Camino de Santiago & Cervantes Literary Journey: A Spain and Portugal Cultural Tour
Program activities, schedules and personnel may change due to local circumstances.
In such an event, we will inform you as quickly as possible.
Arrive in Madrid, Tapas tour and dinner (D)
Archeological Museum, Cervantes Museum, Temple of Debod (B)
Transfer to Sarria, Tordesillas, Ponferrada, Castle of Templars (B)
Walk Sarria to Portomarin (B)
Walk Portomarin to Palas del Rey (B)
Walk Palas de Rey to Arzuá (B)
Walk Arzuá to Amenal (B)
Walk Amenal to Santiago, Old Santiago & Cathedral (B, D)
Transfer to Porto, Stop in Combarro (B, D)
Walking tour, Cathedral, Livraria Lello, Downtown Porto food tour (B, D)
Transfer to Lisbon, Stop in Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira visit (B)
Lisbon walking tour, San Jorge Castle, Bernardo Museum (B, D)
Depart to Seville, Free afternoon (B)
Orientation, Conference on Cervantes, Literature walking tour (B)
End of program (B)
Day by Day
We will arrive in Madrid, the beautiful city where Miguel de Cervantes spent his final years, from 1606, in the Neighborhood of literature, the Barrio de las Letras. We will be transferred to the hostel. After checking in and settling into our rooms, lunch on own. In the evening, we will discover Madrid from the point of view of its cuisine, with a tapas tour led by a local gastronomy expert. Dinner at tapas tour.
Breakfast at hostel. We will start our day by visiting the National Archeological Museum, where we will learn about Spanish history from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. Then, we will take a private transfer to Alcalá de Henares, birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, where we will be able to visit the museum dedicated to this brilliant and iconic author. In the museum, we will find historical collections of his work, objects used in the daily life of his family, and a great variety of temporary exhibitions to get to know his figure and the Spanish Golden Age better. Lunch on own. Upon return to Madrid, before twilight, we will visit the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian Temple, which was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. Dinner on own.
Breakfast at hostel. We will start our journey to Sarria by private bus. We will stop in the charming town of Tordesillas and then again in Ponferrada. There, we will have lunch on own. After that, we will visit the Castle of Templars, which was constructed by Ferdinand II in 1178 AD to protect pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. The castle was named after the famed Knights of Templar, who protected the town in the 12th century. Then, we will arrive in Sarria. After checking in at our albergue, dinner on own.
Breakfast at albergue. We will start our journey on the famous Way of St James, covering the section between Sarria and Portomarin, accompanied by an expert guide, specialized in the camino. We will enjoy a peaceful walk in shady oak woods and pretty villages on quiet country roads. Along the way, we will spot many Galician traditional ‘hórreos’ (granaries). The village of Barbadelo has a beautiful Romanesque church that is worth a visit. After arriving in Portomarin, dinner on own.
Overnight: Palas del Rey
Breakfast at albergue. From the village, the Camino crosses the river Minho and climbs steadily uphill. On our way, we will be crossing Gonzar and passing the Romanesque Church of Santa María, Castromaior. The calm of the Galician Cemetery in Ligonde on a sunny day is a rest in itself. In Eirexe, the Romanesque portal of the church is a beauty, featuring a sculpture of Daniel and animals, as well as a statue of Santiago de Peregrino. Lunch on own along the hike. After arriving in Palas del Rey, dinner on own.
Breakfast at albergue. We will cross Melide, with its medieval old town of narrow winding streets with shops and restaurants. After that, the Camino will follow a forest track and cross several streams bringing us to the village of Boente with its church of Santiago. Then, we will encounter the medieval village of Ribadiso, and finally Arzúa. This small town has two churches that surely deserve a visit, Santa María and La Magdalena. Lunch on own along the hike. Dinner on own.
Breakfast at albergue. After leaving Arzuá, the Camino will take us through shaded woods, sleepy villages and across streams for most of the day. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. Lunch on own along the hike. We’ll pass the lovely hamlet of Rúa before arriving in Amenal where we’ll stay for the evening. Dinner on own.
