Classic French Way - Full Camino
This is the iconic Camino de Santiago route, extending 480 miles / 770 km, from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Our tailored itineraries allow you to walk it all in one or in shorter stages as your time permits.
Your full Camino journey begins in the French Pyrenees border town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. From here the Way of St James takes you across the majestic Pyrenees mountains - providing a thrilling start to your epic journey.
Your Way - we make sure your Camino itinerary goes at the right pace for you, with the odd rest day to give body and soul a chance to rest, refresh and take in some of the iconic places of the Camino.
Our Expertise - the WTC Camino team has more than a dozen years of experience on the Camino. We will help you plan the best route possible to suit your needs and expectations.
Your Timeframe - typically you will need around 5 to 8 weeks to walk the full Camino, which is where our expertise comes into its own. We will help you judge the right pace and time frame. Tackle the Camino in one go or take on shorter sections over a period of time. Many of our clients complete the entire French way over a period of 2-3 years. Some will also add on the extension to Finisterre on the Atlantic coast and the 0 km waymarker.
Your Memories - Filled with a thousand years of pilgrimage history and culture, the Camino attracts both spiritual and secular travellers by virtue of its religious heritage, personal challenge, famous camaraderie and wonderfully varied landscapes. This is an experience that will live with you forever.
Europe's Most Famous & Ancient Pilgrimage
In the 21st-century people are drawn to the Camino de Santiago for many reasons - spiritual enlightenment, adventure, freedom from routine and to share the famed camaraderie of the Way. There are many aspects that make this experience so special.
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed the first European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Camino is one of the major themes of medieval history in Europe.
Known as the French Camino, starting from the French-Spanish border, it has been followed by pilgrims to Santiago for more than one thousand years. Christians have made their way here, travelling a wide network of footpaths, from Scandinavia, Britain, Mediterranean lands, Istanbul and beyond. This international web of trails has played a fundamental role in facilitating cultural development in Europe during the Middle Ages.
For the majority of northern Europeans, St Jean Pied de Port in France was the key point for crossing the mighty Pyrenees into Spain. A network of pilgrim hospices and hostelries sprang up - offering, shelter, medical attention and spiritual sustenance for the faithful.
Around the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, one of the great masterpieces of Romanesque art, the city of Santiago de Compostela boasts a magnificent old town worthy of one of Christianity's greatest holy cities.
Camino Culture, History and Monuments
The Camino de Santiago has preserved a complete material record in the form of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, settlements large and small and ancient civil engineering structures. Some 1,800 buildings along the route, both religious and secular, are of historic interest.
There is no comparable Christian pilgrimage route of such extent and continuity anywhere in Europe. Although interest in the other major Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Rome are developing, these are only recognizable in a rather fragmented fashion.
The three major Camino cities of Pamplona, Leon and Burgos are spread at equal intervals along the road to Santiago de Compostela. But there are many small hamlets, villages and towns peppered in between to explore.
Many Festivals, both religious and secular take place through the year and you may be lucky enough to encounter one of these on your journey. The main festival in Spain is Easter - Semana Santa - and celebrated in every settlement on the Camino.
We will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests. From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees, the Camino covers 800 km heading west across the North of Spain. Typically our clients spend between 5 and 8 weeks walking the full Camino.
Walk At The Right Pace
We have the experience to help you judge the right pace to ensure your Camino itinerary is a good fit.
Take as little or as much time as you need to complete the entire Camino. If you can't take on the full route in one go - no problem. We'll break the Camino into shorter sections so you can complete the full Way when you have time. You should feel confident before setting out that the pace is manageable for you and not overly demanding.
Fitness - if you are new to long distance walking we provide expert advice and a walkers preparation guide. You certainly need a degree of fitness and stamina to take on this challenge, continuous walking can take its toll on the joints and feet of the unprepared.
Tailored Itineraries - the formula to a successful Camino is getting the itinerary paced right and taking rest days. Your feet, body and soul all benefit from a break - this is the key to arriving in Santiago in good condition. Too often we have seen people crippled by an over-ambitious schedule. We want to ensure your experience is a memorable one for the right reasons.
Our Expertise - we will create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs, interests, budget, timescale and walking capabilities.
