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The perfect trip for those with a little more time. Starting in the Province of Castilla Leon, this trip offers a perfect blend of beautiful scenery, historical sites and enough time to fully disconnect from our daily routine. Let yourself be absorbed in the daily rhythm of walking, meeting people along the way and taking in the Spanish culture.

  • Trip Score 1 Review
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    2 Weeks, Guided Trips, Walking
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Daily Distance Moderate
All about the PONFERRADA SARRIA / 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS.

The perfect trip for those with a little more time. Starting in the Province of Castilla Leon, this trip offers a perfect blend of beautiful scenery, historical sites and enough time to fully disconnect from our daily routine. Let yourself be absorbed in the daily rhythm of walking, meeting people along the way and taking in the Spanish culture.



October 6th – October 16th, 2020 departure

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.


  • 9 nights accommodation in 3 & 4-star hotels and guesthouses
  • 1 night accommodation in 2 star guesthouse
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners
  • Daily luggage transfers (one bag up to 20kg per person)
  • Experienced English speaking guide
  • Potential taxi services to shorten days
  • Train transfer, Madrid-Ponferrada
  • Train transfer, Santiago de Compostela-Madrid
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Access to 24-hour help line
  • Personalized electronic guidebook with GPS map of Camino
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Personal expenses
  • Lunches and 4 dinners
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Museum entrances & other paid visits

    Arrival at Madrid and transfer to Ponferrada via train, a 5 hour journey. Be sure to select a flight that will land in Madrid early in the day to give you plenty of time to reach the train station by midday.

    After checking into your lodge for the evening, you can choose to either sit back and relax or opt for a stroll around this gorgeous historical town. Many enjoy spending time discovering the ancient castle of Ponferrada your home for the evening.


    We start our adventure on very level terrain. We pass a series of villages located in the heart of the Bierzo valley as we admire the size of the neighbouring mountains that surround us. Ending in Villafranca del Bierzo, it doesn’t take long to notice why this has always been an important stop along the Camino Frances. The ’Puerta del Perdon’ (door of forgiveness), Villafranca Castle, the XII th century Monastery of Santa Maria all await you here.


    Don’t let the distance fool you, it’s practically all level ground, allowing us to get accustomed to walking on a daily basis. Those looking for a challenge can opt for an alternate route high up on the mountain crests, offering stunning views!

  4. STAGE 4 LAS HERRERIAS - BIDUEDO - 23 KM (14 miles)

    By far the most difficult section on the Camino Frances, no matter how one does it. The morning starts rather quickly with an abrupt 8.4km steep climb to OCebreiro. The good news is that once you reach the top, you arrive at one of the prettiest, and also popular, villages on the entire Camino Frances, OCebreiro. This village looks, feels, and to a certain extent, is, completely Celtic.

  5. STAGE 5 BIDUEDO - SARRIA - 28 KM (17 miles)

    After yesterday’s big day and what was surely a good night’s sleep, we are greeted by a long 7 km downhill into the small town of Triacastela (the three Castles).! At this intersection comes decision-making time. If you are tired, one may opt for the shorter and more direct route for a total of 22km. If on the other hand, you are feeling strong and would like to discover Spain’s oldest and largest Monastery (Samos), then walking an extra 6km is well worth the detour.

  6. STAGE 6 SARRIA - PORTOMARIN - 21 KM (13 miles)

    A great start to the trip as you’ll spend most of the day in the quiet countryside, discovering the peacefulness of rural Galicia. You’ll end with a long downhill walk into Portomarin, your home for the evening, along the banks of the Mino River.

  7. STAGE 7 PORTOMARIN - PALAS DEL REI - 24 KM (15 miles)

    Another peaceful day in the countryside, slowly meandering through local villages and hamlets. Some interesting untended Celtic ruins can be seen along the way if one has the strength to make a short 1 km detour.

  8. Stage 8 PALAS DEL REI - SEDOR - 24 KM (15 miles)

    Today takes you through Melide, a village that has made Pulpo Gallego legendary throughout the country. A simple recipe of octopus, potatoes and paprika but when prepared just right, lights up your taste buds!

