The Corliss Group World Travelers: How to do the Camino de Santiago walk
Ask the experts: Annie Bennett, our Spain expert, advises a reader who wants to walk part of the pilgrim's path to Santiago de Compostela.
Patsy Lees writes
A friend and I would like to walk part of the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela, in June, but only have about five days free. The tour companies I have seen all seem to do longer tours. We are happy to make our own arrangements but are not sure where to start.
Annie Bennett, Spain expert, replies
Lots of people opt to do the pilgrimage in stages these days. The Confraternity of St James (csj.org.uk) should be your first port of call for general information. Have a look at the Spanish (spain.info) and Galician (turgalicia.es) tourist office websites too.
Tour operators that organise self-guided trips include Camino Ways (caminoways.com), which offers a six-night holiday covering the last stretch of the most popular route, the Camino Francés, from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela – around 70 miles. Prices start at about £400 without flights, staying in family-run guesthouses or cottages, including breakfast and dinner, luggage transfers and walking notes.
Bear in mind that there are several lesser-known, shorter routes too. Macs Adventure (macsadventure.com/camino-tours) can arrange a five-night walk covering the Camino Finisterre, where you actually start in Santiago de Compostela and walk to Finisterre on the Atlantic coast, a distance of around 5 miles, stopping off at fabulous beaches. This costs from £285 without flights, staying in simple rural hotels. Luggage transfer is £150 extra.