A guided walk on the Camino de Santiago, starting in Leon
The full Camino pilgrimage walk stretches some 500 miles from the French Pyrenees, across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, near Spain’s western coast. Because few of us can take more than a month to make the full walk, we’re offering a lovely section of the Camino that will take us 10 days. In this section, we’ll start in the historic city of Leon and head west, nearly to the border of Galicia, traversing beautiful, highly diverse portions of northern Spain.
We will be on the Camino for nine nights. We will sleep in small, clean hotels with comfortable beds and private bathrooms in either single or double rooms.
You can walk as much, or as little, you like each day. We can coordinate with you so that you walk the prettiest three or four miles, or you can walk the full distance to the day’s endpoint of up to 15 miles. The choice is yours, as we stand ready to drop you or pick you up in the van at any point along the way. And of course the van carries your luggage, freeing you to walk with just a small day pack.
Breakfast will generally be at our hotels. Lunch will be taken picnic style along the route. At the end of each day you’ll have time to shower and perhaps take a nap before we meet as a group to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
The entire Camino is nearly 500 miles and takes about 35 days. After your 10 days walking with us, you are free to continue further on your own, or you may wish to return in future years to tackle additional portions of the Camino.
Note: This is the second leg of the Camino we’ll be walking as a group in 2020. The other section, starting in Pamplona, is equally beautiful and is of a similar physical challenge. Find Out More about the Pamplona Leg.
Dates: April 17 to 26, 2020
Maximum group size: 11
From Leon to Villa Franca del Bierzo
Whether this is your first section of the Camino that you’ve walk, or if you’ve walked other sections, the path from Leon will take you through some of the prettiest and most varied portions of the Camino.
Leon is a good place to stay a few nights, if you would like to arrive early in Spain to overcome jetlag and acclimate to Spanish life. It boasts a soaring cathedral, museums, multiple grand plazas, a Goudi-designed building, and blocks and blocks of pedestrian-only streets. This will be our departure point for this section of the Camino.
Traversing flat farmland and stopping for refreshment in small villages, we come to the small, wealthy city of Astorga. Built on a hill, Astorga seems to have it all, from Roman ruins to another Gaudi-designed building, from a splendid cathedral to the Plaza Mayor with the town hall and its Baroque facade.
From there, the Camino starts to climb, but ever so gently, up into rolling hills and eventually to the highest point along the entire pilgrimage path, all the way winding through typical, small villages that have long been supported by pilgrims. Soon the path drops down into the Bierzo valley, a little-known region of Spain with its own micro-climate that is only now gaining recognition for its food and wine. The largest stop in Bierzo is Ponferrada, home to a striking castle that is open to the public, built by the Knights Templar.
Working our way through lovely agricultural vistas, with mountains that are often snow-capped in the distance, we come to Villa France de Bierzo where we’ll end our walk. Villa Franca, sitting at the base of the hills that rise up into Galicia, is a welcoming place to spend a day both relaxing and celebrating the small victories you will have won each day you’ve walked along the Camino.
There are many places online to learn more about walking the Camino. We will leave this to you (and don’t forget to check out the YouTube videos). A more detailed itinerary will be available after you register. Our end point is Santo Domingo de la Calzada, just east of Burgos.
Your Guide: Bob Lawson
Bob will be walking the Camino with you while a second tour leader drives the van.
Bob has walked five sections of the Camino over the past four years, including this section in the spring of 2019. He is a co-founder of Travel Fever Tours and a frequent hiker in Spain and elsewhere. In addition to the Camino, he has walked the 8-day Tour de Mont Blanc in France, Italy and Switzerland.
Otherwise a web designer and internet consultant, Bob has worked for three different companies in Spain, living in Andalucia for 3+ years.
Cost of the workshop is $2,850
Supplement for single occupancy for Workshop: $425
Deposit required to reserve a place on the tour: $350
(Places on this walk are limited to 11 and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend that you reserve your place early, as the Camino is a popular location and so is expected to sell out.)
What’s included in the cost of the trip:
Pickup and dropoff at designated locations.
Guided walking along the Camino with experienced guide
9 nights lodging
9 dinners, lunches and breakfasts, including appropriate amounts of beer and local wine.
Local transportation by van and driver
Transportation of luggage.
What’s not included:
Admission to museums and local sites
$375 non-refundable deposit
$1250 initial payment (Due January 1, 2020)
$1250 final payment (Due February15, 2020)
Single occupancy supplement: $425
Lodging will be at small hotels along the route. Unlike other tours that ferry you back and forth from central hotels, we stay directly on the route in a new and interesting town each night. Each room, either single or double, has its own bathroom.
Traditional Spanish breakfasts to be taken at your hotels each morning.
Lunch will normally be a picnic along the route.
Dinner will be at restaurants found in the towns where we stay each evening.
Start or End of trip add-ons (optional):
At the start or end of the trip, participants may opt to visit nearby locations. The first option is to arrive several days early in Leon. A few days in Spain before the walk begins is definitely recommended. Other locations, for possible post-walk stays, are easily accessible via Spain extensive high-speed train network. These trip extensions are up to trip participants to organize, but Travel Fever Tours can make recommendations where to go and how to arrive at your desired destination.