Walking the Camino de Santiago

Walk some of the most attractive segments of the pilgrimage route of Spain's Camino de Santiago. Explore Burgos and Leon. Visit a wine cellar in Rioja and stop at the Shrine of San Juan de Ortega. Hike to stunning views of Galician landscapes. Conclude at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the finest example of both Romanesque and Baroque art in Spain.

Dates
May 15 - May 28, 2019  (14 Days)
Cost

$5,795 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Wednesday, May 15
Depart the U.S.

Board independent ­flights to Madrid, Spain. 

Thursday, May 16
Madrid, Spain / Burgos

Arrive in Madrid and transfer (~2 ½ hours) to Burgos. After a guided walk of the town and visit to the cathedral, gather for our welcome dinner.
Walking: ~2 hour
Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (D)

Friday, May 17
Cirueña / Santo Domingo de la Calzada / Rioja

We travel by bus to Cirueña to begin our walk to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, where we visit the charming town center and the cathedral. After lunch, continue by bus through the Rioja region, stopping to visit a wine cellar for a tasting before returning to Burgos.
Walking: 4 miles/~2 hours, countryside trails and village walking
Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 18
Oca Mountains and the Shrine of San Juan

Travel to the edge of the Oca Mountains where we start our walk to the shrine of San Juan de Ortega with its beautiful Romanesque church and monastery ruins. Today is our longest hike and we stop on the trail for lunch. Return this afternoon to Burgos for free time.
Walking: Up to 8 miles/~4 hours, mountain trails
Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 19
Castrojeriz / Fromista / Leon

Depart Burgos by coach for Castrojeriz, enjoying views of the evocative landscape of the great plains of Castile. From Castrojeriz, walk through the ­ at lands and rolling hills of the “Meseta” (the plateau) to the border of the province of Palencia. Continue by coach to one of the architectural gems on this trip, the Romanesque church of Fromista. Arrive in Leon late in the day.
Walking: Up to 5 ½ miles/~3 ½ hours, flat lands and rolling hills
Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidro (B,L,D)

Monday, May 20
Leon

Visit the former Roman garrison of Leon and tour the Gothic cathedral. Its impressive stained glass windows rival those of Chartres and the cathedral is the purest example of the Gothic style in Spain. See the Pantheon of the Kings, which contains some of the ‑ nest medieval frescoes in Europe, remarkably preserved and still in their original setting. See the Casa de Botines, an uncharacteristically restrained modernist building by the great Catalan architect, Gaudi. Enjoy lunch on your own and a free afternoon to explore Leon.
Walking: Up to 2 miles/~3 hours, city walking
Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidro (B,D)

Tuesday, May 21
Natural Park of Somiedo / Brana de Mumian

Travel to the beautiful region of Austurias to explore the Natural Park of Somiedo in the foothills of the Picos de Europa. This reserve has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation and it is one of Spain’s most breathtaking settings. Today’s walk leads us up the hills to the picturesque shepherd’s village of Branade Mumian. Enjoy magni‑ cent view from the mountain range of the Cordillera Cantabrica.
Walking: 4 ½ miles/~4 ½ hours, up and down trails
Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidro (B,L,D)

Wednesday, May 22
Astorga / Molinaseca / Ponferrada

Depart Leon by coach, stopping in Puente de Orbigo to walk across the medieval bridge “Paso Honroso.” Continue to the walled city of Astorga for an orientation walk and free time. You might want to visit the Bishop’s Palace (built by Gaudi) which houses a museum about the Camino de Santiago. Continue to the edge of the Leon Mountains, one of the main natural barriers of the road. Over the pass of “Cruz de Hierro” (The Iron Cross) we find one of the oldest monuments along “St. James Way”. Stop to walk amidst some of the wildest scenery of the trip, to the village of Molinaseca. Continue by coach to our hotel in Ponferrada.
Walking: Up to 6 miles/~3 hours, village and dirt trails
AC Hotel Ponferrada (B,L,D)

Thursday, May 23
Villafranca del Bierzo / Ponferrada

Depart for Camponaraya for an easy walk through vast vineyards to Cacabelos. Continue by coach to Pieros where we then walk to Villafranca del Bierzo , where we see the Iglesia de Santiago, a place where pilgrims who could not continue on to Santiago de Compostela due to health reasons could receive a special absolution. Following lunch, return to Ponferrada for a free afternoon.
Walking: Up to 6 miles/~2 ½ hours through vineyards and villages
AC Hotel Ponferrada (B,L,D)

