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Camino de Santiago - Portuguese Way - Walking - Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Santiago de Compostela and explore the town

The tour starts with your arrival in Santiago de Compostela, where you spend one night before transit to Tui the next day to start your return hike! You can get to Santiago de Compostela from Madrid or any other major European city via train, bus or plane. The train from Madrid Chamartin station to Santiago takes about 7 hours, and you can see the land change as you go from the central area into Galicia (and adjust to the time change if needed). If you prefer a quicker transit, a flight from Madrid to Santiago is a short couple of hours. The Zephyr representative will meet your party at your Santiago accommodation either this night or the following morning, at your choice, introduce you to your walking tour, answer your questions, and provide you with route maps and notes.

Walk Details: Depending on arrival time, explore the old city center, the Cathedral and the Market.

About The Town: Santiago de Compostela is an ancient city with a particular magic that is best enjoyed by walking around its streets. Its historical center has been designated a World Heritage site, and it boasts dozens of churches, historic buildings and museums. The cathedral marks the city center, and is flanked by plazas, including the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, the Parador hotel featured in the movie, The Way. The roads at the cathedral’s entrance are full of bars, restaurants and shops. Daily, at 12pm, pilgrims gather for a not-to-be-missed mass in the Cathedral of St. James (San Tiago) where the priests burn incense in the famous censer (botafumeiro) that they swing over the congregation.

Day 2: Santiago - Tui - O Porrino/Redondela/Arcade

You will be taken from your accommodation in Santiago to the trail start in Tui. In Tui you may get your Camino "passport" that many pilgrims get stamped at each location on their walk. You must have a properly-stamped passport if you want to get the official Compostela certificate when you return to the pilgrim's office in Santiago.

Walk Details: 21-27 km. Tree-lined, dirt roads alternate with paved roads throughout the route. To provide the best hiking terrain and scenery possible, we provide an 11km transfer from Orbenlle to the northern outskirts of O Porriño to avoid hiking in a large industrial area. From there you will hike to Redondela or 6 km further to Arcade depending on your accommodations. You will see incredible views of the ocean and fishing villages along the route into Arcade (either this day or day 2).

About The Town: Tui, the city where your hike begins, is notable for its collection of historical sites. Central Tui is located on a hilltop overlooking the River Miño and the lush, green Portuguese border, the international bridge and a Portuguese fort city. The city center is surrounded by multiple defensive walls and towers constructed between 12th and 18th centuries. It has since been declared a historical and artistic heritage site. Other attractions include the Cathedral (where you can get the pilgrim’s passport), its cloisters, the Convento das Clarisas and the Diocesan Museum. There is also a long, modern boardwalk and park along the riverfront and the overlooking Paseo de Corredoira where locals congregrate an evening stroll. The port in Arcade offers beautiful, white sand beaches, access to the clear, cold ocean water, a boardwalk, cafes, restaurants and a spacious park along the waterfront.

Day 3: Redondela or Arcada - Pontevedra

Walk Details: 14-20 km. This stretch of the Camino mostly runs through the rural countryside and quaint villages. You will see incredible views of the ocean and fishing villages along the route into Arcada if you stayed in Redondela the previous night. You will walk on a combination of dirt paths, paved roads, and as you enter Pontevedra, city sidewalks.

About The Town: Pontevedra has some of the most beautiful historical and artistic monuments in Galicia, including the notable Igrexa da Peregrina, Basílica de Santa María a Maior, Igrexa de San Francisco and the ruins of Santo Domingo. Its squares, parks and sidewalks are witness to Pontevedran daily life, and a visit to them is highly recommended. Among the most remarkable examples are the Praza da Ferrería, Praza da Leña and Praza da Verdura.

Day 4: Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis

Walk Details: 21 km. This is the flattest stage of the Camino. It runs along dirt roads weaving among village homes and fields. You will walk through vineyards, over small brooks and see windmills turning, creating clean energy on the not too distant mountains.

About The Town: Caldas de Reis is a small but bustling town with a central square and park surrounding Santo Tomás e Palmeiras, the Catholic church. This area along Las Palmeras, appropriately named for the many palms lining the square, is a popular meeting place. It's a great spot to sit in one of the many bars, cafes and restaurants, kick your feet up and spend a leisurly afternoon people-watching. Alternatively, if you can't get enough peace and quiet, relax in the shade along the River Umia, sipping Spanish coffee and contemplating your journey.

Day 5: Caldas de Reis-Padrón

Walk Details: 17 km. Today, you will walk along dirt and paved paths leading from village to village. You will enjoy a mountain hike passing small waterfalls, mountain streams and green forests. As you near Padron you will pass several stone churches, cross the River Ulla and enter Caldas de Reis along a boardwalk next to the River Sar.

About The Town: Padron is a village known for its connection to Galicia’s ancient and modern history and famous for its spicy, roasted green peppers, Pimientos de Padrón. Padrón is also celebrated for its writers, Rosalía de Castro and Camilo José Cela. Monuments bearing witness to them can be found in the Paseo del Espolón. Rosalía de Castro’s former home has been transformed into a museum dedicated to her life and works. The botanical garden is a small but nice park to sit and relax under the tall trees. The three big religious attractions here are the Igrexa de Santiago (Church of Santiago, where legend says the boat carrying St. James' remains was tied), Capilla del Santiaguñio do Monte (Chapel on the Sacred Mount), small, stone chapel and Rocas del Santiaguñio (sacred rocks), a cluster of boulders, where rumor has it St. James preached his first sermon.

Day 6: Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

Walk Details: 22 km. Your last day on the Camino! Dirt paths alternate with paved roads. As you enter Santiago de Compostela, the Camino runs along urban roads and city sidewalks.

About The Town: As you enter Santiago de Compostela on foot, you can better appreciate the beautiful aspect it offers nestled amid the surrounding hills. Also enjoy the city streets bustling with shops and restaurants, as you get closer to the old city center.

Day 7: Santiago de Compostela and Departure

Walk Details: Explore Santiago again or for the first time! The Mass is daily at noon (and now you can attend as a true pilgrim!) Tours of the Cathedral roof are also fantastic, but check the schedule for times and reservations.

Day 8 - Optional Supplement: Overnight Trip to Cabo Fisterra

Details: The Camino de Santiago continues west exiting Santiago de Compostela and eventually ends on the rocky peninsula named Cape Fisterra, the Westernmost point in continental Europe. It was once thought to be the end of the world, and traditionally pilgrims would end their journey here by burning their clothes. Today, many still venture to this remote, quiet destination with picturesque sunsets and the constant sound of lapping waves. We offer a one-price package for private taxi drive to and from Fisterra, with overnight stay at the lovely lighthouse hotel on the rocky shore. The drive to Fisterra is a scenic two hours, and can be via the inland route or the coastal route. Selection of this supplement can be done on the registration form.

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