Full Camino Highlights Tour is designed just for you, allowing you to experience the best of the entire Camino in just a week or two.
The Full Camino Frances - 480 miles / 770 kms
Starting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees heading west across the North of Spain to the Shrine of the Apostle St James in Santiago de Compostela.
Typically our full Camino itineraries range from 35 to 50 nights even up to 80 nights.
Our expert travel managers will make sure you have the correctly paced itinerary to ensure a successful journey.
The Full Camino In Stages
Many of our clients choose to complete the entire Camino Frances, in manageable shorter sections over a longer period of time. You can begin at any point of your choosing. We can arrange all your local transfers, by train, bus or car.
Each stage of the Camino has a character of its own.
The following sections are divided for ease of transport connections along the Camino.
- Stage 1: St Jean Pied de Port - Pamplona 90kms / 56 miles
- Stage 2: Pamplona - Logrono 95 kms / 59 miles
- Stage 3: Logrono - Burgos 122kms / 76 miles
- Stage 4: Burgos - Leon 179 kms / 110 miles
- Stage 5: Leon - Ponferrada 105 kms / 65 miles
- Stage 6: Ponferrada - Sarria 91 kms / 56 miles
- Stage 7: Sarria - Santiago de Compostela 115 kms / 72 miles
Extension to Finisterre
Why not take continue your journey from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Finisterre on the Atlantic Ocean, known to the Romans as the "End of the World". Take a day off in Santiago, recharge your battery, then set off to the 0.0km marker at the "End of the World". We can arrange your return trip.
Crossing The Pyrenees from St Jean Pied de Port
For many this is the most challenging and rewarding day of the entire Camino - with 2 variant paths, firstly the Valcarlos Route is the gentler way and secondly, the Napoleon Route which involves a climb to around 1400m with magnificent views.
You arrive at Navarra's capital city by way of the 12th-century Magdalena bridge. Enter through the city walls into a maze of narrow streets with the Cathedral, Town Hall, Plaza Del Castillo and Ernest Hemingway's favourite bar at the art deco Cafe Iruna. The Palace of Navarre and Museum of Navarre add a dash of art and culture. The famed San Fermin festival each July draws huge crowds to witness and participate in the Running of the Bulls (6-14 July 2018). We can book your place on a private balcony for the spectacle.
Alto de Perdon
The Hill of Forgiveness outside Pamplona is a tough climb, but you're welcomed by a monumental steel sculpture of pilgrims on foot and horseback. Look for the inscription "Donde se cruza el Camino del Viento con el de las Estrellas" - Where the Path of the Wind meets the Path of the Stars - referring to the Milky Way guiding you to Compostela.
Puente de la Reina
Historically a crossroads with the Aragonese route from Somport, the bridge is one of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque architecture on the Camino. In the last week of July, there is a festival in honour of Santiago with music, bullfights, dances and shows. July 25th is St James' day.
Surrounded by a medieval wall, Viana has monuments, palaces and stately manors. The majestic church of Santa Maria is the resting place of Cesare Borgia, son Pope Alexander VI - brother of poisoner Lucrezia and a serial murderer himself. This devilish renaissance man was also the inspiration for Machiavelli's famous work The Prince and patron to Leonardo da Vinci.
The famous Stone Bridge takes you across the river Ebro into La Rioja. Logrono is filled with Camino monuments and is a town for gourmet. Do not miss out the chance to enjoy superb wines and tapas as you explore the famous Calle Laurel in the heart of the old town. It's home to 100 tapas bars, each offering gastronomic specialities.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Founded in the 11th-century by a monk wishing to assist pilgrims on their journey to Compostela. He built a bridge across the river, established a pilgrim hospital - now a Parador - and made a road to Najera. Santo Domingo is the patron Saint of public building works, engineers and Spanish Caminos. 10th - 15th of May is the commemorative Fiesta of the Saint.
The superb medieval Cathedral is a Unesco World Heritage Site and holds the shrine of hero-soldier El Cid. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Castile with 35 hospitals for pilgrims, Burgos has so much to delight the Camino traveller. A perfect place to enjoy a rest day, see the sights and enjoy the local cuisine of oven roast lamb, black pudding, cheeses and tapas.
