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Ways to Experience Camino de Santiago
Reviews (1,109)
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Reviewed 10 July 2017

This is our 2nd hike on the Camino. 2 years ago we did the last 125 miles. This time we did the first 125 miles. So this gives us experience with half of the Camino. We used Andaspain to create a self guided tour with rest days. This meant that we were not connected to a group. We started in St.Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees and ended in Logrono Spain in the La Rioja wine country. We spent 13 days with rest days and stops to do 8 days of hiking. We were mostly in the province of Navarra in the Basque Country. Most the pilgrims we met were planning to do the entire 500 mile Camino. Although we encountered rain in the Pyrenees and a lot of heat on the trail, it was indeed a magical experience. Great towns(Viana, Pamplona) and wonderful people along the way. If you like to hike then we recommend the Camino. You can do this like we did with someone transporting your luggage(spent a month in Spain) and staying in 2-3 star hotels or like a true pilgrim, backpack and stay at albuerges. A great experience which we hope to do again

Date of experience: June 2017
9  Thank nivramkoorb
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 June 2017 via mobile

We went with two 18 year olds. Hike was challenging--12 to 18 miles per day. Hot, dry and sunny most days. Lots of hills. Various scenes from urban to beautiful countryside. Highlight was meeting other pilgrims and fantastic photo backgrounds. Good along the way was typical Spanish road food--pizza, ham sandwiches, simple chicken. Be adventurous--try the spicy octopus and use the tooth picks. Dominant hikers are German or Spanish. Safe. Easy. Adventure. Not quite the scenario of Perú. But lovely and deeply memorable. Try to keep your bag to 35 liters. Every ounce adds up. Compade bandages are a miracle for blisters. Nice local port on the Portuguese side and rioja as you move to completion. A very moderate vacation--rooms are $60 per night at two star hotels--check for AC; dinner on the menu is around $10-$15 and includes a drink; buy big bottles of water twice a day at the grocery store for .5 euros and cherries. Smell the flowers and bark at the many dogs looking for new friends!

Date of experience: June 2017
10  Thank michaelsG7111EU
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 24 June 2017

if you look through my many reviews on trip advisor, you'll see I don't often gush about the places I stay, but my trip with walks in Spain was glorious.

I should start out by saying, I've recently been diagnosed with an annoying connective tissue disorder which sometimes makes intense physical activity challenging, so I arrived prepared for my trip to be a disaster. it was anything but that.

the owners, father and son Paul and Paul provided the perfect balance of planned activities and private time. every detail was provided for, the accommodations were clearly the nicest of what was available in each town we visited, and the bits of the camino we walked were chosen for their beauty and historical importance.

the first night, we were told walking the camino can be a transformative experience which had me rolling my eyes a bit. it turns out, they were not exaggerating a bit and I feel a bit silly for doubting them. looking back, everything Paul and Paul told us was valuable, particularly their advice to talk to strangers on the trail; walkers from all over the world all doing the same thing at the same time makes for a very unique and special chance to get to know strangers. more than once, a quick hello turned into a long conversation, and several of those ended with email addresses being exchanged. one Australian couple I walked with emailed me every day after with a quick update of their progress, a Spanish man turned out to be an army medic with training in acupuncture who offered to give me a treatment right there on the trail.

as we were a random group of twelve, there was a wide span in walking speed, so each day we were given a choice of how far we wanted to walk. my group, the fastest, often opted for more kilometers, but with van support and multiple start locations the slower group always managed to arrive at just about the same time. our group's ages ranged from 50 to 72 (the 72 year old was the fittest and fastest) and included one woman who'd suffered a stroke a few years back, but everyone was accommodated brilliantly. not sure how Paul and Paul pulled it off, but I never felt held back, and I'm certain most of the guests felt challenged.

a warning here: our group included six friends who'd known each other since childhood and, for me, this posed a bit of a problem. they were cliquey and a bit difficult (not at all the fault of management), so if you are looking to get to know your fellow travelers, I'd enquire beforehand if the other guests are coming as a large group or as individuals.

the camino trail is beautiful, so no matter how you get there, it will be an amazing experience, but I think walks in Spain allowed me to have the best possible experience with absolutely no planning on my part; I just paid, showed up and walked. everything else was taken care of.

that said, a group trip with walks in Spain is a group trip and your experience will definitely be colored by your group's members. I met three woman whose company I greatly enjoyed--there was a lot of talk, laughs, some tears and long warm hugs when I departed. I suspect some of us will remain friends for a long time. sadly, some of the other members of the group seemed not to have understood the trip they booked and behaved badly because of it. I ducked out of a group dinner on one of the few nights we were free to eat on our own, but later heard several who attended spent the whole meal trashing everything about the trip. the wine wasn't good enough (um, you are in rural Spain, you are going to be drinking simple but delicious local wines), there was not a lot of instruction about history, etc. (the trip was exactly as promised and I was thrilled not to have to have a history lesson about every building we passed), Paul's wife who rarely joins the tours got to sit in the front seat (she was one of my favorite people on the trip) and on and on. by the end of the trip I learned to ignoret, I mean laugh at, the cranky difficult members of my group.

a few things to note: rural Spain can be far from civilization, so make sure you bring what you need. we were able to find pharmacies and atm's but not every day and often it would have been very difficult to buy simple necessities like tampons or bandaids, so try to bring everything you need. the food was plentiful and delicious, but simple and a bit repetitive. if I never see a green salad with tuna on it or almond cake again, I'll have had more than my share. you'll need little money as nearly everything is provided. we did take breaks at local bars, and you will need to pay for your snacks and drinks, but everything was so cheap, I barely made a dent in the money I brought. beds and pillows in spain are quite hard, so I was thankful I had a small down travel pillow with me.

I would do this trip over again in a heartbeat. it was nothing short of amazing.

Date of experience: June 2017
24  Thank jrnlmkr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 June 2017

Just came back from the Camino de Santiago tour that this company offers - loved it and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to enjoy great food & drink, stay in very unique, comfortable, interesting places and enjoy the best parts of the Camino for the duration of the tour.
The leaders Paul Sr and Paul Jr were very attentive to everyone's needs and provided options/adjustments for the daily walks that suited each person.
I love Spain and this tour gave me new experiences outside of the big city and touristy areas. Walks in Spain delivered on what I was expecting and even more....

Date of experience: June 2017
5  Thank Freeplan55
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 June 2017

We've just returned from our first visit to the Camino Frances. I am a wheelchair user (paraplegic) and myself and my wife read a lot and prepared well for the trip. We drove from Ireland (two ferries) and did 6,500 kilometers in our trip overall visiting several parts of Spain. For the Camino, we prepared very carefully and got ourselves up to a daily endurance of 10KM. I used my everyday wheelchair - an RGK - with an added Freewheel making it a trike. This was essential for the rocky, steep paths in many places. Our equipment choices proved very important and sun protection is a must as temps were over 34 degrees. We didn't encounter any other wheelchair users but heard of one of two. Albergues with accessible accommodation and access are not very available and it is essential to search these out in advance and book them. We found a wonderful albergue in Tardajos (separate review) that I would highly recommend. Our experience was phenomenally positive and emotional and I would recommend everyone to make this wonderful trip.

Date of experience: June 2017
15  Thank Cambio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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