Guided Walks – Our Philosophy
I WOULD LIKE TO DO THE CAMINO, BUT….
…I have no idea where to start planning
…I don’t have the time or discipline to train on my own
…I don’t want to walk alone
…I think the whole way would be too much for me
…I don’t have enough days off to undertake such an adventure
…I DON’T want one of those organized tours
Different persons, different needs.
We have come across many folks on our Camino who had booked one of the popular organized tours. While a lot of them were very happy with the services offered we hear also some other needs that were not covered by some of the tour operators and decided to start offering the right ‘mix’ to our customers.
Here is the list of con’s they were talking about when referring to their present tour arrangements:
*I booked the tour to make sure I have a bed at the end of the day, but did not realize that I would like to have had more freedom of choice on the spot.
* There were stages in the tour that simply were too long for me, leaving me with no extra energy to go sightseeing in our destination for that day.
*At the end it turns out I wanted to carry my own backpack so I basically overpaid them since the luggage transportation was included in the fee.
* You get some time of in the program but seriously, I wish I had no time schedule at all – I have enough of that at home.
*One of the things I did not like at all was the size of the group. If it had been about 5 or 6 persons the trip would have been a more intimate experience.
Here is the list of pro’s they gave us:
*I relaxed at the thought that the guide arranged everything for us on the spot if needed.
*The days I enjoyed most were the ones where we started at a normal (but still human) time in the early morning, walked until max 2 pm and than got time off to do some sightseeing on our own and enjoy wonderful meals in private albergues with other pilgrims.
*I had a tour operator where luggage transportation was optional and that choice made all the difference: I knew I could ask for it if and when needed.
* I was glad I didn’t have to carry and read a travel guide to hear the essentials about the places we visited. The guide was very knowledgeable.
*We had a great group and we realized how lucky we had been when we departed Santiago as friends. The Camino is great to meet new and wonderful people.
This is what we did with this invaluable information:
We are your personal guide ensuring you get all the pro’s of an all-in tour and we’ve put in some don’ts you personally requested:
Our do’s and don’ts:
- we don’t make all reservations upfront (we might miss beautiful things this way and we like to give you the perfect experience)….we do make a reservation the night before to ensure you have a bed in the best hand-picked accommodations…or we leave it all up to chance if that’s what the group wants.
- we walk only in the first half of the day because that gives everyone the opportunity to do some sightseeing, eat and relax and simply enjoy the camino spirit around you.
- in principle, you carry your own backpack to experience the pilgrim feeling. If you realize once there at any moment in time you want to have the pack transported, we can arrange that on the spot for you. It costs an average of 5 euros per stage and chances are you won’t need it.
- we don’t rush. We enjoy every step, every view, we take pictures and we forget about home and time schedules: that’s vacation!
- we like to be 100% available to the whole group. Therefore, our groups are small: 6 persons max (including 2 guides).
- our groups are also small because we like people to be able to bond. Larger groups often trigger multiple groups forming which is usually caused by our human nature to stay within our comfort zones (the 5 oldies, the 3 teenagers, the 4 germans, etc, you get the idea). It is our experience that if you bond in a smaller group the experience turns out to be far more richer. That is all in all our #1 priority!
- we arrange everything that needs to be arranged.
- we don’t start walking before 7 am and we arrive at a great time for Spanish lunch (max 2 or 3 pm) so we have enough time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
If you like to try out the Camino genuine style, prefer to walk shorter stages but don’t want to walk alone, ánd value the idea of having someone with you that arranges everything in the local language, our Guided Walks have your name on it!
This post is also available in: Dutch