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El Camino - The Way of St. James
what to know before you go to

206 Tours Hotels
Hotel Information
What to Pack
Walking Sticks
Suggested Items

How to Prepare for Your Trip:
The Camino de Santiago is the most famous, and sacred, pilgrimage walk in the world. Millions of people have traveled to the ancient burial site of St. James the Apostle for over 1000 years. Open your heart and mind to be responsive to new perspectives, ideas, cultures, etc. Some of us have dreamed of making this walk for many years, imagining breathing in the beauty and awakening the soul. Finally you have the chance to experience the incredible journey. As soon as you have decided to make the El Camino pilgrimage, please work on preparing physically and spiritually, so that, before you depart, you are accustomed to walking from 5 - 12 miles with not too much discomfort.

We do not include much free time for recreation, such as shopping, because we will be busy walking as well as enjoying several comprehensive tours. However, if you are tired or feel like doing only partial walk, you are free to take time and relax. If you feel you are unable to keep up with the pace of the tour, manage the terrain, or would like free time for your own interests, you are welcome to refrain from participating in any aspects of the program you desire simply inform your guide and they will get you to our next destination (no refund can be issued for any part of the tour you choose not to participate in).

It is important to note that the amount of walking is significant, and the terrain varies greatly throughout the tour. For this reason, we would like to offer you some recommendations, and we ask you sincerely read our tips carefully.

Contacts while in the USA:
206 Tours Series Department
206 Tours, 333 Marcus Blvd, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Office: (800) 206-8687
E-mail: ROK@206tours.com
Web: www.206tours.com/tour70

Emergency Response Team:
Only contact this number in case of an emergency.
If you have questions regarding your tour or flight schedule please
contact 800 206 TOUR (8687) during normal business hours
(Mon-Fri 9:00 am—6:00 pm EST)

When Calling from USA: 1-631-468-6630
When Calling from Spain: + 34 - 677 - 442 - 367
E-mail: javier@206tours.com & emergency@206tours.com

It is best to stick with light, comfortable clothing. Clothing should be made for hiking. We do not recommend cotton.

• 5 or more pairs of Pants made of lightweight but tough materials for hiking is best choice
• 8 or more short/long sleeved shirts
• Several shirts /sweaters for layering as you can expect mornings and evenings to be cold
• It’s important to have a good jacket/coat as it will lock out the rain, allow your sweat to escape (note our recommendations below)
• Lightweight but warm hooded jacket
• Plenty of wool/smart wool socks, this is important as you may need to change several pairs per day
• Light undergarments
• The backpack we provided to you

Do not worry about the weight as we have luggage handling included.
A combination of day-to-day clothing such as sweatpants, sweatshirts and sneakers was once the preferred choice of the outdoor enthusiast. Nowadays, clothing that is specially designed for outdoor activities is preferred. Many outdoor clothing companies advertise the three-layer system, which incorporates a base layer, an insulation layer and an outer layer. For example, specialized hiking pants serve as three layers in one with the netting sewn inside acting as the base layer.

When it comes to selecting the proper gear, three key factors come into play: insulation, warmth and water resistance. This is particularly true when picking socks, because your feet are most at risk for exposure to cold, damp and frostbite.


Title Nine: www.titlenine.com
REI: www.rei.com
Eastern Mountain Sports Layering Tec Shirt: www.ems.com
Athleta: www.athleta.com
Rain Jacket: www.outdoorgearlab.com/Rain-Jacket-Reviews

The attire during the course of your journey is conservative and comfortable.  Ensure to cover your shoulders, chest and your legs at least two inches below your knees for entrance at religious sites (which will be visited daily.) There is no need for formal attire during the course of the tour. Comfort and adaptability are the most important factors in determining what to pack.  During your flight you will want to wear loose-fitting clothes.

Make sure you have two good pairs of comfortable weather flexible walking shoes.  Leather hiking boots are not recommended.  Make sure you walk in them for a couple of weeks to break them in. It is not practical to wear any footwear with high or narrow heels, as the roads are not always paved and are, at times, uneven cobblestone. On the plane you will want to wear a pair of slippers or socks to wear for the flight. Make sure your shoes are lace up or flexible, as your feet may swell due to the flight. It is not practical to wear any footwear with high or narrow heels, as the roads may not be paved or are uneven due to cobblestone.

It is suggested to cut your toenails to a short length. This will avoid your toenails to hit your shoe when walking down and therefore save you of avoiding losing a toenail.


*The most important thing to bring is a pair of good shoes!!!

   Merrell Moab GTX    Tiger GTX
 Adidas AX 1 Mid Gore Tex Boot  TrekSta Kobra II GTX Shoe


will be available for purchase when you arrive, however, if you have your own which you would like to bring, they will be allowed with your Carry-On luggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed.

