Our two guides, Ana and Natalia, were spectacular, and I was so grateful that Fresco took such good... read more
Our two guides, Ana and Natalia, were spectacular, and I was so grateful that Fresco took such good... read more
A number of years ago my wife and I watched the movie, "The Way" and put this on our bucket list to do in the future. Well that day finally arrived when my wife purchased me two tickets anywhere in the world Westjet flew. While looking up where I wanted to go, I noted that Westjet was offering a service to Barcelona, Spain (beginning in May, 2019). Immediately I recalled the movie and thought the time was right to walk and experience the Camino. I googled the Camino and the first site to pop up was Fresco Tours. I checked the tours available and discovered that one of the tours, the Kinder Camino, was taking place in the time frame we wanted to book our vacation.
Without hesitation I booked the tour and right from the start we were provided details on what to expect and asked if we needed to book accommodation prior to the tour starting and afterwards. Everytime I sent an email asking questions they were answered forthwith without hesitation and suggestions to make our experience more enjoyable. As this was our first trip outside of North America the first class service was greatly appreciated and all required booking were made so we knew exactly where we were going and staying.
On August 26, 2019 we were introduced to our fellow pilgrims and guides and immediately whatever concerns we had were put to rest and all were ensured that this would be once in a life time experience. On August 27 our journey began and 11 strangers, two guides and a bus driver become one. All with the goal of completing our own Camino. As a photographer I was usually at the rear of the pack but never felt pressured to increase my speed to keep up. Every mile walked was viewed through both my lenses (eye and camera) and senses as I had the opportunity to speak with many individuals from around the world who were walking the Camino for a variety of reasons.
Everyday began with a group breakfast composed of the foods native to the area we were staying in. Each picnic lunch feature local wines, cheeses and treats. The most favorite of our group, especially mine was the dark chocolate. Dinners were out of this world and the bond our group made became stronger each day. One of the individuals in our group was a vegan and after a few meals the rest of us began to sample the special meals she was provided. Our guides Jeffery and David went above and beyond to ensure our experience was top notched. Their local knowledge added to the experience and after a few days our brains were overloaded with knowledge. As well a third guide, Silvia, joined us for a couple of days. Her bubbly personality and always smiling face made the walk seem like nothing more than a stroll around the lake.
On Saturday August, 31, 2019 my wife and I celebrated our 34 wedding anniversary. We were the second couple of our group celebrating a wedding anniversary. All the staff went out of their way to ensure it was a day to remember with Champagne and a gift of two pilgrim dolls.
What else can I say but Fresco Tours went above and beyond to ensure our trip was one to remember. To my fellow pilgrims whom I shared meals and stories with, and the occasional sticky yellow drink, be safe until we once again cross paths. To those I have yet to meet and want to experience the Camino without the hassle of struggling to book accommodation, side trips, etc., I would highly recommend Fresco Tours for a once in a lifetime experience..
I am so happy to hear that you were able to check this adventure off your bucket list, and more so, that you were able to fulfill your Camino dream with Fresco!
I understand that while you were receiving treats, such as dark chocolate, the guides and bus driver were also met with a surprise gift from you, as well as your knowledge of Canadian Native American traditions & culture. They appreciated you sharing this with them!
Also, how wonderful that you were able to celebrate your wedding anniversary in such a special setting and that you were able to share it with your group, who eventually became like a family. :)
On behalf of Fresco, I hope that our paths can cross again in the future and I hope you'll keep walking (and taking photos to capture the moments)!
Carol and Hector provided a wonderful tour on the Camino Norte. We had eight family members in our group with a wide range of ages and hiking experience. There was a great availability of options daily for a hike that was more challenging than the French Way. The Basque food was delicious and the fellowship with our group of 16 plus guides will be treasured.
It was great to have dinner with you, your family and the rest of the peregrinos the other night in the Basque Country! The impromptu concert afterwards was an added treat.
After having met you and your sons on our Camino de Santiago tour a couple of years ago, it was like another family reunion. I've always felt that the Camino is a wonderful journey to share with loved ones - everyone has their own space, but are doing the same thing. Along the trail, you can walk alone or together, cover all the KMs or use the Check Points, in silence or chatting with each other. In the evening, we all get together to enjoy and reminisce the day's walk over a good meal with hearty laughs! Absolutely perfecto!
Thank you again for entrusting your family's reunion in our hands - we look forward to the next event!
Abrazos y besos,
I'm just back from the 11-day Kinder Camino tour starting from Leon/Sarria. And since it's probably boring to hear more about what knowledgeable and warm guides David and Jeffery are, what a fantastic company Alex runs, how flawless the logistics were, how peaceful and serene the countryside was, I thought I'd write about what it was like as a vegan on the trip since I haven't yet seen a post about that.
Breakfast was absolutely necessary to fuel up. A cafe solo to start. Granola and cereals, lots of fresh and dried fruit and nuts. Biscuits. Some manor homes had soy or almond milk and soy yogurt, peanut butter. Pan con tomate. One place even offered vegan cold cuts!
Picnic lunches provided lots of choices. Jeffery or David would make a special portion for me, leaving out the cheese in the pesto pasta or the salad. Lentil and bean salads. Fruit skewers. Dark chocolate with nuts. Lettuce wedges with roasted peppers. White asparagus. Crusty freshly baked bread. Honeydew and crenshaw melon sweeter than you've ever had. Dark chocolate with nuts. Wine, beer, Kas sodas.