This is the vast, lonely plain of Castile-Leon province - with big skies and huge arable fields changing colour with the seasons. It stretches well over 200km from Burgos towards Astorga and is dotted with welcoming villages, each one an oasis for a weary pilgrim - Hontanas, Hornillos Del Camino, Castrojeriz, Carrion de Los Condes. We do not recommend walking here in high summer unless you are accustomed to temperatures in excess of 35-40 degrees Celcius, as the sun beats down with no shade or cover. But in spring and autumn, this is an atmospheric place, rural, empty and with a haunting beauty of its own.
Roman walls surround about half the historic city, if you follow them around the outside from the Basilica de San Isidoro, they will take you back to the east façade of the cathedral. The Barrio Humedo in the historic centre is the place to spend an evening sampling the copious tapas and excellent local wines - forget dinner. Convento de San Marcos, once a convent hospital for pilgrims, is now a luxury Parador. Take a close look at the statues & medallions on the Plateresque-style façade, many of which represent Saint James.
A very attractive city with Roman and Arab roots, a superb medieval Cathedral and fantastical Episcopalian Place designed by Gaudi. The gastronomy here is rich - look for Cocido maragato, cecina , thick hot chocolate and various desserts, sweets, magnificent mantecadas and pastries.
Cruz de Ferro
A hilly stage takes you over the Cantabrian Mountains after Astorga, through Rabanal Del Camino and from here the climb starts the 'Iron Cross' near Foncebaddon (1520m). The famous Cruz Ferro / 'Iron Cross' monument is where pilgrims unburdened themselves of any stones they've carried. It's an interesting spot with many mementoes of different sorts.
Home to the Grand Castle of the Knight's Templar - the semi-mystical order that once protected Pilgrims on the Camino and the Holy Land. It's been restored and opened to the public.
From Villafranca del Bierzo, a delightful town at the foot of the hills you have a challenging climb up to O'Cebreiro at 1300m. It's the steepest ascent of the Camino, often taken in 2 stages. This tiny hilltop hamlet is a time-capsule, with stone built, thatched roundhouses - you feel like you've gone back to Celtic times. The ancient church of Santa Maria da la Real dates from 836.
Dating back to the 6th century, the monastery of San Julian de Samos, began as a community of hermits who gradually built the monastery. Razed by fire and rebuilt several times, it has been Benedictine since the 12th century and combines Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It's a quiet, contemplative place to visit, on a variant path from Triacastela to Sarria, with fewer pilgrims making the detour here.
Santiago de Compostela
The historic centre is a UNESCO world heritage site, with the Cathedral as the jewel in the crown. The discovery of the Tomb of the Apostle in the 14th-century has drawn millions from across the world, and yet it retains quiet and peaceful corners for contemplation as well as jubilant public spaces where you can celebrate the journeys' end. Holy Years fall when the Saint's birthday of 25th July is a Sunday and the Holy Door is ceremonially opened for the year. The next Holy Year is 2021.
Food & Drink
For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment is an important part of the daily routine. There are many places to enjoy good local dishes to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.
The local bars and cafes offer light snacks, seasonal plates of freshly prepared food, tapas and refreshments. As you pass through the regions you will encounter local specialities - often of the variety that best sustains a weary, hungry traveller.
All our itineraries are booked for Bed and Breakfast. Half board with dinner is possible too, but these set dinners can become repetitive, featuring similar dishes each night. We encourage you to eat out and try a wider range of local specialities.
Where available we always order a full breakfast spread for our clients. But breakfast does vary between establishments - from just a light pastry and hot drink to a full buffet spread. Whether you have a light or substantial offering, you can top up mid-morning at a cafe on the route. The Spanish habit is to have breakfast between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their "desayuno".
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics and most places have local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Certain lodgings will offer pre-ordered packed lunches. Or check your guide and plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Way.
Spanish people tend to have dinner from 9 pm. But on the Camino, dinner is usually served from 8 pm — so do take advantage of the habitual afternoon "merienda" to keep you going, once you have arrived at your daily destination. That could be cold beer "cerveza" and tapas or coffee and cake.
