Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain
We offer several highly customize pilgrimages along El Camino de Santiago, Spain, including the Portuguese Coastal Camino, the Camino del Norte, Finisterre Camino, Asturias Art & Adventure Camino, and more. Please check current offerings for the latest details:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a sample day on the Camino with Walk in Beauty?
- Wake up & Breakfast
- Poem or Query to Walk with for Daily Individual Reflection/Gentle Yoga Warm Up with Group
- Walk El Camino in Silence/Enjoy Café Visits/Museum Visit or Other Attractions
- Lunch (We may have a lunch at the end of our walk.)
- Walk El Camino/Enjoy Café Visits/Museum Visit or Other Attractions
- Arrive at luxury Paradores or Country Farmhouse Inn
- Bathe & Rest
- Evening Group Reflection
- Dinner & Bedtime (Remember: Spaniards eat late by American standards. Generally, dinner is served about 8:00 pm.)
Do I have to be physically fit to walk this pilgrimage?
Not necessarily. The main requirement to walk the Camino is spirit. You should be prepared and know your level of physical fitness, and I recommend walking and/or training to get your body used to walking. In this pilgrimage, you’ll receive a customized training schedule that includes body, mind, and spirit, to help you prepare fully. Physical conditioning is just one part of preparation for this epic journey!
Do I have to “walk the whole thing?“
Walk in Beauty is geared toward your fitness level. You decide how much or how little you walk; this is about the journey and the experience. Some pilgrims decide they don’t wish to walk at all and instead join Walk in Beauty to experience the natural scenery, create art, enjoy a reflective pause in their busy lives, and more
What is the average age of Walk in Beauty participants?
Participants are about 50 years old though we have people who are younger and older. We specialize in creating an experience that is accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a triathlete to participate. With an open heart and mind and some physical training, people of any age are able to walk and/or experience the Camino.
How much walking is there on this pilgrimage?
We average from a low of light city walking to a high of 13 miles in one day. Most pilgrims walking the El Camino independently walk an average of 15 miles daily, carrying a heavy backpack. With Walk in Beauty, you have the luxury of a fully supported van, which carries your luggage from hotel to hotel, and carries you the extra mile if you want to hop on the van. You carry essentials only in a light backpack.
What is the weather like?
Weather is variable; however, generally, Fall has cool nights and mornings and is an ideal time for walking in the north of Spain.
Check these websites for more detail:
Where and when do we eat lunch? What does it cost?
Lunch is not included, except for the Camino del Norte’s Pintxos Tour (Basque tapas) in San Sebastián, Spain’s culinary hotspot! Lunch usually takes place after completing the daily stage, and you can also stop to eat something along the way as you walk. Our local guide will take you to places where you will have a variety of menu options during or after the walk. Prices vary from a couple of Euro for a simple Pilgrim’s Meal to a three-course lunch at about 20 Euro.
What about meals?
Eating regional-delicious meals is one of the great pleasures of Walk in Beauty. Our exclusive hotels offer a wide range of options, and food is fresh and plentiful. The custom in Spain is to eat dinner at approximately 8:00 pm and local wine is often served with meals.
Will we have Internet/WIFI?
All of our accommodations have Internet access (WiFi). About 30 days before your pilgrimage, you will receive a list of all the accommodations names and details.
How much should we tip the guides?
Tips for the 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, I usually estimate a minimum of 50 Euro per person for our pilgrimages lasting 10 days or less and 100 Euro per person for our longer pilgrimages. 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 elsewhere?
There are many flight and train options when departing Santiago. There are a few daily flights to Madrid from Santiago, depending on the day. The Madrid-Santiago train 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.
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 Euro 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.
What is the terrain like?
The trails are well marked with yellow arrows and the scallop shell tile. There are some long, slow climbs through farming areas but not Himalayan or Rocky Mountain like terrain. The paths are well worn and are not difficult. We walk along a lot of secondary farming roads, paths through vineyards, beech and chestnut forests and old country roads.
What is the single supplement?
Some people would like to be matched with a roommate. Others prefer a single room. We cannot guarantee a match and will try to place you with someone if there are any requests. The price of the single supplement varies per Camino departure.
What equipment is needed?
You do not need expensive equipment or clothing. You will receive an equipment list of basic items to pack.
What is included in the Pilgrim’s Kit on the Camino del Norte and some of our Camino Pilgrimages?
You will receive these goodies:
- Buff headband/neckerchief
- Camino Daily Program
- Pilgrim’s Passport
- Baseball Cap
- Wet and Dry Wipes
- Notebook and Pen
- Refreshing Moisturizer
- Pilgrim’s Shell
- Small backpack with padded straps
You will also receive:
- Waterproof Case Holder for Pilgrim’s Passport
- Daily Camino Reflections
Always at your disposal are:
- Umbrellas and Ponchos
- First Aid Kits
- Mobile Phone
How much spending money is recommended?
Most people travel with an ATM card. Money machines are everywhere in Spain, but be sure you know your PIN number (not letters) before departing the United States or your home country. Do not travel with Traveler’s Checks as the banking hours are held at odd times and many banks no longer accept them. Most expenses are already built into this pilgrimage. Lunches are a separate expense, again, except for our Pintxos tour (Basque tapas) in San Sebastián, Spain culinary hotspot on the Camino del Norte. The Menu del Dia or Menu de Peregrino available at local cafes costs between two or three Euros for simple Pilgrim’s Meal to 20 Euro for a three-course meal.
What is the “credencial” or Pilgrim’s Passport?
