The Joy of Pilgrimage

  • 21/12/16
  • MAP Travel

The Irish Catholic, June 23 2016 – spiritual Journey

The Joy of Pilgrimage

There is no doubt that a few weeks lying on a white beach gazing at a blue sea and a cloudless sky relaxes the body and soothes the soul, but sometimes we need a little more than that.



The Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago encompasses the various pilgrimage routes throughout Europe all of which lead to Santiago de Compostela. Almost all the routes merge at St. Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees and continue in a single trail to Santiago, a distance of approx. 800 km. This route is called Camino Francés (the French Way) and takes about 6 weeks to walk. For those who do not have the luxury of 6 weeks to walk it in one go, it can be divided up into four or five stages so you can take it one stage at a time or combine one or two stages. The most popular stage is the last one from Sarria into Santiago as it is relatively flat, can be done in a week (allowing for 2 nights in Santiago at the end) and, most importantly, qualifies you for the Compostela – the certificate to say you have walked the last 100 km into Santiago!


The Camino for Schools

The Camino is an ideal project for schools (particularly Transition Year students), parish groups and Charity fundraisers. It provides a personal challenge with a purpose. It is rewarding, challenging, healthy and fun.


The Parador in Santiago

The Hostal dos Reis Catolicos was founded in 1499 on the instructions of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, to give shelter and lodging to the pilgrims. It is today a 5 star hotel located on the square across from the Cathedral. As exclusive agents in Ireland for the Paradores we offer a special pilgrim rate here – what a way to reward yourself at the end of your walk! The Pilgrim Rate also applies to Paradores along the Camino (33 in all) and there is also a special Pilgrim Menu starting at €15.00.

Finding your Way on the Camino

There are as many ways to experience the Camino as there are routes. We can arrange all of the following:


Final stage Sarria to Santiago

110 km – 5 days walking/2 days in Santiago

Staying in 2/3 * hotels (ensuite rooms) chosen for their character and location


Entire Camino Francés – St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago – 800 km

35 days averaging 24 km per day


Stages 1 to 4 – can be booked separately or combined

• St. Jean –Los Arcos 136 km (8 days);

• Los Arcos – Burgos 150 km (8 days)

• Burgos – Astorga 225 km (12 days)

• Astorga – Sarria 149 km (10 days)


The Leisurely Camino – Sarria to Santiago (110 km) at a more relaxed pace

10 days walking averaging 10 – 16 km per day


The Camino for Schools

Customised walks for schools tailored to suit ages, fitness levels and budget, Multi-room accommodation


Other Camino routes available

• The Portuguese Camino – Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela

• The Northern Route – Irun to Santiago de Compostela


Other walks

• The Way of St. Francis – Florence to Rome

• The Fishermans Trail – a coastal walk along the Atlantic in southwest Portugal


We can provide all of the following services:

• Flights

• Accommodation in typical rural cottages and pensions or Paradores

• Transfers on arrival and departure

• Assistance on arrival and departure

• Luggage transfers

• Route planning

• Guides

• Extensions

• Parador accommodation at special Pilgrim rates

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See our website for our full range of pilgrimages, walks and cultural tours

www.maptravel.ie or call (01) 8783111

Bonded and licensed as a Travel Agent T.A. 0474