The famous road to Santiago de Compostela has been travelled by many, many people over the last several centuries, and yet, it’s almost certain that no two journeys have ever been the same. Whether these pilgrims have made the trek in groups, as part of a tour or individually, each one has had their own personal reasons for setting out on the expedition and has taken home a unique experience. The beauty of this kind of adventure is that it is completely up to you what you get out of it. Numerous prearranged Camino Santiago tours are offered throughout the year, but one way to ensure that you start off on the right track to getting the pilgrimage you seek is by creating a custom tour that will satisfy your particular requirements. Itineraries that are tailor-made can include everything from the amount of time you’d like to spend on El Camino to your accommodations and way of transportation.
This should definitely be your starting point when planning your Camino Santiago tour. If you are looking to get the absolute most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you may want to consider really going for it and plunge into the whole 500-mile walk, which takes most pilgrims about a month to complete. If you just can’t take that much time off of work or you don’t think your physique can handle four weeks of physical activity, there are plenty of shorter routes to choose from that will still allow you a fascinating adventure and be much less commanding on your body.
After you’ve decided the duration you want to spend on your tour, you can see which routes would fit into that timeframe. There are five main routes (and many more that are less traveled) that start and stay within Spain and four primary ones that begin in France and lead into Spain. Whichever route you choose will not only depend on its length, but also on what you would like to see in transit. Each has their own villages, culture, food, scenery and architecture along the way, so it may be best to do your research and make sure you don’t miss anything you’d regret later on. The physical challenges of the different routes are another thought to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, the world operates solely on money, so if you’re one of the many who don’t happen to have an overabundance of it, this will be a pretty big factor to consider when outlining your Camino Santiago tour. Taking extra time off of work and making flight, accommodation and other travel arrangements gets spendy. The good news is that once you make it to El Camino everything is relatively on the cheaper end of things and you won’t have many extravagant purchases to make out on the rural roads.
Customizing your tour will also mean deciding just exactly how you plan to get from point A to point B. Walking is the most common and traditional way of the pilgrims, however, there are other options that you can look into like cycling and horseback riding. If you want to cover a greater distance in a shorter period of time, one of these methods of transportation may suit you better.
Many considerations go into planning a pilgrimage like this. It isn’t like most other vacations where you book a flight, pack a suitcase and go, but luckily, Camino Santiago tours aren’t generally too difficult to adjust for your needs and preferences. Customizing your own tour can provide you with the perfect experience.
Tiffany Olson describes herself as a lover of all things travel. She found her passion for travel while working over a 7 1/2 year period at an International Hostel in San Diego, CA. She has plans to make a trip to Spain next year.