The French Way - Following Tradition

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1 The French Way - Following Tradition 2 Week Classic Trip 15 Days / 14 nights The perfect trip for those with a little more time. Starting in the Capital 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.

2 The French Way - 2 Week Trip Day 2 León - Hospital Orbigo 21 km (13 miles) From León to Santiago de Compostela Day 1 Madrid to León Arrival at Madrid airport and transfer via high speed train to León, your starting point and home for the first night. Leon being a large city with a sprawling urban area, we avoid it all with a quick 15 minute transfer by car to Valverde de la Virgen. The terrain onwards is mainly a gentle downhill all the way to Hospital de Orbigo. Legendary due to its impressive medieval bridge. Day 3 Hospital Orbigo - Astorga 17 km (11 miles) Another gently sloped day to allow more time for the body to get used to walking but, more importantly, to allow plenty of time to visit some of the fascinating sites of Astorga. Astorga also holds some of the most important Roman ruins in the area and a fascinating cathedral. Those with a sweet tooth may prefer a quick tour and taste at the Chocolate Museum.

3 The French Way - 2 Week Trip Day 4 Astorga - Rabanal del Camino 21 km (13 miles) Today, things start to get more serious, as the entire day is a gradual ascension to Rabanal del Camino. As you exit the city, you ll quickly find much more tranquility, as the villages crossed are tiny and sparse. Your efforts are rewarded with great views of the mountainous region, a real highlight on a clear day. Day 6 Molinaseca - Cacabelos 23 km (14 miles) Day 5 Rabanal del Camino - Molinaseca 25 km (15 miles) First real challenging day as you continue climbing to Cruz de Hierro (the Iron cross), an emblematic place along the Camino Frances. Located atop of Mount Irago at 4,970 feet, it is the highest point along the entire Camino Frances, including the Pyrenees. Adding a stone at the foot of this cross has become an important camino ritual with many pilgrims over the centuries. A long downhill awaits on the other side. Today s walk is a lot more level than it has been these last few days. 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. Many enjoy spending time discovering the ancient castle of Ponferrada and the sites of Cacabelos, your home for the evening.

4 The French Way - 2 Week Trip Day 7 Cacabelos - Las Herrerias 29 km (19 miles) Don t let the distance fool you, it's practically all level ground.! Passing 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. Day 9 Viduedo - Sarria 22 km (13 miles) or 28km (17 miles) option 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 6 km is well worth the detour. Day 8 Las Herrerias - Viduedo 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 The French Way - 2 Week Trip Day 10, Sarria - Portomarin 21 KM (13 miles) A great day as you ll spend most of it in the quiet countryside, discovering the peacefulness of rural Galicia. You ll end with a long downhill walk into Portomarin, situated along the banks of the Mino river. Day 11, Portomarin - Palas del Rei 24 KM (15 miles) Another peaceful day, 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. Day 12 - 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!

6 The French Way - 2Week Trip Day 13 - 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. Day 14 - Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela 20 KM (13 miles) 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! Day 15 - Santiago to Madrid 0 KM Afternoon return via high speed train to Madrid. HAVE EXTRA TIME? Consider extending your stay in Santiago de Compostela by a day or two to fully enjoy the city sites or even take a day trip to Finistere, once believed to be the end of the world. Ask us for details PRICING - Per person, based on double occupancy, in Euros. 3 Star hotels & equivalent (approximately 1,875$ CAD or US) Solo traveler supplement (approximately 645$ CAD or US) Budget Private Room (approximately 1,585$ CAD or US) Solo traveler supplement (approximately 355$ CAD or US)

7 Some of our preferred Lodging ASTORGA - CASA DE TEPA An 18th century home transformed into a beautiful small hotel. Inner courtyard with a garden & chairs to unwind in. MOLINASECA - CASA EL PALACIO This restored hotel, located on the river banks by a Roman bridge, offers great views and a tranquil environment. SARRIA - HOTEL ALFONSO IX A large modern hotel with all the latest amenities, ideally located on the Camino Frances in the heart of town. ARZUA - PAZO DE SEDOR A lovely manor home from the 17th century, with beautiful and relaxing grounds, located on the outskirts of town. HOTEL ALTAIR Modern rooms in an ancient home. Located on the edge of the historical center, where it is much quieter and tranquil. IMPORTANT NOTICE Our preferred lodges have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, charm and consistent friendly service. They are subject to availability. Should one of our preferred lodges not be available, we will provide you with one of the same standard & price.

8 Booking Conditions OUR PRICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING; - En suite Private room & Bathroom - Luggage transfers (1 bag per person, up to 15 kilos) - High Speed Train Ticket from Madrid to León - High Speed Train Ticket from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid - Transfer by car on day 2 between León and Valverde de Virgen - All breakfasts (only in 3 star level accommodations) - Access To 24 Hour Help Line! - Personalized Electronic Guidebook For Each Participant Which Includes: - Camino trail map with GPS locations of your lodges - Daily route notes, elevation profiles and itinerary overview - Informative notes and videos of sites of interest - Restaurant reviews and suggestions! - Essential services locator (banks, pharmacies, water, etc)! - Food menu translator! - Common Spanish phrasebook! - Tips for how to prepare & train for the Camino - First Aid & Emergency situation tips OUR PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE; - Personal Expenses - Meals outside of breakfast - Museum entrances and paid visits - Potential taxi services to shorten days - Travel Insurance

9 Our Services PERSONALIZED ITINERARY We tailor all of our trips specifically to your needs, ensuring you get the trip you want. PERSONAL GUIDE Our Electronic Guide offers you directions, tips and advice every step of your journey. FREEDOM Select when you want to stop, where and what to eat. Experience the Camino your Way. LODGING VARIETY Understanding your needs and expectations, our team scopes the best places for all budgets. LUGGAGE TRANSFER We ensure your bags are waiting for you at your destination at the end of your day s walk. TOP SERVICE Our staff is here for you from start to finish. Dedicated to make this is a trip of a lifetime.

10 Give yourself the best of both worlds: -Flexibility of traveling on your own -Security & Support of a guided trip Whether you hike the entire route or just the last stretch - it s an experience that will stay with you forever. - Rick Steves, US Nationwide Columnist Rayo Active Travel Inc, 113 Tuscany Way NW, Calgary, AB, T3L 2A4

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