Many of our lodgings offer 3 course set menus with water, bread and often a glass of wine for just a few euros. These are advertised locally as "Pilgrim Menus" and available pretty much everywhere along the route. You'll notice that there are staple common dishes as well as regional recipes according to the season.
Hydration is essential — carry between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on the season, temperatures and distance you plan to cover. Keep a sugary and salty snack handy in your pocket or daypack - this will give you that little extra burst of energy to keep you going.
Mid morning/afternoon snacks known as "merienda" are the perfect way to sustain yourself on the Way. Especially if you are not used to the later meal times which are the norm across Spain. It is customary for Spanish people to have a mid-morning stop for breakfast and late afternoon for a bite to keep them going until the traditional late dinner.
The larger towns and cities of the Camino have a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a wider range of Spanish gastronomy and a variety of local and world-famous Spanish wines.
You can choose to upgrade your accommodation standard, (available in a few selected places along the route), where you can enjoy a la carte menus and fine dining in the hotel restaurant.
Many people enjoy shopping for lunch items and snacks in the local food shops each day. You'll find many little stores offering local produce, fruits and vegetables, cheeses and cured meats, fresh local baked goods - ideal for making your daily picnic for the daily walk. On certain days, Markets also make an appearance in most villages and towns. Some of our lodgings will provide a picnic lunch by request.
Spain has a great wine making culture. All of the regions you cross produce their own vinos (red and white), cervezas (light beer), and licores (strong spirits). For those looking for non alcoholic drinks have plenty of choices as well.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, why don't you try our Gastronomic Camino in La Rioja? You'll enjoy special places to stay, excellent cuisine and outstanding wine tasting at local vineyards on the route. And a lovely long walk before your next meal.
We strive to offer our clients the best available experience of the Camino and accommodation plays an important part, together with the local food, culture and history. Most Camino itineraries will have a range of levels of accommodation.
When you receive your Camino quotation we include links to visit the hotels websites and get a feel for their quality.
Upgraded hotels are available on roughly 30% of the Camino.
All our accommodations, the owners & staff well known to us. Wherever possible we select small, comfortable, family-run establishments located on or very near to the Camino.
Typical Camino lodgings include a variety of family-run guest houses, historic homes, but mainly one to three-star equivalent pensions, hostals and hotels which all offer private en-suite facilities. These establishments are used almost exclusively by travellers on the Camino.
In the larger Camino centres, we regularly work with the top-end establishments. There are also some opportunities to book upgraded Hotels in rural parts of the Camino.
Sometimes these upgrades require transfers away from the Camino route.
We recommend that you book on a Bed and Breakfast basis. We encourage you to try local eateries offering a wider range of dishes, in the immediate vicinity. It's also a great time to soak up the local atmosphere, rubbing shoulders with travellers and the local people.
Half Board accommodation is available, including breakfast and dinner of a set 3-course menu in the hotel restaurant.
Our experience is that half board arrangments soon become repetitive, with very similar meal options offered along the route. You will most likely tire quickly of the standard evening fare. You will be glad of the freedom to decide where, what and how much you wish to eat and spend each evening.
You can still enjoy the in-house dinner service without booking half board in advance.
Baggage Transfers between Accommodation
We quote all our journeys with bag transfers as standard.
We heartily recommend that you book your main piece of luggage to be transferred between accommodations. It helps your enjoyment of the Way and keeps unnecessary stress off your back and joints.
We work with dedicated professional companies who do this essential work day in, day out. The system works very well, with bags picked up between 8 and 8:30 am and delivered to the next hotel between 2 and 4 pm.
This daily service is organised so that all you have to worry about is carrying a day sack with your essential items.
If you do wish to carry your own bag that is fine with us. And you can always call us and request to add on the service if you change your mind.
Getting To & From The Camino
Main Airports for arriving at the eastern end of the Camino Frances are Paris & Biarritz in France or Madrid & Bilbao in Spain.
By Rail into Bayonne, France or Madrid & Pamplona in Spain.
There is a pilgrim shuttle service from Biarritz & Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port.
We also offer private car transfers to and from the Camino.
Rail and Bus tickets are available.
Return airports include Santiago de Compostela, A Coruna and Madrid.
Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.