For dinner, whether we were in the manor home or a restaurant, there was always a choice for me. Vegetarian paella. Bountiful plates of grilled vegetables. Roasted padron peppers. Vegetable primavera. Stuffed mushroooms. Eggplant "burger." Falafel patties. Risotto and vegetables. Ratatouille. Zucchini soup. Hummus. The potatoes in Galicia, whether boiled, roasted, or fried have so much more flavor than ours in the US! A coffee grappa or a herb one to top off the meal. Many times, my fellow pilgrims would eye my food even as they feasted on tender lamb, hake, pulpo or empanadas.
If you're a ovo-vegetarian, you could add the marvelous tortilla (potato & egg sometimes onion omelette), the Santiago cake (almond), pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts), and a variety of pastries, cakes, and macaroons. And a lacto vegetarian could enjoy the omnipresent flan, cheesecake, and local cheeses from Arzua (the Galician cheese capital).
Suffice it to say, that though I was walking 3-4 times more than I do in New York, I came back from Spain with an extra 2 pounds. Buen provecho!
Thank you for your 5 star review from a different angle! You are right, Galician potatoes do taste different.
The Camino is a wonderful way to experience the Spanish culture and what better way than through food. With a large array of local ingredients there is always something for all tastes and diets, including vegan options.
In addition to being Camino experts, our guides, Jeff and David are also great cooks using fresh and local ingredients to create our unique gourmet picnics. I am glad you noticed how attentive and accommodating they are. They play a big part in making your Camino memorable.
I hope you can join us in a future tour so we can share more of the Spanish cuisine with you!
Our group did part of the French Way through Fresco Tours. We were five Canadian friends and were joined by two more people. With a group of seven pilgrims and two guides we started our trek. It was the most fabulous experience. From the beautiful Manor’s we stayed in to the food and especially the great picnics. There wasn’t anything Fresco or our guides didn’t think of. There amazing ways of making sure we were comfortable became known in our group as “The Magic of the Camino”. Thank you Fresco Tours and our two incredible guides for helping make this a trip of a life time.
Wonderful to hear that you and your group were able to experience "the magic of the Camino"! Not only is it, as you say, in our guides, who always try their best to accommodate any needs, share their knowledge and love of the Camino, make the behind-the-scenes operations be as seamless as possible, but it's also the magic found in the accommodations and meals, and most importantly, in the journey itself.
It also seems that you were inspired on the Camino to sing and play the guitar, from what I hear? Your group can start up a band, The Camino Wonders! ;)
On behalf of all of us at Fresco Tours, it's been a pleasure to work with all of you and I hope that our paths can cross again in the future. Unitl then, take care and keep on walking!
THANK YOU, Fresco Tours, Irene, and Dori! Our group had an amazing journey with you. We went with a group of 6 family and friends and were joined by two great sisters traveling together. We traveled with two 16 year old boys who loved it. It was the perfect combination of freedom and guidance. We did the "Kinder Camino" tour.
I can't say enough good things about our guides. They were so friendly and lovely and it was a pleasure spending the trip with them. They were great with my mom, in her 80s and doing her second trip, and were perfect knowing which stretches she could walk and which she shouldn't. Their picnics were amazing and I came away loving the fresh local foods. I'd definitely take another tour with Fresco and highly recommend it.
It's so nice to hear that you were able to walk with your mom, son, cousin and friends, and share this special experience with your loved ones! Plus, you got to "pre" celebrate your birthday in your own way!
We are very fortunate to have Irene and Dora on the Fresco team/family, and they truly go out of their way to help and accommodate any needs that the group has. And as I understand it, you also helped on the Camino as a messenger! ;)
It is comforting to know that while you are walking and taking in the scenery and the magic of the trail, on our guided tour, your needs are taken care of behind-the-scenes, you are greeted by a lovely picnic lunch which gives you the energy to continue walking, and finally, if you need to shorten the walk for any reason, this can be done without taking away from the experience.
We hope to have you join us again in the future and I wish you a lovely rest of the summer! Be well and take care!
Sixteen members of the congregation I serve in Ohio, walked the El Camino together, in June of 2019. We had a wonderful experience and were aware of God's presence through our many experiences on the Camino. We felt blessed by our pilgrimage and will be sharing the experience with members in August.
Fresco Tours was very helpful with the details of our Camino Pilgrimage. We walked the self guided tour from Sarria to Santiago (115KM). All our daily concerns were worked out a head of time. This allowed the leaders of the tour to focus on and encourage spiritual reflection when we gathered each evening as a group. Thank you Fresco Tours for helping this dream become a reality for our congregation
Thank you for your lovely words...I am so very happy that you found Fresco Tours to be the answer to your prayers when it came to not having to worry about anything other than the Camino! We, at Fresco Tours, strive for this level of attention to detail and service to our clients.
I loved working with you throughout the planning process and even more special, the fact that I was able to meet you all in Sarria. You are indeed blessed to have such a wonderful group of people in your congregation.
We hope to have you join us again in the future for another special pilgrimage! Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Love and peace!