Based in Spain since 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting ready for a vacation shouldn’t be work! Click below for the answers to some frequently asked questions. We’ve provided answers to general FAQs for our Guided and Self-Guided Tours and gathered the FAQs specifc to each of the tours that we offer. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Before You Go / Preparing 

How do I purchase travel insurance? 

In accordance with Spanish law and for the duration of your tour with Fresco Tours, you are covered by a basic insurance provided by Intermundial.  We  strongly advice the purchase of a more comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation / interruption. We suggest using TravelInsurance.com, which allows you to compare and assess top insurance provider policies and their different coverage plans.

Do you recommend walking poles? 

Walking sticks are a very personal matter – some people love them, and some people hate them. Trekking poles may enhance your overall stability and provide support regardless of the terrain. If you have problems with your knees or ankles, they can be very helpful, especially on the downhills. You can either bring them with you or purchase them when you arrive in Spain.  

Where can I purchase a SIM card?  

You can purchase a SIM card at the airport when you arrive or at any local Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, etc. stores that you come across. There are also e-Sim apps that you can download to your phone before traveling. Assuming you are taking your smart phone with you and that it is unlocked, a local SIM card (prepaid) is your cheapest option. REMINDER: Make sure that your phone is unlocked so it will accept another provider’s local SIM card and that your contacts are stored on the phone instead of on your own SIM card. 

What do I do if I need to bring an additional piece of luggage? 

We ask that our guided tour clients follow the weight/size requirements for their luggage as there is limited space on the bus. If you have an extra bag, please try to keep your Camino items in one bag and other items you will NOT need during the Camino in a separate bag, as this may allow us to keep the extra bag on the bus until you reach Santiago.

On the Road 

How can we sleep in the same hotel for 2 nights in a row while still walking a linear trail? 

Since the distances that we walk during the day on our Guided Tours can be covered quickly in the van, we take advantage of this and stay in the same hotel for 2 nights on multiple occasions. Our walk always starts at the point where we finished the previous day to maintain our continuity along the trail. We believe that the time (and energy) saved packing and unpacking everyday makes these shuttles a great convenience for everyone.  

What do I do if I get tired along the way? 

Our guided tours have a support vehicle to assist along the trail. Every evening, your Fresco Tours guides will go over the itinerary for the next day, explaining the map and the scheduled check points with the support vehicle. This provides the ability to walk portions of the trail and stop if you get fatigued along the way. At the check points the support vehicle will be available to transport you to the nearest location where you can relax while the rest of the group finishes the day’s stage. 

Will I be able to get water along the trail? 

Yes, you will be able to get water all along the Camino. There are public fountains in many towns and villages, usually in the main square, where walkers can fill their packs or bottles. However, beware that some fountains may have signs that read “No Potable.” This is usually because the fountain has not been tested and/or may also be used by animals. While the tap water is perfectly safe to drink, everyone’s system is different and some people take longer to adapt to the local bacteria, so you may prefer to drink bottled water to err on the side of caution. You don’t need to carry large amounts of water with you as you will have the opportunity to refill your bottle/camel pack at lunch time and at checkpoints. You can also fill up before beginning the walk each morning. That being said, remember to drink early and often – hydration is key! 

Will I have access to WiFi while walking? 

Yes, but you will be walking in rural areas so the service may be a bit difficult or slow in certain locations. Nonetheless, many cafes along the way also offer Wi-Fi so you’ll have several opportunities to be online. Finally, remember that one of the greatest joys of the Camino is cultivating the ability to disconnect and enjoy your immediate surroundings!

What if I get sick on the trail?  

There are health centers located in the main towns along the Camino, some of them offering 24-hour service. Please make sure to have your health or trip insurance information with you, as well as your passport. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances and/or please make sure that your health insurance offers you coverage when traveling overseas. If you are interested in travel insurance, we like TravelInsurance.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top Insurance Providers.

How do I get Euros along the Camino? 

The best way is to use ATMs. Before you leave, talk to your bank and make sure that you have the correct PIN and inform them that you will be traveling to Spain, so your account is not frozen after 1 transaction. Changing US dollars in small towns along the trail is very difficult as fewer places, including banks, offer this service.

Are there hair dryers and toiletries at the hotels? 

Yes, the hotels will provide shampoo, soap and hair dryers. If not available in your room, please request at the front desk. 

Getting There & Back 

Will Fresco Tours help me with pre and post tour travel plans? 

We understand that traveling to a foreign country can be daunting. Once you register for one of our tours, the Fresco Tours office staff will contact you to assist with any hotel, travel, and other arrangements that you might need prior to or after your Fresco Tour. As local experts we can provide tips, advice, and guidance for your journey in our home before you even begin your travels! 