- Review by GaryWe loved the holiday! Fantastic job. Really first rate. The accommodation was the best they could be. Usually great sometimes not so much - but no other choices. We arranged all our own restaurants rather than have you book them. Baggage was nothing short of miraculous. Your information pack is helpful.
We love working with your team on our Camino trips. Absolutely we will be back to do Kumano Kodo, Japan in the future
- Review by Louisa, South AfricaI indeed enjoyed walking the Camino. The organisation was very good. The accommodation was overall what I expected so I cannot single out a favourite. I, however, did have a ’not so good’ hotel - Eurostars Gran Hotel in Santiago was a disappointment. This is supposed to be a 4-star hotel, but, they are definitely not up to par. It was also not very easy to find this hotel even with your directions.
- Review by Lorraine, AustraliaI absolutely loved my walking holiday and was very upset when it ended.
I was happy with the food. The Pilgrim meals were great, servings huge, bread was delicious and the wine very nice. Thank you for the excellent organisation of my holiday.
- Review by Pauline, UKWe have had an amazing time walking from Leon to Sarria with our backpacks. The scenery was beautiful and it was an experience we are keen to repeat next year! Once again your team have been incredibly helpful and the organisation was perfect. Our train tickets sorted without us worrying. It is worth noting that the train ticket includes free metro and bus travel from Madrid to Chamartin station. It was very easy for us to find our way with helpful staff and saved us an expensive taxi. Our accommodation was well chosen and good distances apart depending on terrain which we would not have known. We loved the variety.The hospitality of Senora Dolores was warm and so welcoming in Hospital de Orbigo. Triacastela was not good and lacked atmosphere. We had no complaints about the food. We did not use bag transfers, so we carried our backpacks.
The Information Pack provided all the information needed. Occasionally the map from Camino to accommodation was not as clear as we would have liked!
Thank you for all your expertise. We enjoyed your choice and variety of accommodation which made the holiday hassle free and interesting.
- Review by Paul, USAYes. Had some challenging parts, but that was expected. The organisation was excellent. Overall the accommodations were very good. I particularly enjoyed staying in the smaller, family run places. All the host and hostesses were really good. I thought it was also great how you put me in a hotel near the train station in Sarria so I did not have to drag my luggage all through town when I left the next day. The food provided was pretty good when I ate the evening meals. Some of the breakfast meals were not very much, but that is the way they eat in Spain and it’s not like I went hungry. I beat my baggage a few times, but they arrived every day fine. The Information Pack provide all the information I needed. Only one issue was the driver on the first day had the wrong time. Having your cell number helped so I could get in contact and see what was the problem. Other than that, absolutely no issues with the parts you took care of.
Now I managed to go out and order some weird food and booked a hotel on my own in Madrid that had no air conditioning and got very little sleep the last night since it was extremely hot. But those were my issues, not yours.
I was very pleased will all the services that you provided. By adding a couple of days to my itinerary, I was able to get to each new location over 2 hours earlier than I did when walking in previous years. This gave me time to get in, relax, chat with my wife on Facetime, do some stretches and was a big reason that I had success in finishing this time. In the airport yesterday a possible future customer for you took down all of your info after I recommenced you very highly.
- Review by Tom, USAYou did a great job on 1 day to help me adjust my Camino because of foot issues.
All lodgings were unique and welcome after a long day. Food was better than expected, especially the Pilgrim dinners. The baggage was always there when I arrived. Worked out so well.
You had my information pack forwarded to my hotel in Pamplona where I made adjustments to my self-planned trip.
You probably saved my Camino when I thought I was having to go home. Yet, I was able to adjust trip and get my Compostela certificate. Thanks for everything as I got referred by Debbie who was walking a couple days ahead of me.
- Review by Susan, AustraliaIt was a great way to be with family friends and enjoy the peace, quiet and outdoors. A relaxing and thoughtful way to vacation. Wonderful organisation, you did a great job. Best hotel was in Burgos which had a great room- Hotel Norte y Londres, and the Hotel Dona Mayor- very nice. La Cachava was really good- An older building- which is why we liked it a lot because of the charm and the hosts were so nice. Meals were all very good, except one breakfast was do-it-yourself. Nothing was put out for us and had to make coffee, too. They said breakfast would be put out but it wasn’t. Yes, our bags were there every day when we got to the hotels! Yea! The pack had all that we needed. The book for the Camino was very helpful and gave us all the information needed for our daily walk (once you read it!- some (younger) people in our group did not read it and were relying on Google- which does not list the little places you had shown in the book to stop or really show accurate info. It’s a great guide.
