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CAMINO DE SANTIAGO- Summer

If you’re looking to take on your own pilgrimage – along a route filled with beautiful countryside and rustic villages of Northern Spain – start here, at the Camino de Santiago. On this eight-day trip, complete the last 100 km of the pilgrimage route to Santiago and receive a "compostela" at the finish to prove your accomplishment. Refuel with tasty Spanish food and take the time to stop and smell the flowers – it’s active but at a slower, more picturesque pace.


Itinerary

July 15 : Sarria

Arrive at any time. Group meeting at 6 or 7 PM.

July 16 : Sarria/Portomarín (B)

Hike from Sarria to Portomarín throughout the course of the day.

July 17 : Portomarín/Palas de Rei (B)

Early start from Portomarin, continue walking through fantastic scenery with a rich history en route to Palas de Ray.

July 18 : Palas de Rei/Melide (B)

Continue the pilgrimage westwards, walking through the lush green valleys of Galicia.

July 19 : Melide/Arzúa (B)

Follow the Camino from Melide to the village of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa.

July 20 : Arzúa/Amenal (B)

The Camino walk will pass through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams most of the day.

July 21 : Amenal/Santiago de Compostela (B)

Enjoy a final day of walking through spectacular scenery towards the final destination.

July 22 : Santiago de Compostela (B)

Depart at any time.

Detailed Itinerary

July 15 : Sarria

Arrive at any time in Sarria. To get to Sarria you will probably want to fly into Santiago de Compostela or Madrid and take a bus to Sarria. Santiago de Compostela is closer, Madrid will have cheaper flights.

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting (Typically 6 or 7PM). After the meeting, you might like to take the option of heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions.

Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

July 16 : Sarria/Portomarín (B)

Sarria – Portomarín, 6h-8h, 23km

Start hiking from Sarria to Portomarín, covering about 23km (14 mi) over the course of the day. Pass through many lovely towns along the way and choose to have a picnic in places such as Barbadelo, Renta or Ferreiros. Spend the night in the riverside city of Portomarin.

July 17 : Portomarín/Palas de Rei (B)

Portomarín – Palas de Rei, 6h, 22km

Get those walking shoes back on! Leave Portomarin behind in the early light of the morning to make the most of the day. This stretch is a mix of ups and downs through beautiful scenery. The entire area has a rich history, especially during the Middle Ages.

July 18 : Palas de Rei/Melide (B)

Palas de Rei – Melide, 4h, 15km

Head west and continue the pilgrimage, passing through the lush green valleys of Galicia. Covering about 15 km today, the day again passes through many lovely villages and towns along the way, offering ample opportunity for rest stops and time to pick up any needed supplies before arriving in Melide.

July 19 : Melide/Arzúa (B)

Melide – Arzúa, 4h, 13km

Leaving Melide, the Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track to the village of Boente with its church of Santiago. Next is the scenic medieval village of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa (389m). In Arzúa, visit the churches of Santa María and Capela De La Magdalena.

July 20 : Arzúa/Amenal (B)

Arzúa – Amenal, 6h, 23km

Walk through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams most of the day. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. En-route, don't miss the lovely hamlet of Rúa (310m). The rest of the route to Amenal is along a mix of good and calm country roads and forest tracks.

July 21 : Amenal/Santiago de Compostela (B)

Amenal – Santiago de Compostela, 4h, 14km

Leave early in order to reach Santiago de Compostela in time for the pilgrim's mass. Walk the last part of the pilgrimage and enjoy the scenery before the baroque, painted towers of the cathedral come into view. Later, explore this fascinating city and sip some wine in a café to celebrate the incredible journey. Upon reaching our goal, the pilgrimage is not complete without a visit to the cathedral on the magnificent Praza do Obradoiro, which houses the supposed tomb of St. James the Apostle. It is widely believed that his remains were buried here in the 1st century AD; from then onwards he became the patron saint of the Christian Crusades.

July 22 : Santiago de Compostela (B)

Depart Santiago de Compostela at any time.

Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).

If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Stuff You Need to Know

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

We want to emphasize the cancellation policy:

All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to jesse@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.

* Cancellation 60 days or more prior to departure = Deposit is kept on file for future use and all other program fee payments are refunded

* Cancellation between 30 and 59 days prior to departure = 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use

* Cancellation within 30 days of departure = No refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use

Trip Notes

1. LUGGAGE
Please note that after the short bus ride on Day 2, this trip is a trekking trip from start to finish. A support vehicle is available on every day to carry your main luggage, so you will need to have a day pack large enough to fit whatever you require for each day hiking. Please note that only one bag is permitted per traveler, which cannot exceed 20kg/45lbs.

