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
Sep 7 - Sep 20, 2022  (14 Days)
Cost

$6,295 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

    Wednesday, September 7
    Depart the U.S.

    Board independent ­flights to Madrid, Spain. 

    Thursday, September 8
    Madrid, Spain / Burgos

    Arrive in Madrid and transfer (~2 ½ hours) to Burgos. Gather this evening for our welcome dinner.
    Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (D)

    Friday, September 9
    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: 3 miles/~2 hours, countryside trails and village walking
    Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (B,L,D)

    Saturday, September 10
    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 a guided walk of the town and a visit to the cathedral.
    Walking: Up to 8 miles/~4 hours, mountain trails, city walking
    Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos (B,L,D)

    Sunday, September 11
    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 8 ½ miles/4 hours, flat land and rolling hills
    Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidro (B,L,D)

    Monday, September 12
    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 finest medieval frescoes in Europe, remarkably preserved and still in their original setting. 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, September 13
    Natural Park of Somiedo / Brana de Mumian

    Travel to the beautiful region of Asturias 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 a magnificent 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, September 14
    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 (designed 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
    Hotel Aroi Ponferrada (B,L,D)

    Thursday, September 15
    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
    Hotel Aroi Ponferrada (B,L,D)

    Friday, September 16
    O’Cebreiro/ Triacastela / Monforte de Lemos

    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 Monforte de Lemos, in the province of Lugo, Galicia. 
    Walking: Up to 7 ½ miles/~4 hours rolling hills, some steep uphill and downhill
    Parador de Monforte de Lemos (B,L,D)

    Saturday, September 17
    Sarria / Portomarin / Santiago de Compostela

    After breakfast, we drive 30 minutes to 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
    NH Collection Santiago (B,L,D)

    Sunday, September 18
    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
    NH Collection Santiago (B,D)

    Monday, September 19
    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-style dinner at the hotel.
    Walking: Up to 2 miles / ~1 hour on coastal roads
    NH Collection Santiago (B,L,D)

    Tuesday, September 20
    Santiago de Compostela / U.S.

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

    Cost:  $6,295 per person, double occupancy
    Single Supplement: $1,150

    Min/Max: The trip price is based on a minimum number of 10 travelers (not including staff) and a maximum of 20. 

    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 1/2 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.

    Expert local guides and field lectures throughout the journey enlighten your way.

    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 our membership page or call (415) 597-6720.

    Insurance
    We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

    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:

    • 120 days or more prior to departure: No cancellation fee
    • 119-91days prior to departure: $350 per person
    • 90-61 days to departure: 50% fare
    • 60-1 days to departure: 100% fare

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

    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 your joining this program. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.

    COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols: The well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priority. To maintain a healthy environment for travel, we will be establishing and adhering to a detailed set of health and safety protocols for all facets of your tour. Detailed protocols for this tour, based on conditions at the time, will be provided approximately 60 days prior to departure. All travelers must be fully vaccinated (including recommended boosters) for COVID19, as well as adhere to any testing and mask requirements put in place by Spain and/or the EU, the tour operator, and the Commonwealth Club.

    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