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The Camino de Santiago FAQ

Services

Accommodation

Meals

Luggage Transfer

Holiday Pack

Airport transfers/taxis

Flights

Guided holidays

Self-guided holidays

Facilities on the Camino

How to get there

Sales

Itineraries/customisation

Pricing

Booking & changes to bookings

Other

Choosing a section

General Queries

Guided vs. Self-guided

Accommodation

Grade

What grade and type of hotels and guesthouses do you book?

We generally book 2* and 3* hotels and guesthouses. We may book a different grade if local availability requires it. All accommodations have been specially chosen by our staff based on their location, services, pricing and food. You can find examples of the accommodation we book on each trip section.

Location

Where are the hotels/guesthouses located?

The hotels and guesthouses we book are located in towns along the Camino. Unless we specify otherwise, the hotels are easy to reach on foot. The Rustic accommodations are outside of the towns and taxis or transfers are necessary, but these are usually included in the price. Please see the information page for your specific trip to verify this or ask us if you are unsure.

Names of Hotels

Can you give me the names of the hotels before I book?

We work with a number of hotels and guesthouses in each town. Your reservations will depend on availability at the time of booking, so we cannot tell you which hotels you will be staying in before you book. We will send you vouchers and hotel information in your holiday pack approximately one month before your trip begins.

What are single/double/twin rooms?

A single room has one bed, a double room has one double bed and a twin room has two beds. (In some hotels a double room may in fact be twin beds pushed together). Triple rooms are not very common in the hotels we book. If they are available, they are often not suitable for 3 adults as the hotel may add a third ‘camp bed’ which is only suitable for children.

Private bathroom

Do all rooms have a private bathroom?

All rooms are booked with a private bathroom unless otherwise specified.

What does en-suite mean?

En-suite means private bathroom.

Wifi & Internet

Will the hotels have Wifi or Internet access?

Some hotels will have Wifi or Internet access but not all. You can check with your individual hotels online or by contacting them directly when you receive your holiday pack a few weeks before departure.

Laundry

Will the hotels have laundry services?

Some hotels may offer laundry services. It is best to ask on arrival or check with the hotel in advance when you recevie your hotel information in your holiday pack.

Bed linen / Sleeping bag / Towels

Will the hotels supply bed linen and towles or do I bring my own?

All hotels provide bed linen and towels. It is not necessary to bring a sleeping bag.

Arrival time

I am arriving at my first hotel early/late (before 12am/after 8pm) – is that alright?

If you will be arriving at your hotel after 8pm please let the hotel know in advance. Check in is usually after 12noon and check out is before 12noon so if you arrive earlier your room may not be ready. You will find contact information for the hotels in your holiday pack.

Hotel upgrades

Is it possible to upgrade my accommodation?

In some towns a hotel upgrade may be available for an additional charge. Please ask us for more information and we will facilitate your request where possible.

Rustic accommodation

What is Rustic accommodation?

Rustic accommodations are guesthouses of character. The guesthouse is often an historical building of stone or granite. Some have a swimming pool and a relaxing garden. Our selected accommodations focus on character and peace of mind and therefore guesthouses are often out of town (2-10km) with reduced access to the town centre. The general standard of comfort throughout is significantly higher than the standard hotel in a middle sized town. Rooms have private bathrooms. The interior is tastefully decorated, with visible beams and original furniture.

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Meals

Half-board

What is half-board?

Half-board includes breakfast and dinner. In most hotels a menu of the day will be offered. It generally includes 2 courses with a few choices for each. If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know when booking so that we can inform your hotels.

B&B

What is B&B?

This is bed and breakfast.

Options

Can I choose B&B only?

If you would prefer B&B only, please let us know at the time of booking and we will adjust the pricing and itinerary accordingly. Any changes made to your booking after it has been secured will incur a change of booking fee (€40 per change per section).

Meal times

What time are meals served?

