2020 Camino Finisterre, Western Route to the Sea, A Kinder Camino
Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain
October 22-31, 2020
Valerie Brown, Pilgrimage Leader
El Camino: An Epic Journey Awaits
Is walking El Camino on your ‘bucket list’?
Are you in transition and wanting space and time to reflect on ‘what’s next’?
Are you celebrating a milestone life event?
Are you seeking a travel experience that aligns with your deepest values?
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James, is the epic pilgrimage route of Europe.
Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages combine the stunning beauty of El Camino de Santiago, Spain with the Center for Courage & Renewal® Approach to reflect on your inner capacity to lead a more authentic, meaningful, and resilient life. The Approach includes spacious time in solitude and in community, journaling, and reflection with poetry and prose to life’s big questions of transition, passion, purpose, meaning, direction, and underlying patterns. In this exclusive, small group pilgrimage, you are spoiled by breathtaking natural beauty of the sun-drenched north coast of Spain, magnificent accommodations, and exquisite food.
The crown jewel of Spanish walking trails, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began as an act of faith as Europeans crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of the Apostle Saint James. One thousand years later, the Camino continues to draw spiritual seekers worldwide to enjoy the beauty of green rolling hills, stunning coastal views, and small hamlets of northern Spain. Come be part of this magical trail.
About the Camino Finisterre
Steeped in history and folklore, the Camino Finisterre is the only Camino route that begins in the medieval city, Santiago de Compostela and ends at the sea at the lighthouse in Finisterre, a quaint fishing town at the stunning Costa da Morte, where cliffs plunge into the sea. From the 9th century, pilgrims have explored to both Muxía and Finisterre as the final stretch of the itinerary traced by the Milky Way to the westernmost explored part of continental Europe.
Meandering through quiet country villages, gentle forested trails, beautiful vineyards, quaint seaside fishing hamlets, this less-traveled Camino route offers you peace and tranquility, arriving at our final destination, ‘Finis Terrae’, ’The End of the Earth’. Traveling at a ‘snail’s pace’, on this Camino route, a ’Sabbath Rest Day’ is planned to allow you to integrate this once in a lifetime experience.
Accommodations include charming country farmhouse inns, serving excellent regional cuisine, and offering warm and friendly hospitality.
About the Courage & Renewal® Approach to Reflection, Discernment, and Community
Walk in Beauty offers a distinctive opportunity for you to reflect intentionally and purposefully on the ‘big questions’ of your life before, during, and after the pilgrimage. We help you prepare for the pilgrimage with materials designed to support your reflection about your core values, your life meaning and purpose. Our exclusive Camino Community Video Conference Calls allow you to get to know fellow pilgrims and to build community. In other words, you arrive in Spain not with strangers, but with friends. And, since the experience of El Camino is powerfully transformational and non-linear, you’ll be supported in reflection and discernment after you return home.
What to Expect with the Courage & Renewal® Approach
Based on the work of Quaker educator and writer, Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, Walk in Beauty Pilgrimage is a ‘moveable retreat’, which distinguishes this pilgrimage apart from all others. You’ll explore what is most meaningful to you, have space and time to listen to your own inner wisdom, reconnect who you are with what you do, and cultivate the courage to lean into action. Guided by core principles and practices, which include the belief that everyone has an ‘inner teacher’, an inner source of truth, the pilgrimage engages contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation.
As a capstone experience, a version of the Quaker Clearness Committees, a process of individual discernment in community, will be offered during the pilgrimage to support life and vocational issues or dilemmas. Explore Courage & Renewal® reflective practices to deepen your experience, allowing this ancient pilgrimage road to be a metaphor for your transformational life journey.
Do you want to know more about the clearness committee and how this process might support you in gaining clarity about life’s most important questions? Please read, Coming to the Light, Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee, Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #446, August 2017.
Walk in Beauty Pilgrimage Ethos
We believe that traveling under your own power and at your own pace with a supportive community opens up an opportunity to connect more meaningfully with the world. Our mission is to provide not just a travel experience but rather a pilgrimage journey so transformative that it becomes a defining moment in your life. We provide amazing support on meticulously planned itineraries with superb accommodations and regional-delicious cuisine so you can be totally present enjoying ‘your Camino, your Way’.
We welcome and support people from diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, languages, ages, abilities, immigration and socio-economic status, and spiritual practices.
Private Van Support & Guides
Private van support and luggage transfer, an essential feature of the Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages.
Our fully supported private van, loaded with healthy snacks, water, medicine, and first aid kits, sets this pilgrimage apart and makes it accessible to all. A vehicle and guide for logistical support is available during the entire pilgrimage route to assist you, to transport luggage, and to address any other needs. This means you can enjoy the scenery and not worry about the unexpected!
With checkpoints along the way, our support vehicle is waiting with healthy snacks and cold drinks, or other assistance. If you do not want to keep walking for any reason, you can hop on the support vehicle at the next checkpoint.
In this customized pilgrimage, our ground support has signals in places where some people take the wrong turn to ensure you’re on the right path. After the daily walk, and after you’ve had lunch you’ll return to the hotel to shower, freshen up, enjoy well-deserved rest, reflect on the day, and savor a delicious-regionally sourced dinner.
For the Camino Finisterre, we walk at a “snail’s pace,” and a “Sabbath Rest Day” is planned to allow you to integrate this once in a lifetime experience.
You’ll Receive the Fisterrana, Certificate of Completion at the End of the Pilgrimage
The completion of this pilgrimage qualifies the pilgrim to receive the Fisterrana, Certificate of Completion, an added bonus of this less-traveled Camino.
Luggage is transferred from one hotel to the next using the support vehicle. For the pilgrimage you need only carry a small/medium backpack for your essentials, and leave the rest to us! (Please review luggage requirements under Frequently Asked Questions.)
Carefully selected hearty breakfasts and locally-sourced and delicious dinners served with exceptional hospitality and ambiance are included in our Camino Finisterre. Lunches are not included to provide more flexibility during your walk to sample local foods in the quaint towns at the end of the daily stage.
Vegetarians, vegans, or those with a special diet (e.g. gluten-free) can always find suitable options.
Hotels & Lodging*
In the Camino Finisterre, accommodations are family-operated rural county farmhouse inns known for friendly service, excellent regional cuisine, and exceptional hospitality.
We end the Camino Finisterre back in Santiago at the four-star San Francisco Hotel Monumento, a former 18th-century Franciscan convent. With a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, the San Francisco Hotel is located 150 meters from Santiago’s famed Cathedral. Learn more about this exceptional hotel.
*All hotels are subject to change and depend on availability
Preparation in Body, Mind, & Spirit
Soulful preparation is at the heart of the Walk in Beauty pilgrimage experience. We understand that a pilgrimage is different from a ‘hiking vacation’ and we assist you with not only physical training, but soulful training, to open the heart, mind, and spirit. Resources include Pilgrim Newsletters, Pilgrim Training Schedule, maps, comprehensive Pilgrimage Resource Guide, and packing list with recommendations on what to bring, as well as Camino Community Conference Calls via videoconference to get to know fellow pilgrims and build a supportive community.
About the Landscape
The Camino Finisterre, Western Route to the Sea offers stunning natural beauty.
Traveling the breathtaking Costa da Morte on the only Camino that begins in Santiago de Compostela, the Camino Finisterre passes through rural landscapes of high plateaus, forested tracks, country villages and the reward of stunning coastal trails and headlands where the pace slows to that of centuries of seafaring life.
Dating back as far as the 9th century, pilgrims have been walking to both Muxía and Finisterre as the final stretch of the itinerary traced by the Milky Way to the westernmost explored part of continental Europe; to Finisterre – the ‘End of the Earth’, where the cliffs plunge steeply to the sea and the sun disappears each evening. During the Middle Ages, the Virgin Mary is said to have arrived in Muxía, the remote rocky peninsula, to the north of Finisterre, by stone boat to encourage St James (Santiago) in his preaching.
Sections of the boat still remain and hold mythical properties still believed to this day. Today a small chapel, the Sanctuary of A Barca, stands on the site of the miracle.
Through quiet country villages, gentle forested trails, beautiful vineyards, quaint seaside fishing hamlets, this journey follows the lesser trodden route from Santiago to Muxía, then onwards, via the coast, to Finisterre where you can receive the Fisterrana, a Certificate of Completion of the pilgrimage to ‘Finis Terrae’, ‘the End of the Earth’. Traveling at a ‘snail’s pace’, on this Camino route, a ’Sabbath Rest Day’ is planned to allow you to integrate this once in a lifetime experience.
In the Camino Finisterre, our guides are equipped with mobile phones at your disposal.
Click here for a complete profile of route from San Sebastian to Santiago
Watch this two-minute video on the spirit of El Camino de Santiago
October 22-31, 2020
Day 1 – Thursday, October 22 – Santiago de Compostela. Orientation & Welcome Dinner
Day 2 – Friday, October 23 – Santiago to Negreira (13.04 miles / 21km, 1886 feet / 480 / 575m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 – Saturday, October 24 – Negreira to Las Maroñas (12.42 miles / 20km, 1509 feet / 460 / 295m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 – Sunday, October 25 – Las Maroñas to Dumbría (14.29 miles / 23.5km, 2788 feet / 750 / 850m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 – Monday, October 26 – Dumbría to Muxía (14.29 miles / 23km, 2247 feet / 540 / 685m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6 – Tuesday, October 27 – Muxía to Lires (8.69 miles / 14km, 984 feet / 300 / 275m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 – Wednesday, October 28 – Lires to Finisterre (11.8 miles / 18km, 1771 feet / 540 / 465m elevation gain / loss) Breakfast only
Day 8 – Thursday, October 29 – Finisterre ‘Sabbath Rest Day’ Breakfast /Closing Ritual at the Beach/Farewell Dinner
Day 9 – Friday, October 30 – Santiago-Pilgrimage ends with walk 4-5 km into Santiago and afternoon at leisure. Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10 – Saturday, October 31 – Santiago-Hotel Check Out & Your Camino Adventure of Life Begins! Breakfast only
*The daily itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1: Thursday, October 22 – Santiago de Compostela
Theme: Journey to the Pilgrim’s Heart
Group organizational meeting in Santiago at 7:00PM followed by a ‘welcome group dinner’. (Welcome Dinner Celebration)
Day 2: Friday, October 23 – Santiago to Negreira (13.04 miles / 21km, 1886 feet / 480 / 575m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: The Power of Intention: Re-Discovering What Matters Most
At 9:00 am we begin our pilgrimage from the Plaza de Obradoiro in front of the famed Santiago Cathedral. The route leaves the winding city streets, past the Carballeira (oak forest) of San Lourenzo and soon we are in the countryside with lovely pastoral scenes. A mix of large, modern houses and traditional red roofed stone houses accompany us for much of our route before we arrive at the medieval bridge of Augapesada. We walk through Carballo, Trasmonte and the gorgeous village of Ponte Maceira home to an elegant 14th Century bridge. Our day ends in the modern town of Negreira, known for its pastry shops and the fortified, medieval Pazo de Cotón. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Night in Negreira.
Day 3: Saturday, October 24 – Negreira to Las Maroñas (12.42 miles / 20km, 1509 feet / 460 / 295m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: What is Calling You?
Today’s route passes through a mix of forest and farms. Facilities from here to Muxía are very limited and you will feel very much ‘out in the countryside’. Following an old camino real (royal road) with fabulous views across multiple valleys, the route winds its way in and out of oak forest, thick with ferns and ivy and past the tiny hamlets of Zas, Peña and the evocatively named Porto Camiño. Arriving into Las Maroñas, we note the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria and delightful examples of raised stone granaries. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Night in Las Maroñas.
Day 4: Sunday, October 25 – Las Maroñas to Dumbría (14.29 miles / 23.5km, 2788 feet / 750 / 850m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: Navigating Our ‘Shadow’, Inner Blocks, and Resistance
Leaving Las Maroñas, we follow quiet paved roads around Monte Aro with superb views of the Fervenza Reservoir. En route, the village of Corzón has an interesting church with a detached bell tower and a rare gallery cemetery. Stunning rural architecture awaits us in Olveiroa with its precariously balanced stone hórreos, the village cross, a communal wash house and thick stone houses. From here water dominates for a while as we cross over the Xallas River heading towards Hospital, a village that used to have a pilgrim’s hostel but is now dominated by a carbide factory. Here, we will leave the heavily trodden trail to Finisterre and head northwest for a few more kilometers to Dumbría where we will end our day. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Night in Dumbría.
Day 5: Monday, October 26 – Dumbría to Muxía (14.29 miles / 23km, 2247 feet / 540 / 685m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: Thresholds and ‘Thin Places’
Our route leaves the sleepy village of Dumbría and takes forest tracks, quiet roads, grassy trails & stone paved segments of the old camino real. The ubiquitous eucalyptus is a large part of our day, as well as the small villages of Senande, Quintáns and San Martiño de Ozón known for its enormous granary and Benedictine Monastery. We climb then descend to Merexo before heading around the bay leading to the small fishing community of Muxía. Our day culminates at the Punta da Barca, the rocky headland where the 17th century chapel of Nosa Señora da Barca stands. Here we can find the hull, sail and rudder of the stone boat that brought the Virgin Mary to this magical spot. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Night in Muxía.
Day 6: Tuesday, October 27 – Muxía to Lires (8.69 miles / 14km, 984 feet / 300 / 275m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: Healing & Forgiveness: ‘The Sea Accepts All’
We leave Muxía via the main road, following the coastline past the sweeping white sands of Lourido Beach before beginning an ascent of Monte Facho, up through pine and eucalyptus plantations. Our views from here are extensive of the surrounding area. We descend past the Romanesque church of Santa Maria at Morquintián, through Guisamonde to the village of Lires nestled on the River Lires, home to a large trout farm and numerous sea birds that make their home in the protected lagoon. We’ll head out to the beach to enjoy lunch and an afternoon of relaxation by the sea. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Night in Lires.