   Catskills Outdoor    Jesban
 KevenAnna  High Trek

Arzua, Spain

• Travel Bible and Journal (unless you have cell phone/tablet)
• Portable alarm clock (unless you have cell phone/tablet)
• Deodorant (travel size)
• Soap bar (travel size) and washcloth
• Shampoo and Conditioner (travel size)
• Toothbrush & Toothpaste (travel size)
• Comb/Brush
• Lotion/Moisturizing cream (travel size)
• Feminine Items
• Handi-wipes: for freshening up during the day
• Travel pack size Kleenex
• Camera & Charger
• Adapter and converter if you are bringing any electrical devices
• Grocery size plastic bags for dirty clothes
• Travel size poncho (in camping section of Wal-Mart)
• Nail file and/or nail clippers
• Pen (bring with you on the plane to complete customs forms)
• Travel Toilet Tissue (have some on you just in case bathrooms run out of them)
• Your Cell Phone / Tablet
• Small flash light, unless you have an app on your cell phone
• Cream to prevent chafing
• Water Bottle or Camelbak

• Dramamine (for motion sickness)
• Aspirin/Advil, etc.
• Epsom salt
• Mole skin
• Antibiotic cream
• Laxative and Imodium
• Band-aids
• Pepto Bismol (tablets)
• Sominex
• Allergy/cold medicine; tablets
• Chap Stick
• Small/Medium size water bottle
• Sun Tan Lotion

For additional information or clarification please visit: www.faa.gov

3 - 1 - 1 RULE:
Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be:
3 - Four OZ bottle or less
1 - Quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag
1 - Bag per passenger screened on its own

Remember, you can put liquids of any size in your checked baggage


Reasonable quantities exceeding 3 OZ are allowed of the following:
• Baby formula, breast milk, and juice for infants and toddlers
• All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including eye drops and saline solution for medical purposes
• Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition (a doctor’s note is required)
• Items used to augment the body for medical/cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras containing gels, or other liquids
• Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool medically related items, such as medicines, used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions

Declare the above items for inspection at the checkpoint. TSA officers may need to open them for additional screening. Any liquid, gel or aerosol, such as coffee or soda, purchased in the secure area beyond the security checkpoint is allowed aboard your plane. If you have a layover and are re-screened at your connecting airport, the above rules will be applied.


For your international flight you are permitted ONE piece of check in luggage at no additional fee.


Length + Width + Height = 158cm. / 62in.
Economy Class: 1 piece  at 23kg. / 50lbs.
Business Class: 2 pieces at 32kg. / 70lbs. each

It is important to attach luggage tag to your bags, so that we may identify and match your luggage to your room/bus. Be sure to print complete your name and contact details clearly.

Be sure to keep ALL medications in your carry-on bag during your trip in case your suit case should be lost. Keep a separate list of important numbers (i.e. credit cards) in your luggage, together with photo copies of your passport/visas.


CARRY-ON BAGS (1 per person)
Length + Width + Height: 106cm./42in.
Weight: 1 piece at 8 kg./17 lbs.
Be sure to pack at least one change of clothes, socks and undergarments in your carry-on luggage in case your baggage is delayed or lost!


Additionally you are permitted one personal item to carry onto the plane such as; a purse, laptop, briefcase, etc.


One (1) piece of luggage handling at the hotel is included in your trip cost. The porters will do their best to bring your luggage to you in a timely fashion upon checking into the hotel. At times there may be short delay due to the size of the group arriving. To make it easier for porters to identify your luggage make sure your luggage tag is clearly visible. If you prefer to bring your own luggage into the hotel please wait near the bus as the driver and porters unload the luggage for you to identify your baggage and bring it with you to your room.


Carry your passport, Final Instruction booklet and money on you.  It is best not to have all items in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. DO NOT keep money, important documents, medicines or jewelry in your suitcase. Please leave valuable jewelry at home. We recommend a “neck safe” worn inside your clothes while touring. At all times please be as vigilant as you would in any major city, especially in crowded places. Never leave your bag unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies, or dining rooms.


It is suggested to provide the tour escort and the bus driver their tip money the day prior to your return.  Tips are an important part of earnings for your guides and bus drivers.  Although you should tip according to your discretion and satisfaction, we recommend that you bring 85 EURO per person and place in tip envelopes (included in your final documents package) as follows:

Tour Guide

Arzua, Spain

EUR 6 per person per day x 10 = € 60


Tour Driver

EUR 2.5 per person per day x 10 = € 25


Spiritual Director / Your Priest:
Gift or donation to the Spiritual Director is at your own discretion.


Restaurants, hotel staff, luggage handler and bell boy
Tips are included in your package price. No additional tips should be given.


Most people have a clear idea of why they want to walk the Camino de Santiago, make sure you get your Pilgrim Passport stamped along the way, documenting your progress.

The scallop shell, often found on the shores in Galicia, has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago.  Although the scallop shell served a practical purpose for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago to gather water to drink or for eating out of as a makeshift bowl, the origin of the symbol dates back to the time after James' death when his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now Santiago. Off the coast of Spain a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, the body washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops.  The scallop shell also acts as a metaphor. The grooves in the shell, which come together at a single point, represent the various routes pilgrims traveled, eventually arriving at a single destination: the tomb of James in Santiago de Compostela. The shell is also a metaphor for the pilgrim.

The pilgrim's staff is a walking stick used by pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Generally, the stick has a hook on it so that something may be hung from it. The walking stick sometimes has a cross piece on it.

