Learn Spanish and walk the Camino de Santiago, Spain

“This holiday teams Spanish for beginners with coastal village walks and visits to historical towns where you can test out you new conversational skills: it's fun, not full-on.”

Highlights

Beginners Spanish course | Camino de Santiago | Picos de Europa | Panes | Mier | Pico Penamellera | Comillas | Basilica of Santa Maria | Los Lagos | Llanes

Description of Learn Spanish and walk the Camino de Santiago, Spain

You will learn Spanish and walk sections of the Camino de Santiago in the Picos de Europa. Our Spanish course is fun and practical focusing on Spanish language for walkers and travellers. Groups have a maximum size of 6 to ensure you have an unique experience and comprises of 4 x 50 minute Spanish classes and 3-5 hr walk per day.

Our language school is located rurally at the gateway to the Picos de Europa national park on the northern route of the Camino de Santiago.

The Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) pilgrimage route dates back to the 8th century. The traditional pilgrimage was supposed to start from your home, however now there are several main routes that cross France and Spain converging on the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the North West. When you walk with us you will see the beauty and experience the culture of the Picos de Europa, whilst also seeing the hidden treats that are often missed if you are not on foot. To walk the whole route takes about 3 months, we offer you the opportunity to learn about the Camino experience and enough Spanish to enable you to enjoy the whole route if you decide to do the whole walk.

Our Camino de Santiago Taster week is a perfect way to see some of the classic sections of the route, whilst learning practical Spanish to travel and get into local cultures and communities when abroad. The walking is easy going with several stopping off points for light refreshment. During the week we visit sites that show the old ways of life still being lived today, and look at the rich wildlife that this wild area of Europe has to offer.

The Spanish course is designed for beginners who want enough Spanish to get by whilst travelling and allow them to enjoy and understand the culture a little more. Our teachers are native and fun. During the week we discuss:-

Greetings
Asking for Directions
Booking accommodation
Food and Drink
Talking about yourself
Travel
Getting Help

The area is famous for its food, and its traditional drink of cider. During the week we go to some great places to eat and look at the history of its cuisine. The food can be summed up as simple ingredients, locally produced to a very high quality and then cooked with generations of know how.

The price of the course includes:

- Spanish intensive course with a maximum of six people, with enrolment, materials designed around the Camino Pilgrimage route, notebook and pen. During the class hours, there is access to the school kitchen, with complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits!
- Guided walks on Camino routes (Monday to Thursday) and visit to Llanes (Friday)
- Transport in the area to and from walk destinations
- Map of the area
- Advice on extra outdoor activities, travel, things to do over the weekend, etc.

Note: Our closest international airport is Santander. We also provide a transfer service from Bilbao and Asturias airports, and there's public transport to Panes too. Santander, Gijón and Bilbao are ferry destinations too.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Introductions and greetings, basic shopping and prices. Walk a beautiful coastal section of the Camino with spectacular views of the North coast, having some food on route.
Day 2:Daily activities, talking about yourself, food and drink. Walk the Camino from the village of Panes to Mier, passing the famous Pico Peñamellera.
Day 3:City places, asking for directions, booking into a hotel. Visit and walk in the historical town of Comillas, a great small town with a rich history with a Gaudi building, the Pontifical University and great places to eat.
Day 4:Getting help, preferences and travel. Drive along the north of the Picos to visit the Basilica of Santa María, site of the first Christian conquest over the invading moors, followed by drive up to "Los Lagos" and an easy walk high in the mountains with stunning views down to the sea.
Day 5:Culture, The Way, work revision and any questions. The historic town of Llanes, a few traditional ciders and some great food.
Day 6:Free day for you to get about on your own, we are always available to help out and give advice on what to do.
Day 7:Return.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

Check dates

2017: 5 Mar, 12 Mar, 19 Mar, 26 Mar, 2 Apr, 9 Apr, 16 Apr, 23 Apr, 30 Apr, 7 May, 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, 4 Jun, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 6 Aug, 13 Aug, 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 15 Oct, 22 Oct, 29 Oct, 5 Nov, 12 Nov, 19 Nov, 26 Nov
Our top tip:
Trekking poles can be useful if you feel you’d like to climb higher mountain passes.
Trip type:
Small group holiday. Max. 6 people.
Activity level:
Leisurely. More coastal walks than mountains.
Accomm:
Local hotels selected to your taste and budget.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available.
Meals:
Not included. Lots of local cafes, restaurants and shops nearby.
Included:
Spanish course, guided walks, transport and map.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Learn Spanish and walk the Camino de Santiago, Spain

Environment

Sustainability: We recycle, take energy use seriously and take steps to ensure we keep the environmental impact of our activity to a minimum.