How do I get to and from the Airport? 

The national organization of airports in Spain (AENA) has a great website that explains how to get to and from the airport in the major city of your choice. It also has information regarding the routes serviced, the corresponding airlines, terminal information, and much more. You may have to re-click the “English” tab at the top once you have chosen your airport. 

The national organization of airports in Portugal (ANA) has a great website that explains how to get to and from the major city for your airport of choice, whether Lisbon or Porto. It also has information regarding the routes serviced, the corresponding airlines, terminal information, transportation options and more.

How can I purchase my bus or train tickets beforehand?

The RENFE website can be a bit temperamental. Therefore, we recommend Omio for purchasing tickets. Omio is a travel booking platform with more than 1,000 trusted partners across trains, buses, and airport transfers. Search, compare and book all in one place so you can focus on the journey.

 Keep in mind, the sale of train tickets depends on RENFE’s scheduling and some routes cannot be purchased until approximately 30 to 60 days prior to departure – please be patient. Schedules and availability are also subject to change based on train maintenance needs.

Can I rent a car in Spain? 

Yes, you certainly can. It is necessary that you bring along a valid driver’s license and an International Driver’s License, which you can purchase at AAA (USA travelers) or in Canada, visit any CAA location. For other countries, please check with your automobile association offices. 

Miscellaneous 

Why Fresco Tours? 

Based in Spain since 2006 we are proud to be experts on the trails of Spain and Portugal. At Fresco Tours we develop our routes from our backyard with our firsthand knowledge of the land and the people, providing unique expertise, authenticity, and availability for your visit. We can’t wait to take you off-the-beaten path and introduce you to our friends and favorite spots. Our guided tours offer the balanced Pampered Pilgrim experience with organized meals, van support, gourmet picnics, knowledgeable guides, and more, so you can enjoy the Camino de Santiago in its full glory! 

Where do Fresco Tour clients come from? 

We are very fortunate to have had clients join us from around the world giving us a wonderful mix of diversity. The internet allows us access to the world, and since 2006 we have had travelers from the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, the United Kingdom (England & Scotland), Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, India, South Africa, Namibia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Egypt! It truly is a small world after all!

FAQs for Specific Tours

Camino de Santiago Tour

Our flagship journey where the idea for Fresco Tours was born in 1999! Join us and enjoy all the comforts of a Fresco Tours full-service tour: expert guides, support vehicle, fabulous accommodations and savory gourmet picnic lunches!

A Kinder (Gentler) Camino Tour

Similar to our standard full-service Camino de Santiago, our Kinder (Gentler) Camino means shorter days with all the full features of a Fresco Tour! As we will cover the last 112 km, A Kinder Camino also allows you to request the Compostela certificate in the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago.

Camino del Norte Tour: Basque in the Glory

Over 1,000 years ago, the original Way to Santiago wove along the Northern Coast, passing through the fabled Basque Country. Come with us and discover this mysterious corner of the Iberian Peninsula known for its proud people and marked contrasts. Enjoy views of the sea to our right and the foothills of the Pyrenees to our left!

Camino Horizons Tour

We understand that walking the entire 500-mile distance of the Camino de Santiago may not be feasible for everyone due to time constraints or physical limitations. That's why we have designed a special tour that allows you to experience the major cultural highlights of the Camino while traveling comfortably by private bus. You will also have the opportunity to walk some of the more scenic sections on the Camino, followed up by one of our famous gourmet picnics.

Camino of Gran Canary Island Tour

Spain's Canary Islands are famous for their beaches, palm trees, and volcanoes, but perhaps lesser known, is the officially recognized Camino de Santiago! On this new Fresco Tours adventure, we lace up our boots and leaving the southern sand dunes, we head north through stunning volcanic landscapes, pine forests and small oases as we cross the island of Gran Canary following our good friends, the yellow arrow and Fresco Tours!

Camino Portugués Tour

Join us as we adjust our compass to North as we head to Santiago de Compostela starting from Portugal. Our neighbors to the south are closely tied to Galicia and we will get a better feel for them as we cross through their lush countryside and quiet villages.

A Kinder (Gentler) Camino Portugués Tour

The Kinder (Gentler) Portugués is the option for those looking for less mileage per day. With our good friend, the yellow arrow, we cross over the River Miño and enter into Spain from Portugal.

Chapter 1 : “The Beginning” Tour

All good endings start with a great beginning! We start our Camino at the border of Spain in the Pyrenees. On this journey, we come down from Roncesvalles into Hemingway’s Pamplona, stroll through the vineyards of La Rioja, and pass through hilltop villages connected by Roman Roads.

