2023 Westgate Camino de Santiago Program
May 9, 2023 -
May 21, 2023
Dates are tentative until flights are secured
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Enrollment is open!|
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $3,290
Pay in Full
Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:
All prices in United States Dollars.
Spain Cultural Journey North
The smell of paella, the rhythmic tapping of flamenco, the rugged peaks of the Pyrenees, the soft waves of the Mediterranean, the world class museums, the Moorish palaces, the medieval villages, and the people who seem to have more lust and passion for life than anywhere else; this is Spain! You will access all of this and more as you improve your Spanish language skills and escape the tourist path. We have carefully developed programs that include spending days hiking along the epic Camino de Santiago, learning to make olive oil at an old-world grove, enjoying tapas, exploring the colorful streets of Barcelona, and sketching our own versions of Dalí.
The above is a general description of activities on our programs in Spain. Please consult your itinerary for exactly what you all will be doing on your adventure.
Cultural Journeys allow travelers to gain insights into the heritage, history and modern realities of their destination by offering a broad diversity of experience. We rely on the expertise of our local staff to plan itineraries which not only explore the prominent sites but also make time for the lesser-known local gems and are intentional about regular interaction with local people.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Explore Santiago de Compostela!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Visit the most renowned museums in Spain
Enjoy delicious Spanish pinxos (snacks)!!
Walk along El Camino de Santiago
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|May 9||USA - Madrid||Today the group will travel from the USA to Madrid, Spain, arriving the following day.||Airplane|
|May 10||Madrid||We'll arrive in Madrid and settle into the hotel after the long day of travel. Later, we'll hold an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming trip in detail before heading out to explore our neighborhood and have dinner near Plaza Santa Ana.||TOC Hostel|
|May 11||Madrid - Segovia - Ponferrada||This morning we'll make time to visit one of the most impressive art museums in the world. The choice is ours whether we want to admire the collections in the Prado or Reina Sofia Museum (we can't go wrong either way!) before strolling over to Retiro Park, once the king's personal refuge. Then we'll head by bus to Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Roman aqueduct, walled city, and castle that inspired Disney himself. After taking in the sites and tasting some Segovian delicacies, we'll continue onward to Ponferrada, the starting point for our upcoming adventure on El Camino the following day.||El Castillo|
|May 12||Villafranca||Today we follow in the footsteps of pilgrims past as we begin our journey to Santiago de Compostela. The following 10 days will represent the heart and soul of this program as we spend the majority of our time each day hiking along the infamous trail, collecting stamps and taking in the beautiful Spanish countryside at our own pace. Today we'll cross the heart of the lush region of El Bierzo, nestled in the mountains, en route to our destination in Villafranca (24km), known as ‘little Compostela.'||Casa La Llave Rural|
|May 13||O Cebreiro||After our night in Villafranca, we will visit the garden of the Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church. The church has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years. Our route today will be our most challenging stretch throughout our time on El Camino (30km). There will be a steep climb in only a few kilometers as we pass by the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ and ‘Serra do Courel,' but the views are truly spectacular. Upon arrival to O Cebreiro, we will rest and relax after a fulfilling day and enjoy the tranquility of this mountain village.||Casa Carolo|
|May 14||Triacastela||Today we will walk the ‘Serra de Ranadoiro’ (Ranadoiro Mountains) and reach Alto do Poio where we will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto we will start descending into the village of Triacastela (21km), where we will spend the evening. Tonight we will hold a group reflection and discuss our experiences on program thus far.||Complexo Xacobeo|
|May 15||Sarria||The adventures continue with the choice of two Camino options today. The ‘San Xil’ Camino offers scenery that will certainly lift our spirits, complete with many ‘corredoiras’ (narrow forest tracks) with paved pathways through native Galician oak woods. If we wish to visit the impressive Samos Monastery, we would walk across the valley of the river Ouribio to reach Samos and continue on to reach the larger town of Sarria (19km).||Oca Villa de Sarria|
|May 16||Portomarin||Today we can expect a calm walk through pretty villages and peaceful hamlets under the shade of oak trees and along quiet country roads. Along the way, we will spot many Galician traditional ‘hórreos’ (granaries). We'll pay a visit to the beautiful Romanesque church in the village of Barbadelo before making it to our final destination in Portomarin (22km).||Pousada de Portomarin|
|May 17||Palas de Rei||After our night in Portomarin, El Camino will cross the river Miño (Galicia’s longest river) and rise uphill steadily towards the Serra de Ligonde. We will pass nice hamlets such as Gonzar and Ventas de Narón and stop to visit the Romanesque Churches of Santa María and Eirexe as well as Pilgrim Santiago (22km).||Complejo la Cabana|
|May 18||Arzua||After breakfast we're back on trail! Today El Camino continues downhill, passing the town of Casanova and the delightful village of Leboreiro. We'll be sure to take a break in the lively market town of Melide and try Galicia’s most classic dish (octopus!), in one of the many ‘pulperías’. El Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track bringing you to the village of Boente and the church of Santiago. Next is the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa (28km), famous for its local cheese. In Arzúa, we'll visit the churches of Santa María and A Magdalena and collect our stamps here.||Casa Teodora|
|May 19||Amenal||Our journey on El Camino continues. Today's stretch will take us through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams for most of the day. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. En-route, don’t miss the lovely hamlet of Rúa! The rest of the route to Amenal is along a mix of good and calm country roads and forest tracks (23km). We will hold a group reflection this evening in the comfort of quaint hotel.||Hotel Amenal|
|May 20||Santiago||Today's the day! With only 16 kilometers left to go, the final destination of our journey is within sight. Our next point of interest is Lavacolla in the outskirts of Santiago, where pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line this section to Monte do Gozo (‘Mount of Joy’) and it is from here that we will catch our first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. When we arrive in the city we will explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural city. We will collect our well deserved Certificate of Compostela and, if time permits, will be able to view the pilgrim mass. After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from our hike, we'll take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant, with its enchanting old town. Tonight a final dinner together is in order to celebrate our completion of El Camino and adventures together.||Hospederia San Marin Pinario|
|May 21||Santiago - USA||Today we bid farewell to Spain and head to the airport to catch our flight back to the USA. ¡Hasta luego!||Your own bed, eventually!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.
TOC Hostel Madrid
TOC is a spacious and hip hotel located in the heart of Madrid, just minutes away from the metro and major tourist attractions. This is a modern and hi-tech hotel with a friendly staff and a great breakfast! Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Travelers will have rooms and bathrooms which are exclusive to our group.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
I was very concerned about my daughter who has a peanut allergy travelling to a foreign country for the first time without us. Walking Tree was very sensitive to my concerns and reassured me that this is something they could handle and they did! I would send her again in a heartbeat. Thank you Walking Tree.
Parent of Emilie, traveler on 2018 Service Program to Costa Rica
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
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Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.