Camino de Santiago

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:43

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

The Grand Tour of the Camino de Santiago emphasizing the artistic, cultural and historical treasures of northern Spain while walking through scenic countryside to Santiago.

Published in Itineraries
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:43

Galicia: Sea to Mountain Hiking


Join Jose and Nancy on this definitive insider’s tour of Galicia’s breathtaking coastal and mountainous back roads. Enjoy the isolated coastal walks, abundant and varied seafood, remote mountain villages, and pre-Roman remains!

Map of GaliciaWe meet and end in Galicia’s capital, Santiago de Compostela, the famed endpoint of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, as an entry point into this extraordinary green, hilly corner of Spain. On Days 2-4 we explore the breathtaking Costa da Morte (Death Coast) and spend 3 days walking the highlights of the spectacular coastal trail O Camiño dos Faros (The Lighthouse Way). This trail connects the villages and lighthouses from Malpica to Finisterre for roughly 200km.  The Galician coast is characterized by long stretches of white sand beach, pine forest, small fishing villages, high cliffs, off-shore islands, pounding waves and fascinating legends and history. On Days 5-8, we transition to the region’s extreme eastern mountains to the Sierras of Ancares and Courel. En route we stop and walk the Roman’s Empire’s finest wall still standing in the UNESCO awarded World Heritage city of Lugo.  In the mountains  we will  hike on high open ridges, through densely wooded river paths and visit and learn about villages (and their traditions) that have one foot in the pre-modern past and the other in the present.

On the tour also expect to savor the delicious seafood and shellfish prepared with simplicity and extraordinary good taste, a wide assortment of rich crusty breads and smoked, smooth and creamy cow´s milk cheeses as well as spring fed and mountain raised beef and pork stewed and roasted to perfection. On this tour accommodations are varied, well-situated and unique though not luxurious.

The region’s geography has historically imposed isolation upon Galicia leading to its singular character today: a well-conserved prehistoric past (petroglyphs, dolmens, and castros), a high dispersion of the population (of the 63,000 communities in Spain more than half are Galician but only account for 6% of Spanish territory), the development of an unique language - Gallego, an economy based primarily on the exploitation of the sea and soil, an original vernacular architecture (country mansions, roadside crosses, granaries, monasteries) and an endless number of legends, fiestas and traditions uniquely Galician.

Read the article Nancy wrote about Galicia for the travel magazine Roads & Kingdoms here.

Published in Itineraries
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:37


The Road to Santiago rarely fails to impress: the constantly changing landscapes, diverse flora and fauna; the encounters with unique and inspiring people; the varied legends of pilgrims past and present; the countless artistic and historical treasures found at every turn; the possibility of enjoying both silence or the animation and color of a Spanish fiesta; or the knowledge that your footsteps join those of millions before you across a thousand years of European history.
We walk in the shadows of this past and seek as well to understand those created in the present on our walking tour along this great medieval pilgrimage route.

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COMPOSTELA TOUR: León to Santiago
Join us for this special 7-day tour starting in León and continuing through the rural Galician countryside. You will be eligible to earn the Cathedral’s certificate of completion, the Compostela, as we walk the last 100km over 5 of the 7 days.
Enjoy bucolic country lanes, enchanted forests and countless hamlets as we wend our way over the rolling hills to the ancient city of stone, Santiago de Compostela.

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GALICIA, Celtic Spain: From Sea to Mountain
Wedged in between the roaring Atlantic and the gentle eastern sierras in Iberia’s northwest corner, Galicia is a magnificent combination of rolling, irregular countryside, 750 miles of breathtaking coastline, numerous deeply penetrating fjord-like estuaries as well as mixed forests and winding rivers.
On the tour we explore the wild coastline, the sea an ever-present right hand companion, as well as Galicia’s mountain, valley and river systems with delightful walks in forests rich in flora and fauna.
We'll pass small, rustic villages, archaeological ruins and witness traces of antique ways of living and working.

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On this 7 day/night walking tour we roughly follow the medieval pilgrim's way from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela taking in the area's beautiful green mountain and valley landscapes as well as spending two nights on Galicia's spectacular southern coast in Baiona. We stay in three UNESCO world heritage towns - Porto, Guimaraes and Santiago de Compostela.

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BASQUE COUNTRY & PYRENEES: Europe's Oldest Culture
Straddling the gentle western Pyrenees, this region is home to Europe´s oldest living language and civilization, breathtaking coastal and low mountain trails, prehistoric remains, sensational award-winning food prepared with charateristic Basque flare and charming seaside towns and high country villages.
Also included in our itinerary is a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Learn about Basque history, culture and folklore, enjoy lush coastal and hill trails, and treat your palate to a gastronomic odyssey.

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PICOS DE EUROPA: Heights of Emerald Spain
Lofty green and grey, the Picos de Europa play sentinel to the Cantabrian Sea only nine miles away. Surrounded by thick stands of beech and oak, sculpted by four strong river systems and modified by hundreds of years of shepherding, the ever changing limestone Picos offer a unique environment and a wide variety of walking opportunities through lunar-like high mountains, crystalline glacial lakes, lush woodlands, winding rivers, high open pastures and alpine meadows. We’ll explore the National Park’s most stunning trails and introduce you to the shepherding traditions that have made the Picos famous worldwide for their pungent blue cheeses.

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