2. LUGGAGE FORWARDING OPTION
If travelling with extra luggage from previous trips or continuing on your travels after the tour, you have the option of forwarding extra luggage to Santiago from Leon for a reasonable fee (approx. 10-30 EUR depending on total weight). Please inquire with your Tour Leader on Day 1. There is also an option to transfer luggage daily to the next night stop, by taxi. This can be arranged with your Tour Leader and is an OPTIONAL service. Cost will be divided between those who choose to use this service.

3. PHYSICAL ABILITY
Be prepared to hike an average of 6 to 10 hrs per day, approx. 20-25 km per day, with some shorter and longer days along the way.

Service Level

Standard:

Step out of the normal tourist mind-set and truly experience the world. Most nights will have you staying in a simple yet clean twin-share hotel or lodge rooms with private facilities, complete with running water and electricity. Occasionally you may have a multi-share night at rustic local guesthouses, with communal bathrooms and the sporadic cold shower. Transportation will be a combination of public transport, private buses and some private vehicles.

Physical Grading

3:

May include moderate hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and other activities that require only an average/moderate level of fitness to enjoy.

Minimum/Maximum Group Size

This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 16 participants.

Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places. Your tour leader will be able to help you find a local guided tour in each location if you would like one.

Packing List

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items while hiking. Please note that after the short bus ride on Day 2, this trip is a trekking trip from start to finish. A support vehicle is available on every day to carry your main luggage, so you will need to have a day pack large enough to fit whatever you require for each day hiking. Please note that only one bag is permitted per traveler, which cannot exceed 20kg/45lbs.

If travelling with extra luggage from previous trips or continuing on your travels after the tour, you have the option of forwarding extra luggage to Santiago from Leon for a reasonable fee (approx. 10-30 EUR depending on total weight). Please inquire with your Tour Leader on Day 1. There is also an option to transfer luggage daily to the next night stop, by taxi. This can be arranged with your Tour Leader and is an OPTIONAL service. Cost will be divided between those who choose to use this service.

Do not forget to pack a medical kit with extra Band-Aids. Blister kits are also available, and are a good idea to have with you. Please remember to bring and wear footwear that you know is comfortable and will not give you blisters. This is not a trip to break in new boots or shoes.

Suggested Checklist

•Comfortable Daypack for hiking (We recommend one with a water bladder)
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small travel towel
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for hot weather (There will probably be no time for laundry)
•Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
•Comfortable hiking boots/shoes (You will be walking a lot)
•Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
•Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (Your hotels will have soap and shampoo, some will have hair dryers)
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, blister kit, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Personal Electronics such as iPhone, iPad, MP3 player, etc.
•Camera
•Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here.)

Optional Checklist

•Travel pillow
•Money belt
•Water bottle
•Phone/Tablet for internet (Most hotels have WiFi)
•Packing cubes (These are awesome)
•Flip-flops/Sandals
•Ear Plugs (Hearos Xtreme Protection 33 decibel ear plugs are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
•Reading/writing material
•Hand Sanitizer/Baby wipes
•Phrase books
•Walking poles (recommended)

Document Checklist

•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit and/or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Single Travellers

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with, GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. Most of our trips have a "My Own Room" option, also known as a "Single Supplement" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email jesse@geeo.org. To see the price for the "My Own Room" option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

Money

Spending Money

Every traveler is different and therefore spending requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, and tipping. Please look at our “Costs” tab when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Spain is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveler’s checks and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveler's checks alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.

Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Medical Forms

GEEO travel programs bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, at minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. While our tour leaders work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings above for more information.

Optional Activities

Please note: All optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.

Santiago de Compostela

Museo do Pobo Gallego - free
Cathedral entrances - free
Museum of Modern Art - free
Pilgrimage Museum - €3

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip is designed to give you the freedom to do whatever interests you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and keep in mind these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Other than daily breakfast, few meals are included on this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat on your own budget. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.

Tour Company Fee

$1139 USD

Non-Educator Fee

$100 USD (Educators do not have to pay this fee)

Optional Activities

$20 USD, See optional activities tab to get a better idea of your budget.

International Airfare from USA

Roughly $1000-$1700 USD, See our FAQ for flight advice.

Insurance

$26-$186 USD
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
See our FAQ for advice on Travel Insurance.

Tipping

We recommend $40 USD for your G Adventures tour leader.

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

Allow $285-$370 for meals not included.

