The Camino: Madrid to Santiago
This is a self-guided walking trip that is for people who prefer company on their walk. The friendly nature of the Camino means it’s ideal for single travelers who would like the details of their trip well planned but do not want a fully guided walk. Walk a section of the world-famous Camino De Santiago walking trail or ‘The Way’. Start in Sarria and walk through the hills of Galicia to finish at the pilgrim’s goal of Santiago de Compostela.
Follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims and over 1,000 years of history on the world’s greatest historical trail. Following scenic country roads and forest tracks crossing old villages and cities born from the Camino trail, it is difficult to imagine a better way to enjoy Spain’s rich legacy of history, culture, food and art than to follow your own Camino. Join people from all walks and life and nationalities as they embark on this great adventure, you don’t have to be religious just a keen walker!
We can adapt this itinerary to suit your needs. Please note that tailor-made arrangements incur higher costs due to the extra work involved.
This trip can be taken on any departure date of your choosing but we also offer set departures on the dates listed if you would like to travel with others on a single or twin share basis.
We are the longest established and most popular Camino operator in Australia.
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Madrid to Santiago
- Begin your journey in the exciting city of Madrid
- Free time to explore Spain’s exciting capital
- Walk the final 100km of the Camino Trail; qualify for your Compostela
- Finish in the historic city Santiago; visit the final end point at the Cathedral
FINDING YOUR WAY
Our unique RAW Travel walking app has been designed to help you navigate easily on the trail. Simply download your map with the link we send you and you’ll be able to follow your route with ease, showing your location in real-time without any internet connection needed. The app has many great features; it shows you weather forecasts localised for each of your overnight stops, detailed information on each overnight stop and what facilities are available there. There are important reminders, safety information, videos and emergency contact information for your route. It also has a unique audio feature that can tell you about places and points of interest as you approach them on the trail. We also provide you with a Camino Guide Book to fall back on for extra information and maps.
Welcome to Madrid, the starting point for your exciting journey! Today is an arrival day so you can arrive at any time. Please make your own way to your hotel.
Enjoy the sites of Madrid at your own pace. With architectural wonders, world-class gastronomy and famed art museums, the Spanish capital offers sights and attractions to satisfy everyone.
The morning is free before taking an afternoon train from Madrid to Sarria which sees you arrive into Sarria in the evening. Sarria is the starting point for your Camino. On arrival at Sarria train station you will be transferred to your hotel.
Sarria is a busy, modern town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars, but its origins are Celtic and it was an important and major medieval centre for pilgrims. Remnants of its ancient past can still be seen in the old quarter along Rua Major. The church of Igrexia de Santa Maria has an ancient pilgrim’s mural. If you follow the Camino route to the top end of town you will see the ancient convent Monasterio da Madalena, the ruins of the castle and the medieval bridge Ponte Aspera that crosses the River Celerio.
Nowadays the town is bustling with peregrinos, from those who started their Camino 100s of kilometres back to pilgrims like you who walk the final 100km to Santiago de Compostela to qualify for their Compostela.
Time to finally get onto the Camino Trail and on your way to Santiago. The majority of your first walk is a great introduction as it is along sheltered woodland pathways or quiet country roads and passes through many hamlets and small villages. The scenery along the way is wonderfully green and lush and very rural. The trail climbs and falls repeatedly as it passes tiny hamlets full of history.
The high point of the day (660m) at Pina dos Corvos has wonderful views over the reservoir and surrounding countryside. From here begin your steep descent, crossing the Mino Reservoir over its modern bridge into Portomarin.
Portomarin has been inhabited for thousands of years and its importance grew with the popularity of the Camino in the middle ages. At one time it had three orders of Knights: the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John and the Knights of Jerusalem, which may go some way to explaining the castle like edifice of the 12th century Romanesque Igelsia San Nicolas church which still stands in the square at the centre of town. The town was previously divided by the Rio Mino but was flooded in 1960 to create the Mino Reservoir. Every historic monument was moved brick by brick to the town that stands on the hill today; you can see pictures of the old town in some of the bars and cafes that line the main street.
Today’s walk is uphill for pretty much all the way, however the gradient is never too steep. The path crosses and runs parallel to the main road to Gonzar, though you spend most of your days walking on woodland tracks and quiet roads
A climb to start the day takes you to Sierra Ligonde, today’s high point at 720m. The walk is then downhill to Ligonde and Eirexe and onto A Calzada. There is a detour here of 2 km to the National Monument, Vilar de Donas where the Knights of Santiago are buried and is worthy of a visit if you have time. A gentle climb now takes you through several small hamlets to Alto Rosario, a good vantage point on a clear day and then down into Palas de Rei.
