The Camino de Santiago Hiking Adventure

About the Experience

The legendary Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage designed to stretch both your mind and hamstrings. “The Way” will stir all your senses as you follow the historic route as it curves through the verdant northwest coast of Spain.

In the company of like-minded women, you will explore the final 108 kilometers of the Camino at a pace that encourages leisurely café con leches in the morning sun and restorative stays at welcoming rural hotels en route. The relaxed itinerary allows for complete immersion and soulful meditation in the ever-changing landscape of eucalyptus-perfumed forests, sleepy pastoral villages, imposing churches and limestone architecture that are synonymous with the UNESCO World Heritage site. Fuelled by impromptu tapas and celebrated local wines with new friends, the distance is often forgotten over easy conversation and the rhythm of footfalls.

While the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and burial place of apostle Saint James signifies the monumental end of the Camino, the winding journey is where the magic lies. Walking alongside century-old corn cribs and moss-shrouded stone walls buoyed by the tinkle of distant church bells will be felt and heard long after you kick off your dusty hiking boots in Santiago.

The completion of the nine-day hike becomes instantly tangible with the official Compostela passport stamp that is awarded to pilgrims who have made the physical, mental and spiritual commitment.

Isn’t it time you walked in a brave, new direction?

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
The Camino de Santiago Hiking Adventure

About the Experience

The legendary Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage designed to stretch both your mind and hamstrings. “The Way” will stir all your senses as you follow the historic route as it curves through the verdant northwest coast of Spain.

In the company of like-minded women, you will explore the final 108 kilometers of the Camino at a pace that encourages leisurely café con leches in the morning sun and restorative stays at welcoming rural hotels en route. The relaxed itinerary allows for complete immersion and soulful meditation in the ever-changing landscape of eucalyptus-perfumed forests, sleepy pastoral villages, imposing churches and limestone architecture that are synonymous with the UNESCO World Heritage site. Fuelled by impromptu tapas and celebrated local wines with new friends, the distance is often forgotten over easy conversation and the rhythm of footfalls.

While the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and burial place of apostle Saint James signifies the monumental end of the Camino, the winding journey is where the magic lies. Walking alongside century-old corn cribs and moss-shrouded stone walls buoyed by the tinkle of distant church bells will be felt and heard long after you kick off your dusty hiking boots in Santiago.

The completion of the nine-day hike becomes instantly tangible with the official Compostela passport stamp that is awarded to pilgrims who have made the physical, mental and spiritual commitment.

Isn’t it time you walked in a brave, new direction?

 

DAY ONE: TOUCHDOWN IN LUGO

Your Wild Women pilgrimage begins! Double-knot those shoelaces! Lugo (formerly known as Lucus Augusti) is the only city in the world to be surrounded by still-intact 3rd Century Roman walls. Meet your wolf pack in the hotel lobby at 6PM and ease into the Spanish panoramas and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gothic churches, cloisters, dramatic towers and iconic gates. After your paseo (walk), discover edible Spain at a lively café. Yes, we’re talking tempting tapas and vino tinto (red wine). To acclimate, it’s best to absorb the colourful atmosphere of this cosmo city by people-watching and tasting what lies ahead.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel Mendez Nuñez
Hiking distance: Only happy wandering! As far as you want!

 

DAY TWO: STARTING IN SARRÍA

Shake away the jetlag and meet your groupies at 9:00 AM after breakfast. You can nod off on the 40-minute bus ride to Sarría but you’ll probably want to take in the shiny new view. This is where you will officially begin your Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Soon your eyes alert and adept in finding the sometimes surreptitious yellow arrows and scallop shells that indicate the Camino route through the storied Galicia region.The last 110-kilometers of the 800km-long Camino de Santiago are well-populated as pilgrims must walk at least 100km to qualify for the coveted Compostela.