In Spain dinner is usually served from 8pm at the earliest until 10pm but times may vary in individual hotels and restaurants. In France and Portugal dinner may be served from 7pm. Please ask your hotel on arrival about breakfast and dinner times.

Lunch/Picnics

Is lunch included in the trip?

No, lunch is not included unless you request it with your booking. We can organise picnic lunches for you for €10 per person per day and they are provided by your hotels.

What is included in the picnic lunches?

Picnic lunches generally include a sandwich, fruit and a chocolate bar. If you wish to add picnic lunches to your trip, please let us know at the time of booking or you can add them at a later date.

Special dietary requirements

I have special dietary requirements. Can the hotels accommodate me?

If you have any special dietary requirements or allergies please let us know at the time of booking so that we can inform your hotels. Any changes made to your booking after it has been secured will incur a change of booking fee. If you are celiac or gluten intolerant it can be a good idea to bring some of your own bread as not all hotels/guesthouses might be able to facilitate you.
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Luggage Transfer

General

On what days is my luggage transferred?

Luggage is transferred on the days that you are walking to a different hotel. If you are skipping a section(s) on the standard itinerary (e.g. from the end of the French Way section 1 to the beginning of the French Way section 8) and making your own way by taxi/public transport to another town, please bring your luggage with you or check with us in advance if the transfer is included.

At what time are bags transferred?

Your luggage must be at hotel reception by 8.30am. It is usually delivered to your next hotel by 4.30pm in Spain and Portugal and up to 6pm in France.

Who transfers my bags?

The majority of luggage transfers are made by independent contractors and occasionally by the hotels themselves. In some places the hotel may not be familiar with the system because we will organise it independently of them.

Can I get a lift or hitch a ride with the luggage transporter?

The luggage transporters are insured to carry luggage only and it is usually not possible for walkers to avail of transport with them. If you need to take a taxi please ask your hotel to assist you.

Weight/bag limit

What is the limit for the luggage transfer?

The luggage transfer is limited to 1 bag per person with a maximum weight of 20kg per bag. Additional bags can be transferred for and extra €10 per bag per transfer.

Extra bags

Can I have extra bags transferred?

If you have additional bags they can be transported for an additional €10 per bag per transfer.
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Holiday Pack

General

When will I receive my holiday pack?

You should receive your holiday pack 3-4 weeks before departure. If you are leaving your home on an earlier date please let us know and we will send the pack to you sooner.

What is inclulded in the holiday pack?

We send 1 holiday pack per room. Each holiday pack includes 1 copy of your hotel vouchers and information, walking notes, general Camino information and maps, 1 luggage tag per person and 1 pilgrim passport per person. If you require an additional holiday pack it can be posted to you for a fee €10 or emailed to you free of charge.

How many holiday packs will we receive?

We send 1 holiday pack per room. If you require an additional holiday pack it can be posted to you for a fee €10 or emailed to you free of charge.

Will I get my holiday pack at home or at my first hotel?

We will send your holiday pack to you or the person who made your booking, unless there is not enough time to do so, in which case we will either send it to your first hotel or email it to you. Please ask us which method is best.

How is the holiday pack delivered?

The holiday packs are sent by standard post from Ireland.

There is not enough time to send my holiday pack – how will I receive it?

We can send holiday packs to your first hotel and can also send the majority of the details to you by email.

Walking notes

What type of walking notes do you include?

We provide either specially designed walking notes that have been written by our own staff or guidebooks by other writers specific to the Camino.

Maps

What type of maps do you provide?

We provide the best maps available for each section. In some cases these are printed maps, in other cases they are online satellite maps that have been included in your walking notes. Most routes are well marked and it is virtually impossible to get lost.
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Airport transfers/taxis

What is an airport transfer and how does it work?

We can arrange an airport transfer for you from the airport to your first hotel. Please see the pricing on your trip section of the website. The driver will meet you in the airport arrivals hall with a sign with your name on it.


Flights

Do you include flights?

