The Camino is the most famous and accessible pilgrimage route in Europe. For more than a thousand years, people have been making the trip on foot across the north of Spain to the final resting place of Saint James, apostle of Jesus, buried in the cathedral of Santiago on the country’s rough western coast.
It’s also – in the scheme of long distance hikes – relatively easy to accomplish, even for people in their golden years. This said, after a lifetime of hard work, you may not fancy the idea of bedding down in vast hostels alongside dozens of other weary hikers, not to mention thinking all that hard about any practicalities apart from putting one foot in front of the other. For all this and more, we’ve assembled a few package tour options below.
Camino De Santiago: Last 100 km walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
The most popular Camino route, the so-called “French Way”, stretches right the way across the north of Spain, but according to doctrine you only need to do the final 100 kilometres to have walked it in the eyes of the Lord. As such, many Camino tours such as this one will start in the small Gallaecian town of Sarria. From there you’ll walk across stunning rolling countryside, dotted by stone villages and other pilgrims. On this tour, you’ll have your heavier luggage carried on ahead of you, and hotels ready booked along the route. Breakfasts are also included in the price.
Cyclists follow the Camino de Santiago
Or perhaps you want to see as much of Spain as possible in the time you have, and want to follow the Camino trail by bike. This is less of a tour, so much as it is a private support vehicle dedicated to all your cycling needs – carrying extra luggage, offering pick-up assistance if needed, and dispensing cold drinks. Dedicated to serving groups of up to eight people, it offers invaluable assistance particularly if you’re planning on tackling the Camino on electric bike, for it can carry your spare batteries, charging them while you cycle, meaning you have nothing to do but enjoy the ride.
“Camino de Santiago”: PORTUGUESE WAY. Private Walking Tour from Tui
Because there’s more than one way to Santiago. The Portuguese Way, as its name suggests, takes you up through Portugal to the Spanish pilgrimage destination. Just as beautiful, but a little less crowded than the main route, this tour offers much the same service as the ones above, transporting your heavier luggage between destinations and pre-booking hotels so that you don’t have to worry about the additional hassle of finding a bed for the night at the end of a long day’s trek.
Walking the Camino de Santiago
If you’ve a little more time, and want to see more of Spain, this guided walk that starts with a guided tour of Léon, then buses you out to Cruz de Ferro, the camino’s highest point and ten day’s trek from Santiago, is for you. As usual, there’s a service for bringing your heavier luggage on ahead of you, and meals and accommodation are already provided, which means all you have to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other, and enjoying the landscape and history of this ancient walk.
Horseback Riding Camino De Santiago in Abadín, Spain
Offering a whole new perspective on The Way, this seven day horseback adventure takes you the final stretch to Santiago in the same manner as many of the pilgrims of yore, and proves the old adage that nearly everything looks better from the back of a horse. Accommodation, food, and riding equipment (including, obviously, the horses themselves) are all provided for. There’s a support vehicle and an expert guide to keep your mounts in line. Some horse riding experience is recommended, naturally.