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Pilgrimage of Santiago & Horse Riding in Spain

Welcome to this 12-day pilgrimage to Santiago on horseback (The French Way) starting from Astorga. Embarking on the Pilgrimage of Santiago on horseback is a journey deeply steeped in history and spirituality, standing as one of the major routes of pilgrimage alongside Rome and Jerusalem. Originating in the 9th century, this revered trail converges on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, where the relics of Saint James the Apostle are said to rest.

Key information

  • Rider's weight limit: 120 kg / 265 lbs
  • Tack type: English tack
  • Horse height range: 1.5 - 1.7 meters
  • Horse breed: Mix of Hispano-Arab, Spanish Purebred and Lusitanian and crosses.

Meet the instructors

Jesús
Read more

Highlights

  • A spiritual journey of the Pilgrimage to Santiago, a soul-stirring experience
  • Ride up to 25-35 km / 6-7 hours a day
  • Immerse in the scenic routes and charming towns of Galicia
  • Experience seamless logistics, ensuring an effortless and hassle-free pilgrimage
  • Delight in the diverse local gastronomy along the route, savoring authentic flavors
  • Culminate the pilgrimage by arriving on horseback in Santiago de Compostela
  • Admire the distant towers of the Santiago Cathedral and step into Plaza do Obradoiro
  • 11 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


11 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German, Spanish
Group size: 4-16 participants
Airport transfer included: Santiago de Compostela Airport
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Accommodation

You will stay in a double shared room in comfortable and pleasant pilgrim accommodation.

Program

The Pilgrimage of Santiago

Embarking on the Pilgrimage of Santiago on horseback is a journey deeply steeped in history and spirituality, standing as one of the major routes of pilgrimage alongside Rome and Jerusalem. Originating in the 9th century, this revered trail converges on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, where the relics of Saint James the Apostle are said to rest.

Riding through these ancient paths not only connects travelers to the past but also infuses the present journey with a profound spiritual essence. As riders traverse the diverse landscapes, from rugged terrains to quaint villages, the symbiosis between horse and pilgrim amplifies the significance of the expedition. This meditative traverse unfolds as a transformative experience, offering moments for inner contemplation while embracing the spiritual heritage and camaraderie that have characterized this extraordinary pilgrimage for centuries.

From my personal experience, one of the best experiences of my life, without a doubt. I completed the Camino de Santiago twice, and I always want to do it again. I walked both times, and for this third time, I would love to do it on horseback, and of course, share it with people who are passionate about nature.

I highly recommend this experience, as reaching the Cathedral after several days of pilgrimage is very rewarding. I have high expectations for this trip because you try it once, and you always want to repeat it, and of course, each experience is unique. It cannot be fully described; it's something unique and magical that one has to live for themselves.

The French Way or or Camino Francés

The French Way, or Camino Francés, stands as the most traversed route of the Camino de Santiago, spanning approximately 800 kilometers from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This revered path captivates pilgrims with its diverse landscapes, historical significance, and cultural richness.

Dharma Consulting have prepared a condensed experience, the 7 day route on horseback from Sarria serves as a popular starting point, covering around 100 kilometers—a distance that fulfills the minimum requirement to obtain the revered Compostela certificate. The journey from Sarria encompasses picturesque hamlets, undulating hillsides, and emblematic landmarks such as Portomarín and the renowned Santiago de Barbadelos monastery, offering pilgrims a condensed yet spiritually enriching portion of the Camino Francés.

For those seeking the full experience of the French Way, a 29-day trial can be offered for groups of 4 and more. The starting point is Roncesvalles.

Riding between 25-35 km for 6-7 hours a day, so you need to be an intermediate, advance level, and aged: 16 to 70 years old to handle that. Horses are 1.5 - 1.7 m in height are a mix of Hispano-Arab, Spanish Purebred and Lusitanian and crosses.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Transfer from the airport, train, bus stations, in Santiago to the starting point.
  • Reception
  • Settle into the accommodation
  • Dinner

Day 2: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

Commence your equestrian pilgrimage from Astorga, riding through the tranquil landscapes of the Leonese plains. Arrive in Rabanal del Camino, known for its charming medieval atmosphere and the picturesque Cruz de Ferro.

