Portuguese Spiritual Way by Horse
If you believe the world is best viewed through the ears of a horse and that no hour spend on the saddle is wasted, then this is the Camino for you. Be among the first to discover the Portuguese Spiritual Variant / the Maritime Way which follows the final journey of the Apostle Saint James' body into Santiago de Compostela.
Spend 8 days traveling horseback from the Medieval City of Tui to the Roman built city of Pontevedra and along the coast of the Ria de Arousa to Santiago de Compostela before obtaining your Certificate of Achievement, the Compostela.
Only €2.400 per person sharing!
Portuguese Spiritual Way by Horse INCLUDES
• En-suite accommodation in charming luxurious manors & 3 to 4* charming hotels
• Meals and accommodation for the Horses near your hotel (the organizer always plans more horses than needed so you will never be without a horse)
• Arrival on the Obradoiro Square on your horse
• Transfers in and out from Santiago airport, other airports on request
• Private Van Support during the riding days
• A horse per person and all necessary equipment
• Dedicated bilingual Guide with 15 years experience on the Camino de Santiago
• Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
• Emergency support from our local team
• All taxes and gratuities for the guides and hotels
• A detailed guidebook per room
• All Breakfasts, lunches and Dinners
• A Pilgrim Kit per person including an official Pilgrim Passport (Credential)
• A collection of photos of the group to share
• Ride between 24 km and 39 km per day
price & dates
Due to the nature of this Camino, we have chosen a highly experienced partner to help us organize this tour and to take care of the horses. Our partner responds to our strict sustainability and quality policies and has pre-booked departure dates. New dates can be organized on request for groups of at least 4 participants on the date of your choice - subject to availability and price fluctuations, simply ask us for details.
Join a guided tour or plan your own departure with 4+ participants: €2.400 per person
• Start in Pontevedra (5 nights / 6 days): total €1.800 per person
• Start in Baiona (8 nights / 9 days): total €2.700 per person
• Start in A Guardia (9 nights / 10 days): total €3.000 per person
• Ride to Finisterre in 4 days: €1200 per person
• Extra night in Santiago in the same 4+* hotel: + €140 per room (dinner not included)
• Extra night in the 5* Parador of Santiago: + €300 per room (dinner not included)
2017 Guided Tour Dates
Month Departure date Arrival date June Fri, 16th June Wed, 21st June July Wed, 26th July Mon, 31st July August Sun, 20th August Fri, 25th August
fact fileAccommodation Luxurious Manors & 3 to 4* HotelsSingularity Horse-riding tripTotal Riding Distance 160 kmDuration 8 days / 7 nightsStarts TuiStops O Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra, Poio, Combarro, Armenteira, Barrantes, Ribadumia, Vilanova de Arousa, Cambados, Sines, Vilaxoan, Vilagarcia de Arousa, Valga, Padron, MilladoiroEnds Santiago de Compostela
highlightsA whole new adventure on the CaminoImprove your horse-riding skillsGet your CompostelaA private guide for the duration of your trip
what to expect on this tour?
Expect to have a wonderful time and to experience 160 km of the Portuguese Spiritual Way in a unique Way with your new best friend! This tour was designed by our partner which has over 30 years experience horse-riding the Camino de Santiago. If you love horses you will have the time of your life. Learn more about our Services here.
Be ready for the ride of a lifetime
The Camino on a horse is a unique experience. You will be able to cover larger distances each day and share your journey with your trusted horse. Our partner's horses are very well suited for the region, mostly native breed and they always plan extra horses to make the journey easier on our companions and to ensure you always have a horse to ride. Their horses are very well treated, used to traveling on the Camino and get large resting periods afterwards.
Don't worry if you are not an expert rider, the journey will be fairly easy with moderate distance days but you will need previous horse-riding experience. So, make sure you practice your horsemanship skills beforehand.
You will travel as a group with an experienced and bilingual English / Spanish guide. There will be scheduled stops every 2h along the Way for meals, to allow you and your horse to rest. A special highlight of your horse-riding tour will be entering Santiago de Compostela on horseback. You will feel like a VIP clattering along the cobbled streets into the city center towards the Obradoiro Square.
