tel: (44)(0)1242 254353
We specialise in offering Camino walking holidays the entire length of the Pilgrimage Route of St. James, which begins in France at Le Puy en Velay and finishes in Galicia in northwest Spain, at the magnificent cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Most of our walking holidays are self-guided (that is to say we provide accommodation usually on half-board to include breakfast and dinner, luggage transfers each walking day, and maps and route instructions), however we do offer guided walking holidays on the pilgrim route. The only thing we do not provide is travel to and from your holiday but please do contact us for advice about relevant airports and railway stations.
We have divided the route into nine sections. Each is a complete holiday in itself, so you need only choose the one that interests you most and contact us to make a booking. You may do as many sections as you like - it is even possible to do all nine weeks together if you have the time. Or you may like to complete the route stage by stage from year to year. We can organise as much or as little as you would like, for just one person or for private groups of friends or colleagues.
On this site please go to our walking holidays section to find our ready-made packages; or contact us with your particular requirements and we will do our best to help with your walking holiday. Elsewhere in the site we have tried to answer most of the questions that may arise. We look forward to hearing from you.
View the individual 'walking holiday packages' detailed itinerary by clicking the links to the right. Please see the bookings page for details on how to book your walking holiday with us, as well as further information to help you plan your journey.
Our routes sometimes cover long distances and a wide variety of terrains. Experienced walkers will find them fulfilling in all ways – not physically demanding, yet physically satisfying; and somehow spiritually uplifting even for those who are not committed pilgrims in the religious sense. Whilst the routes have been divided into sections to suit the time-scales and abilities of as many people as possible, we can of course tailor the routes to most specifications. Please let us know your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Some of the walks are demanding mostly in terms of distance. The terrain is varied and may pass through mountainous terrain in parts of the Camino and Via Francigena but never at the highest altitudes; so that anyone of good average fitness can undertake most sections providing that it comes accompanied with determination and will-power. Apart from basic fitness and determination, you will also need proper walking boots that have been worn-in in advance of setting out – to walk more than a few miles in brand-new boots is asking for trouble.Most routes are generally well way-marked but we of course provide you with route notes and maps. Furthermore, in the case of the Camino you are unlikely to find yourself alone for very long, as there are always others doing the same thing.
The trails which make up the Camino de Santiago are beautiful, but what is best about them is the incredible variety of terrain they traverse. The Camino passes through mountain passes, farmland of all types, urban areas and beautiful old towns, ancient hamlets, forests, over rivers and across vast plains. There is also road walking but fortunately there is, generally, very little traffic to contend with.
The trail is well marked, with a very wide variety of markings - ceramic scallop shells, kilometre markings, signs, and spray-painted yellow arrows occur everywhere: on rocks, roads, buildings, trees, and specially constructed pillars.
The Via Podiensis, or the Le Puy route, is essentially the part of the Camino that passes through France, connecting Le Puy-en-Velay with St. Jean Pied de Port. The route traverses the Margeride and Aubrac highlands before reaching the Pyrenees via the lush countryside of the southwest. During the first part of the Camino, the Via Podiensis crosses the highlands of the Massif Central - Aubrac, the Causses - which have a rugged climate of hot summers, cold and wet autumns. The itinerary continues across the green pastures of the Southwest and the Pays Basque with a climate that is gentler but damper.
The terrain is very varied but fairly strenuous and rarely flat, starting in the volcanic Velay region, with constant ups and downs, passing through the mountainous Aubrac plateau (at 1300 metres) before descending to the abbey at Conques. It continues through the `causse' (hilly limestone scrubland) to Cahors and then through undulating farmland to Moissac and on to the Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrenees. For height gains and for daily distances, please see the daily itineraries on the right or go to www.godesalco.com
The so-called French Route refers to the path between the frontier with Spain and Santiago de Compostela itself - in other words that part of the route that passes through Spain. Officially it begins at Puente la Reina, meeting point of the routes from Le Puy and Arles, continuing to Logrono, capital of the Rioja region, before entering the Meseta, the vast Spanish plateau where shade is a rarity (average altitude 900m/2970ft, with a continental climate. In summer the temperature can be high, yet cold in spring and autumn). Elsewhere, in the Pyrenees and the Montes de Leon, the route goes over passes at 1500m/4950ft. The surrounding peaks may well be covered in snow. Overall the terrain is varied, beginning with the ascent and/or descent of the Pyrenees then passing through the undulating meseta (tableland) of the central part of the route between Burgos and León. After that the camino enters the Montes de León with its abandoned villages that are gradually coming back to life and two passes (La Cruz de Yerro and O Cebreiro), before entering Galicia with its maritime climate, green, wooded and criss-crossed with old walled lanes, and finally, Santiago. For a height profile of the route please see the daily itineraries on the right or go to www.godesalco.com
Nutters Wood Cottage
(44) (0)1242 254353
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