Ride Overview - The Path of the Knights Ride
An inspiring horseback riding vacation in Spain! Located in the northwestern region of Spain, Santiago de Compostela was the last stronghold of the Spanish regime and an important destination for Christian pilgrims. You will ride the paths of knights who protected the pilgrims on their journey and are today considered one of the most important cultural and spiritual routes of Europe. In addition, you will cross Basque lands to visit secluded medieval villages and significant historic remains. If you would like to stay longer in this region, you can add the Finesterre Ride to your vacation. RIDING IN SPAIN
“Words cannot explain riding along a trail where knights and pilgrims have walked for thousands of years.”
Ride Itinerary - The Path of the Knights Ride
Your guide will meet you at the Santiago Airport at 4:00 P.M and then take you to O Cebreiro (Lugo) for lodging in the Valiña B & B which located next to an interesting Romanesque church. You will meet your fellow riders at a traditional welcome dinner.
After a morning tour of O Cebreiro’s palazzos and Celtic fort remains, your ride will depart along impressive mountain ranges and picturesque villages. Your trail is canopied with stoic sweet chestnut, oak and walnut trees. Lunch will be served in the quiet 9th century village of Triacastela. This was an important Camino town but the three signature castles and the hospices that once stood have long disappeared. In the afternoon, you will pass through the Oribio River valley where eel and trout are the popular local catches. Your afternoon destination is Samos, one of the most important religious centers of Galicia. You will visit the 6th century Royal Benedictine Abbey of St. Julian. Impressive with both size and the beauty of the ancient cypress trees on the grounds, the abbey provided the venue for monks pray their matins and develop their herbal liqueurs. Dinner and overnight in Samos.
You will ride across a fertile and lush plain to Sarria where your group will visit a convent and a castle. Under the shade of tall carballeiras (oak trees), you will continue towards the river Minho to see the beautiful Barbadelo temple which is considered a national monument. Lunch will be enjoyed at Mercado da Serra next to an old mill. At dusk, you will reach the riverside town of Portomarín. Actually, this is the New Portomarin. The old one is submerged under the waters of the Miño river as a result of the building of the Belares Dam in 1963. The old Portomarin bridge and the hospital were very important parts of the Camino during the Medieval Ages. The great church constructed during the XII Century by the Knights of the Order of San Juan of Jerusalem was disassembled, stone by stone to be rebuilt in the place where it is located now. Dinner and overnight in a historic Parador (B & B).
Today, you will enter the Ulla Valley which is home to a wide range of medieval hamlets. Your destination is the 13th century Vilar de Donas that was donated to the Knights of Santiago (Caballeros de Santiago) in 1224 by the noble family Arias de Monterroso. These knights deeply fought with the bandits of the pilgrim route. This is the official burial place of the Knights of Santiago and contains some impressive frescoes. Well worth a visit. Overnight in The Palas de Rey with its pretty partially canopied square from which much of the rest of the town radiates. There is also the typical Galician town hall made up from a mix of granite and whitewashed render.
After crossing the river by the Furelos Bridge, your ride will reach Melide where you will visit the Pambre Castle, a medieval fortress that is named after the river that bathes its foundation. Passing numerous ancient mills and manors, you will ride to Castañeda where the quarry used to construct the Cathedral of Santiago is located. Some pilgrims would carry a stone from this quarry in his backpack to increase their penance. Whoever in your group dares to emulate those pilgrims should be dismounted as no one has ever heard of a penitent horse! Dinner and overnight at Arzua popular for its cheeses.
Today, your ride will head to Labacolla, where you will have lunch and finish the route. There the pilgrims washed in a brook and then walked an ascending path to the Monxoi (Monte del Gozo) to be the first to see the cathedral. If you desire to emulate a pilgrim, you may choose to walk by foot on this last stretch of the ride. The remainder of the day is free for you to walk or transfer by car to the Obradoiro Square in the Cathedral of Santiago Compostela. If you were using this ride as a pilgrimage, you can receive the Compostelana (certificate of pilgrimage). Your luggage will be transferred to your hotel. This final night hotel is not included in your ride. Please contact High Pointe for assistance in booking this lodging.
After breakfast, transfer to airport.
Ride Details - The Path of the Knights Ride
Dates: April 4th – 9th, May 16th – 21st, June 20th – 25th, July 19th – 24th, August 15th – 20th, September 5th – 10th, October 3rd – 8th
Best months to Ride: Northern Spain’s peak season is July and August. Central region: October – May. Southern: late spring – early autumn. Winter riding can be enjoy in the Andalusia because of the desert like climate.
Airport: Santiago Airport at 3 PM
Riding Days: 5
Daily Riding Hours: 4 – 6
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country. Capable of crossing rivers.
Hotels: B & B
Prices: $2,885.00 per person, double occupancy $339.00 single supplement
*Prices are based on USD/EURO exchange rates and will be fixed at your final payment.
**8 and 9-day rides are also available. Contact us for details.
Includes: 5 nights lodging, the transfer from airport to first night lodging, horse, guide, breakfasts and lunches, transfer of luggage to final night hotel
Not included: airfare, dinners, final night lodging, taxi from hotel to the airport (around 12 euros)
The Path of the Knights Ride: Gallery
The Path of the Knights Ride