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Follow The Camino Brochure


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Follow the Camino is one of the only travel company in the world to offer walkers the opportunity to complete the Camino in sections. The trek has been divided into nine different routes, originating from France, Spain and Portugal and walkers can complete the routes in one-fell-swoop or decide to return to tackle each section until they have completed the whole Camino.

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Follow The Camino Brochure

  1. 1. followthecamino.comCamino de Santiago... Your
  2. 2. El Camino de Santiago Our Backgroundthe Way of st.James or st.James’ Way Follow The Camino specialise in holidays along the legendary Camino de Santiago de(spanish name: el camino de santiago Compostela. Our staff have extensive walking and trekking experience along the manyde compostela), is the pilgrimage to the different routes of the Camino. We offer authentic holidays which are different to thecathedral of santiago de compostela usual beach or resort breaks. We provide our customers with a genuine chance to feelin Galicia in northwestern spain, closer to nature, friends and family.where legend has it that the remainsof the apostle, saint James the Great, Our view is that a walking holiday is not only about walking – you can take the time toare buried. the Way of st.James has explore the essence of a region, the flavours and aromas, discover more about yourself,existed for over a thousand years spend time with your family, bond with your friends, broaden your cultural awarenessand was one of the most important and get out in the fresh air. Our unique holidays take the hassle out of planning,christian pilgrimages during medieval researching and booking your accommodation, transfers, luggage transport and muchtimes. el camino is considered to be more. And of course, all walking levels are catered for, so that through our walkingone of three pilgrimages on which a grades, everybody can find their own challenge and the right fit.plenary indulgence could be earned;the others of which are the viafrancigena to rome and the pilgrimage Our team knows each trip intimately, each corner of each route, each hotel along theto Jerusalem. way. This is why we can customise our trips to your exact requirements and needs so that with Follow The Camino you can experience the Camino de Santiago... Your Way.there is no single route. ‘the Way’ cantake one of any number of pilgrimageroutes to santiago de compostela, Our Spirithowever a few of the routes areconsidered main ones. During the Discovery Take the time to discover a region, be curious and open-mindedMiddle ages, the route was highly towards other culturestravelled. however, the Black plague, nature Wander through unspoilt landscapes and wild terrainsthe protestant reformation and politicalunrest in 16th century europe resulted respect Respect the local population and the environmentin its decline. By the 1980s, only a few pleasure Leave your daily routine behind and find yourselfpilgrims arrived in santiago annually.however, since then the route has safety Enjoy detailed walking notes on Self-Guided trips and Certified Guidesattracted a growing number of modern- on all Guided tripsday pilgrims from around the globe. the authenticity Eat the best regional food, rest in traditional accommodation, feel theroute was declared the first european wind, taste the air, smell the aroma of adventurecultural route by the council of europein october 1987 and was named a These six words are not just concepts. They are what you will experience when takingunesco World heritage site in 1993. any trip with Follow The Camino – a journey that is as important as the destination. Safety always comes first, along with respect towards local people and customs, valuing relationships and conducting holidays in harmony with traditions and nature. All of our trips have been designed to the highest standards, allowing you to experience the pleasure of safely exploring the most authentic landscapes with true respect for the environment. This is part of our ethic and we pride ourselves on 1
