Walking the Camino de Santiago is unlike any other walking trip. Each section of this adventure is bursting with Spanish culture, historic cities, amazing food and lovely people!
Our women's Camino trip is perfect for those looking to share this special experience with like-minded women. From the moment you arrive you will be looked after by our two female leaders. We make sure your accomodation, walking experience, luggage transfers and all you need to make your trip comfortable is delivered at a high standard.
CAMINO TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
- The experience of walking an ancient and revered Pilgrimage
- Taking time out from our hectic lives to walk, think, communicate, experience, talk, share unexpected ancient buildings and history
- Receiving your Compostela
- Celebrating your amazing achievement in Santiago
Our Women Want Adventure experience will be an authentic Pilgrimage adventure. We will set off early each day, and on average we will walk 25kms daily. On our first day in Ponferrada, we will register as Pilgrims, collect our Scallop shell (which identifies us as Pilgrims) and our Credencial del Peregrino (which must be stamped at least daily to identify us as valid Pilgrims).
- Trip Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
- Grade: Moderate (long walking distances and hills)
- Start location: Hotel Temple Ponferrada
- Meeting date: Thursday 17th September 2020
- Meeting place: Ponferrada Avenida Portugal 2. In the heart of Ponferrada, Hotel Temple Ponferrada is close to Castillo de los Templarios and Museo de la Radio. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Basilica de la Encina and Museo del Bierzo
- Finish date: Monday 28th September 2020
- Finish location: Santiago
- Accommodation: Single supplement (6 nights) - Twin share (3 nights) - Group share (2 nights)
- Included: All meals and accommodation itemised in itinerary
- Group size: Ten women and two female leaders
- Total distance: 170km
- Climate/Country: Temperatures range in September is 11 – 25 degrees C
The Camino de Santiago is known in English as the Way of Saint James. It is a prilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in north western Spain, where legend has it that the remains of Saint James are buried. For over a thousand years pilgrims have followed its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in walking “The Way”. For the modern day Pilgrim walking offers the chance to slow down from the hectic pace of modern life, and revert to a gentler, more reflective rhythm.
Walking often gives rise to insights, as distractions are less and you have time to explore and notice the landscapes in more detail. Walking is also an intimate activity, and conversation tends to flow easily with any walking companions.
The camaraderie amongst walkers is many people’s favourite experience of their Camino, not to mention the simplicity of the daily routines and leaving behind outside worries.
In fact, your new worries just become your potential blisters on your feet!
Note: Best airport to fly into is Madrid. Fly out from Santiago.
* All prices are per person and listed in Australian Dollars (AUD). All prices shown are GST inclusive where applicable.
Tonight we come together as a group for a welcome dinner and trip briefing. Your leaders will run you through the following days itinerary, starting times and what to expect. Get to know your fellow women walkers on this day and rest in your own room before walking the following day. In addition we will collect our Credencial. In order to receive your Compostela at Santiago you must have your Credencial stamped at least twice a day. Stamps are available at churches, coffee shops and at our accommodation.
Meeting Accommodation: Hotel Temple Ponferrada
Address: Avenida Portugal, 2, 24400 Ponferrada, Spain
Meeting time: 5pm in the hotel lobby
How to Get to Ponferrada from Madrid: The average journey time between Madrid and Ponferrada is 4 hours and 44 minutes and the fastest journey time is 4 hours and 3 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 3 trains per day travelling from Madrid to Ponferrada and many buses. The first train from Madrid to Ponferrada departs at 10:15am. The last train from Madrid to Ponferrada departs at 17:30. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services. Travel time is about 4 1/2 Hours.
Today we will leave Ponferrada early to travel to Villafrance del Bierzo by taxi (about 25km). This first day is very beautiful, with stunning views along the Valcarce valley, but quite a strenuous walk, particularly at the end, which is very steep, so the group will split according to preference. Those who want a more strenuous 28.9 km uphill walk will start from Villafranca. Those who would prefer a shorter 19km walk will meet the group at Trabadello, and those who want just a short walk of 10km will start at Ruitelan. We have options for everyone with the support of our transport car.
