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Conquer the Camino Way for St Michael’s Hospice Hereford

19th Oct 2024 - 26th Oct 2024

8 days/Spain /Moderate to Challenging

Overview

St Michael’s Hospice will explore the eighth and final section of the French Way, the most traditional and best known of all the pilgrims’ ways to Santiago de Compostela. During the 5-day walk they will traverse the hilly landscapes of Galicia, passing numerous points of cultural and historical interest along the way.

NB. Bookings on this trip are now subject to availability and flight surcharges.

This trek is graded moderate to challenging. You will be trekking long distances over varying terrain which includes some uphill sections, in varying weather conditions. You will stay in basic hotels and guesthouses.

The trek is accompanied by local professional English-speaking guides who have an excellent knowledge of hiking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be supported by a Different Travel Company UK tour manager.

This trek is graded moderate to challenging. You will be trekking long distances over varying terrain which includes some uphill sections, in varying weather conditions. You will stay in basic hotels and guesthouses.

You will be walking for many hours and sometimes on steep gradients. It is essential that you are fit enough to trek for at least 7-8 hours at a time for multiple consecutive days. Regular breaks are taken, but long days of walking are inevitable. You cannot be too fit for this challenge so you should train well before your departure.

The terrain will vary throughout the 5 days but in general you will trek all day along country roads, compact dirt and stone footpaths, forest tracks, gravel trails, paved streets and through woods and meadows with some uphill/downhill paths. Each day you will experience undulating terrain, so it is important that your training includes hill walking and trekking up and down gradients.

Breakfast and evening meals will be taken in a communal dining room at the accommodation or at local restaurants. You will enjoy hearty, delicious Spanish meals that will keep your energy levels high for each day’s trek. You will eat packed lunches which you will carry yourself each day or stop in small local restaurants. Please inform us in advance if you have any dietary requirements or preferences.

You will stay in basic hotels and simple guesthouses on a twin or triple-share basis. Bathrooms will generally be private with showers and flushing toilets, but there may occasionally be shared facilities.

You must be aged 18+ to join this trek. It may be possible for you to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old but you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit.

An ideal candidate is someone who is open-minded, positive, flexible and enjoys the challenges of the great outdoors. Adventure travel involves elements of the unexpected so do not expect the standards to be the same as you are used to at home. Remote areas are sometimes unpredictable (be it because of group pace, weather conditions etc.) and itineraries may be altered to allow for this. You must also be willing to train hard for this challenge!

If you do not already regularly exercise you should aim to start training (including plenty of hills) as early as possible. The best training is hill walking, which will prepare you for the type of terrain you will experience. Other activities which can complement hill walking include running, cycling, gym workouts, boot camps etc. Building up your core and leg muscle strength is important so exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches will really enhance your training. These exercises can be done at home – no gym needed. You must take your training seriously and arrive as fit as you can be, so you get the most out of this challenge.

 

Highlights for me would have to be the beautiful countryside, the reflective moment the group shared on the Mount of Joy, the arrival in Santiago, and the Mass in the cathedral with the famous incense burner. How lucky were we to see that?Previous participant, April 2023

Itinerary

St Michael’s Hospice Hereford Camino de Santiago Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday 19 October 2024):

UK to Sarria
Fly from the UK to either Santiago, La Coruna, Vigo, or Porto (tbc). On arrival transfer to spend your first night at a hotel in Sarria and have dinner and a briefing on the trek to come.
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 (Sunday 20 October 2024):

Sarria – Portomarin
After a hearty breakfast we start our walk today, through shady oak woods, pretty villages and on quiet country roads. The village of Barbedelo has a beautiful Romanesque church, the Church of Santiago, which features pictorials of fantastic birds, Daniel between two lions and the three wise men before Herod. The art displayed here represents the importance of resurrection and new beginnings.  When we finally arrive in Portomarin, there is time to relax at the hotel and enjoy the numerous terraces of the main plaza and learn about the history of the area.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: approx. 6 hours / 22km
Altitude gain/loss: +230m / -300m

