General Guided Caminos

What are the benefits of a guided camino?

The benefits are: 1) you have the support of an English-speaking guide and logistical support van at checkpoints along the way. The guide is useful for orientation when you are in a new country and as a bridge between the locals and you. Their understanding of local culture, language and history is very valuable and useful, especially if it is your first time in Spain. You may feel safer during your trip knowing they are only a phone call away at any moment. . Also on the guided trips 2) you have the support van at your disposal. The van is useful for leaving your jacket, umbrella, foot cream, extra pair of shoes, and anything else you might need along the way. You can pick up or drop things off at any of the checkpoints. There is also a full first aid kit and your guide, also known as the foot doctor, will be happy to help you with anything that might arise (eg. blisters, pulled muscle, knee pain).

Do I need to be physically fit and is physical preparation necessary?

Not necessarily. The main requirement to do the Camino is the spirit. It is recommendable to know the state of your body well and it would be a good idea to walk on a daily basis to get your body used to walking. If you would like to prepare, we recommend at least two hours per day if you are not used to walking. If not, don’t worry, bring along your spirit and on our guided trips we give you all the support necessary to find your ‘way’! We send you very useful preparation tips about 90 days before your walk with us.

What size are the groups?

Our groups are generally 8 to 15 people. We prefer to keep our groups under 15 people, although depending on the dates we have made a few exceptions to allow one or two more.

Does the group walk together?

No, each person walks at his/her own pace, alone or with other other pilgrims, as each individual wishes. Of course you might see each other along the way, as well as other pilgrims.

Will the guide walk with us?

It is important for us that each person walks at his/her own pace. During the stage there will be meeting points where you will see the guide and support vehicle along the way. Usually the group will meet at the end of the stage for lunch. If for any reason you would like the guide to walk with you, you can request so. The guides are there for any support you may need.

Should I bring a backpack?

We take care of transferring all luggage from accommodation to accommodation in both the guided and self-guided trips. For the actual walking only a small backpack is required in order to carry personal documents, money, water, a camera, the credential, etc.. We do provide a backpack that is suitable for the daily walk, in case you wish to use it.

What if I get tired or can't keep walking?

You walk at your own pace and it is important to listen to your body. During all of our guided Caminos, the support vehicle will be of service along the entire route to cover any needs the pilgrims may have. If you do not want to keep walking for any reason, or any physical or health issues arise, you can hop on the van and take a break or stop walking for the day.

Where and when do we eat lunch?

Lunch is generally not included. It usually takes place after completing the daily stage, but you can also stop and eat something along the way as you walk. The guide will take you to places where you will have a variety of menu options after the walk.

What kind of accommodations do we stay in? (Guided trips)

On all of our guided tours we work with beautiful, comfortable accommodations that have private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Depending on the tour and area of Spain that we are in, these will vary from great hotels to Paradores, or beautiful rural manors where you can enjoy peaceful scenery and home-cooked meals as we enter Galicia. We have hand-picked all the accommodations to give you the best experience possible. You will fall in love with them!

Will we have Internet/WiFi?

Most of our accommodations have internet access (WiFi). About 30 days before your trip you will receive a list of all the accommodation names and details in which we will confirm where you will have WiFi.

How much should we tip the guides?

Tips for our driver and guide(s) are not included. It is not mandatory but if you are happy with the service you received it would be much appreciated. If you wish to tip, we usually estimate a minimum of 50 Euro per person for our tours lasting 10 days or less and 100 Euro per person for our longer tours. Depending on the service you received, the assistant guide (in some cases) and driver can be given the same amount or a bit less.

How do we return to Madrid or go elsewhere?

There are many flight and train options out of Santiago. There are a few daily flights to Madrid from Santiago with low cost and full-fledged airlines depending on the day. You can also take the train Madrid-Santiago which takes approximately 6 hours or 10 hours for the night train. There are also direct flights to many European cities including Barcelona, London, and Paris. You can book on your own, or if you need assistance we can put you in contact with our partner travel agency.

Self-Guided Trips (Adventure Camino)

What's the difference between self-guided and the rest of the tours?

Our Self-guided Caminos do not dispose of a support vehicle or a guide accompanying the groups along the Camino. We give you all the material necessary to complete the walk on your own and to get to your reserved accommodation each night.

What size are the groups?

Our groups are generally 8 to 15 people. We prefer to keep our groups under 15 people, although depending on the dates we have made a few exceptions to allow one or two more.

What type of accommodations do we stay in? (self-guided)

We stay at some of the best available places at the end of each stage. The accommodations are lovely and each has private bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.

Does the group walk together?

No, each person walks at his/her own pace, alone or with other other pilgrims, as each individual wishes. Of course you might see each other along the way, as well as other pilgrims.

Should I bring a backpack?

We take care of transferring all luggage from accommodation to accommodation in both the guided and self-guided trips. For the actual walking only a small backpack is required in order to carry personal documents, money, water, a camera, the credential, etc.. We do provide a backpack that is suitable for the daily walk, in case you wish to use it.

Will we have Internet/WiFi?

Most of our accommodations have internet access (WiFi). About 30 days before your trip you will receive a list of all the accommodation names and details in which we will confirm where you will have WiFi.

How do we return to Madrid or go elsewhere?