- Review by Peter, AustraliaI will recommend you (and have done already) to everyone. Sometime in the next few years, I will talk to you about Le Puy Chemin. You just couldn’t do anything better. I am so hugely impressed. This really was a challenge for me - even though I am pretty fit, I wasn’t sure what my endurance would be - and you ABSOLUTELY NAILED as far as fitting the program to me and so making it possible. Thank you so very much!
- Review by Lydia, UKWe had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the walk, we were very lucky with the weather which really helped. Autumn was a great time to go on the Camino as the weather was cooler (even though we had some hot days) and the autumnal colours on the trees made the setting very picturesque.
- Review by Martha & Donna, ScotlandAll went well. No hitches. Overall hotels very good.Roncesvalles hotel was very nice. The staff in Hotel Akerreta were very friendly. I would not recommend Casa Rural Posada Neuva- host not very friendly even allowing for the language barrier. We complained about the coffee being cold. Even although you warned us about basic breakfast it was still a bit of a shock that in some places you only got a bit of toasted baguette before going on a long walk. The food and choices for 17 euro at Hotel Roncesvalles were excellent. The Information Pack and John Brierley book were very good. Biskarreta does not have much to offer. Not many pilgrims appeared to stay there so I missed the Camino vibe that evening. With the benefit of hindsight, we could easily have walked to Zubiri which I think we would have enjoyed more. It was a great experience which I enjoyed it hugely. It went without a hitch. Thank you
- Review by Cacilia, GermanyI enjoyed the vacation very much, I was really impressed by the organization and everything worked great. I loved the accommodations. They were always perfect located in the middle of town. The best one was the brand new Txantxorena in Zubiri , that was very nice specially because there was,t much to do in town so we really enjoyed the nice room. The Hotel Roma in Sarria I didn’t,t like very much, but also all Hotels were very clean and that was the most important thing for me. The problem with the food is, that the Spaniards eat very late and so a lot of the restaurants didn’t open before 8-8.30 pm and that was pretty late for us.
So we had to find places , that would offer dinner at 7 pm. The baggage transfer was perfect, we only had to wait one time for our luggage all the others days it arrived before us. I personally would have liked some more information about History and population of Galicia and the important places during our walk.
The second book of Brierley was in this respect better than the first one
Nobody ever asked for our Hotel vouchers.
- Review by ElizabethDid you enjoy your holiday?
Really enjoyed the holiday
How would you rate your holiday?
Extremely well organised, taking into account our personal preferences when considering our accommodation, length of walks and type of travel
How would you rate your accommodation?
Perfect. All accommodation was clean, comfortable and provided good bathing facilities. Staff were friendly and supportive.
How would you rate your food?
All fine, what one would expect in Spain.
How would you rate your baggage transfers?
How would you rate your information pack?
Generally very good. A couple of the instructions to the accommodation were slightly incorrect but we got there in the end!
Any suggested improvements?
Just to improve some of the details to the accommodation.
Would you book with Walk the Camino again?
Would you recommend Walk the Camino?
Have done on many occasions
Any other comments?
Very supportive when on our holiday.
- Review by Ginny, USAI absolutely LOVED every step! The tour was very well organized. For the most part, our accommodations were perfect. I think having our accommodations on the Camino path was really great and very important for any weary pilgrim.
What set the best places apart from all of our other nice hotels was the atmosphere created by the owners. More family style run, the guest all ate together at the same time, the food was outstanding, great pride was taken in their work, they were warm and friendly. Truly, I much rather places like this and not "fancy" hotels were I felt removed from my fellow pilgrims!
I thought the good was great! It was nice to occasionally have the option to order something other than the pilgrims’ menu. I never went hungry! Also, I totally overpacked which was my own fault but I would have appreciated more insight into the gift of simplicity of life on the Camino. I thought I understood it, but clearly, I did not.