Day 3 (Monday 21 October 2024):

Portomarin – Palace do Rei
Leaving the village, the Camino crosses the River Miño and climbs steadily uphill. On our way, we cross Gonzar and the Romanesque Church of Santa María Castromaior, and then stop a moment to enjoy the peace and calm of the Galician Cemetery in Ligonde. We continue on to Eirexe and its stunning Romanesque church featuring a sculpture of Daniel, as well as Santiago de Peregrino. Our overnight stop is in Palace do Rei, a small and pretty town.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: approx. 6.5 hours / 25km
Altitude gain/loss: +340m / -140m

Day 4 (Tuesday 22 October 2024):

Palace do Rei – Arzua 
Today, the Camino continues slightly downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the charming village of Leboreiro. At Melide there is a chance to stop in one of the many restaurants to try some local specialties. Later today, the Camino follows a forest track and crosses several streams bringing us to the village of Boente, with its church of Santiago. Then we pass through the medieval village of Ribadiso, and finally reach Arzùa. This small town has 2 churches that can be visited, Santa María and La Magdalena. It has a population of around 7000 and is famous for its creamy cheese, quiexo.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: approx. 7 hours / 29km
Altitude gain/loss: +140m / -340m

Day 5 (Wednesday 23 October 2024):

Arzua – Rua Opino 
Today’s shaded section of the Camino passes through woods, along streams and through sleepy villages. We take our time and visit the chapel of Santa Irena, with its unique statues of Santiago. The rest of the way to Rua Opino is on a good and quiet country road. Rua is one of the less crowded stopping points before Santiago de Compostela.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: approx. 5.5 hours / 18km
Altitude gain/loss: +50m / -130m

Day 6 (Thursday 24 October 2024):

Rua Opino – Santiago de Compostela 
The final stage today, firstly to Lavacolla, where pilgrims traditionally washed in the river before reaching Santiago de Compostela. The tall eucalyptus trees line the way to Monte del Gozo (the Mount of Joy), from where we can see our goal – the Cathedral of Santiago! After descending to the city you will be able to witness the fantastic architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage Site close-up. We check into our hotel and relax after completing our camino.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: approx 5.5 hours / 21km
Altitude gain/loss: +150m / -185m

Day 7 (Friday 25 October 2024):

Santiago
Today is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. Take in the sights of Santiago de Compostela or optional excursions are available for a supplement, payable locally. Gather for a celebratory farewell dinner this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 8 (Saturday 26 October 2024):

Santiago – UK
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.
Meals: Breakfast

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather, the ability of the group, wildlife movements and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but we cannot be held responsible for changes that occur outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the group’s health and safety.   

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £350
and then either:

Sponsorship: £2570

or

Flexi: £1570 trip costs and fundraise £1000 for St Michael’s Hospice

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to their chosen charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • You must then pledge to fundraise a minimum of £2,570 for St Michael’s Hospice.
  • 80% of the balance (£2,056) should be paid to St Michael’s Hospice by 26th July 2024.
  • The remainder of the balance (£514) should be paid to St Michael’s Hospice by the departure date.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs* (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost* balance is payable to the charity at least 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • At least £800 fundraising must be paid to St Michael’s by 26 July 2024.
  • The remaining £200 must be fundraised by the date of departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

*NB Trip costs are based on the overall group size. This is the most you will be required to pay and costs could reduce with larger group sizes.

NB. Bookings on this trip are now subject to availability and flight surcharges.

What's included

  • Return flights from the UK (inc. airport taxes)
  • All transfers and transport in Spain
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as per itinerary (excl. lunch on day 7)
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Luggage transfers during the trek
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Visa or travel permit depending on EU regulations at the time of departure
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (approx. £30-£35 per person)
  • Trek kit and equipment

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.