A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

2019 REI Camino at a discount

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#1
This is not intended as an ad nor as a review of the tour.

Many forum members are familiar with REI, the Recreational Equipment Inc. co-op, for buying gear for their caminos. I just got a sale flyer from them with a notice that their nine day adventure package on the Norte, Primitivo and Finisterre caminos is on sale at $700 off if booked November 9-19, 2018.
Member price: from $4,299
Non-member price: from $4,699
(But don't be an idiot; a lifetime membership in REI just costs $20.) I assume the discount is off the prices mentioned.

Additionally, the flyer advertised their REI MasterCard where you can get a $100 gift card and you charge the adventure trip to it for a 5% discount (shows up with the yearly co-op member dividend.)

My short description of the trip is daily hotel, sightseeing, hiking, transportation ahead quite a bit and meals. And expensive.

I doubt most forum members will be interested but I thought I'd pass the information on. For details see https://REI.com/spain-hiking and https://reimastercard.com/GearUpGetOut
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#4
Very disappointed in the tourist approach REI is taking on the Camino.
They have simply never treated the camino as a serious exercise. Very little respect. They tend to put it in very easy guide/holiday catagory.
The employees treat it very lightly as well. Nothing like they treat other trails and outdoor endeavors.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(015)Irun to Santiago
(017)Lisboa to S
2018Caminha to Santiago
(2018) Camino English Ferrol Santiago
#8
I have walked 8 Caminos and never were tempted to buy a tour to enrich selfish people. Even as a rookie, me and my wife walked the del Norte from Irun, without a clue of what the Camino had in store for us. Not knowing where te next town could be or where we would eat and sleep the next night.
It's a real shame that this heartless touring companies are trying to commercialise something holy to others.ï
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino del Norte y Primitivo (2018)
#9
I am a frequent REI customer, but have agreed (now and previously) that these tour prices are ridiculous. I would respond to the comment on employee attitudes, however. It was an employee at "my" store (in Atlanta) who first exposed me to the Camino as the wonderful long walk and pilgrimage that it is. Then another employee, who regularly conducts programs on the Camino, was a great resource for my first walk.
 

Jamieb

New Member
#10
I would not personally pay that much for this type of trip especially after all the research I have done about the Camino but I do think it is great REI offers the tour. Like the previous poster - there are people out there that wouldn't be able to do this or other tours without assistance.

Not Camino related - but my very first backpacking trip was using a guide service - the trip was fantastic, we were treated like royalty totally waited on. The trip gave me the confidence I needed to know I could do something that was difficult for me by myself. If I had gone along with our original idea of trying to do it ourselves it would have been a whole different experience - probably would never have ventured out again.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes, Aragones-Frances-Finisterre, Operation Sabre, Marin Ramble
#11
To be fair, the REI in Sacramento provides excellent Camino advice and support. Several of the employees have walked it themselves and they provide meeting space for the local pilgrim group to present lectures on Camino preparation.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#12
they provide meeting space for the local pilgrim group to present lectures on Camino preparation.
I have done a presentation at the REI in Columbia, Maryland on the Camino. They had 30 chairs and the standing room attendees were at least that number!

No one will buy the tour who cannot afford it! There will still be room for the rest of us.

REI will FedEx replacement boots to you if yours break, even if you are in the middle of the Appalachian Trail! (They changed their lifetime warranty in 2013, so the return needs to be within one year now.) They need to make money to maintain that policy, so why not from the rich people?:)
 
Last edited:

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
#13
This is not intended as an ad nor as a review of the tour.

Many forum members are familiar with REI, the Recreational Equipment Inc. co-op, for buying gear for their caminos. I just got a sale flyer from them with a notice that their nine day adventure package on the Norte, Primitivo and Finisterre caminos is on sale at $700 off if booked November 9-19, 2018.
Member price: from $4,299
Non-member price: from $4,699
(But don't be an idiot; a lifetime membership in REI just costs $20.) I assume the discount is off the prices mentioned.

Additionally, the flyer advertised their REI MasterCard where you can get a $100 gift card and you charge the adventure trip to it for a 5% discount (shows up with the yearly co-op member dividend.)

My short description of the trip is daily hotel, sightseeing, hiking, transportation ahead quite a bit and meals. And expensive.

