Bishop England High School Presents

Catholic Spain and the Camino de Santiago

May 26 - June 7, 2024

$5490 per person (includes airfare from Charleston)

This trip begins in Barcelona and concludes on the beach near Espinho, Portugal! Along the way you will pass through some of Spain’s most incredible places on the Camino de Santiago, beginning with a visit to Burgos and followed by five days walking nearly 100 kilometers along El Camino – the Way of Saint James. From the city of Sarria, you’ll pass through the beautiful countryside of Galicia until you arrive in the city of Saint James: Santiago de Compostela. Here you will spend two days celebrating your pilgrimage, enjoying the incredible history, beauty and food of Santiago de Compostela. Following your time in Compostela you will head south for an afternoon of good company and relaxation at the beach before preparing for our return home.

Your BEHS school point of contact and lead chaperone for this trip is Sally Herbert. Please refer any pertinent questions to Sally:  

*This trip is limited to 30 travelers. Register today to save your place.*

**This trip includes five days walking the Camino, roughly 100 kilometers in total. Participants must be able to walk up to 12 miles in one day. Please see the brochure for walking distances.** 

Trip Overview

This pilgrimage is arranged in four parts: Barcelona and Burgos (three nights), the Camino (five days walking and five nights), Santiago de Compostela (two nights) and Portugal (one night).

Barcelona & Burgos

Our trip begins in the fascinating city of Barcelona, where we will spend two days exploring the rich history and culture of the maritime capital of Catalonia. From here we head west towards Burgos, the capital of Castile and León, where we will spend one night.

El Camino de Santiago

After Burgos we’ll set out on the Way of Saint James, the ancient pilgrimage through Spain’s northernmost regions towards the burial place of Saint James the Apostle. After five days walking 100 kilometers through Galicia, we’ll arrive in Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago de Compostela

After completing the Camino and arriving in Santiago we’ll spend two days relaxing, touring and enjoying the fruit of our labors. Nothing comes close to the joy experienced when entering the city of Saint James, after having walked through rain and shine for nearly a week.


Our trip comes to an end in Espinho, Portugal. Here we will stay at the beautiful four-star Exe Praia Golfe Hotel for one night, which boasts spectacular sea views in a peaceful setting with spacious rooms that are perfect for a day of relaxation on the beautiful Portuguese coast.


Pricing & Registration

Payment Details

Only $200 is due at registration - the remaining balance is due later.

$200 / due @ registration

$2645 First Installment
due November 27, 2023
$2645 Second Installment
due January 26, 2024

Regular Price

See the brochure for a full list of inclusions and exclusions.

$5490 / per person

Roundtrip Airfare from Charleston (CHS)
On American Airlines
Private Coach
Except on Camino
6 Nights Lodging in 4 Star Hotels
In Barcelona, Sarria, Santiago and Espinho
1 Night Lodging in 3 Star Hotel
In Burgos
4 Nights Lodging in Rural Guesthouses and Hotels
On Camino
Daily Breakfast, Dinner and Two Lunches
With Water
Local Tour Guide
All Gratuities


If you cancel, this policy applies. See the terms for more information.

Our Policy

100 Days or More before Tour
Full refund less $200.00 deposit
100-75 Days before Tour
50% Refund
Within 75 Days of Tour
No Refund - The only exception to this policy is if the person cancelling finds a replacement.

Planning Timeline


In order to register please complete the form on this page. Your place on the trip is then secure!

Purchase Travel Insurance

When you register we will send you a quote for travel insurance. To cover preexisting conditions insurance must be purchased within two weeks of registration.

Get Your Passports Ready

Apply as soon as possible. NB - Passports that expire within six months of the travel dates are not valid to enter Portugal or Spain.

Get Welcome Packet & Pack Your Bags

One month before the trip we will send you a Welcome Packet with lots of useful information. Pack your bags and get ready!

Frequently Asked Questions

Flight Information

Please see the brochure for specific flight details. As this is a trip for students, all participants are required to fly with the group. Points and Miles cannot be used towards a group airline ticket.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

Below you will find our cancellation policy. Our terms and conditions can also be reviewed here:

In the event that the participant cancels 100 days or more prior to the tour departure date, the tour is 100% refundable less a $200.00 administrative fee.

In the event of cancellation anytime within 100 to 75 days prior to the tour departure date, the tour is 75% refundable.

In the event of cancellation anytime within 75 to 50 days prior to the tour departure date, the tour is 50% refundable.

In the event of cancellation within 50 days of the tour departure date, the tour is 100% non-refundable.

*NB – If the participant wishes to cancel and finds someone to replace him or her, ProRome will issue a full refund, less a $200.00 administrative fee and a $150.00 name-change fee.

What is the History of the Camino?