  9. STAGE 9 SEDOR - PEDROUZO - 24 KM (15 miles)

    As you get closer to Santiago, you start walking through more and more Eucalyptus treed forests. The aroma is delightful as is the rest of the trail.


    A shorter distance in walking today in order to take full advantage of the city’s sites. There is tons to see and do, on top of enjoying the fulfillment of reaching your destination!


    Return to Madrid this afternoon via high speed train.

Our preferred inns have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, charm and consistent friendly service. They are subject to availability. Should one of our preferred inns not be available, we will provide you with one of the same standard & price.


An 18th century home transformed into a beautiful small hotel. Inner courtyard with a garden & chairs to unwind in.


Located in Leon’s historical centre, this hotel is all at once a temple, a convent, a palace, a library and a museum. Beautifully mixing the original architectural elements with modern materials.

PARADOR BERNARDO FRESNADACamino de Santiago Tour lodging

A former 16th century convent renovated into a beautiful hotel. Located next to the historical center of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.


Part of an old monastery converted into a 4 star hotel. Rooms are all very different but mainly spacious, comfortable and have tons of charm.

PAZO DE SEDORWay of St James Tours Sedor

A lovely manor home from the 17th century, with beautiful and relaxing grounds, located on the outskirts of town.

HOTEL ALTAIRWay of St James Tours Altair

Modern rooms in an ancient home. Located on the edge of the historical center, where it is much quieter and tranquil.

The Camino de Santiago is a hiking trail that has been travelled for centuries by people from all parts of the globe. Originally a pilgrimage for people looking to be pardoned for their sins, today it has taken on a different form, a unique place unlike any other hiking trail or location that one just needs to experience to fully grasp.