I doubt most forum members will be interested but I thought I'd pass the information on. For details see https://REI.com/spain-hiking and https://reimastercard.com/GearUpGetOut
Wow I have walked 10 Caminos staying at Pensions and Albergues and have never spent more than 1,000 Euros on each. Doesn’t seem like a bargain to me. On saying that I walk the Camino to get back to basics not as a tourist.
Each to their own.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#14
To be fair, the REI in Sacramento provides excellent Camino advice and support. Several of the employees have walked it themselves and they provide meeting space for the local pilgrim group to present lectures on Camino preparation.
My first orientation to the Camino after we decided to walk was sponsored by REI and was presented by experienced pilgrims took place at the REI Flagship store in Seattle. And of course they want us to spend money. Witch we did.;)
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#15
I think the general objection is to the ridiculously high cost cost , nobody is objecting to the camino being made accessable to all.
I cannot afford their costs. We spent 35 days and $1,400 + airfare on 2016. We are walking again in October 2019 the difference may be forward out packs, but not sure, been having some health issues with the old back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#17
A couple of friends and I have started an American Pilgrims on the Camino chapter in our area. We had our first presentation at REI. They love us there because of the huge turn out that we had for that first presentation, and two more that we have had since then - for a total of three this year.
I would consider this tour as being a separate product or service than what the local REI stores offer, which are based more in the individual communities.
 

mikebet

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
#18
As a long-time REI member (since 1978) I have been disappointed over the years as the co-op morphed from a serious "adventure gear" type of place under Jim Whittaker's original chairmanship into the high-fashion emporium it is today. Back in those days when climbing in the Bolivian Andes REI was about the only source we had for ropes, crampons, ice axes and other high-quality mountaineering stuff. So I'm doubly disappointed to hear about this outrageously expensive package of nearly $500/day per person, without airfare! Stretching one's imagination to the breaking point there is no way to justify that margin of profit when a deluxe self-organized walk might reach $100-150/day even with fancy hotels, nice meals and luggage transfers. The only thing I'm going to take from this is the itinerary on REI's website, which gives some useful tips on things/places to visit along the way. Having done SJPdP to Pamplona, Baiona to Santiago, and most recently Sarria to Santiago I was thinking about another week-long stretch to do (time constraints, sadly) and this looks like a good candidate.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#19
I think many posters here are confusing the objection some of us have expressed.

There is no objection to guided groups who make it possible for those physically challenged or those just not comfortable with making arrangements on their own.

The objection is the price and tourist like offering...it feels very demeaning to those who see the camino as a pilgrimage and personal achievement. They do not offer this on the AT or PCT or others. What is lacking is the respect for the physical effort and preparation that pilgrims expend in completing a camino. REI profits greatly from pilgrims and from the free exposure they receive from this and other camino sites.

Your opinion may be different..but there is no intention of demeaning group tours in general.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#20
This is not intended as an ad nor as a review of the tour.

Many forum members are familiar with REI, the Recreational Equipment Inc. co-op, for buying gear for their caminos. I just got a sale flyer from them with a notice that their nine day adventure package on the Norte, Primitivo and Finisterre caminos is on sale at $700 off if booked November 9-19, 2018.
Member price: from $4,299
Non-member price: from $4,699
(But don't be an idiot; a lifetime membership in REI just costs $20.) I assume the discount is off the prices mentioned.

Additionally, the flyer advertised their REI MasterCard where you can get a $100 gift card and you charge the adventure trip to it for a 5% discount (shows up with the yearly co-op member dividend.)

My short description of the trip is daily hotel, sightseeing, hiking, transportation ahead quite a bit and meals. And expensive.