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

(Make sure you budget for these types of expenses)

Airport Transfers

$20-$100 (Depends on which airport you travel into)

Souvenirs

$0-????

FAQ

What should be my expectations for this GEEO program?

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. To summarize, our programs are quite adventurous.

• The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.

• You will be walking 4 to 10 hrs per day on the hike.

• While hiking you will be carrying a daypack with your water and snacks.

• Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals. In fact, in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

Do I need a Passport? Do I need a visa?

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Many countries require that your passport not expire within six months of your arrival in that country. Please take the time to look up the passport validity requirements for the country/countries you are visiting on this trip by clicking here.

If you have a U.S. passport, but it has expired, or will expire within 6 months of trip departure, click here for information on how to get it renewed. If you have never been issued a passport or have lost your passport, please click here. Processing time for US Passports is 4-6 weeks so please start this process immediately.

As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.

Americans do not need a visa for travel in Spain. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.

Is it OK if I am traveling alone? Do I have to have a roommate?

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with, GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. Most of our trips have a "My Own Room" option, also known as a "Single Supplement" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email jesse@geeo.org. To see the price for the "My Own Room" option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

What is group travel like?

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all across the US and beyond and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Is it possible to get references for GEEO?

Over 2000 educators have traveled with GEEO since we ran our first programs in 2008. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and value of the life changing experiences that we provide.

To read comments from past travelers, please feel free to visit a website that reviews non-profit organizations called Great Non-profits. Please click here for those reviews.

Please contact us if you would like to communicate with some of our former participants for a reference.

Who travels with GEEO?

GEEO participants are mostly made up of American K-12 teachers. Each group tends to have a good mix of educators in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. About half of our participants are coming alone and do not know anyone in the group prior to the trip. We group single travelers of the same gender together as roommates, unless a participant prefers to pay an additional fee for their own room. If we have an odd amount of one gender we will rotate the single room for free among the participants.

GEEO trips are open to all Kindergarten to University teachers, school staff, school administrators, and soon-to-be teachers pursuing their teaching certificate. Our programs are also open to retired educators. Non-American educators are welcome on our trips.

Each educator who participates in our programs is permitted to bring along up to three friends or family members who are not teachers. Each participant must be of adequate fitness level for their chosen trip. If you wish to bring a guest under the age of 18 GEEO will consider your request, but typically we only allow participants over the age of 18.

What vaccinations do I need for this trip?

You do not need any vaccinations to travel on this program.

Where do I meet the group? What happens when I arrive at the airport?

Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. We will provide you with the starting hotel information roughly 90 days before departure. Your tour leader will leave a note for you at the hotel's front desk with the introductory meeting time and location.

Transfers to and from Santiago de Compostela Airport: (85km)

Between Santiago de Compostela and Sarria, there is a direct bus that runs 5 times per day taking about 2 hours and 40 minutes. More information found at www.movelia.es and www.empresafreire.com

If those websites give you trouble, try out https://www.rome2rio.com/

Alternatively, if you are arriving at Madrid (Barajas) Airport (500km), the train route between Sarria and Madrid airport is served 4 times a day, taking 6h30-7h30. See www.movelia.es. for more information.

Where can we get a list of hotels for this trip?

Other than the first hotel our partner G Adventures does not provide hotel lists for any of their trips.

The reason for this is sometimes hotels change at the last minute. G Adventures does not want to give out incorrect information because in an emergency that can only cause more issues. Instead we give you 24-hour emergency phone numbers where you and your family can reach staff in the country that you are travelling to or in Canada at G Adventure's headquarters. This way at any time your loved ones can call the emergency contact who can immediately put them in touch with your tour leader no matter how plans have changed.

What are the hotels like?

It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Often downtown hotels in Europe were not built to be hotels but rich owners' houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.

On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.

Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities

Is it OK if I arrive a few days early or stay a few days late?

You may want to arrive a few days early at the start of the trip or stay a few days extra at the end of trip. Please feel free to do so.

We will send out an email to all participants roughly 90 days before departure with information on which hotels we will be using for the start and end of the trip as well how to go about booking them.

When should I purchase my flights?

This program is confirmed to run so you may purchase your flights whenever you wish.

What cities/airports should I book my flight in and out of?

The program starts in Sarria. To get to Sarria you will probably want to fly into Santiago de Compostela or Madrid and take a bus to Sarria. Santiago de Compostela is closer, Madrid will have cheaper flights.

The program ends in Santiago de Compostela. There are several buses and trains that run from Santiago on a daily basis to Madrid or other cities. Several airlines have flights daily to Madrid from Lavacolla Airport, just outside of Santiago.