  3. 3. Walking Grades Easy Less than 5 hours walking on average per day, on a path or a trail, accessible to everybody. Gentle terrain without steep climb or vertiginous mountains. Mostly coastal routes or hills. This grade is suitable for elderly people or for families with children aged 6yrs+. PARIS The Caminos Moderate Up to 7 hours walking on average per day, on a path or a trail, and up to 1000m ascent. Possibility of stages at altitude and/or steep climbs, with no technical difficulties. Distance up to 20km on average per day. Le Puy Challenging En Velay E n g l i sh Stages of walking can be more than 7 hours and more than 1000m ascent or over Wa y 20km distance. Paths can be technical at times and/or steep. Fitness levels must be Oviedo Bordeaux adequate and previous walking experience is desirable. Santander ute Santiago Biarritz Ro F i n i s te rre al No Bilbao igin r thern y Wa y Or Pu Wa y Toulouse Le Fre León n c h Wa y A ra gone Porto s e Wa y Jaca Salamanca ue s ta Pla r tug la Po MADRID Via de Cáceres LISBON Sevilla2
  4. 4. the French Way the french Way/camino frances is the most traditional of all the pilgrims’ ways to Oviedo santiago and the best known internationally. the route, which was established in the late Santiago Santander Bilbao Biarritz 11th century, crosses the north of the iberian peninsula, through the Basque country, navarra, la rioja, castilla y leon and Galicia regions of spain. Toulouse FR8 Pau FR7 FR1 starting in saint-Jean-pied-de-port, at the foothills of the french pyrenees, the french Way runs p FR6 FR2 León FR5 FR4 FR3 through northern spain, from east to West, all the way to santiago de compostela, in the northwestern corner of the country. Valladolid Fr 1 – 5 dayS/4 niGhtS Starting from France, in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and finishing in Pamplona, famous for its Bull Run festival. At first it follows the ‘Camino Napoleon’ over the Roncesvalles Pass MADRID (1500m). Then, the Way goes across the Basque Country onto more gentle terrain. Fr 2 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS From Pamplona to Logrono, the heart of the famous Rioja Wine region. An attractive walk in hilly Navarra, 12th-century castles, picturesque villages, and vineyards. Fr 3 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS From Logrono to medieval Burgos, hometown of “El Cid”, this section is slightly flatter than the previous. It crosses the hilly province of Burgos, passing typical villages, vineyards and ruined castles. Fr 4 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS From Burgos to Sahagun, town renowned for the unique architecture of its Roman churches. The Camino begins in hilly Palencia and then reaches the vast Castilian Plateau (900m of altitude). Fr 5 – 5 dayS/4 niGhtS From Sahagun to Leon, one of the greatest cities in Spain. The Camino crosses the vast Castilian Plateau (900m) and passes through its wealthy villages. Fr 6 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS From Leon to the mountain-hugging town of Ponferrada, built by the Templars in the 12th century. The Camino starts on the central high plateau and goes across the untouched and eerie Leon Mountains. Fr 7 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS hiGhliGhtS – FrEnCh Way: From Ponferrada to Sarria, a bustling market town. The Camino crosses the magnificent O’Cebreiro Mountains, with rich Celtic roots, and winds down to a more gentle terrain. • eXplore the most famous camino to santiago Fr 8 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS • feel the progression through the spanish regions From Sarria to Santiago de Compostela the Camino crosses the hilly lands of Galicia. One of the most beautiful parts of the Camino, and of course the most rewarding as you actually • inDulGe yourself in the best comfort available end up in Santiago. • tiMe travel along over 1000 years of history4 5
  5. 5. the Original Way the very first of the pilgrimage routes, as its current name indicates. this might very Oviedo well have been the route taken by King alphonse ii, the chaste, from oviedo, to the Santiago A Coruña Santander Bilbao Biarritz tomb of saint James, during the first third of the 9th century. it is during this journey that OR2 OR1 NO4 NO3 King alphonse ii confirmed for the first time that the remains unearthed in santiago de NO2 NO1 compostela belonged to the apostle saint James. León the original Way remains a popular alternative, due particularly to the spiritual value of the magnificent collection of relics at the cathedral of san salvador de oviedo and basilica of lugo with its permanent exhibition of the holy sacrament. hiGhliGhtS – Or 1 – 11 dayS/10 niGhtS nOrthErn Way: From medieval Oviedo, this Camino was used in the 9th Century by the first devout pilgrims MADRID from the kingdom of Asturias. This is the most beautiful section of the Camino, across the • eXplore the wild coast lakes and deep valleys of the Cantabrian Mountains. of northern spain Or 2 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS • Discover villages rich in tradition From the walled city of Lugo, the Original Way catches up with the French Way in Melide and finishes in Santiago de Compostela. You will walk through heavily forested rural Galicia and witness the Roman influence on Spain’s roads and bridges. • stay in wonderfully restored medieval towns • visit unesco World heritage sites in oviedo the northern Way the origins of the pilgrim route to santiago, which runs along the northern coast of spain, date back to the early ninth century. among the thousands of pilgrims who travelled to santiago via the northern Way, one figure who stands out is saint francis of assisi in 1214. this medieval coastal route passes through the cities of san sebastian and Bilbao in the Basque ountry, santander in cantabria and oviedo in asturias. o nO 1 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS From the beautiful town of San Sebastian to Bilbao, famous for its Guggenheim museum. Travel through the lush and mountainous landscape of the Basque coast & pass historic Gernika. hiGhliGhtS – OriGinal Way: Ginal Way inal Way: ay: nO 2 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS From Bilbao to Santander. This section boasts inviting beaches and impressive Rias (fjord-like inlets). Enjoy the contrast of modern seaside towns & fishing villages where time seems to have stopped. • Discover the bewitching asturia Mountains nO 3 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS • Witness the spanish mountain wildlife and culture panish From Santander to the pleasant seaside resort of Ribadesella. The mountains of the North • visit the unesco world heritage sites in oviedo and lugo provide a spectacular contrast with the charming and picturesque coastline. • eXperience the feeling of the first ever pilgrims on the original Way nO 4 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS From Ribadesella to medieval Oviedo. The Camino leaves the coast at the foot of the looming Cantabrian Mountains to enter the more rural Asturias, with strong local traditions and sleepy villages.6 7
  6. 6. the Portuguese Way the portuguese Way became very popular after the country gained its independence in the mid 12th century. from then until the present day, much of portugal’s road network has Santiago seen the comings and goings of pilgrims heading from all over the country to their goal of santiago de compostela. nowadays, some people claim the portuguese Way offers one of the richest cultural and architectural heritages out of all existing caminos. Vigo PO5 the portuguese way starts in lisbon and crosses lisboa, alentejo and the central and northern regions. it then enters spain in tui to continue north through Galicia and towards t PO4 Porto santiago de compostela. PO3 PO 1 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS This section gives modern walkers a chance to discover Lisbon’s rich heritage, some of PO2 which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. This section closely follows the original hiGhliGhtS – POrtUGUESE Way: medieval route, nowadays running through both modern urban areas and extensive cultivated PO1 LISBON countryside. Moreover, its mainly flat landscape all the way to Santarem makes it do-able for everyone. • eXplore two countries, portugal and spain PO 2 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS From Santarem to Coimbra, this leg of the Camino offers nice scenery, and lots of shaded • eXperience a path taken since the 12th century walks through woodlands. After a flat start, the route on this section becomes more undulated, running through the countryside and typical Portuguese rural villages. • feel the fresh air of the atlantic ocean PO 3 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS On this third section, the Camino stretches between Coimbra and the vibrant city of Porto, on • visit the unesco World the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The route taken by modern pilgrims closely follows an ancient heritage sites in lisbon Roman road and offers a rich historical heritage all the way to Porto. and porto PO 4 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS Starting in Porto’s UNESCO World Heritage city centre, this section is spread between two countries. As you approach the border with Spain, the landscape becomes greener and hillier and the section ends up in Tui, Galicia, Spain. PO 5 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS The final leg of the Portuguese Way starts in Tui (Spain) and crosses Galicia from South to North. It also stays close to the Atlantic coast until Pontevedra before heading East to reach the main destination of everyone walking on the Caminos: Santiago de Compostela!8 9