Palas de Rei or Palace of the King has little to remind you that it was once home to a king. Today it is a small country town with plenty of services available.
Today’s walk is mostly on paths through quiet woodland, crossing over the main road to Arzua several times and guiding you through six river valleys to reach a high point of 515m at Coto. On route you will pass Melide, a busy town founded in the 13th century and has many historic buildings and churches including the Capilla de San Pedro and San Roque next to which stands a 14th century stone cross said to be the oldest in Galicia. The museum and the buildings around the Plaza de Convento are well worth a visit. Melide is also famous for Pulpo Gallego, octopus cooked Galician style and reputed to be the best in Spain.
From Melide the path winds through woodlands of oak, pine and eucalypt, passing over several valleys though Boente, Castañeda and then Ribadiso from where you can see the Hospital San Anton, one of the oldest pilgrim hospitals in existence. From Ribadiso follow the country road on a steep uphill climb and through the outer suburbs before entering Arzua.
Arzua with a population of around 7,000 is the last large town before you reach Santiago. The 14th-century Capilla de la Magdelena is the town’s main monument. Arzua is most famous for its local cheese, Queixo, a smooth creamy cheese made from cow’s milk that most restaurants feature in some way and is definitely worth trying. The town also celebrates its cheese with a Queixo cheese festival every March.
The majority of today’s walk to O Pedrouzo is through wonderful pine and eucalyptus scented woodland. The path is mostly level, passing through three shallow river valleys with a gradual climb up to Alto de Santa Irene at 404m. The country lanes and woodland paths pass through many small hamlets. The final section climbs steeply to a main road, into eucalyptus woodland and onto A Rua and the village to O Pedrouzo. O Pedrouzo /Arco do Pino is a small but busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and the staging point for the last section of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.
Today’s route will be a busy as pilgrims begin the last stage of their walk into Santiago. The pilgrims mass at Santiago Cathedral begins at midday so you will need to leave early to arrive on time. The first section of today’s route passes through eucalypt forests with most of the route on quiet roads and pathways before the final kilometres and a climb to Mount Gozo before descending into the suburbs of Santiago. The path runs alongside the airport and you will see many crosses of twigs and branches used by pilgrims to decorate the fence.
Lavacolla village is where pilgrims traditionally washed to purify themselves before entering Santiago and Lavacolla literally means to wash your tail. At Monte Gozo, Mount of Joy, you will first sight the stunning Catedral de Santiago spires.
The final section is well signposted into the old quarter with its wonderful historical buildings and narrow shop filled alleyways, until you finally reach the Praza do Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient cathedral.
Today you have the whole day to enjoy and explore historic Santiago with its many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St James which forms the city’s heart and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey.
You are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If you would like to explore Santiago further you are able to leave your bags with reception.
There is no shortage of things to do in Madrid! The Spanish capital has wonderful architectural and artistic treasures, from world-class art museums and grand palaces to contemporary structures. Madrid’s culinary scene is an adventure in itself, with tapas bars, traditional Spanish restaurants, and innovative gastronomic experiences waiting to be explored.
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Sarria is a busy, modern town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars. It is bustling with pilgrims – those who began their Camino hundreds of kilometres back as well as the large number that walk the final 100km to Santiago de Compostela to qualify for their Compostela.
Portomarin has been inhabited for thousands of years and its importance grew with the popularity of the Camino in the middle ages. At one time it had three orders of Knights: the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John and the Knights of Jerusalem, which may go some way to explaining the castle-like edifice of the 12th century Romanesque Igelsia San Nicolas church which still stands in the square at the centre of town.
Palas de Rei
This town was a favourite place of residence of the Galician nobility and the importance of the Jacobean pilgrimage in this village goes back to time immemorial.
Melide is a busy town founded in the 13th century. It has many historic buildings and churches including the Capilla de San Pedro and San Roque next to which stands a 14th century stone cross said to be the oldest in Galicia. The museum and the buildings around the Plaza de Convento are well worth a visit. Melide is famous for Pulpo Gallego, octopus cooked Galician style and reputed to be the best in Spain.
This is the last large town before you reach Santiago. It has plenty of restaurants bars and cafes and a few ATMs. The 14th century Capilla de la Magdelena is the town’s main monument. Arzúa is most famous for its local cheese, Queixo, a smooth creamy cheese made from cow’s milk which most restaurants feature in some way and is definitely worth trying.