Our end hotel is located in the heart of the historical old town. It is a 15 minute drive to the airport, and a 10 minute bus ride to the bus station. To Santiago airport from downtown, taxis charge a flat rate of 16€.

Where can I purchase flights?

We recommend using www.kayak.com or www.google.com/flights/ to see what is out there in terms of flights.

You may also want to take a look at the prices at www.flyforgood.com or call 1-877-359-4466 to speak to a person. They get humanitarian rates from airlines and GEEO is registered with Fly for Good as a non-profit. If you purchase a humanitarian rate flight, you will need a supporting document from GEEO. Please request this from us after you purchase the tickets. Note that humanitarian rates are not available for all flights to GEEO destinations and are sometimes higher than tickets found on Kayak, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia etc. Often the layovers are long and sometimes impossible to navigate. Look very carefully at the offer before purchasing your ticket.

Where can I purchase travel insurance?

Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. Regular health insurance plans almost never include emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance, so you will almost certainly need to purchase a separate TRAVEL health insurance plan.

You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you like. In order to receive your trip vouchers you must enter your insurance information into our tour operator’s online check-in system, Good To Go. We recommend doing this 60 days before departure.

The least expensive travel health insurance plan that we have found is the International Teacher Identity Card, better known as the ITIC Card. They have a $26 card that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits. The card will also get you discounts and benefits in over 125,000 locations, including many museums and hotels. Another great thing about the ITIC Card is that it covers you for an entire year and can be used for all your travel during that period, including domestic travel.

GEEO has reached an agreement with the makers of this card to pre-approve all GEEO travelers, so you do not need to submit paperwork proving that you are a teacher. Also, non-teachers who are traveling with GEEO can get this same card, which normally is only for teachers.

To sign up for the card please follow this link:

www.myisic.com/orders/GEEO

While not required, we also highly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance! The $186 Explorer ITIC Card comes with $3000 of cancellation insurance, which is also valid for multiple trips (domestic and international) within a one year period. Even if you don't use the cancellation insurance on your GEEO trip, you might end up needing it for travel expenses relating to a conference!

Please note: Residents of Washington, New Hampshire and Massachusetts cannot purchase this card due to some odd state laws. If you are a resident of one of these states, we recommend purchasing an "International Volunteer Card." They have a $42 card (Plus Plan) that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits. DO NOT get the Basic Plan that they offer as it does not have enough coverage for our programs. To sign up for the card you can follow this link: http://www.volunteercard.com/geeo.html/.

The ITIC and IVC cards are for American residents. If you are not American or are an American living abroad, you will have to find another option.

Will I be eating on my own? With the group? Why aren't all meals included?

Eating is a big part of traveling, especially in Spain. Traveling with GEEO you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is affordable. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes, the water is safe to drink.

What is the weather like?

June, July and August are peak walking months on the Camino de Santiago. For this section of the trail, expect highs in the high 70's and low's in the high 50's. While temperatures are higher than other times of the year the weather tends to be much more consistent with less rain. Hikers tend to sleep earlier at night and rise again in the pre-dawn hours to get a head-start on the heat of the day.

Is there Internet access? Should I bring a computer? Mobile phone?

Many of the hotels we use have WiFi (often free, sometime not). There are internet cafes in most of the places we visit and many of the hotels also have computers that can be used. Expect to be able to check your email every two to three days. You can also bring along your mobile phone if you choose. Make sure you check with your phone company before you leave to find out the rates for calling back to the US and if they have any special international plans that are worth taking advantage of. International roaming rates can be extremely high, so you don’t want to be surprised. You can bring a laptop/tablet/smart phone if you wish, but remember, GEEO and G Adventures are not responsible for the damage or theft of your valued items.

Is there clothing that is considered inappropriate that I should not bring?

We recommend wearing clothing designed for hiking. This means synthetic or wool socks and hiking pants made of quick drying synthetic material with zip off legs so they can convert to short. We recommend layers, as it can be chilly in the morning.

Do I need plugs and current converters for my electronic devices?

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Spain uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100 - 240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

How much money in US cash should I bring? Should I exchange local currency in advance?

This is entirely up to you, but we think it is critical for you to bring along $200 USD in cash for emergencies. This is what GEEO's executive director Jesse does in regards to money while traveling:

"I do not exchange any money before traveling to a country but instead bring somewhere between $200-300 USD in cash. I go to a bank before I leave the US and take out the cash there rather than an ATM. I make sure each bill is in great condition with no rips or tears. I like to have mostly 20's, but in some countries you are better off with 50's and 100's. In some countries, it is also good to have about 20 singles for when you have no small bills in local currency. I divide this money between a money belt, my main backpack, and my daypack.