We do not book or include flights but will try to assist you with information regarding the best airport to fly to/from.
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Guided holidays

Types of guided holiday

What type of guided holidays do you organise?

We organise guided walking, cycling, horseback riding and sailing tours on the Camino.

Dates of tours

What dates do your guided tours begin?

We have scheduled a number of guided tours on various routes throughout the year. Please click contact us to check availability.

Minimum and maximum numbers

Is there a minimum or maximum number of people on guided holidays?

On guided walking, cycling and horesback riding tours there is a necessary minimum of 6 people for the trip to go ahead and on sailing the necessary minimum is 4 people. There is a also a maximum number per guide, but with large groups we may be able to book extra guides.
If you have booked on a guided holiday but the necessary minimum has not been reached, we will give you the option of changing to self-guided on walking and cycling, or a full refund on all trips. This is not a common occurrence.
For pre-formed groups of 6 people or more we can do guided tours on any date.

Language

Does the guide speak English?

Our guides are English speaking, fully trained and well experienced.

Type of people / profile of the group

Who else will be on the guided walking holiday?

We have a great variety of people on our guided walking holidays, with a mixture of solo travellers, couples, family and friends.

Walking pace

What if the group walks too fast / too slowly for me?

Everyone can walk at their own pace; you do not have to keep up with the group pace. There is generally a mix of walking abilities and paces. Please tell the guide if you are having particular difficulty keeping up. If you would prefer to walk ahead of the group, let your guide know and discuss rest points and hotels.

Sharing rooms

Can I or do I have to share a room with another member of the group?

You can share a room with another member of the group if you wish. Alternatively you can book a single room if there is availability.
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Self-guided holidays

Who will I be walking with?

You will be walking alone or with any other people you make your booking with. In high season in particular, there are usually lots of other people walking so you are sure to meet and see other walkers each day.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of people for self-guided walks?

No, there is no minimum or maximum number of people for self-guided walks.

Are the services the same on the guided and self-guided walks?

The services are the same. The only difference is that on the guided walk you will be part of an organised group with a guide but on the self-guided you will not. Accommodation, meals and lugagge transfer services are the same.
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Facilities on the Camino

Cafes & restaurants

Are there cafes/restaurants/shops to buy food/drinks along the Camino?

In most places there are facilities for snacks/drinks along the Camino, but please bear in mind that some may close in quiter months. Your walking notes will tell you where there is a cafe/restaurant/shop along the way to stop for a snack or a drink. It is also advisable to ask at your hotel if local bars/shops will be open along the way as it will vary from place to place.

Toilets

Are there toilet facilities along the Camino?

In general you can use toilets in cafes/shops/restaurants along the Camino but it may sometimes be necessary/advisable to purchase something on the premises in order to use their facilities. If you think it may be necessary use ‘outdoor’ facilities, please ensure that you bring a plastic bag and do not leave toilet paper (or any litter) on the Camino.

Drinking water

Can I get drinking water along the Camino?

Your walking notes will tell you to where there is drinking water along the Camino so you can plan in advance whether you need to bring enough water for the day or will be able to refill your bottle along the way. Please only drink water from fountains that have drinking water (potable/potável) marked on them.

Bed linen / Sleeping bag / Towels

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag / bed linen / towel?

Your hotels provide bed linen and towels so it is not necessary to bring any with you.

Wifi

Is there Wifi or Internet access in the hotels or along the Camino?

Some hotels or towns will have Wifi or Internet access, others will not. You can check with your individual hotels online or by contacting them directly when you receive your holiday pack a few weeks before departure. You will often walk through rural areas so Internet access will be limited along the Camino.

Cell/mobile phone network

Is there cell/mobile phone network on the Camino?

In many areas and generally in towns there will be cell/mobile phone network. As you will also be walking in rural areas coverage may be limited at times. It is best to check with your network provider in advance if your phone will work on the Spanish/French/Portuguese networks. If your phone will not work there, you can often buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card or cheap phone on arrival.