You will receive a “pilgrims passport” called the credencial, which is a pass to give you access to many pilgrims places. Although we do not need it, but some pilgrims use this passport to get accommodation in refugios along the trail. The "pilgrim's passport", the credencial, is stamped with the official St. James stamp in each town or refugio visited. It provides a record of where we as pilgrims ate or slept, but also serves as proof to the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago that the journey is accomplished according to an official route, to obtain a compostela, a certificate of completion of the pilgrimage.  The compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Way.

The Camino Passport will be proof that you have walked the minimum of 100 km (65 miles) necessary to obtain your ‘Compostela’ or ‘Certificate’, the official documents testament to your journey.  You will get your Pilgrim Passport at the start of your route from your Tour Escort.

The ‘Compostela’ is the original religious certificate written in Latin, expended by the Church when pilgrims prove they have walked the minimum of 100 km (65 miles) to Santiago de Compostela.

Originally, pilgrims used the scallop shell as proof of their pilgrimage, however in the 13th century the Church introduced a more rigorous system based on letters, the origin of the ‘Compostela’. The ‘Compostela’ was a valuable document: pilgrims used to travel to Santiago in pilgrimage, in many cases as a penance. By getting a certificate showing they had walked to Santiago they could get back home and show they had paid their penance; repented for their sins.



CURRENCY: The Euro is the currency of Spain.

For most current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com

Keep in mind that this is the "pure" exchange rate. (Bank exchange fees not included)  
Please note: we strongly urge you to check the up-to-date exchange rates prior to departure and prior to currency exchange.

Make sure to bring along a credit card for convenience and security. Visa or MasterCard are the best options. American Express is not accepted in many stores. Please be aware that Discover Card is not accepted in almost all European countries. If you would like to carry cash, we recommend that you exchange USD at your local bank prior to departure in order to obtain the best exchange rate. It is also practical and cost effective to withdraw local currency using your ATM/Debit card during your trip. Be advised that exchanging money at airports, your hotel or local change booths will result in fees that are extremely high.

**It is recommended to contact your local bank/credit card companies  prior to  your departure  to inform  them of your travels abroad to avoid your company blocking your account due to an international transaction **

Frequently asked question:  “How much money should I bring with me?" 
Answer:  The amount differs per person. We recommend that the minimum spending money to bring with you/budget for, in addition to the suggested tips, is the equivalent of $30.00 per person per day. Keep in mind:
· Souvenirs: Are you planning on purchasing mementos for yourself or loved ones? 
Remember, you can always spend less, or bring money home!

ATMs can be found just about everywhere in Spain and are accessible 24 hrs a day; most offer English as a language option. Be sure to find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart.
Keep in mind: Many banks impose a fee when a card is used at a different bank's ATM, this fee may be higher for international transactions (up to $5 or more).  For international withdrawal fees please check with your bank prior to departure.  Additionally, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee.

Banks only open from Monday to Friday 9 AM—2 PM


U.S. citizens who have been in Spain for more than two days may return to the US with up to $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. For those who wish to bring more home, a flat rate of 3% duty is levied on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. It's a good idea to retain the receipts from your purchases should they be requested by a Customs Inspector upon your return to the US. For details visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website:


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a form of indirect tax applied to the value added at each stage of production (primary, manufacturing, wholesale and retail). This tax is much like the sales tax in the US. Tourists who purchase goods worth 400 Euro or more are entitled to a discount of at least 5% on the purchase price plus a VAT refund. There is 22% value added tax on most goods and services. At retail stores, this tax is already included in the price. Upon making a purchase of 175 Euro or more at a gift store that has an agreement with VAT authorities, you should fill out a form at the store and have it stamped there. You will be eligible, upon presenting the form and the item, for a 20% refund at the airport prior to departure. Do not pack these gift items in your luggage, but should be kept in your hand luggage. Tourist services, such as hotel accommodations and meals taken in hotels, paid with foreign currency are exempt from VAT tax.  VAT refunds, if applicable, may sometimes take up to three (3) months to process.  If you pay with local currency, there will be no VAT refund.  In order to acquire a VAT refund, the following procedure must be followed:

• Look for the “tax refund” sticker on the business door or publication
• Ask for a VAT refund invoice from the sales clerk.
• At the airport VAT desk, show the original receipt, the VAT tax form, and the goods you have purchased.
• At the end of the procedure, you will receive a check drawn in your favor which may be cashed that same day.
• On each purchase exceeding $200 (including VAT), the VAT will be refunded upon presentation of the invoice at the port of departure.



Please visit www.tsa.gov for the most up to date travel restrictions.

Your ticket is an electronic ticket (“e-ticket”).
When checking in at the airport, provide your passport and your e-ticket confirmation to the check-in agent or Kiosk.

Your airline reservations are booked according to the airlines rules, regulations and routings. We did our utmost to provide you with the most convenient flight schedule available to us at the time you made your reservation. All participants will be traveling independently on all flights and meet at the airport. 

Many airlines are in special agreements, to share aircrafts in order to ensure the best routings for their passengers. While your ticket may indicate that you are flying with one carrier (i.e. United), you may find that you are actually seated in a plane belonging to another carrier (i.e. Lufthansa). Carefully review your airline itinerary to determine which airline is operating your departure flight to ensure check in for your flight at the correct carrier.  When your flight is operated by another carrier your itinerary will state "Flight Operated by (name Airline).

