Experience and Expertise
Your two bilingual guides that accompany the tour are either Spanish or live in Spain year round. This is our home and we love to share it with you!
All breakfast, lunches and dinners are included as per the itinerary, where we encourage you to try to local cuisine. Weather permitting; our gourmet picnics showcase the freshest of local flavors.
Charming restored manor homes and 3-4 star hotels that offer the best in hospitality, comfort, and location.
You choose! Walk alone with the assurance that we'll take care of you or enjoy the company of others and your knowledgeable guides.
No need to carry a heavy pack - let us do the lifting while you do the walking.
Expect to have a wonderful time!
We've designed each trip to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Spanish landscape, while giving you a true sense of the soul and magic of these exciting people and their culture. We love to share this magnificent country and want you to feel a part of it - for us it is more than just a trip, it is our home.
Pamplona & RoncesvallesAccommodations: Roncesvalles / Walking: 5 KMs (D)
In the afternoon, we meet the group in Pamplona for a private transfer to the foothills of the Pyrenees. We start our Camino with a walk up and down into Roncesvalles, where we attend a moving Pilgrim's Mass. The blessing at the end is an appropriate way for us to start our journey. Afterwards, we have our first night’s feast - perhaps some trout, like the ones Hemingway used to catch in the local river!
Roncesvalles - LinzoáinAccommodations: Zubiri / Walking: 14 KMs (B, L, D)
Leaving our hotel, we follow the yellow arrow through pastures and fields that make this part of Basque Navarra so famous for its local fresh produce. We walk by "caserios", giant stone farm houses that have been in the same family for generations and generations. Tradition is the theme here! Our day ends at the town’s "fronton", the court where Basques Pelota is enjoyed by the youngsters!
Linzoáin - ZuriainAccommodations: Pamplona / Walking: 17 KMs (B, L, D)
After a good morning climb and descent, we come across the Gothic bridge known as "La Rabia," which was used by farmers in a ritual to prevent their livestock from developing rabies (rabia) in Zubiri. We continue to Larrasoaña, a town with strong ties to the Camino as it was mentioned in the 12th century Codex Calixtinus, the official Camino guide book of the time! Keep an eye out for several Jacobean signs and armor shields on the stone buildings.
Zuriain - PamplonaAccommodations: Pamplona / Walking: 12 KMs (B, L)
A lighter day in the boots, we work our way into Pamplona, where we come across the 15th century Cathedral of Santa María la Real, with its beautiful cloisters and interesting façade. Pamplona’s patron saint is San Fermín, and in keeping with tradition, this energetic university city is always filled with tourists and locals, ready to keep the festivities going!
Pamplona - UtergaAccommodations: Pamplona / Walking: 17 KMs (B, L, D)
We leave Pamplona and make our way to Cizur Menor, where we can see the Church of San Miguel Arcángel. To get the blood going, the Camino gives us our first steady climb to the crest of the Alto de Perdón, where we enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys. After coming down the hill, we regroup and return to Pamplona, where we have some time to explore the main square.
Uterga - CirauquiAccommodations: Estella / Walking: 16 KMs (B, L, D)
Our day begins with a special treat as we visit the 12th century Romanesque Church of Santa Maria de Eunate, one of the jewels of the Camino! Was this a stronghold for the Knights Templar? Following the scallop shells, we come to Puente la Reina, named in honor of Doña Mayor, who had the bridge built to make sure pilgrims coming from the French & Aragonés routes, could continue walking safely.
Cirauqui - EstellaAccommodations: Estella / Walking: 14 KMs (B, L, D)
Leaving Cirauqui, we walk through rich agricultural fields of olives, grapes, almonds and fruit trees and will suddenly find ourselves along ancient Roman roads and bridges leading into Lorca. After a few ups and downs, we enter the once magnificent town of Estella, where we still see evidence of its importance in the 11th century as a merchant town. Pilgrims were also greatly respected, and their rights specifically protected in Estella's town charter.
Estella - Los ArcosAccommodations: Viana / Walking: 22 KMs (B, L, D)
Walking out of Estella, we come across the ancient Benedictine Monastery of Irache, where the winery still honors the ancient tradition of providing free wine to pilgrims! Have a sip, but not too much as you still have KM's ahead! The tower of the 12th century Church of San Andrés lets you know you’ve arrived in Villamayor de Monjardín, before continuing on to Los Arcos, whose ancient entrance was known as the Gate of Shells, and was the access point to the Jewish quarter.