We are lucky that there is great food grown here, we source locally.

We like to pick up and drop off our visitors as a group to minimise travel.

We promote local environmental projects and initiatives, and use these as a point of interest in our walks. This improves knowledge, awareness and allows a positive transfer of ideas.

We take litter home with us (whether it’s ours or not).

We walk responsibly minimising soil erosion and disruption to animals. We use lesser known routes to minimise over exploitation and damage.

We are knowledgeable about the environment we live in and it's rich history. One of our passions is supporting people who respect their environment by taking an active interest and helping out with work when things are busy, for example at our friends traditional farm.

The national park is our greatest resource and we respect it, its traditions and its people

Community

We want our business to have a socially positive impact locally and beyond. We visit local businesses and promote traditional practices that do not abuse the environment.

We are active in our local community, for example we organise cinema nights in the school and conversation exchange opportunities (such our "Menage a three" nights where Spanish, English and French are spoken over a glass of wine). We also work with local businesses to promote sustainable development.

One of the great things about the area is that everybody helps each other when needed and money is never mentioned. We really like this and support these values. We treat the traditional ways of life and the local people with respect. We make a point of showing these to our groups as a way of promoting the area and creating interesting points of discussion.

We use a local taxi minibus service for our trips to the National Park, allowing us to be dropped off and picked up in different locations. This also minimises pollution and creates employment locally.

The Picos have some very old and traditional villages high in the mountains, these often have combined bar/shops which we use whenever we visit, helping keep them alive for the local people. This is really important as many of these villages are remote and inaccessible during winter.

We use local produce and workforce whenever possible

Reviews of Learn Spanish and walk the Camino de Santiago, Spain

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole week was fabulous. The friendliness and professionalism of everyone I met was outstanding. Íñigo,Celina, and Ana. The afternoon walks with Diego and Jesus were wonderful. It is one of the most enjoyable holidays I have had.

My utter ineptitude at foreign languages did not phase the tutors at all. I'm not entirely sure why not. They were incredibly patient.



2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Buy some good phrase books. Lonely Planet do some excellent little ones. Google Translate and Sapnish Dict are very useful apps. Take waterproofs, the weather is very unpredictable.

I booked Rural Villa Elena, family run, by a delightful couple, I loved it. Two minutes from the school.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes , I used all the local facilities daily.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent .. I didn't want to leave Panes.

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The stunning views and unspoilt peace of the Picos de Europa.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you hire a car, beware of hidden costs such as advice to take out extra insurance and bear in mind you might queue for an hour to collect your car.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It definitely benefitted local people in terms of bringing in income to local businesses and grocers and bars.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an amazing experience. I went with my 15 year old son in order to practise Spanish for his GCSE exam. We were looked after by a local mountain guide in the mornings who knew the mountains like the back of his hand and took us on some strenuous hiking through beautiful, unspoilt and mostly deserted terrain whilst speaking to us in Spanish. We had 4 hours language tuition in the late afternoon/evenings at the local language school. The teachers were well trained, well equipped and flexible. They adapted to meet our needs and the lessons were really worthwhile. The 4 hours just whizzed by! They also helped us to feel welcome and experience a taste of Spanish village life.

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The beautiful views and stunning walks in the mountains and on the coast.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I think that the joining instructions were very comprehensive. I would advise to bring good walking boots and all the other kit recommended, as the terrain
and weather are variable.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think that the holiday supported local people involved in the language tuition, catering and also outdoor activities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the school. The combination of language learning and outdoor activities was just what I was looking for. I particularly
appreciated the kind and careful attention offered by the tutors and the friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Panes. I would say that this holiday
completely lived up to expectation.

Reviewed on 29 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The entire week was good fun and well organised. I was a complete beginner in Spanish and was surprised at how much ground we managed to cover. The teachers and walking guide were all very friendly and accommodating. It's a really pretty area and we saw a variety of local villages, sites and landscapes on the walks. Panes is small but we had surprisingly little free time to fill and there are enough local bars and restaurants to keep things interesting for a week - all our meals out were excellent! I stayed at the Villa Elena which was charming and the staff were lovely, like everywhere else in the village they spoke virtually zero English but we managed to communicate just fine.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack lots of layers outside of summer. We were there in late March and although it only rained properly on one day it generally felt colder in the village than the temperature indicated as it was quite damp.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, insofar as we used entirely local services

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good indeed, really happy with it :-)

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I met some wonderful people and it felt like we had shared an adventure.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure that you are clear about the week's itinerary and dont be shy about putting forward your own views.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It absolutely benefits the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I had a great time in ways I didn't expect. The area is stunning and I loved the local food.