I doubt most forum members will be interested but I thought I'd pass the information on. For details see https://REI.com/spain-hiking and https://reimastercard.com/GearUpGetOut
I do agree that everyone walks their own Camino. But this is not a Camino it’s booking a tour on a bus or on Carnival Cruise Line. Please it is becoming commercized enough. To me this is offensive in every manner and form. I am especially offended as I just walked the Norte and suffered, smiled and made wonderful connections, especially with myself. Accomplished through the beauty, peace and solitude of the Norte. The last thing the Camino needs is this. REÍ should stick to what it does best. Helping pilgrims, hikers and others maximize their own experiences. Do people have to monetize everything???
ALSO THE PRICE EVEN WITH ALL THOSE “GREAT” DISCOUNTS IS ONE MASSIVE RIP OFF!!!!
This is the last thing the Camino needs more of. Just one humble Peregrino’s opinion.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#21
I have no problems with people who are tourist, not Pilgrims. I have toured many mosques, Buddhist temples etc. I also have no problem with people paying for deluxe tours. It is their money, and some people just don't have the confidence or health to do it on their own. ( The price does boggle my mind a bit, value wise)

I do have an issue with tourists who look upon the Camino as hiking trail without appreciation of what they are seeing. My elderly step-mom went on various trips, including the Camino, with RoadScholar (previously ElderHostel). Compare their trip to REI's: better price. expert tour guides who teach about the history, culture, architecture ,etc, and a suggested reading list of 21 books.

https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/3601/the-greatest-road-in-europe-camino-de-santiago
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#22
I'm the OP. I sent in information not to promote the trip per see but to indicate to those who might want a trip of this kind how they could save $1,000 or more.

I don't know the value of the offering. It isn't a trip I'm ready to pay for. But there are 21 reviews on the site rating it, on average, 4.95 out of 5.

I wouldn't know how to price a tour like this but consider that they are booking 3 and 4 star hotels and that no more than 14 people are sharing a driver and two guides (working double shifts) for nine days straight away from home.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.
#23
Would not book this tour myself (ironically enough, it is advertized as "the path less traveled"..). But I honestly do not get why some people feel offended by this tour or think that it does not show respect for the efforts made by pilgrims. I mean, it's a tour amongst some camino "highlights", including some short walks. Many people skip 'the ugly parts' (like industrial areas) on their camino and bus ahead. People on this tour just skip some more parts and use the bus a bit more often. ;)
It is not my cup of tea, and yes it is promoted as a tourist trip, but how can this be offending for anyone who has walked ? I am bit puzzled.... Ultreya!
 
Last edited:

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#24
I have been disappointed over the years as the co-op morphed from a serious "adventure gear" type of place under Jim Whittaker's original chairmanship into the high-fashion emporium
Abercrombie and Fitch used to be guns, fly rods, and sleeping bags. Look at it now! Retail goes where the money is. When it becomes quaint, it disappears!;)
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#27
I concur with Mark S above and here is some good advice from John Brierley when arriving in Sarria that applies to this conversation.

“A reminder for “seasoned” pilgrims who commenced in Saint Jean Pied de Port or further back in Le Puy, Geneva, Budapest? Beware of signs of irritation at the intrusion of new pilgrims on “my” Camino - remember that many of the new arrivals may be nervous starting out and the last thing they need is aloofness built on a false sense of superiority. None of us can know the inner motivation or outer circumstances of another. A loving pilgrim welcomes all they meet along the path with an open mind and open heart…without judgment of any kind”

What our world needs right now is more travel, especially by those citizens who tend not to travel outside of their country. More travel creates more understanding of people who are different. Many of us seem programed today to always focus on our differences between groupings and then feel threatened by them instead of embracing our similarities. With more travel comes more appreciation for differences in a positive way. Differences become curious, interesting and add richness to our lives and acceptance of others.

I have some of the same reactions that all of you have regarding this REI trip but I think the world has a chance to be a little bit better if these participants have the chance to see some of the beauty of Spain and maybe learn a little more about the Camino. Maybe a few will even be inspired to come back and do a Camino more like the one we did. And that would be good for humanity.

Brierley quote from 15thedition (2018) Camino Frances guide book, last paragraph on p246 in italics.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#28
I think that the general response to this tour run by REI is from the members of REI, who think that the outdoor shop which they, as members, feel ownership of, is being used for a purpose far from what they use it for, moving into tourism for the wealthy. If, as members, you have a way to communicate with REI, let them know what you think and why.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances -
Sept-Oct 2017
#29
I first saw this in the latest REI sales flyer in my mailbox - and that surprised me enough to go onto their website to see what they were offering and charging. After looking at the advertised itinerary, this is better billed as 'a series of hikes along the route of the Camino' - certainly not doing a Camino.