Breakfast at albergue. On our final day on the Camino, we will pass Lavacolla, where pilgrims traditionally washed in the river before reaching Santiago. After passing “Monte del Gozo”, or Mount of Joy, we will start our descent into the city. We will walk the steps of millions of pilgrims before us to the Cathedral of Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A local expert will guide us in our visit of the Cathedral, followed by a walk through the Old Town of this cultural and spiritual mecca, where the Biblical apostle St. James was allegedly buried. Our guide will show us its impressive Baroque buildings in granite, the grandiose 12th century Romanesque Cathedral, its 18th century lively market of Abastos and the medieval walls. After being enchanted by the treasures of the Old town, we will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast at albergue. After that, we will start our journey by private bus to Porto, one of the most important cities in Portugal. On our way, we will stop in Combarro, a picturesque small town in Galicia on the sea, where we will be able to appreciate a different atmosphere, surrounded by more Galician horreos and cruceiros, a stone cross typically found at the corner of the most authentic and well-preserved villages in Galicia. We will have lunch on own in this beautiful town. After that, we will continue our journey to Porto. Upon arrival, after checking in at our hostel, we will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast at hostel. In the morning, we will meet a local expert for a guided tour of the city of Porto. We will visit the Cathedral, built in the 19th century and distinguished by its two towers and a large central rosette in romantic style. Next, we will stroll down Aliados avenue, the main artery of the city, marked to the north by the City Hall and, to the south, by the Cardosas Palace (19th century). Several buildings of 20’s and 40’s rule this avenue. We will also pass by one of the most emblematic monuments of Porto, the Clérigos Tower. As part of our tour, we will visit Lello Bookshop, one of the oldest and most beautiful of its kind in the country. A meeting place for men of arts today is visited by thousands of people who want to admire the architecture of the building, appreciate the wood crafted shelves or walk the grand staircase that gives access to the upper floor. After that, lunch on own. Then, a local guide will join us to lead us on a journey where we will learn all about Portuguese food and wine, with ten food tastings, including a visit to the bustling Bolhão food market. Dinner at food tour.
Breakfast at hostel. We will begin our journey to Lisbon by private bus. When we are already close to Lisbon, we will stop in the gorgeous town of Sintra, with its mesmerizing atmosphere, where whimsical villas unexpectedly emerge from the surrounding pine forest. There, we will visit one of its most extravagant landmarks, Quinta da Regaleira, product of the genius mind of the architect Luigi Manini. It is an architectural complex which consists of a romantic-style villa and a huge garden which hides various surprises, such as its famous wells and tunnels. After that, we will continue to Lisbon, where we will check in at our hostel and then have dinner on own.
Breakfast at hostel. In the morning, we will have a tour led by a local expert through the main points of the historic center of the gorgeous city of fado. As part of the tour, we will visit San Jorge Castle, in the heart of the Alfama district. It served as a Muslim fortification and was later converted into a Royal Palace, witnessing historical events such as the reception of Vasco da Gama on his return from India. Lunch on own. Then, we will depart to the Bernardo Museum, which presents the most significant artistic movements from the twentieth century to the present day. Dinner at restaurant.
Breakfast at hostel. We will be transferred by private bus to Seville. After checking in at our hostel and settling into our rooms, lunch on own. We will have the whole afternoon free to explore independently or just relax. Dinner on own.
Breakfast at hostel. In the morning, we will depart to Alandis Headquarters, a beautiful XIX century Andalusian house, where Alandis staff will give us a tour of the building and a short orientation, followed by a walk of the surroundings, in the core of Seville’s city center. After that, at the headquarters, a literature expert will give us a talk centered on the figure of Miguel de Cervantes and his connection to Andalusia. In 1564 he moved to Seville with his family, and since then, his life led him back to Andalusia on several occasions, including the time when he was kept in jail, where he claimed to have started his most famous work, the Don Quijote. After the conference, we will depart with the same expert to explore the city of Seville in a different way, from the perspective of literature. We will be able to discover innumerable places connected to Cervantes’s work, such as the neighborhood of Triana, where Rinconete y Cortadillo is set, and many more related to other important authors, like Lope de Vega. Lunch on own. In the afternoon, we will have free time to explore, pack or just relax. Dinner on own.
Customize your trip according to your interests by adding any of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.