I also bring an ATM card and a credit card. Before I leave the country I call the bank and credit card companies to let them know I am traveling abroad so they don't think the foreign transactions are fraudulent and cancel my cards when I am most reliant on them. Having a second bank account and bank card is pretty handy so that just in case one card doesn't work at an ATM or is lost, you always have a backup account. It's also important to check with your credit card to see if there is an international transaction fee. Some cards charge up to 4% extra for any transactions made out of the US. My Capital One visa card doesn't have any international transaction fee. I just use this card for traveling so if it gets stolen and I have to cancel it I won't have to worry about recurring automated payments. I like to split up my cards between my money belt, wallet, and one emergency card hidden in my main bag.

When I arrive at the airport I make sure to go to an ATM before leaving the airport and typically take out the equivalent of $150 USD in the local currency. I find that ATMs give the best exchange rate so throughout the trip I will use the ATM card to draw out my spending cash. I will ask our tour leader for an estimate on how much I will need if I am close to leaving a country so this way I do not draw out too much money.

I try not to use the US cash I brought with me so that I can use it in an emergency. Typically I will come back to the US with most of that US cash unspent. On a recent trip, I lost my ATM card and was able to get cash by paying for our group dinners with my credit card and having people pay me their share in local currency. I NEVER take cash advances on my credit card as they charge you an arm and a leg.”

Do you have advice on tipping?

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.

What is expected from me from an educational stand point?

Please take a look at the "Sharing your Adventure section of our website by clicking here.

What should I expect in terms of school visits?

The schools are closed during the summer so instead we try to set up a meeting with local teachers. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes it isn't.

Is there any safety advice we should know about?

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home - you won't need it while travelling.

Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals. Of all the places GEEO goes, France and Italy probably have the craftiest pickpockets.

Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is G Adventure's policy not to allow our tour leaders to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

What happens if it becomes unsafe to travel on this trip?

Your safety is our utmost priority and we will cancel a trip if we do not feel our participants will be safe. If GEEO or G Adventures cancels your trip we will issue a full refund of any payments you have made including the deposit. If YOU decide to cancel your trip you will have to abide by the rules of our terms and conditions.

What are the emergency contact numbers for this trip?

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office,

G Adventures Local Office
Emergency Cell Phone: +44 7817 262559

If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office they have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What is the relationship between G Adventures and GEEO? Who is running this trip?

GEEO is an independent non-profit organization that helps teachers travel. GEEO has chosen to work with the tour operator G Adventures. We discount their prices for our participants so they are even more affordable for teachers. GEEO also is able to get our participants humanitarian rate airfare and discounted travel health insurance. GEEO customizes these trips for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials to teachers before and after the trip to help bring the participating teachers' experience into the classroom. GEEO provides each participant with a Professional Development Certificate. For more about GEEO, please see our mission statement.

G Adventures is a tour company that GEEO has partnered with to run our trips. For over 25 years, G Adventures has been sending hundreds of thousands of people abroad and today they are the largest adventure travel company in the world. They design the trips, provide expert tour leaders, ground logistics, and work hard to make sure you have an excellent experience.

How long have we been running this program?

GEEO was founded in 2007 and our inaugural trips were run to Peru and India in the summer of 2008. This is the first time we offering this Camino de Santiago program. G Adventures, who actually handle the logistics of the trip, runs this same itinerary many times a year so they have the experience to make sure your trip will be safe and well run.

Is the itinerary exactly as described on this website?

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Is there any advice for finding funding for this program?

The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school's principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school's PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.

We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants can be used on GEEO trips. If you want advice on applying for an FFT grant, please email us and we will send you a document that you will find helpful.

1139.00 USD

International Airfare not included

Availability: +7

Book now

This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 16 participants.

What's Included

  • Trekking along the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela (5 days)

  • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout

  • 7 breakfasts (Allow $285-$370 USD for meals not included.)

  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities using walking and private vehicle

  • Hotels (7 nights)

What's Not Included

  • International air

  • Incidentals

  • Travel Health Insurance

  • Applicable visas

  • Airport Taxes

  • Tips or gratuities

  • Beverages

  • Meals not mentioned above

  • Optional Tours or optional admissions

  • Airport Transfers, unless otherwise mentioned in inclusions.

  • Cancellation Insurance