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Recommendation for self-guided tour company?

MkGabriel

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués - June 2016
My husband and I will be walking the last section of the Camino Portugués in early June. I have inquired with three tour companies and now need to choose one. We are looking for quality service, responsiveness and in-depth knowledge of the area. The companies we've looked at are: CaminoWays (Greenlife LTD), Portugal Green Walks, and Macs Adventures. Has anyone had experience with any of these companies? I am especially having difficulty finding reviews of Portugal Green Walks. Thank you!
 
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MyDestinationGalicia

Mark Auchincloss
Past OR future Camino
2021
They are all good Camino specialists. There are others too like Ultreya Tours who you can find in Resources,Marly, Tee Travel, Follow the Camino...
 

Sheilajg

Member
Past OR future Camino
(2013) 250 kms Camino Frances, (2015 Camino Frances)
I used Follow the Camino on my first Camino and was really happy with the service. Great directions, maps and places to stay. Using the service the first time gave me the confidence to just go it alone the second time. Do what works for you.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
I've always felt that a "self- guided" tour is somewhat of an oxymoron, specially when it comes to the Camino. With everything planned to a shedule, you risk losing the flexibility and sense of discovery, to say nothing of the unknowns that may come up. There is a wealth of knowledge here on the forum to help you plan. But it is your Camino and if using a tour company puts your mind at ease, there are certainly experts out there. Wish you both Buen Camino and welcome to the forum.
 
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Mares63

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2016)
My husband and I are doing this same Camino mid May which I have just organised myself. I remember reading in the forum somewhere a comment about a couple walking with some women they'd met. After stopping for the night they had met up again and decided to have dinner together but the women were pre booked and pre paid into a restaurant that no one liked the look of.
I couldn't stand that. If you read trip advisor reviews there are a lot of comments of "We just could have done this ourselves.' You can pre book into the same towns they do if you want, and there are companies that take your bags if that's what you need, more importantly (for me) you choose where you want to eat! Obviously you need to do what makes you feel comfortable, good luck, it's all very exciting.
 

MkGabriel

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués - June 2016
Thank you everyone! We're going to do a self-guided tour which doesn't pre-book dinners so we can choose where we eat. I did look at the cost of doing it ourselves and it's very appealing. However we're so stretched (OK, stressed) with everyday life that the idea of giving over planning to someone else seems the most relaxing way to go on our first Camino. We're reading John Brierley's book and clearly we need the spiritual quiet and re-set this pilgrimage offers. In fact, I feel that spiritually I have begun my Camino already, connecting with all of you and preparing my heart and body for this very precious week. Buen Camino!
 

Stash

New Member
I used Camino Ways in 2014 for Camino Frances, (Sarria to Santiago) and am using them again for the last section of the Coastal Camino Portugues on April 6. Yes, you can do the arrangements yourself. Quite easily, in fact. However, I prefer the order that Camino Ways brings. They are very flexible. Due to physical issues, I try to keep my walking less than 20k per day and they were able to make suggestions for that. Also, they are providing transfer from Santiago to our starting point at a very reasonable rate. I believe you can also ask to not include dinners in your pricing, enabling you to be flexible with timing and restaurants. I think using a self guided company is great when doing shorter distances; however, if you are doing the entire length there are too many unknowns that can come up to wreak havoc with the pre planned schedule. If you are just going for a week to 10 days, and are too busy or prefer to have someone handle the details, Camino Ways is great. We met people from 16 countries and had a very, very full Camino experience. That's why we are doing it again! Do what you wanna do!
 

Stash

New Member
Thank you everyone! We're going to do a self-guided tour which doesn't pre-book dinners so we can choose where we eat. I did look at the cost of doing it ourselves and it's very appealing. However we're so stretched (OK, stressed) with everyday life that the idea of giving over planning to someone else seems the most relaxing way to go on our first Camino. We're reading John Brierley's book and clearly we need the spiritual quiet and re-set this pilgrimage offers. In fact, I feel that spiritually I have begun my Camino already, connecting with all of you and preparing my heart and body for this very precious week. Buen Camino!
Looks like we were posting at the same time, hahaha! I guarantee this will NOT be the last time that strange coincidences occur during your Camino! Have fun!
 

BLG

New Member
Past OR future Camino
October 2016
For us, it seems as though the luggage transfer is worth the premium.
No?
Totally new to this.

My husband and I are doing this same Camino mid May which I have just organised myself. I remember reading in the forum somewhere a comment about a couple walking with some women they'd met. After stopping for the night they had met up again and decided to have dinner together but the women were pre booked and pre paid into a restaurant that no one liked the look of.
I couldn't stand that. If you read trip advisor reviews there are a lot of comments of "We just could have done this ourselves.' You can pre book into the same towns they do if you want, and there are companies that take your bags if that's what you need, more importantly (for me) you choose where you want to eat! Obviously you need to do what makes you feel comfortable, good luck, it's all very exciting.
 
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Catahoula19

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances - 2014
Portuguese - 2016
Chemin St Jacques - TBD
Via Francigena - TBD
My husband and I will be walking the last section of the Camino Portugués in early June. I have inquired with three tour companies and now need to choose one. We are looking for quality service, responsiveness and in-depth knowledge of the area. The companies we've looked at are: CaminoWays (Greenlife LTD), Portugal Green Walks, and Macs Adventures. Has anyone had experience with any of these companies? I am especially having difficulty finding reviews of Portugal Green Walks. Thank you!
You absolutely do not need a tour company. I haven't a clue what they could provide. Brierley's book has all the information you'll need. After a day or two of walking you'll agree with this statement. Too much planning or having to be at a certain location on a certain day conflicts with the effect the Camino has and what most people are seeking.
 