The Camino knows no age, gender, geography, race or skill level. Different languages and landscapes converge in the energy of “The Way” and the fever pitch is palpable! A support van will be available if you would like assistance on any part of this journey. Emotional baggage can be heavy enough, let us help you with your physical load!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa Roan
Hiking Distance: 18 km (11 mi)

 

DAY THREE: PORTOMARIN – AIREXE

Starting in Portomarin, marvel at the relocation of the entire city! When the Miño River was dammed in the 1960s, the original village location was flooded and larger buildings were moved higher up the mountain. And we think moving to a new house or apartment is a big deal! Later, leave the urban rumbles and congestion behind as you cut through the magical woods and to your high point (and possibly highlight of the day): Sierra Ligonde. Have your camera on your hip to capture the unbeatable surrounds. History seeps in as the Camino passes by ancient pilgrim hospices (back when a horn of wine cured all). Summit in Airexe where you can pull off your merino wool socks for the day. Your work here is done! Find a seat on the group shuttle back to your hotel for an evening of reflection and relaxation.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa Roan
Hiking Distance: 17 km (10.5 mi)

 

DAY FOUR: AIREXE – O COTO

Begin your day royally! The town of Palas de Rei was trendy once-upon-a-time for Galician nobility and the likes of a 8th century Visigoth king. After a good dose of caffeine and perhaps a divine slice of tarte de Santiago, get ready for the twists and turns of the day as you approach San Xulian, a distinct Camino hamlet with a traditional 12th century church and trail shaded by tree canopy over two river valleys. At day’s end, you will be magically transported to your hotel for an indulgent shower, OMG dinner and dreamy sleep.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Casa Roan
Hiking Distance: 16 km (1o mi)

 

DAY FIVE: O COTO – CASTAÑEDA

After breakfast, the sun will be on your shoulders onward to Leboreiro (if only that word could be used in Scrabble! So many vowels!). This village and the medieval hamlet of Furelos are both showstoppers with their storybook bridges. Artists and poets would kill for inspirational views like this! Later, in Melide, you must drop your pack and experience the famous Pulperia. Galicia has many gourmand specialties but the Pulpo Gallego (steamed octopus) is a rite of passage. After lunch, the Camino rises and falls, splitting through tiny villages and skyscraper forests until Castañeda. Here, limestone was carried from Triacastela and fired in the kilns before being taken to Santiago to build the mighty cathedral. If your pack is feeling heavy, be glad it’s not limestone you’re carrying!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep:
For May departure: La Casona de Nene/Casa do Cabo
For Sept departure: La Casona de Nene / Casa do Cabo
For Oct departure: La Casona de Nene
Hiking Distance: 17 km (10.5 mi)

 

DAY SIX: CASTAÑEDA – SALCEDA

Rising and shining is easy with the magnetic pull of Santiago under your feet. After a shuttle back to the trail, lean into the challenging climb and descent as the reward is huge. Located on the banks of the River Iso, Ribasdiso is home to the oldest albergue on the Camino(formerly a 15th century pilgrim hospital). After your History 101 lesson, climb to the town of Arzua, famous for Tetilla, a bosom-shaped cheese. Really! Ask your guide about the tall tale of Tetilla! In the afternoon, walk through sweet hamlets, inhale the fragrance of eucalyptus forests and run your hand along ancient moss-covered stone walls. Fun trivia: Rua, Calzada, and Calle are villages that all refer to the word ‘road’ in recognition of the centuries-old pilgrimage trail to Santiago. You can rest your Fitbit in Salceda where the shuttle will take to your hotel and pillow. It’s the end of your rua for the day.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep:
For May departure: La Casona de Nene/Casa do Cabo
For Sept departure: La Casona de Nene
For Oct departures: La Casona de Nene
Hiking Distance: 19 km (11.8 mi)

 

