Camino De Santiago, 18-24th May, 2025
Write & Walk in Spain Retreats
Grab this opportunity to work (and walk!) with writing coach and literary agent Sarah Bullen.
We will walk The Camino De Santiago.
This Camino is an ancient pilgrim path across the North of the Iberian Peninsula. We will be walking the last 200kms, starting our journey in the city of Ponferrada and finishing in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela. This is an unforgettable retreat that will get your book on track. Together we travel the journey of memory, creative inspiration and dive deep into the craft of writing, have a lot of fun and join a community of international writers.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
You know how hard it is to carve out creative time from your busy and frantic life right? So this Camino retreat is an invitation to leave work, family and all the other nagging obligations behind, to come and write and walk. Step by step. To immerse in the creative pursuit of listening to your heart, responding to the dramatic nature of this Camino route. Let the repetitive pulse of walking help you tap into your creative thread again. This retreat is a little different from our others that usually attract writers wanting to publish their books. On this Camino Pilgrimage, we welcome ALL writers in pursuit of creative connection and authentic expression. You could, of course, use the time to work on a book, and tap into the expert guidance of Sarah and Liz, but equally you can be jotting down thoughts, musings, poetry, writing letters or processing some recent events. A creative healing time with heaps of exercise thrown in. And wine, And laughter and connection! You could be working on a novel, memoir, non-fiction, poetry, workbook, online course, photography-based book, life story or just a creative writing project. YOU can use the “rest” days to really focus on word count if that’s what you need.
This retreat is part pilgrimage, part holiday. You will dedicate some time to totally in a creative environment to write, and most of the days will be spent walking.
You will be drawn to this retreat in order to simply DEDICATE time to your writing. And walking of course.
The Camino Frances or French Way is the most famous of all the Camino de Santiago routes, featuring in many documentaries, books, and movies such as ‘The Way‘ and ‘I’ll Push You‘.
You will begin your Camino journey in the city of Ponferrada with its imposing medieval Templars Castle. This section of the Camino Frances, the Camino from Ponferrada, takes pilgrims to the market town of Sarria, in Galicia, the most popular Camino starting point. The city of Ponferrada developed as a settlement on the road to Santiago in the middle ages.
The Camino Frances passes amazing cities and areas of natural beauty such as Pamplona, famous for its bull run; La Rioja wine region and its capital Logroño; Burgos with its magnificent cathedral; elegant Leon and Ponferrada with its Templars Castle. We will join in this route from Ponferrada, the Camino de Santiago enters Galicia through the mountains and picturesque village of O Cebreiro.
HOW THE DAY UNFOLDS
After breakfast we have our first daily connect. Each day has a writing theme, a creative prompt or a specific focus to help you attune to the day ahead, listen to nature and tap into your creativity. Some of the walking is in silence, and we are under the expert guidance of a local guide so there is heaps of opportunity to soak up the history, culture and landscape.
You have the dedicated focus and guidance of these international mentors who know what it takes to write. And if you are working on a book they will nudge you forward to finish and publish a book. They are IN residence, walking and writing with you.
Daily morning connection with your mentors and fellow writers
A structured programme where needed to advance your project and your writing craft
Evening writing time to reflect on the day’s walk or continue on your writing project
Professional feedback and reviews on your writing where needed
Personal Creative / Book Structure session with writing coach Sarah
Personal growth session with Kate to support your life journey
We are doing nights 1 - 7 of the below itinery in 2025
We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.
Country Cottages or ‘Casas Rurales’ are beautifully restored country homes and farmhouses in the heart of peaceful rural communities. Our Country Cottages are renowned for their exceptional food, unique settings and personal touch. Rest assured when you select Country Cottage you will enjoy the full experience of our collection of beautiful Casas Rurales when and where this option is available, however, bear in mind, that sometimes due to location factors, only our choice of standard collection hotels and guesthouses may be available. All rooms are en-suite.
ARRIVAL: DAY 1
You arrive in Ponferrada. Once in Ponferrada, you should explore the old town, its impressive 12th century Templars Castle, and make sure you try the local specialities, such as botillo and some of Spain’s most delicious cured meats.
Villafranca del Bierzo
After your night in Ponferrada, the Camino takes you across the heart of the lush region of El Bierzo, nestled in the mountains. Take the opportunity to taste the local delicious cherries if you are travelling in Summer, exquisite cured meats and other regional delicacies. In Villafranca, known as ‘little Compostela’, visit the garden of the Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church. The church has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years.
You will stay in the small hamlet of Herrerías, in a traditional farmhouse with views of the mountains, and getting ready for your ascent to O Cebreiro.
