The Way to Santiago: French Route from Leon
“Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace el camino al andar ”A.Machado
Pack your backpack and leave with us on this splendid French Way to Santiago itinerary from Leon lasting 15 days and 14 nights. Since the Middle Ages this has been the most popular pilgrimage in Europe and has actively contributed to the formation of the Spanish and European identity. We propose the Camino to Santiago starting from the town of Leon . We start from Leon, “the blue city” so called because of the stained glass windows of its celebrated cathedral. The town has three architectural masterpieces belonging to three different styles: the Romanesque church of San Isidoro, the imposing Gothic cathedral and the Renaissance church of San Marcos. This way to Santiago has the first six stages are in the Castilla y León region , the rest in the Galicia region. You cross the most varied landscapes: from the mesetas of Castilla y Leon, a huge plateau of wheat fields that puts the pilgrim's resistance to the test. To the green forests of Galicia which, thanks to this, is called the “green lung” of Spain. But also many towns full of life such as Leon, Astorga, Ponferrada and of course Santiago. One great destination for each itinerary: Santiago de Compostela. So called because it arose in a "field of stars" (= compostela in Spanish), the city has an open and welcoming vocation. It is always worth stopping in the main square to admire the arrival of pilgrims but in 2021 there is one more reason. In fact, 2021 is the year of the Compostela Jubilee and the cathedral will remain open as a sign of plenary indulgence. The way to Santiago from Leon is ideal for those who have two weeks free, it lasts about 300 km so you need a good physical training and a good spirit of adaptation. Be prepared to return different from how you started because it is a journey mainly within yourself. Why participate?
Free departures, minimum 2 participants.
Departure from Italy to Santiago or Madrid, by scheduled flight (cost of the ticket not included in the participation fee for the trip on request). Arrival, meeting with the local driver and transfer to Leon. Overnight.
Leave the pilgrim the city of León and continue his journey following the Camino de Santiago towards Trobajo del Camino, with a hermit dedicated to the Apostle Martyr, after this small town comes the Vírgen del Camino, where a popular legend tells that in 1506 the Virgin appeared to a shepherd asking her to build a sanctuary. Currently there is one built in 1961. The route then continues until you reach Valverde de la Vírgen, where no vestiges of the medieval Way remain.
The next town for which the itinerary crosses is San Miguel del Camino, where there was a hotel for pilgrims in the 12th century. In the archaeological museum of León there is an image of the Holy Apostle from the 15th century that belonged to this institution. After leaving this municipality, the itinerary leads us to the last point of the nineteenth stage, Villadangos del Páramo, a town of Roman origin.
In 1111 the battle between Queen Doña Urraca of León and Alfonso I of Aragon, her husband, took place here. There was also a hospital here during the Middle Ages. The pilgrim can take a quiet walk through its streets and enter the parish church to pray, where an image of the Apostle Santiago from the 18th century is preserved.
The itinerary begins with another stop that leads first to San Martín del Camino where the land of an old hotel is preserved. Then the journey continues to Hospital de Órbigo, a place where some famous tournaments organized by Suero de Quiñónez were held in 1434 in which he challenged numerous European knights. The walker discovers here a church, of San Juan (San Giovanni), built by the ancient Caballeros Hospitalarios. After leaving this epic locality, the Way crosses Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias and leads the walker to San Justo de la Vega, where there is a parish church which preserves a sculpture of San Justo (San Giusto) from the 16th century, and an altarpiece of altar of the XVII century. Finally, the pilgrim arrives at the end of his twentieth day on the Camino de Santiago when he reaches the episcopal town of Astorga, known to the Romans as Astúrica Augusta. In this historic and religious city, which had up to 25 hotels, the French and La Plata itineraries converge. The city is presided over by its splendid Gothic cathedral, S.XV, with a Baroque facade and Renaissance elements.
It also has a façade of San Giacomo and inside it preserves an altarpiece by Becerra from the 16th century. In Astorga they find the Episcopal Palace or Gaudí Palace, which houses the Museo de los Caminos, which exhibits objects from all the churches related to the Camino de Santiago. The pilgrim can also admire the Roman and medieval walls, the Roman Ergástula and the bulwarks.
Breakfast. A little while we pass near Castrillo de Polvazares, a town that has an impressive architectural complex that we suggest you stop. In El Ganso where in 1142 there was a hotel and a monastery. A couple of km. further on are the ruins of a gold mining exploitation of the Romans. Arrival in Rabanal del Camino. In the entrance appears a building that in medieval times was Albergo dei Pellegrini. Arrival in Foncebadón, an enclave of great importance during the Middle Ages, where there was also a council in the 10th century.
Breakfast. A few kilometers away, on a peak that the Romans dedicated to Mercury, stands the Cruz de Hierro, a hill of stones with an iron cross nailed to a pole at the top. It is traditional to deposit here a stone brought from the place of origin of the walker. We pass Manjarin and arrive in El Acebo where its houses surprise, with external staircase and slate roof. We continue to the beautiful location of Molinaseca. Its emblazoned houses, and with towers, among which the one that Queen Doña Urraca lived is told. Finally we arrive in Ponferrada. Name that comes from the iron bridge ordered to build for the bishop for the pilgrims' pass. In the 11th and 14th centuries, the Templar castle was built. Overnight.
Breakfast. We leave for Columbrianos where the Roman road is preserved. After crossing Fuentesnuevas, Camponayara and Cacabelos, an important place in the Middle Ages, we will arrive at Villafranca del Bierzo, a city founded in the 11th century and where the Order of Cluny had a notable presence. The Collegiate Church of Santa María, Calle del Agua, full of palaces and ancestors with coats of arms, deserves particular attention. The Castle-palace of the Marquises is also worth a visit. Overnight.
