Frequently Asked Questions
Getting ready for a vacation shouldn't be work! Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions. We've organized it into 4 sections below. If you don't find the answer of your question here, please do not hesitate to contact us – we're listening!
On the Road
Getting There & Back
Before You Go / Preparing
What is the weather like on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
The Camino de Santiago covers over 750 KMs of Northern Spain and therefore has very different weather conditions depending on the region.
Fresco Tours walks the last 160 KM's of the Camino in the Northwest region called Galicia. Here we enjoy a more temperate climate than other parts of the Camino de Santiago and in July and August the heat is not overwhelming like it can be on the plains of Castilla y Leon.
For current and average monthly temperatures of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, please click below:
What is a typical day like on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
After breakfast, we lace up and get the blood going with a walk for a couple hours, where we will do a check point to make sure that everything is OK. You then continue along the Camino for another 1-2 hours where you will come across a complete gourmet picnic prepared with the all the freshest local ingredients. On some days, we continue for 1-2 hours more after lunch to burn off dessert.
In the afternoon, we go to our hotels, where we take a shower, siesta and just relax! We finish our day with a glass of tinto and a feast of the local gastronomy. We then retire for the night and get ready to do it again! On some afternoons, we have planned excursions, such as a visit to an ancient monastery or perhaps a massage at a spa!
Does the group stop for breaks on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
The great thing about the Camino is that it is very well marked and we encourage people to walk at a pace that is comfortable for them - this is not a race! We want you to enjoy the route and we also like to stop with our clients for a coffee or cerveza along the way and take everything in!
What is the terrain like on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
In Galicia, the region where we walk, the terrain is green rolling hills - there are neither steep climbs nor treacherous descents. The trail itself is a combination of very well maintained compact dirt and stone footpaths and small country roads.
What is the change in elevation on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
We will be walking from O'Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela, the last 160 KM's of the Camino de Santiago. For a detailed map of the distances between towns along the Camino and their respective altitudes, please click here. This data has been kindly provided to us by Arturo Murias of: http://www.godesalco.com
How many kilometers are walked each day on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
The amount of KM's scheduled for each day varies from 25KM's to 15KM's. We have designed this tour to allow the possibility to walk the last 100KMs to Santiago, which is a requirement by the Church if you are going to ask for the Compostela Certificate. However, the walks are accompanied by a support vehicle and options for less (or more!) KM's are possible on a daily basis. We can tailor the Camino to suit your needs!
How can we sleep in the same hotel for 2 nights and still walk the last 150 KM's?
Since the distances that we walk during the day on the Camino de Santiago can be covered quickly in the van, we take advantage of this and stay in the same hotel for 2 nights on multiple occasions. Our walk always starts at the point where we finished the previous day to maintain our continuity along the trail. On some days, we walk directly to or from the Hotel! We believe that the time (and energy) saved packing and unpacking everyday makes these shuttles a great convenience for everyone.
How do I get to the Camino de Santiago Tour starting point?
Leon (Spain) is the official starting point of the Camino de Santiago tour and can be reached via air, train, or bus.
Flights from Madrid and Barcelona into the Leon airport are serviced by Iberia.
For an example of prices and timetables, please see:
Train: Madrid to Leon (PDF) & Bilbao to Leon (PDF)
Bus: Madrid to Leon (PDF) & Bilbao to Leon (PDF)
Those coming from London, UK may be interested in Ryan Air's flights to Valladolid.
How do I get from Santiago Compostela to Madrid and other cities?
There are now RENFE trains that will get you from Santiago to Madrid in less than 6 hours - click here for an example of the timetable. If you are looking to fly, there are excellent internal flights that fly Santiago to Madrid. For a complete list of companies that service the Santiago airport, please click here.
Can you help with purchasing online train tickets on the RENFE site?
The RENFE website can be a bit temperamental and is not very user friendly. However, all is not lost! Contact us and we would be happy to have our local travel agent assist in making those arrangements for you. Keep in mind that train tickets cannot be purchased until 60 days prior to departure.
How do I get from the Madrid Airport to the Madrid Train Stations?
If your flight flies into Madrid’s T-4 (Aeropuerto T-4) terminal, you have a local Cercanias train that will get you from the airport to the Chamartin train station in 12 minutes. These trains leave the Aeropuerto T-4 station more or less every half an hour. For more information, please see: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/index.html
In addition, there is an express bus that services the other terminals at the airport with the Atocha Train Station: http://www.emtmadrid.es/lineaAeropuerto/index.html.
How do I get to and from the Airport?
The national organization of airports in Spain (AENA) has a great website that explains how to get to and from the major city for your airport of choice. It also has information regarding the routes serviced, the corresponding airlines, terminal information, and much more. You may have to re-click the "English" tab at the top once you have chosen your airport.
What type of boots do I need for the Camino de Santiago Tour?
Footwear is a very personal question – depending on how active you are and how much support you will need. Since we will be walking on a daily basis on the Camino de Santiago, I believe that comfort is key – you do not want to get blisters. You probably won’t need a full high boot that covers your ankle (unless you need this support), but rather light trail walkers or even running shoes if you are used to walking. In the spring, there may be mud and water along the trail, so keep that in mind. Most important: Make sure that they are well broken in!
What sort of conditioning do I need to undertake the Camino?
We encourage you to walk before and be prepared for your own enjoyment. However, this is your vacation and not boot camp! During your walk, one of the guides will be on the trail with the group to keep an eye that all is well. Also, we have planned check points along the way with our support van to make sure you have plenty of water, if you need a change of shoes, or just feel like taking a break. In most cases, you will see the van at a minimum every couple of hours.
How do I purchase travel insurance?
Searching for Travel Insurance can be a daunting and time-consuming process. We like Squaremouth.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top Insurance Providers. Visit our personalized Squaremouth for Fresco Tours Clients page, where we have excluded policies that don't fit your needs (such as immigrant travel, golfing or and other specialized trips, etc.) to make your selection process easier.
In addition, we encourage you to check out TravelInsuranceReview.net, which explains the different insurance policy options in simplified lingo and provides editorial reviews of the insurance companies in terms of "The Good, The Drawbacks & The Bottom Line".
Where do Fresco Tour clients come from?
We are very fortunate to have had clients join us from around the world giving us a wonderful mix of diversity. The internet allows us access to the world, and since 2006 we have had travelers from the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, the United Kingdom (England & Scotland), Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, India, and even Egypt! It truly is a small world after all!
When do most people walk the Camino de Santiago?
According to the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago de Compostela, in 2009, 42% of all pilgrims who requested the Compostelana arrived in July and August. This makes sense since many Europeans and students have their vacation time in the summer. Whenever you decide to walk, you will always be able to find that "quiet time" for yourself along the trail. In addition, walking with Fresco Tours means that you won’t have to worry about your meals, your pack, where you’ll sleep, or anything else. You do the walking and leave everything else up to us!
For complete pilgrim statistics, click here.