Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|23 October - 30 October 2021||On Sale|
Join our spectacular new pilgrimage on the final stretch of Camino de Santiago. Following the footsteps of countless pilgrims, star-gazing Celts and tourists, we’ll tackle a whopping 115km on the Camino de Francis, aka. the French Way.
Setting off from the Gothic town of Sarria in North West Spain, we’ll wind our way up and down lush valleys and enchanting forests full of eucalyptus, fir and oak trees. We'll encounter magnificent, man-made monuments and breath-taking natural landscapes, looking out for woodpeckers and taking in an amazing range of architecture built across centuries.
We’ll stop in rustic hamlets and traditional Spanish towns, with chances to gain insight into the current local lifestyle and the captivating cultural history of the pilgrimage.
Dating back to around the 10th century AD, the famous Camino de Frances actually begins in France and extends some 800km, but this final section gives a perfect alternative for time-tight trekkers.
We’ll, of course, end at the Holy city of Santiago, with a free day to explore its mix of ancient and modern architecture. 2021 marks the Holy Year of the Camino de Santiago, so the city will be more vibrant than ever! You can take in the towering spires of the cathedral and enormous statue celebrating Pope John Paul’s 1993 Holy Year visit, along with the striking contemporary art in the modern galleries.
Places are limited and are likely to go extremely fast for this amazing trek in the Camino de Santiago Holy Year! We recommend you register early to avoid missing out.
covid-19 - keeping you safe
As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.
Our team of experts here at DC has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.
free transfers for all 2021 challenges!
If you feel worried about travelling as your 2021 challenge draws closer, you can transfer your booking and registration fee balance to another 2021 or 2022 challenge free of charge, up until 12 weeks before your departure date.
We start our adventure at the airport in London, where we meet as a group for the first time and catch a short flight to Spain.
A road transfer later, we arrive at the small town of Sarria in Galicia, North West Spain. Home to narrow lanes lined with traditional Spanish architecture and the early-Gothic 13th Century church, O Salvador, this is the perfect place to begin our pilgrimage.
We end the day with a delicious welcome dinner at our hotel and a briefing from our challenge leader.
Rising to breakfast at our hotel, we climb out of the valley and enter an enchanting, mossy, oak wood.
Straight away, we’re treated to stunning views of magnificent oaks and their welcome shade from the sun. If we’re lucky, we may spot black woodpeckers perching on the branches overhead.
Trekking on, we leave the woods for a stretch along quaint roads through the countryside and a number of local hamlets. Lunch is not provided on this pilgrimage, to give you flexibility and the option to fast for a true pilgrimage experience, so you may want to nip into the local shops on our water breaks.
Eventually, we reach Portomarin, a beautiful town on the River Mino. Its exquisite medieval architecture and the 12th Century San Nicholas and San Pedro churches make it a key destination along the Camino de Santiago.
We find our hotel tucked in the town for dinner and a good night’s rest.
After breakfast at the hotel, we get the hills out of the way early. Descending along the town’s main street, we bid Portomarin goodbye and climb around Monte San Antonio.
We’re now into lush, rolling hills with gentle terrain that makes for easier hiking. There will be many places on today's route, where you can buy your lunch or snacks from, if you wish.
We hike along a dirt track to the magnificent Hospital de la Cruz, a striking example of Spanish architecture. Crossing the main road, we follow smooth, rural paths, until we finally reach Os Valos. Here, we dine and stay in a hotel in the town.
Fuelling up with breakfast at our hotel, we head for Palas de Rei and admire its captivating remains of dolmens and forts. We then we set off along a winding track through the woods.
Before long, we emerge beside the main road and continue along our footpath through the quaint town of Carballo. Then we’re back onto a dirt track, taking advantage of the shade from the trees either side.
Trekking on, we encounter an exquisite medieval bridge with four arches and fantastic views across the river. Crossing the bridge to the medieval village of Fuerlos, we take in the mix of historic and modern buildings, including the Church of San Juan, once a pilgrim’s hospital.
More tranquil country roads lead us to Melide, a bustling market town dating back 4,000 years, where our route meets the Camino Primitivo, the original pilgrimage route. This gives you the chance to meet other hikers and we push on past the Romanesque Iglesia de Santa María de Melide, a church full of intricate murals.
Our path then takes us to the 749AD municipality of Caballo, whose name means Oak, thanks to its location nestled amidst forested mountains.
We find an enchanting path undulating through a eucalyptus forest, speckled with oak and fir trees. Hiking up and down through small valleys, we enjoy lush panoramas and welcome shade, all the way to our hotel in Arzua.
Tonight, you may well want to try out the smooth, creamy cheese on the menu, as this town is famous for it, thanks to the many cows in the area. We dust off our day with dinner at our hotel in the town.
