A guided walk on a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage path
For over 1,000 years pilgrims have walked the Camino from the French side of the Pyrenees across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, near Spain’s western coast. While the path was originally for the deeply religious, today there are as many different reasons to walk as there are pilgrims.
From Pamplona to Santo Domingo
This walking tour will introduce you to the Camino by guiding you westward for 10 days, starting in Pamplona near the Camino’s start. To enable you to focus on your walking and the lovely scenery along the way, we have organized your lodging and planned your meals – and we will transport your bags each day to ease your load. Plus, we pick you up and drop you off at the airport to make your travels simple and easy.
You have the added benefit of being able to walk as far as you wish each day, because when your feet have had enough, our van will meet you and drive you any distance remaining to the evening’s hotel.
The adventure starts in Pamplona a fascinating, small Spanish city. While no bulls will be running in the streets in April, Pamplona offers much to see. And we’ll plan a training hike around the city to ensure everyone is ready to begin on the Camino.
Over the following days, you can walk as much or as little as you would like. We can help you select the prettiest 3-5 mile section, or you can walk onward to the day’s endpoint which will normally be 10-15 miles. The decision is yours, and you can naturally decide along the way based on how you feel. Our van will be always available to coordinate snacks and lunch and we can pickup anyone, at any point, who has walked far enough for the day.
While most pilgrims sleep in dormitories and eat simple pilgrim meals, we will do better than this. We will stay in comfortable and clean hotels found along the route. These hotels offer a good night’s sleep and each single or double room will have its own bathroom.
The entire Camino is nearly 500 miles and takes about 35 days. After your 10 days walking with us, you are free to continue further on your own, or you may wish to return in future years to tackle additional portions of the Camino.
Note: This is the first of two Camino walks we’re offering in 2020. The second begins in Leon, further to the west. Both are equally beautiful and both represent approximately the same physical challenge. Read More about the Leon Walk.
Dates: April 7 to 16, 2020
Maximum group size: 11
We will meet you at the Madrid airport where we will continue on to Pamplona, a wonderful northern Spanish city with a great tapas scene for the evening.
Then we will set off on the path, covering approximately 10 miles a day (although you can do less or more, depending on your preferences.
Our experience has shown that 10 miles is a reasonable goal for most people. For anyone who decides they would like to do less, our van can easily pick you up and deliver you to the day’s endpoint. We will equip a number of walkers with mobile phones so you can always be in touch with the van. For those who would like to walk further, there are often side-routes and additional places to explore. Likewise, you can also cover more ground if you wish.
Our driver and van will setup a picnic lunch for you each day. And the van will transport your bag for you, so all you’ll need to carry is a simple day pack.
At the end of each day you’ll have time to shower and perhaps take a nap before we meet as a group to enjoy dinner. Breakfast will normally be at the hotel each morning.
The hotels where we will stay are clean and very comfortable with a bathroom in each room. You can share a room or have a single.
There are many places online to learn more about walking the Camino. We will leave this to you (and don’t forget to check out the YouTube videos). A more detailed itinerary will be available after you register. Our end point is Santo Domingo de la Calzada, just east of Burgos.
Your Guide: Betsy Bates
Your guide on this walking trip will be Betsy Bates of Dummerston, VT, who led this group for Travel Fever Tours in 2019. Betsy has long experience leading hiking and biking trips in Europe and the US and has previously walked the full length of the Camino in Spain.
Betsy led biking tours for Vermont Bicycle Tours for 20 years. She currently leads hiking tours to Iceland for Road Scholars. In addition, she has taught both downhill and cross-country skiing for many years and leads wine, cheese and snowshoe tours during the winter months.
Betsy will be assisted by Bob Lawson, co-founder of Travel Fever Tours, who has covered this section of the Camino four times. Bob is in charge of driving the van and finding the best spots for picnic lunches.
Cost of the tour is $2,850
Supplement for single occupancy: $425
Deposit required to reserve a place on the tour: $350
(Places in the tour are limited to 11 and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend that you reserve your place early, as the Camino is a popular location, the trip can only accommodate 11 people, and so is expected to sell out.)
What’s included in the cost of the trip:
Pickup and dropoff at designated airport
Guided walking along the Camino with experienced guide
9 nights lodging
9 dinners, lunches and breakfasts, with appropriate amounts of beer or local wine
Local transportation by van and driver
What’s not included:
Admission to museums and local sites
$350 non-refundable deposit
$1250 initial payment (Due January 1, 2020)
$1250 final payment (Due February15, 2020)
Single occupancy supplement: $425
Lodging will be at small hotels along the route. Unlike other tours that ferry you back and forth from central hotels, we stay directly on the route in a new and interesting town each night. Each room, either single or double, has its own bathroom.
Traditional Spanish breakfasts to be taken at your hotels each morning.
Lunch will normally be a picnic along the route.
Dinner will be at restaurants found in the towns where we stay each evening with the exception of Logrono where we will feast on tapas.
Start or End of trip add-ons (optional):
At the start or end of the trip, participants may opt to visit nearby locations, such as Bilbao, or travel on to Madrid or even Barcelona by train. A few days in Spain before the walk begins is definitely recommended. These trip extensions are up to trip participants to organize, but Travel Fever Tours can make recommendations where to go and how to arrive at your desired destination.