DAY SEVEN: SALCEDA – LAVACOLLA

As the Pet Shop Boys suggested in 1993, “Go West!” Descending westward from Alto de Santa Irene, through a sentry of eucalyptus trees and the villages of Rua and Amenal, get charged up for the final climb of the route! Skirting around the airport below the jetstream-streaked sky, you will arrive in Lavacolla. Legend has it that pilgrims would bathe in the shallow stream to arrive in Santiago clean in spirit and body. You can enjoy a contemporary take on the Lavacolla tradition or just lava and have a cola after a shuttle to your hotel. Santiago is just around the corner and an evening spent swapping stories with your group will elevate the anticipation!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep:
For May departure: Xan Xodo
For Sept departure: Xan Xodo / Ruta Jacobea
For Oct departure: Xan Xodo
Hiking Distance: 17 km (10.5 mi)

 

DAY EIGHT: LAVACOLLA – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

The last day of the Camino is always one of mixed emotions. Take it all in stride and let your mind revisit all the colourful days behind you. Today you will climb from Lavacolla to the famed “Mount Joy”(Monte del Gozo) where, if you are lucky and not daydreaming, you will catch your first tingle-inducing glimpse of the cathedral of Santiago’s towers.Tradition dictates that if you are the first one in your group to sight the church towers, you can officially change your name to King (Rey, Leroy, Le Roi) or convince any group members who didn’t read this itinerary closely to buy you a beer instead!
Unbelievably, your Camino journey ends at the steps of the cathedral today. Shine up your hiking boots, sniff around for your freshest-smelling shirt, charge your camera and gather for a deserved celebratory dinner with the gals.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: San Francisco
Hiking Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi)

 

DAY NINE: TOUR END – BUEN CAMINO

After a leisurely breakfast of recounted stories and laughs, a local tour guide and historian will ask you to “shhh” for a while as she shows you the most impressive sights of the city and cathedral on a two-hour guided walking tour. Because you are going to miss spending your day walking! Say goodbye to your newfound girl gang–or, maybe you will plan where your next walk around the world will be together!

If you’re not extending your stay (which is highly recommended), you should book your flight out of Santiago-Rosalia de Castro Airport for after 3PM today.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

TRAIL MAP

 

 

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

Arrival into SpainArrive in Lugo before 4:00 PM on Day 1. The bus ride from Santiago de Compostela Airport to Lugo (SCQ) is around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Please ensure your international flight arrives on Day 1 in the morning or beforehand. Below, you will find transportation options from the airport to Lugo:

  • Bus

There are several buses departing directly from the Santiago de Compostela Airport to the center of Lugo every day.

You can also take the bus from Leon, Oviedo or Madrid to Lugo.

https://www.alsa.es/

  • Train

By train from Madrid to Lugo:

https://www.renfe.com/es/es

 

Group Rendezvous Point

  • Date: Day 1
  • Time: 5 PM
  • Location: Meet your guide and group in the lobby, Hotel Mendez Nuñez (Rua Da Raina. 1, CP 27001 Lugo).

If you plan on arriving early, Wild Women Expeditions recommends booking at the Hotel Mendez Nuñez.

Departure from Spain

  • You can arrange for a taxi and make your way to the airport (expect to pay around 20 Euros)
  • Your departing flight out of Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) can be scheduled mid to late afternoon.
  • The airport is 17.22 km (10.7 miles) from your hotel. If you wish to explore the city on your departure day, your luggage can be stored at the hotel for the day as needed.

 

Drop-Off Point:

  • Date: Day 9
  • Time: 1 PM
  • Location: Your Day 8 (last night’s) hotel –  San Francisco

If you plan on departing later, Wild Women Expeditions recommends booking at Praza Quintana (for the September departure) and San Francisco (for the October departure). This is where you’ll be staying on the last night of the trip. The hotel is located in the tourist center of Salou, very close to the beach and the shops, pubs and the lively promenade.Palacio Del Carmen is also recommended. It’s quite easy to find spontaneous accommodations in Santiago but most albergues and hostels will only permit you to stay one night.

You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:Megan and Zale | ****Now Boarding Travel SpecialistEmail: wildwomen@nowboarding.travel 

Note: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

 

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

 

  • Visa

Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter. Please check with a Spanish embassy or consulate.