Sleep in charming luxurious manors & 3 to 4* historical hotels
On this tour, you will sleep in charming luxurious manors near the Camino & 3 to 4* historical hotels in town centers. They all provide a welcoming, authentic and unique experience with all the comfort and service of a hotel of these standards with en-suite bathrooms. Your horse will stay in a stable nearby if not in your own hotel.
Everyday, as you change accommodation, you will find your suitcase, left with your hotel receptionist in the morning, will travel with you to the next accommodation and you will have different facilities to enjoy including for example swimming pools and spas (during summer and in selected locations). Most nights, you will be in the heart of a town and others you will enjoy the peace of the countryside. However, you will never be far away from the Camino and always in a area full of history.
Eat fresh, delicious & traditional meals
All meals have been included in this tour and will be either served at your hotel or at a local nearby restaurant, whichever offer the best quality meals according to your specifications. Expect mouth-watering traditional three-course meals with several choices prepared with the best fresh and local products.
We cater for vegetarians, vegans and any special dietary requirements or allergies. Just let us know beforehand so we can advise the chefs.
Add extra days or activities for an unforgettable adventure
Why not take advantage of the fact you are in Spain to do some tourism and visit Madrid, Barcelona, Grenada or any Spanish city on your bucket list? The closest International airport to your Camino is Santiago de Compostela or Vigo but you might want to change the airport pickup town or add nights somewhere on your way to Santiago.
We can help you choose and book those extra nights before or after your tour, for example you could start your journey in La Guardia instead of Tui or further along in Pontevedra or continue to Finisterre after you arrived in Santiago. We could also organize day tours around Galicia (Cies Islands, Finisterre, Oporto...), extra activities during the tour (wine-tasting, guided tours of the Cathedral de Santiago...). Let your imagination run wild and let us know how you would like to make this tour even more unique.
Portuguese Spiritual Way by Horse DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
This 7 nights horse-riding route brings you along the last 160 kilometers of the Camino Frances - Portuguese Spiritual Way into Santiago de Compostela.
DAY 1 - MAKING OUR WAY TO TUI
Make your way to your first hotel in the monumental City of Tui by taking a private taxi, bus or train from Porto (about 1h drive) or Vigo (20 min drive).
Tui is a walled cathedral from which in Medieval time emanated cultural, economic and military life, just on the Spanish side of the border with Portugal. If your time of arrival allows and before your first dinner with us in your hotel, visit Valença do Minho on the other side of the Portuguese border about a 3h walk return. This impressive 13th century fortress with stunning views onto the whole region will help you understand the huge battles that took place between Spain, Portugal and France in the region for control of the strategic River Miño and the visit will allow you to cross a very photogenic bridge between the two country.
DAY 2 - 34KM - ride FROM Tui to Redondela
This is the day you start your equestrian pilgrimage! After meeting the horse you will share the journey with, we will saddle up and start our journey on the Portuguese Spiritual Way. This area has been occupied since the Lower Paleolithic and has been a strategic defense point since the 6th century. So, before you leave, take your time to marvel at the old town architecture and visit the Cathedral to get your first Camino stamp.
Today’s ride is fairly easy, mostly downhill all the way to O Porriño. The first kilometers will be exiting Tui through an old village.. Your adventure will then continue slightly uphill through peaceful forest paths, you will pass by some of the most interesting examples of Galician architecture: the church of Santa Eulalia del Monte and the Pazo de los Marqueses in the parish of Mos. Enjoy on your left, beautiful views onto the City of Vigo, its bay, the Rías Baias and the Cies Islands (known for having some of the best beaches in the world) and we will spend the night in the Castle of Soutomaior.
DAY 3 - 18 km - Ride from Redondela to Pontevedra
Today, expect two sceneries: half the day will be riding uphill by the coast with stunning views over the Vigo Bay and the second part will be downhill through peaceful oak forests. You will pass the infamous bridge of Ponte Sampaio, where during the War of Independence, Napoleon’s army suffered one of its greatest defeats and cross several quaint medieval villages.
