Our Post Conference Journey into Galicia, Spain, has us following the beautiful yet lesser known Portuguese section of the Camino of Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, we will travel in a comfortable coach and spend our nights in lovely 3 and 4 star hotels.
Post Conference Journey:
The Portuguese Way to the Heart of Galicia Along the Camino of Santiago de Compostela
June 8-13 or 14, 2023
Day One: Thursday, June 8
Tomar – Coimbra – The Douro Valley
We depart Tomar in the late morning. Our day begins with an opportunity to walk a five mile portion out of Tomar on the Camino of Santiago de Compostela. A coach will be available for anyone who prefers to meet the group at the end of their walk.
Together we make the one hour drive to Coimbra, Portugal’s evocative medieval capital, originally a Roman settlement. We’ll have lunch in a traditional restaurant and then wander through the town, visiting its historic sights, including its 13th century University of Coimbra, the fifth oldest in the world.
We’ll then drive two hours away, into the country’s Douro wine region, a valley bathed by the Douro River and famous for the port wine that it produces. We’ll check into our hotel and have dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day Two: Friday, June 9
Vale do Douro – Porto – Braga
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll make the 90 minute drive to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, known for its wine, bridges and architecture. We’ll have lunch in town before embarking on a lovely walking tour and making a visit to a local wine cellar. We’ll spend the night in Porto, and have dinner at our hotel.
Day Three: Saturday, June 10
Porto – Braga
We begin our day with breakfast at our hotel before leaving for the ancient Roman city of Braga, one hour away. We’ll visit the exquisite 19th century hilltop sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga, with its monumental Baroque staircase and wooded surroundings. We’ll have a walking tour of Braga’s historic city center, visit the thousand year old Braga Cathedral, and check into our hotel where we’ll have dinner and spend the night.
Day Four: Sunday, June 11
Braga – Valença – Tui – Pontevedra
We check out after breakfast at our hotel and make the hour long drive to Valença (Valencia) do Minho, and the border into Galicia, Spain. We’ll visit the fortress of Valencia, situated on the banks of the Minho River, which dates back to the 12th-13th century. We’ll have another opportunity, for anyone who wishes, to enter Spain by foot by walking an hour’s portion of the Camino. We all arrive in the nearby border town of Tui in time for lunch and our departure to Pontevedra, a 45 minute drive. Pontevedra, known as the city that “gives water to travelers”, has long been a beloved stop on the Portuguese route of the Camino. It has a beautifully preserved old town and is also recognized as a model of modern urban planning. We’ll have a guided tour before checking into our hotel.
After dinner, we attend a Queimada Gallega, a Galician purification ritual that honors the elements of earth, water, air and fire.
Day Five: Monday, June 12
Pontevedra – Santiago de Compostela
We leave for Santiago, a one hour drive, after breakfast at our hotel. One of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the world, Santiago’s origins date back to the 9th century. We’ll have a walking tour of the city, visit its iconic 13th century Cathedral, have lunch in a traditional restaurant, and then enjoy some time for individual exploration. We’ll come back together for a shared dinner and will spend the night in Santiago.
For participants joining us for the five night program: this will be the last evening of the tour.
Day Six: Tuesday, June 13
Optional Extension: Santiago de Compostela – Finisterra
Participants in the five night tour will make their own way to the Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport (SCQ) after breakfast and check out.
Those joining us for Day Six will depart Santiago for the 1 hour 15 minute drive to Finisterra, where we will spend the final night of our Post Conference Journey. Situated on the wild coast near the tip of the Galician Peninsula, Finis Terrae translates to “End of Earth” and is considered by many to be the true end of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We’ll begin with an optional two-hour walk to the Cape, come together for lunch, and then enjoy an open, contemplative afternoon in the natural beauty of Finisterra. Our evening, and our tour, will conclude with dinner and a closing circle.
Day Seven: Wednesday, June 14
Finisterra – Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport (SCQ)
After breakfast and check out, we’ll travel by coach to the Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport (SCQ) for flights to their next destination.
*Schedule subject to change.
For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at firstname.lastname@example.org
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