  7. 7. Lyon Le Puy le Puy route Bergerac En Velay PU1 PU3 PU2 the via piodensis or le puy route was taken for the first time in 950 aD when the Bordeaux PU4 Rodez archbishop of le puy-en-velay walked to the tomb of saint James, opening the first v velay PU5 Biarritz non-spanish route to santiago. along le puy route, modern walkers enjoy various PU6 incredible landscapes and a rich medieval architectural heritage as the camino runs Toulouse through some of the most typical rural french areas, crossing towns and cities full of Pau Marseille history. Carcassone le puy route begins in le puy-en-velay, a city set in a volcanic landscape, 130 v velay, kilometres south West of lyon, in france. it continues through south-western france to l saint-Jean-pied-de-port at the foothills of the pyrenees, where this camino joins up with the french Way. PU 1 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS Starting in Le Puy-en-Velay, the Camino quickly dives into the volcanic yet romantic Massif Central. This is undoubtedly a perfect walking holiday for nature lovers, all the way to Aumont-Aubrac! PU 2 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS From Aumont-Aubrac to Conques, this leg of Le Puy Route often bewitches walkers, thanks to its variety of great undulating landscapes and old French villages full of charm. PU 3 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS On this section, the Camino goes from Conques to Cahors. The route taken continues through the gentle hills of Aveyron and Lot departments, crossing well preserved old towns. PU 4 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS From Cahors to Lectoure, the Via Piodensis crosses both the Lot and Garonne Valleys. It also gives a chance to anybody following this route to visit historical monuments in almost every stopover! PU 5 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS This section is stretched between Lectoure and Aire-sur-l’Adour, the gateway to the Landes department. The Camino passes through charming farmlands as the region is famous for its foie gras and Armagnac brandy. PU 6 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS The final leg of Le Puy Route goes through Les Landes’ beautiful woodlands to the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain range. This section also runs through the French Basque Country before joining up with the French Way in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. hiGhliGhtS – lE PUy rOUtE: • Witness some of france’s most • stay in typical french villages rench beautiful landscapes • enJoy a high level of comfort • WalK on the path taken by the and character first non-spanish pilgrims10 11
  8. 8. Via de la Plata the via de la plata is the longest of all camino routes to santiago de compostela. it runs across the whole of spain, from south to north, from the hot andalusian plains to the green Santiago mountains of Galicia, from arabian influenced buildings to traditional stone farmhouses, from flamenco to celtic folk dances! as a whole, this camino offers most of spain’s rich and mixed culture. starting in sevilla, via de la plata crosses andalusia, extremadura, castilla Vigo PL10 y léon and Galicia to reach the ultimate goal of all camino walkers: santiago de compostela l PL9 PL8 León and its cathedral! PL7 Valladolid Pl 1 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS PL6 Salamanca From beautiful Sevilla to Monesterio, the Camino runs through typically Andalusian dry and endless plains, home to the famous Corrida black bulls and land of olive and orange groves. PL5 MADRID Pl 2 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS PL4 Cáceres From Monasterio to Mélida, the Camino stretches through the South of Extremadura, a region PL3 of dry and sparsely populated farmlands where olive groves and wild flowers add patches of colours to the red earth landscape. PL2 Pl 3 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS On this section, the Camino heads North, through the Extremadura Province, a land of dry Cordoba PL1 and gently hilly landscapes. Crop fields and vine plots comprise the landscape along the Sevilla Way, from Mélida to Cáceres. Malaga Pl 4 – 6 dayS/5 niGhtS Starting in Cáceres and continuing to reach Placensia, this section begins to become a little greener and more undulating. The Camino also crosses interesting villages rich in heritage. Pl 5 – 8 dayS/7 niGhtS From Placensia to Salamanca, the Camino leaves Extremadura to enter the Province of Castilla y Leon. Pl 7 – 9 