  • The reasons to accomplish the Camino Frances are as varied as the amount of flavours at the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!
  • But that is part of what makes this trail so unique. People from all walks of life, different ethnicities, different beliefs, different parts of the world, all gathered on this one trail with a common objective…reaching Santiago de Compostella under their own power.
  • Some people walk to lose weight while others prefer to lose themselves in their thoughts. There are those who walk to gaze at the stunning natural Spanish countryside, and those who like to gaze within. All enjoy the free spirited and fun Spanish culture, and enjoy sharing it with the new friendships created along the way. No matter the reasons for being there, all who embark on this journey support one another and encourage each other to reach their goals. That’s what makes the Camino de Santiago so unique and that’s why we encourage you to venture on the trail with one of our intimate groups or on our self-guided formula.
  • Yes you can! The more preparation (training) you do will obviously make your trip more enjoyable. We’ve encountered people over 90 years of age walking the trail, one hour in the mornings, and one hour in the afternoons, slowly but surely working their way towards Santiago de Compostela.
  • The physical challenge is not to be taken lightly though and poses obvious difficulties as walking 5-6 hours daily with a daypack is not something most people are accustomed to doing. Even those who do regular exercise can bump into difficulties with weather, blisters, lack of proper sleep, and other little events that turn a simple stroll into a demanding experience.
  • Usually after a few days of walking, the body seems to adjust, habits gets stronger with time, and the physical challenges definitely dissipate with regular routine. This is why training beforehand can help tremendously.
  • Our group trips are unique and great for people with doubts about their physical capabilities as we offer a ‘short’ option every day so, you can decide depending on how you feel how much you want to walk each day. Our guide can also be a great source of motivation or resource to assist you in getting you home for the night should you ever decide to pack it in for the day. The choices are yours and we are there to ensure you can accomplish this trail, one step at a time!
  • The origins of the Camino de Santiago are certainly tied to the Catholic religion. Today, there are still many that walk the trail for religious reasons (40-45% according to the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela) leaving an increasing amount of people that go for other reasons such as cultural discovery, relaxation, or just for a holiday.
  • Regardless of one’s reasons for being there, all walk away with a unique experience that lasts a lifetime. No matter what your personal motives may be, we’ll be glad to design a trip that will best suit those motivations.
  • There is a certain instant camaraderie amongst the pilgrims walking the trail, a brotherhood is formed independent of a traveler’s origins, where they are from, their age or what they do for a living. On the Camino de Santiago, everyone is there with the same objective, reaching Santiago de Compostela. Although everyone’s motives for reaching that goal may be different, the objective is the same and because of that, everyone seems to look after each other, care about one another, listen to those who need to talk, share their feelings, trials, tribulations, give encouragement, whatever it takes for all to reach that objective.
  • Although wonderful in its own right, the beauty of the trail is not necessarily in the countryside, monasteries or historical buildings visited but rather the beauty of the human spirit when a little compassion is shared. That’s what makes this place so special and a ‘feeling’ we do our best to harvest within our intimate groups along the Camino de Santiago.
  • Roughly an equal amount of women and men. Ages however seem to focus at the mature end (ie: nearing retirement).
  • 95% of our clients are either Canadian or American while the remaining 5% of participants are from other English speaking countries like the UK, South Africa or Australia / New Zealand
  • We provide you a personalized Kindle e-book working in conjunction with Google Maps. Both are the most reliable and user friendly platforms we’ve encountered in order to provide you with all the information you need for the duration of your trip.
  • This allows you to enjoy the day at your pace and enjoy the various sites encountered even when our trip leader may be attending other participants. Giving you full flexibility to enjoy the day as you wish and not feel ‘stuck’ to the hips of the trip leader or all the participants in the group. Everyone walks at their pace while our trip leaders goes back and forth along the trail, making sure everyone is doing well and looked after.
  • We pride ourselves in the quality research we do yearly in order to unearth quality lodging that combines charm, comfort and service.
  • Our guided trips use the most luxurious accommodation available along the Way using the above mentioned criterias.
  • If you prefer something a little more budget, we would recommend you consider our budget self-guided trips or, putting together your own group we can then organize a custom trip for your group specific to your needs.
  • Let’s not kid ourselves, 1,200 years ago, the first people to walk to Santiago de Compostela didn’t have any books, maps or Guide to help them along the way, yet they still made it.
  • To walk it as it was done originally with no knowledge of what lies ahead is of course an individual choice.
  • But considering that getting lost can easily be accomplished within a moment’s inattention, not knowing what lies ahead, where the next lodging is, whether accommodations are available, where to get food or water, etc. All of these factors and more make a guide or, at least, some information about the Camino de Santiago a must for many.
  • Walking for hours every day is a challenge in itself, why not enjoy a minimum of comfort at the end of the day along with a helping hand to assist you?
  • To us, it is more important that you complete the Camino de Santiago in order to live this unique experience. If the use of a guide is what is required for you to take that step and come to the Camino then, great, we are here for you. Join us and we will do our best to make this a trip you will never forget!
  • Rayo Travel is a Canadian based Tour Operator specializing on Camino de Santiago itineraries for over 8 years. Every employee is an avid, experienced adventure traveler.
  • Despite all of our combined destinations visited, no other place has made as big an impact as our Camino de Santiago pilgrimages. A beautiful, unique, human experience that one does not forget, one we are convinced more people could benefit from. If you’re looking for more than just another holiday, than this is the place for you.
  • Our Camino de Santiago guided tours have been specifically designed to offer you the full support of a vehicle without the actual vehicle following behind you at every step.
  • We use local services to assist our groups when shortening the day, skipping a big hill or getting out of the heavy rains is necessary – helping the local economy, allowing us to keep the trip costs way down from other vehicle supported group trip rates AND minimize our ecological footprint along the Way of St James!
  • We also maximize our group to 10 people so that our trip leaders can provide quality service to all participants equally.
  • YES – all of our group trips are guaranteed departures! We understand the challenges of most group tours where one needs to wait until there are sufficient participants for the trip to be guaranteed to go and how unnerving that can be.
  • You do not have this problem or issue with our group tours. Since our group are already small to begin with, the majority of our trips quickly fill-up.
  • In the unlikely event of not reaching sufficient minimum participants for the group tour (5 people), we still can guarantee your trip departure on the dates, stages and lodging promised. The only modification would be the non physical presence of a trip leader for the duration of the trip. We would provide you a leader to welcome you on site, help you for the first day of walking to get your bearings on the Camino and then let you go own on your own with the assistance of our 24 hour help line, self-guided Smartbook and all the existing support of the Camino de Santiago. This unlikely, last resort option, would also come with a significant discount given the daily non-presence of a trip leader.
Overall Rating
ray kinsella
Reviewed On 05/04/2018

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