This pilgrimage is designed for wheelchair users. An electric handbike is REQUIRED, as is at least one companion to accompany you on foot. The terrain covered allows for comfortable, independent routes of 20 km on average. Where needed transfers are provided in wheelchair adapted accessible taxis, to the beginning or from the end of each stage. Luggage transport is included, from one hotel to the next.
NOTE: Option of booking the trip to start from Astorga instead of León.
Start: León (or Astorga) End: Santiago de Compostela
Travel to León and check in at your hotel, then check out the city! Start with stunning stained-glass windows at the 12th-13th century gothic Catedral de Santa María. Admire Romanesque reliefs at Basilica de San Isidoro. Ambling across Plaza de San Martín, you’ll be drawn to the humming lanes of Calle Ancha, de la Rúa, Badillo and Las Cercas. Art lovers can meander to the MUSAC Museum of Contemporary Art, while foodies hit the bars in Barrio Húmedo for tasty tapas served with regional reds.
NOTE: This tour can be booked to start in Astorga instead of León
Your Camino adventure begins in Astorga, population 12.000, a strategic town built by the Romans to exploit nearby gold mines. Gawk at the neo-gothic Palace of Gaudí and ‘tryptic’ façade of Santa María Cathedral. Walk ancient walls and sample specialties such as ice cream, puff pastries and chocolate. Next, roll into the mysterious region of La Maragatería with its distinct ethnicity, language and customs. Once a major crossroads on trading routes, the area’s historic past combines well with the curious local dish: a three-course stew where the soup is served last!
Challenge: 17.5 km, 300 m ascent, 100 m descent
Trekking toward Galicia you meet mountainous terrain and one of the main challenges of your pilgrimage. Some segments follow a comfortable path parallel to the road, others wind along country lanes. This stage is perfectly do-able, but you may require the help of your companion at times. It all begins in Villafranca del Bierzo (population 3300), a classic Camino town so linked to the pilgrimage that its nickname is ‘Little Compostela’. Roll alongside the River Valcarce and marvel at oak, holm oak and walnut forests. See why an estimated one third of El Bierzo’s chestnut harvest is said to originate here. And thrill to green scenes in spring or spectacular colours in autumn.
Challenge: 20 km, 570 m ascent, 390 m descent
Pilgrims start their countdown to Santiago on this stage as encouraging kilometre markers begin to sprout up. Traversing mixed forests, oak groves and fragrant eucalyptus woods, you’ll encounter a variety of surfaces today: tarmac lanes, surfaced sections and fine gravel tracks which are suitable for handbikes. Melide marks the halfway point, at the crossroads where the historic Original Route (Camino Primitivo) and popular French Route (Camino Frances) come together. Stop at Casa Ezequiel for a steaming cup of Galician-style broth and perfectly prepared octopus (‘pulpo a feira’).
Challenge: 12.7 km, 250 m ascent, 315 m descent
Today’s stage takes wide tracks to pleasant woodlands and typical Galician farmhouses. Stop at Casa Dolores in Outeiro and snap a selfie with thousands of bottles of ‘El Peregrino’ beer. Then enjoy a 7-km traverse on up-and-down terrain, as the Camino winds its way on either side of the road. Just before Santa Irene you begin a 4-km descent to O Pedrouzo, where you can rest, relax and replenish your energy with local tapas.
Challenge: 14.6 km, 265 m ascent, 380 m descent
Today is a grand day, your long-awaited arrival on the immense square at Plaza de Obradoiro. The initial section follows a surfaced road in gradual ascent to the famous hilltop at Monte do Gozo, a ‘sacred spot’ which seems to be mismatched with your inward journey. Yet one can still imagine the joy ancient pilgrims must have felt as they caught their first glimpse of cathedral spires way off in the distance. The next section becomes increasingly urban and truly exciting, as you join fellow pilgrims on a gentle, well-marked descent along the ancient Camino route.
Challenge: 8.7 km, 150 m ascent, 255 m descent
Your unique pilgrimage comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Departure from Santiago de Compostela. Option of booking extra nights to explore this fascinating city.
The accommodation for this trip has been carefully selected according to location, daily stages to be covered, comfort and accessibility of both rooms and common facilities. We have chosen 3-star hotels and hostels, prioritizing rooms with private bathroom.
Extra nights may be booked in Burgos and León. The accessibility of the accommodation included in this package has been verified by our specialised consultant in accessible tourism Equalitas Vitae
This trip is offered 01 May-15 June and 01 September-30 October.
Arriving in León
BY TRAIN OR BUS
If you are starting the Camino de Santiago in León, there are easy connections from Gijón and Oviedo (Asturias) or Burgos and Palencia (Castilla y León). León can also be reached from Madrid by train (2h15) or bus (3,5 hrs). From Barcelona there are regular flights to León (1,5 hrs) with a stopover in Madrid.
The airport nearest León is Oviedo-Asturias (OVD) and there are connections from Madrid-Barajas (MAD) as well.
If you are flying to Asturias, there are regular bus services from Oviedo (ALSA, 1h30). There are also train services (RENFE, 2hrs).
If you are flying to Madrid, there are bus services to León (4-5hrs) and train services are faster (2h30).
FLIGHTS OUT OF MADRID
If you are flying out of Madrid (MAD), you can get a train from Santiago (5-8hrs). Some direct services are available. You can also travel by bus from Santiago to Madrid with ALSA (9hrs).
FLIGHTS OUT OF ASTURIAS AIRPORT
If you are flying out of Oviedo-Asturias (OVD), you can travel by bus from Santiago to Oviedo. (5-6hrs).
NOTE: Optional transfers in adapted taxi can be booked in advance through S-cape. Prices are on request.
Assistance for travellers with reduced mobility
wwwssl.aena.es (+34) 902 404 704 or (+34) 913 211 000
Atendo Assistance – Main Office
Madrid-Atocha Train Station
Tel: 917 744 040
Timetable: 06:00 to 24:00 hrs
Mobile App RENFE Atendo (in Spanish) www.play.google.com/store/apps
Transfers are included according to programme to the start and/or from the end of each stage, in order to avoid possible dangers or sections unsuitable for handbikes. Luggage transfer is included from one hotel to the next, as is the transport of any equipment not needed on that stage (extra wheels, etc.).
This tour is meant to be done by wheelchair with a connected electric handbike and travellers must bring their own wheelchair and handbike. An extra battery and charger are required, as are 4x4 wheels to be used on the routes.