Walk the Camino in May
Holy Year 2021
Spring is a wonderful time to walk the Camino!
The wildflowers are sometimes waist deep.
Our trip will include 22 nights lodging,
including one night lodging in Pamplona at the beginning of the trip
and two nights in Santiago at the end.
Day 1: Meet in Pamplona
Day 2: Taxi to SJPP
Day 3: Walk to Orisson (8 k)
Day 4: Walk to Roncesvalles (13 k)
Day 5: Walk to Zubiri (22.2 k)
Day 6: Walk to Pamplona (21 k)
Day 7: Walk to Puente la Reina (24 k)
Day 8: Walk to Estella (21.9 k)
Day 9: Walk to Los Arcos (21.1 k)
Day 10: Walk to Viana (19 k)
Day 11: Taxi to Burgos
Day 12: Bus to Leon
Day 13: Bus to Astorga
Day 14: Walk to Rabanal del Camino (21.4 k)
Day 15: Walk to Molinaseca (26.5 k)
Day 16: Walk to Villafranca (23 k)
Day 17: Taxi to O'Cebreiro, then to Samos, walk to Sarria (15 k)
Day 18: Sarria to Portomarin (22 k)
Day 19: Portomarin to Palas de Rei (24.8 k)
Day 20: Palas de Rei to Castañeda (22.8 k)
Day 21: Walk to O Pedrouzo (22.1 k)
Day 22: Walk to Santiago (20.1 k)
Day 23: Enjoy Santiago - see the Cathedral, get your Compostela, see the museums
Our Tentative Schedule for 2021
Part One: SJPP to Viana
May 2, our group will meet in Pamplona (1 night lodging included)
May 3, a private taxi will take us to St. Jean Pied de Port, France
where we will spend the day getting to know each other,
visiting the Pilgrim Office,
picking up our Credentials,
We will sleep in a French Gite here.
May 4, we walk the steep road to Orisson. (8 kilometers)
A shuttle will return us to SJPP that afternoon.
May 5, we shuttle back up to Orisson, and continue our walk over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles. (13 k)
In Roncesvalles, we will gather for dinner together with other pilgrims,
then attend a beautiful Pilgrim's Mass in the historical church there.
Here, we sleep in the Roncesvalles Pilgrim albergue.
May 6, we walk to Zubiri, (22.2 k)
May 7, we walk from Zubiri back to Pamplona. 21.1 k)
May 8, we walk through Pamplona, up and over Alto del Perdon.
We stop in Puente de la Reina (24 k)
May 9, we walk through farmland and vinyards
up through Ciraqui, and into Estella (21.9k)
May 10, we stop at Irache, the famous fountain,
and fill our bottles with wine,
then walk though holm oak and pines, up to Monjardin
and into Los Arcos (21.1 k)
where you can sit in the square, enjoy Sangria
and watch the weary pilgrims walk through.
May 11 is a wonderful trek through farmland to Viana,
where we meet up with José, our friendly landlord
at the Iglesia Santa Maria in the square.
That night you can grab a taxi into Logroño,
and enjoy wine and tapas on the famous Calle Laurel,
or attend a Pilgrim's Mass back in the village.
Part Two: Viana to Villafranca del Bierzo
On May 12, a private taxi will take us to Burgos,
where you can visit the magnificent Burgos Cathedral
or the World Class Museum of Evolution.
May 13, another fantastic Cathedral awaits us in Leon,
where we will bus.
May 14 brings a short bus or train ride to Astorga
where you can see the Gaudi Palace, eat authentic Maragato cuisine,
and visit a chocolate museum.
From Astorga, on May 15, we march on to Rabanal del Camino, (21.4 k)
I have asked Cristina to prepare us a family style meal (my treat)
in time to hear vespers sung at the Hermitage across the way.
We are now in the Irago Mountains,
the land of the Templars,
and the next day, May 16, is a difficult one.
We start early,
grabbing breakfast along the way.
We will stop to leave a stone at the Cruz de Ferro.
The Camino winds through woods of confiers and broom,
hillsides covered in heather and poppies.
We can stop at the beautiful village of Acebo,
for lunch and a rest,
before walking or grabbing a taxi
down the mountain into Molinaseca, (26.5 k)
May 17 is an easier walk -
we can start by grabbing a bus into Ponferrada,
that will shave 7 kilometers off the day!
Then we walk through gorgeous vineyards,
through Cacabelos (best hamburguesas on the Camino!)
and into Villafranca del Bierzo (23 k)
Part Three - Sarria to Santiago
May 18 begins with a taxi ride up to O Cebreiro,
a beautiful stone village high in the clouds.
We will spend about two hours here,
having breakfast and visiting the pretty little stone church.
Then the driver will carry us to Samos,
where we begin our walk to Sarria. (about 15 k)
The walk to Sarria passes through green fields with dry stone walls
covered in brambles and moss, eucalyptus forest,
streams and rivers.
From Sarria gets busy, as this is the last 100 kilometers before Santiago
and this is required walking distance to earn the Compostela.
After a night in Sarria, we will join "the wave" of pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
Be sure to get two stamps per day from this point forward
if you want the coveted Compostela!
May 19 will take us into Portomarin,
where we stay in private rooms above a wonderful little albergue. (22 k)
May 20, we skirt the reservoir, gently climbing up through woodland
then dropping down into Palas de Rei. (24.8 k)
May 21 is a shorter day through Melide,
where you can stop for the famous PULPO (Octopus),
then continue on to Castañeda,
where we have leased a sweet little farmhouse
with some newer apartments built in. (22.8 k)
May 22 begins with the option to share the cost of a taxi ride into Arzúa,
which shaves 6 kilometers off the day's distance, or you can just walk from the farmhouse if you wish.
In Arzua, you can find breakfast,
then continue on through eucalyptus to O Pedrouzo (aka Arca/O Piño) (18 k)
May 23 finds us walking to our destination, Santiago de Compostela.
The first part of the stage is through shady eucalyptus groves,
but as you approach Santiago,
hoards of pilgrims and asphalt roads take over,
as Brierly explains.
We sleep tonight in modest pilgrim rooms
in the wonderful Hospederia San Martin Pinario.(20 k)
Check in, shower, and try to make it to the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral.
Annie will tell you where to sit
so the huge Botafumero swings right over your head!
Later, walk the streets, find dinner,
listen to the bagpipes,
and see the city.
May 24, wake up early and head over to the Pilgrim Office
to collect your well-earned Compostela.
Arrive early - it's going to be buzzing!
Then visit the Museu de Pobo Gallego,
a fantastic folk-art museum or
the Cathedral museum.
Make your reservation online for the Cathedral museum;
it is a Holy Year!
Get together with some of the other pilgrims
and book a round trip private taxi to Finisterra and Muxia,
only about €30 each for 4.
It's a beautiful drive - have seafood at the beach!
Your room is also booked for the night of May 24,
so relax and bask in your accomplishment.
Hopefully, you have booked an extra night or two in Santiago.
Once you're there, you may as well enjoy it!
If you check in with Annie early enough,
I can get you another night in the Pilgrim Room at San Martin Pinario.
Otherwise, look on www.booking.com and make those reservations
as soon as possible.
Prices go UP and availability down each day!
You walked the Camino de Santiago!