After your night in Villafranca, known as ‘little Compostela’, visit the garden of the Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church. The church has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years. Your route passes by the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ and ‘Serra do Courel’ and it should be noted that this stage to O Cebreiro holds a steep climb in only a few kilometres, but the views are truly spectacular.
After your stay in the village of O Cebreiro you will walk the ‘Serra de Ranadoiro’ (Ranadoiro Mountains) and reach Alto do Poio where you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto you will start descending into the village of Triacastela.
After your night in Triacastela, you have the choice of two Camino options, the ‘San Xil’ Camino offers scenery that will lift your spirits. It has many ‘corredoiras’ (narrow forest tracks) with paved pathways through native Galician oak woods. If you wish to visit the impressive Samos Monastery, you will walk across the valley of the river Ouribio to reach Samos and continue on to reach the larger town of Sarria.
This is a day to catch our breath, rest our feet a little bit and explore your writing. Immerse in your creative journey and use today to get more words down on paper. Also a perfect day for that Spanish siesta or explore the surrounding countryside at your leisure before we set off again tomorrow. We end here in 2025 and you can continue the rest on your own.
After your night in Sarria, expect a calm walk through pretty villages and peaceful hamlets under the shade of oak trees and along quiet country roads. Along the way, you will spot many Galician traditional ‘hórreos’ (granaries). Visit the beautiful Romanesque church in the village of Barbadelo. Your destination for the night is the town of Portomarin.
Palas de Rei
After your night in Portomarin, your Camino will cross the river Miño (Galicia’s longest river) and rise uphill steadily towards the Serra de Ligonde. You will pass nice hamlets such as Gonzar and Ventas de Narón. Stop to visit the Romanesque Church of Santa María in Castromaior and the Romanesque church in Eirexe, with its portal featuring a sculpture of Daniel with animals, as well as Pilgrim Santiago.
This is a day to catch our breath, rest our feet a little bit and explore your writing. Immerse in your creative journey and use today to get more words down on paper. Also a perfect day for that Spanish siesta or explore the surrounding countryside at your leisure before we set off again tomorrow.
Overnight in the small village of Melide
After your night in Palas de Rei, the Camino trail continues downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the delightful village of Leboreiro. You should take a break in the lively market town of Melide (454m), where you should try octopus, Galicia’s most classic dish, in one of the many ‘pulperías’. The Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track bringing you to the village of Boente and the church of Santiago. Next is the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa (389m), famous for its local cheese. In Arzúa, you should visit the churches of Santa María and A Magdalena.
After your night in Arzúa, your Camino will take you through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams for most of the day. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. En-route, don’t miss the lovely hamlet of Rúa (310m) where you can choose to stay tonight and split this walking day. The rest of the route to Amenal is along a mix of good and calm country roads and forest tracks.
Santiago de C.
After your night in Amenal, your next point of interest is Lavacolla in the outskirts of Santiago, where pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo (‘Mount of Joy’ 368m) and it is from here that will catch your first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. When you arrive in the city (264m, population 80,000), explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural city. With only 16.5km to walk today, you should be in Santiago in time for the pilgrim mass (12pm). After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its old town will enchant you. In Santiago the Compostela you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.
After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its old town will enchant you.In Santiago the Compostela you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.
Outgoing airport transfer
Sharing room TBC
Don't want to share? Single room supplement TBC
A deposit of €600 secures your place.
Remainder payments tbc
Remainder payments tbc
Not bringing a friend or partner? We will match you with a suitable same sex roommate.
The costs INCLUDES:
7 nights accommodation
Wholesome Spanish breakfasts
Traditional Spanish dinners - Pilgrims Meal
A powerful guided 7 night creative writing journey
Airport / Hotel Transfers
Daily writing sessions to get your book on track with Sarah
English-speaking guide for the entire trip
Airport transfers as per itinerary
Luggage transfers on walking days
24/7 emergency assistance
The costs EXCLUDES:
Lunches - most of these we take in small villages after our daily walk and you will bring cash for that.
Gratuities for walk guides and staff
This was mind-blowing. I was overwhelmed by the amazing people, the teachers, the food, the swimming, the guest speakers, the support and love. It allowed me to see my life in a new perspective. The time was very well structured and we were pushed to write and develop our books with guidance.
WHAT OUR WRITERS SAY
Stanley Gabriel, insurance CEO, Johannesburg
The Lamu Writing Retreat gave me the bravery to explore my purpose: I am destined for greatness and my voice can inspire a new generation of leadership.
Trevyn McGowan, gallery owner, Cape Town
A very rare, very special, very cool retreat, whether you have written before or not.