PASSPORTS & VISA: All pilgrims must travel with a valid passport to enter Spain. Your passport MUST be valid at least 3 months upon your scheduled return date to the USA.  If you have not yet obtained your passport, or just noticed that it will not be valid 3 months after your return, contact your local passport office and apply for an expedited passport/-or passport renewal.

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for entry into Spain.

For those who hold a passport from a foreign country, please be advised that it is the passengers responsibility to reconfirm if any visas are required, please check with your local embassy. Below please find embassy information on the country you will be visiting.

2375 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C., 20008.
Tel: +1-202-452-0100, +1-202-728-2340 
Fax: +1-202-833-5670 Email: spain@spainemb.org

AIRPORT CHECK-IN: Please use the following recommendation for check in prior to your scheduled departure time. Check in at least:
2 hours prior to Domestic flight
3 hours prior to International flight
You must personally check in your own luggage at the airline counter. Advise the check in agent of your final destination to ensure that your luggage will be checked all the way through. This will eliminate you having to claim your luggage and have to recheck in once again during a possible flight connection (s). 

AIRLINE CONNECTIONS: The Airlines determine the minimum connection time required to transfer from one gate to another. We are subject to the availability of the airlines carrier we work with, and must ensure that all participants have reservations to arrive / departure similar times for the group transfers to/from the airport. 

FLIGHT DELAYS & TRANSFERS:  If you missed your flight, forgot your passport or if you are re-routed you most likely will miss your group transfer from the airport to your hotel.  How to proceed in such circumstances? 
You may take a taxi at your own expense to your hotel.
You may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you.
Make sure to obtain a receipt for the taxi or the private transfer provided. Upon return to the U.S.A. you may submit a claim with the insurance company or airlines to seek reimbursement. 

No inoculations are necessary when traveling to Spain from the U.S.A. You may consult with your health care provider before traveling.
For the latest overseas travel health information contact :
The Center for Disease Control: call 1-877-394-8747  or visit www.cdc.gov
For medical information contact:
The U.S. Public Health service: call 1-301-443-2403.

When you get off the plane you will go through customs and proceed to the baggage claim area to pick up your luggage.  Exit the baggage claim area into the arrival hall, where you will be greeted by a 206 Tours representative displaying a sign which reads “206 Tours.” You will be transferred to your hotel where you will check-in and have time to refresh before meeting the rest of your group later in the day.
Remember to look for the “206 Tours “sign!

If your luggage is missing proceed to your airline carrier’s baggage office in the airport terminal to complete a missing luggage form, which will include a description of your luggage. Please make sure to save all paper work and tracking information given to you by the Airlines. Upon locating your baggage, the airlines will bring your luggage to your hotel. It is important that you provide them with the correct address and dates that you will be at your hotels. You may also provide the emergency number listed in this booklet. If your baggage is delayed for over 24 hours you may submit a claim to the insurance company upon your return to the US (only applicable for passengers that purchased Travel insurance through 206 Tours).

Traveling through a time zone may take its toll on your physical and mental well-being. "Jet Lag" is the phrase used to describe the condition when an individual's internal body clock is out of sync with the actual time in the region to which you have traveled. It is important to try to adjust your internal body clock to receive the most out of your tour. Here are some tips on how to adjust your body to local time.

On the day of departure/arrival:

  • Get out of bed earlier than usual on the day of departure
  • Drink a lot of water to compensate for the dehydration on long flights
  • Shortly after your evening meal on your flight, set your watch to the local time
  • Try to sleep on your flight
  • Try to stay awake until 9:00PM or 10:00 PM the night of arrival


    Airline delays: www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/plaintext.html
    Airline seating: www.seatguru.com
    Airline tracker: www.flightarrivals.com
    Calendar and holidays: www.timeanddate.com/calendar
    Calling codes: www.countrycallingcodes.com
    Currency converter: www.xe.com
    Customs (USA): www.cbp.gov
    Department of Homeland security: www.dhs.gov
    Electric Guide: www.kropla.com
    Embassies: www.embassyworld.com
    Emergency/Disaster information: www.redcross.org
    FAA Air traffic Control: www.faa.gov
    Flight delay info: www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp
    Flight tracker: www.flightview.com
    Foreign Language Basics: www.fodors.com/language
    Frequent flyer programs: www.webflyer.com
    Global Entry: https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes
    Health (travel health info) www.cdc.gov ; www.who.int ; www.tripprep.com
    Internet access / hotspots: www.wi-fihotspotlist.com ; www.wififreespot.com
    Language translation: translate.google.com
    Last minute travel preparation: www.dontforgetyourtoothbrush.com
    Official Franciscan Website: www.custodia.org
    Passports and visas: www.projectvisa.com
    Physical disabilities travel: www.access-able.com
    Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: https://step.state.gov/step
    Time around the world: www.time.gov
    Tourist offices and embassies: www.towd.com
    Transportation Security Admin: www.tsa.gov
    Travel planning: www.worldtravelguide.net
    Travel planning (religious sites): www.sacred-destinations.com
    US State Dept. Travel Warnings: http://travel.state.gov
    Weather around the world: www.weather.com

    In Spain the official language is Spanish, however English is widely spoken and many signs appear in English as well.


    The average temperatures are as follows:










































    Santiago De Compostella



























    Because of northern Spain and Galicia Mountains elevation, the weather can be unpredictable and cooler than you might expect. It’s rarely very hot or very cold in Galicia, but it is very wet, damp and very green. Santiago is the wettest town in Spain.  (Remember to bring a rain coat)

    Hotel rooms may be smaller than you are used to, based on American standards. All rooms are comfortably appointed with a private bathroom.  Mini-bar items and access to paid TV channels are at your own expense. King size beds are rare in Spain therefore couples should anticipate queen size beds in most hotels. Travelers sharing a room will have two twin beds in their hotel rooms. Many hotels use key cards to operate the room’s lighting system and/or the elevator. All hotels offer a hair dryer in the bathroom. Most hotels provide toiletries (shampoo, soap, lotion), if needed bring a supply of conditioner with you. It is not customary for hotels to provide wash cloths.

    The voltage used is 220 volts at 50 cycles, twice the voltage of American power systems.  Generally you’ll need only an adapter plug; in some cases, a voltage converter /or transformer, too.

    Plug Adapter is an interface that attaches between the American two-pronged plug and a specific European socket. The result is that the American appliance will be connected to European 220v 50 cycle electrical power.
    Power Converter (or transformer) -converts the European 220v to 110 volts so that American appliances will operate on European Current.

    The metric system is used exclusively throughout Spain. A kilometer is a bit over 1/2 mile (.62 miles). A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.

    Hotel telephones are available and offer convenience, however they tend to cost substantially more than using your cell phone provided that you have a plan.

    When you bring your cellular phone, make sure to contact your wireless phone provider and inform them that you will be traveling overseas. Most providers offer an "international plan" that you may sign up for.  This will allow you to make calls to the United States” while you are out of the country using your wireless phone.  Please check with your provider for exact rates in the countries where you'll be traveling.  Be extra cautious using your data while abroad.  If your cell phone has a data plan, be sure to turn data roaming "OFF" on the plane to avoid potentially high fees. The rates for data are far more expensive than for roaming voice calls and text messages.

    To make a direct international call, first dial “00” and then dial the country code (1 for the US and Canada, just like at home), then the local area code and telephone number.

    If your family wishes to call you during the pilgrimage from within the US, you must first dial 011, then then the country code (SPAIN) 34 which is then followed by the local area code and telephone number.

    Please be advised that your hotel does offer WIFI service.

    There will be no public toilets available. Generally, you will have the opportunity to use the toilets of local coffee-shops, to utilize their toilets a beverage or food purchase is recommended. Be prepared with tissues in your pocket at all times.

    Terrain on El Camino has many ascents and descents that are much steeper than you might expect. All of this makes the route more interesting. Most of the walking is on dirt roads, well-marked paths, at times crossing and jumping over smaller streams. The walks will take you across woodlands, farmland, breathtaking streams, rustic hamlets, following well marked tracks and paths. Enjoy The Way of St. James and the unique atmosphere. Each day better than the one before, walking through some of the most beautiful green countryside that you’ve ever seen.   In Madrid and Santiago de Compostela many streets in Spain are narrow, and due to strict traffic regulations the buses are not always permitted to drop groups off directly in front for their destination. Many areas are pedestrian only and have cobblestones. Please be prepared to walk! High-heeled shoes are not suitable for cobblestone streets, instead rubber-soled walking shoes are recommended.  Spain is based on a myriad of old buildings.  There are split-levels and uneven surfaces everywhere; please watch your step! Due to the structure of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited.

    Be wary of any person approaching you offering unofficial taxi services. If you do not have an airport transfer included and you need transportation, make your way to the official taxi desk or to the regular taxi line outside the terminal. Chose a vehicle with a meter or taxi sign. If there is no meter, we recommend you pre-negotiate and agree on the fare, before you get into the cab.

    A different way of life in some countries may take you by surprise, but if you travel with an open mind and respect local customs, you should find it easy to adapt to and enjoy your new surroundings. Standards of living may not be quite what you are used to, but there are compensations – a closer sense of reality and an authentic feeling of locale. Due to cultural differences you may not be greeted quite as cheerfully as back home; smiling is generally reserved for intimate friends. Be especially wary of people presenting themselves as “instant friends” and never accept food or drink from strangers. 

    Breakfast will be served in our hotel’s main dining room throughout your journey, and will be buffet style. Unlike in the US, it is frowned upon to take food out of the breakfast room.  Lunches are included on the days you are walking, lunch will be approximately between1:30-3:00 pm. Dinners will be at a local restaurant or your hotel.  Please plan to enjoy your dinners around 7:00-8:00 pm each day. Most dinners will be served "sit down" with a pre-determined 3-4 course meal.  Your meals include mineral water and wine.  While some restaurants may be able to provide for a special diet, such as vegetarian or sodium-free, 206 Tours cannot guarantee a special meal request. Generally vegetarian and vegan meals tend to lack variety and imagination. 

