The Pilgrim Route to Santiago
- 9 Days
- From £1,199
- London to Spain via Bordeaux
- Sun-drenched San Sebastian
- The historic cathedral cities of Burgos and Leon
- Santiago de Compostela at the end of the pilgrim route, built around the Shrine of St James
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 8 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Flight from La Coruna back to London
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Depart London St Pancras by Eurostar and change in Paris for the direct TGV train to Bordeaux, arriving late in the afternoon. On arrival, check in for an overnight stay at the Mercure Bordeaux Centre St Jean (or similar).
Bordeaux is at the heart of one of France’s most prestigious wine-growing regions, complemented by world-famous gastronomy and a stunning 18th century city centre. Don’t miss the opportunity for a delicious meal during your free evening here.
Spend another morning at leisure in Bordeaux. Along with its UNESCO World Heritage listed historic centre, Bordeaux also boasts one of the finest art galleries in France and one of the longest shopping street in Europe, the Rue Sainte-Catherine.
After lunch, head back to the station and catch a train down to the Spanish border at Hendaye. Here, make your way to the Eusko Tren terminal (just outside the main SNCF station) where you’ll catch a regional train (payable locally) across to San Sebastian. On arrival in San Sebastian, check in at the Astoria 7 Hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Occupying a stunning location on the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian is famous for its Michelin starred food and for its beautiful urban beaches, considered by many to be some of the best in the world.
Spend your free day here wandering around the old town and relaxing on the beach (weather permitting). There are fantastic city views to be had from the summit of Monte Igueldo which you can access by funicular train or on foot. In the evening, try one of the many pintxo bars (basque tapas) or treat yourself to dinner at one of the city’s three 3-Michelin star restaurants.
It’s a 3 hour journey south across the regional border into Castile and León and on to Burgos,. Look out for views of the Basque region’s highest peak, Aizkorri, on the right hand side of the train. You have an overnight stay at the AC Burgos by Marriott (or similar).
The city of Burgos was founded in 884 and there are still medieval buildings to be found here. You can also visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed cathedral as well as sampling some of the local cuisine, considered some of the best in Spain.
Leaving Burgos today, the train runs through the Arlanzón Valley before cutting north-west across the plains in the direction of Leon. On arrival, check in for an overnight stay at the NH Plaza Mayor (or similar).
Dating back to Roman times, Leon boasts a walkable Old Town with some stunning historic monuments. One of the most important of these is the Convento de San Marcos which was built as a hostel for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, and is now a luxurious Parador hotel. If you would be interested in staying here, please let us know.
The scenery becomes more undulating today as you travel towards the Montes de León (pictured). The train heads through the lovely Sil Valley before arriving into Santiago de Compostela, your final destination. Here, you can relax at the end of your trip with 3 nights at the Parador Santiago de Compostela (or similar).
Santiago de Compostela became a destination for pilgrimage after the tomb of St James was discovered in 813. Visitors have been making their way here along the famous ‘Way of St James’ ever since.
Enjoy two days exploring this historic city at your own pace. Santiago has been designated a Holy City – only Jerusalem and Rome share this honour, and the evidence is all around you in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town area, which contains some fine churches and monasteries. You’ll also find some lovely secular architecture here along with tempting shops and restaurants.
The main square, Prazo do Obradoiro, is home to both the impressive Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, now the Parador Hotel and also kilometre zero of the Camino de Santiago.
After a leisurely breakfast it’s time to leave your hotel and make your way back to the station in Santiago. Take a direct train to La Coruna and then make your way to the airport for a flight back to the UK. If you would rather return by train and or ferry, we can also help. Please give us a call for details and prices.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Mercure Bordeaux Gare St-Jean is located a short walk from the main station of the city. All spacious rooms come with a courtesy tray, air-conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel also boasts an a la carte restaurant with a terrace. The Place de la Bourse is around 25 minutes’ walk or 3 stops on the tram.
The Astoria7 is themed around cinema and the San Sebastian Film Festival. Each room offers free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV’s and is dedicated to an actor or director who has visited the city. The stylish, sound-proofed rooms feature contemporary décor.
The AC Burgos by Marriott is centrally located just a 2-minute walk from the imposing Cathedral in the heart of the city. Bedrooms are furnished in a classic style with modern amenities such as plasma TV, music system and free Wi-Fi internet access. There is a mini0market on site and the AC Lounge Bar offers snacks and drinks for lunch or dinner.
Located in the Old Town of Leon, the NH Plaza Mayor occupies a 19th century building just 50 metres from the city’s Gothic Cathedral. All bedrooms boast a flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a Nespresso machine and a kettle. There is also a fitness centre and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
Arguably one of the most beautiful in the chain, the Paradores de Santiago de Compostela started its life in the 15th century as the Hostal dos Reis Catolicós, a shelter for the thousands of pilgrims who flocked to the city. The building is still a landmark in its own right, located on the main square, close to the cathedral. The hotel offers two stunning restaurants and a bar.