As usual, we enjoy breakfast at our hotel before following a route that provides ample opportunities for you to buy your lunch along the way.
Having conquered the steep slopes on our previous days, we hike through gentler valleys and pass several charming countryside hamlets and get a better feel for life in Galicia.
At last, we find our hotel in the modern satellite town of O Pedrouzo and settle down for dinner.
We’ve made it to our last day of trekking and it does not disappoint! Setting off through forest and farmland, we continue to Monte Gozo, which translates to Mount Joy. Here, we catch glimpses of Santiago’s cathedral spires and the statue celebrating Pope John Paul II’s 1993 Holy Year visit.
Our path is likely to grow busier as we trek on, with tourists joining the last section of the Sande de Compostela.
A stark contrast to the tranquil hamlets and sleepy towns we’ve passed along the pilgrimage, Santiago bursts with a diversity of culture, colour and contemporary art. We can take in the mix of modern and historic buildings, with pilgrims, tourists and locals alike milling around its sites, streets and squares.
At last, we reach our hotel and finish line in the city and for a delicious celebration dinner of local cuisine.
Today is free for you to explore the medieval streets of Santiago de Compostela as you wish.
Visit the chic shops, admire the modern art galleries or visit the famous sites that surround the Plaza del Obradoiro, including the Cathedral, Raxoi Palace, and the luxurious Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, said to be the world’s oldest hotel!
As you explore the Cathedral, make sure to follow the renowned ritual to take in the spectacular building from every angle. Admire the main gate of Portico de la Gloria, embrace the statue of St. James on the main altar, descend to the crypt in which St James is buried and climb to the rooftop for the best views over the city.
Neither lunch nor dinner are provided today, so please make the most of the opportunity to try the famous range of cuisine in the city. Grab some fresh seafood, cheese, Padron peppers and/or tapas from the Mercado de Abastos food market or take your pick of the local restaurants.
Today, we enjoy a final Spanish breakfast at the hotel, before transferring to the airport and catching our short flight back to the UK. Touching down in London, we part ways and you make your own way home.
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
We understand if you're worried about making plans right now because of COVID-19, but please rest assured that your health and safety are always our highest priorities.
We are delighted to be leading the industry with our 14-step initiative to minimise the risk of coronavirus.
If the challenge can’t happen in October because of COVID-19, we would postpone the challenge until next year. We would, of course, let you know as soon as possible and give you the full details so that you can mark the date in your diary.
A challenge must meet the following criteria to go ahead:
We're also currently offering free transfers for all 2021 challenges!
This means you can register now and then if you feel worried about travelling later on, you can put both your registration fee and your challenge balance towards any other 2021 or 2022 challenge of your choice, up until 12 weeks before our trek begins.
*This offer is subject to change and may expire. We will let all participants know if the deadline to request a free transfer changes so that you can decide in plenty of time.
Absolutely! As part of our amazing 14-step initiative to minimise the risk of coronavirus, we're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for this type of activity and also for cancellation because of medically diagnosed COVID-19.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part on this challenge will have a low level of fitness level when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and support your favourite charity in a big way.
We strongly recommend you train for the trek as we'll be tackling some steep terrain on our way to Santiago and the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it.
Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Spain.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made, as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for The Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage 5-Day Trek.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people from all walks of life, aged 18 or over, will come together to do something very special.
You will of course need a pair of walking boots.
We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
Your luggage will be transported to our accommodation on each day of the challenge, so you will only need to carry a small day pack containing essential accessories and equipment.
We recommend packing light, as you will need to carry your luggage to and from the airport in the UK.
We will stay in comfortable hotels on a twin-sharing basis throughout the challenge.
We'll encounter a range of terrains throughout the trek, including tough climbs and gentle stretches. We'll follow clear trails through forests, villages, fields, towns and along the coast.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Spain, please let us know at least fourteen weeks before the challenge start date and we can arrange this for you.
The best way to get in touch is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday).
Your registration fee of £199 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,299 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of approx. £250.
**Please note that lunch is not included for this challenge, to give you the opportunity to fast during the day for a true pilgrimage experience. There will be many places along the way for you to buy lunch/snacks on each day of the challenge.
Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to do this at least fourteen weeks before the challenge starts.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£199) and either self funding your challenge costs or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your:
There will be around 20-25 participants in our group for the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage 5-Day Trek. You'll no doubt make lots of new friends!
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
We're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for this type of activity and also for cancellation due to medically diagnosed COVID-19.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Spain.
Currently, UK citizens don't need a visa to travel to Spain for tourism. We'll let you know if this changes before our challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you've registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the trek. The programme builds up gradually as our departure date draws closer.
We also have fantastic first-aid-trained challenge guides, a group of porters and two doctors accompanying us throughout the challenge for groups of ten participants or more.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home