The Apostolic Age: Saint James the Greater

St. James the Greater was one of the disciples of Jesus. Tradition holds that they were cousins, that James was the son of Salome, a sister of the Virgin Mary. He worked as a fisherman, along with his brother John and their father Zebedee. James and John left life as a fisherman when Jesus called them, along with Simon Peter, to be “fishers of men.” Following the crucifixion of Jesus, James traveled to the Iberian Peninsula (today’s Spain and Portugal) to spread the word of Jesus.

When James returned to Judea, he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44AD “King Herod extended his hands to harm certain ones from the church. He killed James, the brother of John, with a sword. Seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to arrest Peter also.” (Acts 12: 1-3) St. James is believed to be the first Apostle that was martyred.

The remains of St James were then transported by his followers back to the Iberian Peninsula and were buried near what is today Santiago de Compostela. St James is the patron saint of Spain.

The Carolingian Era: the Discovery of the Tomb of St. James In the 7th Century

St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636) and St. Julian of Toledo (d. 690) wrote that St. James had preached in Spain. According to legend, St. James appeared to the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (d. 814) in a vision and told him that his body “lies forgotten in Galicia, a place still shamefully oppressed by the Saracens.” He told Charlemagne to “take a great army . . . to Galicia to do battle . . . After you, all peoples from sea to sea will walk there as pilgrims begging forgiveness of their sins and proclaiming the greatness of the Lord.” (Spilman, The Twelve: Lives and Legends of the Apostles, 2017).

Around the year 820, the tomb of St. James was found in an ancient burial spot in a place called Solovio, by a hermit named Paio. Immediately pilgrims flocked to the locus Sancti Iacobi to venerate the saint’s remains. Solovio was very near to the present Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Cathedral is built on the site of the first church dedicated to St. James built in 829, followed by one built in 899. Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 and continued into the 18th century.

The First Pilgrims of the 9th and 10th Centuries

In the 9th and 10th centuries the first known pilgrims traveled to the tomb of St. James. Besides monks and abbots came monarchs, the kings of Asturias, Alfonso II and Alfonso III. Clerics began leading groups of faithful to the holy site.

The Golden Age of Pilgrimage, 11th – 13th Centuries

In the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela became the most important pilgrimage destination in Christendom besides Rome. By the 11th century, nearly every able-bodied person made a pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime to venerate the relics of a saint. A pilgrimage could take several weeks or several months. All the main pilgrimage routes culminated towards Santiago de Compostela.

Hospitality and the Way of Saint James

Along the pilgrimage routes were hundreds of monasteries that offered hospitality. There were also hospitals founded by kings and nobles to assist the sick and the poor. To receive the pilgrim was the Christain work of mercy to “welcome the stranger.” The pilgrim stranger was meant to be seen and treated as if he were Jesus Christ. Today, the ancient tradition of hospitality is continued with albergues, inexpensive hostels for pilgrims found in towns along the Camino.

What Should I Expect Along the Camino?


You will be walking roughly 10 – 15 miles per day. See the brochure for the detailed mileage. If you cannot walk this far in one day you should reconsider joining this trip. There are no Ubers along the Camino and cell service is poor at times.


Northern Spain has a maritime climate characterized by warm summers and mild winters, while humidity, fog and rain are frequent. Days in June can be warm but nights are cool. You can expect highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid to upper 60s. Do expect at least a few showers throughout the course of the trip!


Spanish is not the only language spoken in Galicia. The native language of the region is Galego, a romance language more similar to Portuguese than Spanish.

Musical Tradition

Many believe that the Galicians are related to the Celts – and they even have their own bagpipes called gaita, played at festivals and celebrations.


Galicia has some of Spain’s best seafood! If you don’t like seafood, land tapas do abound.

What About Luggage?


Each day, your luggage will be transported from point A to point B. It is suggested that you bring a camping backpack for transport, and a small backpack to use during the day. Regular luggage is possible but HIGHLY advised against.

If you opt for the camping backpack, we highly recommend no less than a 50 liter camping back-pack, and no more than 75 liters. Make sure the backpack is able to carry up to 50 lbs. Make sure to leave space for any souvenirs you might purchase along the way! We recommend REI or Osprey brand backpacks.

Your day backpack should be as small as you can manage, comfortable and lightweight, sturdy with good shoulder and waist straps. Some incredibly tiny backpacks are available that fold up to fist size! You’ll be carrying your passport, wallet, water, snacks and any jewelry or valuables that you may have with you. Everything else will be transported to the hotel! We recommend REI, Patagonia or Osprey brand daypacks.

Consider practicing ahead of time with whatever you intend to use and with as much weight as you intend to carry. On the Camino, you do not want the surprise of sore shoulders or worse, which a little preparation can avoid. You should be carrying no more than ten percent of your body weight, and the less weight the better!