There are many flight and train options out of Santiago. There are a few daily flights to Madrid from Santiago with low cost and full-fledged airlines depending on the day. You can also take the train Madrid-Santiago which takes approximately 6 hours or 10 hours for the night train. There are also direct flights to many European cities including Barcelona, London, and Paris. You can book on your own, or if you need assistance we can put you in contact with our partner travel agency.

General Camino

What is the 'Credencial', or Pilgrim's Passport?

The ‘credential’ is our Pilgrim Passport, the document that identifies us as pilgrims. It is the pilgrim record with which we are able to prove we have done the Camino and are able to receive the Compostela Certificate. It is obtained before starting the Camino and must be stamped along the way in places like churches, ‘albergues’, bars, restaurants, etc. You need at least two stamps per day during the last 100 km of the walk to receive the certificate.

What is the Compostela certificate?

It is the document, in Latin, that certifies the completion of the pilgrimage to Santiago. In order to receive it it is required to have covered the last 100 kilometers of any of the routes by foot, or 200 kilometers on bicycle or horse. Most of our walks include at least the last hundred kilometers.

How can one do the Camino?

The Camino can be done in many different ways:

1) Organized Camino: All of our guided tours enjoy the Camino in this way. We walk on our own, but meet with the group and our experienced and knowledgable guides at the end of each stage. You have a support van which you see at checkpoints along the way. You can replenish your snacks or water, change your shoes or ask our guides to help you with physical discomforts (blisters, sore muscle, etc.). We enjoy some of the loveliest accommodation one can find along the Camino, which are truly worth experiencing. We take advantage of each area that we are in to visit cities or sights with local guided visits, taste the best local food, and enjoy the area’s history and culture. We help you make the most of your Camino experience.

2) Reserving only accommodation: If you do not want to shower in public bathrooms or sleep in communal bedrooms, but want to walk on your own with no support along the way, there are private hostels/inns or hotels along the way with private bathrooms and rooms. In our self-guided Adventure Camino, we do just this. We reserve accommodation along the way, give you a route map, and hand you a starter pack so you can do the walk on your own.

3) On your own: You can take your backpack, head to anywhere you wish to begin and start the walk with no reservations at all. There are public (and some private) hostels called ‘albergues’ along the way where you can sleep wherever you finish for that day. These have communal bathrooms and about 10 to 50 beds in one large room. They work on a first come, first serve basis, so depending on the season you have to arrive early to assure your bed.

When is the best weather?

The weather is quite unpredictable, but we offer Caminos only during the best season, from late March to late October. Generally, temperatures average between 21-25ºC (mid 70sºF). Lows can be  12ºC (55ºF) in the mornings or evenings and rise to under 30ºC (low 80sºF) when it is warmer depending on the season. Late July and August are generally much warmer, and May, Early June, late September and October are milder. Rain is a possibility all year round.

Who usually does the Camino?

The Camino welcomes people of all religions, nationalities, ages and physical conditions. Anyone who wishes to do the Camino can do so. The main requirement is the spirit and will to do so. Everybody comes to the Camino for a different reason.  Our goal: to help you find whatever it is you are looking for on this walk.

How many 'Caminos' or Ways are there?

There are a number of ‘Caminos’ that reach Santiago de Compostela: The French Way, the North Way, the Primitive Way, the English Way, the Vía de Plata Way, the Portuguese Way and Catalonian Way among others. The French Way is the most recognized and popular worldwide today. We offer six different walks on the French Way, and also along the enchanting Portuguese Way, the breathtaking North Way, and the undiscovered Catalonian Way from Barcelona.

Buen Camino

How do I get from the Madrid airport to the city?

The most efficient option when carrying suitcases is to take a taxi upon your arrival to the Madrid airport. At any time of day you will find many taxis by following the taxi sign upon leaving the baggage area. The price is 30€ fixed rate to anywhere in Madrid. There is also an option to take public transportation: there is a metro and a bus to the city center.

North Camino

How do I get to San Sebastian?

We meet at the hotel in San Sebastian on the first day at noon. You can check in when you arrive since the reservations are under your name(s).

You can fly into San Sebastian from different national and international airports. The airport is in Hondarribia, about 40 minutes from San Sebastian. You can take a public bus or a taxi to the hotel. You can also take the train to San Sebastian which leaves you in the city center. The train from Madrid takes about 5 hours. Another option is to fly into Bilbao and take a bus to San Sebastian.

Camino Plus

How do we get to Pamplona?

The tour begins in the city of Pamplona. The best option is to take the train from Madrid which is quite comfortable and has a duration of approximately 3 hours. You can consult the schedule and prices on this link www.raileurope.com. You can arrive in Pamplona the day before the trip or take the 7 am train from Madrid in order to make it for the meeting time at 11:00 am at the station. For those who book a hotel with us in Pamplona, we will meet in the lobby at 10:30 am to pick those at the station.

Galician Splendor

How do I get to León?

The best option is to take the train from Madrid which takes about 3 hours. You can consult the schedule and prices on this link: www.raileurope.com. You can book tickets once you are here in Spain or we would be happy to purchase the tickets for you and add them to your final invoice.

Discounts & Benefits

Are there any benefits for repeating?

Yes! Any pilgrim who joins us again automatically has a 5% discount. You will also receive a special gift upon your arrival as well as other benefits.