The Way of Saint James – Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago – The Way of Saint James

For centuries Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the north-western region of Spain, has been one of the major European pilgrimage destinations.

In medieval times the journey might have been quite an ordeal but the amazing scenery, outstanding heritage, food and drink and the welcoming people, these days make it an ideal destination for touring holidays.

Enjoy our ‘Caminos’ self-drive itineraries at your own pace in the comfort of our hand-picked hotels and discover the beauty of the lesser-known regions of Spain & Portugal.

Santiago shell

A bit of background about the Camino de Santiago…

The modern “way” to Santiago de Compostela

With nearly 350,000 pilgrims registered in 2019, the Camino de Santiago is notably enjoying a boom in the last few years, with an increasing amount of visitors every year.

Pilgrims generally walk the way to Santiago but you can ride a bike or a horse and even use other less conventional means of transport (donkey, penny-farthing, hand-bike….. you name it).

The reasons for walking the Santiago Ways are numerous, from religious, to sporting to just cultural. The only constant being outstanding heritage, fantastic food and a great overall experience.


In the year AD 40, whilst spreading the word of Jesus throughout the Iberian Peninsula, the Virgin Mary appeared to the apostle St James atop a pillar in what’s now known as Zaragoza. An immense Cathedral now stands on this site in veneration of the Virgen del Pilar to whom a national holiday is also celebrated every 12th of October.

Shortly after, St James returned to Jerusalem where he was promptly beheaded with a sword by King Herod himself. The legend holds that his body was taken up by angels and sailed in a rudderless, crewless boat from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia (nowadays Padron) in north west Galicia, where a massive rock closed around his relics, which were later removed to Compostela…… Read full article.

For centuries pilgrims from everywhere have walked to Santiago de Compostela, starting at their doorstep and joining one of the four major routes.

Camino del Norte – Northern Way to Santiago

Starting very close to the French border, this camino covers the whole of the coastal regions of Northern Spain.

A one-way itinerary or circular tour, you can get as active as you like, a great mixture of tranquil beaches and high mountains, this region has something for everyone.

See a selection of our Caminos Tours in the North.

Camino del Frances – French Way to Santiago

The quintessential of the caminos, northern Europeans have used this path for centuries on their way to Santiago, crossing the French-Spanish border in the Pyrenees mountains. It can be one-way or circular.

This path travels straight through the regions of Rioja, Burgos, Leon and Galicia, all regions of great historic importance, boasting architectural gems like cathedrals and churches.

See a selection of our Caminos Tours in the north.

Via de Plata – Inland Spain Way to Santiago

Andalucia is the beginning of this way which crosses the whole length of the Iberian Peninsula from south to north, all the way to Santiago. 

Heritage cities, architecture and history describe the centre regions of Spain, from Roman to contemporary art, arid planes and mountain ranges.

Perfect for spring and autumn holidays, this could be a one-way or a circular route.

See a selection of our Caminos Tours in Inland Spain.

Camino Portugues – The Portuguese Way to Santiago

Start in Lisbon and travel north, crossing the border to Spain and Santiago. 

Discover northern Portugal, small but endlessly captivating, rich with delightful regional contrasts, is the ideal destination for a wonderful touring holiday.

Please note; if renting a vehicle, this route should be designed to be circular, as rental cars must be returned to their country of origin.

See a selection of our Caminos tours in Portugal.

Get the ‘Camino feeling’ withouth the strain

Bring your car on the ferry and discover the regions covered by the northern caminos or fly and rent a car or motorcycle and travel from south to north, either in Spain or in Portugal, we’ll make sure you get all the best of the camino feeling without the strain of walking or riding it and you don’t need to sleep in pilgrims’ hostels!

Flexibility to adapt to your needs

Our tours are flexible and aim to adapt to your needs and requirements. Choose one of our ready-set tours from our selection and if you don’t find exactly what you want, let us give you some guidance.

Please note most of our tours can be one-way or circular.

….. or create your own wish-list tour

Let us create the perfect tailor-made itinerary in Spain and Portugal for you.

Travel independently yet informed and assisted avoiding the pitfalls of an organized bus trip yet at the same time getting the very most out of your visit to Spain and Portugal.

Best time for each region and climate ….

Spain and Portugal make together a vast extent of land where the climate changes from the hot-dry south to the green-fresh north. 

The southern ends of both countries often reach over 40º in the summer, however, the winters are mild and pleasant.

The nothern and verdant regions of Spain receive more rain and snow in the mountains but the summers are very pleasant, usually not surpassing 35º. In winter the high mountains’ tops are snow-capped for most of the season.

The middle regions of both Spain and Portugal enjoy a more benign climate with milder winters and dry summers in the lower valleys and coast, and fresher temperatures in the mountains and high plains.

A few practicalities

Renting a car or motorbike in either Spain or Portugal is straight forward and catered for in most airports in the regions of Spain and Portugal where we work.

However, please note that in one-way trips the pick-up and drop-off of the rental vehicle must be done in the same country. We can always accommodate your plans to overcome any limitations.

If you’re interested in public transport options please ask us about it.

Ferry drive

Take a ferry from the UK or Ireland to northern Spain and enjoy holidaying with your own car or motorbike. Seven crossings from the UK and two from Ireland.

Ireland ferry map 2020

Please note these tours are suited for ferry users but they can also work as fly-drive itineraries. It´s up to you!

Fly and rent a car or bike

If you prefer to rent a car or motorbike, we can offer rental cars in all Spanish and Portuguese airports you would fly to and motorbike rentals in all major cities. 

Airports and bike rental map

Please note that in one-way trips the pick-up and drop-off of the rental car must be done in the same country.