Chapter 2 – Burgos and Beyond

Our epic journey began with a Pilgrims’ blessing in the foothills of the Pyrenees at Roncesvalles. After working our way through Pamplona, the capital of Navarra, we crossed over Roman bridges and acres of vineyards to arrive in Logroño. Our journey following the Milky Way continues as we start Chapter 2 and enter into Castilla y León!

Before You Go / Preparing 

How do I purchase travel insurance? 

We strongly recommend the purchase of premium travel and personal insurance with trip cancellation, interruption insurance and extra coverage. We like TravelInsurance.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top insurance providers to evaluate different coverage plans. 

Do you recommend walking poles? 

Walking sticks are a very personal matter – some people love them, and some people hate them. Trekking poles may enhance your overall stability and provide support regardless of the terrain. If you have problems with your knees or ankles, they can be very helpful, especially on the downhills. You can either bring them with you or purchase them when you arrive in Spain.  

Where can I purchase a SIM card?  

You can purchase a SIM card at the airport when you arrive or at any local Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, etc. stores that you come across. There are also e-Sim apps that you can download to your phone before traveling. Assuming you are taking your smart phone with you and that it is unlocked, a local SIM card (prepaid) is your cheapest option. REMINDER: Make sure that your phone is unlocked so it will accept another provider’s local SIM card and that your contacts are stored on the phone instead of on your own SIM card. 

What do I do if I need to bring an additional piece of luggage? 

As soon as you determine that you need to bring additional luggage, please contact your Fresco Tours Client Service Manager via email and they will send you a link to make the payment for the additional bag. You can have your additional bag transported daily or sent directly to your hotel in Santiago, so please specify which service you will need. At the Orientation Meeting, you will be provided with an extra tag for your second bag. Also, please be sure that your bag is not over 45 lbs/20 kg; otherwise, the luggage transport company will charge you extra. 

On the Road 

Will I be able to get water along the trail? 

Yes, you will be able to get water all along the Camino. There are public fountains in many towns and villages, usually in the main square, where walkers can fill their packs or bottles. However, beware that some fountains may have signs that read “No Potable.” This is usually because the fountain has not been tested and/or may also be used by animals. While the tap water is perfectly safe to drink, everyone’s system is different and some people take longer to adapt to the local bacteria, so you may prefer to drink bottled water to err on the side of caution. You don’t need to carry large amounts of water with you as you will have the opportunity to refill your bottle/camel pack at lunchtime and at checkpoints. You can also fill up before beginning the walk each morning. That being said, remember to drink early and often – hydration is key!  

Will I be able to do laundry on the trail?  

Some hotels will have the capability to do laundry on the premises or you can use local laundromats. Our Fresco Tours maps indicate the laundromats at each stage to make it easy for you to find while on the trail. We also recommend that you bring quick-drying clothes that you can handwash and dry overnight at the hotel if all else fails! 

Will I have access to WiFi while walking? 

Yes, but you will be walking in rural areas so the service may be a bit difficult or slow in certain locations. Nonetheless, many cafes along the way also offer Wi-Fi so you’ll have several opportunities to be online. Finally, remember that one of the greatest joys of the Camino is cultivating the ability to disconnect and enjoy your immediate surroundings! 

How much should I budget to hike the Camino? 

Most pilgrim budgets fall in the $30-60 (€25-50) per day range.  Please keep in mind that there are ATMs in the towns where you will be stopping at the end of your day and you will not need to carry large sums of money with you. You will also be able to use credit and debit cards as well as Apple or Google Pay at most establishments. Nonetheless, you should always have some cash on you in case your card does not work for any reason. 

How do I get Euros along the Camino? 

The best way is to use ATMs. Before you leave, talk to your bank and make sure that you have the correct PIN and inform them that you will be traveling to Spain, so your account is not frozen after 1 transaction. Changing US dollars in small towns along the trail is very difficult as fewer places, including banks, offer this service. 

What if I get tired along the way or am unable to walk the scheduled daily kilometers? 

We will provide you with daily maps of your walk with a list of taxi phone numbers in case you need a lift to your hotel. These maps also include the elevation gain and loss along the stage, the address and a detailed map of where your hotel is located, the nearest pharmacies and health centers, and our favorite restaurant recommendations along the trail if you need to anything while walking. 

What if I get sick on the Camino?  

There are health centers located in the main towns along the Camino, some of them offering 24-hour service. Please make sure to have your health or trip insurance information with you, as well as your passport. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances and/or please make sure that your health insurance offers you coverage when traveling overseas. If you are interested in travel insurance, we like TravelInsurance.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top Insurance Providers. 

What happens if my luggage tag falls off my bag? 