Breakfast. The route begins by first crossing Pereje, a town with a medieval aspect, to then enter Trabadelo. Then the journey continues to Vega de Valcarcel, a town that was born near the castles of Sarracín. We are already ascending to enter the Galician lands through Lugo. O’Cebreiro where there are still Celtic houses, before the arrival of the Romans, where animals and people lived together to keep warm in a very mountainous area. There is also a hospital for pilgrims (9th century) which during the Middle Ages was a refuge from snow and wolves. Overnight.
Breakfast. Start the day by descending with beautiful views over the mountainous area. We pass by Padornelo where the order of San Juan de Jerusalen was born, created to welcome the pilgrim. It briefly ascends again to arrive at the highest point of the Way in this path. We continued downhill to Triacastela. Overnight.
Breakfast. At a little later, after Triacastella, there are two possibilities. We suggest via San Xil which will take us through some of the most beautiful woods of the whole trip. Overnight.
Breakfast. Start the day by crossing Barbadelo. In this village you must stop in front of the church of Santiago declared a National Historic Monument. The following town that appears before the eyes of the walker is Rente, followed by Mercado de Serra, a humble village where Jews usually flocked to negotiate and supply goods to pilgrims. The itinerary continues to Rente, Brea, Ferreiros, Rozas and Vilachá, a rural village of peasants where the ruins of the Loio Monastery, cradle of the Knights of the Order of Santiago, are preserved. The hermit of Santa María di Loio emerges in this town with walls in the Visigothic style. We arrive in Potomarín, an old village buried by the water after the construction of the dam. Overnight.
Breakfast. The pilgrim returns to the Way, which crosses Gonzar, Castromayor, Hospital da Cruz, Ventas de Narón, Lameiros, where you can stop to visit the Chapel of San Marco and admire a beautiful transept. The itinerary advances and enters Ligonde, Ebbe, Albergo, Portos, Lastedo and Valos before reaching Palas de Rei, the destination of today's stage. Overnight.
Breakfast. We enter the province of A Coruna. Crossing San Xulián, Pontecampaña, Casanova, Coto, Leboreiro, which preserves an ancient Roman road; Furelos, Melide (where it is said that you eat the best 'Galician' octopus in the world). Here the French Way joins with that of the North coming from Oviedo. The journey continues via Carballal, Ponte das Penas, Raido, Bonete, Castaneda, Ribadiso, and after the pilgrim reaches the end of the stage, Arzúa. Overnight.
After breakfast, continue the journey through Las Barrosas, where you can visit the characteristic capilla de San Lázaro, Calzada, Calle, Salceda Brea and Santa Irene, where there is the homonymous hermitage dedicated to the Portuguese martyr with a Baroque source of healing water. The route ends with the crossing of A Rua and finally Pedrouzo, where you can visit the baroque parish dating back to 1718 which houses the statue of the Madonna delle Nevi, patron saint of the city.
After breakfast, we set out for the last leg of the journey. You pass through the centers of Burgo, Arca, San Anton, Amenal, San Paio and Lavacolla, a town where pilgrims in ancient times used to wash and change before entering the city of Compostela. Subsequently, the itinerary crosses Villamalor, San Marcos and Monte do Gozo, the first hill from where the landscape extends up to Santiago and the towers of the Cathedral. Its name (Monte della Gioia) derives from the emotion felt by pilgrims upon seeing the finish line. We cross the last town before the finish line, San Lazaro, and then finally reach Santiago de Compostela. The city owes its name to the Apostle Santiago, whose remains were found here in the 9th century. This discovery quickly led the place to become the most important pilgrimage point in Europe. The whole city grew up in the shadow of the Cathedral erected in the place where it was found. We will walk through its wonderful historic center to the beautiful Obradoiro square. Once here, tradition has it that pilgrims ask for three wishes from the statue of the seated Apostle, in the Portico de Gloria. Behind the same column is the statue of Maestro Matteo (the builder) to whom tradition wants three "heads" to be given to transmit his knowledge and talent. Later we will go to the crypt where the sepulcher of Santiago is kept and finally we will be able to embrace the statue of the Saint.
Breakfast and free transfer to the airport. Departure for Italy, by scheduled flight (cost of the ticket not included in the travel participation fee). Arrival and end of the trip.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Categoria hotel Basic
|Categoria hotel Charme
|From 1 May 2021 to 31 December 2021
(B / L / D): B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = Dinner
|Half board supplement:
Basic hotel category
Charme hotel category
** To participate in this trip you need an identity card valid for expatriation with 6 months of residual validity.
for the 'basic' category they will be small 1 * or 2 * hotels, simple and basic hostels or guesthouses, but always in double rooms with private bathroom and breakfast with coffee / infusion, pastry and fruit juice. In the 'charme' category there are lovely farmhouses, old farmhouses or renovated and very welcoming country houses. In these structures, breakfast will be abundant with the addition of eggs or cold cuts, yoghurt and fruit … you have to start the morning with energy! In Santiago, in both categories, there will be a good 4 * hotel, a reward for the fatigue faced during the Camino.
*** Sometimes the accommodations provided are a short distance from the final point of the stage: just call the hotel and in a few minutes a car will come to pick you up and the next morning will bring you back to the same point for the continuation of the walk.
*** Upon arrival you will be given the credential. Card that, along the Way, you will have to stamp (at least twice a day) in any bar, shop, authorized accommodation … you will find them everywhere. After that you have to go to the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim's Office to prove that you have done at least 100 km and get the Compostela.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 790 - Voli esclusi
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1,180 - Voli esclusi
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
from € 660 - Voli esclusi