Reviewed on 09 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was all wonderful. I loved the town where the Spanish lessons were held, and the teachers were fantastic. The hikes each day were beautiful and "not too hard, not too easy." Several days we hiked in the rain, but it was soft and still fun.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be sure to pack a notebook and pen for your class notes. Plan on a daily siesta. Know that you will be in a very small town so nightlife is limited. I found the vacation to be ideal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No question that the money coming into the community was important to both the individual suppliers and the town as a whole. I was pleased that the hikes were very conscientious about being low impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was fantastic, and I would do it again tomorrow if I could!

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Glorious mountain scenery and wonderful walks, combined with well-constructed and fun language course run by patient and interesting tutors. Enjoyed the company of great co-students/travellers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Good bus service from airports to Unquera (ALSA).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The hotel felt very much part of the local community, as did the many restaurants and cafes which provided excellent choice and quality of local food. The entire environment felt calm, pristine and unspoilt by the hustle and bustle of modern life.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful, educational, invigorating yet calm. Has generated enthusiasm for more language tuition and to repeat a similar trip in the future. I wish there was an opportunity for 4.5 stars!

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking up the mountains - amazingly beautiful. Excellent, entertaining and fun guide - Javier.
The course - well organised, very kind and friendly teachers. Very welcoming.
The village - there was one family restaurant we booked twice for - most excellent food, the cook/manager is a smart woman indeed. Ask Ana - she'll tell you where to go. Highly recommended.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared to learn more than you expect - you will certainly be able to understand what people are saying to you by the end of the week.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - the school was environmentally aware - things like recycling etc in place.
The village was small but clean and perfectly functioning. People were very nice.
I stayed at a family run hotel, Elena I think it was called. Really warm people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Just to say how much I enjoyed this trip. Amazing how much you can learn in
15hours beginners course. Caring, responsible and responsive team of
teachers and walking guides. Great mountain views, coastal paths...
unforgetable visit to the caves to see prehistoric painting - sofisticated.

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Both the language teaching and the walks were excellently guided by really friendly experts. It was great to have both elements to the holiday. Small group size- five in total also a bonus.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book hotel accommodation but on b& b basis not half board as this gives maximum flexibility but close proximity to language school.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefitted local people through use of local bars, restaurants, hotels etc but not a holiday with conservation aims.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent opportunity to learn Spanish while having very enjoyable holiday. Would thoroughly recommend it. Have given four stars not five because the tour company still needing to fine tune a few elements. Feed back on these given direct.

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The walks and the Spanish learning

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get hotel accommodation, not staying with a family. Be clear about your level of Spanish and your level of waling ability

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, in all three ways

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Good

Reviewed on 30 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Spanish lessons were really enjoyable and I could hardly believe the progress we made in the few short days we were there. The village of Panes was an ideal place to practice our beginners' Spanish and the Picos de Europa are stunning. The afternoon walks along the coast(Camino del Norte) were well organised and brilliant fun. The idea of a small group worked really well and spending time with Ana, our teacher was a brilliant introduction to Spanish life and culture. She even made some "Tortos" for us to sample.
I am a language teacher myself(French and German) but I was really impressed by this course, the Camino Taster, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to others. It's difficult to pick a highlight, but just outside the school is the most gorgeous view of those mountains, I think I could have sat there all day except there was so much else to do.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I was doing a beginner's course but you will have more fun and get more out of your stay if you learn a few of the basics before you go. It's not essential but it's nice to chat in the shops and cafes.
I brought trekking poles for the first time on a walk and found them useful when we climbed one of the Picos. They were invaluable when we climbed La Ruta del Careas.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All of the group shopped and dined in the village. It's not tourist Spain but I would imagine these small little groups coming on a regular basis do contribute to the local economy. We were all fairly conscious of the environment, it's beautiful there, but this type of tourism has no negative effect on the environment as far as I could see.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I loved everything about this trip. Excellent teacher, varied and interesting lessons, lovely peaceful rural village, stunning scenery, great excursions, good fun, good introduction to culture and gastronomy of Spain.

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The hiking was gorgeous

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get to Panes early enough to walk around the town and have a lay of the land before starting the week.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The local economy is able to support this kind of tourism.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We greatly enjoyed this unique adventure in learning the language and experiencing a culture and having an action-oriented vacation. And we are in our 60's.

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