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Article: Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago — the “Way of St. James" — is Europe's ultimate pilgrimage route.  We are just back from an “express” version of it to celebrate a dear friend’s 50th birthday- a few days of breathtaking hiking along the coastline, lots of delicious Spanish wines and food, and a healthy dose of laughter.   The official hike is 400km and takes about 3 weeks to do in its entirety. A few tips below…

We flew into the stunning Santiago Calatrava designed airport in Bilbao and headed straight to the Guggenheim. Stay at the Gran Hotel Domine for rooms overlooking the museum and a divine breakfast on the terrace.  From there we headed towards San Sebastian to check into Hotel Itureggi, a nine room boutique hotel that has been owned by the same family for generations.  We had a long, leisurely lunch at Asador Bedua while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.  We were lucky to have a repeat “Camino Pilgrim” amongst us who knew to book Rekondo for dinner way ahead of our trip.  It was outstanding, the crab soufflé a total standout.  A 45-minute bus ride the next day brought us to the start of our 13 mile walk and a trailside picnic. Dinner was in cozy jammies in the private wine cellar of the Itureggi after poolside yoga and cocktails on the patio.  The next day we hiked seven miles into the town of Getaria and stopped for a lunch of tuna sashimi, lobster, turbot and cheese ice cream at Michelin-starred Elkano. After lunch you could pop into the Balenciaga museum, which is right next door.  There are a ton of great ways to do this trip, the hiking is not technical, and you can do as little or as much as you want.  We would recommend using a travel partner to help you sort out the logistics, Backroads also has a few versions.