Friday, May 24
O’Cebreiro/ Triacastela / Sarria

Travel into Galicia through O’Cebreiro, an important symbolic site of the pilgrimage. Explore this mystic place, known for its thatched stone huts (pallozas) and its preRomanesque church. After a short drive, walk along the pilgrim’s way to Samos Monastery, an impressive example of the importance of monastic life on El Camino. Continue by coach to the hotel in Sarria.
Walking: Up to 7 ½ miles/~4 hours rolling hills, some steep uphill and downhill
Hotel Alfonso IX (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 25
Sarria / Portomarin / Santiago de Compostela

We start our walk of the pilgrim’s road right from the hotel in Sarria, the starting point of the most popular section of the pilgrimage: the “Camino Last 100 km.” Walk along cultivated fields, with cows grazing in the meadows, and lanes ­flanked by chestnut and oak trees. Arrive at Lavandeira, where we then drive to the pretty town of Portomarin, located on the banks of the Rio Mino. Continue to Santiago de Compostela stopping along the way to climb the Hill of Joy. Check in to our hotel in the center of town and walk to the Cathedral of Santiago, on the path that pilgrims have walked for centuries.
Walking: Up to 4 ½ miles/~4 hours, undulating fields and meadows, some steep uphill
Hotel Monumento San Francisco (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 26
Santiago de Compostela

Tour the magnificent Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the finest example of both Romanesque and Baroque art in Spain, set in the monumental Obradoiro Square. Enjoy a local lunch on your own and a free afternoon.
Walking: Up to 1 ½ miles /~2 hours in town
Hotel Monumento San Francisco (B,D)

Monday, May 27
Finisterre / Santiago de Compostela

Travel to Finisterre, passing the fisherman’s village Fisterra en route to the cape, Cabo Finisterre, “the end of the world.” After our walk, enjoy a seafood lunch before returning to Santiago. Gather tonight for a farewell tapas dinner at the hotel.
Walking: Up to 2 miles / ~1 hour on coastal roads
Hotel Monumento San Francisco (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 28
Santiago de Compostela / U.S.

Breakfast at the hotel, and transfer to Santiago de Compostela airport for flights home. (B)

All prices are per person, double occupancy

Land Cost:  $5,795
Single Supplement: $995

Included:
Tour leader, local guides, and guest speakers; activities as specified in the itinerary; transportation throughout; airport transfers on designated group dates and times; 12 nights accommodations as speci­fied (or similar); 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches (including some bagged picnic lunches), 12 dinners; wine and beer with welcome and farewell events; Commonwealth Club representative with 13 or more participants; gratuities to local guides, drivers, and for all included group activities; pre-departure materials.

Not included:
International airfare; gratuity to tour leader; visa and passport fees; meals not specified as included; optional outings and gratuities for those outings; alcoholic beverages beyond welcome and farewell events; travel insurance (recommended, information will be sent upon registration); items of a purely personal nature.

What to Expect

Participants must be in very good health and able to keep up with an active group of walkers. Walks are moderate with some strenuous segments. On average guests will walk 4-5 miles each day over 2-4 hours. Our longest hike is 8 miles. Most walking activities take place between 2,000-5,000 feet. Travelers should be able to walk on gravel and dirt hiking trails and through uneven meadows. Trails are well-marked, but some include rocky sections and steep ascents and descents. Sturdy walking/ hiking shoes are required; ankle-high shoes are highly recommended. One should be able to use stairs without handrails and stand for periods of two hours at a time. One does not have to participate in every activity, but travelers should be aware of the pace.

The Commonwealth Club (CWC) has contracted European Walking Tours to organize this tour.

Reservations: 
A $1000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 90 days prior to departure and must be paid by check.

Eligibility:
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit commonwealthclub.org/membership or call (415) 597-6720.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:

• 91 or more days or more prior to departure: $350 per person
• 90-1 days to departure: 100% fare

Tour pricing is based on the number of participants. Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor European Walking Tours accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance:
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave trip while it is in progress. A brochure describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation.

Medical Information:
Participation in this program requires that you be in good health and able to walk several miles each day. The “What to Expect” outlines what is required. If you have any concerns see your doctor on the advisability of you joining this program. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.

Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay:
Itinerary is based on information available at the time of printing and is subject to change. We reserve the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed, or the itinerary changed, due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, airline schedules, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which CWC or European Walking Tours or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included.

Limitations of Liability:
In order to join the program, participants must complete a Participant Waiver provided by the CWC and agree to these terms: CWC and European Walking Tours its Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. CWC and European Walking Tours shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, ­flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control.  e participant waives any claim against CWC/ European Walking Tours for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC/ European Walking Tours shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.

Registration Commonwealth Club of California CST: 2096889-40 T