In fact, in 7 days of hiking, the longest day is only 10.3 miles with the 7 day total of only 44 miles. Not even half of the minimum...........
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#30
What our world needs right now is more travel, especially by those citizens who tend not to travel outside of their country..
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

--Mark Twain
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#31
I concur with Mark S above and here is some good advice from John Brierley when arriving in Sarria that applies to this conversation.

“A reminder for “seasoned” pilgrims who commenced in Saint Jean Pied de Port or further back in Le Puy, Geneva, Budapest? Beware of signs of irritation at the intrusion of new pilgrims on “my” Camino - remember that many of the new arrivals may be nervous starting out and the last thing they need is aloofness built on a false sense of superiority. None of us can know the inner motivation or outer circumstances of another. A loving pilgrim welcomes all they meet along the path with an open mind and open heart…without judgment of any kind”

What our world needs right now is more travel, especially by those citizens who tend not to travel outside of their country. More travel creates more understanding of people who are different. Many of us seem programed today to always focus on our differences between groupings and then feel threatened by them instead of embracing our similarities. With more travel comes more appreciation for differences in a positive way. Differences become curious, interesting and add richness to our lives and acceptance of others.

I have some of the same reactions that all of you have regarding this REI trip but I think the world has a chance to be a little bit better if these participants have the chance to see some of the beauty of Spain and maybe learn a little more about the Camino. Maybe a few will even be inspired to come back and do a Camino more like the one we did. And that would be good for humanity.

Brierley quote from 15thedition (2018) Camino Frances guide book, last paragraph on p246 in italics.
I concur with Mark S above and here is some good advice from John Brierley when arriving in Sarria that applies to this conversation.

“A reminder for “seasoned” pilgrims who commenced in Saint Jean Pied de Port or further back in Le Puy, Geneva, Budapest? Beware of signs of irritation at the intrusion of new pilgrims on “my” Camino - remember that many of the new arrivals may be nervous starting out and the last thing they need is aloofness built on a false sense of superiority. None of us can know the inner motivation or outer circumstances of another. A loving pilgrim welcomes all they meet along the path with an open mind and open heart…without judgment of any kind”

What our world needs right now is more travel, especially by those citizens who tend not to travel outside of their country. More travel creates more understanding of people who are different. Many of us seem programed today to always focus on our differences between groupings and then feel threatened by them instead of embracing our similarities. With more travel comes more appreciation for differences in a positive way. Differences become curious, interesting and add richness to our lives and acceptance of others.

I have some of the same reactions that all of you have regarding this REI trip but I think the world has a chance to be a little bit better if these participants have the chance to see some of the beauty of Spain and maybe learn a little more about the Camino. Maybe a few will even be inspired to come back and do a Camino more like the one we did. And that would be good for humanity.

Brierley quote from 15thedition (2018) Camino Frances guide book, last paragraph on p246 in italics.
So true...whatever point of view we favor, any travel is a worthwhile eye opener, deserving only applause
 

mbates2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#32
Very disappointed in the tourist approach REI is taking on the Camino.
They have simply never treated the camino as a serious exercise. Very little respect. They tend to put it in very easy guide/holiday catagory.
The employees treat it very lightly as well. Nothing like they treat other trails and outdoor endeavors.
I totally disagree with what you think of REI employees. My husband is one and we walked the Camino last year and also met a couple of other REI employees. He is one of the go to employees that people go to knowing that he has walked it and what is needed for packs, sleeping bags/sheets and other things needed for the Camino.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#33
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

--Mark Twain
When I was an hospitalera at San Anton in 2016, we received many a visit from tour busses. One was a pilgrim tour from Holland. They were respectful and an absolute joy to have visit. They even returned to visit us as evening fell and sang a vespers service for us! I will always remember the setting sun and the group sitting up by the altar area, singing.

During their visit one of the women came over and chatted with us about walking. She had never realized it could be walked and was so excited to meet and talk to "real" pilgrims. She left us that evening swearing that she was going to return on foot!

So, while these types of tours may not appeal to many of us, they do get people out and moving in new places. And yes, they often really are pilgrims too. Just a different type.

Buen Camino to all of us!
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 191 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top