Camino de Santiago, Guided or Self-Guided Tour?

Camino de Santiago, Guided or Self-Guided?

 Every year we receive requests of interest for the Way of Saint James. The question is: Camino de Santiago Guided or Self-Guided tour? Usually it depends on the route, on the number of people, their age and experience as walkers. For instance, the French Way is really well marked (particularly its last 100 km, from Sarria to Santiago), so usually pilgrims prefer to walk it alone. However others want to follow the route with an experienced English speaking guide, and be part of a group, especially solo travelers. For those who are unsure about which tour to choose, guided or self-guided, (but also between the Standard Tour, and the Luxury Tour), here you have a brief comparative.

Camino de Santiago Self-Guided Tour (Standard)

This is the most typical choice for pilgrims who decide to walk the Way of Saint James. In the last years the different communities, where the Camino goes through, invested a lot of money in improving the conditions of the route, adding signals to mark the Way and creating more services on the path. This means that the routes, especially the most popular ones (such as the French Way and the Portuguese Way) can give a wide choice to pilgrims in terms of accommodation, bars, restaurants and so on.

Pilgrims rarely feel alone on their Camino because this experience is becoming more and more popular (more than 300.000 pilgrims walked the Way in 2019). In addition, those who want to walk more quiet routes (such as the Primitive Way or the Winter Way) are usually looking for a more isolated experience so they prefer the Self-Guided Tour and to have time for themselves. If you prefer to walk at your own pace, being able to stop whenever and wherever you want along your way, we suggest you this option.

To know more about the different routes you can walk, don’t miss this article. Also, we wanted to help you out in deciding what itinerary is the best for you, with our Camino Test. Let us know what result you get on our comment section!

 Camino de Santiago guided or self-guided?

What’s included as a standard?

  1. -Standard Accommodation (private room & private bathroom is guaranteed)
  2. -Half Board (except in Santiago de Compostela)
  3. -Luggage transfer between the stages 
  4. -Pilgrim Passport
  5. -Walking notes
  6. -24 hours phone support

What makes it different?

  • Dates are completely flexible
  • Unlimited number of places (unless specific dates & specific tours)
  • No limited number of people to confirm the tour (you can go on your own!)
  • You can customize the tour: add upgrades, extra nights, airport transfers, split any of the walking days, etc.

Camino de Santiago Self-Guided Tour (Lux)

For those pilgrims who do not want to renounce to their comfort and choose a Superior Camino, this is the perfect option. Our Luxury offer allow pilgrims to stay in upgraded accommodation, dine in more refined restaurants and have some extras, such as the Pilgrims’ massage once in Santiago. As we mentioned above, some travelers prefer to walk at their own rhythm and don’t want to depend on other people’s needs. If you are looking for an independent journey, in complete comfort, we suggest you this type of camino. At Galiwonders, we help our pilgrims to get everything organized in advance. We offer tailor-made experiences so they do not need to worry about all the details.

What’s included?

  1. -Upgraded Accommodation (private room & private bathroom is guaranteed). This includes the 5* Parador in Santiago de Compostela or another hotel of same quality.
  2. -Half Board (except Santiago de Compostela)
  3. -Luggage transfer between stages
  4. -Pilgrim Passport
  5. -Walking notes
  6. -24 hours phone support
  7. -Pilgrim’s Massage in Santiago

Camino de Santiago Guided Tour (Standard)

The Guided Tour is the best choice for those pilgrims who don’t want to walk the Camino alone and for those who walk the Camino in group and want a guide to go with them. This is a typical choice for those pilgrims who do not want to have any troubles related to the language barrier. Although most of the hotels and restaurants in Spain have english speaking professionals, some pilgrims prefer to avoid any misunderstanding and choose to have an english speaking guide for the entire walk.

Also, if you are walking in a big group, such a school trip, it might be very useful to have a local guide who can solve all the problems that may occur along the Way. Furthermore, walking a Guided camino can be very interesting in terms of the information you can get about the route, to know more about the towns you will cross and learn about the history of the Way of Saint James. However, we advise you that if you are only few pilgrims this option can be quite expensive, but we can always organize this kind of camino upon request. Remember that if you choose a Guided Tour, you will have to follow all the same rhythm, the timing and guidelines of your guide.

puente de la reina galiwonders-min

What’s included?

  1. -Standard Accommodation (private room & private bathroom is guaranteed)
  2. -Half Board (except dinner in Santiago de Compostela)
  3. -Luggage transfer between stages
  4. -English & Spanish speaking guide
  5. -Guided tour of Santiago de Compostela
  6. -Pilgrim Passports
  7. -Walking notes
  8. -24 hours phone support

What makes it different?

  • -English speaking guide is included as a standard
  • -A minimum number of 5 people is required to confirm the tour
  • -It is not possible to personalize it, as the whole group will follow the same itinerary

Camino de Santiago Guided Tour (Lux)

This is the last option for your route to Santiago de Compostela, a mix of the previous ones. You can walk the Camino following a guide and staying in upgraded accommodation. Enjoy the Camino and relax with the most comfortable services on your route. With this choice you can forget about any possible issues along the way. You will simply enjoy the best of this experience, not worrying about anything!

What’s included?

  1. -Upgraded Accommodation (private room & private bathroom is guaranteed). This includes the 5* Parador in Santiago de Compostela or another hotel of same quality.
  2. -Half Board (except Santiago de Compostela)
  3. -Luggage transfer between stages
  4. -English & Spanish speaking guide
  5. -Guided tour of Santiago de Compostela
  6. -Pilgrim Passports
  7. -Walking notes
  8. -24 hours phone support

What makes it different?

  • -The best accommodation available on the Camino de Santiago including the 5* Parador will be included
  • -Breakfast & dinner (not in Santiago) will be included + picnic on walking days available upon request
  • -English speaking guide is included as a standard
  • -A minimum number of 5 people is required to confirm the tour
  • -It is not possible to personalize it, as the whole group will follow the same tour

If you are looking for inspiration, find out our 20 reasons to walk the Camino de Santiago. For more information about the Camino de Santiago guided tours & self guided tours, please do not hesitate to contact us. At Galiwonders we create tailor-made itineraries on the Way of Saint James.

 

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