Walking: From Villafranca del Bierzo to OCebreiro
Distance: Up to 28.9km. However, you can choose a shorter option.
Accommodation: As Miguias do Cebreiro
Don Elias, the priest who invented the famous yellow arrow which guides us daily on our Pilgrimage comes from this ancient Galician hamlet. Be sure you take a stroll around to see the Pallozas which are small circular houses with thatched of slated roofs. You will think you are in Ireland! That is because the Galicians and the Irish share a past Celtish history.
We start our walk today on a delightful forest track, which winds around the mountain. Prepare yourselves for stunning views or mist and rain, as we are at the highest point of the Camino. Certainly have your raincoat at the top of your pack!
We will pass through many tiny hamlets on our way down the mountain today, and see farmers following ancient traditions as you walk past their barns.
Walking: From OCebreiro to Triacastella
Accommodation: Complex Xacabeo Albergue
Today we will have a climb to Alto Riocabo at the beginning of the day followed by a mainly downhill walk on natural pathways. Look out for the rather unusual Scallop motive at the rest area just 2km out of Triacastela.
With its Celtic origins Sarria was a major medieval centre. The ancient atmosphere can still be felt in the Old Quarterof Sarria which has some lovely churches, shops and taverns to visit . To get there walk from your accommodation straight across the river, past the outdoor shop, and up the steps.
Walking: Triacastela to Sarria
Distance: 18.7 km
Accommodation: Hotel Alfonso
The majority of todays walk is on lovely woodland paths and gravel tracks with plenty of pretty little hamlets and several cafes on the way.
You will notice an increase in Pilgrims today because we are now only 100 km from Santiago. You will see the 100km marker about 10km along our walk today. You might like to take a photo of yourself at this marker so keep a lookout for it. (The minimum distance one can walk to receive a Compostela is 100km).
Walking: Sarria to Portomarin
Distance: 22.7 km
Accommodation: Casona da Ponte
In Portomarin we overlook the river in our brand new accommodation. Tonight we will sample the local specialty Pulpo.
This is a day of varied terrain as we start climbing up a peaceful woodland path. At Castromeier we will pause to view the ruins of an ancient 4th Century Roman town and at Airexe we will pass by a lovely 17th Century wayside cross in the ancient hamlet of Lameiro.
Tonight we are staying at a tiny hamlet called Portos. Our accommodation only holds 12 people, so husband and wife Pilar and Jesus are turning the whole hostel over to us. You will be staying in bunk beds tonight, so you will need to do paper rock scissors to decide who gets the top bunks. A Pasa has two bunk rooms: one bunk room with 8 beds and a share bathroom: one room with 4 beds and a share bathroom.
Again we will be served delicious local food for dinner and breakfast.
Walking: Portomarin to Portos
Accommodation: A Pasa de Formiga (in English... the Ants Way). Tonight we are staying at a tiny hamlet called Portos. Our accommodation only holds 12 people so the owners, husband and wife Pilar and Jesus are turning the whole hostel over to us. You will be staying in bunk beds tonight so you will need to do �paper rock scissors to decide who gets the top bunks!
Before leaving the Ants Way at Portos we will have an early breakfast before heading to Vilar de Donas. This is a national monument and the ancient seat of the Knights of Santiago. The churchs origins go back the formation of a nunnery here in the 10th Century and the stone effigies and unique frescoes are hauntingly expressive.
On our return and a short coffee break we will continue on through the busy town of Palas de Rei. You may wish to sample the local cheese, called Ulloa . Continue on the path to the town of Melide. Be sure to visit the church and museum in the the ancient centre of town before continuing to our accommodation at A Lua do Camino, which has a swimming pool and pool table, so pack your swimmers!
