Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Led by Fr John Minh (RC), departing 2 October- 7 October 2017
Tradition has it that the remains of St James the Apostle were washed up on the coast of northern Spain, hidden and later discovered at a place indicated by a star, hence the name Santiago de Compostela which means Saint James of the field of the star. The truth of the legend no longer seems important as the witness of thousands upon thousands of pilgrims over many hundreds of years have awarded their own validation. In fact during the middle-ages Santiago was second only to The Holy Land as a pilgrimage destination. Our six-day fly/ coach pilgrimage travels along the principal route in Spain, which pilgrims from England would have joined and on our way we travel through some spectacular mountainous scenery and visit the medieval cities of Burgos and Leon, in addition to other towns where the pilgrimage route has left its mark. The goal of course is Santiago itself, which is our final stop with time to savour this unique city.
DAY ONE: London – Bilbao – Burgos
Morning scheduled flight from Heathrow to Bilbao. On arrival transfer to our hotel in Burgos for dinner and an overnight stay.
DAY TWO: Burgos – Leon
After breakfast there will be a guided tour of the cathedral at Burgos, one of the finest in Europe. Here you will see many references to St James and also the tomb of El Cid, the city’s most famous son. Mass will be celebrated here. After a break for lunch (at choice), transfer by coach to Leon, for dinner and a two-night stay.
DAY THREE: Leon
In the morning we have a guided tour of Leon. The ancient church of San Isidoro has wonderful Romanesque wall paintings, and a tremendous atmosphere of devotion. The Gothic cathedral is very like that at Chartres – the most elegant and French of the cathedrals of Spain. Mass will be celebrated in either of these. In the afternoon we visit Hostal San Marcos. This former monastery, with magnificent 16th century buildings, is now a hotel. Its former purpose is revealed in the decoration of the walls with dozens of scallop shells, the mark of pilgrims to Santiago. Dinner in our hotel.
DAY FOUR: Leon – Villafranca – Lugo – Santiago
After breakfast, celebrate Mass and leave Leon en route for Santiago. Pass Astorga and go up into the Montes de Leon. A stop for lunch will be made at the pretty village of Villafranca, an official stop on the Camino. Before we reach Santiago, we will see the fortified town of Lugo. Reach Santiago late afternoon and check into our hotel for a two-night stay.
DAY FIVE: Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast we meet our local guide for a tour of the cathedral and its surroundings. Mass will be celebrated here. The cathedral has an amazing baroque façade hiding the much earlier Romanesque building lying on the site where in the 8th century it was thought that the tomb of St James had been discovered. This is the end of the road, and the climax is touching the great figure of the Saint behind the altar. This afternoon will be at leisure. You may wish to explore some of the city’s excellent museums, or even take a taxi a short way out and walk back in along the Camino.
DAY SIX: Santiago - London
Late morning transfer to Santiago for scheduled flight to London (airport to be specified).
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Travel Insurance: £33
Single room supplement: £115
02/10/17 - 07/10/17
: Scheduled flights: London – Bilbao, Santiago – London (carrier to be specified). U.K. and Spain airport departure taxes. 1 piece of checked in luggage per person. 5-nights accommodation in shared twin-bedded rooms with private facilities: 2nd – 3rd Oct at Corona de Castilla (or similar), Burgos, 3rd – 5th Oct at Conde Luna Hotel (or similar), Leon. 5th – 7th Oct at Hotel Gelmirez (or similar), Santiago. Meal plan: 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners. All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Pax Travel Spanish speaking tour manager to accompany the group. Guided tours by fully licensed local English-speaking guides as per the itinerary. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Daily Mass at different pilgrimage churches and cathedrals. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
Travel insurance currently at £32.00. Single room supplement at £115 per person for 5 nights (limited availability). Lunches and drinks. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline. U.K. transfers. Gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff (we recommend €20 per person). UK coach transfers. Catering during the flights.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel Ltd with a deposit of £200 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person.
The above price is guaranteed for the bookings Pax Travel receives before Friday 30th September 2016. Further bookings may be subject to a flight surcharge.