Fitness level, makes or breaks this pilgrimage, especially when the entire walk is so tightly scheduled. I am fit and intentionally trained for this walk so I could enjoy every step but I could see there are many pilgrims who were physically unequipped.
- Review by Paula, CanadaThe Camino, in general, caters in a similar fashion to an all-inclusive resort, as such meal options are quite resort centric. Pre-prepared in most locations, this is a symptom of the Camino and not your organization. On many occasions it was apparent that the tourists were passing through and not there for more than one day, so the provision of a quality meal was not a priority. This was not the case in all locations, we certainly identified that eating where locals eat and in particular eating later was a key to success.
We were not overly happy with our accommodation. Not sure if we were given discounted rooms even in the larger hotels we always got lower floors which were noisy. We did get a nice room in the Paradore in Leon and in Burgos but only after we paid to upgrade the rooms. I realize that were was little choices in the smaller towns however our general sense was as we were pre-booked we got the inferior room. The Parador in Santiago was a total disappointment. No view (our room looked out at a brick wall) extremely noisy, uncomfortable bed and quality of service at reception was poor. We felt like we were being treated as "pilgrims getting a cheap room". To be specific, we were underwhelmed by the accommodation. But overall we had a great time walking and meeting people.
No issues with bag transfers. This is decidedly the most efficient part of the Camino.
- Review by WilliamI enjoyed the walking and the fellowship with other Pilgrims. The holiday was well done. Rooms were always clean, beds comfortable, no bedbugs. Ranged from austere to charming- all were at least adequate. The food was a mix from fine to really good. Breakfasts were often a little on the cheap side, sometimes just coffee and toast. Baggage transfers & info pack worked fine. No problems. I found I didn’t need all the rest days as I had prepared for the walking. I liked the countryside and small towns more than the cities.
- Review by JohnA good pilgrimage. Your organization was excellent. Overall, the accommodations were better than I anticipated. Some were fancier than others because some were in small villages. All of them were more than adequate, and in the small villages the hosts were extra nice. The only accommodation were I felt out of place was in Tricastela, Casa Vilasante. It was almost empty, the man in the bar was nice enough, showed me to my room but offered nothing else and the woman in the morning ignored my request for some toast and coffee. In every other case the staff in the accommodations were very helpful. Food was more than adequate. As above, the food in small villages was more simple, basic, than in the larger cities but that was to be expected.
Yes, all bag transfers went smoothly. It should be noted that I met up with a friend in Sarria. That also went smoothly and we were able to travel together. Everything was well coordinated. I don’t think I’ll walk the Camino again but I plan to use the services of your parent organization. I want to thank Caroline It was apparent to us (my friend Tim and I) that when we entered several accommodations the staff reacted positively to us because we were with Walk the Camino. It was obvious that you had developed a positive relationship with the hotel/hostel that paid off for Walk the Camino’s clients. I have no doubt that this contributed to a large degree to comfort we enjoyed.
- Review by Debbie, USAAmazing!!!! Once again you did an incredible job putting together this trip. Top rated!!!!! Would only use Walk the Camino for another trip to an area which you provide. Realizing some areas aren’t as nice as others, I think we had the best of the best with the exception of Usoa Pension in Zubiri. The lady at USOA allowed an injured man to stay for additional nights and then tried to move one of us to a hotel requiring a taxi. This wasn’t fair to us or to your company. The place we ended up staying in Zubiri was fantastic!!! All the breakfasts were fine!!!! We loved the ones that had the fresh squeezed orange juice. One day our luggage was late but it was located and delivered within the hour! We were never asked for our hotel coupons. I was very very pleased because both trips have been very well planned and taken care of by you!!!! Thanks for the champagne at the end!!!! We enjoyed our celebration.
- Review by Randy, USAThe holiday was great and the organisation excellent. I had the best accommodation I could hope for in some small towns. They were all satisfactory to excellent. Baggage Transfers were perfect. Information pack was excellent. Some directions to accommodations could be clarified or reworked. For all I received it was a great value.
