The Camino Taster

You value YOU. You like to walk and to travel. You’ve heard about the Camino de Santiago and my Camino Experiences  but are not sure that you could walk that far or for as many days … or would you want to?

Our Camino Taster was designed for women just like you who would like to ‘dip your toe in’ and get a taste for what this is all about. And on this one we have built in a little sightseeing too.

The Camino Taster

You value YOU. You like to walk and to travel. You’ve heard about the Camino de Santiago and my Camino Experiences  but are not sure that you could walk that far or for as many days … or would you want to?

Our Camino Taster was designed for women just like you who would like to ‘dip your toe in’ and get a taste for what this is all about. And on this one we have built in a little sightseeing too.

A number of years ago some women asked me if I ever led a walking event that was shorter in both time and distance than a Camino Experience. 

They weren’t sure they wanted to do a full Camino Experience but they were intrigued. They didn’t know what it would be like or if they could do it. Was there a way to sample it? Others just wanted to walk less, see somewhere new and travel with a small group.

After taking into consideration a number of things such as the best time of year to walk, which sections of the path, the distances to cover, flights, accommodation and other things our Camino Taster was born – it was initially called a Camino Retreat which is one of the things we changed as a result of piloting.

The pilot was planned for 2020 but the pandemic hit so it was in 2022 when it finally took place. I led two back to back group trips that year.

With new things to see, beautiful scenery and new friends this trip gives you time for reflection, discussion and mindfulness as you walk. It provides time and space so that you’ll be able to focus on YOU and your life.  You can use the opportunity to think about what you might want to be different as you spend time putting YOU first.

The Camino Experience is a transformational journey and even if not as long, this Camino Taster be too, just be open to whatever it brings.

Walking has that meditative quality and being in open space, especially beside the coast with all those negative ions, our creativity is expanded and making decisions is somehow easier. I want you to be able to maximise this gift that you are giving yourself.

You will find that here’s something very special about the closeness, fun, laughter and camaraderie of travelling as a small group on what is a spiritual journey.

 

 

 

This taster is really a mini Camino Experience so much of the structure is the same. This is useful for you to know if this taster then makes you wish to move on to the main Camino Experience afterwards.

As I said it’s about YOU and time to put yourself first. This is not selfish, though many of us have been brought up to believe it is. Not at all – by giving to yourself,you have your needs met and are then in a much better place to give to others. It’s all part of selfcare, something we should all be doing regularly.

So there are no beds to make, piles of ironing to work through, supermarket shopping to do or food to prepare. No-one else’s demands to attend to. All you have to do is get from A to B, enjoy your post walk drink, a hot shower and then dinner.

All your accommodation is booked in advance on the path and your large bags are moved on every day so you only have to carry a day pack.

I’ll provide you with a fitness plan, a tried and tested packing list as well as advice and guidance on gear, travel and anything else you need/want to know so that you can feel confident when you join us.

If possible, time zones allowing, we’ll have a group call a few months before the event so you can all say ‘hi’ to each other and start to build the bond that will inevitably grow, and there’ll also be a one to one follow up call with me afterwards.

You have me from you sign up till we part on return … and perhaps even longer if you want some help in bringing everything to fruition as you want. 

 

The Journey

The Camino Taster 2025 takes place from Sunday June 22nd to Friday June 27th

While a Camino Experience is a full on 5, 6 or even 7 days walking the taster starts more gently with a planned day of sightseeing and our last day is also walk free to explore as well as being the day we travel home.

We start our time together with dinner in Porto the evening before which means that you can choose to fly in when suits you and take some time to chill. I will be guiding on flights and always try to get people on the same flights. You will receive all your hotel details before we go so if you are travelling alone you have that to hand and a meeting point and time for later. I also will set up a WhatsApp group for us all to keep in touch.

This allows a relaxed start over breakfast on day 1 and plenty of time to explore this beautiful city which is very colourful with steep streets, interesting architecture, tiled walls, a famous bookshop, a beautiful cathedral and lots of port houses. We will visit the cathedral and in the afternoon, we will go port tasting.

At some point during this first day we will sit down together to discuss the details of the days ahead and talk about what you might want to get from the experience. There’ll be a little down time back at the hotel and then in the evening we will come together for drinks and dinner.

On day 2 we will leave Porto and walk, first along the river Duoro until it reaches the Atlantic ocean and then our walk takes us along the Atlantic coast to Matoshinos, where we will have lunch an dthen return to Porto on the Metro. This is a gentle 6/7 mile route. Once back in Porto we will take the train to the coastal town of Viana do Castelo where, you can chill or join me to take the funicular up Monte de Santa Luzia and enjoy amazing panoramic views over Viana.  If the timing is right we can also visit the Santuario de Santa Luzia which dominates the skyline.

Day 3 is a walking day with 12 miles to cover. Do not fear though as it is described as ‘An easy day walking across dunes and sea promenades to Praia da Ancora.’ It’s a flat walk and through your training this will be well within your capabilities.

On our journey we cross many beautiful beaches on the newly built boardwalks and wooden footbridges which take us across the dunes and at times along sea promenades. When we arrive there may be time for a swim in the sea as well as the usual well earned beer or wine.

On day 4 our journey is again only 6 miles. Today we walk to Caminha, where if you were continuing your coastal Camino, you would catch the ferry across the river to Spain. For us, this is where we stop and in this pretty town which apart from in July and August, seems to escape tourism, we have time to explore, and focus on you.

We stay in a spa hotel close to the beach so an afternoon for you to swim, book treatments if you wish, escape over to a Spanish beach for a few hours or just read, journal or ‘be’.