This small busy town has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. It is the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela
The wonderful and historic city of Santiago is the end of the Camino journey for most pilgrims. Praza do Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral form the city’s heart. Attend the midday pilgrims mass and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey. There are many enticing tapas bars and restaurants in which to celebrate your journey.
- 12 nights excellent accommodation including historic hotels and character country houses
- Private ensuite rooms on a twin share or single room basis
- Daily breakfast
- Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 20kg bag per person)
- RAW Travel navigation app with maps of your hotel locations and emergency contact numbers
- Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
- Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
- Dedicated local support person in Spain for reassurance
- Single supplement $1050
- Train from Madrid to Sarria – not included for 2023 trips
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Travel insurance
- Flights to/from Spain
For an extra indulgence, upgrade your hotel in Santiago to a Parador from $170 per person/per night twin share and $250 per person/per night single occupancy, when booked 6 months in advance (subject to availability).
For any part of your trip that falls between 31 October and 31 March there is an ‘out of season’ luggage transfer surcharge cost of $30 per person per day.
We can adapt this itinerary to suit your needs. Please note that tailormade arrangements incur higher costs due to the extra work involved.
Enjoyed walking the Camino and connecting with nature, colleagues and people from all over the world. It was a wonderful experience and one I will treasure for a long time.
Gabrielle Espenschied, Balnarring Beach (VIC) – September 2023
We had the most amazing experience on the Camino. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it. The accommodation was overwhelmingly outstanding and the transfer of suitcases was seamless. I can’t believe how safe we felt and the ease of every location was truly great. I am grateful we had every afternoon to thoroughly explore the towns we were staying in. I had the best time and it is only because of the experience and knowledge of you and the people at RAW Travel.
Laura Lee, Gisborne (VIC) - June 2023
Thank you for organising such a stress-free and well planned Camino trip for us. We had a great time, felt so relaxed, safe and well prepared because of everything you provided us with and told us to plan for. The accommodation was fantastic. We couldn’t have wished for more.
Jen Tyquin, Gisborne (VIC) – June 2023
We have returned from our great adventure on the Camino! Thank you for organising such a fabulous trip. The accommodation was second to none, the food great and the luggage transfers worked like clockwork – this planning took a lot of the anxiety out of the trip and we were able to enjoy Spain and the Camino to its full extent. Two very satisfied pilgrims. I highly recommend RAW Travel.
Susan Bandias (Northern Territory) – October 2022
Camino De Santiago
Walking the Camino is an incredible journey that will immerse you not only in Europe’s grand history, food and culture but most importantly the extraordinary camaraderie that exists along these routes. The spirit of the Camino de Santiago is alive and well among people from all over the world. It is a ‘bucket list’ experience you will never forget! Discover inspiration, travel essentials, practical information and more in our free Destination Guide. All you need to know about walking the Camino de Santiago routes through Spain, Portugal and France!
Camino de Santiago
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Porto to Santiago – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Savour the slower pace of this much quieter Camino
- Memorable encounters with friendly locals along the way
- Rest or explore with a free day in Porto, a vibrant and fascinating riverside city
- Make an optional visit to Tui or a day trip to the Cies Islands
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 1. St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono
- Cross the imposing and beautiful Pyrenees from France into Spain
- Enjoy a sip of wine at the famous wine fountain of Irache
- Soak up the history and vibrant basque culture in Pamplona
- Join a tapas or pincho tour in the streets of Pamplona and Logrono
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 3-5. Leon to Santiago
- Walk the final 300km of the Camino Trail
- This self-guided trip allows you to set your own pace
- Finish in this historic city of Santiago; visit the final end point of your walk at the Cathedral
Le Puy Camino (France)
The Conques Trip: Le Puy Camino
- A beautiful 200km walk across the Central Massif of France
- Ever-changing cultures, gastronomy and dialects
- Espalion’s 16th-century Veiux Palace and 11th century Pont Veiux
- The beautiful medieval Romanesque abbey and hidden village of Conques
Camino de Santiago
The Full Camino
- Self-guided walking trip; set your own pace
- Enjoy Spain’s rich legacy of history, culture, food and art
- Ideal for single travellers who like the details of their trip well planned
- Country roads, forest tracks over old villages, cities born from the Camino trail
Camino de Santiago
The Highlights Trip – Camino
- Walk the best sections of the Camino
- Use trains to visit other cities along the route
- Follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims
- Dedicated local support person in Spain
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed