Camino de Santiago on Horseback
For 1000 years pilgrims have travelled the Camino on horseback. Join one of our expertly guided riding tours, on the Camino Frances, Camino Portugues and other Camino trails. You will be very well looked after on our all-inclusive riding tours.
We offer riding tours of the Way of St James on the 'Classic Camino', the Camino Frances, as well as in the Portuguese Way, Ruta del Mar and other Caminos.
Our fully-supported Camino by Horseback tours includes airport pick-up, full board accommodation, horses and equipment, dedicated tour guide/host, support vehicle with staff, luggage transfer and insurance.
Choose between joining a programmed group or organising your own private tour (minimum group size of 2).
We also have tours for couples or friends where one rides and the other doesn't - just ask us for details.
A special highlight of your horse riding tour will be entering your destination, Santiago de Compostela, clattering along the cobbled streets into the city centre.
Our most popular tours
Horseback Camino Frances from O Cebreiro:
6 nights from £1,895 pp sharing twin/double accommodation
Horseback Camino Portugues from Tui:
5 nights from £1,845 pp sharing twin/double accommodation
Horseback Camino Frances from Astorga:
9 nights from £2,980 pp sharing twin/double accommodation
Our most popular horseback route is our 5 day / 6 night ride from O Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela.
Follow the steps of kings and popes, knights and archbishops, saints and crusaders. Ride the Camino as the medieval nobility did, on horseback.
You will be met with the rest of your group at the local airport of Santiago de Compostela, by your guide and transferred to O Cebriero, where you enjoy a welcome dinner.
The ride starts out from the hilltop village of O Cebreiro, an ethnographic time capsule which is characteristic of NW Spain. A hamlet of circular stone built and thatched-roofed buildings, it is a place of great charm which has long been a significant place on the Camino Frances.
Your horseback expedition sets off through the impressive mountainous terrain of the Sierras Os Ancares with the highest altitude on the French Route in Galicia at 1337m. You'll enjoy beautiful green panoramas all the way into the green valleys. Onwards through old villages which all have Saint James traditions, through native woodland and river crossings before a timely stop at the famous Monastery of Samos. From Sarria riders cross the Aspera bridge, then on through woods, meadows and arable lands.
In the middle of an enchanting forested landscape, the Camino makes its way down to cross the mighty Miño River to arrive into Portomarin by Belesaru dam. Then winding through the hamlets to Melide, the geographic center of Galicia, where you will be able to taste the delicious classic dish of Galician octopus. Here the French Route meets the Primitive Route from the north.
In Arzua , the pilgrims of the French Route mingles with the pilgrims making their way to Santiago from the North. Stands of eucalyptus and oaks pepper a landscape of meadows and little villages before arriving at the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela.
Just outside Santiago the riders reach the village of Lavacolla for the final night, near Monte do Gozo. This is a significant hilltop landmark - for your first view of Santiago Cathedral towers in the distance.
On the final morning, you have an early ride into the famed City and its magnificent Cathedral. We have special dispensation to enter the Cathedral Plaza early in the morning. It is a memorable experience to arrive here before the city is fully awake and the main body of pilgrim travellers arrive on foot.
At the end of the journey the guides will wish you a fond farewell and buen viaje for your homeward voyage.
Please note that your final night in Santiago is not included in the price.
We can arrange additional nights in Santiago and beyond by request.
What to Expect on the Camino
Once you start out on the Camino Trail, you will be riding 30-35 miles a day for 6-7 hours - at a moderate pace. You are expected to have a degree of experience, fitness and stamina as you will be in the saddle for a minimum of 6 hours each day.
If you do need a break then you can travel part of the way in the backup vehicle.
You should at least be able to walk and trot comfortably. On most trails, there will be the chance to canter and gallop. Bear in mind you are sharing the Camino with others on foot and cycle.
You will set out as a group each morning after breakfast, with the horse already prepared for you. You stop each day for a sit-down lunch on the Camino, which is also a chance for riders and horses to take a well-earned rest. The backup team rendezvous with the riding group at lunch and the end of the ride, to care for the horses.
Once you arrive at your destination you have free time to relax, take a siesta or look around the area, before the group come together for dinner.
On the final day, you have a short ride into the Plaza Obradoiro at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral from approximately 7 to 9 am.
After bidding farewell to the horses, you will all collect your Compostela certificates at the Pilgrim Office, in time for the Pilgrim Mass at 12 am which signals the end of Jesus' services.
We will require details of your age, height, weight and level of ability in order to assist with matching you with the correct mount. We also provide you with a list of recommended clothing for riding tour.
Join a horse riding tour on the Camino Frances
- from O Cebreiro: £1,775 - 6 nights
- from Astorga: £2,745 - 9 nights
- from Logroño: £5,910 - 20 nights
Join a horse riding tour on the Camino Portugues
- from Tui: £1,845 for 5 nights
- Traditional Portugues from Porto: £2,885 for 9 nights
- Coastal Portugues from Porto: £2,980 for 9 nights
From Santiago to Cape Finisterre and the Atlantic coast
- 4 days from Santigo de Compostela: £1,420
*We also organise private horseback tours, for minimum groups of 2 riders - subject to availability. Simply contact us for a quote and to check your preferred dates. We also offer tours for couples where one rides and the other doesn't. Please ask us for details.
The horses are a mixture of Hispano Arabe and Español, of various sizes and suitable for
a wide range of riders.
The team will provide you with not only a wonderful horse but also equipment, riding hat, rain cape (in Galicia), clothing and water.
You can choose to ride in an English or Western Saddle. Although for trail riding we highly recommend you choose western - for improved comfort for both horse and rider.
The team consists of additional personnel to handle horses, assist on the rides and manage baggage transfers between accommodations. A support vehicle is used each day, so if you require an early finish or wish a day off, the team can look after you.
There is also a horse box for transporting any additional horses, feed and kit. The team is prepared for every eventuality.
Your Guide and Host
Jesus will be your host and is also the lead guide on our Camino Frances horseback tours. Native of Galicia, Jesus has a range of wonderful horses which are all in tip-top condition, well schooled and accustomed to carrying riders on the Camino trails. He has a first-class knowledge of all the Camino routes and the hoteliers along the way, ensuring you enjoy the best service possible.
During the tour you have full board and lodgings including breakfast, lunch and dinner, with non-alcoholic beverages and snacks included.
Delicious Spanish Gastronomy and Wines
With an abundance of small inns along the way, when you are on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela you will really enjoy the local food and wine. Jesus will guide you and we will do our best to cater for your dietary needs. Galicia is renowned internationally for its white wines such as Albarino and reds such as Ribeiros and Ribeiras. They make great light beers too - "Galicia Estrella" or Galicia Star - how appropriate!
Every town in the Camino has a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the delicious Spanish gastronomy and the variety of world-famous Spanish wines.
Santiago de Compostela, UNESCO World Heritage
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, Santiago de Compostela is the destination of the Way of St James pilgrimage, one of the major themes of medieval history in Europe.
From nearly every corner of the planet, millions have travelled to Santiago for over 1000 years along many Caminos. Around the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, the city boasts a magnificent old town worthy of one of Christianity's greatest holy cities.
Food & Drink
Full board provided: breakfast, lunch on the trail and dinner usually at your hotel.
Does not include extra snacks or alcoholic drinks.
Hand-picked comfortable establishments with high standards of personal service
We believe that our high level of personal service and customer care offers the best in the Camino food, culture and history.
Your accommodation will include a variety of traditional farmhouses, historic homes, and hotels on the Camino de Santiago. Often these are chosen for proximity to loose boxes and pasture for the horses.
All rooms have en-suite facilities, usually with in-house restaurants, but sometimes you will dine out.
The team move your baggage from one accommodation to the next as you ride. Your luggage will be awaiting you on arrival at your new lodgings each day.
Your hotel accommodations will be confirmed about one month before departure date.
This map shows our longest horseback route from La Rioja (20 days) to Santiago de Compostela. You can also start the same route in Astorga (9 days) or O Cebriero (6 days).
Fly either to Madrid or Santiago depending on where your itinerary begins. Rail connections and private transfers to various points on the route are available.
Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.
- Review by Debbie, UKAn amazing 6 day tour in rural Spain, every day it feels the scenery gets more and more spectacular. There is a horse to suit every riding ability and before the end of day one I guarantee you feel that special bond between horse and rider. I have ridden this route three times and every time as enjoyable as the last, there is no better way to see Spain, make new friends and enjoy thegreat food and wine that is prepared for you along the way
- Review by Colleen, USAWe enjoyed our Camino trip. It was very well run. Hotel Plaza Mayor and Grand Hotel Los Abetos were the best. The hotel Pilar just OK. The food was outstanding. We enjoyed every meal. We enjoyed our Camino trip. But we would not recommend the horse trip to anyone that is not an excellent rider. The terrain is difficult and the horses climb up trails where the walkers follow a much lower path.
COMMENT:- FOR THE MOST PART THE HORSES DO FOLLOW THE SAME TRAIL AS THE WALKERS. THE GUIDE MAY DEVIATE FOR SHORT SECTIONS, IF THE PATH IS WET OR THERE ARE A LOT OF WALKERS ON IT.
Jesus (The Guide / Host) was very nice and helpful but we feel he lost confidence with us after a few days of riding because of our riding ability. My friend fell and hurt her shoulder at one of the restaurants on the fourth day, so we took a day off. It was a great group of people and we enjoyed ourselves. Overall we had a good time.
COMMENT:- RIDING CAN BE STRENUOUS, SO YOU NEED DECENT STAMINA TO RIDE FOR 6 HOURS EACH DAY. SOME EXPERIENCE OF HORSE-RIDING IS REQUIRED, BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT RIDER, AS THE HORSES ARE HIGHLY SCHOOLED AND KNOW THE PATHS WELL.
- Review by Barbara, USAThe route is an astounding variation of trails along and across creeks, rivers, gorges, through cherry tree orchards and farmland, beautiful pine and redwood forests, wild west scenery and medieval villages with narrow alleyways, old churches and monasteries. Storks nesting on chimneys, vultures circling the skies.
Long and fast gallops, beautiful and sensitive, untiring and surefooted horses! And Jose, the owner and guide, is an experienced, humorous and prudent man. Accompanied by Ula from Poland, who is the translator and woman for ‘everything’, caring for all, loveable, merry, very fine rider, finding solutions for the most unthought-of situations.
The week was marvellous. I wish I could be back this year, will definitely come again next year
- Review by Patricia, USAIt was totally amazing! I was the only American in group of Espanoles-from different parts of Spain. Every day was totally fulfilling. I was so glad I could speak the language and fit in. Doing the Camino a Caballo was a dream come true. Jesus and his team are amazing . It was a first class trip. Riding onto the Plaza Obradorio was very emotional and special. And I would add the others in my group- we became life long friends!
Everything was as expected. There was minor confusion as to the Porto start in that no one else showed up at the Porto hotel...it was only used as a pick up point. If I had known that, I would have stayed extra day in Lisbon..then to Porto overnight, for pick up @ noon. But all is good.Jesus runs a well organized trip.
Every hotel was perfect and well chosen. Some had an adjacent area for the horses (like Vigo area, and the winery place). The last stop in Lavacolla- Los Abetos, was over the top--2 floors each hotel room. Being in Pontevedra for Dia de Santiago Jul 25, was fun..the fireworks at night were right outside my window. Of course, I had Tarta de Santiago that night for dessert!.
OMG..there are not enough words to say about all the great food! Fresh seafood, many courses lunch & dinner..for hours ea! Wine! Red White..we wanted for nothing! Breakfast was at hotel ea morning. Everything lovely. Jesus always made sure we had plenty. "Gracias, no mas" didn’t mean anything!
We either ordered from menu, or the food just started coming!
I would have liked more detailed info about the Riding Clothes, including Riding Boots, especially for " English saddle "...Many in our group are formal riders..like almost professional ...the Spanish take riding seriously...they all wore very formal and stylish riding clothes, etc.. We even had a horse riding club, a Polo Club, from Barcelona join our initial group, and they were well dressed/prepared etc.
I would suggest travellers have smartphones, with GPS...very valuable for being on your own (like Lisbon, Porto, & Santiago de Compostela), I used it all the time.
Also, please stress that this Camino requires basic horse riding...walking, trotting, sometimes gallop...plus the elevation changes are varied.
Plus the days are long !! We were all tired out every day. But all worth it! I earned the name: " Patricia, Peregrina Autentica y Chica Fuerte"
And that will be with me forever!!
- Review by BerniceIt was one of the best holidays I have experienced. On 1 -10. I would say a 10. Our hotels were very comfortable. Given that we were in rural areas, I feel they were great. The food was fantastic. The information pack is one of the best I have seen. The Camino team were a great help during the trip and answered the phone immediately when we had questions.
The instructions for finding our reserved seats in the Cathedral for the Botafumeiro were unclear. We did find our seats but it was not easy. Our names were on the seats, Walk the Camino was on the back of the pew not on the seat where we sat. It would be handy if a card was printed in Spanish that could be shown inside the Cathedral.
WTC RESPONSE - it is always challenging finding your way in the Cathedral, especially when so many pilgrims are in attendance. Your idea about supplying a card in Spanish to make yourself known to officials is a great idea. We will do that in future. Glad to know you found them in time.
- Review by Laura, UKThis route happened to be my first trail ride ever and I could not have made a better choice. I got a great horse which carried me safely through this amazing 6 days.
I’m fascinated by how the horses, on one hand, have great strength, endurance and a strong character, but on the other hand are very sensitive, caring and obedient to their rider.
Furthermore, I’m still astonished by the landscape we were riding through. Every day I was fascinated again! Because of the continuously changing landscape, one will never get bored of the sight.
Starting with trails next to cherry trees, wide fields and trough little (nearly uninhabited) villages, our way led us further through juniper forests, into the mountains and pine forests, past and necropolis and ended at a wonderful and beautiful place where the river Arlanza has its origin. The most beautiful day was the 5th day when we rode through the national park "Cañon del Río de Los Lobos".
Last but not least I want to mention that this ride would have been to that outstanding experience without the great guidance of Joseph with support from Ula.
Thank you very much. I will return next year for another route.
- Review by Meg, USAAbsolutely! Very memorable. A fabulous way to see Northern Spain. Fit, well-mannered horses. Great accommodations. Good food. Great people in our group!
Jesus and his team did a very good job with all of us, and 8-10 horses every day. They had the sidesaddle for Kate and took great pains with her comfort and safety. Six hours a day in the saddle was taxing - I have ridden for 50 years and knew it would be very challenging.
Because of the language barrier or cultural differences, the 5 Americans on the trip were often left waiting. A few sentences here and there would have been much nicer.
Every night was very different. We liked them all. Had a series of great experiences. It would have been helpful to know in advance which hotels offered laundry services, etc.
The food was all good. Some meals were excellent. They were mindful that I was a vegetarian and I was well taken care of.
The wrangler, Peter, was exceptional. Took care of the horses, and the support vehicle, and the two older ladies who had to stop riding, and Kate when her foot was swollen and she couldn’t ride. A huge asset to her comfort and everyone’s well being. He had a great sense of humour and kept everyone smiling.
- Review by MaryBest vacation ever! I enjoyed the trip very much and the organisation was outstanding. The accommodation was so much better than I expected. The food was just fantastic. The baggage went well and I rate your information pack.