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Pilgrimage of Santiago & Horse Riding in Spain

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 lb
  • Horse height range: 1.5 - 1.7 m
  • Tack type: English tack
  • Horse breed: Horses are a mix of Hispano-Arab, Spanish Purebred, and Lusitanian crosses.

Meet the instructors

Jesús
Read more

Highlights

  • A spiritual journey of the Pilgrimage to Santiago, a soul-stirring experience
  • Engage in 6-7 hours of daily horseback riding
  • 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

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


5 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

Accommodation is provided in a double shared room in comfortable and pleasant pilgrim accommodations en route.

Program

About the Pilgrimage of Santiago

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 your host Jesús' personal experience, it is one of the best experiences in his life, without a doubt. Jesús completed the Camino de Santiago twice, and he always wants to do it again. He walked both times, and for this third time, he would love to do it on horseback, and of course, share it with people who are passionate about nature. Jesús highly recommend this experience, as reaching the Cathedral after several days of pilgrimage is very rewarding. He has 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.

About The French Way 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 has 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.

You'll be riding between 25-35 km for 6-7 hours a day, so you need to be at an intermediate or advanced level and aged 16 to 70 years old to handle that.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrivals in Santiago de Compostela
  • Transfer to the starting point of Camino de Santiago on horseback
  • Check in to the accommodation
  • Welcome dinner

Day 2: Sarria to Portomarín

  • Cross the A Áspera bridge towards Barbadelo, passing through stunning oak forests and historic landscapes.
  • Traverse Paradela and descend to the banks of the Miño River, entering Portomarín.
  • Explore the town's submerged ruins and stay overnight in Portomarín.

Day 3: Portomarín to Ligonde

  • Journey through Gonzar, Castromaior, Ventas de Narón, and Lameiros before reaching Ligonde, witnessing traditional architectural styles along the way.
  • Spend the night in Ligonde.

Day 4: Ligonde to Palas de Rei

  • Proceed through Palas de Rei via A Ulloa, known for dairy production, and the Pambre Castle, and explore this historically rich region.
  • Continue the path into A Coruña province, passing Leboeiro and Furelos, and spend the night in Palas de Rei.

Day 5: Palas de Rei to Santiago de Compostela

  • Enter Melide, the geographical center of Galicia. Savor the famed Galician-style octopus and explore the town's historical identity as it merges with the urban landscape.
  • Continue through Boente and Castañeda before nearing Arzúa, passing through Ribadiso. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
  • Conclude the journey with a view of the distant towers of the Santiago Cathedral, signaling the approaching destination.
  • Arrive at Santiago de Compostela and visit the Cathedral, marking the end of the pilgrimage.
  • Spend the day exploring the city and its historical treasures.

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

Galicia stands as an enchanting backdrop to the iconic Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage, its landscapes weaving a captivating narrative along this revered journey. With lush greenery, rolling hills, and ancient pathways, this northwestern Spanish region offers a picturesque setting for pilgrims seeking spiritual enlightenment.

Charming towns, each steeped in its own history and culture, punctuate the route, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in Galicia's rich heritage. From the serene beauty of oak forests to the tranquil banks of rivers like the Miño, Galicia's diverse scenery serves as a canvas upon which the Camino unfurls its tales of resilience, faith, and self-discovery.

The region's warm hospitality and authentic gastronomy further enrich the pilgrimage experience, fostering connections and moments of reflection amidst the captivating landscapes of Galicia.

The French Way trip will start from Sarria or Triacastela.

Food

Included in the package are all meals during the route. You will enjoy delicious Galician cuisine.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

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)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
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)
  • 5 nights accommodation (in a double shared room in comfortable and pleasant pilgrims 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
  • Getting to Santiago
  • Airfare

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by bus or train

Pickup from Santiago de Compostela Airport, Bus Station or train station, then transfer to the starting point.

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.
6 days / 5 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Monday July 22, 2024
(6 days / 5 nights)

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