dayS/8 niGhtS It also crosses the Dueña Peak (1140 m), one of the highest points on the Via de la Plata route. Starting in Zamora to arrive in Puebla de Sanabria, the Camino heads North through Castilla y Léon. The landscapes begin to change, Pl 6 – 5 dayS/4 niGhtS switching from red earth farmlands to greener hills and woodlands. This section stretches between Salamanca and Zamora, two cities with a beautiful Renaissance heritage. Here the Camino goes across flat cultivated lands and along endless red earth tracks. Pl 8 – 5 dayS/4 niGhtS From Puebla de Sanabria to A Gudiña, the Camino enters Galicia. It offers amazing views as it goes through the Galician mountain range. hiGhliGhtS – Via dE la Plata: Pl 9 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS • eXplore spain’s most diverse regional cultures Going deeper into Galicia, this section begins in A Gudiña and reaches Ourense. It offers some of the most stunning views of the • refuel your mind with peaceful, beautiful landscapes whole Via de la Plata route! • tiMe travel through over 2000 years of history Pl 10 – 7 dayS/6 niGhtS From Ourense, the Camino crosses the green hilly landscapes of • inDulGe yourself in the best comfort available Galicia. It gradually descends to reach the final destination of the Via de la Plata route: Santiago de Compostela!12 13
  9. 9. hiGhliGhtS – EnGliSh Way: the English Way • eXplore the english the english Way was begun in the 12th century enclave of ferrol EN at the time of the crusades. it covers a distance Santiago A Coruña of 118 kilometres from ferrol to santiago. Back • Get your pilgrim certificate FI then, many pilgrims from Britain, ireland and as you complete 100km+ scandinavia arrived in the coastal enclave of Vigo Pau ferrol and started walking their way south to • relaX at the beach of santiago. nowadays, this unspoilt area of spain a Magdalena AR becomes a more and more popular destination for modern pilgrims who • pass by many ancient wish to enjoy a pleasant hospitals, testimony of this Zaragoza yet reasonable length historical route walk to santiago de compostela. ompostela. MADRID The English Way begins by following the rugged hilly coastline, then moving inland to lush, wooded countryside. Continuing on until merging with the Way of O’Salto, and a few kilometres later joining the road known as the ‘Camino Real’ (Royal Way), on the banks of the Eume estuary. the Finisterre Way reasons that have inspired pilgrims to keep walking to cape the aragonese Way fisterra after reaching santiago de compostela are many, and they have given rise to the route known as camino fisterra. claimed by some to be the original roman road, this way was in ancient times, the costa da Morte (coast of Death) was the taken by pilgrims coming from east of toulouse, including french t westernmost part of continental europe, the final stretch of an and italian walkers. they then met up with other pilgrims walking itinerary traced in the sky by the Milky Way, a mythical and along the french Way in puente de la reina. nowadays, this symbolic place whose most extreme point was pervaded by the well-preserved medieval town still remains an important point on impressive mass of cabo fisterra (“cape finisterre”). the camino. the aragonese Way The Jacobean Way comes to an end in the city of Santiago hiGhliGhtS – araGOnESE Way: encompasses however, many pilgrims decide to extend their journey to the “End approximately of the World”, located in the westernmost part of Galicia, looking • eXplore the beautiful 170km (100 out on to the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Passing remote hilly villages and finishing at the aragon region miles) and travels through a variety of steep cliffs of Spain’s westernmost point: Cap Fisterra or Cap Finisterre (literally end of Earth)! landscapes, from mountain ranges to river • Discover the marvellous valleys, for the most part following the hiGhliGhtS – FiniStErrE Way: foothills of the pyrenees aragon river. • eXplore the mythical • WanDer along wild sea coasts • WalK along the aragon river The route starts at the foothills of the Pyrenees ‘end of the World’ and reaches the Navarra Mountains to join • Meet pilgrims who continue • inDulGe yourself with a high the Camino Frances in Puente de la Reina in • stay at the light house the adventure level of comfort the former Kingdom of Navarra.14 15