You are heading to the a 3* hotel in the centre of the old town of Pontevedra, the Roman built city which has been dedicated to the Virgen Peregrina (the Pilgrim Virgin). In the afternoon, and before dinner in your hotel, take a walk through the well-preserved old quarter of Pontevedra, most of which has been pedestrianized, and visit Santa María la Mayor Basilica, a jewel of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, and La Virgen Peregrina Church, a chapel with a scallop-shaped floor plan and beautiful night lighting.
DAY 4 - 30KM - ride FROM PONTEVEDRA to ribadumia
Until we reach Padron on day 4, we will now be following the Spiritual Variant / the Maritime Way. This detour is relatively new, it has only been accepted by the Pilgrim Office in 2013 (although we need to walk or ride over 160 km to obtain the certificate instead of 100 km on any other route) but has the oldest origins of all Caminos. It is said that in the year 44, after his Martyrdom, the body of James the Apostle was transported on a stone vessel along the Arousa Estuary to get to the land of Galicia where he was meant to be buried. The boat is said to have gone from Jaffa to Galicia and upstream via Ulla river until reaching Iria Flavia (Padron) and later on Santiago de Compostela. This tradition followed by Christians all around the world has been translated throughout the thousand years old Jacobean history into a varied iconography representing the Apostle’s final journey from Jaffa (Palestine) to Iria Flavia (today’s village of Padrón). This is the Initial Route of all the Santiago Trails.
On your journey today, we will pass the Monastery of San Juan de Poio and the beautiful town of Cambarro, famous for its Horreos (a typical granary on pillars). We will take a break to visit the Monastery of Armenteira, which belongs to the Cistercian order and was founded by the knight Ero de Armenteira in 1168. Before hiking a section of the relaxing “Ruta da Pedra e da Auga” (the route of rocks and water - due to the number of watermills that can be found on that river) along the Armenteira river and stopping in Ribadumia for the night.
DAY 5 - 25 KM - ride FROM ribadumia to villagarcia de arousa
Today, we continue our journey inland, riding towards the historic centre of Cambados. Cambados is considered to be the capital of Albariño, one of the best white wines in the world and is a precious little harbor town. Here, we will finally reach the famous Galician beaches and you will be able to ride your horse on the beach until Vilagarcia de Arousa.
In Vilanova de Arousa most walking pilgrims will embark for a catamaran journey of 15 nautical miles towards Padron but, we will not dismount until Santiago (except of course for sleeping, eating, enjoying the beach, our hotels and having a great time) and will continue enjoying stunning views onto the Rías from the beach and the cliffs. We will spend the night in the charming seaside town of Villagarcia de Arousa, where our partner’s equestrian center is located.
DAY 6 - 28 KM - ride FROM villagarcia de arousa to padron
While the walking pilgrims cruise the River Ulla following the legendary journey of Saint James disciples, we will continue across the peaceful forest on the mounts nearby until we reach Catoira, the village famous for its Viking celebration in August, and later on Pontesures.
We will be spending the night in the emblematic town of Padrón or Iria Flavia, the place where according to legends, the stone boat containing the remains of the Apostle moored. Padrón is also famous for the mild green peppers that are sold all over Spain as Pimentos de Padrón and for it’s Sunday Market.
DAY 7 - 22 KM - RIDE FROM PADRÓN TO SANTIAGO!
This is it! Only 25 km separates you from your goal: the resting place of the Apostle Saint James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino will bring you through charming villages and hamlets as well as the Baroque sanctuary of A Esclavitude. Then, finally, from the hills of Agro dos Monteiros, you will get our first glimpse of Santiago de Compostela. Today, we will not enter the City of the Apostle by horse but stop just outside in a 4* hotel.
A shuttle will bring you to the Old Town so you can enjoy a free afternoon in Santiago and obtain your pilgrim certificate, attend Pilgrim Mass & marvel at the architecture of our beloved City.
DAY 8 - 3 KM - RIDE INTO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Wake up early because this is it, only a few kilometers separates you from your goal. The group will need to leave at 8am to reach Santiago before nine to be able to enter the city and the Obradoiro Square with your horse.
In the afternoon, if you have not opted for an extra night in Santiago, we will bring you back to Santiago Airport. We hope the Camino has brought you whatever you were looking for and wish to see you again soon in Galicia!
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