Los Arcos - VianaAccommodations: Viana / Walking: 18 KMs (B, L, D)
Our walk today takes us through kilometers and kilometers of vineyards. While in Torres del Río have a look at the Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro, attributed to the Knights Templar, before continuing to Viana. Viana is an energetic town with a lot of Camino history. Take in the sights and enjoy this lovely town.
Viana - LogroñoAccommodations: Logroño / Walking: 9 KMs (B, D)
This morning, we continue on and enter Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, and famous for its superb red wines. As today is a shorter walk, it would only be appropriate to spend the afternoon with a visit to a local bodega and sample some of these fine wines! We finish the evening with a fine meal to finish our first Chapter along the Camino de Santiago!
Tour Ends After breakfast, we wish you well and hope to see you on Chapter 2! (B)
Our greatest resource! We know Spain, because it is our home. Both of your guides are experienced professionals that are either Spanish or live in Spain year round – no hired out summer help! When specified, local art historians will join us to provide further insights of the specific monument / museum that we visit.
* Groups of 3 - 6 pax are accompanied by only 1 guide.
Food speaks volumes about a culture and we love to eat! During our walk days, when possible, we prepare gourmet picnics using the freshest of local ingredients and selecting the tastiest recipes of the region. All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included - minus 1 lunch and 1 dinner where we encourage you to try the local cuisine on your own. We are proud to cater to vegetarians and those with food allergies – milk, egg, wheat, etc.
Fresco Tours selects a combination of 3 & 4-star hotels and restored country manors that offer the best in hospitality, comfort and location. In this area, these are known as caseríos and are very unique and special! All rooms have ensuite baths. Tour prices are based on double occupancy.
Limited Group Sizes
Fresco Tours are in small groups to ensure that you receive the individual attention that you deserve. We want to be able to treat each of our clients with a personal touch and we limit the groups to a maximum of 15 participants. We also recognize that each person’s Camino is their own personal experience and if you wish, we encourage you to walk on your own – with the assurance that we will be there for you!
Your walks will be accompanied by 2 support vehicles (minimum 6 pax) that are there to provide assistance when needed. You will have access to the bus every couple of hours, so you won’t need to carry a heavy backpack. In addition, the possibility of shorter routes and pick-up options will be offered and explained on a daily basis.
All ground transportation between our meeting point in Pamplona and Logroño is provided on your Fresco Tour.
Your luggage will be transported between hotels. You do the walking, we'll do the lifting!
We will help with your travel arrangements prior to and after the tour start and finish of your Fresco Tour, including assistance with hotel reservations and train tickets.
On the Road
What is the weather like on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
The Camino de Santiago covers over 750 KMs of Northern Spain and therefore has very different weather conditions depending on the region.
Fresco Tours Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour covers the first 144 KM's of the Camino Frances. Here we enjoy a more temperate climate than other parts of the Camino de Santiago and in July and August the heat is not overwhelming like it can be on the plains of Castilla y Leon.
For current and average monthly temperatures of Pamplona & Logroño, please click below:
What is a typical day like on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
After breakfast, we lace up and get the blood going with a walk for a couple hours, where we will do a check point to make sure that everything is OK. You then continue along the Camino for another 1-2 hours where you will come across a complete gourmet picnic prepared with the all the freshest local ingredients. On some days, we continue for 1-2 hours more after lunch to burn off dessert.
In the afternoon, we go to our hotels, where we take a shower, siesta and just relax! We finish our day with a glass of tinto and a feast of the local gastronomy. We then retire for the night and get ready to do it again! On some afternoons, we have planned excursions, such as a visit to an ancient monastery or perhaps a massage!
Does the group stop for breaks on the Camino de Santiago Tour?
The great thing about the Camino is that it is very well-marked and we encourage people to walk at a pace that is comfortable for them - this is not a race! We want you to enjoy the route and we also like to stop with our clients for a coffee or cerveza along the way and take everything in!
What is the terrain like on the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour?