Anything I Should Pack in Particular?

There is no such thing as an “underdressed” pilgrim on the Camino, as long as you have clothing on! Here is a list, by no means exhaustive, of what to pack for the Camino. The less you pack, the better. Keep it light, and prioritize the important things – socks, underwear and toiletries.

  • Good quality, breathable and broken-in hiking shoes that are not too tight, as feet will swell as you walk! Bring a back-up pair of hiking shoes or very comfortable trekking shoes. When that first pair gets wet, you’ll be glad you did!
  • Socks made with elastic that don’t wrinkle help you avoid blisters. Hiking socks with foot reinforcements are best. Bring 6-8 pairs of socks, and bring along some moleskin, neosporin and scotch tape for blisters.
  • Loose trekking pants and/or knee-length walking shorts. We suggest 2-3 pairs.
  • Breathable t-shirts or button-downs. We suggest 3-4.
  • Cap or hat to prevent the sun from hitting you directly in the head, something essential in summer.
  • 1 light-weight rain poncho
  • 1 light-weight fleece or sweater (at dusk the days begin to cool off)

How Do I Prepare for the Camino?

Mental Preparation

Perhaps the best way to mentally prepare for this pilgrimage is to anticipate and visualize both its joys and its difficulties, such as:

It is very challenging, not the least reason being that you are walking day after day with no rest from walking in between days.

Consider also: There are hills, which become more difficult when carrying a backpack.

There are changes in terrain. Walking can occasionally be monotonous. You may encounter rain.

Physical Preparation

You are strongly advised to physically prepare in the weeks leading up to the pilgrimage:

About eight weeks before the trip, take a two hour walk on two days in a row, wearing the loaded backpack you will have with you.

Remember that stretching before and after walking is crucially important to avoid injuries.

Begin the habit of stretching now and continue it in Spain.

Try to increase your walks (two days in a row) by thirty minutes each week. Drink lots of water while training, and before and during the trip.

Staying hydrated is the most important way to care for yourself and not become ill.

It is wise to talk to a medical professional about any questions you may have pertaining to training and the walking portion of the trip.

NB: It is important not to overtrain as you don’t want to risk hurting yourself before you arrive!

Spiritual Preparation

Many saints and thousands of faithful throughout the ages have walked the Camino to Compostela. Feel encouraged with the truth that you are experiencing something of the same journey made by St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Elizabeth of Portugal, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John XXIII, St. Josemaría Escrivá, to name but a few.

Spiritual preparation to walk the Camino consists of knowing yourself and why it matters to you to have this experience. It will be a rewarding experience physically but much more so spiritually. Before and during your journey, try to often ask for God’s blessing on your undertaking and you will surely remain focused on the eternal benefits of this pilgrimage.

Other FAQs

Q. Do I need a hiking backpack? Can I use my regular suitcase?

A. A hiking backpack is preferred. Regular luggage is acceptable but highly advised against.

Q. Will we have a luggage transfer?

A. Yes. I assure you that you will not be carrying your luggage on Camino.

Q. Will I be able to do laundry?

A. In Barcelona and in Santiago, yes. On Camino, no.

Q. If I cannot do laundry, how many different sets of clothing should I bring?

A. For the Camino, just two or three (max) different outfits. They will get dirty, but don’t worry, every other person on Camino is in the same situation.

Q. Are dress shoes or heels required for dinners? A.

No. We suggest something along the lines of Clarks or Skechers – Comfortable for touring, but also nice with a dress, slacks or chinos.

Q. Does the group walk together?

A. There is no obligation to walk as a group however everyone must remain under the supervision of a chaperone.

Q. What if I cannot finish walking?

A. You won’t be the first! We’ll do our best to find you a transfer (at your expense). Please keep in mind that if you cannot walk 10-15 miles in a day you should reconsider this trip.

Q. Will I get a “Camino Certificate”

A. Yes. In every town in which you arrive you will get your Camino passport stamped. Then when you arrive in Santiago you’ll be issued a Camino Certificate – in Latin! This tradition dates back hundreds of years.

What If There is An Emergency?

We remain in close contact with the American embassies in Portugal and Spain, who issue safety and security messages on their website. In the case of an emergency, we will first ensure that all of our group members are safe and able to communicate immediately with their family at home. We will then follow the instructions of the local authorities and make an informed decision on how to proceed.

Our staff receives training before the trip, which involves reading, understanding and committing to memory a forty-page crisis management plan. If you would like to see a copy of this plan please inquire.

Can You Accommodate Food Allergies or Specific Dietary Restrictions?

Absolutely. Vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free or celiac, we work only with restaurants and caterers who have ample options for you.

Trip Patron

Saint James