Here you will find answers to typical questions about my offered travel advice for pilgrimages to Portugal and Spain.
You can find a lot of information about the pilgrimage in the blog – and if the answer is not there, just write me an email to email@example.com.
What exactly do I get when I book your consultation?
If you don't know yet which way you want to go, the first thing we will do is to find the right way for you.
We talk not only about your fitness, but also about your motivation behind the way, about possible restrictions and about your wishes regarding the places to stay overnight, because the evening after the walk is also part of the pilgrimage experience.
I then plan the stages as I see fit for you and your wishes and needs.
I know the path, I know which sections are strenuous and I know which places along the way are particularly worth seeing. And also which sections you should skip, if you do not have the time or leisure to walk every kilometer of the way.
I look for good accommodations for you. As cheap or comfortable as it suits you and as central or quiet as it is most pleasant for you.
I do not simply look in the hotel directory of the tourist office, but combine (if available) my own experience with the reviews of the major booking sites.
In your pilgrimage guide you will always find a recommendation that suits you as well as possible, together with two alternative options, directly provided with a booking link.
Whether you book all accommodations in advance or only at short notice on the road, so that you remain more flexible, is up to you.
Your individual pilgrimage guide is designed so that you can concentrate only on walking on site.
It is so detailed that you can orientate yourself and of course always gives information, should there be a badly marked fork in the road.
You will find descriptions of what your stage has in store for you and when, you will also find information about where you can stop for lunch along the way or where you can get new water so that you don’t have to carry too much around with you. And since *your* exact stage is always described, you don’t have to convert or transfer anything.
I try to give you all the information that you otherwise have to get on the spot. For example, where the metro leaves from the airport and which ticket is the most suitable.
Your pilgrimage guide comes as a PDF oder E-Book, so you don’t have to carry a book with you, but have it on your phone. If you would like to have it on paper, I’ll be happy to give you a printable version as well.
I try to keep this information as up to date as possible, but I am neither omnipotent nor omniscient, so you can’t trust it blindly and have to check it yourself on site. Nevertheless, it saves you time and nerves on site if you arrive with information that is at least probably correct.
My advice does not end with the travel planning, I am also during your pilgrimage vacation digitally at your side.
You can write to me in the evening and tell me about your day if you feel like it. If you get lost, I can help you get back on track. If your plans change, I'll reschedule for you. If you fall into a crisis of meaning, I will try to help you out of it.
I know the way very well, I have a list of cab numbers of different regions, I have an overview of bus and train connections and I am pretty good at improvising and finding solutions.
In addition, I am currently in training to become a psychological counselor. This is not therapy, but coaching and can help very well when it's not about curing mental illnesses, but about sorting out the chaos in your head or uncovering new perspectives. Also I did a workshop for “mental health first aid" to be a good first contact also for people with anxiety disorders, depression or PTSD.
Note: I run this pilgrimage vacation service alone. This also means that I cannot always be available. I can usually be reached between 10am and 11pm, but I can't guarantee to respond promptly, so this service is not an official part of my travel advice service.
However, in case I am not available, you will receive a non-personalized emergency package with information on cab numbers, Google Maps maps with the route marked and contact details of possible other points of contact.
When your pilgrimage planned by me is over, is the time to consider, how much you want to pay me for my service, what you personally think is appropriate.
Since I invest in each planning not only a lot of love, but also many hours of work, I have to take a deposit of 50€ to prevent abuse.
But if you decide that 0€ is reasonable, I will refund your deposit in full, without discussion.
The “pay what you want" principle is based on the fact that the provider trusts in the goodness of people and assumes that the recipient will pay him appropriately, without having to dictate rigid prices.
This concept is incredibly fair and I like it so much that I'm using it for my work, even though I don't know for sure yet if I'll be able to pay my rent with it in the long run. But I want to give it a try.
Not all of them but for all the standard cases. By filling in the form you are asking me to plan your trip. In probably 90% of the cases I will tell you that we can work with the “pay what you want” principal.