Walking: Portos to Melide
Distance: 19km plus 5km early morning side trip to Vilar de Donas
Accommodation: A Lua do Camino
We are only walking 10km today to this idyllic location. Manolo the owner only built this pension last year and it is in a lovely location right beside the River Iso. You can soak your feet and legs in the cool stream when you arrive (great for recovery of tired and aching feet and legs!) and then relax in the sun chairs outside the Pension.
If you are feeling energetic you may like to take a 2km walk up the hill to Arzua which is known for its local cheeses. The noisy central square has a variety of bars, cafes and restaurants and the modern parish church is dedicated to St James with images of him as both Moorslayer and pilgrim.
Walking: Melide to Ribadiso
Accommodation: Pension Ribadiso
Over half of this stage is on natural pathways with good shade offered by the ubiquitous eucalyptus. We start with a steep climb up into Arzua and end with a gentle climb around the Alto de Santa Irene. In between we have a largely level path with just three shallow river valleys.
Walking: Ribadiso to O Pedrouzo
Accommodation: Pension 23
The first part of this final stage is through the dense and ever-present eucalyptus. Make the most of their shade and the peace they exude. As we get nearer the city, asphalt and crowds begin to take over. Try to keep together for this last section so we can walk in to the Cathedral together.
What a great feeling to be there! We will queue to get our Compostela (Certificate of Completion), visit the square, take photos and have a celebration drink at Costa Vella followed by dinner.
Walking: O Pedrouzo to Santiago
Accommodation: Denike B&B
Accommodation: Denike B & B
After a late start and buffet breakfast we will attend Midday Mass. After that there is time to explore the city, visit the pilgrim museum, take a taxi of bus to Finistere (the end of the earth), go shopping for gifts or have an afternoon siesta. We will have our farewell dinner in the evening.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast
End of the tour
Own transport to Santiago Airport
Walking distance: none...Adios!!!
- 11 Breakfasts, 2 lunches and 11 dinners
- 11 nights accommodation - single supplement (6 nights), twin share (3 nights) and group pilgrim share (2 nights)
- Two female Women Want Adventure leaders
- Daily maps and trail information
- First aid
- Women Want Adventure Ice-breaker t-shirt
- Pilgrim passport
- Baggage transfer between hotels
- Private transport car
- Items of personal nature, such as laundry and postage
- Transport of ‘additional’ larger luggage to hotels (roughly 10E)
- Day packs
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance (compulsory) you will need to provide your policy number to us prior to departure
- Telephone charges back home
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Additional activities
Trips with Women Want Adventure allow you to experience the Camino Trail close up, not from the windows of a tour bus. You will travel on foot with the option to walk half days if needed.
Walking around villages, farms and towns is an integral element of this trip. You’ll need to be active and happy to tackle stairs, hills and longer walking distances of up to 7 hours. But there’s no need to carry your main luggage on this trip– send it ahead by our private car and carry just a daypack with you.
There will be dirt trails, lots of forested paths, quiet roads and some busy roads. The distances are long, however it is easy walking. Women should feel comfortable walking distances of up to 25km.
If you do not exercise regularly, then you should undertake a program of walking to prepare and get the most out of your trip. Start by doing walks of two to three hours from about three to six months before your trip begins.
If you have hiking boots, wear them in so they are comfortable and will not cause you blisters. Use the day pack you will wear on the Camino trail in your practice walks and enjoy your pre-training with friends.
I'm so glad I said YES to this experience.
Incredible experience to walk the Camino Trail with a group of fun, supportive women. The food is incredible, the company fabulous and the trails walked filled with culture and stories.
Testimonial - Kate
Ladies... this opportunity to guide such an amazing group of women is something I will never forget. The many chats and laughs on the trail will be cherished! I had such a fabulous time with all the women. We saw so much and covered so much ground from beautiful paddocks to towns and churches. If you're thinking about doing this trip... it's a must!
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