madrid or other cities. Several airlines have flights daily to Madrid from Lavacolla Airport, just outside of Santiago. Our end hotel is located in the heart of the historical old town. It is a 15-minute drive to the airport and a 10-minute bus ride to the bus station. To Santiago airport from downtown, taxis charge a flat rate of 16 EUR.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Spain uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
June, July, and August are peak walking months on the Camino de Santiago. For this section of the trail, expect highs in the high 70’s and lows in the high 50’s. While temperatures are higher than other times of the year the weather tends to be much more consistent with less rain. Hikers tend to sleep earlier at night and rise again in the pre-dawn hours to get a head-start on the heat of the day.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See our price in the top right corner
Roughly $1,000-$1,700 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $60-$75 USD for your G Adventures tour leader.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
$20-$100, depending on into which airport you travel
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.
Prado Museum: €14
Hop on hop off bus: €20
Reina Sofia Museum: €10 (Closed Tuesdays)
Botanical Garden and Retiro Park: €2
Thyssen Museum: €12
Palacio Real: €11
Museo do Pobo Gallego: Free
Cathedral entrances: Free
Museum of Modern Art: Free
Pilgrimage Museum: Free