If I have to put too much effort into the planning of your trip then unfortunately we will have to discuss prices beforehand. This could happen under the following conditions:
- You are more than two people travelling
- Your pilgrimage should be longer than 21 days
- You have strong physical disabilities or you are travelling with child/children or dog/dogs, so I have to take care and consider multiple things
If not asked for anything specifically, I will search for the most affordable accommodation for you. But only if it is enjoyable. If I have tested a 25€ room before and I did not feel comfortable in it, then I won’t recommend it to you just because it was cheap. I want my customers to feel comfortable during their pilgrimage experience.
A single room, including your own bathroom usually costs between 23€ and 43€ on the portuguese way, along the french way it costs usually between 32€ and 45€. A double room with your own bathroom stands in between 35€ and 55€ on both ways.
These numbers are from what I have experienced myself so far. Of course they differ and can be higher when you plan your trip spontaneously or travel in the main season. However, they are realistic numbers to calculate with and meet the amounts I have paid so far.
What you get for your money varies. A single room for 25€ with own bathroom, usually does not have a modern interior and room service or a flat screen TV can’t be expected. The accommodations are usually more simple but clean and central. Every now and then we will find a treasure where we would have thought it would cost double the amount.
Following are some examples:
Santiago, double room single use with private bath, 33€, booked in october 2019
Mazaricos, Apartement, incl. transfer to the way, 25€ booked in October 2019
Tuy, Double room single use with private bath outside the room 35€, booked in October 2019
Lisbon, Double room single use with private bath, 25€ booked in April 2018
Caldas de Reis, Double room single use, shared bathroom with one other room, 22,50€ booked in October 2019
Fisterra, single room with private bath, 28€ booked in October 2019
Tomar, double room single use with private bath, 25€ booked in april 2018
Valenca, Ddouble room single use with private bath, 22,50€ in may 2018
Yes! I can still plan your trip if you want to stay in a pilgrim hostel. However, you cannot find them everywhere, specially on the camino portugues costal way there are not so many. Therefore, we would have to partly plan very long stages of hiking or we have to include some private accommodations in between the pilgrim hostels.
My website mostly focuses on hotel pilgrims, which can still include dorm rooms if wanted. Hostel pilgrims however are maybe served better with the uncountable printed Pilgrim guides.
The following trips have happened before, were free of dorm rooms and hostels and instead took place in nice hotels, including breakfast most of the times.
28.02. – 06.03.2019, 2 persons in double room
1 week (5 running days plus 2 nights in Porto)
Hotel costs 141,50€ p.p.
01.11. – 10.11.19, 2 persons in double room
10 days (7 running days plus 3 nights in Porto)
Hotel costs 210€ p.p.
02.10. – 14.10.19, 1 person in single room
12 days (10 running days plus one night in Tuy and one in Porto)
Hotel costs 334€
21.04. – 14.05.2018, 1 person in single room
3,5 weeks ( 21 running days plus 3 nights in Santarem, Coimbra and Porto)
Hotel costs 740€
Yes, that is also possible.
Of course we have to arrange us well, so that I am available to help you.
You send me a message every time you stop walking for this day and I will start my work and send you the informations and (hotel-) options for the next day.
This gives you maximum flexibility.
Just send me an e-mail!
Of course! It is just a little bit more complicated and in both cases works better if you are at least two people taking care.
If you want travel advice on making a pilgrimage with a child or a dog then feel free to send me an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more than enough information about Churches, Chapels and Services in existing Pilgrimage guides. If the opportunity comes up, I will try to find someone to work with in the future who has knowledge about these things to fill in that gap. But I personally am not qualified to do so.
1. Because I only hiked these three paths myself and therefore only offer advice on the paths I know personally
2. Because these paths are the most suitable for beginners and my planning is focused on two groups of people: People who are making a pilgrimage for the first time and people who don’t have enough time to prepare for it.
Most importantly, for people who make a pilgrimage for the first time, it works well to walk a path that does not expect too much of you. Don´t get me wrong – it is an exhausting adventure, also on these ways, but much easier than e.g. the “camino del norte" or the “camino primitivo".
The french way of St James needs around five or six weeks.
From Lisbon to Santiago you can count on four weeks if you don’t take any shortcuts in between. That would still be very fast and not including many rest days.
From Porto to Santiago you can count on two weeks instead if you’re of average fitness.
The “Camino Fisterra” usually is accomplished within 4 Day-stages.
You obviously never have to walk the entire path and can combine certain passages with one another.