16 APR - 28 APR
About This Tour
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the St. James Way, is a network of pilgrim trails through northwest Spain to the Shrine of St. James the Great in Santiago de Compostela. While many people walk the Way for a personal spiritual journey, the Camino is also popular with walkers, hikers, and cyclists for its bucolic scenery. It is considered one of the great walking trails in the world, and gained even more notice after the release of the 2010 movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. We invite you to “Walk This Way” from the town of Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, roughly 70 miles traversed over several days.
This adventure begins in the country’s capital, Madrid, a vibrant hub of many cultures. After visiting Toledo and El Escorial, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we head to the province of Galicia, where we begin our walk on the Camino, ending on the Atlantic coast. You don’t need to be an athlete, or even a pilgrim, to “Walk This Way,” just reasonably active and ready for an incredible experience in nature.
- Old Imperial City of Toledo *
- El Escorial, historical residence of the King of Spain *
- St. James Way from Sarria to Santiago
- Old Town of Santiago de Compostela *
- Memories of the walk of a lifetime * UNESCO World Heritage Sites
LEAVE HOME BOUND FOR MADRID
Take an overnight flight to Madrid, Spain, arriving by mid-day tomorrow. Use the airport code MAD when searching for this flight. You will be returning from Santiago de Compostela which has SCQ as its airport code. We encourage you to consider arriving one day early so that you will be rested for the beginning of the tour. We can easily arrange an additional night for you at our Madrid hotel. (Meals Aloft)
ARRIVE IN MADRID / WELCOME DINNER
Your flight arrives in Madrid, Spain. Take a taxi from the airport to our centrally located hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore the area around our hotel. The group meets for the first time in the hotel for introductions at the cocktail hour followed by a Welcome Dinner. (Dinner included)
Enjoy a half-day guided city tour covering the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s most animated square, Plaza de Toros, Plaza Major, built by King Philip IV in the 17c, and Gran Via, Madrid’s main thoroughfare. We complete our sightseeing with a visit to the Prado, one of the world’s finest art museums. The afternoon and evening are at leisure to continue exploring on your own. Overnight in Madrid. (Breakfast / Dinner)
Today visit the fortified city of Toledo, dating from Roman times. Set above the river Tagus, Toledo has a dramatic location. Originally Roman, the city reached its peak in the 16 century when it hosted the court of Emperor Charles V of Bourbon, which made it the capital of the new kingdom of Spain. Although losing that honor when Philip II made Madrid the capital in 1561, Toledo remained the most important ecclesiastical city in Spain. It was around that time that the painter El Greco moved to the area in search of commissions, many of which can still be seen. Enjoy a walking tour of the city, including entrance to the cathedral sacristy, location of many of El Greco’s works. Returning to our Madrid hotel, enjoy dinner together and a free evening. (Breakfast / Dinner)
EL ESCORIAL / SARRIA
Departing Madrid to the north-west, we visit the Palace/Monastery of El Escorial, built by Philip II and the location of the pantheon of many Spanish monarchs. Then we continue to the town of Sarria in the region of Galicia, where our journey on the Camino will begin tomorrow. Once we check in at our hotel, the rest of the day is free, with dinner provided at our hotel tonight. (Breakfast / Dinner)
ST. JAMES WAY TO PORTOMARIN
Today’s walk leads from Sarria to Portomarin, a distance of 14 miles. The first 7 miles climbs gradually in altitude about 230 yards, while the second part largely descends. For those who do not feel confident to walk this distance, transportation will be available which will avoid the incline of the first half of the walk. Upon arrival at our hotel, you will have time to freshen up before dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner)
ONWARD TO PALAS DE REI
In 1960, the most historic buildings of Portomarin were moved brick by brick to a new location when Spain dammed up the Mino River to create a reservoir. Will our feet feel like bricks today as we walk from Portomarin to Palas de Rei? We cover about 15.5 miles, with the terrain climbing steadily for the first 10 miles and gaining about 350 yards in altitude before descending to Palas de Rei. For those who do not want to walk the full distance, transport will be available after 10.5 miles at Airexe, and you can ride the final 5 miles. (Breakfast / Dinner)
ONWARD TO ARZUA
Palas de Rei retains many of the archaeological remains (dolmens and forts) from a remote settlement. According to tradition, the city owes its name “Pallatium regis” to the palace of the Visigothic king Witiza, who reigned between 702 and 710. The walk from Palas de Rei to Arzuà is approximately 18 miles, much of it descending. Taxi service is available for those who wish. Once again, we will have dinner at our hotel, so those with tired feet don’t have to venture out again. (Breakfast / Dinner)
ONWARD TO O PEDROUZO
The rural community of Arzua has more cows than people, as you will see as we trek out of town. Our walk today takes us about 11 miles in total over mostly flat trails from Arzuà. As we approach the village of O Pedrouzo, the trail begins a slight descent. We have the evening free to relax and enjoy dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast / Dinner)
FINAL WALK TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELO
This is our last day walking the Camino! Today’s 12-mile walk has a bit of incline at roughly the halfway point, then bypasses Santiago Airport before descending into Santiago de Compostelo. Our Camino finishes at the pilgrim’s office, next to the cathedral. Congratulations! You have walked the final 115km of The Way! Visit the cathedral, and see the tomb of Santiago himself, St. James the Greater. (Pilgrims’ Mass at the cathedral at 19.30). Then walk a short distance to our 5* hotel for dinner, drinks, and a great sense of satisfaction. (Breakfast / Dinner)
Enjoy an excursion by private motor coach to Cape Finisterre, the westernmost point on the Galician coast and thought by the Romans to mark the end of the world. Traditionally this has been the final stop for pilgrims on the Camino, and some have been known to symbolically burn their walking boots here. Return to Santiago for some free time before dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast / Dinner)
Enjoy an excursion today to the coastal city of La Coruna, which enjoys a magnificent site on a promontory jutting into the sea. Visit the Tower of Hercules, a second-century Roman lighthouse, and enjoy a seafood lunch with wine in a local restaurant. Return to Santiago for some free time before our farewell dinner together. (All Meals)
Tour services conclude after breakfast at the hotel this morning. Book a flight to depart at any convenient time today from the Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ). We will assist in organizing your taxi transfer (not included). If you wish to extend your stay in Santiago, we can easily make hotel arrangements for you. (Breakfast)
Entry Requirements - For entry into Spain, U.S. and Canadian citizens need only present a passport which is valid 3 months beyond your intended stay.
Immunizations and Health - No immunizations are currently required for travel to Spain, but it is wise to have your inoculations up-to-date. Is your tetanus booster current?
Exit Requirements - There is currently no separate departure tax required of visitors leaving Spain other than that included with the cost of your airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to SpainOn this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Madrid (airport code MAD), and returning from Santiago de Compostela (SCQ). We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who knows the best flights to get you to and from Spain.
You will need to arrive in Madrid by 4:00 pm on April 17, 2018. Depart at your convenience from Santiago de Compostela on April 28, 2018.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
What to BringIn late April, the weather in Madrid and Santiago del Compostela, as well as the towns along St. James Way, will still be springtime cool. Daily temperatures will range from a low of 45 degrees at night to a high of 60 to 65 degrees during the day. The tour is informal and will involve a lot of walking, so you will want to pack comfortable, casual clothing. Try to pack light and bring only one piece of luggage plus your carry-on. Create mix and match outfits, and think about layering! Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home.
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required.
- Nice casual wear for dinners.
- Lightweight long pants & long-sleeved shirts for sun protection. We don’t recommend jeans, as they take forever to dry if they get wet.
- Thermal undershirts for layering.
- Socks, underwear for 10 days.
- Sweater or lightweight jacket for cool evenings.
- Personal toiletries, and bug repellent
- Anti-diarrheal medication (just in case).
- Comfortable, waterproof walking boots.
- Rain jacket / umbrella.
- Gloves / scarf / wool hat in case of a cold snap.
- Sunscreen and broad-brimmed sun hat. We are outdoors for many hours each day, and you can get burned even on a cloudy day.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- Electrical Adapter. Spain’s electricity supply comes as 220V/50Hz. Outlets require two round pins. See example here.
- A good book for your flights.
Money MattersThe monetary unit in both Spain is the standardized Euro (EUR). Notes are issued in the following denominations: €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10, and €5. There are €2 and €1 coins, plus fractions (there are 100 cents in one Euro). ATMs are widely available. Major credit cards also work in most ATMs for cash withdrawals, and they are accepted at most restaurants, hotels, shops and tourist attractions. We will offer a group tip to guides and drivers, and more details will be provided before departure. Click here to find the most up-to-date exchange rate.
The Toto SpiritToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted
- eager to try new things & test limits
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
Tour prices per personPrice: $3,800 per person in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $600 additional, for a total tour price of $4,400.
(Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance: $3,200 double / $3,800 single
Remaining Balance Due: January 25, 2018 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments, and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 11 nights hotel accommodations; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners; other meals as listed in the itinerary; ground transportation in climate controlled motorcoach; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary. This is a fully escorted tour, with guides added during city tours.
Not Included: International airfare to Madrid (MAD) and returning from Santiago del Compostela (SCQ); hotel transfers; ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
Click hotel name to read description
- Madrid (3 nights): Hotel Ayre Gran Colon
- Sarria (1 night): Hotel Alfonso IX
- St. James Way (4 nights): Pensions with private facilities in the towns of Portomarin, Palas de Re, Arzua, and O Pedruouzo. These are simple lodgings designed to provide basic creature comforts to pilgrims, so set your expectations accordingly.
- Santiago (3 nights): Parador Hostel dos Reyes Catolicos