The travel company was very helpful in developing an itinerary to meet our travel plans and expectations. We stayed in some very lovely hotels, the private tours were overall very nice and the restaurant picks satisfying. While traveling the EL Camino, we had reservations at two hotels that were not directly on the trail. The directions that we were provided did not indicate that we would walk 2.8 kilometers out of our way to arrive at one location and that another stay was actually on a different El Camino trail. Because the walk to the first hotel was all downhill, we had a taxi return us to the El Camino trail the next morning, costing us ten euro. It was out of the kindness of a stranger that we were able to arrive at the second location. We had been six miles away from where we were to stay. In speaking with other pilgrims, their travel agents provided very detailed directions for the locations of their hotels. They even coordinated contact people and transportation when the hotel was not directly on the El Camino. The last hotel we stayed in which was the one off of the El Camino trail we were walking was poorly maintained and dated. I would not recommend it for a place to stay as it did not meet the 3-4 star standard of the others. The hotel in Madrid had a four star rating but we experienced opportunities for improvement- slow service in the restaurant, having to ask for towels after the room had been serviced and the smell of cigarette smoke awakening us the last night. The other hotels were very nice, each had features that made them special: the owner of one was quite personable, the beautiful location overlooking the valley and mountains of another, the great balcony overlooking Portomarin, the quiet setting of another. We greatly appreciated the individual attention we received in our private tours as well as the drivers who picked us up at the airports and hotels on travel days. Travel within Spain was seamless due as all airline boarding passes and train tickets were provided prior to our departure from the US.
The pilgrimage of the El Camino, the many places we stayed, several of the tours, the food we ate. Montserrat, Finesterra, Santiago, Sagrada Familia, Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona cooking class. Meeting other pilgrims along the El Camino and having one on one conversations with our tour guides. This allowed us to learn the most about Spain, its culture and people.
Confirm that the places to stay on the EL Camino are convenient to the walk. Not stay near La Rambla in Barcelona, spend more time exploring Madrid rather than taking a tour to Segovia. Probably would have spent more time in Girona proper rather than seeing so many medieval towns.
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