Public transport

Is there public transport on the Camino in case I cannot walk the full distance?

In some areas there will be public transport between towns, but not in all. It depends on the section and the town links. Ask us in advance or when you are there ask your hotel about local bus/train services. Where public transport is not an option, a taxi is the alternative.

Support bus/taxi

Do you provide a support bus for tired walkers?

No, we do not provide a support bus for walkers. If you are tired or feel that a particular walk will be too long for you, ask your hotel or tourist office about local bus/train services between towns or local taxis. It is also an idea to take the number of a local taxi driver from your hotel.

Parking

Is there parking in Santiago or in my starting town?

In Santiago there is some free on-street parking in the old area of the city. There is also secure parking for a charge in various parts of the city. Your Santiago hotel may also offer parking, either free or for a daily charge. In many towns along the Camino there is parking, both free on-street parking and more secure paid parking. Check with us or with your hotel in advance.
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How to get there


Please refer to the ‘Access’ tab on your trip section to find out about the best airports to fly to/from and how to get to the starting point of your holiday.
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Sales


Itineraries / Customisation

Split days

What is a split day?

Where there is a particularly long walking day but a town mid-way with suitable accommodation, we offer the option to spend a night in that town, thus splitting the long walking day and adding a night to your trip. This is an option on some walking sections.

One walking day is very long. Can I split it?

Where a split day option is advertised on the trip description, you can add a split day. Where there is no split day offered, the best way to split the day is to walk half-way, take a taxi back to your previous hotel and spend a second night there, take a taxi back the next morning to where you stopped walking the day before, then continue walking to the next town. Ask in advance of booking and we will organise the quote and itinerary for you.

Extra nights

Can I add some nights to my trip?

Yes, you can add extra nights to your trip.

Changes during the holiday

Can I change my itinerary while I’m walking?

We cannot usually make changes to bookings within 14 days of departure. It is not possible to make changes to bookings once you are there as it is too short notice. If there are exceptional circumstances please ask us and we will assist you where possible. A change to one night can have a knock-on effect on the rest of your booking and will incur a change of booking fee.

Rest days

Can I add rest days to my trip?

Yes, you can add rest days to your trip by adding an extra night in any town (before booking so as not to incur the change of booking fee).

Taxis

Can you book taxis for me if I don’t want to walk a particular day?

Yes, if you know in advance of travelling where and when you would like to take a taxi, we can arrange this for you. If you are not sure, it is best to wait until you are there and find a taxi or ask your hotel to book one for you.

Customisation

Can I customise a holiday?

Yes, it is possible to customise a walking holiday. Please let us know what your preferences are and we will try to accommodate you as much as possible.

Can I start and finish in whichever town I want or do I have to stick to your itinerary?

You can start or finish in different towns as you wish, at the beginning, middle or end of a section. However, we have arranged our itineraries so that you will start and finish in a decent sized town for better transport access.

Can I exclude luggage transfers or meals?

Yes, you can exclude some services if you wish and we will adjust the price accordingly (before booking). Any changes made to your booking after it has been secured will incur a change of booking fee.

I am celiac / vegetarian / have allergies / special dietary requirements.

Please let us know of any special dietary requirements/allergies/if you are a vegetarian or celiac at the time of booking. Any changes made to your booking after it has been secured will incur a change of booking fee.
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Pricing

Included

What does the price include?

The price includes your accommodation (hotels/guesthouses with private bathroom), meals as specified on your itinerary, luggage transfers on walking days and your holiday pack with notes, maps, luggage tag and pilgrim passport.

Extras

Are there any ‘hidden’ extra charges?

No, there are no ‘hidden’ extra charges. We would only charge extra for services that you specifically book, for example airport transfers, taxis, extra nights, picnic lunches, upgrades of hotels, extra holiday packs etc.

Single room and solo departure fees

What is the single room fee?