At some point in his calm place it seems fitting to take the time to reflect and review the last 4 days. To look at what has happened, what has come up and what you want to carry forward as you return home. It’s also a great opportunity to prepare for the transition back from simple quiet days to the faster pace of your everyday life.

How do you maintain all the positives that have come up for you while away?

In the morning of day 5, there are options some of which will depend on flight times. There may be time to walk into Caminha and go to the market, have coffee etc, or you may want more time by the pool.

The plan for return is to catch the train back to Porto travelling along though some of the places you will have walked and from there it is up to you whether you fly home or take the opportunity to spend some more time in this beautiful location or perhaps explore further afield. On the pilot, one group did just this while the other group opted to join together and take a taxi back directly to the airport as we are north of Porto as the airport is. This is a decision that doesn’t need to be taken until the last day.

On all of our days there will be time for reflection, mindfulness and chatting together in our small group as well as supporting each other as we maximise this time away, something us women do not do enough of.

You deserve this time for your self care and self love because when you have these and have your needs taken care of you are in a much better place for all aspects of your life. 

I look forward to welcoming you.

 

What’s Included

Advice and guidance on travel

  • 5 nights accommodation. Accommodation is in twin rooms – if you want a single room we can arrange that but there would be a single supplement.
  • Transportation of your large bags to each night’s accommodation
  • Breakfast is the only meal included. This allows you to be flexible in what you want to eat at other times and food in Portugal is very reasonable.
  • An experienced guide to lead you along your journey
  • The camaraderie of walking in a small group of like-minded women
  • A little pre-walk prep to get you thinking prior to heading off on this adventure. This helps to maximise this time that you are gifting to yourself.
  • Sight seeing in Porto on Day 1 including a Port Tasting
  • 3 days walking along parts of the Coastal Camino Portuguese – not necessarily consecutive
  • In Viano do Castelo, a trip on the funicular to the Basilica de Santa Lusia for fabulous views over the surrounding area
  • An extensive tried and tested packing list of what to bring
  • A training plan giving you plenty of time to build your fitness.
  • Training walks in the London/SW area if you can join us.
  • A pre-walk group call to meet your fellow walkers and start to bond as a group
  • One-to-one and small group discussions along the way
  • A post-walk beer/wine/soft drink every walking day
  • A post-experience call to pull together what may have come up for you and ensure you are clear and supported in how to move forward. (These are booked before we leave so to ensure continuity and maximising thoughts, experience etc).
  • Access to my walking and personal development/coaching experience during this time away.

“If someone was interested I would say definitely go, it was a great experience. I enjoyed meeting new people who were very interesting and seeing places I had never been before. ” – Gerry White

“It’s a great mix of walking and sightseeing but remember it’s northern Portugal and can get chilly.” – Carol Friel

The variety of the trip, staying in different places. Chatting to different people. I thoroughly enjoyed my time away 90% of the time. Anything ‘negative’ is purely to help make it 100% next time!” 

“The group was excellent and we bonded very well. I enjoyed going to a new country and walking in a different location. All the accommodation we stayed in was suitable, some more luxurious than others. Food was local in restaurants and everything was as expected as Heather informed us on the call and emails. If you are interested, definitely go for it for the experience.” – Marianne Delima

“What I liked best was the scenery, the food, the company.”

“The locations are fabulous and the people lovely. The accommodation was great, but the last two were definitely the best. I enjoyed meeting some lovely people, eating lovely food and I really enjoyed the spa at the last hotel.”  – Rachel Allen

“I loved the camaraderie; being somewhere different; sunshine and fresh air; going out for dinner.” – Rachel Maunder

“I so enjoyed the company of the group – a great bunch – and actually the thing I was most nervous about. I thoroughly enjoyed it and benefitted from it. THANKS” – Jane Coward

” The best things for me were meeting new people and lots of good conversations.” – – Karen Christian, Sheffield, UK

Interested in coming along?

The dates for this Camino Taster are June 22nd to June 27th 2025

If you are interested, then your investment is £1779 which is the earlybird price until mid April 2024, then it rises to £1979.

We take a non-refundable deposit of £300 leaving a balance of £1479 to pay over the remaining months or however you wish to pay that.

On this trip breakfast is the only meal included which gives choice to have a main meal at lunch time or in the evening.

We have 8 places on this trip. Is one of those for YOU? 

If you want to ask questions, discuss any concerns or just want to chat it over then all chats are commitment free. You can book yours below.

Book a Virtual Coffee Here

If overseas travel is not your thing and you would rather walk in the UK then we do have 1 day monthly walks in London and the South East and our UK St James Way from Reading to Southampton which is a Camino Route.

We are developing a wider portfolio of shorter walks like the Camino Taster in the UK as well as some 1 day historical walks and some 2 day walking events too.

The St James Way will be happening in Oct 2024 from Mon 7th to the 14th inclusive.

Why not start off by joining our Inner Circle where I share insights and tips from my world of walking, self care and personal development as well as all the latest news about upcoming events and retreats.

Heather x

 

 

If overseas travel is not your thing and you would rather walk in the UK then we do have 1 day monthly walks in London and the South East and our UK St James Way from Reading to Southampton which is a Camino Route.

We are developing a wider portfolio of shorter walks like the Camino Taster in the UK as well as some 1 day historical walks and some 2 day walking events too.

Why not start off by joining our Inner Circle where I share insights and tips from my world of walking, self care and personal development as well as all the latest news about upcoming events and retreats.

Heather x

 

07941 246619