  10. 10. Our Offerings & Commitment rOUtE diSCOVEry Whichever of our routes you choose, your journey will take you through the most beautiful QUality landscapes and panoramic viewpoints of the region. Our routes are selected based on walking Our trips are organised by professionals and experienced certified guides. Level of interests and cultural features along the way. difficulty and approximate timings are assessed on a real time basis, based on an average walker. Fair PriCES When it comes to your holiday, our prices are adjusted to our quality criteria. hOtEl SElECtiOn We appreciate your business and we offer loyalty discounts for returning customers, We select hotels and accommodation based on their comfort, facilities and character. as well as for those of you who plan your trip early. Last but not least, our prices also represent equitable pay for our staff and the local people who work for us on the ground. CUStOMEr SErViCE We are ready to hear from you by phone, fax or email or by using our website, you can lUGGaGE tranSFEr find your adventure and book it any time, any day. We customise every adventure and We believe that walking with a light pack provides you with a level of comfort that ensures are committed to doing so because we believe every customer is unique. you enjoy your walk. Every day, we take care of your luggage ensuring it is waiting for you at your next hotel after your walking day. Quality Time & Peace of Mind on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela hOliday PaCK Before your starting day, you will receive a holiday pack containing all the information about your trip, including walking notes describing the route on a ‘step-by-step’ basis, and the best available detailed maps. PilGriM PaSSPOrt Your Follow The Camino Passport/Credencial will be stamped at each stage of your journey, allowing you to gain the certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Camino (min.100kms required). SUPPOrt BEFOrE and dUrinG Before your holiday, we provide you with a detailed list of items to bring and our team is available to answer any questions and queries you may have. During your trip, we can provide local assistance and there is an emergency phone number available 24/7.16 17
  11. 11. testimonials Preparation Let me tell you that it was an amazing experience. Hotels and other arrangements were EaSy excellent. Food was extraordinary!” Algie Mannion, Ireland. Try to walk a bit before going – just a few hours at the weekend should be sufficient. For ‘Easy’ grades, the preparation before you go will enhance your experience, “When we arrived in Palace do Rei, the priest who stamped our ‘Credentials’ commented in helping you to enjoy your holiday more. If you feel like being a bit competitive, broken English that they were the best he had seen in a very long time.” James Duffie, Ireland. walking for four or five hours, three or four times a month for two months before departure is recommended. It was the perfect arrangement for me as I was able to enjoy myself without having to worry about a place to sleep at night and carrying my luggage with me. As a Travel Agent and an MOdEratE explorer I would recommend you guys to all my clients and friends.” Vera Torres, UK. Make sure to maintain reasonable fitness for at least two months before departure. Go for a walk of six hours with some ascent every weekend, or practice your regular sport activity as usual. “We both wish to thank you for your organisation and support. We had a great holiday with everything made so easy. The walks were amazing and views stunning – we certainly will ChallEnGinG hope to do further walks.” Esther O’Callaghan & Ann Cassidy, Ireland. For these trips, we recommend preparing every weekend for at least three months. Try to go for challenging walks with 1000m ascent at a good pace for “These holidays are very easy to book and are very well organised. All queries are dealt with more than six hours. If you practice an intense sport activity that develops fitness promptly and pleasantly. The organisers go out of their way to be helpful, right down to calling at least two or three hours a week, this should be adequate as your preparation. just before the holiday to wish us well.” Lynn Cowlard, Australia. Keeping fit is essential, especially in the weeks before departure. “I was so sorry today that my holiday was at an end. I had a most enjoyable time and I thank Follow The Camino for a most professional service. The attention to detail was second to none.” Aidan Killen, Ireland.18 19
  12. 12. Let us create your Camino experience today...20
  13. 13. To plan your walking holidayalong The Way of St.James...Contact your local agent:Or contact us directly at:Head OfficeROI +353 1 443 3972UK/NI +44 20 8816 7328USA +1 631 619 5049fax +353 1 653 0717email info@followthecamino.comGEC. Taylor’s Lane.Dublin 8.