What are the differences between a Guided Camino and a Self-guided Camino?
At Marly Camino, we pride ourselves on adapting our tours to the requirements of each individual pilgrim in order to provide them with the best possible Camino experience. For this reason, we have carefully crafted two different models of Camino so that our pilgrims can choose the option that best suits them: our Guided Caminos and our Self-guided “Adventure” Caminos.
All the tours that we offer are imbued with the “Marly Touch”: the impeccable attention to detail and unsurpassable customer service that make our pilgrims’ experience so special. We understand that the Camino de Santiago is a bucket list dream for many of our pilgrims and we work with the utmost dedication to make this dream come true, offering support from the moment our pilgrims wake up right through until they fall asleep after another wonderful day on the Camino.
The self-guided Adventure Caminos are our most simple model. Every Adventure Camino begins with a briefing, in which representatives from the Marly Camino team personally welcome our pilgrims to their Camino and talk them through how to make their way to Santiago independently. Our self-guided pilgrims have accommodations pre-reserved for them along their entire route, and enjoy a fortifying breakfast each morning before their walk. The accommodations located in the rural towns and villages along the Camino are simple but clean and comfortable, and our pilgrims will always be provided with a private room with an en-suite bathroom. The accommodations are located at the end of each walking stage, so they are easily accessible on foot. We also organise luggage transfers each day, meaning that all our pilgrims need to worry about is enjoying their Camino experience to the fullest!
The guided Caminos are our classic model, and with over ten years of experience they have also become our specialty. Our office team and our Camino guides work together to anticipate every need that our pilgrims might have during their Camino, and even to organise more than a few surprises. From the personal welcome from Marly at the start of the tour through to the specially-organised Botafumeiro ritual in Santiago Cathedral at the end, we don’t just take care of our guided groups; we spoil them!
Every guided tour has been designed to give our pilgrims the very best that the Camino de Santiago has to offer. The itineraries showcase the cultural and gastronomic diversity of each region, and also the most iconic sights of the Camino itself. Our guided groups will feel like royalty when they realise that they are staying in some of the best accommodations in Spain: Paradores (luxury hotels located in converted historic buildings), Pazos (Galician manor houses and castles that once belonged to the nobility) and 4* and 5* hotels.
Our incomparable Camino guides are not just fountains of knowledge; they are pilgrims too! Each one of them has a personal connection with the Camino, and they are dedicated to helping each one of the pilgrims in their care to make this connection too. Your guide will be your friend on the Camino; a friend who will make you laugh with Camino stories and anecdotes, offer you encouragement, and maybe even help you to find what you’re looking for along the way. The Camino de Santiago is not a simple walking holiday, and so the guides do not walk with you, but allow you to discover the Camino at your own pace. The Way to Santiago is a journey of personal discovery, and our guides play a fundamental role in supporting each pilgrim both physically and emotionally on their own unique Camino.
Finally, our guided Camino groups are accompanied throughout their journey by a support vehicle, which has an infinite number of functions: a luggage transport, a moving wardrobe where you can drop off and pick up extra layers of clothing and spare shoes, a snack and drink station, a first aid kit, a transport service for tired pilgrims and even – on occasion – a party venue! You will meet up with your support vehicle every 4-6km in order to have a snack or a drink, and to resolve any issues that you might be having.
The support that we provide for our guided groups is so complete that all our pilgrims need to worry about is relaxing, and enjoying the unique experience of the ancient pilgrimage to Santiago.
Have a look at the differences between a Guided Camino and a Self-guided Camino (Table):
Which model of Camino would you like to take now?