Please follow your guide’s instructions regarding how to attach the tags to your bag. However, if a tag becomes detached in transit, please contact us and we will send a new tag to the hotel for printing. You will have to place it on your suitcase as securely as possible so that your luggage is easily identified as part of the Fresco Tours group. 

Are there hair dryers and toiletries at the hotels? 

Yes, the hotels will provide shampoo, soap and hair dryers. If not available in your room, please request at the front desk. 

How do I receive my Compostela certificate? 

The Pilgrim’s Office has now implemented an online reservation form that you can fill out up to 3 weeks before you begin your walk to request both the Compostela and Distance Certificate Upon arrival to Santiago, head to the Pilgrim’s Reception Office. Have your stamped Pilgrim Passport and a form of personal ID (passport or driver’s license) on hand to expedite the process.  At the office they will provide a locator number which they will use to identify you in order to administer your certificate. You will be able to monitor this progress through a QR code that they provide, and you will be able to receive your Compostela smoothly. To read more about this process visit our instructions here. 

Getting There & Back 

Will Fresco Tours help me with pre and post tour travel plans? 

We understand that traveling to a foreign country can be daunting. Once you register for one of our tours, the Fresco Tours office staff will contact you to assist with any hotel, travel, and other arrangements that you might need prior to or after your Fresco Tour. As local experts we can provide tips, advice, and guidance for your journey in our home before you even begin your travels! 

How do I get to and from the Airport? 

The national organization of airports in Spain (AENA) has a great website that explains how to get to and from the airport in the major city of your choice. It also has information regarding the routes serviced, the corresponding airlines, terminal information, and much more. You may have to re-click the “English” tab at the top once you have chosen your airport.

The national organization of airports in Portugal (ANA) has a great website that explains how to get to and from the major city for your airport of choice, whether Lisbon or Porto. It also has information regarding the routes serviced, the corresponding airlines, terminal information, transportation options and more. 

How can I purchase my bus or train tickets beforehand?

We recommend the Omio website for purchasing tickets. Omio is a travel booking platform with more than 1,000 trusted partners across trains, buses and airport transfers. Search, compare and book all in one place so you can focus on the journey.

 

Keep in mind that train tickets cannot be purchased until 60 days prior to departure. Schedules and availability are subject to change based on train maintenance needs.

Can I rent a car in Spain? 

Yes, you certainly can. It is necessary that you bring along a valid driver’s license and an International Driver’s License, which you can purchase at AAA (USA travelers) or in Canada, visit any CAA location. For other countries, please check with your automobile association offices. 

Miscellaneous 

Why Fresco Tours? 

Based in Spain since 2006 we are proud to be experts on the trails of Spain and Portugal. At Fresco Tours we develop our routes from our backyard with our firsthand knowledge of the land and the people, providing unique expertise, authenticity, and availability for your visit. We can’t wait to introduce you to our friends and favorite spots. Our Self-Guided Tours offer the perfect balanced experience for hikers who want to be more independent while still having the support of organized hotel arrangements, luggage transport, and personal expertise available to allow you to experience the Camino de Santiago in its full glory! 

Where do Fresco Tour clients come from? 

We are very fortunate to have had clients join us from around the world giving us a wonderful mix of diversity. The internet allows us access to the world, and since 2006 we have had travelers from the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, the United Kingdom (England & Scotland), Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, India, South Africa, Namibia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Egypt! It truly is a small world after all! 

FAQs for Specific Tours

A Fresco Start Camino Portugués Tour

On this walk, you'll cover the last 118 km to Santiago. You begin your journey from the town of Tui (Spain), which sits on the banks of the River Miño and has wonderful views of it’s neighbors across the way in Portugal.

A Fresco Start 200 km Tour

For the more hearty souls, the A Fresco Start 200 km walk begins from the Knights Templar town of Ponferrada and takes us along the mountain pass that has been used for the past millennium by pilgrims to enter the northwest corner of Spain - welcome to Galicia!

A Fresco Start 115 km Tour

Starting from Sarria, you will cover the last 115 km of the Camino on foot, which will allow you to request de Compostela certificate in Santiago. Sarria is a market town that has all the conveniences for you to begin your journey!

A Fresco Start Camino Portugués Coastal Tour

Stretch out your legs a bit more in Northern Portugal and follow the yellow arrows along the Atlantic Coast on this 15-day adventure! Feel the sea breeze in your face while you make your way to Santiago de Compostela.

A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour

Chapter 1 – The Beginning! Some of you have been to Santiago and even Finisterre, but would you like to see the starting point? Come with us as we take you to the launch pad of the Camino de Santiago, Roncesvalles and the Pyrenees.