    While most local tap water will not hurt you, due to differences in mineral and micro-biotic levels, we recommend that you avoid consuming local tap water, as it may upset your stomach.

    Stores are open daily Monday to Saturday. (Some souvenir shops open on Sunday but just souvenir shops). Ask your tour escort where you are able to purchase regional specialty products which the countries/cities in your itinerary are known for. Small, light items that you can easily carry home make splendid and festive gifts. Don’t forget to buy something nice for yourself too. There will be shops for you to purchase walking and hiking gear. Whenever traveling abroad, be aware of your personal belongings when shopping in crowded areas. If you purchase a video or DVD, please check very carefully that it is compatible with your home viewing system. Sales tax or VAT (value added tax) is already included on price tags.


    Along the journey, a common phrase is "Buen Camino", (which means "good path") is generally received as good luck and happy travelling".

    Must Know Travel Terms

    Common Spanish Phrases

    Phrase Pronunciation














    por favor

    “pur fa-vour”

    Thank You



    Excuse Me

    com licença

    “ko li-cess-a”

    Do you speak English?

    Você fala Inglês?

    “vo-say fala ing-less”

    Can you help me?

    Podes me ajudar?

    “po-dess mee a-ju-dar”

    I don't understand

    Eu não entendo.

    “e-u nau in-ten-du”

    How much is it?

    Quanto custa?

    “ku-a-tu kuss-ta”

    Where is?

    Onde e o?

    “own-de eh oh”




    Taxi, please.

    Táxi por favor

    “taxi pur fa-vour”

    Where is the emergency hospital?

    Onde e o pronto socorro?

    own-de eh oh prone-to soak-oro”

    A Pilgrimage differs from a tour in several important ways. It is a personal invitation from God, comprised of His offer and dependent upon the pilgrim's acceptance. God's call may vary but the purpose remains consistent– it is an individual summons to know God more fully. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to which the pilgrim joyfully responds "yes" to God's invitation.

    Although in previous centuries many trials were intrinsic to a pilgrimage, the modern pilgrim has an abundance of affordable travel options. Yet the purpose is still a journey to a holy, sacred place to usher the pilgrim into the presence of God.

    The pilgrim must embark on this journey with joyful anticipation, being willing temporarily to separate himself from the world and to offer him/herself in humble service to another. A successful pilgrimage involves a commitment to leave behind one's problems and to focus instead on seeking to learn more about our heavenly Father, making one's heart full of desire for special graces, praises, petitions, and thanksgiving, returning home transformed, renewed and restored by the abundant blessings received. 

    A pilgrimage is a time of prayer and to witness the miraculous signposts God has left for our return to Him. Ask God to bless you with a heart that will be receptive to the treasure chest of graces He desires to shower upon your pilgrimage. The success of your spiritual journey will depend upon your openness, faith, flexibility, and love.

    Pilgrimages, journeys to sacred places for religious motives, are as old as civilization. Since the earliest times such journeys have been made as acts of devotion, penance, or thanksgiving or in search of blessings or miracles.


    If your flight is cancelled or delayed it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights or protection.  Please note that once your tickets has been issued or you have check-in for your flights, 206 Tours can no longer make any changes to your flight itinerary. This can ONLY be done by the airlines.  In such case be persistent with the agent, however keep in mind that the situation is not the airline agents fault. Try your best to remain courteous to them, as you may find that you receive more assistance this way. The airlines are not required to offer reimbursement for personal expense or overnights when delays/cancellations occur due to weather. If you find that you have no luck with the airline personnel, please contact your emergency number and we shall do all in our power to assist you.

    If you should miss your flight, due to your own late arrival at your departure airport, it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights. You may incur additional costs to exchange your airline ticket (minimum of $300 per person). Once your alternate arrangements have been confirmed you may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you.

    If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will most likely miss your group transfer which is included in your package.  You may take a taxi at your own expense to your hotel or you may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you. Make sure to obtain a receipt for the taxi or the private transfer provided. Upon return to the U.S.A. you may submit a claim with the insurance company or airlines to seek reimbursement. 

    If you have any problems, concerns, or complaints during your trip, please communicate directly and IMMEDIATELY with your tour escort. Your tour escort is at your disposal to assist you with all your needs, such as issues with your hotel room, meals, etc. There is very little that can be done to rectify a concern once you have returned home, however most of the time your tour escort can address any concerns you may have swiftly. If the tour escort does not resolve your concern to your satisfaction please contact our office.

    If you would like to change your airline ticket for any reason once the ticket has been issued and/or you have departed you MUST work DIRECTLY with the airlines. You will incur additional costs (minimum of $300 per person) for such changes.


    The Way of St. James or El Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.    206 Tours has been arranging this particular type of waling pilgrimage for the past three years and we are all very eagerly working each and every day to improve what has been in practice for over thousand years.
    It was one of the three most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, the other two are of course Rome and Jerusalem.  It is a pilgrimage route where a plenary indulgence could be earned.  It is believed that the St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.  The Way can take one of any number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.