- Review by Robert, ScotlandOverall a very satisfying and worthwhile experience. Enjoyable up to a point but that’s the nature of the Camino! Good organisation with excellent backup. Of the 2 rest days included, the first in Burgos was appreciated. The second rest day was not essential. I would have preferred if two shorter walks had been worked into the itinerary as a substitute. I coped with the longer walks but I would recommend that you may want to intersperse them a bit more. It might be worth mentioning that as the walk develops particularly after a couple of weeks the aches wear off and your feet have more or less adjusted.
Overall the accommodation was good. Hotels in Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Puente La Reina, Burgos, Leon amongst others were of a very high standard. It was appreciated that in some of the smaller towns hotel accommodation was limited. However, Hotel Belorado was poor and alternatives were available. Pension Casa Camino in Palas De Rei should have been aware that they have a duty of care in regard to left luggage. Breakfast varied in quality and variety from place to place. Luggage pick up from Palas De Rei went awry. Thanks for your assistance and also hotel staff in Casa Teodora in Arzua for the recovery. Some maps lacked clarity.
I would recommend that you might to suggest to customers that if they are spending 2 nights in Santiago they might want to book a day trip to Finisterre. I wish I had.
- Review by TonyThe holiday was good, the only downside was the weather which is out of all our hands. Walking the whole week in temperatures around 30 degrees was exhausting, but we survived. There were no problems at all. Everything went smoothly. The accommodation was better than expected, and all accommodation was close too the Camino route and easy to find. No problem with the food as both my wife and myself are very widely travelled
Baggage transfers & info pack were good, no problems at all
I would recommend you as everything went very smoothly. Will be doing the next part of the Camino in late March, early April next year and once we have sorted out times and distance we would like to walk this time we will be in touch for you to book everything again.
- Review by Edward
We enjoyed it very much. Very well organized. The accommodations were very good at times and good for the towns we were in. The food was very plain but goo. The baggage transfers were Excellent. Staying an extra night in Pamplona would have been nice. We needed a rest by then and we wanted to see more of the city
We would definitely book with Walk the Camino again and definitely recommend you to others. All in all it was a great experience and Walk the Camino did a great job organizing it.
Also, we walked the full Classic French Way route. It didn’t give me that option at the top under "Travel Tour" so I had to pick something to get the Feedback to send.
- Review by Susan, UKVery much enjoyed the whole Camino experience and would do it again. The organisation of your holiday was excellent. Breakfasts were variable - some wonderful - but not a problem. (We didn’t bother to sample the one in O’Cebreiro - not our favourite hotel and borne out by Trip Advisor). Unsweetened cereal was always a bonus and muesli a bit of a celebration! The baggage transfers were absolutely perfect, the information pack provided all we needed. Just thanks again for your kind attention, support and advice.
- Review by Roben, CanadaVery good holiday. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d say 90% of the accommodations were great. I had trouble with letting a tour company plan distances. I felt that I could do more and wanted to move on with other groups. It was a real frustration. I realize this would be hard for you to accommodate. But I would like to do another Camino only with flexibility.
On the food - Good. Coffee, Orange juice amazing. Wine. Ham. Manchego cheese. Cherries. Worst Pilgrims meals were cheap and awful. Food was very salty. Fatty and way too many carbs. Bread and potatoes. Also very sweet. Breads. Etc
I now know what I am capable of and can book accordingly. It’s difficult when you are a woman travelling alone.
- Review by George, UKWas great thanks. Very good efficient office service. I’m coming back with my parents next year to do 250km. First night in St Jean. Nice room and good service. Quite simple vs the rest. Roncesvalles . Lovely hotel and great good. Ok bfast. Zubiri. Nice hotel and really good food. Nice people. La Reina. Nice hotel. Good food and nice setting. Los Arcos - too noisy and bad timing music til 5am. What can I say. (Sorry - we did not discover there had been a festival until after you left)
Naverette . Nice hotel but breakfast not until 8am which for a pilgrim was very poor. Best hotel in small town I guess. Santo Domingo lovely hotel and nice rooms. Good food and very friendly people. Highly recommended. Hotel Santonabad. Best food and people. Charming old place. Burgos. Too old and creepy. Every toilet and every water and door I heard. People nice. Worst bed on the trip. Thanks to you for your help. Was amazing. I probably did too many kms but made it. (Note from Editor - George was incredible as he walked double stages all the way to Burgos).