Day 3: Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca

Embark on a scenic journey through the enchanting landscapes of the Bierzo region. Traverse quaint villages and lush vineyards, arriving in Molinaseca, a picturesque town with a medieval bridge over the Meruelo River.

Day 4: Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo

Ride through the undulating terrain to Villafranca del Bierzo, a town rich in historical and architectural heritage. Explore the medieval streets and the 9th-century Church of Santiago.

Day 5: Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro

Ascend towards the mystical O Cebreiro, perched high in the Galician mountains. Enjoy panoramic views and experience the unique Celtic influence present in this historic village.

Day 6: O Cebreiro to Triacastela

Descend from the mountains and traverse verdant landscapes to reach Triacastela. This day offers a mix of forests, meadows, and charming hamlets along the way.

Day 7: Triacastela to Sarria

Continue your ride through the picturesque Galician countryside, passing through Sarria. This town marks the beginning of the last 100 kilometers to Santiago and is known for its medieval architecture.

Day 8: Sarria to Portomarín

Ride through charming villages and across rural landscapes to Portomarín, located on the banks of the Miño River. Explore the historical sites and the Church of San Juan.

Day 9: Portomarín to Palas de Rei

Journey through rural Galicia, encountering woodlands and quaint villages on your way to Palas de Rei. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the camaraderie of fellow pilgrims.

Day 10: Palas de Rei to Arzúa

Ride through rolling hills and picturesque villages, arriving in Arzúa. This town is known for its dairy products, particularly its delicious cheese.

Day 11: Arzúa to Santiago de Compostela

Embark on the final leg of your equestrian pilgrimage, riding through the lush landscapes of Galicia. Arrive triumphantly in Santiago de Compostela, where the iconic Cathedral awaits, marking the culmination of your pilgrimage on horseback along the Camino de Santiago.

Last day

  • 07:00 - 09:00 It will be possible to enter on horseback to the Plaza do Obradoiro (Santiago's Cathedral)
  • Return to hotel
  • Breakfast
  • 12:00 Pilgrim’s Mass
  • Departure

Sample schedule

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 09:00 Begin horseback riding
  • 11:00 Short break for refreshments (drink / snack / coffee, etc.)
  • 11:30 Continue on horseback
  • 14:00 Lunch
  • 16:00 Resume horseback riding
  • 18:00 - 18:30 Approximate arrival
  • Rest and free time
  • 20:00 Dinner

Instructors

Jesús

Location

Embarking on a 12-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela starting from Astorga, pilgrims are treated to a remarkable journey through the heart of the Camino de Santiago. Nestled in the province of León, Astorga serves as a significant starting point, known for its historic architecture, including the Episcopal Palace and the Gothic Cathedral. The pilgrimage unfolds across diverse landscapes, from the undulating plains of Castilla to the verdant hills of Galicia. As pilgrims traverse the meseta, they witness vast expanses of golden fields and medieval villages, experiencing the solitude that characterizes this stretch of the Camino. The route then meanders through charming towns like Ponferrada, Villafranca del Bierzo, and Sarria, each with its own cultural treasures and welcoming spirit. The journey culminates in Santiago de Compostela, where pilgrims are rewarded with the awe-inspiring sight of the Cathedral of Santiago. This 12-day pilgrimage offers a profound exploration of the Camino's cultural, historical, and spiritual dimensions, making it a transformative and enriching experience for those who embark on this sacred journey.

Food

The package includes all meals during the route.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Transfer from the Santiago airport / bus / train station (both ways)
  • 11 nights accommodation (in a double shared room in comfortable and pleasant pilgrim accommodations)
  • All meals during the route
  • Guides & ground staff to take care of horses
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations & support vehicle
  • Horses, equipment, saddle bags
  • Waterproof clothing (if necessary)
  • Third-party liability insurance

What's not included

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Airfare

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ). Transfer from the Santiago Airport / bus / train station is included in the price (both ways).

Airport: Santiago de Compostela Airport Airport transfer included: Santiago de Compostela Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
Early bird Discount
This listing has a early bird discount of 5% if you book 90 days before the selected arrival date.
12 days / 11 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Availability

Arrival: Wednesday August 7, 2024
Departure: Sunday August 18, 2024

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