    The Way of St. James, often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle are buried. Whenever St James' day (July 25th) falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Jubilee Year. The next Holy Year will be in 2021. El Camino has existed for over a thousand years and was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times.  There is not a single route; the Way can take one of any number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. However a few of the routes are considered main ones. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly traveled. However, the Black Plague, the Protestant Reformation, and political unrest in 16th-century Europe resulted in its decline. By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims arrived in Santiago annually. However, since then, the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day pilgrims from around the globe. The route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 1993.

    Today, thousands of pilgrims make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did- on horseback or by donkey. Many consider the experience a spiritual adventure to remove themselves from the bustle of modern life. The scallop shell, typically found on the shores in Galicia, has long been the symbol of El Camino. Originally, the scallop shell served practical purposes for pilgrims gathering water to drink or for eating from as a makeshift bowl. Also, because the scallop shell is native to the shores of Galicia, the shell functioned as proof of completion. Besides being a practical tool, the scallop shell also serves as a metaphor. The grooves in the shell that come together at a single point represent the various routes pilgrims traveled, eventually arriving at a single destination- the tomb of Saint James. The scallop shell is also a metaphor for the pilgrim. As the waves of the ocean wash scallop shells up on the shores of Galicia, God's hand also guide the pilgrims to Santiago.  Most pilgrims have a document called the Credential or "Pilgrim's passport" that is stamped with the official St. James stamp at each town in which the pilgrim stays. It provides walking pilgrims with a record of where they stayed, but also serves as proof to the Pilgrim's office in Santiago that the journey is accomplished according to an official route. The stamped credential is necessary if the pilgrim wants to obtain a Compostela, a certificate of completion.  Upon arrival at the Cathedral in Santiago, pilgrims take their credential to the nearby Pilgrim Office and a Compostela certificate (written in Latin) is issued.

    A Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is held each day at noon. Pilgrims who received the Compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass. The musical and visual highlight of the mass is the synchronization of the beautiful 'Hymn to Christ' with the spectacular swinging of the huge 'Botafumeiro'. The 'Botafumeiro' is the famous thurible found inside the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Incense is burned in this swinging metal container. As the last chords die away, so the multitudes of pilgrims happily come forward to reach the spiritual highlight of the mass- the rite of communion. The Botafumerio only swing on special occasions or important Catholic feasts

    Fittingly, there are priests administering the Sacrament of Penance, or confession, in many languages to complete the plenary indulgence.  Along the routes to Santiago have walked people of all stamps and conditions: honest pilgrims, convicts, minstrels, beggars, adventurers, tramps, fugitives from justice, bandits. The religious people made the pilgrimage urged by their unrestrained need to visit the tomb of the Apostle and to begin a personal relationship with him. Other pilgrims made the journey in order to fulfill a promise made to the Apostle after they overcame a difficult situation. Among these were those who had been seriously ill, and others that came in search of a miraculous recovery. There were also convicts who made the pilgrimage as a punishment, imposed either by the ecclesiastical authorities or civil judges. But not all pilgrims made the journey for pious reasons, some "pilgrims" sought gain. There were penitents who were fulfilling an assignment, those who wanted to see the world, those who were obliged by testamentary clauses to visit Santiago in order to receive an inheritance.

     The first known pilgrim was Gotescalco, Bishop of Puy, who made the pilgrimage in 950 accompanied by his retinue; later the route was to be followed by the Marquis of Gothia, who was murdered on the way; a century later, the Apostle’s tomb was visited by the Archbishop of Lyon. And along these distinguished pilgrims, a growing number of believers of all conditions traveled by the same route.
    The Way to Santiago has indissolubly connected the culture, the knowledge and the information. Everything that was said, preached, told, sung, sculpted or painting along the Route was known to more people and places. On account of its influence on literature and art, Compostela, along with Rome or Jerusalem, became a place of worship for Christian society, especially between the 11 and 14 C.

    Pilgrim's Mass is held in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela each day at noon for pilgrims. Pilgrims who received the compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass.

    The musical and visual highlight of the Mass is the synchronization of the beautiful "Hymn to Santiago" with the spectacular swinging of the huge Botafumeiro, the famous thurible kept in the cathedral.  Incense is burned in this swinging metal container, or "incensory". As the last chords die away, the multitude of pilgrims jostle happily as they crowd forward to reach the spiritual highlight of the Mass, the rite of communion.

    Priests administer the Sacrament of Penance, or confession, in many languages, permitting most pilgrims to complete the indulgence attached to the pilgrimage upon satisfying the other canonical conditions.

    The Apostle Saint James (Santiago) the Greater, as he was called by Christian tradition, was one of the sons of Zebedeo and Salome; his brother was John the evangelist, also Apostle. He was invited by Jesus "beside his brother and immediately after Peter and Andrew- to become fisherman of men". He was one of the apostles that had a close and intimate relationship with the son of God. He accompanied him when he began the propagation of the word of God; he was present in the Mount of Olives when he predicted the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, the complete ruin of the city and the catastrophes that will precede the end of times; and witnessed the last apparition of Jesus in Galilee after his resurrection.  Santiago died young, around age 42, beheaded by order of the King of the Jews, Herodes Agripa I, when, in a frustrated attempt to win the confidence of Rome, intensified the persecution of the first communities of Christians.