Day 7: Wednesday, October 28 – Lires to Finisterre (11.8 miles / 18km, 1771 feet / 540 / 465m elevation gain / loss)
Theme: Weaving Threads Together
The sound of the sea pounding its waves is our constant companion, as we skirt the shoreline for much of the day. Our trail begins by following the River Lires on its short journey to the ocean, taking in the beaches of Nemiña and Lires. Southwards we go over the headland, past the tiny community of O Rostro. Then we wind our way on small country roads through the communities of San Salvador, Escaselas and San Martiño de Duio.
Once in the center of Finisterre, it’s onwards and upwards for a few more kilometers to the end of your journey and the ancient world, at Cape Finisterre. Here stands the old lighthouse keeping watch where the sea, spirit, and nature come together dramatically, boldly, and beautifully. (Breakfast only)
Night in Finisterre.
Day 8: Thursday, October 29 – Finisterre ‘Sabbath Rest Day’
Theme: Ripening and Seasonal Wisdom
Sleep in. Read. Rest. Enjoy the beach. We’ll spend a second night in the lively fishing town of Finisterre. We will gather together for a closing group reflection and for a ritual on the wild and dramatic Mar de Fora beach before a final and celebratory dinner. (Breakfast & Farewell Dinner)
Night in Finisterre.
Day 9: Friday, October 30 – Return to Santiago
Theme: Returning Home Again: The Journey Begins
After breakfast this morning, a pleasant drive along the coast of Galicia will lead us back to the center of Santiago. For those that wish to, there is an optional 4-5km walk into the city to complete your pilgrimage experience. We end the Camino Finisterre back in Santiago at the four-star San Francisco Hotel Monumento, a former 18th-century Franciscan convent. With a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, the San Francisco Hotel is located 150 meters from Santiago’s famed Cathedral. Learn more about this exceptional hotel.
The afternoon and evening are at your leisure upon arrival in Santiago. (Breakfast only)
Night in Santiago.
Day 10: Saturday, October 31 – Santiago – Hotel Check Out & Your Camino Adventure of Life Begins!
This day is at leisure to enjoy Santiago’s many attractions. (Breakfast only)
What People Are Saying
“The scenery is spectacular and the beautiful rhythm of walking the Camino is truly revelatory.”
“To walk the Camino my own way empowered and stretched me into new horizons, safely and in community…”
“Everyday was a feast for the senses.”
“I am venturing home with my heart burst wide open, full of hope and possibilities. I am deeply grateful.”
Valerie shares her spiritual journey in her book, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel
“The Camino contributed greatly to help me shift my values. Today, my deepest aspiration is to support myself and others in this process of transformation. I believe that the Camino should be accessible to everyone, not only the physically fit. As a pilgrimage leader, I have escorted hundreds of people of varied abilities along the Way of Saint James and this gives me deep joy and inspiration.”
— Valerie Brown, Lead Smart Coaching, LLC
Want to Know More?
Read Pilgrimage As Activism.
$6,299.00, per person, double occupancy. Deposit: $1250.00 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit secures your place. Single supplement: $1,300.00.
Courage & Renewal ® Approach to reflection and expert facilitation
Comprehensive pre-pilgrimage preparation, including customized training schedule
Lodgings in charming family-run farmhouse inns with private baths
Overnight at the four-star San Francisco Hotel Monumento in Santiago
Fully stocked private van support loaded with healthy snacks and cold drinks
9 Breakfasts / 8 Dinners
Welcome Dinner Celebration & Farewell Dinner
Sabbath ‘Rest’ Day at leisure
Expert English-speaking guides
Pilgrim Passport & Credentials
Daily map routes and information
Price does NOT include:
Round trip airfare
Ground travel in Spain to and from meeting location
Tips & gratuities
Registration, Deposit, & Payments
The $1,250 nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit secures your double occupancy. There are very few single rooms available, and these require a single occupancy supplement of $1,300. To complete registration for this pilgrimage, you will need to: (1) Complete the online registration, and (2) Submit the initial deposit.
Please see below for the installment payment plan.
To register for this pilgrimage, complete the online registration and submit the initial deposit to secure your space.
Payment installation information:
Payments for double occupancy are scheduled as follows:
- Initial deposit/registration: $1,250 – To reserve your space
- Payment #2: $2524.50 due by April 22, 2020
- Payment #3: $2524.50 due by July 22, 2020
Payments for single occupancy are scheduled as follows:
- Initial deposit/registration: $1,250 – To reserve your space
- Payment #2: $3,174.50 due by April 22, 2020
- Payment #3: $3,174.50 due by July 22, 2020
Paypal is available for installment payments:
About Your Pilgrimage Leader
Valerie Brown is an international retreat leader, writer, accredited leadership coach, spiritual director, and Chief Listening Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership. She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections.
Valerie has been leading pilgrimage since 2004 and has accompanied hundreds of pilgrims on journeys worldwide. She shares her transformational story in her first book, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (Quakerbridge Media, 2012). Learn more about Valerie.