The “credential” is your Pilgrim Passport, the document that identifies you as a pilgrim. It is the pilgrim record with which you are able to prove you have completed the Camino and are eligible to receive the Compostela Certificate. Our local guide will have your credential ready for you before starting the Camino and it can 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 pilgrimage 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 the Compostela, the pilgrim is required to have covered the last 100 kilometers of any of the routes by foot, or 200 kilometers on bicycle or horse.
Who are likely pilgrims on El Camino?
The Camino welcomes people of all religions, nationalities, ages, and physical conditions. Anyone who wishes to walk and/or experience the Camino can do so. The main requirement is the spirit and heart! Everybody comes to the Camino for a different reason. My goal is to help you experience the Camino your way!
Are pre-post-Camino trips available?
There are many options here too. It’s best to review the resources that you will be provided to prepare you for this pilgrimage to make an informed choice. Our land tour agent will have optional excursions for an additional cost and in Santiago you will find many options.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Travel insurance is included in some of our Walk in Beauty pilgrimages. Our Comprehensive Resource Guide lists travel insurance options.
SAMPLE DAILY ITINERARY:
PORTUGUESE COASTAL CAMINO
Day 1: Meeting in Porto (Light City Walking)
Theme: The Journey Begins
We meet on the first day at 3:00pm at the lobby of our hotel in the city of Porto. Our guides will greet you and then accompany you on a guided visit of the city, which includes a visit to one of Porto’s lovely gardens. In the evening we will meet again for refreshments and a short presentation before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner. Orientation & Welcome Dinner
Day 2: Obelisco da Memoria – Vila do Conde (9.5 mi/15.3km)
Theme: The Sound of the Genuine
We begin our Camino from Obelisco da Memoria and follow El Camino, The Way along the beautiful Portuguese coast passing quaint villages and beaches until we reach the town of Vila do Conde from where we will travel in our van to the town of Viana do Castelo. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Viana do Castelo.
Day 3: Bila Praia de Ancora – A Guarda (11 mi/18 km)
Theme: Your Deepest Calling
Starting from Vila Praia de Âncora towards Caminha, we will find our last Portuguese city of our pilgrimage, from here we will board our ferry to Camposanco. Once in Galicia, we will go around Santa Tecla mountaintop towards the coastal road. On this stage, we will find the Castro of Santa Tecla, a Celtic-Roman town dated from I B.C. From here we will walk towards our end of the stage, A Guarda port-villa. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Oia.
Day 4: A Guardo – Monasterio de Oia (8 mi/12.9 km)
Theme: Lay Yourself Open
We will then begin our Camino along the Spanish coast until we reach the town of Oia and its beautiful monastery. At the end the stage, we will return to our accommodation, and in the afternoon, we will enjoy a visit to the historic town of Baiona. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Oia.
Day 5: Vigo – Redondela (8.69 mi/14 km)
Theme: The Comfort of Questions
Today we start our walk from the town of Baiona as we make our way to Vigo, the largest city in Galicia. We will walk along the Ria de Vigo and its beaches enjoying breathtaking views of the coast and passing by many picturesque towns along the way. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Vigo.
Day 6: Redondela – Pontevedra (13 mi/21 km)
Theme: Cultivating Gratitude
Today we start our first stage along the inland Portuguese Camino. We will walk along forest paths and beautiful vineyards until we reach the town of Pontevedra. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Pontevedra.
Day 7: Pontevedra – Armentiera (14.5 mi/23.4 km)
Theme: The Way of Tenderness
This stage will take us along the ‘Spiritual Variant’ of the Portuguese Camino to the town of Armenteira. This route will take us along the Ria de Pontevedra and the Parish of Campañó, passing by many quaint villages and towns before finishing our stage in the Monastery of Armenteira. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Pontevedra.
Day 8: Armenteira – Vilanova de Arousa (14.9 mi/24 km)
Theme: Embracing Courage for the Heart, Mind, & Spirit
Today’s stage will take us along the banks of the Armenteira and Umia Rivers on ancient stone roads as we pass by beautiful landscapes dotted by vineyards and watermills until we reach the town of Vilanova de Arousa. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Cambados.
Day 9: Vilanova de Arousa – Padrón – by boat (17.4 mi/28 km)
Theme: Gifts of the Sea
This stage is done by sea instead of walking, as we retrace the journey of the remains of Saint James, the Apostle, to Padrón, a Galician town steeped in Camino lore and legend. This town has been the starting point of the Camino for pilgrims arriving by sea. This path includes the only maritime “Stations of the Cross” in the world and you will be able to see twelve unique and ancient Galician Crosses called “Cruceiros”, which mark each station along the way. On this stage we will have the opportunity to relax and take in magnificent scenery. This is our last stage on the ‘Spiritual Variant’ of the Portuguese Camino. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Cambados.
Day 10: Padrón – O Milladoiro (11.2 mi/18 km)
Theme: Listen Deeply, Listen Well
Today’s stage will take us along beautiful paths along forests and vineyards as we get closer and closer to Santiago. We will end our stage just six kilometers from our goal in the town of O Milladoiro, from where we can see Santiago’s superb cathedral for the first time from the top of Agro dos Mostoiros. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in O Milladoiro.
Day 11: O Milladoiro – Santiago de Compostela (4 mi/6.4 km)
Theme: Journey’s End: A Pilgrim’s Heart
On this very special and joyous day, we finally arrive in Santiago! We start our stage early to arrive in Santiago in time for the Pilgrim’s Mass at noon. In the evening we will enjoy a very special farewell dinner and surprise. Breakfast & Farewell Dinner
Night in Santiago.
Day 12: Guided visit in Santiago (Light city walking)
Theme: The World Before Me
To culminate our Camino, a guided visit in Santiago awaits us in the morning, through the old city and its main monuments, squares, and convents, and markets. Breakfast Only.