    According to tradition, after the death of Jesus, the apostles divided among them the places where they should predicate, and to James fell Spain and the occidental regions. Legend tells two versions about the presence of the Martyr in the Iberian Peninsula; the first says that he went through Asturias, Galice, Castile and Aragon, spreading the word of God unsuccessfully. During this mission the Virgin appeared before him by the Ebro River, above a column, and ordered him to build a church there. The second version assures that after his martyrdom, his disciples carried his body by boat from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia, in Finisterre. At this point, historic facts and legend merge to obtain a colorful story. Once beheaded, his body was thrown out of the city to feed dogs and beasts, but, when night fell, his disciples took it and carried it to the Port of Jope. Providentially, an empty fully rigged boat appeared. On the seventh day of navigation they arrived at the mouth of the Ulloa River, in Galice. As they put the body of their master on a heavy rock, the rock melted like wax and turned into a sarcophagus.

    In the beginning of the 9C the sepulcher of Santiago el Mayor (James the Greater), evangelist in Spain, was discovered. Pelayo, a hermit who lived in the former diocese of Iria Flavia, had a "divine revelation" in the deep of the forest. He sees "altar lights" and hears "angels singing". The parishioners of San Félix de Solobio, at the foot of the forest, announced the event. The bishop Teodomiro went in the forest, found the mausoleum and identified it as the Apostle Santiago’s tomb.  At a time when Europe needed to be united, the Route to Santiago was the first element that made it possible.

    The find of the sepulcher of the first Apostle Martyr became an unquestionable symbol, compatible with the diverse conceptions of the Christian peoples. Conscious of the importance of having the relics of Santiago el Mayor, the Spanish Monarchies contributed significantly to the success of the holy route. In those times the Peninsula had a growing need for money and soldiers to fight against the Moorish.             
    The kings of Aragon, Navarre and Castile made a great effort to attract to their possessions powerful rich people, and to that end, employed all possible means: interchange of presents, arranged marriages and the announcements of the favors dispensed by the Apostle. As the faith in the miracles performed by Santiago extended people began to make pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in order to obtain his grace.

    Dear God,

    We are Your pilgrims, and are on our way to You.
    Anoint us to do Your will as we travel on this journey.

    Help us give a hand of friendship and love to fellow pilgrims.
    May the joy of your dwelling in us draw us closer to each other and to You.
    Give us strength to persevere when we get too tired.
    Give us understanding of different nationalities, cultures, wealth, poverty and
    mentalities.  Give us patience and grace to accept diversity in food, services and people that we encounter.
    Remind us to offer gratitude, to our hosts, tour guides, hotel and airline personnel 
    Expand our vision to recognize Your plan.
    Warm our hearts by the flame of Your love, so that we may share it with others too.
    Open our lips so that we can speak Your Word and words of love.
    Expand our arms so that we can embrace each other and all who need hugs
    Speak to us so that we may discern the role that You have for us.
    Send us breeze when it gets too hot, and sunshine when it’s raining hard.
    Help us to love, pray, forgive, embrace, see and discover.
    Help us to remember:
    We responded to Your calling to make this journey,
    we are Your pilgrims, going towards You and for You.

    If we feel lonely, we will remember, that we are not alone,
    as with each step we take You are right alongside of us.

    And if at times, the road is too rocky, if the weather gets too stormy,
    if it gets dark, if our hearts grow numb, heavy, empty, shivering, broken,
    then, especially then, help us to remember- how much You love us.
    We promise to remember, that You hold our souls.
    And always, God, help us to live according to your will.
    We at 206 Tours promise to keep you in our prayers, please keep us and all of our pilgrims in yours.  Please encourage others to be a pilgrim, regardless if pilgrimage is around the block or around the world.  God Bless!
    206 Tours

    O Lord my God prepare my spirit so that, through the intercession of the Apostle James, it may be open to your word, receive it, and put it into practice.

    My Lord Jesus Christ! Here I am close to You, brining with me in prayer joys and sorrows of my brothers and sisters as well as the continual happiness and difficulties of my daily walk.  Sometimes I lose my way on the path of life, and I don’t know what to do.  Frequently I am distracted by material things and am in need of enlightenment.  Lord, create in me a longing for You and a firm resolution to never offend You again.  Give me your grace to contemplate the path of Your earthly life and to be attracted further by the example of St. James the Apostle.  May I wholeheartedly follow You in the path of this life and find in You peace and joy without end.

    O Glorious Saint James, because of your fervor and generosity Jesus chose you to witness his glory on the Mount and his agony in the Garden. Obtain for us
    strength and consolation in the unending struggles of this life.
    Help us to follow Christ constantly and generously,
    to be victors over all our difficulties, and to receive the crown
    of glory in heaven. Pray for us that we may be willing
    to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did.
    Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were.

    St. James, Apostle chosen among the first
    You were the first to drink the cup of the Master
    and you are the great protector of pilgrims;
    make us strong in the faith and happy in hope
    on our pilgrims’ journey following the path of Christian life
    and feed is so that we may finally reach the glory of God the Father.





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