Galla

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2016
My husband and I will be walking the last section of the Camino Portugués in early June. I have inquired with three tour companies and now need to choose one. We are looking for quality service, responsiveness and in-depth knowledge of the area. The companies we've looked at are: CaminoWays (Greenlife LTD), Portugal Green Walks, and Macs Adventures. Has anyone had experience with any of these companies? I am especially having difficulty finding reviews of Portugal Green Walks. Thank you!
I am very interested in knowing which company you have decided to go with as my husband and I are researching the same thing for next year's walk from Porto to SdC. We also would like to find our own restaurants but would appreciate the security in knowing that our backpacks were securely transferred daily. I have some neck issues that make me quite hesitant to carry my 13 pound pack every day.
I agree that reviews are not so easy to find for Portugal Green Walks and that is the one that interests me the most.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Galla,
As mentioned before, you can organise for your packs to be transferred once on the camino, either every day or from time to time. It is a very easy process. I don't have the details but I am sure someone will oblige with the name of the transport people? It will be available in any albergue anyway, just ask.
We arranged it on the CF for an injured pilgrim and it was cheap and easy. The bag is picked up in the morning then delivered to the albergue you have designated. It cost - then - 3 euros (but prices may have gone up. )
Good luck!
 

Lisa T

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese, Coastal (2017)
Hello @MkGabriel ,

I am assuming you are on your Camino now? If you see this message I would love to know which company you chose. I am in a similar position, trying to decide which company might be best, and struggling to find many reviews. As others have said, I am attracted to Portugal Green Walks (their websites look good), but it seems impossible to find an independent review of their services, which is unusual.

Many thanks in advance. :)
 
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kandksmom*1

New Member
Past OR future Camino
None
Thank you everyone! We're going to do a self-guided tour which doesn't pre-book dinners so we can choose where we eat. I did look at the cost of doing it ourselves and it's very appealing. However we're so stretched (OK, stressed) with everyday life that the idea of giving over planning to someone else seems the most relaxing way to go on our first Camino. We're reading John Brierley's book and clearly we need the spiritual quiet and re-set this pilgrimage offers. In fact, I feel that spiritually I have begun my Camino already, connecting with all of you and preparing my heart and body for this very precious week. Buen Camino!
I feel the same way, especially since I'll be traveling alone. I won't book dinners. Because of health issues, I like the idea of backup support. This is going to be my test camino. When are you planning to travel. Bev
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I feel the same way, especially since I'll be traveling alone. I won't book dinners. Because of health issues, I like the idea of backup support. This is going to be my test camino. When are you planning to travel. Bev
Please, don't waste the € plus add the frustration of being stuck with what they have planned if you feel like walking further or staying behind.

Last Feb. someone who had booked, as part of a self inflicted self-help plan (in her case to learn to let go by allowing others to dictate her trip) learned the hard way how incompetent, and poor the customer serviece, the cie she hired was.

If you don't need anyone to go grocery shopping for you, you don't need these tours. Why not push yourself on day 1 to realise you are just fine on your own, and then donate the difference to a church along the way? Especially if you have health concerns.With one of these tours you are stuck to a schedule and reliant on "services" from a phone 100s of miles away, if they pick up,the phone that is....
 
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M

Mark Lee

Guest
I feel the same way, especially since I'll be traveling alone. I won't book dinners. Because of health issues, I like the idea of backup support. This is going to be my test camino. When are you planning to travel. Bev
That thread was from last March and they walked last June. It shows she hasn't been on this forum since last April.
Trust me, you don't need anyone planning your Camino for you. Seems like a waste of money to me.
Besides, I have no idea why anyone would consider planning a holiday (yup, walking the Camino is a holiday) to be stressful. Planning is half the fun.
cheers
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Past OR future Camino
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Buy your flight ticket , book at booking.com your first hotel and then follow the yellow arrows -they will end up in Santiago de Compostela and as many say "let the caminho Português provide !
Here on the forum in the resources subforum you'll find the guides you need or buy the John Brierley guide here in the forum at Ivar's webshop-I thought with free credential.
You will discover the caminho gems instead of the prebooked hotels and meet the real camino people and atmosphere. Portugal and also Galicia have great food and wines. And by prebooking you will miss all those things that makes the experience of life, calling the camino, valuable.
 
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fietsfanaat

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues
My husband and I will be walking the last section of the Camino Portugués in early June. I have inquired with three tour companies and now need to choose one. We are looking for quality service, responsiveness and in-depth knowledge of the area. The companies we've looked at are: CaminoWays (Greenlife LTD), Portugal Green Walks, and Macs Adventures. Has anyone had experience with any of these companies? I am especially having difficulty finding reviews of Portugal Green Walks. Thank you!
Maybe this reply is too late for you, but we're just back from doing the Camino Portugues from Porto to Santiago, and then the Camino Fisterre, with Portugal Green Walks, and they were wonderful!! We did it on bicycles, and stayed at comfy hotels ;-). Jose Augusto Azevedo was our contact, and he really listed to our concerns, what we needed, and tailored the stages to the length we wanted. They provided perfect mountain bikes, took us and our bikes to the start at the Cathedral in Porto, arranged our baggage shuttle, booked our hotels, and when we decided to make a change, halfway into the trip, and break up a stage into two days instead of taking a rest day, he was able to arrange that too. At the end, we just left the bikes at the hotel in Fisterre and they picked them up - nothing could be easier! All in a very pleasant manner, super responsive, and for prices that were very fair for the quality of service.
 
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