Single rooms carry an extra fee so we must include this in your booking.

What is the solo departure fee?

The solo departure applies on some trips where there is an extra charge for the luggage transfer/services for one person.
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Booking & changes to booking

Payment

When do I pay the deposit?

The deposit must be paid at the time of booking in order to secure the booking. Please include the payment method on your booking form. Deposits are non-refunable.

How much is the deposit?

The deposit amount is €180 per person or 20% of the total holiday cost if you are completing more than 1 section.

When do I pay the full amount?

The full payment is due 2 months before departure. If you have already supplied credit card details, we will automatically use these for the full payment unless you request otherwise.

Change fee

Is there a fee if I change my booking?

Once your booking has been made there will be a fee of €40 per change per section, For example, if you change your start date and are walking 3 sections, the fee will be €120.

Cancellation charges

What happens if I have to cancel my holiday?

If you cancel your holiday the following charges apply:
If you cancel more than 60 days before starting date of the holiday – the deposit.
If you cancel 59 – 35 days before starting date of the holiday – 30% of holiday cost.
If you cancel 34 – 15 days before starting date of the holiday – 50% of holiday cost.
If you cancel Less than 14 days before starting date of the holiday – 100% of the holiday cost.
We strongly advise the purchase of travel/holiday insurance in advance of your trip.
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Other

Choosing a section

How do I decide which section to walk? Which is the nicest sections?

On the main holiday page you can choose a trip according to the destinations, theme, difficulty, category or duration. Information on each route and section gives you an overview of the landscape and walking grade to expect. We are also happy to assist you in choosing the right section for you.


General Queries

What to bring

What should I bring with me?

There is a list of what to bring here.

When to go

When is the best month or time of year to do the Camino?

The time of year will depend on which route and section you are doing. If you are doing any of the final routes that finish in Santiago de Compostela, the most popular and pleasant months are April-June and September. July and August can be a little hotter but are still very popular months. The north of Spain would not usually experience the extreme temperatures that the south can experience. From the end of October to March temperatures can be cool and there is a greater chance of rain in Galicia. In winter months there may be snow but mostly just in mountainous areas. If you are doing a more southerly section of Via de la Plata summer months can be very hot. If you would like more information, please ask us and also consult the temperature and precipitation charts on each trip description.

Weather

What will the weather be like?

Please refer to the particular trip section on our website for graphs showing temperatures and rainfall throughout the year.

Which section to walk

Which section is the best to walk?

All sections offer something to the walker, be it scenery, history or different walking levels. It is best to read the trip description to help you decide which section appeals to you most. Your decision will also be influenced by the walking grade. You will see that each section is graded with three coloured boots. Please see the explanation of walking grades here.

General

Can I book as a single guest?

Yes, you can book as a single guest. There is a single room or solo departure fee for solo travelers, depending on the section.

Will I be alone or with others?

On the self-guided walk you are not booked with other people but you are likely to see lots of other people along the way. On guided tours you will be booked as part of a group.

Do I need to speak Spanish/French/Portuguese?

It is advisable to learn some basic phrases. Generally hotel staff will speak some English but it may be limited. There are some key phrases in the walking notes we provide.

What airport should I fly to/from?

Please refer to the ‘Access’ tab on your trip section to find out about the best airports to fly to/from and how to get to the starting point of your holiday.

If I am injured or too tired to walk/cycle one day what should I do?

If you are tired or injured or feel that a particular day is too long for you, ask your hotel or tourist office about local bus/train services or taxis between towns. It is also advisable to ask your hotel for the number of a local taxi driver in case you need to stop during the day.

How to get there

Please refer to the ‘Access’ tab on your trip section to find out about the best airports to fly to/from and how to get to the starting point of your holiday.
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Guided vs. Self-guided

What is a guided tour?