 

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


Tips for the guide(s) have been included in the trip price.For trips where we have a bus driver, a gratuity of around 15 Euros per person (at the end of the trip), would be appropriate.It is customary to leave a tip to thank waiters and other service providers. At restaurants, bars and coffee shops, it is customary to leave 10% of the total amount of the bill; if the service was very good, you may wish to leave up to 15%.

  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (minimum of two women per room), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner. No single rooms are available on this adventure.

  • Private Upgrade

Subject to availability. If you have already indicated this preference on your registration form, you will be emailed a quote once availability is confirmed. If you are interested in this option, but didn’t indicate this on your form, please email us at support@wildwomenexpeditions.com with your request.

  • Camino Restrooms

There are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants along the Camino route that are available for toilet breaks. There aren’t many sections of the route where you will have to cross your legs for more than 5 km (3.11 miles). Most bars and cafes allow you to use their toilet providing you buy a coffee, pastry or beer from them.

Of course in times of emergency and if you feel comfortable you can do your thing on the route. Of course for men, this is much easier, but for women, you will need to find a bush. And if you are doing a number two, please do not put it in a plastic bag and leave it or hang it in a tree. If desperate times call for desperate measures, bury it and be kind. Do not leave evidence of your business and do it far enough off the track.

  • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

Some accommodations will have WiFi (although it is often just in the lobby / public areas) and others will not but you can find free WiFi in the bars and restaurants in the town or village that you are in. We generally stay at historic hotels, which often have thick walls so WIFI rarely works in the rooms.

In most of the albergues, hostels and hotels, or bars and restaurants that have WiFi, you will need to key in a password in order to get online. It will be posted up somewhere, or you will have to request it.

Using a Spanish SIM card from providers such as Yolgo, Orange, Movistar and Vodafone, is one of the easiest way to make calls. You can purchase SIM cards with pay-as-you-go credit which will cost you from around €10 euro. You can purchase very inexpensive phones locally, or you can bring your own unlocked phones.

  • Potable Water

Purified water is provided throughout the expedition.

On the Camino route you will find several public water fountains and taps to refill your water bottle. Signs will indicate “agua potable” if the water is monitored and safe to drink.

 

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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The accommodations on your Camino Way Adventure are beautifully restored farmhouses known as Casa Rurales, and family-run pazos (Galician manor homes and hotels). Most are located off The Way’s path and situated in small towns and villages, away from the large cities. Please note that each day will involve a group transfer/shuttle at the beginning and end of the day. All rooms have private bathrooms. The smaller inns have no phone or TV’s in the rooms.


The Way of Saint James, or better known as Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrimage trails leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. According to legend, the body of Saint James is interred in the crypt of the cathedral. People have been walking the way since the 9th century when the King of Asturias declared the remains to be those of the apostle.Today, nearly 300,000 pilgrims a year make this remarkable journey on foot, by bike, by horseback or in a wheelchair to the shrine.Movies:

 

Books:

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Currency exchange locations can be found in shopping malls or international airports. If you plan to exchange money in Portugal, be prepared to show your passport at the bank.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

Most people travel with an ATM card. Money machines are everywhere in Spain, but be sure you know your PIN number (not letters) before departure. It is one of the most convenient ways to get cash in Euros. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network.

  • Credit Cards

If you have a credit card, you can use the ATM to purchase Canadian currency directly. Your monthly balance usually shows the exchange rate you received on purchases made with the credit card.

  • Cash

This is the best way to pay for items in the communities we will be visiting.

  • Budgeting

Since lunches will be a separate expense, please take this into account when budgeting for this tour. The Menu del Dia or Menu del Peregrino is available in local cafes will cost between 9 and 12 Euros. These are three-course meals with wine and water included – awesome value and so filling!


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their Medical Travel Insurance or personal expense. 

Getting Fit

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill Training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.