On this part of the Camino, the terrain will have some descents and climbs, combined with stretches of flat ground. The trail is a combination of compact dirt and stone footpaths and small country roads.
What is the change in elevation on the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour?
We will be walking from Roncesvalles to Logroño, the first 144 KMs of the Camino de Santiago. For a detailed map of the distances between towns along the Camino and their respective altitudes, please click here. This data has been kindly provided to us by Arturo Murias of: http://www.godesalco.com
How many kilometers are walked each day on the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour?
The amount of KMs scheduled for each day ranges from 14 KMs to 22 KMs. We have designed this tour to allow the possibility to walk the first 144 KMs from Roncesvalles. However, the walks are accompanied by a support vehicle and options for less (or more!) KMs are possible on a daily basis. We can tailor the Camino to suit your needs!
How can we sleep in the same hotel for 2 nights and still walk the first 144 KMs?
Since the distances that we walk during the day on Camino de Santiago Tour 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.
Will I have access to WiFi?
Yes, but you will be walking in some of the most rural parts of Spain 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!
Getting There & Back
How do I get to the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour starting point?
Pamplona (Spain) is the official starting point of the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago tour and can be reached via train, or bus. Traveling from either Madrid or Barcelona, one can choose between the train (RENFE) or the bus (ALSA).
If you need assistance with these travel arrangements, we will be happy to help.
How do I get from Logroño to Madrid and other cities?
Can you help with purchasing online train tickets on the RENFE site?
The RENFE website can be a bit temperamental and is not very user friendly. However, all is not lost! We would be happy to have our local travel agent assist in making those arrangements for you. Keep in mind that train tickets cannot be purchased until 60 days prior to departure. Routes and availability are subject to vary based on maintenance needs.
How do I get from the Madrid Airport to the City Centre?
If your flight flies into Madrid's T-4 (Aeropuerto T-4) terminal, you have a local Cercanias train that will get you from the airport to the Atocha and Chamartín train station in 25-30 minutes. These trains leave the T-4 station more or less every half an hour. For more information, please see: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/index.html
In addition, there is an express bus that services the all terminals at the airport with the Atocha Train Station: http://www.emtmadrid.es/Bloques-EMT/Aeropuerto.aspx?lang=en-GB.
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 major city for your airport of 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.
Before You Go / Preparing
What type of boots do I need for Camino de Santiago Tour?
Footwear is a very personal question - depending on how active you are and how much support you will need. Since we will be walking on a daily basis on the Camino de Santiago, I believe that comfort is key - you do not want to get blisters. You probably won't need a full high boot that covers your ankle (unless you need this support), but rather light trail walkers or even running shoes if you are used to walking. In the spring, there may be mud and water along the trail, so keep that in mind. Most important: Make sure that they are well broken in!
What sort of conditioning do I need to undertake Camino de Santiago Tour?
We encourage you to walk before and be prepared for your own enjoyment. However, this is your vacation and not boot camp! During your walk, one of the two guides will be on the trail with the group to keep an eye that all is well. Also, we have planned check points along the way with our support van to make sure you have plenty of water, if you need a change of shoes, or just feel like taking a break. In most cases, you will see the van at a minimum every couple of hours.
How do I purchase travel insurance?
If you are interested in travel insurance, we like Squaremouth.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top Insurance Providers. Visit our personalized Squaremouth for Fresco Tours Clients page, where we have taken the time to wade through policies that don't fit your needs (such as immigrant travel, golfing or and other specialized trips, etc.) to make your selection process easier.
In addition, we encourage you to check out TravelInsuranceReview.net, which explains the different insurance policy options in simplified lingo and provides editorial reviews of the insurance companies in terms of "The Good, The Drawbacks & The Bottom Line".
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, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, India, South Africa, Namibia and even Egypt! It truly is a small world after all!
When do most people walk the Camino de Santiago?
According to the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago de Compostela, in 2018, 34% of all pilgrims who requested the Compostela arrived in July and August. This makes sense since many Europeans and students have their vacation time in the summer. Whenever you decide to walk, you will always be able to find that "quiet time" for yourself along the trail. In addition, walking with Fresco Tours means that you won't have to worry about your meals, your pack, where you'll sleep, or anything else. You do the walking and leave everything else up to us!
For complete pilgrim statistics, click here.