On a guided holiday you will be booked as part of an organised group starting on a set date, which we have scheduled in advance. There will be a guide with your group each day. Accommodation, meals and luggage transfers are the same on both guided and self-guided walks. You can join a group as a solo walker or you can book with other people.
If you have your own pre-formed group of 6 or more people we may be able to organise a private guided walk for you for any date.

What is a self-guided tour?

On a self-guided holiday you will not be part of an organised group. Start dates are flexible so you can choose your own date to book. You will not have a guide with you. Accommodation, meals and luggage transfers are the same on both guided and self-guided walks.

What is the difference between a guided and self-guided holiday?

Guided holidays include a guide and are booked for a set date. Self-guided holidays do not include a guide, you can go alone or with others and the start date is entirely flexible. Accommodation, meals and luggage transfer services are the same on both guided and self-guided holidays.
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See what our customers say…

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    • Thank you for a really great “adventure” in Catalonia last week. Your conscientious planning and care made our holiday a challenge that was so rewarding. We have travelled throughout North West, Mid and Southern Spain but the areas of Catalonia we experienced last week were breathtaking and unforgettable. Thank you so much!


      —Alan & Joy Griffiths

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    • Your efforts in planning every aspect of our cycling tour really made it a perfect week. Our accommodations were great with wonderful rooms and delicious breakfasts. The full-suspension mountain bikes (equipped with a Garmin GPS) were perfect for the terrain that we covered and your attention to detail on the directions, along with pictures at […]


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    • Most memorable? The unexpected; walks, scenery, accommodation & food. Different & varied every day… Steve has thought of everything & is willing to help out in any way possible. He met us personally on arrival and his welcome meeting was really useful. The walking route instructions made it impossible to get lost.


      —Andrew Taylor

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    • Tremendous. We have many wonderful memories and photos.The walks began at an easy pace and became more challenging and always there were wonderful views.


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    • We had the most enjoyable walking holiday from start to finish – our first abroad. We were a little apprehensive before we started but this soon disappeared. Your attention to detail was excellent, the accommodation and food wonderful, and the walks each day very interesting and varied.


      —Jean Warzeski

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    • Thanks for a brilliant week! The 6 day coast walk is an excellent choice for anyone who likes a mix of great walks (the coast to Cadaques & the last one over the ridge via castle & monastery were my favourites) in stunning scenery, with loads of interest en route- archaeology, charming medieval & seaside […]


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    • A fantastic holiday, great break for us both as the time spend on the bikes meant the blackbery had to be packed away. The area is great for cycling, not too challenging for the more leisurely cyclist, but with enough lumps & bumps to get the heart rate going at times for those wanting a […]


      —Anna Ramsden

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    • Really wonderful! It exceeded my expectations. Steve could not have been more helpful in coordinating and supporting us in this holiday. We loved the places we stayed, enjoyed the people and small towns. The food was excellent. The hikes we great. I felt like we really got to see the country and small communities.


      —Charlotte Ballenger

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    • This was a holiday to remember. A self guided walk offering better support and more value than the competition. The notes and directions left no room for argument and for a long standing couple in their sixties this was some achievement. The cliff top walks were stunningly beautiful to a degree that conquered vertigo but […]


      —Ian and Lesley Carleton

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    • Thanks again for a truly great holiday. We think its a wonderful format that you have created. It’s hard to believe that we did so much and saw so many places in just one week. It just wouldn’t be feasible, to try and do it yourselves.


      —Mark & Kate Payne

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    • Thanks again for making our first venture into self guided walking holidays a true success. Your attention to detail was very reassuring and we very much enjoyed the variety of both the walking & the accommodation, a surprise each day! This will be the first of many such holidays but a hard act to follow.


      —Ann Taylor

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    • This was the first organised walking holiday we have done and we enjoyed it immensely. The detailed guidance provided to ensure we could not lose our way was great.


      —Ian Carleton

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Featured holiday...


Featured Walking Holidays We are now offering a self guided walking holiday in the Vall de Nuria in the high Pyrenees. Click here for details!   

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