Individualized pilgrim accompaniment

Having a companion who is familiar with the area and psychologically trained can be beneficial for anyone who genuinely wishes to go on a pilgrimage but lacks someone to accompany them, yet for various reasons, cannot or do not wish to go alone.

Nicoletta on the Camino
Camino with a dog Support

For instance, if you're considering going on a pilgrimage with your dog or your baby/toddler but are hesitant because you don't always have a reliable and helpful person nearby to assist when needed.

In Spanish bars, dogs are usually not permitted inside. So, if you need to make a quick stop, your dog would have to wait outside. If you're planning to pilgrimage with a stroller, you'll frequently require assistance to navigate obstacles.

You may also require a pilgrim companion if you have physical limitations that necessitate the help of others.

Similarly, if you're grappling with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and embarking on a Camino journey alone feels daunting, even though your intuition tells you it's the right path.

I'm accessible round the clock and ready to assist whenever you need me.

Support for people with anxiety disorders & more

Guided Camino with Anxiety

“Grabbing your backpack, simply setting off, and letting things happen" is often a well-meaning advice given when anxious individuals turn to forums or Facebook groups.

While this advice is kindly meant, it can backfire because for individuals dealing with depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, or flashbacks due to (C)PTSD, it's not as simple. To grow on a Camino journey, they need to feel as safe as possible and have as many safety nets as possible.

I provide digital support and personal guidance to individuals facing these challenges.

While I'm not a psychologist or therapist, I have training as a psychological counselor, for helplines, and as a Mental Health First Aid Coach. I know that panic attacks are often not visible by someone screaming and running away, but rather by them becoming silent and motionless. And I also know what can help stop them.

Often, a full Camino journey isn't necessary; sometimes, just accompanying you for the first week and gradually releasing you onto your solo journey is sufficient.

Sometimes, just three days are enough because you only need support to get started.

And because it's impossible to predict how it will be to be physically on the Camino, I offer flexible solutions for that as well. You can keep me around as long as you need, and send me home when you feel confident enough to continue alone.

Accompaniment for people with physical disabilities

Guided Camino with Disability

Sometimes life has other plans…

But that doesn't mean you should stop living and pursuing your dreams; it usually just means that reaching your destination might be a bit more complicated.

It might mean that you can only walk 10km a day and don't have the same daily goals as other pilgrims. Or in some cases, it means that you need assistance for your Camino journey.

I'll join you on your Camino journey and provide support where you need it. For example, you can sit on the Plaza at the end of the day with a cold beer while I explain to the Spanish receptionist what an accessible hotel room is.

Or if your back doesn't even allow you to carry luggage down the stairs and normal luggage transport isn't sufficient. Then you need someone to carry your groceries or simply prepare your suitcase at the reception.

I'm not medically trained in any way and I don't undertake nursing tasks. But I'll accompany you and provide the support that I, as a layperson, can offer.

Pilgrim Guide Services

Guided Camino for groups

Camino Group Guiding Services

I also accompany (small) groups on their Camino journey. My role can vary greatly depending on the circumstances.

If it's a trip organized by a social club, my main task is to find suitable bars for lunch breaks or to guide participants to the train station if they want to shorten the stage. Or to organize a new charging cable if Greta left hers in the last accommodation. And of course, to answer any questions that arise.

But I can also serve as a local contact person for a group that doesn't want to book an organized trip because they prefer to stay among themselves – this usually applies to support groups or groups from therapeutic facilities.

I am on-site as close or as far as desired. I know the Camino routes and the accommodation places very well and can therefore excellently organize what is needed spontaneously.

Prices for Camino accompaniment

In contrast to digital support, I cannot provide fixed prices in advance for in-person pilgrim guidance because there are several factors that influence the price:

  • The Portuguese Camino is cheaper than the French one because the costs and effort for my travel to and from my home in Porto are lower.
  • Accommodation costs are higher in August than in March, so the time of year plays a role.
  • The level of support required is also a factor: do you need me from sunrise to bedtime, or is it sufficient for me to be with you while walking?

3 Day pilgrimage from Porto

I'm offering you a fixed-price package, regardless of the factors mentioned above. Here's what's included:

  • Your first evening in Porto: we'll dine together at the Portuguese restaurant in Via Caterina.
  • I'll accompany you on the first three stages, whether you choose the inland route or the coastal route, and regardless of whether your stages are only 15km or 30km (I can't do more than that :))
  • Until I return on the evening of Stage 3, I'll always be nearby. After that, I'll still be available to you via smartphone!

The package, including dinner and 3 stages of exclusive pilgrimage guidance, costs €960, including my expenses.

The small print

Our pilgrimage experience is enhanced when there's good rapport among companions, especially considering our shared close quarters. That's why we arrange a preliminary meeting before confirming bookings, ensuring compatibility.

In the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent me from starting the journey, such as illness, you have two options: you can journey with my lovely colleague Ralph, or I'll promptly refund your payment for my companionship.